Motorcycle Manufacturing: Project Management

Type of Project Organization

This mid-sized motorcycle manufacturer is planning a major change in its production unit, and this will require a proper selection of an appropriate type of project organization. The best type of project organization that would be suitable for this company when making this important step towards new productions will be the project-based team approach. Currently, the firm is making attractive profits from the sale of middleweight class of motorcycle cruisers. It is its main source of income.

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This means that when the firm starts producing the larger classes of motorcycle, the management will be keen not to interrupt the current revenues generated from the current productions. The decision to choose the project-based approach will help this firm meet its intended goal without interrupting the current productions. The new product will be considered a new project with its own budget and a team of employees.

It will operate independently. This means that if it fails, it will not affect the current operations of the firm. On the other hand, if it is successful, then management can decide on the best approach that can be used to integrate it into the existing system.

Process Steps That the Company Would Take in Order to Develop the Motorcycle

The process that will be taken in order to develop a new type of motorcycle should be clearly defined. The first step would be the idea generation. The team of experts at the firm will generate ideas of how best the company can produce this product. The engineers and other employees working in the production department should be encouraged to share their ideas in order to have a large pool of options.

The second stage would be screening of the ideas. At this stage, a board made up of experts will review the ideas and identify the best in terms of feasibility and practicality. It is important to note that the experts may decide to borrow some parts of the ideas and integrate them into other ideas in order to have a better outcome. Once the best idea has been selected, the next stage would be to test it. If the test is successful, the idea shall be put into practice in order to produce the motorcycles.

Strategy to Balance Short- And Long-Term Needs

The senior executives at this company will need to have an appropriate strategy to balance the short-term and long-term goals of this firm. According to Nagarajan (2005), it is always important to ensure that the short-term goals do not conflict with the long term goals when developing a project. In this case, the short term goal is to come up with a new product that will attract the targeted market within the shortest time possible. On the other hand, the firm’s long-term goal is to develop a product that will sustain the international competition and remain attractive in the long run.

To achieve this balance, the firm should start by defining its target market. It is clear that this firm targets people aged 35 to 60 years. The target market should have an income ranging from $ 55,000 to $ 100,000. These are the people in employment who may be interested in using this product during their holidays. After defining the target market, the management should then determine how to meet their needs in the best way possible.

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This will allow the management to set short-term goals in a way that will not affect the firm’s long term goals. The main factor that the management should focus on will be to ensure that the short-term goals do not compromise on the quality of the products offered in the market. This will help the management to balance these two types of goals.

Resources Needed

According to Hamilton (2004), for every project to be successful, it is always important to provide the needed resources at the right time and in the right place. For this company, the senior executives must understand that resources will be needed to run the current business activities at this firm while making the changes needed to produce the larger machines. Human resource is the most important resource that will be needed.

They include the engineers and technicians at the production plant, the marketing and logistics officers in the market, the accounting and financial officers at the firm’s headquarters, the insurance officers, and the casual laborers among other people.

The firm will also need machines and equipment needed at the production, storage, and transportation stages. The new products may need a different production system completely, and the management will need to find a way of purchasing it at the right time. Finances will also be needed at various stages to pay bills and purchase items that may be necessary for the production system. It is important to note that the management will also require time as a resource in various stages of product development and delivery to the market.

Project Management Leadership Style

The business growth plan may require an effective project management leadership style that will meet the needs of all the relevant stakeholders. Different projects may require different leadership styles based on the characteristics of the workforce. At this critical stage of growth in this firm, the management should employ a mix of democratic and coercive leadership styles. As the firm grows, employees should also experience growth. To do this, it will be necessary to offer them a platform where they can air their views freely without feeling intimidated.

This requires a democratic leadership style. On the other hand, the management may sometimes be forced to make a decision that may not please every stakeholder within the firm. If the decision is the only way of achieving the desired outcome, then the management will need to be emphatic enough to coerce the opposing voices to accept the decision. This will require a coercive leadership style. As Anderson (2008) says, it is not possible to consider one type of leadership as being sufficient in all cases.

Recommended Risk Mitigation Strategies

It is important to appreciate the fact that risks may occur during the process of introducing the new project. Having the right measures may be very beneficial. The first risk mitigation measure will be to have emergency funds to meet the unexpected costs. This will help the firm overcome the unforeseen challenges in this new project.

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The management should also have comprehensive insurance to cover the new operations at the firm. This will help cushion the firm against the unexpected losses and any injuries that employees may sustain when operating the new system. The firm should also have a number of marketing communication channels to deal with new challenges that may be faced in the market.

References

Anderson, D. R. (2008). An introduction to management science: Quantitative approaches to decision making. Mason, OH: Thomson/South-Western.

Hamilton, A. (2004). Handbook of Project Management Procedures. New York: TTL Publishing.

Nagarajan, K. (2005). Project management. New Delhi: New Age International.

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