This paper is an edited version
of an article by A. Wyrcan, first published in Management Today, March 1975.
Published here July 2010
Issues for Discussion
- What were the author's personal objectives of his "crusade" and hence what Key Success Indicators can you identify for this "project"? Were they achieved? Was the outcome entirely satisfactory?
- How did the author go about establishing a "candidate" for the study and what was his approach? Was this appropriate successful, or what would you have done?
- As a "project practitioner", what lessons can you learn from the way the author's interview was conducted and how it unfolded?
- What was the essential purpose of the author's first day on the job? What was the outcome? From a project perspective, what can you learn from this?
- Track the logic sequence in the section: "From 'chaser' to General Manager". How would you describe the management style, the effects and the outcome? Was it justified and what might you have done?
- How was "Authority confused with management"? Is this something that might arise in a "normal" project? Give your reasons.
- What was the point of the "Labor and management confrontation"? What can you learn from this and how would you have handled it in a project context?
- On what basis did the author conclude that: "the business must be a winner"? What were the elements of uncertainty and the author's assumptions? Was his conclusion justified?
- Discuss the changes that had taken place by the end of four months, yet why did the author resign? Or was he pushed? What do you suppose was behind this state of affairs?
- How would you describe the author's leadership style? What other style might he have adopted yet achieve the same results?
- "Quality" is rarely mentioned in this account, but what part does it play and how is it reflected in the case study?
- The company was obviously in trouble. Large complex projects sometimes suffer from the same malaise. How do you suppose this case study situation came about and hence what lessons can you draw from this case study?