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Washington >> BIS460 460 Course Hero has millions of student submitted documents similar to the one below including study guides, practice problems, reference materials, practice exams, textbook help and tutor support. Project Senior Final Report TITANS DeVry University Professor Edick BUSN 460 June 22, 2011 Executive Summary TITANS has completed its extensive research into CanGo. This assessment concentrates on your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. While CanGo is a small company that has experienced success, it has done so through haphazard means. CanGo has succeeded through teamwork but needs to revise itself to compete at the next level of business. It is the purpose of this report to address CanGos senior staff and board members concerning analysis made while reviewing your company. CanGo has developed a successful company. You have successfully met the purchasing needs of your customers. To enable CanGo to remain competitive and grow, changes will be necessary in the following areas: Planning, Communication, Organizational Structure, Management Issues, and Employee Issues. While these areas might cover a large cross section of your company, TITANS has carefully considered how these areas affect the other. Building an improved foundation and getting back to basics will enable your company to be a permanent business fixture. Our goal is to increase your core competency so that your sales revenues increase and to build you as a focused team that can weather the storms of the business world. TITANS has spent several weeks researching your company. We believe the changes will allow you to continue and have successful ventures. We have laid out an analysis covering the main

topic areas and have included a plan that will unify various aspects of the company into a stronger and more effective business. Planning CanGo has been very successful in its efforts to establish itself as a contemporary and vital business. You have reached several levels of success including the recognition of your CEO as business leader of the Hudson Valley Professional Business Association. CanGo has moved from a small startup to a recognized growth company having a recent IPO offering. CanGo is currently lacking in a critical area for any business. It needs to focus on Strategic Planning. According to McNamara, strategic planning determines "where an organization is going over the next year or more (McNamara, 1997). Strategic Planning is intentional actions to direct the movement of a company within the business world but with the purpose of reaching a destination. Strategic Planning will benefit CanGo by allowing it to: 1. Clearly define its goals consistently with its Mission and Vision statement. 2. Communicate effectively its goals to all of the organization. 3. Provide a foundation on which to direct future efforts. CanGo should begin by creating Mission and Vision statements. The Mission statement will define why CanGo exists and what it wishes to accomplish. It addresses the What, Why, and How of your efforts. The Vision statement is the aspirational description of what an organization would like to achieve or accomplish in the mid-term or long-term future (Vision, n.d.). It is the big picture of what a company wants to achieve over the medium and long-term of its existence. Yet this is only a part of the complex Strategic Business Plan. The process can be broken into three steps: Formulation, Implementation, and Evaluation (DeVry, n.d.). The Strategic Management Process Source: Mastering Strategy TITANS can help CanGo complete the critical Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats analysis. The remainder of the tools and processes will build

from this important tool. TITANS is capable to researching deeply into CanGo, its competitors and the marketplace. This information will allow CanGo to develop a business plan that will take it into its next evolutionary step. CanGo is now in that stage and your customers are currently thrusting it upon your company. CanGo needs to undertake this process and TITANS can help them reach its successful completion. We have the ability to help you research, document, and complete all the necessary steps to achieve the goal of beginning your Strategic Planning process. We can also see you through the changing times when rework of the Strategic Plan is necessary to keep current with the changing business landscape. Planning is critical not only to the big picture but in the everyday task, goals, and projects that CanGo will be carrying out over the next few years. How CanGo decides to address this problem will either make or break the company. TITANS believes that CanGo is a viable company and is willing to place its professional and focused efforts in your company. Communication CanGos success, like other organizations, is tied to the ability of your employees and managers to communicate effectively with each other. Messages are only effective if the message enables the receiver to think and send a response. There are five characteristics of effective business messages, and they are: Provide practical information. Describing, explaining, highlighting, and/or discussing. Give facts rather than impressions. Using concrete language and specific details, give clear, accurate, and ethical information. Provide evidence, not opinions, on an argument. Present all sides of the argument before committing to a conclusion. Clarify and condense information, using visuals to clarify, explain, or emphasize important information. Precisely state responsibilities and direct your messages to specific employees or managers. Explain exactly what expectations will

be. Persuade others by offering recommendations. Show how a product, service, or idea will benefit the business specifically (Bovee, Thill, Schatzman, 2003). Over the last several weeks, we have noticed that your employees, as well as your management team, have room for improvement when it comes to sending effective business messages. When you called the management team into a meeting for entering into the online gaming market, you and Andrew did not provide enough information or evidence of why CanGo should enter into the market. In addition, the rest of the management team was not able to discuss the issue with you. Although Andrew and yourself were committed to entering into the market, neither of you were persuasive enough to get the support of your management team. Our recommendation to you is to review the characteristics of effective business messages, use them, and train the rest of your employees on using them as well. Communication is successful when the receiver understands the message entirely. If any step in the communication process experiences interference, the intended message will be lost on the recipients. One of the communication barriers that we noticed in CanGo is distractions. There are physical distractions such as background noise. Nick and Gail spend too much time insulting each other and interrupting each others conversations. It makes it that much harder for the message being sent to be recieved. There are also emotional distractions such as Nick being very fearful of his performance appraisal and Warren not being able to give Nick an accurate apprasial because of his friendship with him. Nonverbal communication often speaks louder than words. It is obvious that Nick is not interested in what Warren had to say during the appraisal process. Nick did not pay attention to Warren while he spoke. His body language showed that he was very uncomfortable during the process. Because of these factors, Warren had

