Project supervision is a complex process that requires the organization project manager to use his or her knowledge and skills in implementing and monitoring the firm project. A company activity is full of uncertainty of the future hence, making it difficult for the organization to implement its project successfully. The project manager works together with an organization’s top-level management to ensure the project is implemented according to plan. The following discussion indulges on Pepsi Company project to build a firm that appreciates work diversity in the workplace.
Pepsi is an American company that manufactures food and beverages for the world market. The company’s headquarters is in New York, USA (PepsiCo Inc. 2008 p.73). The company soft drink recipe was developed 1880s by Caleb Bradham, who was a pharmacist; he named the product Pepsi-Cola. Caleb Bradham registered the brand in 1902 to protect the patent rights of the product. The company began its operations in the state of Delaware where it distributed the Pepsi-cola product to the market (PepsiCo Inc. 2008 p.78). In 1960s, the firm developed its product line to include Diet Pepsi through Mountain Dew take-over. In 1965, the business merged with Frito-lay, Inc to improve its product range and market size. The company name changed to PepsiCo, inc. in 2001, the company again merged with Quaker Oats, which led to the increase in the range of products manufactured by the corporation (PepsiCo Inc. 2008 p.80).
The company mission is to be the leading market producer of food and beverage. It also seeks to offer an opportunity for growth and development for employees, communities, and business partners (PepsiCo Inc. 2008 p.90). PepsiCo aims at achieving its objectives through fairness, integrity, and honesty. The company vision is to maintain a sustainable Pepsi business through program implementation, environmental stewardship, and corporate social responsibility. It aims at providing quality food and beverages at an affordable and competitive price. The company has a huge market share due to its globalization strategy; however, the company is faced with enormous competition from other firms in the market, such as Coca-Cola Company.
The corporation was faced with the challenge of ensuring that the company global strategy reflected it a goal in providing work diversity. In 2003, PepsiCo created PepsiCo International due to the changing global business environment, talent, and consumer market. The newly formulated company primary goal was to manage change in the organization (PepsiCo Inc. 2008 p.81). PepsiCo International was to identify, evaluate and strategize on various risks affecting the business. In 2004, an internal survey was done to determine the level of diversity in the global organization. The study indicated that the level cultural integration was very weak despite there being a shared value structure for work diversity. The organization managers were not supportive of these values hence lowering the organization performance (PepsiCo Inc. 2008 p.109). The company had to formulate a project that would ensure the organizational values are implemented in the workplace. Theoretical models of project management require that a project should be in a response to a certain organization challenge or opportunity in the market. It requires that a firm has to identify the main challenges formulate strategies to mitigate the risk, assign the responsibility for achieving the task, and monitor the implementation plan of the project (PepsiCo Inc. 2008 p.45).
PepsiCo first identified the project scope, which was to achieve cultural transformation in all the global organizational branches. The project was to affect changes on 90000 employees of all ranks in the company. The cultural change project was to cover over 180 countries that had 40 different languages. The purpose of the development was to ensure workers in the company treats each other in a professional and acceptable manner (PepsiCo Inc. 2008 p.97). The managers were to be fair to every individual in the organization despite the cultural differences. In addition, the project also aimed at ensuring the top-level management formulates an inclusive work environment, which help the individual build a healthy personal and work life (PepsiCo Inc. 2008 p. 32). During the project, formulation stage the top-level management should determine the scope of the project; this means what the project should achieve. Scope definition is very useful as it enables the firm to identify project uncertainties, strategy to use in the implementation plan, budget estimates and in determining the expected results (Jennings, D. 2001 p.453). In addition, during the scope definition the organizational management can identify the areas that need more emphasis during the implementation plan.
During the formulation stage, the top-level managers determine if to go on with the proposed project or postpone the activity to a particular time (Dinsmore, P. and Cabanis-Brewin, 2011 p. 143). The firm examines the available data about the project and the expected outcome and the internal and external environment of the firm. Results received from this analysis are useful in determining if the project is to go on as proposed or their changes to be made. In this case, the PepsiCo was committed to modifying the work environment to match with the organization values and ethics (PepsiCo Inc. 2008 p. 34). Project scope definition helps in establishing the expected results, what is to be done, how project success will be measured, project termination process and the problem or business opportunity addressed by the project.
Project implementation plan
The project manager adopted John Kotter’s 8-step Change Model due to the complexity of the results to be achieved. The model was useful in strategy creation for a globally unifying and inclusive organization culture. The primary goal of this plan was to ensure organization growth especially in innovation, market expansion, and talent development. The project manager simplified the eight steps model to four main phases. They included: capability, awareness, sustainment, and relevance and local ownership. The approach was to ensure groups integration in different geographical location and with different cultural integration. In addition, the project focused on the communication, leadership, and management styles of each company’s branch.
