For the past several years, Kent Corporation had achieved remarkable success in winning R&D contracts. The customers were pleased with the analytical capabilities of the R&D staff at Kent Corporation. Theoretical and experimental results were usually within 95 percent agreement. But many customers still felt that 95 percent was too low. They wanted 98–99 percent. In 1989, Kent updated their computer facility by purchasing a large computer. The increased performance with the new computer encouraged the R&D group to attempt to convert from two-dimensional to three dimensional solutions to their theoretical problems.
Almost everyone except the director of R&D thought that this would give better comparison between experimental and theoretical data. Kent Corporation had tried to develop the computer program for three dimensional solutions with their own internal R&D programs, but the cost was too great.
Finally, after a year of writing proposals, Kent Corporation convinced the federal government to sponsor the project. The project was estimated at $750,000, to begin January 2, 1991, and to be completed by December 20, 1991. Dan McCord was selected as project manager. Dan had worked with the EDP department on other projects and knew the people and the man-hour standards. Kent Corporation was big enough to support 100 simultaneous projects. With so many projects in existence at one time, continual reshuffling of resources was necessary.
The corporation directors met every Monday morning to establish project priorities. Priorities were not enforced unless project and functional managers could not agree on the allocation and distribution of resources. Because of the R&D director’s persistence, the computer project was given a low priority. This posed a problem for Dan McCord. The computer department manager refused to staff the project with his best people. As a result, Dan had severe skepticism about the success of the project. In July, two other project managers held a meeting with Dan to discuss the availability of the new computer model. “We have two proposals that we’re favoured to win, providing that we can state in our proposal that we have this new computer model available for use,” remarked one of the project managers. “We have a low priority and, even if we finish the job on time, I’m not sure of the quality of work because of the people we have assigned,” said Dan. “How do you propose we improve our position?” asked a project manager. “Let’s try to get in to see the director of R&D,” asserted Dan. “And what are we going to say in our defence?” asked one of the project managers.
You now have been contracted as a strategic management consultant to conduct an audit of this institution. Propose an audit tool that you are going to use to analyse this case and carry out a comprehensive analysis using the proposed tool.