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Jill's Big Project

Jack had long sought to break into a new line of consultancy services for the company. But he had always shied away from hiring. He knew consultants tended to be head-strong and difficult to manage. And they were not exactly cheap to have on the full-time payroll either. And then there were the clients. He had not felt sure that Billy-Joe-Jim-Bob had the skills needed to sell high value consulting assignments into any of their existing clients. So everything had come to nought.
However, an opportunity had arisen to merge with a firm of three consultants he had met while scouting for new ideas at a trade show recently. They had met many times since and Jack really liked the way they were working. They had helped with a streamlining project in Accounts and charged nothing for their time. The Accounts team had liked them and had even invited them for lunch when the project was over. Relations were good.

Oliver, Nicholas and Dorrit were accountants who had specialized in process management. They had developed quite a reputation for solving complex business process reengineering tasks and had a list of established blue-chip clients. After meeting Jack and Jill, they had realised that further growth in their business would require the resources of a full company and they had decided it would be better to be part of a larger organisation than owners of a smaller one.

"To make this work, we need a project team", was Oliver's comment prior to signing the contract.

The company was not really big enough to merge with anyone. Noone had experience in managing a complex situation like that. The closest was Jill, who had been made redundant in her previous job as a result of her company being acquired by a very large organisation. Thus equipped, she was the best for the job of supervising the merger.

"First off," said Jill at the project initiation meeting, "I want open communications from everyone. It doesn't matter whether you are on the project team or not, this is about making the two companies work like one. We need to align working processes, to compare documents, to change stationary, redesign the office space, get the phone company in, train the sales team in our newly acquired skills, conduct milestone meetings and so on. In short this is going to be confusing and many times it will look as if things are getting out of hand."
"Does anyone have any experience with using project management software?" she asked.



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