The History Of Cango Business Essay
Devry University Online
Professor Jeff Barland
Dynamic Consulting is a consulting firm that specializes in helping organizations improve their fast growing company so that they are competitive in today’s business environment. We are here to make CanGo a staple in the online entertainment industry. Members of the team include: Roger Penn, Romaine Thomas, Goderick Villiadelgado, Cherry Waltower, and Karan Sharma.
In reviewing CanGo’s employees throughout the last couple of weeks, it has become evident that the organization from top down has no direction or purpose. This became evident when the CEO was not able to identify how CanGo evolved to be one of the fastest growing companies. There should’ve been a formal plan in place that can be reviewed and re-evaluated to direct the path of the corporation. Without direction and purpose everyone comes to work and they perform a task daily but everyone is more or less going in different directions. The direction and purpose, the CanGo employee’s need, has to be similar in nature or a common goal. This means that all the employees from the board of directors down to the hourly employees have to be moving in the same direction for the same reason. In order to give the CanGo employees this much needed direction or purpose, CanGo’s upper management needs to develop a Mission Statement. "A mission statement sets the tone for the whole company and provides it with focus" (Nelton, 1990). It becomes a contract between the employee and organization where both parties understand what to expect from each other. A mission statement shapes the organization from top management down to the hourly employees. "Everything in a company grows out of its mission statement its behavior, its structure, and all of its strategic planning and decisions" (Nelton, 1990). After the mission statement is developed, CanGo needs to share the mission statement with the entire organization. This can be done by posting the mission statement on the company’s website for everyone to see. Also, each department head should hold meetings with his staff and teach the new mission statement to his or her employees. Once this is done, the CanGo employees will have the much needed focus in order to help drive the organization in the same direction and they will be able to identify and track how the company evolved over time.
Imagine owning a car and being able to drive but you don’t know the address or directions to where you are going. The car will remain stranded until the driver gets the directions. This is where CanGo is today. CanGo not only doesn’t have a mission statement but it doesn’t have a vision statement. Now once CanGo has a mission statement and its employees are familiar with it, CanGo needs to develop a vision statement. A vision statement drives the organization to complete its mission. A vision statement simply tells the organization and its employee’s step by step directions on how it will achieve its goals. In order to create a "clear and specific" vision, that vision should be compared to where the organization is currently and what needs to be done to get from point A to point B (Wesermann, 2012). Once the vision statement is developed, I recommend that CanGo follow the same steps as recommended for the mission statement which is share it with the entire organization by posting on the company website and training all employees.
When monitoring the CanGo employees we noticed that there didn’t seem to be a formal planning process in place that CanGo used to develop or confirm their goals or marketing strategy. We feel that without this planning process in place CanGo tends to venture into projects without considering important factors. We recommend that CanGo use a SWOT analysis, after developing their short & long term goals, to help in the planning process. The word SWOT is an acronym for four categories Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats. A SWOT analysis is used by organizations to identify potential and critical issues affecting a company or venture (Berry). Some potential or critical issues could be market changes, government regulation changes, monetary restraints, etc. This is a very important tool to use when trying to develop a strategy for your organization to gain a competitive advantage over the competition. "The primary purpose of a SWOT analysis is to identify and assign each significant factor, positive or negative, to one of the four categories, allowing you to take an objective look at your business" (Berry). Knowing the positive and negatives of your business puts the organization in a more powerful position for action (SWOT Analysis: Strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats). An important tool that can be used to perform the SWOT analysis is called a SWOT Matrix or TOWS Matrix (SWOT Analysis).
A SWOT matrix divides internal and external conditions pits them against each other in order to look for strategies. Internal conditions are considered Strengths and Weaknesses and you have control over them. External conditions are considered Opportunities and Threats and you have no control over them. Once a SWOT analysis is performed, it reminds CanGo to pursue Opportunities that play to its Strengths, minimize its Weaknesses to pursue Opportunities, use Strengths to seize its Threats, & create a defensive plan to overcome Weaknesses in order to counteract Threats.
