Bread and butter projects are projects which are relatively easy to accomplish and which produce modest commercial returns(Gray & Larson , 2011). These are projects whose revenue are sizable and can provide additional revenues to the organization to maintain the “Block-Busters” projects and assuring that the “Touch-and-Go” projects do not become history. They usually take the form of evolutionary productimprovements to current products and services.
Summary of the Selected Article
The selected article is from the HarvardBusiness Review website titled “The New Science of Building Great Teams” by Pentland (2012). The article looks at improved methods that MIT’s Human Dynamics Laboratory has come up with to address the relatively broad disparity in performance of employees in innovation teams, customer facing teams in banks, backroom operations teams and call center teams among others.
The suggested improvement focused on developing a concept they refer to as the “Click” factor. They emphasized on employing an approach of encouraging group communication and fostering team engagement outside formal meetings.Drawing on this insight they advised their clients, call center managers, to revise their employees’ coffee break schedule so that every employee on aparticular team went on a break at the same time. Although this strategy would be against the standard efficiency practices, the various managers decided to take this step, viewing it as an improvement of their previous call center procedures. This step resulted in an increase in the employee’s productivity by 20 percent.
Discussion of How the Article Relates to the Concept of Bread and Butter Projects
Bread and butter projects involve the taking on of an easy to realize project that is of low risk and will result in modest commercial value. In this case, the call center managers resolved to execute the new project that involved employing a bettered approach of overseeing the operations of the call centers, an activity which was an easy task and a low risk step to take and the results were a modest improvement on the productivity of the employees.
Article 1: Walmart’s Evolution From Big Box Giant To E-Commerce Innovator. Retrieved June 22, 2014, from Fast Company:
This article looks at how the largest retail chain, Walmart, having lagged online decided to implement a project that would digitalize the company by improving on their digital e-commerce structure to allow the company to compete on equal footing with Amazon and Best Buy, its top competitors on e-commerce. Walmart revenues dwarf its competitor’s revenues, but they embarked on this project to test whether they can break into the digital e-commerce segment. This undertaking is a safe project for Walmart for the reason that it involves an improvement of their already established digital platform and does not involve the investment of a lot of capital. The project eventually is successful and their e-commerce market share is slowly increasing.
Article 2:Brief History of the Internet. Retrieved June 22, 2014, from Internet Society
This article traces the development and upgrade of internet TCP networks, highlighting the improvements that internet TCP went through. It traces how the company DARPA decided to experiment and implement a project through BBN and Stanford that resulted to the evolution and maturity of internet communication concepts and technology such as ARPANET, Packet Radio and Packet Satellite. This was a safe and low risk project for the company and it only aimed at improving internet communication systems.
Article 3: New Recalls by Johnson & Johnson Raise Concern About Quality Control Improvements. Retrieved June 22, 2014, from New York Times
This article looks at how the consumer giant Johnson and Johnson, made a decision to undertake a strategy that would involve the outsourcing of products and ingredients from outside companies. This was a safe project to undertake as it only required the companies adherence to Johnson and Johnson quality standards. This would have the overall effect of minimizing the company’s costs by having other companies produce their products and ingredients, and result to modest revenue increases.
Gray, C. F., & Larson , E. W. (2011). Project Management: The Managerial Process. McGraw Hill.
Leiner, B. M., Cerf, V. G., Clark, D. D., Kahn, R. E., Wolff, S., Roberts, L. G., & Lynch, D. C. (n.d.). Brief History of the Internet. Retrieved June 22, 2014, from Internet Society: http://www.internetsociety.org/internet/what-internet/history-internet/brief-history-internet
Manjoo, F. (2012, November 26). Walmart’s Evolution From Big Box Giant To E-Commerce Innovator. Retrieved June 22, 2014, from Fast Company: http://www.fastcompany.com/3002948/walmarts-evolution-big-box-giant-e-commerce-innovator
Pentland , A. (2012, April). The New Science of Building Great Teams. Retrieved June 23, 2014, from Harvard Business Review: http://hbr.org/2012/04/the-new-science-of-building-great-teams
Thomas, K. (2013, September 12). New Recalls by Johnson & Johnson Raise Concern About Quality Control Improvements. Retrieved June 22, 2014, from New York Times: http://www.nytimes.com/2013/09/13/business/new-recalls-by-johnson-johnson-raise-concern-about-quality-control-improvements.html?_r=0
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