Background: Heidi Cosgray of R & S Amusements Services has just left the project kickoff meeting. She is upset and is getting more upset as she walks back to her office. Heidi, as the service coordinator for R & S, is responsible for the prioritization, scheduling, and tracking of service calls to service or repair amusement machines. She deals with the customers (business locations where amusement machines are installed) daily, hearing their complaints and criticisms and making promises she knows she can’t keep in an attempt to keep them happy. She has been complaining for months to Reid Lewis about providing her some sort of service management software that would enable her to better serve the customers. Having an automated system to better log calls, assign technicians, track the status of calls, and a host of other things that would make her life less stressful and her job more fulfilling.
Current Situation 1: Now, after learning that her project wasn’t among the top three selected for implementation, Heidi is sitting at her desk, contemplating her next move. She has decided it’s time for drastic action and marches into Reid Lewis’s office. As the office door is closing, Reid’s assistant Leslie hears, “Mr. Lewis, I am handing in my resignation, effective today!” Heidi reminds Reid that he has promised her for months that he’ll give her help. He had agreed that her needs were very pressing and would receive top priority. He’d even said that if the company can’t keep customers happy, it risks losing their business—so that should be the company’s top priority! Now, with the arrival of so-called project manager experts from PPMS (Jeff Dunbar and Kevin Pullen), Reid has totally ignored Heidi’s input and needs. Heidi tells Reid she believes he really doesn’t value what she does for the company; therefore, she has no other choice but to quit.
Discussion: Put yourself in the shoes of Reid Lewis. How should he respond to Heidi? When Jeff and Kevin asked for participation from all the key stakeholders in order to prepare the business case, what if Reid had refused, allowing only Mark Lewis and Diana Brooks to participate? Would this have been a mistake? Why?
Current Situation 2: After Heidi’s outburst, Reid convinces her to meet with Jeff and Kevin. Reid has instructed Jeff and Kevin to work with Heidi to revalidate the order of the project selection and to see if anything can be done to help Heidi.
Discussion: Heidi is a key asset to the organization and the team. She has a wealth of knowledge and is traditionally one of R & S’s top performers. Losing her would be a severe blow to the project. Jeff and Kevin definitely do not want to lose her. How should Jeff and Kevin handle this delicate situation? What compromises are available that Heidi may be open to? Heidi claims that she can buy over the Internet a $995 service management software package that would solve 75 percent of her problems. Should Jeff and Kevin let her buy it to keep her happy and occupied (temporary solution) in order to give them time until they can actually address her needs during a future project? What are the risks and benefits of buying the package? Debate the pros and cons of your suggestions.
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