a hard time starting the appraisal process. TITANS agrees that your company needs to go over the four guidelines for overcoming these barriers. They are: Adopt an audiencecentered approach. You want to make your message meaningful to all of your intended audience. Your managment team must remember to keep thier employees in mind at all times when communicating any messages (Bovee, Thill, Schatzman, 2003). Foster an open-communication climate by getting all of CanGos employees to participate and openly share their ideas and feelings with everyone else. Commit to ethical communication. Ethical communication includes true and accurate information. Do not hide negative information behind an optimistice attitude as did Warren when he gave Nick his performance appraisal. Create efficient messages. Minimize the physical and emotional distractions throughout the company. Everyone at CanGo needs to work on his or her listening skills. The ability of management and employees to listen effectively is directly related to your success in team relationships. Improving listening skills will: Strengthen relationships. Expedite product delivery. Highlight opportunities. Support workforce diversity. Build a foundation for trust. Enhance performance. There are three types of listening: content listening, critical listening, and empathic listening. Content listening is to understand and retain the speakers message (Bovee, Thill, Schatzman, 2003). In this situation, your employees should listen to you speak even if they do not agree at the time. They should listen for and understand only the content of what you are saying. Critical listening is to understand and evaluate the meaning of the message on many levels (Bovee, Thill, Schatzman, 2003). When a meeting is called, a critical listener should be looking for the logic of the issue, the strength of the evidence and the validity of the conclusions. An empathetic listener attempts to understand the feeling, needs, and

wants of the speaker. This type of listener is allowing the speaker to vent their emotions. TITANS recommends that you and the rest of CanGos employee review the above communication information. It is crucial that you improve your communication or it will be hard for CanGo to be a successful company where communication is key. Organizational Structure CanGos organizational structure is that of a hierarchical organization. By definition, a hierarchical organization is one that has different layers when it comes to the people that make up the company (Bryce, 2007). In CanGo you have a CEO and Founder (Elizabeth) who would be on the top of the hierarchy. You then have five directors who report to the CEO: Director of Marketing (Andrew) Director of Accounting (Ethel) Director of Operations (Warren) Director of Human resources (Maria) Director of Finance (Clark) Then the final level of the hierarchy is the senior staff members that will include Gail, Nick, Whitney, and Debbie. CanGo has the layers for a hierarchical organization (Wikipedia, 2008). CanGo will work well within a matrix management structure. Matrix management pools a group of people together with similar skills to work on different projects (Nikki, 2008). The organizational structure at CanGo should be designed as a balanced matrix. In this matrix, there will be project manager overseeing functional managers who lead the groups. In CanGo, you have the different directors, such as marketing, accounting, operations, human resources, and finances. All these directors have to communicate with to stay abreast of current operations. If the director of marketing is working an upcoming marketing strategy for product, then he/she must talk to the director of accounting and the director of finance. They will need open communications so that they can discuss financing for that project. It important is for the directors of different departments to communicate with the senior staff members. The

senior members will need information in order to do the research and come up with the ideas for the projects. Directors of the different departments need to be open with their staff so that the projects run smoothly and everyone knows all the information they are going to required to do their jobs. Management Issues TITANS has witnessed several issues with the senior management staff through observation over the past several weeks. Management is sliding into negative habits, which employees are beginning to follow. CanGo managers do not have goals or prioritization of job tasks on projects. Further, managers are personalizing projects. Management is not allowing employee decision making which is a CanGo objective. When management takes on decision making without employee input, they are not researching and analyzing information for the decision. There are other issues as well such as evaluating, training, and motivating employees and team building. CanGo management has many strengths. They are hardworking and competent in their jobs. Managers also have solid educational backgrounds (CanGo, n.d.). Although the managers possess these strengths, weaknesses are becoming habit forming. Managers are not following through project processes. The projects are to be scattered. Job tasks for these projects follow the same mannerisms. The management team is overly concerned about personal relationships in the office and not about job performance. As a rule, a management decision seems to be justified not according to a decision making process. Senior managers have many opportunities to solidify employees as a team as they often interact with employees daily. The time with employees should be valued as time to guide and edify. Managers should offer support for job tasks, motivate and encourage problem solving and ideas, and to help build team cohesiveness. The management team also has project management tools, appraisal forms,

