Case Study


Creative Heads is a highly committed group of professionals to bring a productive and progressive change in your organization. We strive hard to help you identify the key elements to transform your projects/organization. Our case studies are some reflections in the kind of interventions we have been involved with and our approach towards developing solutions to meet some of our clients' needs.

These case studies will take you through the journey of how the problems are diagnosed, how we dig deeper into developing our understanding about the challenges faced by some of our clients, about identifying the different talents and personalities of your professionals involved in your projects/teams and eventually developing solutions to the challenges.



Case Study: Project Management

ABOUT PROJECT


“Quantum Designs” was a committed group of display consultants, designers, visualisers, wood, metal, plastic and polymer specialists- a potent combine of producers, developers and innovators. “Quantum Designs” had Pan India presence in terms of clients and rollouts and had a long list of renowned multinational clients.

A new project from “Pearl Fashion” (name changed) was assigned to “Quantum Designs”.


PROBLEM / ISSUE


The problem was with the factors constraining the project success:


  • Schedule: Not delivering projects on time
  • Budget: Incorrect or almost no budget projection
  • Scope (quality and performance): Mismatch in understanding the final outcome of the project.


The Triple (Quadruple) constraint elements are in constant competition and focusing on one element will compromise one or both of the other two elements. For example


  • Increasing project scope will more than likely extend the schedule and/or increase the budget.
  • Decreasing budget may eliminate scope or compromise quality


IMPACT OF THE PROBLEMS ON THE PROJECT AND/OR THE ORGANIZATION:


  • Fluctuation in any of the constraints of the project affected the other two constraining factors drastically and jeopardized the whole projects.
  • Clients were losing confidence in “Quantum Designs.”
  • Projects were totally dependent on the project supervisor, which was a threat to the project/organization.


CAUSE OF THE PROBLEM


  • Projects were unplanned, elements of the project were not defined clearly and no Work Breakdown Structure (WBS) was prepared as the employees were reluctant in getting into details.
  • The projects were person-centered because of which the absence of the person could jeopardize whole project.
  • Improper scheduling of the tasks and not calculating the buffer time to complete the tasks which further caused delay in project delivery.
  • Elements were not broken into components and further into sub components so as to project the cost of each and every element separately and finally to make an overall budget projection.
  • Lack of sampling was creating a mismatch in understanding the final outcome expected by the client (“Pearl fashion”) and the “Quantum Designs”. It also led to delay in finalizing the materials and the vendors.
  • Sampling budget was not allocated in advance which led to wrong quotation of the Project Cost.



MBTI result was very helpful as “Creative Heads” found that most of employees have a preference for Intuition (N) that actually barged them from getting into details of the project and breaking tasks further into individual components. Also the MBTI results showed that many of the Client Service Executives had a strong preference for Perceiving (P). This was resulting into approaching a project in a completely open ended manner and not organizing it.


WHAT SOLUTIONS WERE DEFINED TO RESOLVE THE PROBLEM? HOW THE SOLUTIONS WERE IMPLEMENTED?


After diagnosing the problem areas and the employees’ blind spots, “Creative Heads” looked out for solutions and ended up making a detailed sheet i.e. Process Sheet (which has all the elements documented in it), so that the employees just have to put a tick mark or fill in the blanks. This sheet offered solutions to all of the above identified problems. This helped the employees to save them from thinking over the components every time they would start a project.
The Process Sheet comprised of a Parent sheet, Work Breakdown Structure (WBS) sheets, Cost sheet, Work-flow chart sheet, and finally


  • Parent Sheet: It had a list of all the elements/components of the process, a list of sample requirement and their costing, project supervisor’s name, project start date, project end date as well as internal cost and billing date.
  • Work Breakdown Structure (WBS) Sheets: Each WBS sheet contained the list of sub elements that combines to form that element, their quantity, quality and cost. E.g.: Electrical work as a major component of the project is further broken into sub-components like switches, bulbs, wires etc.
    It also contained elements like Early Start (ES) & Early Finish Date (EF) as well as Late Start (LS) & Late Finish Date (LF).
  • Budget Sheets: Budget sheet reflected the total cost projected (cumulative cost of all the tasks) with buffer of 10%. This sheet also contained the different phases and modes of payment (when and how to make the payments) to safeguard the project from liquidity crisis.
  • Work Flow Chart Sheets: Work flow chart made on the basis of the critical and floating task and also on the basis of identification of the dependencies/predecessors.
  • Summary Sheet: This sheet contained daily updation of the work status and the expenses made on a daily basis so that project supervisor can assess the expenses incurred on any given day or evaluate progress of the project


This Process Sheet was given to the supervisor of the project and was asked to fill in the details. It took around 10 days in diagnosing the problems and preparing solutions for them.


