The ill-fated Picasso Project was in trouble right from the start. Mario, who had been an assistant project manager, was involved with the project from its conception. When the Picasso Project was accepted by the company, Mario was assigned as the project manager. The program schedules started to slip from day one, and expenditures were excessive. Mario found that the functional managers were charging direct labor time to his project but working on their own pet projects. When Mario complained of this, he was told not to meddle in the functional manager's allocation of resources and budgeted expenditures. After approximately six months, Mario was requested to make a progress report directly ...view middle of the document...
M. meeting every Monday morning for complete review of the project status and plans for recovery. Mario found himself spending more time preparing paperwork, reports and projections for his Monday morning meetings than he did administering the Picasso Project. The main concern of corporate was to get the project back on schedule. Mario spent many hours preparing the recovery plan and establishing manpower requirements to bring the program back onto the original schedule.
Group staff, in order to closely track the progress of the Picasso Project, assigned an assistant program manager. The assistant program manager determined that a sure cure for the Picasso Project would be to computerize the various problems and track the progress through a very complex computer program.
Corporate provided Mario with twelve additional staff members to work on the computer program. In the meantime nothing changed. The functional managers still did not provide adequate staff for recovery, assuming that the additional manpower Mario had received from corporate would accomplish that task.
After approximately $50,000 was spent on the computer program to track the problems, it was found that the program objectives could not be handled by the computer. Mario discussed this problem with a computer supplier and found that $15,000 more was required for programming and additional storage capacity.
It would take two months for installation of the additional storage capacity and the completion of the programming. At this point, the decision was made to abandon the computer program.
Mario was now a year and a half into the program with no prototype units completed. The program was still nine months behind schedule with the overrun projected at 40 percent of budget. The customer had been receiving his reports on a timely basis and was well aware of the fact that the Picasso Project was behind schedule. Mario had spent a great deal of time with the customer explaining the problems and the plan for recovery. Another problem that Mario had to contend with was that the vendors who were supplying components for the project were also running behind schedule.
One Sunday morning, while Mario was in his office putting together a report for the client, a corporate vice president came into his office. "Mario," he said, "in any project I look at the top sheet of paper and the man whose name appears at the top of the sheet is the one I hold
responsible. For this project your name appears at the top of the sheet. lf you cannot bail this thing out, you are in serious trouble in this...