Long Write-up: Greeley Hardcopy-B Finally, the Greeley Hardcopy (GHC) Portable Scanner Initiative got its sponsor that would support its project throughout its research and development phase. This is in the name of Phil Faraci who took over as the General Manager of GHC handling both the Flatbeds and Portable businesses. During the previous phases of research and development of the Portable Scanner, despite being recognized as a very promising product, it faced several challenges in terms of support, budget & focus. For over five years the product did not take off and observed as a very slow-paced development.
The pace of the project was so slow that it passed-on from one leadership into another in the organization. Its failure in its initial stages (Greeley Hardcopy – 1) to take-off and become a product was attributed to the following: 1) Indecisiveness in supporting the Portable scanner project – management cannot make immediate decision whether to support the project. Management was delaying the decision by asking more information about the viability of the product in the market. One marketing person had even commented that the information was already given previously. ) Absence of clear direction given to the project 3) Budgetary allocation on the project – there was even 1 instance that the budget allocated to the portable was reallocated to the flatbed business. 4) Lack of support from the management team 5) Internal conflict between units – there was conflict between the HP labs and the GHC. Conflict could also be seen between Flatbed and Portable. 6) Lack of project ownership from the senior management team – It was only Frank Carau and Ben Walker, who are juniors that are handling the project.
It does not have enough clout to direct and influence the project on the senior management levels. However, with the leadership and sponsorship of Phil Faraci, the project came into a turn-around from being a slow-paced to fast-paced project, from being a neglected team to being a special team and from being low budget team to high budget team. Within a short period of 2 years, Phil Feraci together with the team was able to put the initial product into production. How did this happen? Establishing the Senior Management Team of Portable Scanning Project.
Phil Faraci recognized that there was lack of ownership in the project that was why it failed to take off. He knew that the project needed a leader that would assume ownership of the project until it would be brought into production line and would become a full pledge product released to its consumers. He needed a leader with an authority that could influence people across the organization, a leader that can withstand any opposition that would come along its way in pursuit of achieving its mandated goal, a leader with proven integrity that will be followed by his team members and co-workers in other departments.
He appointed a senior person in the name of Mark Oman. This was a very good choice for Phil since Mark Oman had the seniority to make things happen. He had been with the company for quite a long time and the people that worked with him trusted him and respected his integrity. He was being described as fair and above board. He had a reputation of unselfish and always worked for the best of the division he is working on. With these qualities, he was the best fit to champion the portable scanner project. He was heavyweight man fit to run a very important and problematic project. His influence in the rganization will be advantageous to project since he would be able to make critical decision that will be supported by the majority in the organization because of his given integrity. Phil Faraci also retained Frank Carau and Ben Walker who had been working with the project for a long time. This is the best choice since both of them already know the technical aspect of the R&D initiative as well as the markets and marketability of the portable scanning device. By identifying Mark Oman, Frank Carau and Ben Walker as part of the senior managers that would champion the portable project, Phil Feraci was able to give focus on the project.
Creating a Separate Organization (Ambidextrous Organization). With Phil Faraci role of providing resources to the team, the team of Mark Oman with support from its original team members – Frank Carau and Ben Walker created a new structure that would be required to launch the portable device successfully. They also designed the compensation package for its team members by working with HR. They believe that for the portable project to become successful they need to attract talented personnel fitted for the job requirements. In order to do this, they needed to provide above-average compensation packages.
They had lobbied from the senior management team and HR to provide each member of the team good compensation and the sometimes agreeing for some work around with HR and senior management. Better compensation package was successfully obtained approval with the help of Phil Faraci by providing connection between the Oman’s team and the rest of the senior management people. After designing the organization, the team also designed the working relationship of the team with the rest of the GHC. They designed the responsibility matrix to provide clear understanding on each one responsibility and who is going to provide inputs and make decisions.
It also clarifies their relationship with the flatbeds business. The Portable team was also housed in a separate area within the GHC facilities. This would allow them to work independently and would provide them some feeling of autonomy. By creating this ambidextrous organization, the portable scanning team was able to work independently with flexibility and was able map the future of their product. Allow me to relate this ambidextrous organization as an approach in creating a new product with my previous experience in the telecommunications industry.
The company that I worked with in the Philippines started its business when the telecommunication industry was de-regulated in the Philippines. The company started as fixed line service provider in major parts of the country. Within just few years of its operations, it became the 2nd largest operator in fixed line business. Over the years, it had established a rigid organization with processes in placed to maintain its operations. It underwent many major organizational changes until it reached a rigid and final structure.
It had developed its employee to become expert in different parts of the organization. After 6 years of operations, the company received a license to construct, operate and maintain a wireless GSM network throughout the country. The government had mandated the company to launch its service within one year after the award was given. In order to comply with its commitment to launch service within one year, the company, instead of tapping the existing organization, resources and expertise of the fixed line business, had established a new business unit focusing on mobile business, an ambidextrous organization.
It created new organizational structure much different from the existing fixed line organization. The mobile unit became an independent organization accountable only to the top management. It has its own HR, Network Planning, Network Operations, Network Implementations, Procurement, IT and Administration divisions. It hired new set of employees with different compensation package starting from the business unit head down to the lower levels. This approach enabled the new unit to take off its mobile business and compete with the two existing giant GSM operators.
It campaigned vigorously as an independent entity without very minor help from the legacy organization. During its earlier operations, industry practitioners dubbed the campaign as battle with two Goliaths. However, since the company is very much independent and was able react instantaneously to competition and be more flexible during its campaign, the company was able to capture good market shares. The top management allowed the mobile business to create innovative products and services.
It even became pioneering on some of its product launches and had popularized the 24×7 Call and Text Unlimited (CTU). This is because of being independent and flexible – two of the strong points of an ambidextrous organization. Creating a Heavyweight Team. After formalizing the team structure, relationships with other team in GHC and compensation packages, Senior Managers in the Portable business were then ready to hire personnel to fill up all positions they needed in order to proceed with the portable project.
Attracting key personnel was one of the key challenges of Oman but this key challenge was already answered in advance by formalizing the compensation package for their personnel. They had already identified this challenge and they worked on this with the management and get their commitment for a better package. Another challenge is opposition from other managers when they were trying to hire their key personnel. This was addressed by elevating this to Phil Faraci who readily resolve this issues by supporting the Portable scanning team.
Because of commitment and support from the senior management of good compensation package, it was not difficult for the team to attract talented personnel. Their team grew up to 100-member-team which helped them reached their target aggressively. Having a heavyweight team is one of the key factors of their success. Future of the Portable Business. With Phil Faraci promotion to another Division and leaving the Flabed and Portable businesses, it is time for him to recommend that Portable business be totally separated from the Flatbed business.
Oman would be the ideal person to handle this reporting directly to John Stedman. Phil Faraci will be able to leverage with the initial success of Portable scanning project to make recommendation of a totally separate organization for the Portable business. With this initial success, I believe he will be able to get the buy-in of the management in elevating Mark Oman reporting directly to Stedman. Being a separate business from Flatbed business, even without Faraci, Oman will be able to have a good autonomy and flexibility on deciding and steering the future of the Portable business.