Zappos project

 

Zappos was established in the year 1999, after founder Nick Swinmurn had a difficult shopping experience in San Francisco. Nick’s search for a pair of shoes lasted for several hours and ended in disappointment as he could not find one store that offered what he wanted. After an unsuccessful shopping experience, Nick tried looking for the shoes he wanted online and was once again unsuccessful. Nick realized after his venture that there was no major online retailer who specialized in shoes. With this in mind, Nick decided to leave his job in pursuit of starting his own online shoe retailer. This idea came into reality as he established, Zappos.com. The original vision of the company was: “One day, [have] 30% of all retail transactions in the United States be online. People will buy from the company with the best service and the best selection. Zappos.com will be that online store.” (Zappos)

Starting November 2014, Zappos announced they are going to switch from a traditional organizational structure to part Holacracy structure in April 2015. “The term holacracy, which originated in 2007, comes from the Greek word “holon”, and writes Quartz’s Aimee Groth, “means a whole that’s part of a greater whole.” In other words, each part of the group is autonomous, but also reliant on the larger group” (Inc.). Holacracy is designed to incorporate a more team oriented culture and to be more like a city instead of a top down culture. “A holacracy eschews titles and instead builds a chain of command based on the work that needs to be done” (Mashable). The transition to holacracy at Zappos is primarily to focus on building a company that comprises “leaderless” people that will take accountability for their work. Holacracy is supposed to instill people with the culture of adopting leadership into each role.

At the beginning, Zappos plans on having different sub committees to self-manage their team to get projects done. Since the leaders at Zappos understand the limits to a traditional structure, they are attracted to new ideas as they increase their potential of switching to a holacracy structure. “CEOs who sign on to Holacracy agree to cede some level of power. The advantage is that they get to view their company through an entirely different lens. But it’s an adjustment for both leaders and employees. Zappos, which has 1,500 employees, will be the largest company to date to implement holacracy. We want Zappos to function more like a city and less like a top-down bureaucratic organization.” (Quartz)

Another company that uses the holacracy system is called Medium. Medium was created by founder Jason Stirman. For two years, Stirman managed a team at Twitter and he was always very uneasy about it. He constantly felt tension as a leader because he didn’t know how to be the team’s boss as well as their peer. After much frustration, he resigned from his position at Twitter and formed Medium using the holacracy system. He called this system “hands down, by far the best way I know or have ever seen to structure and run a company,” Stirman says.

Here are some of the key principles that Medium embraces: no people managers, maximum autonomy, organic expansion, tension resolution, making everything explicit, distributing decision-making power, discouraging consensus seeking, and eliminating all extraneous factors.  Employees may need the ability to work from home, or simply slip on their headphones to tune everyone else out. Medium’s goal is to identify issues people are facing, write them down, and resolve them. Employees are energized by opportunities to socialize with their coworkers — happy hours, softball games, etc. By making everything explicit, Medium will have workers that are happier to be there which will promote a healthy work environment. By distributing decision-making power, employees can be motivated by a possible title change, or having their name attached to more important projects.

Many times when conducting a project, the purpose changes from building the most innovative product to making a product the most popular and/or sustainable. This ended up frustrating Stirman, the founder of Medium. “I ended up feeling like my job was very disconnected from the higher-level purpose, and I know others on my team felt the same way — it was hard to connect the dots,” Stirman says. What Medium did to ensure this didn’t happen was instead of focusing on employees, they focused on roles. Each circle has what they call a ‘Lead Link’ who determines what roles the group needs and how they get assigned. In fact, one person can hold various roles if they are capable to do so. By doing this, employees can build multipurpose roles for themselves that express to their entire set of skills— not just a single ability.

One might be skeptical of what is missing from the system of holacracy that Medium is using. The Medium team has already discovered what this missing item is: praise and feedback. In a standard top-down management structure, there is always a manager who has someone below them to give helpful feedback to and guide the employee in the right direction. It is extremely important in order to maintain a healthy work environment for employees to be told that they are doing a good job or are on the right track. Employees need to be rewarded for hard work. Medium needed to address the issue if the company wanted to continue to be efficient.

