Read these 9 mini-case study series from the Project Management Institute on the Global Green Books Publishing company before starting this assignment:
- Mini-Case 1 – Project Management at Global Green Books Publishing [PDF] Download Mini-Case 1 – Project Management at Global Green Books Publishing [PDF].
- Mini-Case 2 – The Back to School Crunch at Global Green Books [PDF] Download Mini-Case 2 – The Back to School Crunch at Global Green Books [PDF].
- Mini-Case 3 – Defining Standards at Global Green Books [PDF] Download Mini-Case 3 – Defining Standards at Global Green Books [PDF].
- Mini-Case 4 – Cost Estimating at Global Green Books Publishing [PDF] Download Mini-Case 4 – Cost Estimating at Global Green Books Publishing [PDF].
- Mini-Case 5 – Managing Change at Global Green Books Publishing [PDF] Download Mini-Case 5 – Managing Change at Global Green Books Publishing [PDF].
- Mini-Case 6 – Developing Project Managers at Global Green Books Publishing [PDF] Download Mini-Case 6 – Developing Project Managers at Global Green Books Publishing [PDF].
- Mini-Case 7 – Closing Projects at Global Green Books Publishing [PDF] Download Mini-Case 7 – Closing Projects at Global Green Books Publishing [PDF].
- Mini-Case 8 – Team Building at Global Green Books Publishing [PDF] Download Mini-Case 8 – Team Building at Global Green Books Publishing [PDF].
- Mini-Case 9 – Quality Management at Global Green Books Publishing [PDF] Download Mini-Case 9 – Quality Management at Global Green Books Publishing [PDF].
Write a 6-8 page paper in which you:
- Describe and discuss at least three challenges that supervisors face in being effective project managers at Global Green Books Publishing.
- Identify and discuss at least three key skills/competencies supervisors need to be effective project managers at Global Green Books Publishing.
- Describe at least three challenges that team members face when working on projects at Global Green Books Publishing.
- Identify and discuss at least three skills/competencies that team members need in order to be effective in projects at Global Green Books Publishing.
- Use at least three quality resources in this assignment. Note: Wikipedia and similar websites do not qualify as quality resources.
This course requires the use of Strayer Writing Standards (SWS). The library is your home for SWS assistance, including citations and formatting. Please refer to the Library site for all support. Check with your professor for any additional instructions.
The specific course learning outcome associated with this assignment is:
- Examine the competencies of project leadership that are necessary to overcome challenges and effectively lead high-performance teams in a project environment.
Mini-Case Study: Quality Management at Global Green Books Publishing
Global Green Books Publishing is growing its eBook business, satisfying demand for
customized eBooks for the college market and for a growing number of commercial customers.
These customers expect a high-quality product that works in each of the environments that
there users use – various operating systems, eBook readers, and hardware (desktop
computers, tablets/phablets, and smartphones).
As part of the standard development process, each eBook goes through several quality checks.
When the order is received, a customer service representative checks the order and a more
senior customer service representative verifies the order. During the Production Phase, a quality
assistant will check the eBook against the job order and customer order to make sure it is ready
for production, and once approved by quality, each of the requested eBook formats are created.
A second quality check is performed by the customer service representative who is assigned to
the customer to make sure that each requested format is ready to release to the customer.
Some customers (and their eBook users) are complaining about quality problems in the eBooks
they have received from Global Green Books. Sometimes the eBooks do not work correctly in
the intended environment. Sometimes, content is not clear or fuzzy. Sometimes, a quality check
will find that not all parts of the requested order have been included in the eBook. This causes
rework before the eBook can come back for a second quality check before being released to the
customer service representative for the final quality check. In each of these cases, the "cost of
quality" is the cost of NOT creating a quality product. Every time the project has to rework an
eBook to correct a quality defect, the cost of quality increases.
