This case study is a fictitious project situation and any resemblance or similarity to actual events, dates, places or names is purely coincidental. It was submitted for publication and is copyright to A. Lathif Masood© originally published 2005, updated 2006.
Published here April 2006.

Introduction | Explanatory Glossary | Friday - December 16, 2005
Monday - December 19, 2005 | Tuesday - December 20, 2005 | Wednesday - December 21, 2005
Friday - December 23, 2005 | Assignments | Sample Charter Template

Wednesday - December 21, 2005: On site at Iqaluit

You have successfully extracted the project situation and have confirmed what was discussed at the company headquarters in Ottawa. It had gone late into the night but your fact-finding session had worked very well. You crank up the heater in your tiny hotel room and bring out the list of problems from Assignment Section A. You are thankful that you were so detailed in your problem identification; it was as if someone told you that you had to be meticulous. From yesterday's meeting with the team you also found out the following:

  • The ten team members had lost hope in Alfred as a Project Manager and, it appears that they had lost hope in the entire team as a whole due to the fact that they could not find the solution.
  • The only comment the team made against the PM was that Alfred had cut back on travel to home base in Ottawa for the team completely. Alfred's opinion on this was that they had to focus on the problems at hand. He was surprised that the team was still bothered about this.
  • The team (all employees) all wanted to just quit, forget about this and go home to Ottawa.
  • The team members who were trained on the BS computer system did ascertain that the system had had a success rate of 90% in Ottawa. It even had been tested outside the laboratory in certain fields in Kingston and Waterloo.
  • The team had access to the algorithm computer programs but there do not seem to be any bugs in the program.
  • The team wanted BS Inc to send in their experts to the site to look at the system using the management reserve for this project. The project and management reserve have been used up already. It is unlikely that the president would invest more as the company is still unable to invoice anything in this project.
  • The clients wanted the project to succeed and were willing to do whatever it took: except put in more money.
  • The clients needed the BS computer system to work as their mining strategy depended on this: but it must work fast. They were willing to give any solution a try for another month. After this, they will declare the project a failure and ask for their project contract investment ($1,300,000) back from SNE Heavy Equipment.

Somewhere in the back of your mind, you begin to think about bringing in your own team, now released from the project in Barbados to help with this project. Being in a balanced matrix organization, this may not be easy but you could negotiate, as Project Miner seems to need a topnotch team. You wonder if that would be a good idea.

You also know that although the president may eventually be convinced to invest in this project if you can successfully influence the situation and propose another project that will bring Project Miner back on track. That proposed project "Save Miner" should answer the question that is hurting this team: "why did the computer system work in Ottawa, Kingston and Waterloo but fails to work up here?" You have a suspicious feeling what may be causing the system to fail here in Iqaluit and why it had a 90% success rate in the relatively warmer places in the south.

This is only a hunch: and a major risk. You are certainly not risk averse but can you afford to lose valuable time by putting all your effort on this? You only haveone day to put this charter together and three weeks maximum for Project Save Miner to get this project back on track. You think about this while your take the next step: Project Save Miner's charter. Much as you like skiing in the tundra, you hope that this charter will help you spend the winter somewhere in the Bahamas.

Tuesday - December 20, 2005  Tuesday - December 20, 2005

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