HOW MUCH TIME IT TOOK TO RECTIFY THE IDENTIFIED PROBLEM? AND WHAT KIND OF HELP WAS PROVIDED

This was the pilot project and it took approximately one month in diagnosing the problem, preparing and proposing solution, implementing it to the project and evaluating it with the final outcome.

Apart from just making the Process sheet

  • “Creative Heads” made the whole Client Service Team understand about the need and benefits of the Process sheet.
  • Helped them in defining the elements of the process
  • Closely monitored the project constraints till its completion.
  • Trained the project supervisor to create or develop project work-flow.
  • Helped in developing Earned Value Matrix and the Cost/Benefit Ratio.


WHO WAS TO ASSIGN TO BRING THE CHANGE AND WHAT WAS THE FINAL RESULT/ OUTCOME?

“Creative Heads”, a Project Management Consultant and a partner in change and transformation was assigned to rectify the problem and bring the change.

Project was a success as it was completed within the estimated budget and schedule. In terms of quality the project was so much liked by the client (“Pearl Fashion”) that it handed over some more projects to “Quantum Designs”.

“Creative Heads” was highly appreciated for its role as a Change Agent for the organization and for being the partner in Strategic Planning.



Case Study: Project Management PAN India

ABOUT PROJECT

“Quantum Designs” was a committed group of display consultants, designers, visualisers, wood, metal, plastic and polymer specialists- a potent combine of producers, developers and innovators. 'Quantum Designs' had Pan India presence in terms of clients and rollouts and had a long list of renowned multinational clients.

A new project from 'Design Dynamics' was assigned to 'Quantum Designs.' Following are some key aspects of the project: It was an AMC (Annual Maintenance Contract)

AMC Contract of two major cosmetic brands in the world.

  • We had three fixtures like FRONT COUNTER, BACK COUNTER and CDU.
  • We had a contract of providing AMC services at pan India level for these two brand names. North had 400, East had 250, West had 300 units and sum total of all the units were 950. These units were located in 99 cities in 23 States of India . To handle 950 units was a very tedious job; to manage them properly and put them in a track was really difficult.
  • The AMC visits were schedule on a monthly basis and if there were any problem at any of the units they were to be solved in a fixed time duration. There were two categories of the problems: Major and Minor. Major Problem: Logo Change, Door Change, Drawer change, Tube-light Change etc. Minor Problem: Paint Touch Up, Lock Change, Hinges Change etc.

PROBLEM

  • There were total 950 units spread over in 99 cities in 23 states of India. To manage these units was highly challenging in itself.
  • The Contracts (between Quantum Designs and Design Dynamics) were not properly defined because of which if there were any issue at any counter, BA (Beauty Advisor) TL (Team leader) ASM (Area Sales Manager) RFM (Regional Field Manager) all used to call at the same time and to handle so many calls was driving it all even more crazier.
  • To manage the team and the reporting on daily basis was complex.
  • Monthly target was not being achieved because of the lack of planning and we were unable to send the reports to the client.
  • To put client and the team on a single track was tough.

IMPACT OF THE PROBLEM ON THE PROJECT

Design Dynamics was losing confidence in Quantum Designs and was on the verge of canceling the contract because Quantum Designs were not able to manage the project properly. Basically, Quantum Designs were not performing as per the expectation of Design Dynamics.


CAUSE OF THE PROBLEM

An intense 10 days diagnosis conducted by Creative Heads realized that the key issues were as following:

  • Quantum Designs was good at resolving the issues on site but reporting the same to the client was never managed properly.
  • There were no monthly plans as such because of which Quantum Designs was unable to track how many stores were left to be covered, which resulted under achieving the monthly targets.
  • Major communication gap between the vendors as well as with the Design Dynamics.
  • There was no single point of contact from Design Dynamics’s side, which led to getting random calls from any of the BA, TL, ASM, RFM, FL for enquiry and to communicate with everyone over same thing was very annoying for the employees of Quantum Designs.
  • There was no standard reporting format, Design Dynamics used to change their format very frequently which was another area of concern.