The Medium team came up with a solution to this issue by forming roles called ‘Domain Leads,’ which are filled by experienced members of various circles like design and engineering. Their duty is to be more of a mentor than to hold a true managerial position. In addition to maintaining a mentor role, however, they also have a large role in the hiring and firing. They work closely with the ‘Lead Links’ who fill the roles in those circles to evaluate performance. Stirman validates when he states, ““We created a few roles responsible for giving people regular feedback,” he explained. “This is where we’re starting to skirt the lines of having people managers, because it certainly sounds managerial, but these roles aren’t responsible for people’s work. It’s more of a mentor relationship than a managerial relationship.”

When someone creates a new system it is often met with criticism. There are several people who embrace the new innovated system, but there are also those who think it will fail. A holacracy is the latest system that has experts weighing in on the matter. A holacracy is met with doubt because it aims to organize a company around the work that needs to be done, instead of around the people who do it. This has many experts listing the pros and cons of this system and whether it will last. So just what are the advantages and disadvantages to this holacracy?

The disadvantages consist of lack of self-regulation, keeping top talent, and equal pay. Holacracy strips job titles and puts everyone in “teams.” In these “teams” everyone is held accountable and everyone is equal. So if one “team” is underachieving or having discrepancies within the “team”, then the “team” is in charge of governing themselves. This is where a “team” can be biased. A “team” will not self-regulate themselves as they would another. They would either be too harsh on themselves or would not impose any discipline at all. Once a “team is formed then job titles are abounded and everyone is on an equal playing field. Now if you’re a manager who has worked hard to climb the corporate ladder, it is difficult to buy in on this idea. A lot of top talent who want compensation for their hard work will go someplace else to get recognition. When everyone is equal then there is no room for individual growth; only room for team work. A “team” is equal, once all titles have been stripped. In every “team” it’s about no one person who is in charge. So it begs to ask “Does everyone get paid the same?” If that said, are “teams” in charge of choosing their own benefits and pay? Does the entire company just get paid the same? This causes confusion when choosing a holacracy, because not everyone can be equals. A company still needs someone to be in charge of who gets paid what. A company stills needs a CEO who is in charge of the entire company. Companies still need a HR representative that chooses what everyone’s benefits will be. So a company can’t deviate too far from a traditional bureaucracy. There always needs to be some kind of hierocracy with any company.

An advantage of holacracy is being able to give everyone a voice, which often creates more ideas and more opportunities for everyone to speak up. Also, holacracy brings clarity to the purpose of work, the responsibilities for getting stuff done, and allows for quicker corrections for imbalanced workloads.

Having a holacracy organizational structure would be ideal in a smaller company rather than a large corporation. The problem with the concept of holacracy is that to have a self-directed work team, there must be some kind of team leader. “The concept of self-directed work teams (alternatively known as “self-management” and “autonomous work teams”) was popular in the 1980s, according to Jan Klein, a senior lecturer at the MIT Sloan School of Management who spent years researching the topic. Back then; it was mainly applied to factory work” (Business Insider). Having autonomy in a normal environment is beneficial because it allows the cooperation of different ideas from different people, but in order to have a functioning company one needs to have some kind of leader that has the final say. There can’t be too many Indians and no chief. The larger the company is, the harder it can fail. Jan Klein discusses the difficulty of self-directed teams, “People just didn’t self-regulate as well as the companies had hoped. Teams weren’t good at disciplining themselves either. We’re human beings; we just don’t do that. We’re social beings, and social issues get in the way of logic sometimes” (Business Insider). Companies like Zappos will always try to stray away from a traditional bureaucracy, but in the end a top down organizational structure will find its way back in.

