Our Experiential Learning Activity for week two of our Management 301 class was titled The Sky’s the Limit. We were divided into groups of 4-5 people with the purpose of assembling a high rise from spaghetti and marshmallows.
-Determine a project manager
-Spend no more than $20,000
-Complete project within 20 mins
-Make all members active participants
-Stand for 20 mins after finishing construction
-Hold 50 sheets of paper and paper clip for 1 min
Our group did a good job at following most of the rules, we selected a project manager (not me) and delegated jobs for each of our team members. Our project manager listened and motivated us throughout the 20 mins; one of our teammates was in charge of bringing the materials we needed and calculating we stay in budget; another two members (myself included) made the layout of our structure and worked together having in mind the same idea for the edification. Our last member did not contribute much, originally when we were planning the high rise she agreed with our ideas but her comments were a bit too soft and were not heard by all of us.
We completed our structure that stood still and tall, but did not pass the quality test of holding 50 sheets of paper for 1 min. Looking back, we had a basic idea of the importance of layout strategy and project management, but we failed to use all of our resources to a maximum. We neglected the contributions and possible help one of our teammates could have provided.
This project reminds me of my first project at work. I work part-time at my dad’s oil changing shops in South America over the summers. On my first day a couple of summers back I was introduced to our 90 employees at a training meeting. I was in charge of implementing a new software program we had just purchased in order to provide faster customer service at our locations. My role was to introduce each employee to the program and teach them to efficiently use the software. I was also in charge of redirect any technical errors to the software system’s offices in Pennsylvania via telephone.
This endeavor had the mission of making all our staff comfortable with the new software. However, I could not reach out to each employee and teach them individually as we had a deadline of implementation, the company’s anniversary day that was the day we wanted to launch this new program at all of our shops. The way we laid out training was the software system’s agent, Chuck, who I worked with via tele-conferences, taught me how to use the program. In turn I taught each store’s manager, who was in charge of teaching his shop’s employees. Through delegation and a chain we got the knowledge of using our company’s new software system of operations from one person (Chuck) to branching it out to 90 plus employees.
If we compare both projects I can identify a project manager, a completion deadline, an inclusive mentality and quality checks existent. The effectiveness of my job’s project in comparison to the failure of our team’s high rise may reside in the project layout structure, as the former counted with a planning team of office professionals and the later with classmates who were just introduced to operation management theories.