Posted: May 25th, 2022
Woody2000: Case Study
Why do you suppose renovation of the President and Executive Vice President’s offices were included in the project and was that a good idea?
The Canadian-based Custom Woodworking Company (‘Woody’s’), a custom furniture and cabinet making company, was facing a new opportunity in the form of a small boom in the construction business in the British Columbia area, where it was located. John Carpenter, the son of the founder Ron ‘Woody’ Carpenter, clearly wanted to project an image to the world that Woody’s was now an international organization. Once a small, localized firm, Wood’s wished to establish closer ties with companies across the border in the United States (Wideman, 1993, Background). Most of Woody’s efforts were focused upon modernization in a logistical sense, but renovating its company offices seemed designed with the intention of Woody’s projecting a more sophisticated image for itself. Creating an image for Woody’s by renovating the offices of the President and Executive VP was in line with the organization’s strategy of image improvement.
In retrospect, however, the decision to modernize the offices was a terrible idea. It communicated to workers who were dealing with a period of confusing and frustrating changes that the image of the company mattered more than the product they were devoting their time and effort to manufacturing. Given that customization was a core part of the company’s reputation, having top company craftsmanship talent on board with the sweeping changes was essential. Renovating the offices conveyed a message of elitism rather than inclusiveness. Furthermore, given that the budget for the renovation of the company was tight, the strictly essential aspects of the change initiative should have been prioritized above the cosmetic renovation of the company offices.
An additional problem was that the renovation was not properly budgeted into the larger context of the organizational overhaul. The total cost of the work was estimated at $17 million, which did not include the cost of the office renovation (Wideman, 1993, the Project Concept). The renovation’s costs were not transparent, and the purpose of the renovation was thus not clearly articulated for the company’s employees. They did not understand why it was part of a larger organizational vision. Throughout the renovation, at every stage, there was no formal approval review process for management regarding the necessity of various changes, including the renovation of the company offices.
Write a simple project scope statement.
The defined project scope of the Woody 2000 project was to modernize the production facilities through expanding the work area by 25%; through the installation of air-conditioning; through the creation of a finishing shop with a compressor capacity; and making the production area as whole more functional, modern and dust-free. A semi-automatic woodworking production train was to be installed. The new production train also required the development and installation of software and hardware to run the train (Wideman, 1993, the Project Concept).
This program had to be accomplished on a tight deadline, given that its stated intention was to capitalize upon the sudden boom in the construction market. Expert Industrial Developers (EID) had been chosen to be charge of the planned expansion. The initial monthly cash flow charts set aside one million for contingencies: one million in each of the first and last months, with an intervening ten months at $1.4 million (Wideman, 1993, Planning). The project should have been carefully guarded against so-called ‘scope creep’ or an expansion of the project which was not strictly approved of, according to the initially-set limit and budget. If more money or additional expansion was required over the project’s duration, a formal meeting should have been immediately called for in the initial project directives to determine why and how the costs could be curtailed. Communication channels and pre-ordained regular project meetings should have been established between EID and Woody’s. The project’s leadership hierarchy should have been defined.
Deadline completion was a must, given that the project was designed to respond to an available external opportunity. EID was paid an hourly rate. The problem with paying a company at an hourly rate is that there is an incentive for the organization to include more billable hours, and to make the project longer in duration, versus a fixed, lump initially agreed-upon sum where the incentive is for the contractor to finish the project quickly. There should have been specifications written into the contract that the project must end at a given point in time and/or there would be reductions in the final fee allotted for the project if things went over-time or over-budget.
Develop a work breakdown structure
The overall breakdown of duties is as follows on project Woody’s 2000 are as follows
Woody’s leadership in the form of the Carpenter family->Spencer Moneysworth (in charge of project) & Ian Leadbetter (engineer and assistant to the project)->Expert Industrial Developers (EID) (in charge of production) ->Schemers and Plotters (S&P) (in charge of the building and industrial design work)
Note the amount of diffusion on the project, for a relatively small organization. Additionally, there is a great deal of cross-pollination of different duties and requirements, which can result in a confusion of responsibility. For example, neither Moneysworth nor Leadbetter were aware of or had created review and approval procedures for the specifications and shop drawings submitted directly by either S&P or by Eddie Forgot of Piecemeal Corporation, even though they were supposed to be overseeing EID. EID was supposed to be overseeing S&P but neither company was certain of its specific duties in the project. A better structure to adopt would be to have different company officials in charge the oversight of specific aspects of the organizational overhaul and given specific outside personnel to supervise both the EID and S&P corporations. In retrospect, it was unwise to have contracted EID and allowed EID to subcontract S&P, given that timeliness is such an essential aspect of fulfilling the obligations demanded by the overhaul and subcontracting can result in additional delays
Wideman, Max. (1993). Woody 2000. Expert Project Management.
Retrieved September 27. 2010 at http://www.maxwideman.com/papers/woody2000/intro.htm
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