Real Life Examples of Project Planning Gone Awry
I often try to implement new processes or procedures in my car dealership based on customer or employee input. One of the processes I wanted to improve upon was the time it took for service customers to bring their cars in for service, communication on needed repairs, and an easy pick up when the vehicle was ready. Seems simple right? Well it wasn’t!
First off, I gathered the opinions and concerns from both employees and customers. I created a timeline of the way things were currently being done along with the suggestions on how to improve the entire process. I was sure my new process would be streamlined and keep the customers and my employees happy.
Once my service manager and I created the written policy, we reviewed it with our service employees. Even though we had obtained all of our service employees' input, one employee noted, “What if the service manager is not available to take a customer’s telephone call?"
Yes, that “what if" did indeed occur! Upon this realization, suggestions were thrown at me and before I knew it, I had six different ideas on how this could be handled—some good and some ineffective. At this point, I tried to implement an unnecessary element into my new service process—after all, the service manager does go out to lunch! It didn’t work out well because I tried to force a solvable element into a process that really didn’t need this element!
Hence, my service manager and I went back to the drawing board to figure out the solution to this problem which could have been avoided if I would have analyzed my project in more detail. In essence, this service solution project failed and, until redeveloped, both my customers and my employees were affected.