 

Sources

http://www.acemyhw.com

http://mashable.com/2014/08/04/my-company-adopted-a-holacracy/

http://about.zappos.com/zappos-story/in-the-beginning-let-there-be-shoes

http://www.businessinsider.com/zappos-holacracy-unlikely-to-work-2014-1

http://www.hrreview.co.uk/hr-news/strategy-news/holacracy-pros-and-cons-of-a-radical-challenge-to-the-traditional-organisation/50404

PROJECT MANAGEMENT Case

Ebook writer

—­
– – — ­
·         Each activity will represent a work package.

·         Resources will be considered in terms of teams-not individuals. There are seven teams available (initially): one team for documentation, assembly/test, and purchas­ing, plus two design teams and two development teams.

·         A 7-day workweek is used for the whole year; no holidays or vacation days taken.

·         An 8-hour workday, or 56-hour workweek, is used. Overtime is not allowed.

·         The project should start January 1 of the next year.

·         There are no overhead costs included in this project. Use only the costs of resources stated in costs per unit of usage time.

 

The purpose of this case is to have you apply project management principles and to understand linkages. Moving from this project application to real projects is primarily one of increasing detail. The simpli­fying assumptions are given below (make sure they are included in “default,” “prefer­ences,” and/or “options” sections of the software used):
 

 

PROJECT MANAGEMENT Case—Individual Assignment

 

 

TechNo Company’s Computer System Project- Part I:

 

 

The TechNo Company has decided to enter the market of computer system design. They believe that sales have suffered due to lack of a hardware and software system that will be  competitive in the marketplace.

 

Dr. Butch Simon has become the CEO of the company in the last year and wants to undertake some major changes. He has instituted a 7-day work week with 8- hour days required from each department.  No overtime is given for this project. Upon taking the leadership of the company, Dr. Simon assured the Board of Directors that he could bring a competitive computer system (High User Delta System, HUDS) to market within a year that will stop the company’s lagging sales in the global marketplace. Although not an expert himself in computer systems, he enlisted the assistance of Mark Guess to lead the project and to  explain to him and to the Board the basics of developing such a system.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

After the Board presentation and approval of the project, Dr. Simon asked Butch for a         breakdown of the project, its resources, and the costs of the resources. Butch provided the tables given at the end of this section.

 

 

Questions

Does this information (WBS) allow you to define any milestones of the project?

Why and what are they? Or why not?

 

Remember: Save your file for future exercises!

Assignment –Part I

1.  Develop the WBS outline using the software available to you. Insert a Column titled WBS to show coding in your Gantt input view (see Appendix I for deliverables & sub-deliverables, tasks, etc.)

2.  Copy and paste into a .doc file your Input Gantt view.

3.  Copy & paste your complete Gantt chart showing the MSP lines and/or tasks as well.

TechNo Company’s Computer System Project – Part II:

Using your file from Part 1, add all the information to complete this exer­cise.

 

_._–­
 
 
 
Remember: Save your file for future exercises!
Part A:

1. Develop an AON project network for the project (see Appendix I). Copy and paste into the doc file. Include activity times on the node, and also revise the node information to include ES, LS, free slack, and duration.

 

2. Identify the critical path by activity names not codes or line numbers.

 

3. Provide ES, LS, EF, LF, and slack times in table form.

 

4. Define (sensible) milestones and give arguments for your choice.

 

5. How sensitive is this network?

 

6. What are the advantages of displaying the network versus a Gantt chart?

 

 

Part B:

 

Question: Dr. Simon has promised the Board  a one year deliverable of the project.   Is this possible?

 

 

 

 

 

 

TechNo Company’s Computer System Project Part III:

 

Part A

1. Using your files from Part 2, input resources and their costs if you have not already done so. Copy & paste your Gantt input view into your file.

 

2. Which if any of the resources are overallocated? Show your Resource Overallocations with a Resource Sheet view.

 

3. Try to resolve the over-allocation problems without extending the duration of the

project. (Hint: level within slack.) What happens?

 

Question: What is the impact of leveling within slack on the sensitivity of the network?

 

4. Assume you cannot add additional resources (resource constrained). How long will

the project take after resolving all overallocation problems?

