CASE STUDY OF A

HEAVY ENGINEERING 

COMPANY

The Cooperage Ground is a football stadium in Mumbai, India.The silence of the stadium in south Mumbai was shattered with the blaring sound of a popular Bollywood song. The stadium was packed to full capacity to witness the inter-corporate championship league match between M&B and Reliability Enterprises.

 

The coach for M&B, Mr. Furtado a diehard soccer fan and a senior consultant with SynCorewas egging M&B team members to score the equaliser. The M&B soccer team consisted of members from sales, finance, procurement and project engineers. Over a period of six months, this has been a routine for the members of various divisions in M&B, to visit Cooperage stadium to play soccer on every Sunday or public holidays.

 

Mr.Furtado strongly believed that a game of soccer every Sunday instils team spirit and camaraderie amongst M&B employees of various divisions14th March 20012, Crystal room, Taj president, Mr. Furtado exchanged his visiting card with Mr Z.M Gokhale, chairman M&B.  After a brief exchange of pleasantries, Mr. Gokhale sat down to share his concerns about the future of M&B with Mr.Furtado.

 

Soon the SynCore team was in M&B house to undertake a diagnostic study to understand what ails the company. And to work out solutions for the concern areas expressed by M&B chairman.

 

M&B was a 2 billion dollar division executing large and complex projects. The biggest challenge was to execute a project where the customer expectation for quoted delivery lead timeshad come down from 36 months to 18 months. The project execution involved interfacing with more than 50 different departments within and outside the company.

 

The management profile was undergoing a dramatic change with the experience gap between the top and junior management increasing to around 20 years. In spite of having a very strong project management team the surprising thing for the management was that some projects were delivered with good results whereas some other projects were lagging behind. There was a mismatch between the expectations of the senior management from the individual departments and the departments’ perception of their role in the project.  From an engineer’s perspective, priorities were not clear, the departments were un-synchronised, and there were a number of unfinished tasks and rework with unexpected attritions. It was the top management mandate to achieve profitability by pushing the existing project teams to deliver an increased number of projects with the available resources and in a predictable manner. Escalating project costs was another area of concern.  After the preliminary study, the SynCore team led by Mr Furtado diagnosed the problem as one of interdepartmental/human relations and process interfaces between departments. In order to address the issue of interdepartmental synchronisation for smooth and profitable functioning of M&B operations, the SynCore team worked out many initiatives which enhanced communication and interactions across functional areas. The objective of the initiative was to define a common goal and highlight the hurdles and alert departmental concerns and stake holder expectations, so that there is an alignment between the management expectations and the employee expectations.

 

In collaboration with the HR Head of M&B, SynCore created a platform for communication on job enrichment. The said communication platform served other purposes such as:

  1. Highlight the difference in expectations of the management on the output of the engineering team.

  2. Resolution of interdepartmental conflicts leading to smooth working relations between the managers.

  3. Define and implement several cost optimization initiatives and actions for curbing cost overruns during project execution.

  4. Ensure a very clear understanding of departmental roles in other words role clarity.

 

Provide a strong feed back to the senior management of the company to encourage and motivate the performance of the project execution teams.  Mr. Furtado staunch supporter of motivational theory recommendedcreating a “risk- reward- motivation framework “for all employees of M&B.In the end, the division was able to achieve most of its targets and create a platform for further improvements.