In the first stage of the model that is relevance and local ownership, the project team enrolled a “Charting the Journey” program or workshops in different business units and regions. The primary objective of this program was to educate the senior leaders of the different organization department on the importance of change in the organization (PepsiCo Inc. 2008 p.118). The leaders were tasked with the responsibility of ensuring change is achieved in their respective firm.
In the individual awareness phase, the project team held various educational sessions in the different firm branches to educate the employees on the value of work diversity, ways of dealing with cultural differences, and how individual emotional well-being will be affected after the project is implemented. During this stage, the project managers wanted to assure the employees that the change will improve the workplace hence, improving their job satisfaction. The phase is important in reducing resistance from the employees’ side (PepsiCo Inc. 2008 p.127). Workers may resist organization change especially where they will be directly affected. Hence, it is important for the project management to explain to them the expected results and the need for change (Fox, W., & Van Der Walt, G. 2007 p. 58). Resistance to change can affect the implementation time set for the project, which may increase the resources necessary for the accoplishment of the project.
In the capability phase, the project implementation team created and implemented an inclusive leadership program to enable skills and knowledge development for all leaders in the different ranks. The skills obtained would be very useful in ensuring the creation of an inclusive work environment strategy that will appreciate the various employees’ culture in the company. For a project that involves a change in the organization leadership style, the project implementation team needs to train the managers in the acceptable management practices that will enable work diversity in the organization (Miyahara, T. 2011 p. 92). Specifically the project team was to lay emphasis on human resource managers’ role in ensuring that the policies and procedures formulated reflect the organization values. The human resource department was supposed to move beyond policy formulation and ensure the successful implementation of the diversity policy in the different business units. In addition, the human resource managers were trained on the importance of developing future leaders that will enable organization success.
According to the project team, the success of the project was mostly dependent on the human resource department. The dependence is created due to the role that the department plays in the organization. Human resource department deals with all the work related issues such as training, hiring, and employee relation. Due to the responsibilities of the human resource department, the project management decided first to train the HR managers in the values of diversity and ways they will be important in ensuring that the changes are achieved. The HR department education involved ways of developing future leaders who will me more appreciating on the need for work diversity. In addition, the project trained the HR managers on the means of implementing work diversity strategy in the organization.
The final phase of the project implementation model is sustainability phase. The step involved the development of various tools to enable the leaders to improve their skills and practices in the organization. The step was to ensure that the project success is monitored through examination of the company leaders through further training programs. The project team analyzed it success in the project implementation strategy. The following were the results the analysis. First, employees understood the importance of the change in the organization. Employees were more aware of the importance diversity than before the project was implemented. The project manager also determined that the project team involved in “Chartering the journey” had succeeded in training the employee. Secondly, the project was also successful in ensuring the training of future leaders on ensuring diversity and inclusion in the workplace. The HR management implemented the training and development strategy for the future leaders. Research also found that the employees had experienced change from the leaders in terms of inclusiveness in the workplace. The leaders were more aware of the cultural diversity in the organization than before and had developed measures to ensure that all the employees were respected despite their cultural background. The project team also found that women representation in the workplace had improved. HR department has developed the women in the organization to ensure gender balance was observed. Women change was not only on the perspective rank but also on in regard to change of their salaries and wages. The business has gained from the use of similar vocabularies that were used during the training point. They were aware of biases in the organization and ways they can deal with it.
Best practices for project management require that after project scope definition the tasks should be divided into smaller activities. Through work breakdown, structure the project managers can determine the action to carry out first or those activities that are related (Miyahara, T. 2011 p. 177). Work breakdown is done to ensure the progress of the task and easier review. PepsiCo project managers followed these practices by breaking down the project to eight steps model (Jennings, D. 2001 p.90). The project team should develop a schedule for completion of each activity. Scheduling requires that the project team should set time for each activity. Time estimates are paramount in the project success as the enable the project manager to set targets. PepsiCo project manager set out the time for completion of each activity (Fox, W., & Van Der Walt, G. 2007 p. 32). For instance, in the second phase the project implementation team was required to train the workers for only three hours on the importance of work diversity. The project team has to determine the project standards and procedures. The standards are the specific deliverables that the team needs to set for adequate evaluation after the project is completed (Morris, P., & Pinto, J. K. 2010 p. 234). Setting of standards and the procedures for achieving the set goals is crucial to ensuring quality. PepsiCo project team developed the standards to be met and later examined the whole process to determine if the project had achieved its objectives (Andersen, E. S. 2008 p. 632).