Note: No splitting of activities is allowed. No partial allocation allowed, all at 100%

 

Questions:

How does this duration compare with the outcome of Part 2?

What are the managerial implications of the problems you observe?

What options would generally be available to the manager at this stage?

 

Include a Gantt input view, your chart and schedule table after leveling within slack. State your critical path and duration.

Include a Gantt input view, your chart and schedule table after leveling outside of slack. State your critical path and duration.

 

Part B

When you show the resource-constrained network  and the probability results from Part 2 to Dr. Simon, he is visi­bly shaken. After some explanation and negotiation the Board makes  the following compro­mise:

· The project must be completed no later than June 13, second year (530 days).

· You may assign two additional development teams.

· If this does not suffice, you may hire other development teams from the outside. Hire

as few external teams as possible because they cost $50 more per hour than your in­side development people.

 

Internal Development

1. Add as many development units (teams) as needed to stay within the 530 days. If you need more than the two units, examine all possibilities. Select the cheapest possibilities! Change as few activities as possible. It is recommended you keep work packages which require cooperation of several organizational units inside your company. You decide how best to do this.

Hint: Undo leveling prior to adding new resources.

 

2. Once you have obtained a schedule that meets the time and resource constraints:

a. Show your input Gantt view

b. Show your final project network.

c. Identify the critical path and the new finish time.

d. Report the rolled-up costs for the project by deliverable as well as by resource.

Explain the new output and the changes to your project owner in narrative form.

Question: How did these changes affect the sensitivity of the network? How confident

are you that you will complete the project on time? Explain.

Save your file and printouts-you will need them for the next exercise to develop a baseline!

 

t,~

.’

~

—­
.” …….­

 

-..-­

 

 

 

 

 

 

APPENDIX 5

 

TechNo Company’s Computer System Project Part VI

 

 

TechNo Company’s Computer System Project –

  Relationships & Durations

 

R&D (2 teams) R&D (2 teams)

R&D

R&D

$100 70 60 70

40

 

—­
Activity Description I Resource I Duration I Preceding
        (days) activity
           
1 Structural  decisions   Design 25    
2 Hardware R & D   Development, design 50   1
3 User Interface  specifications   Design 20   1
4 Utilities usages   Development, design 15   1
5 Hardware design   Design, development 70   2
6 Disk drivers   Assembly, development 100   3
7 Memory  management   Development 90   3
8 Operating system documentation   Development, documentation 25   3
9 Routine utilities   Development 60   4
10 Complex utilities   Development 80   4
11 Utilities documentation   Documentation, design 20   4
12 Hardware documentation   Documentation, design 30   5
13 Completion phase 1   Assembly, development 50   6,7,8,9,10,11,12
14 Prototypes   Assembly, development 80   13
15 Serial drivers   Development 130   13
16 System hard/software test   Assembly 25   14,15
17 Order circuit boards   Purchasing 5   16
18 Network interface   Development 90   16
19 Shell Developed   Development 60   16
20 Project documentation   Documentation, development 50   16
21 Assemble preproduction   Assembly, development 30   17FS, lag 50 days
22 Integrated testing   Assembly, development 60   18,19,20,21
…:
TechNo Company’s Computer System Project : Deliverables and Resources
Name
Group
Cost ($/hr)
Hardware
Hardware R & D

Hardware design

Hardware documentation

Prototypes

Order circuit boards

Assemble preproduction models

User Interface specifications

Drivers

Disk drivers

Serial drivers

Memory management

Operating system documentation Network interface

Utilities usages

Routine utilities

Complex utilities

Utilities documentation

Shell Developed

Operating system
Utilities
System integration
Structural  decisions

Completion Phase 1

System hard/software test

Project documentation

Integrated Testing

 

R&D

Design Development Documentation Assembly/test

Purchasing

 

Echocardiography of the Coronary sinus in Adults

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Student Name

University Name

 

 

 

 

 

 

Professor’s Name

Course Name

Date

 

