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Guideline for Case Reflection
4-6 pages long, double spaced, MLA style, APA style is also acceptable (3 points)
1. Case introduction (3 points)
Select a case from either the textbook or outside of textbook
2. Case issue analysis (12 points)
Find out what issue that this case addressed (2 points)
Relate it to which PM process(es) that we discussed in the class (1 point)
Point out what solution or PM process technique it applied (1 point)
Make your suggestions as further improvement (3 points)
Support your suggestions with 1-2 research citations (can be another different case, or textbook,
or a source you find on line) as needed (5 points)
*If the case is an unsuccessful case, and you need to list another case as comparison when you
make suggestions, you may describe the comparison case very briefly.
3. Conclusion (2 points)
Wrap up your case analysis
Re-address the process or technique that you discussed
Individual Case Analysis
Micheal Thomas works for AMEX Petroleum and is assigned with an international project at Belveros,
Budapest. His project goal was to establish business operations in central Hungary with 10 to 14 gas stations.
Thomas could purchase existing stations, build new ones or negotiate franchise arrangements with the existing
owners. The only weapon Thomas possessed was he could speak Hungarian language and hence was
enthusiastic about the project. He seems to have the taste of Hungarian culture through his mother.
Case issue analysis:
Thomas realizes issues relating to:
● recruiting staff members
● attendance of workers
● Project delays – Office buildings were still under construction. Construction work is delayed due to
requirement of city permits from local government.
● lack of motivation in workers
high inflation rate in the region
low market for cars (one in every five Hungarian families owned a car)
Negotiation skills with local Hungarian business owners
Communication skills – According to the article of (Rodrigues, 2016), “Great communication depends on
clarity and transparency. Talk to the stakeholders or customers to understand their issues and clarify them in
order to guarantee project success.”
It is rightly said because communication skills play a vital role in understanding the stakeholder problems.
Thomas needs to speak to the people about their issues and bring solutions thereof. For example, the staff he
recruited might have issues which are unaddressed. Thomas needs to sit on one-to-one meeting with them and
try to resolve their issues. He needs to research other companies and find out the salary structure, benefits, and
work environment and so on. Improving these conditions will yield good results. Thomas can consider
appointing locals based on language for better work results because English may not be first language in every
Risk Response Control – Using this strategy Thomas can improve the environment where all the stakeholders
are at comfort level to raise concerns and admit their mistakes and solve together. Mistakes should not be
hidden and problems/issues should be embraced. Everyone needs to identify problems and new risks. Thomas
should opt for a positive attitude and which is a key factor for risk management. For example, Thomas can take
the assistance of Bela who is a local employee to solve some issues relating to Budapest city. Each employee
has to be assigned with a responsibility so that risk will not be ignored.
Risk severity matrix – Thomas needs to prioritize the tasks and risks associated thereof. As a project manager
he needs to develop plans and chalk out tasks and risks associated with it and find solutions in the long run.
Coping with Culture Shock – Understanding the cultural background in a global environment is very crucial.
Thomas needs to reorganize the work environment suitable to the locals. This will attract the newly hired
employees to retain in the company. He needs to develop a trick and reflect on people where they are coming
from? Create a win-win work-place to satisfy both the parties. For example, similar situation is mentioned in
Project X wherein the project manager and the team mates adapt to the elements and situations of the locals.
They were doing a project a project in Africa but they adopted Eurocentric sense of time and planning which
was unsuitable for the locals. Later they altered to the needs of the locals.
Legal/Political – Managing international projects requires lot of planning. Project Managers need to
understand the laws of the country. The laws favor the local workers, suppliers, and environment. How much
influence the local government has on the projects undertaken in their country? Government corruption also
plays role in this scenario. For example, in the instant case, there is hindrance in the construction of local office
building which requires city permit. Bela, local office employee informs that there may be inordinate delays in
this work because of city permit. Thomas needs to develop local contacts to expedite this work.
Economic – The economic factors of the concerned country influence the project success. Skills, educational
level, and labor supply in the host country also play a role in the project’s success. In this case, Thomas learns
from Budapest Business Journal that inflation rate in Budapest is 32 percent and that only one out of five
Hungarians possess car. This can impact on the sales of Thomas’s company AMEX in the host country
because its main business is cars. To protect from this issue AMEX could tie with a strong currency such as
US Dollar or negotiate cost-plus contracts with the local contractors.
