Attention: CanGo Management Team
Subject: JSHLD Week Six Analysis
JSHLD continues its observation of the CanGo organization operations and have recommended solutions to improve CanGo’s performance both as a smooth performing operation as well as a profitable organization. We believe that CanGo is a solid operation with a solid future for its employees and investors.
#1 Lack of Research
CanGo is looking forward to expanding their organization by looking into new business ventures including online gaming. While new ventures are a great opportunity for the company to remain competitive, CanGo must do the research regarding online gaming and all other ventures prior to jumping in head first. Research will assist the company in analyzing the online gaming market and allow them to make an informed decision regarding entering into the business of online gaming. Researching the market give CanGo a clear picture of the challenges they might face and also help them make some tough decisions.
JSHLD Consulting Inc. recommends that CanGo conduct research on how to price their service, how to promote their service and what market audience to target (Suttle, 2011). CanGo should identify the customers and then they should study their competitors (Suttle, 2011). Research can assist CanGo with the knowledge of what the competitors are charging for the same product. Once this research is done, CanGo can use the information to market their product for a better price.
#2 Lack of Decision Making
CanGo appears to be scattered in regards to decision making. The company has seems to have a vision, however they are not clear on how to execute their vision CanGo must take the time to make firm and solid decision that will be beneficial to the organization. When it comes to decision making they should define the issue, discuss it with the owners and managers, choose the best result, discuss alternatives, costs and analyze the result (Tanck, 2008). Once this is done the management staff can make a decision that will be in the best interest of the company.
JSHLD Consulting Inc. recommends that CanGo develops a decision making process which will help them understand that they must finish one venture before starting a new venture. The decision to completely staff the company should come before deciding on what the new venture will be. Below is a chart to help with the decision making process (Tanck, 2008).
#3 Lack of Prioritizing
A lack of planning and pursuing poor business ventures is a recipe for disaster and in many cases organizational failure. An effective and comprehensive competitive analysis aids leaders in making critical decisions such as weighing the positives and negatives in regards entering new markets and measuring their opportunities of achieving success.
CanGo has made great strides and experienced a large amount of success in their short four year history; but in essence they have reached a point in which innovation and creativity is required to expand into new markets. For an E-Commerce book, music, and video game company such as CanGo to overcome is establishing themselves in a market that is dominated. Warren suggests that they need to prioritize what they are doing by looking at the pros and cons of what the employees are working on. Maria suggest it may be a balancing act, warren tells Maria that if they are trying to get something for nothing the quality will dip unless they pay massive overtime.
Recommendation: Following a Prioritizing Method
CanGo can improve the outcome of their project wither it be by cost or other factors by making an analysis of duty priorities. This could be done by weighted tasks; impact on business, risk or level of investment required. “In business management, optimum utilization of resources, particularly the human resource, is achieved when there is no free time available to a resource, or it is the minimum possible” (Bansal, 2010). It is imperative for Cango to have a clear understanding of time management to develop a plan to prioritize. As a manager Warren cannot many different tasks as they “pop up” due to some being more current to situations. Tasks must be related to objectives CanGo wants to achieve; therefore prioritizing becomes necessary.
For example in Cango; Liz is planning to go into new markets in the meeting the group discusses if to go into a new market and pros and cons wit will have on the company. However CanGo is not in financial position to fund all of the suggested ventures. Using the proper prioritizing method will allow them to see which option will take longer to complete, whether the technical and organizational risk are so high that it may not be worth the effort.
Stephen Covey describes a high-level prioritization scheme. In this scheme, tasks are categorized by four quadrants:
- QI – Important and Urgent
- QII – Important but Not Urgent
- QIII – Not Important but Urgent
- QIV – Not Important and Not Urgent
“In this scheme Dr. Covey notes that highly effective people make time for the QII activities… doing so can reduce the time spent in other quadrants” (Keener, 2008). Although QI – QIV prioritization may not indicate which task to tackle first or the second task etc, the task doer would have to decide quadrants your tasks are in. This can be done by applying weights to the process.
Project priorities can also be based on a set of criteria. Cost-benefit or cost-performance analyses are examples of this sort of priority setting. Whatever choices yield the greatest value on the criterion measure get highest priority. It will help CanGo to consider the opinion of everyone in a brainstorming session, as well as give due weight age to various criteria and prioritize pressing problems over others. This helps determine which problems need to be solved first in order to meet project / organizational objectives.
#4 Lack of Financial Backing
Finance is critical for starting, maintaining and growing small and medium businesses. It is vital that both start ups and existing businesses have access to the full range of debt and equity financing options. The Small Business Administration is an excellent resource of information and financing support for a small business. www.sba.gov has a small business planner and information about SBA Loans (government backed) and grants. Another resource is Venture Capital, in which potential investors offer $1,000,000 or more. Equity financing, on the other hand, may be a better option for CanGo, assuming that you have the wonderful, can’t miss business that you think it is. Equity financing is basically selling a piece of the business to an investor.
