With no clear standard operating procedures or defined chain of command, the project met with near-continual impasses and delays. For example, two critical company leaders with important decision-making capabilities were on vacation, while the manufacturing drawings for equipment awaited approval. Delays resulted in spiraling costs (Wideman, 1993, Design). However, the outsourcing of the project, it could be argued, was already a disaster waiting to happen. Expert Industrial Developers (EID) was offered an hourly rate, which essentially gave it a reward to work longer, given that this would generate more revenue for EID (versus a flat fee) (Wideman, 1993, Design). EIDs employment of Schemers and Plotters (S&P) for the building and industrial design work further dissipated the control over the project and increased the risk of delays (Wideman, 1993, Design).
Woody 2000 would not yield the expected profits for the company, unless it was met in a timely fashion. It was designed to take advantage of a particular set of macroeconomic circumstances (Wideman, 1993, Opportunity). EID should have been paid a flat fee, and completing various phases of the company at specified times should have been stipulated in its contract.
There should have been a clear chain of command in overseeing the project, including the aspects of the project that were outsourced. A clear delegation of authority should govern every component of the project. Additionally, a more limited project scope would have been advisable to see if expanding the production facilities was really going to yield a profit. Solely installing the production train or finishing shop, before taking on such a costly endeavor might have been a better idea. Research as to why these projects were necessary, and what potential profit they could yield should have been clear, as opposed to a vague sense that this was an alternative to moving Woodys site of production (Wideman, 1993, Opportunity). Finally, if the project was undertaken, the benefits to the workers should have been clearly communicated, to keep morale high under difficult circumstances. Improving the company offices but not ensuring that valued and trained workers share in the expected benefits sends the wrong message to the skilled, capable labor force on which Woody built its reputation.
Wideman, Max. (1993). Woody 2000. Expert Project Management.