 

Echocardiography of the Coronary sinus in Adults

This article is a peer referred and from the Clinical Cardiology Journal. The article is authored by Ivan A. Cruz, Bashar Shala, and Cameila Johns. The article examines how sonography is used in studying coronary sinus (CS) in adults. There are many issues of importance that the authors bring out in the article. The article starts with a brief introduction of coronary sinus (CS) by pointing out the interested of other sub-specialties such as electrophysiologists, anesthesiologists, and generally researchers in CS. However, the authors note that echocardiographers have taken little interest in studying the CS particularly in adult patients. Further, the authors point out that echocardiographic literature in reference to CS has only been with respect to rare congenital cardiovascular abnormalities. These abnormalities are primarily characterized with anomalous drainage of blood into the CS. Such drainage takes place directly or through a persistent left superior vena cava. It is further noted that the drainage result in five condition of which all a dilated CS is experienced. Even more, it is noted that the abnormalities described above are commonly encountered by pediatric cardiologists. This explains why adult echocardiography has rare literature on the condition.

The article also gives an overview on the location of the CS in the heart. Its anatomy and functions are explained in reference to other parts of the heart. After this explanation, the article moves on to discuss the main subject, that is, the dilation of the CS. The article discusses congestive heart failure and show how it causes dilation of the CS. Next, echocardiography of the CS is closely examined. First, the echocardiography of the normal CS is examined. This acts as a reference point for readers to check the differences between a dilated and normal CS. The article gives various phases of images of a normal CS. This is important because in echocardiography, various planes have to be used in utilizing various echocardiographic window opportunities. There are four images presented of a normal CS.

The article also examines, with the help of echocardiographic images of the CS, the dilation of the CS under various abnormalities. Significantly, much interest in dedicated to the abnormalities that involve the left superior vena cava. The article is concluded by examining the Doppler of coronary sinus flow. It is noted that the Doppler recording of CS blood flow presented a challenge for many years and therefore not carried out. The challenge in taking this recording is due to inability to distinguish between the flow in a CS and the inferior caval inflow particularly because both flow in the same direction and more so that the two vessels are close together. The authors of the article were able to overcome this challenge by “measuring the velocity-time integral of CS flow and estimating the CS cross-section in apical 4-chamber view” (153). In this manner, the authors were able to detect “a large increase in CS flow after coronary bypass surgery in 15 patients with coronary artery disease” (153). The authors did great work in their research integrating echocardiographic images with explanation to expand literature available on echocardiography of the CS.

I feel this article has a huge impact on sonography. First, it adds to the significant of sonography as a non-invasive technique of studying internal organs. Further, it focuses on a specific part of the heart and this makes it quite interesting a reading. In fact, it depicts sonography as a technique that enables exactness and precision. This article therefore is of importance to sonography.

I chose this article for this discussion because it focuses on a condition that is given less attention in adult echocardiography. I saw the endeavors of the authors as noble because they tried to study a sub-field that is rarely touched. Further, the authors based undertake a primary research on a number of patients. Therefore, their research is not purely literature based but rather is anchored on a research that was undertaken. Such researches are important in advancing echocardiographic studies. It is through such researches that the field of echocardiography will populate its literature and be better known.

This article presents many lessons. One, observation is important as well as understanding the anatomy of the internal structures. This makes it possible to interpret echocardiographic images well. The article also encourages researchers to delve into studying conditions which may seem to be rare and probably challenging. This makes it possible to present a wholesome healthcare to all patients including those presenting rare conditions. It also, as mentioned above, raises the profile of echocardiography. The research in the article makes my practice more comprehensive. I am now aware on one more way of undertaking a diagnosis if I am presented with the abnormalities discussed in the article. I have no suggestion on how further the article may be improved – I feel it is well presented and discussed.

 

Reference

Cruz, I. A., Shala, M. B., & Johns, C. (2000). Echocardiography of the Coronary Sinus in Adults. Clin. Cardiol. 23: 149-154.