Short and Long Term Goals
Short term goals are goals that can be accomplished with a day, week, or a couple of months. Long term goals are goals that can be accomplished over a long period of time i.e. one year or longer. To help improve the profitability and success of CanGo, we have come up with several short and long term goals to help your company become more successful and profitable. Short term goals for CanGo include the following:
Creating a Mission and Vision Statement. A Mission and Vision statement helps the employee see the direction in which the company is going and keeps everyone on track to see the vision.
Improve Customer Services. Customer Services is one of the most important aspect of growing a business. By eliminating the majority of the menu options on the call menu, time will be saved and the experience will more pleasant for the customer. Also making information more assessable on the web will all save the customer time. Without customers there is no business whether the customer is internal or external. Improving your customer service process will improve customer satisfaction.
Employee Skill Assessment. "Assessing employee skills can help you determine if your employees are in the roles best suited for them, and if any of them are ready to be promoted, or instead should be transferred to another department or position. Your employees will also benefit from an employee skill assessment, because they can use it as a learning tool to discover more about their strengths, weaknesses and goals.
With an employee skills assessment, you can:
1 .Ensure your current employees are in the best role for their skills.
2. Identify employees who are ready to move up in the company.
3. Determine which applicants are best suited to the position you're hiring for.
4. Help employees learn more about themselves, by sharing with them their assessing employee skills list of results."(Assessing Employee Skills,1999)
Employee Performance reviews. Performance reviews are ways or giving and getting feedback. It also determines it the employee should or should not get a promotion, raise, or if an employee should or should not keep the job or position they are in. Just as employee skill assessments, employee performance reviews are just as important. It gives managers a change to tell their employees what they have accomplish throughout the year, if there are any training to stay in the position or if there are any other positions the employee maybe interest within the company.
Employee Ethic training. "Ethical conduct is important because it not only involves doing what is right and proper, but it’s also good for business. Ethical conduct is the basis for long-term success in any organization. Ethical conduct boosts morale and promotes teamwork. When employees can trust one another and management, they can work together more harmoniously and effectively."(Employee Ethics Training,2013) Training programs include, Human Resources(Diversity), Environmental Safety, Sexual Harassment.
Prioritize projects. Develop a process to determine which project is important and will benefit the company in both the long and short term. What value will the project add to the company, how will it benefit the company and the cost and do are they available resources to implement the project.
Long term goals include but not limited to the following:
Implementing a project management system. This process is considered a long term goal due to researching the best possible project management software that is best for CanGo, and the training of personnel once the software is in place.
Implementing a cost management system, this would go hand in hand with the project management system. Planning and Organizational Skill and Business expansion.
Having these goals in place will not only grow your company but will improve employee relations, make the company more profitable and improve customer satisfaction.
Research and Development
Research and development is defined as "Systematic activity combining both basic and applied research, and aimed at discovering solutions to problems or creating new goods and knowledge. R&D may result in ownership of intellectual property such as patents. In accounting for R&D costs, the development costs may be carried forward but the basic and applied research costs are often written-off as incurred." Research and development is crucial part of growth that Can Go is looking for. It is imperative for their online gaming solutions. As a part of their research and development strategy Can Go needs to fund this department for the potential profit that it will generate. This will be a sound investment on their part and revenue and sales will be higher than if they decide to by-pass this essential step in their growth process. The funding for any research and development department can be expensive. The costs may reach upwards of hundreds of thousands of dollars. This takes into account salaries for the man hours, facility usage, waste of resources due to research failures, cost of materials, cost of conducting trials and test for effectiveness for the overall products. "A research and development company aims to identify new products or items for sale or use. These companies conduct investigations of various products and materials in order to devise an item for sale or production that serves a needed purpose or that can be marketed to a given audience. Research and development companies are especially common in the drug and technology industries, but they are also common in numerous other industries and may be responsible for the creation and development of other products as well." This will show a better response from their consumer base. However, prior to the development of the official marketing plan for Can Go’s online gaming products, the company should take a look into establishing a team which does extensive research on the present gaming markets to gather information such as who their target markets should be, cost for the products development and implementation, financial statements, annual budgets and budget forecasting should also be a part of their initial research process. When market research has been generally accomplished, it is time for Can Go to move forward and test the product on an assorted demographic mainly focusing on a variety of age groups and geographical regions. This all must be done before the product development of websites and games along with product marketing can be undergone. The marketability of the product and the profitability of the company is the bottom line. As long as those are met then the product may be deemed as successful. This is the analysis that Dynamic Consultants have come up with for the research and development part of Can go. This will help Can Go’s board of directors figure out exactly how they want to allocate their spending to see what will pay more dividends for this particular venture that they are looking to expand with.
