BetterU College is a four-year undergraduate college officering bachelor's degree in nursing, science (biology, computer science, chemistry, physics), arts and literature. The school is located in Maryland. Being a small private school it has limited budget and therefore has not computerized all aspects of the college operation yet. One of the Departments that still performs some of its work manually is the HR Department. The HR Director wants a computerized system to keep all their performance evaluation records in one central database. This would allow managers to enter yearly evaluations on their computer and then transmit the information to HR, who could then generate reports, send reminders, and adjust employees' compensation as appropriate.
Recently a local businesswoman donated $150,000 to the college. The college administration has decided to use all or portion of that money for HR initiatives. The HR Director wants the money to be used for the performance evaluation system. The justification is that if performance evaluations are easier to complete, they will be done on time and HR can keep better track of the process. Then there is the added possibility that doing the performance evaluations will result in better qualified staff, which should lead to more satisfied students and thereby generate more money for the school.
Mark, who is the director of the HR Department, has assigned Steven, Kelly and Eric to do an analysis of the current manual system and present an overall plan for the new electronic system, including an estimate of cost and a timetable for implementation.
Steven, Kelly and Eric immediately contact Alice, the director of the IT Department, as well as Roger, VP of Administration, and arrange a meeting to gather information from them through an interview process. They decide to prepare a set of ten questions each. On the day of the interviews Eric had all his questions printed and was ready to go, Steven had only come up with five questions and Kelly had all her questions typed and saved on a flash drive. She planned to print them the morning of the interview day. Just a half an hour before the interviews Kelly tried to print her file. Unfortunately the system could not open the document. Because there was no time to create a new set of questions, the team had two options. Their first option was to postpone the interviews to some other time and their second option was to go ahead with the interviews without Kelly's questions. Since postponing the interviews might give a bad impression, they decided to go ahead to the meetings without Kelly's questions.
After conducting the interviews, Steven, Kelly, and Eric went ahead with the analysis and prepared a recommendation for a new performance evaluation system with on-line update and query features. They informally discussed their ideas with their boss and several other colleagues and everyone felt that their ideas were excellent. Eric then prepared a document outlining their system requirements and sent one copy to the IT Director and another copy to Mark for their review. Steven and Kelly were initially upset that Eric didn't ask for their input before sending the document, but didn't say anything. Steven didn't confront Eric because he agreed with the plan once he had a chance to read it over and Kelly just decided to let the incident go even though she found at least two items that didn't seem to make sense to her.
Based on the document Eric sent, Mark was excited about the project and invited the college president and all the administrative vice presidents and deans to a presentation on the proposed performance evaluation system. Mark wanted to be sure that he would have the support of the administration and funding for the new on-line HR system. All the clerks who were involved with the HR system and record keeping were also invited to the presentation. Steven, Eric and Kelly decided that they could individually self-organize and let each other prepare for the presentation in his/her own fashion.
During the morning of the presentation, Eric arrived 30 minutes early expecting to find Kelly and Steven there as well. Kelly entered the meeting room with only a few minutes to spare. She apologized saying she stopped at Starbuck's on the way. There was a long line but she just had to get a cup of coffee. As for Steven, his car ran out of gas on the way to college. Consequently he arrived 20 minutes late for the presentation and noticed that some of the audience had already left. He immediately apologized and began to set up his part of the presentation. Once Steven arrived they had all their equipment in the room and loaded the presentation onto the laptop. They started the presentation by putting the first slide on the screen and describing the proposed system to the audience.
Unfortunately the laptop's battery wasn't adequately charged and the screen went blank during the presentation. Kelly rushed out to the IT department to look for an AC adapter for the computer. When she finally returned with the cord she noticed that about half of the audience had already left. They resumed their presentation but Steven and Kelly noticed that Eric had changed some of the wording (it was different than what was in the original report) and had added some information they had never seen. As a result, both Steven and Kelly were unsure of how to answer some of the questions they received from the audience. The group finished their presentation but received very little enthusiasm from the audience.
Of course, Mark was furious. He called Steven, Kelly and Eric into his office and told them how disappointed he was. "I'm going to give you one more chance and only one more chance. This new performance evaluation system is just too important to me to have you mess it up. If you don't get your act together immediately, you will all be fired!"
What should Steven, Kelly and Eric do now?
Questions - Answer the following 5 questions by using/referencing the models and theories you have learned about in class. Please read each item carefully before responding. If you have any questions, contact your instructor.
- Are Steven, Kelly and Eric a "team?" Why or why not?
- Identify the key problems in this case and explain why you think so.
- What should Steven, Kelly and Eric have done to avoid the problems that occurred in this scenario? Why?
- In this scenario, it is assumed that Steven, Kelly and Eric are all from the U.S. and are located in the same place (the college). How might your answer to Question # 3 have been different (if at all) if you were told that they were all of different nationalities? What if they were not all located in the same place? Explain your response.
- What do you think Steven, Kelly and Eric should do now to try to salvage the HR project and their jobs? Explain.
There is no minimum number of pages required. A's have been earned on papers from 10-20 pages in length. The instructor places no premium on the quantity of information. However, when you complete this assignment, assume the reader is not familiar with the case. Then, invest yourself in producing quality work making strong arguments for what you believe and why you believe what you believe. Be sure to follow APA guidelines.