and other tools available to help in productivity and morale. CanGo managers also face internal and external threats. The internal threats include low employee productivity and morale, failing projects, over spending, and low return on investments. External threats are not as obvious from the managers perspective. These threats are serious and range from losing competitive advantage, experiencing decreases in market share, and facing company bankruptcy. The issues addressed above concerning management have viable solutions. Management needs to prioritize projects with company objectives. This will help schedule resources for projects and keep all projects on schedule. The projects need to be tied to company objectives. One tool needed at CanGo is Microsoft Project. Microsoft Project will allow managers to stay on schedule, schedule employees for tasks, give managers a visual to show employees working on the project, and to stay within company resources. Personalization of projects is a problem. Each individual manager is trying to use the same employee resources for their projects. Because each manager wants their project to succeed, employees have become over used and are becoming unorganized. An example of personalization is the AS/RS project. Jacks flowchart made in the IT department had The house that Jack built as the title (Prentice Hall, 2002, Week 3, Introduction). The name attached with the project will lead others to believe that it is Jack who wants the project to succeed. It not only hinders resource management, but the decision making process behind the projects acceptance. Decision making by managers is not following a formal process. A reflective thinking process will give structure and formalize decision-making. Problems should be identified will be introduced, defined, and then analyzed. Then, criteria will be established, possible solutions addressed, and solutions are evaluated (OHair, Friedrich, & Dixon, 2005). Once managers are

comfortable with the process, employees should be involved. Employees that will be required to work on the project should have input on that decision. Your employees on the floor have valuable input for decision-making. When employees become involved in the decision-making process, managers will find individual employee skills that need to develop and see skills that need to be utilized. For example, Debbie is a trained teacher and CanGo has employees that need training (CanGo, n.d.). Managers can also increase morale and productivity through employee involvement. The involvement gives the employee a stake in the project and job tasks. Finally, TITANS has identified several managerial issues that require additional training by the management team. Department managers need to be trained in all job functions of their department, so they can assist employees and help train new employees. Managers also require training on giving employee performance appraisals, follow up, and corrective actions. We have noticed managers letting poor performance reviews receive good or better ratings to keep personal relationships intact. There is no room for personal relationships in performance appraisals. Motivation and team building are also struggling due to managements inability to offer constructive criticism to avoid crating personal issues. One tool that will help managers evaluate, motivate, and build teams is the Zenger-Miller Leadership Course. It is a course designed by Achieve Global to help managers in areas such as personal communication, defusing defensive employees, establishing performance expectations, and corrective actions (Frontline, 2000). Employee Issues The employees of CanGo are dedicated, hardworking individuals. They are an essential ingredient of the success CanGo has had thus far, and they will be even more instrumental in CanGos future success. CanGo has been fortunate to have such a talented group of employees. It

is important that management work hard to understand their employees and treat them more as teammates rather than subordinates. Employees want to feel appreciated and believe that they are an integral part of their company. Based on TITANSs observations, we have noticed several areas in need of improvement in order for CanGo to keep their current employees satisfied. Currently, employees do not seem to have a secure support system. Management merely distributes projects without fully explaining their expectations or offering their support. Employees feel they are scrambling to grasp how to complete their assignments and hoping they do a find a way to do a good job. In addition, the current performance appraisal system has left some employees fearing both the process and the results. The appraisal system should not be perceived as a scare tactic, it should be used to ensure employees that it will set and help them reach goals. As a result, some of the employees at CanGo have demonstrated poor organizational skills, lack of confidence, and an overall inability to lead. If these employee issues are not properly handled, CanGo faces several threats that will hurt the company. A major looming threat is the loss of employees as well as a deficit of skills and talents. If the employees do not feel their issues are a priority, many may simply walk away and be snatched up by competitors. Loosing employees will lead to many negative results: Decrease in productivity Negative employee morale Increase in the stress of remaining employees and managers Even a decline in sales CanGo also faces the risk of these issues getting worse over time. The negative results might reach an incurable stage of development. The faster these issues are dealt with, the more the focus will return to growing your business. The silver lining is that CanGo has the opportunity to implement motivational, organizational, and tactical techniques to run a strong, efficient company in

the foreseeable future. All of these employee issues can be resolved with time, effort, and change. Employees need to be invited to attend seminars hosted by upper management and third party companies who teach important skills and techniques-such as organizational skills and multitasking. Offering this type of employee education will positively affect the future of CanGo. Teambuilding is another area that needs to be addressed. There needs to be additional team building opportunities available for all the employees of CanGo. Something as simple as a monthly social outing or a company potluck is a great way for employees and management to interact and get to know one another. These activities will ultimately lead to an increase in trust and a better understanding between everyone at CanGo.

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