The Blue Sky Project
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1. If you were Hudson, how would you respond to the director? If I was Hudson I would start with thanking the director for giving Hudson the chance to explain himself and change his decision. Then I would proceed on explaining the benefits of retaining him. I would start by pointing out that even though staff opinion is important, in this case the Mr. Ahmet Green needs to look at the output of this project. Even after a few initial hiccups overall the project was a success. Because he decided to choose OpenRange over cloud computing giants like Microsoft and VMWARE they saved up on a lot of money and also got people to train the staff, thus saving more money and time. Choosing OpenRange was a calculated risk and going with any other company would also have some or the other risk involved. I would go on to explain how it was important that the staff would get the training and even with professional trainers the staff would have ran into similar troubles. I would be sure not to say anything negative about Jackson to Mr. Ahmet Green.
I would actually admit to the fact that Jackson was a huge help and the project survived due to his inputs. I would also point out that Jackson’s social skills were very helpful in training the staff but it was because of Hudson the project turned out to be success. I would also point out the long hours he spent in working in his office instead of socializing and meeting the staff personally were actually put into use in fine tuning the system to needs of the staff. Fine tuning the systems is extremely important and staff would not have been happy with a system that did not work even if he had spent time on personally meeting the staff. I would also point out that at his moment he was the person most familiar with the tools and had contacts with his counterparts in OpenRange office. If he was to be fired Jackson would take more time in getting introduced to the system and people working on it. At the end I would ask Ahmet to make a decision based on facts and numbers, not his popularity. 2. What mistakes did Hudson make?
Hudson never interacted the with the staff. The staff would not want the person they know, meet every day, have lunch with everyday to lose their job. What Hudson didn’t realize was that even his job only required him to work on various projects and solve unexpected problems, he did not make it a point that the people whom he was helping out would know him personally. He preferred to work behind the scene which turned out to be a mistake. He was also attracted only to fancy and exciting projects. As a director the leader needs understand that he cannot treat a project differently just because it looks “exciting.” He never made himself familiar to Jackson either. It’s important for a manager to be familiar with his competition.
If he had befriended Jackson, he would have been in touch with many people through Jackson. When there were significant cuts in the budgets it was made very clear that one of the two IT staffs would lose their job. Hudson should have stuck with the safer options of using VMWARE or Microsoft. It’s always to better to play safe than risk losing your job. This project was just not the one where Hudson should have made a risky choice. Hudson did not respond well to Jackson’s email asking him how the department would look like once the project was done. It sent a wrong message to Jackson. If I were Jackson I would know immediately that my job was in danger and take essential steps to keep my job. 3. What are the lessons to be learned from this case?
I think the biggest take away from this case is that as a leader of a project, its important to keep in touch with the rest of the team. Its important to take their opinions into consideration before making big decisions. Also as a good project manager its important to understand which projects can handle the risks and which can’t. For a project where jobs are at stake, it’s always better to play safe. As a project manager it is extremely important to publically thank the people who helped you out in the time of difficulty. Making people realize that you appreciate their efforts creates a good image of you as a project manager in the eyes of everyone.