Samantha and her project managers met with a key group of supervisors who are managing a
critical number of the eBook projects. They reviewed the lessons learned data and brainstormed
from their experiences with producing eBooks to identify some of the quality problems that they
were seeing in the eBook projects. They identified a number of issues:
The customer’s quality requirements are never discussed within the project team. They
are dealt with by the customer service representatives at the beginning and end of the
eBook production process. This means that team members do not know what the
customer expects and just do the tasks assigned without knowing what is “good”. They
may have a very different or no understanding of what the customer’s quality needs are,
unlike the customer service representatives.
The standard job template doesn’t suggest that supervisors plan into their project any
reviews or checkpoints at which quality can be verified. The only quality checks come
after the eBook is finished. This does quality checks of the whole eBook, but doesn’t
allow for checks on each component –content formats, correct conversions or desk top
These two factors lead to a perception among team members that quality is just simply
some testing by some other groups (quality and customer service), rather than a way of
working and reviewing or checking work as they proceed. Further, many team members
don’t even see quality as their responsibility, because it’s something done by someone
One of the challenges facing the customer service representatives is that they do test
each eBook, but they cannot always check each eBook in an environment that is the
same as that used by the end users of the eBook. Sometimes users have different
equipment than the customer service representatives have to use for their testing. There
are times when this causes surprises after the eBook is released. This leads to external
failure costs for dealing with processing customer complaints, dealing with rework to fix
the eBooks, and releasing a revised eBook. Luckily the customers handle distribution to
their users, so Global Green Books is not bearing the cost of customer returns and
warranty claims that they might have if they were selling a consumer product directly to
The group agrees that they would like to make some changes to bring their total quality costs
below the costs of quality that they are currently incurring. This means that they want to reduce
the costs of failing to meet customer requirements or expectations, and reinvest those savings
into preventing problems as they go that do not meet the customer’s requirements, and
checking to make sure that the eBook and all of its components conform to the customer’s
requirements. Catching some of the quality problems sooner, before the entire eBook is
produced will also reduce the internal failure costs that they are experiencing. These internal
failure costs are rework and re-checking following the quality checks by Quality and the
customer service representative.
Comment on the following aspects of the case study:
a) Consider the problems that Samantha and the group identified. What do you think are
the causes of these problems?
b) What would you suggest they do differently to eliminate these problems?
c) Who should be responsible for quality? What would you recommend be the specific
responsibilities of each identified role?
d) What prevention activities would you suggest to prevent poor quality in the eBook
products? Examples could be planning for quality activities or team building activities
focused on improving quality
e) What appraisal activities would you suggest to evaluate the eBook product to ensure
that it meets quality standards and customer requirements? Should they add in-process
checks of eBook components in addition to their current final inspection/tests? If so,
who should do these?
f) What would you suggest they do to involve team members more in pursuit of high quality
eBooks for their customers?
Mini-Case Study: The Back to School Crunch at Global Green Books
Global Green Books Publishing is a successful printing and publishing company. Just two years
old, it has taken on a great new customer, a local college that needs customized eBooks.
To deal with this new customer, they have hired several new part time employees to help them
with their publishing business, some of them students at the college with flexible hours.
As the new school year drew closer, the orders started coming in. They had been told how
many different printing jobs the college would need, but they weren’t all arriving at once, and
orders were quite unpredictable in arriving from the professors at the college. Some professors
needed rush orders for their classes. When Global Green Books finally got the orders, some of
these jobs were much larger than they had thought they would be.
Printing these orders turned out to be very challenging. Not all of the new student hires were
trained for all of the printing and binding equipment used to print and assemble to books. Some
of them often made mistakes, some workers called off from work due to other demands, and
there were often not enough people available to get all the work done before deadlines.
Quality was a serious issue, as they had to provide quality texts—if there were quality problems
with the printed product, they would have to spend time and money to fixing defects in their
Deliveries started slipping past their requested dates and times. Global Green Books was
unable to deliver eBooks to their customers on schedule.
The local university was unhappy as their eBook products reached campus late for use by
professors and student. In some cases, the books were a week or two late.