Strategic management is the process that answers these questions; "what we are" and "what we intend to be and how we are going to get there." The answers are limited with their resources available now and in the future. Strategic management is basically responding to changes in the external environment and assigning limited resources of the company to have a better competitive position in the industry. Another change included in strategic management is the internal responses to these new projects. External and internal responses differ on business industry, environment volatility, competition, and the organizational culture.
Strategic management process starts with review and defines the organizational mission. This is where mission statements kick in. What do they want to become in terms of its product or service? The mission statement gives focus and answer to this question. Everyone needs the mission statement as a guideline for decision making. It can also be used for evaluating organization performance. Mission statements usually do not change unless the nature of the business changes or shifts. Without it, there is a bigger chance of false directions by stakeholders. Here are some examples of mission statements:
Provide fast delivery services.
Provide up-to-date flight status services.
Increase shareholder value.
After the mission statements are settled, objectives get in the picture. Objectives are the translation of the mission statements but specific, concrete, and measurable. It pinpoints the direction for the managers to know where the organization should go. It gives the destination and date specifically. Each departments and positions should have their own objectives. Objectives should be supporting the more important objectives; known as cascading of objectives.
One example of a specific, measurable, assignable, realistic, time related objective is achieving a 40 percent increase in sales through a research and development strategy. Three departments should accept this objective. They are marketing, production, and R&D departments.
Once objective is given, formulating strategy is next. The first step in formulating strategy is determining and evaluating alternatives. It has to have a realistic evaluation of the past and current position to determine the alternatives. It usually answers the questions "who are the customers" and "what are their needs as they see them." Once alternatives are determined, internal and external environments have to be evaluated. Internal environments can be technology, product quality, management talent, low debt, and dealer networks. External environments are opportunities and threats for change in technology, industry structure, and competition. This assessment is called SWOT analysis (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats).
Once strategy is laid down, implementation is the next step. Implementation does not have the formulation just as strategy. It has a wide range of conceptual framework. Even this is the case; implementation has several key areas that can be followed. First is allocation of resources. Resources are funds, people, management talents, technological skills, and equipment. Second key area is the formal and informal organization that balances and supports strategy and projects. Third is the planning and control systems must be in place. Communication plan has to be decided before moving on. One should know who to talk to in certain situations. Sequential process has to be laid down with the budget plan. Fourth is motivating project contributors. Everything and everyone have to be included to achieve project success. Lastly, it is the prioritizing projects. You can’t just decide to pull out IT from Security Project without knowing its priority level.
The issue we all saw in Week 5 video is the performance review as ineffective. This may be a relief to Nick but Warren missed the whole purpose of the employee performance evaluation. It should start by discussing any problems. In the previous weeks, we saw a lot of issues with Nick. Warren did not even mention one. I recommend they do this employee performance evaluation and this time address each problem. Each problem has to be mentioned individually and discussed thoroughly before going to the next one. After giving the observance for that employee that is a problem, reinforce performance standards. This is where you remind them of the company policy. If they are not familiar with it, then this will be the time to educate them. Once that is done, develop a plan for improvement. It is best to have the employee in review to come up with this idea by asking them. You can remove the tension by suggesting some until he agrees to at least one plan. Offer help in this plan like assuring him that you are available during business hours to discuss anything. Avoid using any negative comment but instead provide a positive feedback to help emphasize on the potential of the employee.