Negotiation skills – Thomas spoke to Kodali, a local businessman about franchise agreement of a station.
Kodali seemed to be concerned about lay-off of the existing employees subsequent to franchise. Kodali wants
to retain the existing staff because of factors like loyalty and belonging to same country or culture and so on.
But AMEX is concerned about profits and cannot retain unnecessary staff. This may be the cause of concern
Leadership skills – empathy & social skills – Project managers need to recognize the feelings of others like
verbal and nonverbal clues especially in international projects. In order to sustain relationships with the
vendors in cross-cultural environment they need to understand stakeholders’ mind-set. In the instant case,
Kodali is an example. Project managers need to move socially to build effective teams like Thomas could
develop rapport with the local business organizations to get his business issues resolved.
A synopsis of snapshot from practice explained in our textbook of Project Management (Larson,Gray) depicts
how to manage and reduce stress coping with the practices of the United States in foreign land. Herein this
illustration an American Project Manager contacts his local intermediary contact i.e.,business friend and solves
his problem. Hence, such kinds of tactics can be utilized in the present scenario by Thomas.
In the successful case of project management of Dawlish( 2014) with the implementation of strategies like
frequent meetings, work reviews, collaboration with the local contractors, updation of project progress with the
local stakeholders and so on made the project a success. These kinds of strategic management strategies can be
adopted in the instant case also. Thomas needs to arrange for frequent meetings with the locals of Budapest
and seek their collaboration to solve business issues of the company.
In view of the above mentioned strategies and project management techniques and skills, I think Thomas will
be successful in establishing franchises on behalf of his company AMEX and also bring profits to his
company. He will definitely become a good strategic project manager of the company with a positive attitude
Rodrigues, Ramiro. “Great Communication skills.”
PMP,Project Management Network 30.3(2016). Print
Larson W.Erik, Clifford F.Gray: Project Management, New York: Mc-Graw Hill Education,
Dawlish Sea Wall Emergency Works (2014) retrieved from:
Marriott Bedding Program
Clean bedding and comfortable beds are a very high priority for business travelers.
Marriott is one of the leading hospitality companies in the world with more than 2,400
properties in 68 countries and territories. As a management company, Marriott is
responsible for daily operations in both company-operated and franchised properties. For
this project, Marriot International uses project management to upgrade their bedding
Firstly, Marriott initiates an action plan in the planning state which is set out to upgrade
their bedding across all Marriott brands by changing new down pillows and pillow-top
mattresses, soft linens, new sheeted duvet covers for their customers. The Marriott
Bedding program involved 21 teams addressing the logistics of 2,400 properties. The
program team needed to provide a benefits proposition to stakeholders including owners
and franchises showing that this initiative would both improve consumer loyalty and
reduce costs. According to the case, their project target is to implement a bedding
package for over 628,000 beds across 10 Marriott lodging brans in two years.
To ensure that this project was delivered on time and on budget, the project team,
composed of Project Management Professional (PMP)-certified project managers
managed by a program manager out of Marriott’s Lodging Program Management Office
(PMO), conducted extensive market, product development and product and operational
testing research to get inside the minds of their customers and affirm that the linens
products adhered to their requirements.
The bedding choices became a focal point for the lodging industry. Although Marriott
had an existing bedding standard before the Bedding program, the differing ages of a
hotel and different brands variation in bedding specification made it difficult to comply
with the new standards. For example, in some cases, mattresses were in various heights,
especially in limited service hotel. Therefore, some hotels have to purchase new
mattresses to comply with the new standards. Other hotels had to order special linens for
mattresses. Box springs were different heights off the floor. Therefore, the hotels had to
carefully measure bed heights from the floor to the top of the box spring to purchase the
right bed skirts of the appropriate length.
With so many moving parts and dependencies and 21 internal project teams, the project
scope became a clear challenge. Project teams had to work across time zones, languages
and a variety of cultures and government regulations to achieve a successful outcome,
making effective and efficient communication and coordination a significant challenge.
The other biggest challenge is that owners and franchisees are required to comply with
Marriott standards, and they would also bear responsibility for the financial investment. If
the owners and franchisees are not supportive of the change, the program
implementations can be significantly delayed as well as a financial burden.