Samantha had been hired as a project management assistant. In her new role as a project
manager, one of the processes she was trying to institute was risk management. She started
looking at what was happening in the business, talking about it with the owners and employees,
and heard about the college’s unhappiness. As she did this, she started identifying risks and
potential risks. As she went along, she started doing more proactive risk analysis and risk
response planning, and as she did surprises and issues were reduced. By talking with
stakeholders and addressing their concerns, communication with stakeholders was also
Comment on the following aspects of the case study:
a) What risks can you identify? Why are they a risk to Global Green Books Publishing?
b) What kind of impacts does each of your identified risks have? Can you categorize these
as low impact, medium impact, or high impact?
c) How probable are each of your identified risks? You can think about something simple
like categorizing these as not very likely, likely, and highly likely to occur.
d) What would you advise Global Green Books are their three most critical risks?
e) What would you suggest that they do about these three risks? Are there specific actions
to deal with these risks? Have you identified a contingency plan to carry out if the risk
Mini-Case Study: Project Management at Global Green Books Publishing
Global Green Books Publishing was started two years ago by two friends, Jim King and Brad
Mount, who met in college while studying in Philadelphia, USA. In the new business Jim
focused on editing, sales and marketing while Brad Mount did the electronic assembly and
publishing of books for Global Green Books. Their business was successful and profitable in the
first two years, largely due to contracts from two big businesses.
In their third year they got very busy thanks to their third major customer, a local college that
needed customized eBooks. They hired several part time employees to help them with their
But by the end of third year of operation, Global Green Books started experiencing critical
problems. They were:
unable to leverage all the new employees effectively
unable to deliver eBooks to their customers on schedule
unable to provide quality texts—time and money was being spent fixing defects in their
unable to control costs—their business was not profitable in the third year.
Global Green Books saw a significant rise in issues, a lot of unpleasant “surprises” were
cropping up; business was down as new resources were hired, also some of the projects were
poorly estimated. The local university was unhappy as their eBook products reached campus
late for use by professors and student. In some cases, the books were a week or two late. Since
the courses must start on schedule and students need their books at the beginning of their
courses, the new lucrative college customer was unhappy.
One of the new part-time employees hired by Jim and Brad, Samantha, had taken a project
management course at college. Samantha was excited about the discipline of project
management and had intentionally selected a job with Global Green Books Publishing as she
saw an opportunity to polish her project management skills.
One fine day, Jim invited Samantha, for a lunch meeting. He was aware that Samantha was
familiar with project management, and wanted to hear what she had to say about the problems
he and Brad were facing. Over lunch he questioned why their small business which had
operated and implemented projects so successfully over the first two years was being
challenged significantly now. He specifically listed the problems they were facing and asked for
input to solve them.
Samantha asked for more time to research all the issues but noted that Global Green Books,
while being innovative, completed projects without a roadmap or a project plan and lacked a
disciplined approach to project management. She noted that Jim and Brad did not use any
project software for scheduling and they did not use tools or techniques to estimate, budget or
to communicate with stakeholders. Finally, they had no processes in place to manage project
risks and quality.
Impressed with this and other conversations, Jim King asked Samantha if she would consider
joining them as a project associate or project manager on a full-time basis to help them
introduce project management practices and help them tide over their current crisis.
Samantha accepted the offer! She has several key skills—she is an excellent communicator
with very good interpersonal skills and detail-oriented. Within the first three months in her new
role as PM, she introduced formal project management processes, created a PM manual and
trained the employees to get the work done well.
Within nine months Samantha had fully turned things around. Due to proactive risk analysis and
risk response planning, surprises and issues reduced. Communication with stakeholders was
Brad and Jim noted that the company was delivering projects on schedule, the quality
processes worked—and customers were happy with the products!
Comment on the following aspects of the case study:
a) Why did Global Green Books Publishing struggle?
b) What were the specific PM solutions that were introduced by Samantha that worked?
c) What kind of suggestions would you give to Brad and Jim if you were the PM?
d) Are you aware of other similar start-up businesses that struggle in a similar manner?