WHAT SOLUTIONS WERE PROPOSED TO RESOLVE THE PROBLEM? HOW THE SOLUTIONS WERE IMPLEMENTED

With the help of Creative Heads, Quantum Designs redefined a contract which covered each and every area of concern like a fixed Reporting time, Weekly and Monthly Targets, Planning sheet etc. Creative Heads also decentralized the entire work among Quantum Designs' team.


HOW MUCH TIME IT TOOK TO RECTIFY THE PROBLEM? AND WHAT KIND OF HELP WAS PROVIDED.

It took approx. 20 days in rectifying the identified problem and implementing the solution.

It took 15 days in making the contract as 4 people were involved in making contract and their suggestions were necessary, after so many changes, Creative Heads came up with a finalized contract. On 16th day Quantum Designs implemented it into their system and the results were highly appreciated by Design Dynamics.


THE CUSTOMER SOLUTION WERE:

  • Timely reporting to the client.
  • Timely reporting from the vendors.
  • Weekly and Monthly Plan.
  • Achievement of monthly targets.


KIND OF INTERVENTION PROVIDED

Creative heads along with Quantum Designs Founder, Project Manager and Project Executive put their effort in finding out the loopholes at vendor’s end, client’s end and within their Team.

All of them brought ideas to make a perfect contract which covered every single area of concern.


WHO WAS TO ASSIGNED TO BRING THE CHANGE.

Creative Heads, a Project Management Consultant and a partner in change and transformation was assigned to bring the change.


KEY AREAS IDENTIFIED TO SUSTAIN THE CHANGES

  • Communication with the Client as well as Team
  • Proper and timely Reporting
  • Focus on 100% achievement of Weekly Targets.

REMARKS/ COMMENTS

All credit goes to my seniors who worked so hard to identify the problem areas and bring out a solution for it.



Case Study: Performance Evaluation System

ABSTRACT

The emergence of new ideas in management provides new directions in business operation and areas to think and research for strategists and researchers. In modern business, organizations strive to enhance organizational efficiency through improving their work force. There has been considerable research on human resource management as an organizational asset, as they can be a key factor in organizational success or failure. As employees become prime contributors to organizational performance, a niche is created on how they can sustain or enhance their performance. To address this issue, organizations use evaluative procedures to highlight the troublesome areas and find solutions for them. This at an individual employee level is termed as Performance Evaluation.

Despite being recognized as a highly important factor in employee and organizational development, Performance Evaluation is often conducted casually and poorly in organizations.

In order to achieve the desired objectives, Performance Evaluation process needs the alignment of desired performance with appropriate rewards to increase motivation at the same time providing clear strategic future directions to enhance employee performance and organizational culture.


CONCEPTUAL FRAMEWORK

WHAT IS PERFORMANCE EVALUATION SYSTEM?


PES is the process of motivating employees through setting goals, measuring progress, giving feedback, coaching for improved performance and rewarding achievements. It is the systematic evaluation of the performance of employees and to understand the abilities of a person for further growth and development. Performance Evaluation has been considered as the most significant and indispensable tool for an organization. For the information it provides is highly useful in making decisions regarding various personnel aspects such as promotion and merit increases. Performance measures also link information gathering and decision making processes which provide a basis for judging the effectiveness of personnel sub-divisions such as recruiting, selection, training and compensation.


NEED OF PES:

  • Provide information about the performance ranks basing on which decision regarding salary fixation, confirmation, promotion, transfer and demotion are taken.
  • Provide feedback information about the level of achievement and behavior of employees. This information helps to review the performance of the employee, rectifying performance deficiencies and to set new standards of work, if necessary.
  • Provide information which helps to counsel the employee.
  • Provide information to diagnose deficiency in employee regarding skill, knowledge, determine training and development needs and to prescribe the means for employee growth provides information for correcting placement.
  • To prevent grievances and in disciplinary activities.


BENEFITE OF PES:

  • Translating job duties into specific performance expectations (goals and strategies.
  • Describing the organization’s mission and showing how the employee’s job contributes to it.
  • Prioritizing and clarifying the employee’s job duties, goals, and roles.
  • Outlining the expected performance standard and how the employee will be evaluated.
  • Identifying resources and tools needed to improve performance.
  • Providing meaningful job performance feedback.
  • Recognizing work achievements and strengths.
  • Laying out a plan for future career development.
  • Serving as an assessment on which to base a pay increase decision.



