Developing A Project Plan
Project Management – Introduction
In establishing a company’s success, it is necessary to determine the planning strategies which should be put in place. Therefore, project planning should not be looked down upon because most times people fail to realize the value of the task in saving time, money and for avoiding problems. In the process of developing a project plan that satisfactorily addresses and accomplishes the consolidation of the IT of the two companies, a lot of factors should be considered. The issues to be discussed in the planning include; legal constraints in each of the countries the operates and how adherence to the laws will favor the operations of the company. That is whether to grant the acquired company autonomy in its operations or not and the possibility of its assimilation into the firm, in the long run, the expenses of conversion, the processes to be standardized and the compatibility of the company’s hardware or software. The overall result of the plan should be the prioritization of cost reduction and company efficiency.
Assessment of level of technology applied to the company in IT operations. A thorough evaluation of the level of technology used in IT operations in the company is vital in the merging of the two companies due to commonness in goals among the two organizations. (Coolley, 1988). The level of technology used defines the role played by the IT in the firm. Therefore, it should be seen to it that the IT section in the other company is adjusted to perform the roles performed by the central firm thus enabling it to get focused to achieve the set strategies. That is customer’s view of it being an innovator, reaching the market first to the advantage of the lion’s share of the market.
Level of compatibility of the acquired company’s ware. Consideration of the compatibility of the acquired company’s hardware and software is prudent. It will, therefore, be effective in the determination of the operations to be standardized in pursuit of cutting down the overall operational cost of the company in the case where the acquired firm and the company have to operate as one. In instances where an upgrade is necessary, much caution should be taken. The cost should not be very high for this would decrease the profit margin of the company.
Legal constraints. For the operations of the company to run smoothly, adherence to regulations is essential. Therefore, to ensure this, scrutiny of the laws in Mexico is crucial. Similarities and differences in laws regulating the operations of companies in different countries in which the firm operates should be considered to enable the company to cope with the new environment without violation of such laws. Adaptations should be made on the operational process to avoid conflicting with the rules without deviating from the course of the company. Furthermore, other factors binding the acquired company to other entities not part of the company should be considered. Such factors include contracts for leases, software licenses, and services. Too, penalties for the early termination of the contracts should be evaluated (Vander Vennet, 1996). Cost Evaluation. The overall acquisition process should be cost-effective. In case the value is very high for the short-term flip, the long-term acquisition should opt. Though this may be time-consuming, it can turn out to be more promising regarding profitability.
Normalization of IT staff, in this case, refers to the integration of the workforce in the IT sector to reduce variations by excluding irrelevant aspects to ensure that there no duplication of tasks within the company to ensure that the strategies of the company are achieved maintaining the running costs low. However, a lot should be considered in the process. The reason is that, in cases where the labor force was initially more the same, some staff members may feel that their work is a threat. As a result of the especially for the acquired company, personnel may start looking for employment elsewhere. It, however, arises the need to devise ways of retaining the workers as long as they are needed. For centralized operations, a lot of evaluation of the staff who perform such tasks in the both the acquired company and the main company to select the team who are the best fit and competent enough to the task. The staff evaluation should be based on performance in pursuit of determining which staff to laid off and the ones to be retained. While trying to maintain staff, emphasis should be put on the managerial strategies to ensure that the acquired company has personnel with the required administrative skills to run the company and to achieve its objectives. In a case where the long-term acquisition is preferable, short-term flip measures such as retaining the current staff can be used intermediately to create room for the training of staff to perform the designated tasks in line with the main company and equip them with effective leadership skills. Though for the staff in the main company the main company may create excitement for promotion, there should be level ground on which matters such as promotion are based. I.e., performance merit. This will ensure that the acquired company’s staff won’t feel that their work is jeopardized and hence prompting them to quit. The motivation of staff to remain in the company is crucial only if their services are needed in the company (Xia & Shaoping, 2006).
Though how challenging the situation may seem, efforts must be put for the company to perform as expected, measures taken in any way must add value to the company’s output. As a result, this may not go well with every party involved; from a staff of high-tech Company to IT staff of the acquired Company. However, the scenario should pose developmental and growth opportunities for each party. On my part, the situation provides me a chance to make plans that will lead to the implementation of sound managerial decisions. Moreover, a chance to travel to Mexico with my support team will enhance my understanding of universal trade regulations and how to cope with them the course of the company’s operations. Scrutiny of the records of the company gives me an idea of the staff number which will be important in the normalization of staff, monitoring of the staff for making staff promotional decisions. In this process, specialized training will be necessary to the IT staff of the acquired company maybe by staff from the main company to introduce them and familiarize them with the operational structure of the company. This, as a result, those involved in training as trainers acquire financial bonuses while the trainees acquire knowledge that enables them to fit in the labor force suitably. In communicating to the staff, openness should highly be regarded in the whole process of making it known to the staff the possible outcomes of such action of merging of the two companies. This will be important in that the staff will work towards retaining their jobs through competence and consistency in their areas of work. As a result of competence and consistency at work in the course of assimilation of the acquired company, there is a higher return on capital since the output is significantly increased. The company too is advantaged to exploit the market in Mexico that was initially being served by the acquired company, which would have been harder were the high-tech Company to open a new branch in Mexico. As a result of centralized management and structure, the operational cost will highly be cut down hence maximizing profits (Lavelle, 2007). In pursuit of determination of individuals to be promoted, several strategies should be used in the identification of such parties. Such staff members are proactively responsible; often those who volunteer to spearhead the project or ask for more responsibility as far as the project is involved. Also, in identifying staff to be promoted, the ability to handle stress should be looked at. This is because new tasks especially higher ones are characterized by more responsibilities and ambiguity. Therefore, a closer look at how individuals can handle stress is vital, and only those who can manage stressful situations deserve promotional opportunities. Moreover, in the identification of staff to be promoted, those to be promoted should be solution-oriented. They should offer alternatives to solve the current challenging solution (Hendry, 2012).
In conclusion, in the development of the project plan, cost should be the determining factor. The plan to be used should promise best results within the time scope provided. The staff normalization should in such a way that, much of the company’s income is not spent on payment of salaries neither should be in such a way that it cuts down jobs for both companies. The merger then provides an opportunity for growth the company’s growth. Proper integration of IT operations, serves to the advantage of the company. Where both hardware and software of the acquired company are compatible, the situation promises better results than for a scenario where the above components are incompatible. Hence, merging in business is a great idea though it comes with lots of challenges when important considerations are combined in the right ratios.
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