How did they overcome the challenges?
e) Global Green Books Publishing is a technology intensive business, but Samantha is not
technically knowledgeable, will she continue to be a successful project manager?
Mini-Case Study: Team Building at Global Green Books Publishing
Global Green Books Publishing is continuing to grow. As their eBook business continues to
drive that growth, they now are continuing to add staff to be able to keep up with customer
demand. Most all of the new people and many of the eBook staff have not worked together in
the original print-based business area of the company, and indeed are new to the company and
These new employees have a diverse set of skills, backgrounds, and motivations. Their
supervisors know how to manage their projects, but do not always have the expertise to step in
and do each of the unique tasks assigned to team members. Most of the employees that have
been around since the beginning of the eBook business have been trained in their project
management techniques, so they can get the work done well; but not all of the newer
employees have had this training. There is just too much work that needs to be done to take
time out for training.
Supervisors need provide leadership, to provide inspiration for their team and to be good
motivators of their team members, as well as be a good manager, worrying about the day-to-
day and minute-by-minute accomplishment of the project’s goals. Being a good motivator also
means that the supervisors must be good listeners to understand what issues are confronting
their team members and the needs of their team members.
Beyond this role as leaders, supervisors need to be a good manager. They need to identify the
skills that they need for their projects. Supervisors at Global Green Books normally do this as
they start from the standard job template for eBook projects and build the Work Breakdown
Structure (WBS) for their eBook project. Next, they need to identify team members that have
those skills, and work with their current project managers and with human resources to make
sure that they will be available to support the new project. Based on the lessons learned
analyses, a supervisor might also identify a person as a back-up for a critical role on the project,
in case they run into difficulties or assigned staff are not available as planned.
Once the team is assembled, challenges can arise. Some of the challenges teams face have to
do with knowing the status of the work, as part-time employees come in and hand a piece of a
project off to another worker. Some deal managing conflicts as they arise – both technical
issues as permissions are delayed and content cannot yet be incorporated, leading to
scheduling changes, and inter-personal issues among staff. Some of these conflicts occur
between a mostly young, part-time contingent of student workers and the full-time employees.
Supervisors are often drawn into mediating or resolving these conflicts. They really need to
meld together their staff to create highly capable, productive project teams for these fast-paced
eBook projects. The staff needs to trust each other and their leadership to be fair and to balance
work priorities with the times that they are available.
Supervisors are finding it is very important to make sure every team member understands the
goals of the project, the roles of each team member and how they inter-relate, and the sense of
urgency about completing the project. This urgency comes from understanding the intense
schedules for completing eBooks and from understanding why it is important that all of the work
come together to create a finished eBook – any part not completed keeps the final eBook from
going into quality check and release. Because of the issues around employee absence and the
use of part-time employees, they are also trying to make sure that employees are able to do
their role, but can also help out in related roles as needed.
To help build a common understanding of the project work and minimize some of the conflicts,
Samantha is working with some the supervisors to hold a project kick-off meeting where the
team reviews the goals and plan for the project, and develops and agrees to a project team
charter. Letting the team develop their charter gives the supervisor an opportunity to observe
how the team works together, and gives the team the ability to set ground rules for how they will
work together. The team charter starts with the project goals. The team may set their goals in
order to accomplish these project goals. Other topics that the team might address in their team
charter include agreed-upon guidelines for how they want to participate in the project, conduct
(or behavior), communications among project members, communicating status and problems,
problem solving, and holding meetings. This charter and its guidelines that they team have
agreed to can then serve as a basis for team building and team behaviors during the project.