PERFORMANCE EVALUATION SYSTEM (PES) AND ORGANIZATION CULTURE:

The key to good performance is a strong culture. Due to difference in organizational culture, same strategies do not yield same results for two organizations in the same industry and in the same location. A positive and strong culture can make an average individual perform and achieve brilliantly whereas a negative and weak culture may demotivate an outstanding employee to underperform and end up with no achievement. Therefore organizational culture has an active and direct role in performance evaluation.


ABOUT THE CLIENT:

‘Quantum Designs’(name changed) is one of the best Display and Design Consultant Company which gives an eye catching and appropriate solution to marketing and branding issues. It has pan India presence in terms of clients and roll outs and has a long list of renowned multinational clients.


PROBLEM/ISSUE

  • Lack of systematic process of evaluating the performance of employees.
  • No systematic process of performing the jobs.
  • Un identification of accurate training programs.
  • No out of box thinking of the employees.


IMPACT OF THE PROBLEM ON THE ORGANIGATION

  • Discontent among employees regarding appraisals.
  • Lack of timely measurement of their performance.
  • Limiting the employees only to their daily jobs.
  • No dimensions to measure other aspects apart from operational assessment.
  • Unable to identify their career paths and areas for growth and development.
  • Unable to put right candidates on the right job.
  • Degradation in organizational performance.
  • De-motivated employees



CAUSE OF THE PROBLEM

  • No defined system for measuring the employees’ performance.
  • No systematic and timely evaluation of employees.
  • No standard set to measure the performance and no outline on how the employee will be evaluated.



WHAT SOLUTIONS WERE DEFINED TO RESOLVE THE PROBLEM? HOW THE SOLUTIONS ARE IMPLEMENTED?

After observing the company for around 2-3 months, Creative Heads came up with a solution to design a performance evaluation system for the Client Service team of the company.

The Performance Evaluation system was based on various dimensions like

  • Operational Management.
  • Behavioral/Soft Skills.
  • Training & Development.
  • Business Development Skills.
  • Creating or developing new ideas for the business.
  • Taking initiatives in any area to enhance the work culture


Weekly meetings were scheduled with each evaluatee and a monthly report was prepared on the basis of points obtained during the assessment. Based on these monthly reports, decisions over their career planning, promotions, increment, Training & Development were done.


HOW MUCH TIME IT TOOK TO RECTIFY THE PROBLEM? AND WHAT KIND OF HELP WAS PROVIDED

Creative Heads found the reason of discontent among the employees and decrease in the performance of the organization. After identifying the problem areas Creative Heads designed a customized Performance Evaluation System based on the contingency theory of management.

It took around 2-3 months in identifying the problem and designing a perfect Performance Evaluation System for the employees which can cover all the aspects and can benefit both the employee and the employer to increase their efficiency and effectiveness.


WHO WAS ASSIGNED TO BRING THE CHANGE AND WHAT WAS THE FINAL RESULT/OUTCOME?

Creative Heads was assigned to be the catalyst to bring the change and benefit the organization as a whole. The PES designed for the team was appreciated by the client and helped to improve the organizational culture. The results were visible in terms of high-performance and motivated work force which in turn contributed to the overall organizational development. Employees knew what is expected of them and how they have to move in a direction that can benefit them as well as the organization.


Case Study: Process Sheet

ABSTRACT

Standard Process Sheet means a standard skeleton note developed for a repetitive item or type of work, indicating predetermined points of check or aspects to be noted upon.

The only way to produce a quality product or service consistently is through a detailed process, written out and followed, without deviation. It must be measured against targets and standards, and any variations must be resolved through a comprehensive examination.

To produce a quality product or service consistently one needs to focus on all the aspects of the project like what, how, how well, how much, when, where etc. at the planning phase only and follow it throughout the execution/implementation of the process.


PROBLEM/CHALLENGES SHARED BY THE CLIENT:

  • Poor or almost no planning for the projects.
  • Non-deliverance of projects on time.
  • No budget projection and follow-ups.
  • Increase in inward cost of projects because of lack of coordination.
  • Lack in quality of products and services delivered.
  • Deviation from the final and expected outcome of the project.


