What are the implications of CIC’s approach to staffing project teams?

Case Study 6.1: Columbus Instruments

This case is based on a true story of a once-successful organization that had allowed its project management practices to degenerate to the point where assignment to a project team was often a mark of disfavor and a sign of pending termination. The case involves issues of motivation, structural effects on projects, and project team staffing. It offers students an opportunity to see how, if left unchecked, certain behaviors by department heads and others in the organization can work counter to the desires to use project teams to improve organizational profitability and instead make them a dumping ground for malcontents and poor performers.

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Questions

  1. What are the implications of CIC’s approach to staffing project teams? Is the company using project teams as training grounds for talented fast-trackers, or as dumping grounds for poor performers?
  2. How would you advise the CEO to correct the problem? Where would you start?
  3. Discuss how issues of organizational structure and power played a role in the manner in which project management declined in effectiveness at CIC.

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