The next challenge would be designing training for more than 143,000 employees
worldwide and over 200 direct project associates. Training had to be specific to the
bedding packages designed for different brands. They need to make sure the training is
delivered to every employee in the hotels including housekeepers and laundry associates
had to learn how to switch the new bedding out and maintain the new standard form for
each room. Also, hotel management teams needed to be educated about the bedding
change and linen ordering process as well. Since most of the bedding Marriott sought was
manufactured and distributed from oversea companies, it created a six-month lag time
between the time they placed the order and when linens were delivered. Furthermore, the
bedding program involved over 1850 different products, which created a big challenge of
tracking and distribution. Lastly, the pricing negotiation process was another challenge to
Marriott. Because Marriott could not forecast the volume of bedding purchase until the
orders placed, at the same time the owners would not commit to buying the bedding
without price quotes, it made procurement team harder to negotiate a better price from
Managing risk was a big process the project went through as well. To bring the project
down to size, the team implemented several project management techniques, the most
important being communication. Project teams keep the lines of communication open
between departments. They used meetings, emails, status reports, memos, conference
calls, conferences, and etc to communicate to the global audiences affected by the
program. Solid record keeping and documentation also played a large part in keeping the
team organized with the numerous elements of the project. In addition, the project had
several levels and processes, all depending on project teams and milestones, thus, it was
important to ensure that dependencies between project teams and key milestones were
identified in a timely manner.
In order to solve the issue brought by difference in products sizing and mattress height.
Marriott developed sets of survey questions to the individual hotels and converted their
answers into a database that helped the procurement Team create a preliminary order and
cost estimate for each hotels. Base upon the information, it helped the team in planning,
manufacturing and distribution needs.
Furthermore, Two core-bedding teams were established to devise a plan to adapt the
different brands with each specific bedding. One team is responsible for Marriott’s full
service brands and one for the limited service brands. The other teams were also
responsible of identifying the new bedding concept for each brand, developing
specifications to support the concepts, projecting system wide implementation costs and
on-going operating costs, creating training, set the new bedding standards…etc. Another
key solution is by testing products in properties. It was an essential to show that the new
bedding could be properly implemented in hotels of different sizes.
Continually, to overcome the negotiation process that mentioned earlier. Marriott
contacted an outside distribution company to receive, repackage and ship the bulk of the
bedding to the hotels. This allowed the hotels to receive complete orders. The
distributions and procurement teams met with vendors every week to review
manufacturing schedules and overseas shipping statues reports and plan how to address
shortfalls. Furthermore, to solve the language barriers during the training staff, the project
team developed wordless training videos and job aides with photos to demonstrate how
the bed should be made. Moreover, to avoid confusion during the ordering process, the
project team conducted the property conference calls while they placing the orders and
when the linens were shipped. Lastly, Marriott also negotiated with vendors to obtain the
best pricing so to encourage the hotel owners and franchisees to participate in the
In March 2006, the Marriott Bedding Program completed the conversion of the 628,000
beds under budget with the help of the extensive project management team. The $190
million global project would require a professional and experienced project management
team. The project also improves in guest satisfaction and revenue improvement. The
Marriott market research indicate that because of the increase in guest satisfaction, many
customers eventually return to the hotel for another stays, which resulting in higher
Overall the Marriott Bedding program was very successfully implemented. The only
thing I would suggest is that due to the massive change during the project, employees
might felt highly pressured for learning so many new rules and new standards. They have
been follow the same standards for decade and decade, thus, the changes might lead to
high turn over rate. To prevent this happen, Marriott should offer extra bonus for
employees who participate well in the training class as an encouragement for them to
learn the new changes. High turnover rate might cause numerous of disadvantages to the
company. According to the case “The Effect of Employee Turnover on Organizations,”
Author Ampomah pointed out that organizations which cannot identify the effort of their
employees and reward them as such end up in losing them to other organization. This
goes a long way to affect the productivity, growth and increases the organization’s cost of
recruiting new staff, and the current project might significantly delay.
As one can see, managing projects across the world consist of many risks and
opportunities. It is very important for the company the change the risks into
opportunities. Marriot did a great job on solving each problem and turn them into a
successful project. Marriot’s bedding program allow them have an competitive advantage
and unique selling point over competitors. In addition, it created a more comfortable
hotel experience for the customers. By utilizing the project teams work hard to overcome
the time zone, languages barrier and government regulation, it helped reduce risk during
Ampomah, Philipina. The Effect of Employee Turnover on organizations. Retrieved from
Asian Journal of social science and Management studies.
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