Ferris Healthcare, Inc. In July of 1999, senior management at Fems recognized that its future growth could very well be determined by how quickly and how well it implemented proj- ect management. For the past several years, line managers had been functioning as project managers while still managing their line groups. The projects came out with the short end of the stick, most often late and over budget, because managers focused on line activities rather than project work. Everyone recognized that proj- ect management needed to be an established career path position and that some structured process had to be implemented for project management. A consultant was brought into Ferris to provide initial project management training for 50 out of the 300 employees targeted for eventual project manage- ment training. Several of the employees thus trained were then placed on a com- mittee with senior management to design a project management stage-gate model for Fems. After two months of meetings, the committee identified the need for three different stage-gate models: one for information systems, one for new products1 services provided, and one for bringing on board new corporate clients. There were several similarities among the three models. However, personal interests dictated the need for three methodologies, all based upon rigid policies and procedures. After a year of using three models, the company recognized it had a problem deciding how to assign the right project manager to the right project. Project man- agers had to be familiar with all three methodologies. The alternative, considered6 FERRIS HEALTHCARE, INC. impractical, was to assign only those project managers familiar with that specific methodology. After six months of meetings, the company consolidated the three method- ologies into a single methodology, focusing more upon guidelines than on poli- cies and procedures. The entire organization appeared to support the new singu-...
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