In CanGo’s case, what they need to consider is some sort of combination–find a partner who is in good standing and can contribute some of the needed equity and maybe CanGo can get an SBA loan, secured by the necessary collateral, maybe using the partner’s backing. A fair exchange may be that CanGo put up the equity and the partner putting up the capital. This may work, but really depends on the lender’s guidelines. A way to get the financial boost your business needs to grow, expand or survive harsh economic times, crowd funding is a new practice often carried out over the Internet (No Author, 2011).
#5 Lack of Staffing
One of the main concerns that CanGo is dealing with is its staffing. CanGo is currently under staffed and needs to get help for all the projects and ventures that it wants to pursue. The problems concerns that CanGo if faced with is getting talented people without having to pay high salaries and benefits, The reason for this concern is that CanGo does not have the money at this time.
The current solution on the table at CanGo is to give more work to the CanGo team that is already loaded down with work. This is not an effective solution in that overworked associates tend to become more stressful and moody. Some signs of an overwork associate are:
ü The quality of their work slips below normal quality and expectations
ü They are more likely to feel anger towards their employers
ü They are more likely to resent other workers.
Some of the symptoms of an overworked associate are:
ü Job dissatisfaction
ü Low morale
ü Short temper
ü Sleep disturbances
One of the solutions to helping your current associates from being overworked while at the same time saving money is to hire interns; it is becoming common place for companies to use interns to help current associates in times of need. This is a positive solution for several reasons:
ü Offers employers a cost-effective program for recruiting highly qualified and motivated students to meet the company needs
ü Provides well-prepared short-term employees to assist current employees, so they have opportunity to pursue higher projects
ü Meets peak or seasonal needs without a long-term commitment
ü Offers a low-cost method of training potential future employees
ü Creates a recruiting edge on campus
ü Helps to identify potential future hires, a pipeline for candidates
ü Acts as a recruiting activity with Low Risk
ü Provides an opportunity for supervisory experience for developing employees
ü A way to gain short term talent
ü Provide the organization with fresh ideas
ü Fulfill a civic and professional responsibility by providing students with real work experience
ü Low-cost, high quality labor
ü Build Relationships with Local Colleges
ü Increase Diversity
By using an intern service through the local college is a powerful community building tool as well as preparing our youth to become future leaders by providing real life on the job training that can’t be taught in a classroom. It has been JSHLD experience that interns bring a refreshing and recharging level of excitement to the office environment which historically has improved office moral and efficiency.
#6 Lack of Appraisal Process
The last issue we observed with the CanGo organization is its employee evaluation process. The current process is not organized. The employee appraisal listed issues and not accomplishments for the employee. The evaluation included errors and attendance only, which is not an effective appraisal process. During an evaluation management was responsible for reviewing a poor performer, who clearly needed to be advised of the issues that were listed on the review. The manager conducting the review seemed unsettled with conveying the negative feedback. Although the numbers showed a poor performer the reviewer did not explain to the employee the errors that were important and could potentially become a problem for the organization.
Rating an employee solely on errors and attendance is not an organized process. The employee being evaluated seemed very nervous regarding the outcome of the evaluation. Employees may run into some surprises on the annual evaluation; however they should not be nervous and unaware of what to expect on the appraisal. The worker should have some idea how they coming along in their position if the employee and manager are communicating on a consistent basis.
Our recommendation is for CanGo to re-vamp their current appraisal process to one that is clear, concise, one that is fair for each employee and one that suits the needs of the organization. Appraisals should list room for improvement, accomplishments as well as goals for the employee. In addition the employee should have some idea prior to their review how they are doing. Effective manager always inform their employees throughout the year how they are doing so that the appraisal is not a surprise. With that said our organization should consider the following when revising the appraisal for the company:
ü Company should establish a filing system which lists accomplishments and room for improvement.
ü CanGo should give feedback each quarter
ü Disciplinary action should be documented
ü Management by Objectives which should be done quarterly to review goals
ü Follow action which is conducted after the review for feedback from the employee and discuss goals.
The points listed above will give assist CanGo in creating an appraisal process that will is tailored to the needs of their organization and one that will make the appraisal process a positive experience for each employee.
JSHLD consulting has carefully reviewed CanGo and noticed six areas of improvement for the organization. We have listed the issues and also made recommendations to the company regarding the issue. The six recommendations were regarding the lack of research, decision making, prioritizing, financial backing, staff and appraisal process.
JSHLD Consulting Inc. highly recommends that CanGo review the issues identified and move forward with the recommendations we have suggested. JSHLD stands firm on the recommendations and are confident with some changes in the CanGo structure the company will be well on their way to having a competitive edge in the Gaming industry.
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