Cardosa's quest for certification

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Date: June 2011
Publisher: HEC Montreal
Document Type: Article
Length: 3,685 words
Lexile Measure: 1190L

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Susan Thomson walked into her office on the fifth floor anticipating a full day ahead. She revelled in her 'busy-ness'; she was working on a number of global projects that required a lot of virtual teleconferences and some travel. Little did she suspect that in her inbox, there was an email waiting about Jade certification and the additional push necessary to achieve it. She was responsible for making sure her team achieved this certification, but she found it to be a hard sell given that she could not see its benefits herself.

Susan's Background

Susan was working in Cardosa IT (henceforth referred to as Cardosa for the sake of simplicity), the IT division of a large multinational. She had joined the company a few years earlier on a graduate traineeship (which she had completed successfully) and was now working as the liaison person between the IT Project Division and IT Support Division.

In the past, when a project was completed by the Project Division (PD), it was handed over to the Support Division (SD). Historically, this had caused many issues, as SD tended to find numerous bugs in both the technical software and business process integration of the software application. So a new IT Liaison Division (LD) was created and Susan applied for a role in that division while on maternity leave with her first child. When she came back to work, she was offered a role in the Liaison Division, which she enthusiastically accepted! It seemed like a very interesting position (see Appendix for a simplified organizational diagram).

Susan's team in the LD was called the Liaison Team (LT) and dealt with transitions and liaisons between support and projects. There were other teams in the Liaison Division working on other project- and support-related issues, but Susan's team (LT) focused exclusively on the liaison/transition work.

Susan was not sure whether she wanted to go into project management or line management. She was certain, though, that she did not want to do 'technical' software development. This Liaison role seemed like a great way to build her expertise in both line and project management. She could then decide whether she wanted to go into line management or become a project manager.

It was a fun job, but there seemed to be a lot more paper pushing and admin work than she had expected. She had to chase people to ensure that the project team was working well with the Support Division and keeping it 'in the loop.' On the other hand, the Support Division tended to take things very 'easy' at the beginning of a project and would start coming up with issues towards the end when the budget had run out and deadlines were looming. As the liaison person, Susan had the (sometimes) unsavory role of ensuring that all parties worked together amicably to achieve goals.

The part she hated the most was the lack of communication between all stakeholders and how it seemed to be her job to ensure that...

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Gale Document Number: GALE|A330006140