Comment on the following aspects of the case study:
a) What are some of the challenges facing project teams? Have you encountered any of
these problems in teams that you have been part of? What other team problems have
b) Are there skills that team members need to be effective team members in a project? If
so, what are these skills?
c) Why is it important that team members understand the goals and scope of the project?
d) Think about creating a team charter. What categories of guidelines would you you’re
your team to agree on before beginning work? Why would you include these
e) Brainstorm and identify some guidelines that you would suggest teams follow for each of
Team member participation in the project
Team member conduct (or behavior)
Communicating among project members (including communicating status and
f) What are the advantages of a kick-off meeting? What are the advantages of developing
a team charter?
Mini-Case Study: Defining Standard Projects at Global Green Books
Global Green Books Publishing is a successful printing and publishing company in its third year.
It has survived the bringing on a large new customer and all the challenges of new work that this
customer needed in a very short time.
Much of this work for the college is customized eBooks. As the first term progressed with
Global Green Books making customized eBooks for this college, there were a number of issues
that affected the quality of the eBooks produced and caused a great deal of rework for the
company. The local university was unhappy as their eBook products sometimes reached
campus late for use by professors and student. In some cases, the books were a week or two
The management of Global Green Books was also challenged by these projects. The college
expected them delivered on-time and at a low cost, and the company was not always doing that.
Accounting was having difficult tracking the costs for each of the books, and the shift supervisor
were often having problems knowing what tasks needed to be completed and assigning the
right employees to each task.
Some of the problems stemmed from the new part time employees. Since many of these
workers had flexible schedules, it wasn’t always clear which tasks they were supposed to be
working on when they came in to work. Each book being produced was indeed a book; but that
was all they had in common. Each book had different production steps, different contents and
reprint approvals required, and different layouts and cover designs. Some were just collections
of articles to reprint once approvals were received, and others required extensive desktop
publishing. Each eBook was a complex process, but was going to be made just once, as these
eBooks were all customized for each professor and course each semester. Each eBook had to
be produced on time, and had to be made to match just exactly what the professors requested.
Understanding what each eBook needed had to be clearly documented and understood before
starting production. Global Green Books had been told by the college how many different
printing jobs the college would need, but they weren’t all arriving at once, and orders were quite
unpredictable in arriving from the professors at the college. Some professors needed rush
orders for their classes. Some orders arrived as projected, but some came later than
anticipated. When Global Green Books finally got all their orders, some of these jobs were
much larger than they had thought they would be.
Each eBook needed to have a separate job order prepared that listed all the steps that needed
to be completed, so that tasks could be assigned to each worker. These job orders were also
becoming a problem. Not all the steps needed were getting listed in each order. Often the
estimates of time for each task were not completed until after the work was done, causing
problems as workers were supposed to move on to new tasks but were still finishing their
previous tasks. Some tasks required specialized equipment or skills, sometimes from other
groups within Global Green Books. Not all of the new student hires were trained for all of the
printing and binding equipment used to print and assemble to books.
Global Green Books wanted to start developing a template for job orders. This template should
list all of the possible tasks that should be performed in producing an eBook for the college.
These tasks could be broken down into the different phases of the work.
In the Receive Order phase, the order should be received by Global Green Books from the
professor or the college, it should be checked and verified, and a job order started. In checking
and verifying each order, the customer representative should make sure that they have the
requester’s name, email and phone number; the date needed, and a full list of all of the
contents. They should also verify that they have received all of the materials that were
supposed to be included with that order, and have fully identified all of the items that they need
to request permissions for. Any problems found in checking and verifying should be resolved by
contacting the professor.
In the Plan Order phase, all of the desktop publishing work is planned, estimated and assigned
to production staff. Also all of the production effort to collate and produce the eBook are
identified, estimated and scheduled, and assigned to production staff. Specific equipment
resource needs are identified and equipment is reserved on the schedule to support the planned
In the Production Phase, permissions are acquired, desktop publishing tasks (if needed) are
performed, content is converted, and the proof of the eBook is produced. A quality assistant will
check the eBook against the job order and customer order to make sure it is ready for
production, and once approved by quality, each of the requested eBook formats are created. A
second quality check makes sure that each requested format is ready to release to the college.
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