The project manager is responsible for the execution of the project based on the plan set in the earlier stage. Execution involves the allocation of resources, training and orienting the project team on the project schedules, the quality expected, and the risks involved in the project. The project team then monitors the success of the project based on the set baselines (Miyahara, T. 2011 p. 101). The project manager can use tools like Gantt and Pert charts to determine if the activity will be achieved in time. If from the monitoring process the team establishes that the project is not going according to plan, the project manager should develop appropriate strategies to ensure that the change is solved to prevent further loss (Morris, P., & Pinto, J. K. 2010 p. 543). PERT charts help in determining the activities that can be crashed to reduce the time taken by the project. The project manager is also expected to maintain the records of every activity carried out. Records are necessary due to project audit to determine if the project followed the required plan and if the project was a success (Jennings, D. 2001 p.76). Maintaining records is critical since it enables the project manager to write a project report. A project report is an explanation of the success, challenges, and strategies used to mitigate the risk in the project (Carr-Ruffino, N. 2005 p. 121).
Termination stage is critical in a project lifecycle as it enables the project team to evaluate their achievement (Morris, P., & Pinto, J. K. 2010 p. 234). PepsiCo project manager conducted a post-project review to establish the strength and weaknesses of each activity delivered and the project management process.
In general, terms the project lifecycle requires standards and practices cover the following critical areas. First, is linking the project goals to stakeholders’ objectives. Second is focusing on the needs of the clients (Miyahara, T. 2011 p. 123). The third best practice of academic project management principles is selecting and creating a high-performance team that will be involved in the project execution. The fourth is executing the project based on the determined scope or boundaries. The fifth principal is creating work breakdown structure that covers the project scope. The sixth is cost and time estimation (Roberts, P, 2013 p. 234). After breaking down the activities the project manager can quickly determine the cost of each activity and the period it will take to achieve this activity, this will help the managers to meet the time constraints of the project. The seventh principal is risk identification and evaluation (Morris, P., & Pinto, J. K. 2010 p 276). The project team identifies the project uncertainties and determines how they may affect the success of the project. The final major principal is establishing a monitoring system that will guide the project manager to the achievement of the company (Miyahara, T. 2011 p. 127).
After the successful implementation of the cultural integration, project PepsiCo managers observed the following: first, change management takes time and patience for it to successful (Murthy, C. 2007. P. 123). The second observation was that inclusiveness addresses emotions of the employees hence; it may result to discomfort in the start of the project. Third, the management observed that the more they raised employees’ awareness on the issues affecting them, the more their expectation for change improved (Morris, P., & Pinto, J. K. 2010 p 432). The fourth observation was that change in the organization was impossible if the leadership of the company is not committed Hence, the need for developing future leaders who will enhance change in the firm. Fifth, the management observed that business global change has to consider the particular cultural management biases in the firm (Murthy, C. 2007 p. 143). The success of change was determined by individual recognition, for the need for change in the organization. The managers also concluded that the organizational concern should be on improving skills, tools, and actions of individual in the firm to enable inclusion of every worker (Roberts, P, 2013 p. 176). However, monitoring the process of change is difficult due to the size of the firm and the vast cultural diversity. For the success of the project after termination, the leaders of the company need to be personally committed to influencing change in the organization (Miyahara, T. 2011 p. 123).
Managing change in a firm is very complex hence; it requires adequate planning and implementation procedures. After the change has been implemented, the management needs to analyze regularly the firm to ensure that workers do not backslide to the previous practices (Murthy, C. 2007 p. 123). Proper planning for change was the key reason the company achieved it goals. Employees’ education on the need for change was also a major reason for the success since resistance was avoided (Roberts, P, 2013 p. 122).
In conclusion, the project management was successful in achieving cultural change due to the use of adequate plans for the implementation of the project. Scope definition is important as it determines the goals to be achieved, time, and budget set to accomplish the task. The scope defines the boundaries of the project and sets the required deliverables. PepsiCo project manager skills and knowledge were they key determiners of the project success. The project manager was well skilled in planning, organizing, controlling, and monitoring the project implementation process. The team selected to ensure the project was successful were very determined to deliver the requirement of the project. Ensuring inclusion in the company motivated the employees in the workplace since they felt involved in the business activities. Employees’ awareness of work diversity was improved hence raising their expectation of the leaders. The leaders were also committed to ensuring that cultural integration change was achieved.
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