Any project needs proper management, but a project of the magnitude and scope of the online gaming venture requires a trained and experienced project manager. While there are many talented people at CanGo, there is no one with the necessary background and education to substitute for a bona fide project manager. If the budget for this project cannot accommodate hiring of a project manager, as well as a couple other key personnel, it will almost certainly fail. The project manager is responsible for, and skilled at, coordinating resources, including personnel, scheduling, and budgets.
One of the things the project manager will handle is the allocation of personnel resources. There has been much discussion of how to reallocate existing CanGo personnel to the online gaming project. However, as a number of senior managers have pointed out in meetings and discussions, these people are still needed in their existing positions. They can only be stretched so far, and then you will lose them. A good project manager has the skills and experience to juggle these people, their tasks, and their time in such a way that everything gets done with the maximum efficiency. The project manager is adept at putting together cross-functional teams, allocating tasks to people in a manageable fashion, tracking the work to make sure it all gets done on time or else making the proper adjustments, etc. Having a good project manager will ensure that you have the right people, enough people, and that people don’t get burned out by being overtasked.
We highly recommend the use of a decision priority matrix to determine the parameters of this project before it is undertaken. There are three components that will have to be managed: Cost, Quality, and Time. You will have to determine which of these parameters is fixed and cannot change. While this is often budget, in the software business, time is usually the immovable constraint. Once you set and advertise a release date, there will be much publicity, anticipation, and vendor expectation. Slipping on a release date is never acceptable, even if it means that you have to spend more money than you planned to get the title published. You will then need to decide which component is most important to maximize. Since your company’s success in the gaming industry is contingent upon the receptions of this first release, its quality is paramount. This leaves cost as the remaining non-fixed component that you will have to "accept" wherever it ends up. You may ultimately decide to prioritize your matrix differently, but this is our recommendation. The project manager knows how to manage the project in such a way that these goals are met. Of course, the ideal will be to meet all three, and to come in on time, on budget, and with the desired quality, but the reality is that this seldom happens. If and when it doesn’t and something has to give, making these decisions ahead of time will allow you to proceed without any surprises.
Without an experienced project manager, it will be a struggle to meet all these goals. Since you are considering starting many different projects and branching out into other things, having a permanent project manager on staff to manage these different endeavors will be key to their success.
One other area that needs to be addressed is decision making and meeting agendas. Currently when you have meetings, you begin without a formal agenda, and simply plan to discuss something. After the discussion, nothing gets decided or formally resolved. This is a big waste of time and resources. When you have meetings, you need to have a written agenda of exactly what needs to be discussed and what is the expected result. Even if you can’t come to a decision, and further research is required, the outcome of the meeting should be another scheduled meeting, with a date and time on the calendar, not just a "let’s come back to this." It is important that a meeting actually accomplish something, as they are costly in terms of time and commitment. Attendees will tend to be much better prepared, have a better attitude about attending, and participate more if they know there will be a decided outcome that will move the project forward.
CanGo needs to do the following in order to continue the growth they have experienced thus far.
Create a Mission Statement.
Create a Vision Statement.
Develop short and long term goals aligned with the mission and vision of the company.
Develop a SWOT analysis utilizing a SWOT or TOWS matrix.
Develop research & development department with proper funding & staffing.
CanGo needs to embrace all areas of strategic management in order to create a competitive advantage against the competition.
CanGo needs to hire a qualified project manager & utilize his expertise when venturing new projects.
CanGo needs to evaluate their employees & make sure their employees are in line with the company values, vision, & mission.