IMPACT OF THE PROBLEMS ON THE PROJECT AND/OR THE ORGANIZATION:

  • Inward cost of the projects was shooting up which resulted in reducing the profit margin.
  • Projects were totally dependent on the project supervisor which was a threat to the organization.
  • Manipulation of the expenses and work done.
  • Time taken to complete the projects was incorrectly quoted.
  • Improper documentation resulted in lack of records for future references.
  • Clients were losing confidence in the organization.



PRIMARY DIAGNOSIS REVEALED THE CAUSE OF THE PROBLEM AS:

  • Projects were unplanned, elements of the project were not documented and no Work Breakdown Structure (WBS) was formulated.
  • The projects were person-centered because of which the absence of the person could jeopardize whole project.
  • Improper scheduling of the tasks and not calculating the buffer time to complete the tasks which further caused delay in project delivery.
  • Elements were not broken into components and further into sub-components to project the cost of each and every element/component separately and finally to make an overall budget projection.
  • Lack of sampling was creating a mismatch in understanding the final outcome expected by the client. It also led to delay in finalizing the materials and the vendors.
  • Sampling budget was not allocated in advance either, which led to incorrect projection of total inward cost.



WHAT SOLUTIONS WERE DEFINED TO RESOLVE THE PROBLEM? HOW THE SOLUTIONS WERE IMPLEMENTED?

After diagnosing the problem areas, ‘Creative Heads’ came up with a solution to design a generic sheet to document the project details and named it as ‘Process Sheet.’ It has all the elements documented in it, so that the employees just have to put a tick mark or fill in the blanks.
The Process Sheet comprised of a Parent sheet, Work Breakdown Structure (WBS) sheets, Cost/Budget sheet, Work-flow chart sheet, and a summary sheet and advantages of all are listed below:

  • Parent Sheet: It had a list of all the elements/components of the project, a list of sample requirement and their costing, project supervisor’s name, project start date, project end date as well as internal cost and billing date. This sheet contained all the necessary information about the project.
  • Work Breakdown Structure (WBS) Sheets: Each sheet contained the list of sub elements that combine to form that element, their quantity, quality and cost. For example, Electrical work as a major component of the project is further broken into sub-components like switches, bulbs, wires etc. The projected and the actual cost column were provided to keep a check the deviations.
  • Budget Sheets: Reflected the total cost projected (cumulative cost of all the tasks) with a buffer of 5-10%. This sheet also contained the different phases and modes of payment (when and how to make the payments and to which contractor/vendor) to safeguard the project from liquidity crisis. This sheet contained all the important information related to payments made or to be made in the project.
  • Work Flow Chart Sheets: Contained the work flow chart made on the basis of the critical and floating tasks and also on the basis of identification of the dependencies/predecessors. Work flow chart provided a schedule for performing the different tasks required in the project.
  • Summary Sheet: This sheet contained daily updation of the work status and the expenses made on a daily basis so that project supervisor can assess the expenses incurred on any given day or evaluate progress of the project.


HOW MUCH TIME IT TOOK TO RECTIFY THE IDENTIFIED PROBLEM? AND WHAT KIND OF HELP WAS PROVIDED.

‘Creative Heads’ diagnosed the root-cause of non-deliverance of projects on schedule, lack of quality work, increase in inward cost of projects and decrease in performance of the organization. After identifying the problem areas ‘Creative Heads’ thought of bringing a systematic approach to start any project. ‘Creative Heads’ designed a generic document named ‘Process Sheet’ to document the projects details which helped to keep a track on the ongoing projects and to refer to for future projects. It took around 15-20 days in diagnosing the problem, coming up with solution, implementing it to the project and evaluating it with the final outcome.

In addition to developing the Process sheet, Creative Heads also touched upon areas like:

  • Made the Client Service Team realize the need and benefits of the process sheet.
  • Helped them in defining the elements of the process.
  • Trained the project supervisors to create or develop project work-flow.


WHO WAS ASSIGNED TO BRING THE CHANGE AND WHAT WAS THE FINAL RESULT/OUTCOME?

‘Creative Heads’, as a partner in change and transformation was assigned to rectify the problem and bring the change. The process sheet designed for the projects was appreciated by the client. It not only helped the projects to move in a systematic way but also helped the organization to move in the desired direction.

‘Creative Heads’ was highly appreciated for its role as a change agent for the organization and for being the partner in Strategic Planning.


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