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Submitted by: GAURAV POTE
Roll No.: 11726
Room: 301

D A T E : J U L Y 3 0 , 2 0 1 5

Presented here is a very relevant case study of an emerging solar energy company
called Ujeli Pvt Ltd, which is in distress from the perils of ineffective project
management practices despite the favourable framework of project management.

To summarise the case, Ujeli, a manufacturer of solar water heater panels and
solar electricity panels, has a 5-person senior management team, qualified and competent,
and is pursuing a lucrative market opportunity of marketing solar heaters and panels
given the prolonged energy crisis, supplemented by ineffective solutions and growing
energy demand. Between the two product lines, the sales of solar heaters has increased
where as the sales of solar panels has not yet picked up due to technical gaps and weak
product design.
The corporate strategy of Ujeli is growth by expansion in domestic market. The
business strategy is to remain the low cost producer and use the local materials as much
as possible. As such, Ujeli has not chased any aggressive growth targets but has
remained under a modest annual growth rate of 10 percent. The slow growth is due to and
offsets the high cost of production, and to remain a low cost manufacturer, the need for
more R&D projects has been perceived.
Ujeli follows project-based management system where by projects are formed and
run using the matrix structure. That said, Ujeli takes on two types of projects first, the
revenue projects that are essentially the customised orders for their consumers, and
second, the change projects that are actually R&D projects that benefit the organisation.
These projects are prioritised by the management based on their perceived importance to
the company.
However, there are several underlying problems in Ujeli project-based management
practice, which are
Lack of technical support and management coordination
Lack of resources, their efficient allocation and funding in time
Over-commitment of the employees on projects than on departmental functions
Customer service is perceived below standard, and that has annoyed customers
Delayed payment to suppliers has infuriated them.
Moreover, the employees have been demanding to receive bonus payments out of the
company profit. But, the senior management has been pressing on reinvesting the profits
on new projects in the near future. So, there is a trade-off here if bonus is paid to the

employees, the projects will lose their budget, but for the projects to get funded, the
employee bonus has to be postponed.
These issues have made the employees highly doubtful about the whole project
management practices of the organisation. The project management in Ujeli lacks project
performance evaluation practices, and reliable solutions to the exiting problems. The
employees are unaware of the impact of projects on the organisations. The external
stakeholders, too, cannot clearly perceive the impact and quality of the projects. While
the leadership creates high expectations in the media, the customers have raised their
expectations from Ujeli, while the management-employee conflict, project-department
conflict, and project management conflicts continue to persist and weaken the

The analysis of the case has been presented as the answers to the questions provided
along with the case, which are as follows:
a. Understand the company and its current corporate and business strategies.
The case involves an alternative energy company named Ujeli Pvt Ltd, which is a
manufacturer of low cost solar water heaters and solar electricity panels. It seeks to
explore the business opportunity of solar heaters and panels presented by the
prolonged energy crisis in the market, and further supplemented by the growing
population and unavailability of a reliable long-term solution. This organisation has
implemented project-based management but has not been able to be more effective
about it and, thus, faces a tremendous level of problems and conflicts.
Having said that, the current corporate strategy of Ujeli is to seek growth by
expansion in domestic market, where as its current business strategy is to remain
the low cost producer and use the local materials as much as possible.
b. Why are projects important to the organisations like Ujeli? What type of projects are
they undertaking?
The projects are important to the organiastions like Ujeli for several reasons like:
Projects help in building a strong project team with a culture of cooperation and
teamwork. With each successful project those teams will gain more experience
and competency to run more complex projects.
Projects put equal focus on the process and product/outcome, there by assuring
quality standards across the production process and after the delivery of the

When unique projects, like product development or process reengineering, market

research, R&D projects, etc. yield positive results, they might add to the
competitive advantage of the organisation, and provide them a unique positioning
with valuable goodwill in the market.
Projects are based on predefined constrains and objectives, which means there is a
comprehensive planning, allocation, and control of valuable resources funds,
overheads and logistics, time and quality.
Effective project management practices always align the project goals with
strategic organisational goals. So, for an organisation, the projects, as strategic
capabilities, can be effective means to deliver organisational strategies and

As such, Ujeli undertakes two types of projects. They are:

Revenue Projects: These are the customised orders for their solar heaters and
panels that they receive from their clients. These projects generate direct revenue
for Ujeli.
Change Projects: There are the internal R&D projects that are run by Ujeli. It
hopes to benefit from these projects in terms of new technology, design and cost
innovation, etc.
c. Explain the current problems and issues faced by Ujeli as given in the case. Do you
think projects have contributed to Ujeli?
The current problems and issues faced by Ujeli as given in the case are as follows:
Lack of technical support and management coordination
Lack of resources, their efficient allocation and funding in time
Over-commitment of the employees on projects than on departmental functions
Customer service is perceived below standard, and that has annoyed customers
Delayed payment to suppliers has infuriated them.
Employee-Management conflict due to reinvestment of profits on projects rather
than distributing bonus. Those projects are perceived to be less effective in terms
of their impact on the organisation,
Employee-employee conflict between the employees working in projects and
those in departments.
Lack of management of project perception and expectations of the stakeholders
and leadership creating higher expectations in the public.
Lack of efficient project evaluation and control mechanism that would otherwise
have ensured the quality and applicability of the project process and outcomes.
As such, the projects seem to have only partially contributed to Ujeli. The projectbased management in Ujeli could be made more effective by not only generating the

revenue for the company but also adding innovative technology and improved
products to the competitive strengths. However, they just seem to be generating the
profits at modest levels for now.
d. How are projects formulated and planned in Ujeli?? Do you agree with the project
formulation practices and project management practices in Ujeli?
The projects are formulated and planned in Ujeli by the top management team. They
select the projects on the basis of need and the company strategy. The details of these
projects are then announced to the employees. At any given time, multiple projects
could be operational in Ujeli.
The project formulation practices and project management practices in Ujeli cannot
be agreed with because only the senior management seems to be involved in this
process and practices. They keep formulating and implementing projects based on
their perception of needs but they clearly overlook the needs and grievances of
supervisors and employees, along with the underlying problems in their management
e. How are the projects organised in Ujeli? What type of structure they have been
following? Do you agree with the structure they are following?
In Ujeli, the projects are organised on the basis of the need and the company strategy.
This is done by the senior management of the organisation.
In Ujeli, they have been following the matrix structure to form and run the projects.
Ujeli has to cater many customers in urban and rural locations, and has to run revenue
and change projects simultaneously. Since, the matrix structure works best in
situations where the firm needs to process more information simultaneously or if it
has to serve many customers distributed in several markets similar to Ujeli I
would agree with the use of matrix structure. However, as given in the case, they can
increase their productivity more.
f. Critically evaluate the Project Plan and the ranking made by the management or next
year (2010).
Among the four projects Project NPD and Project CD seem to be relevant. But their
order should be reversed with Project CD with higher ranking than Project NPD.
Projects FS and Trade Fair seem to be less relevant and too burdensome for the
financial capacity of the company. So, they have to be removed from this years
annual project plan.

Here, Projects CD has highest priority because when it is completed, the company
will have a new product design with ratified defects. They can sell this new design in
the existing market. Project NPD might be relevant too because the outcome of this
project may open doors to new rural markets for Ujeli. However, Project Trade Fair is
completely irrelevant as it has the highest expenditure with almost no beneficial yield.
Since Ujelid corporate and business strategy focus on local market and low cost
production, there is no necessity to explore the foreign market. It is not as if the
company had necessary production capacity, technology and competitive advantage
for exporting to developed market like Germany. Then, there is Project FS which is
only a feasibility study that has the second highest expenditure without any
immediate benefit for the company in terms of technological innovation and profits.
g. Which projects do you think are best suited for Ujeli and why?
As discussed in (f), the best projects for Ujeli are Projects CD and Project NPD. For
Ujeli, the outcome of Project CD will add to the technological expertise of the
company and improve the existing product, solar heaters, by removing the defects and
improving the design. This will increase the durability and utility of their products
there by increasing their sales and goodwill of the brand. In the meantime, Project
NPD will result in new innovation in the form of new solar heating product for the
rural market. This will, in turn, increase the market size and profitability of the
h. Do you think the bonus should be distributed rather than investment in projects? How
will you handle this problem?
The bonus should definitely be distributed to the employees but investment in the
new projects is also equally necessary for Ujeli. However, there is a solution to this
The bonus should be distributed because the employees have been demanding for it
for quite some time and the profitability of the company is adequate to meet this
obligation. Human resource management compensation and rewards are part of
team management and organisational continuity, which are in turn part of project
management when organisations depend on projects. Happy employees are more
productive and motivated, and are more likely to stay with the company and accept
company goals as theirs. Hence, the need to distribute bonus is urgent and beneficial
to the company in the long run.
Now to meet this obligation, we can source funds from the project budgets of the two
projects that we have decided to postpone for this year. If these two projects
Project Trade Fair is worth Rs 10,00,000 and Project FS is worth Rs 3,00,000 are

postponed for a t least this year, a total of Rs 13,00,000 can be saved. This extra fund
can be used to pay the employee bonus.

i. What suggestions will you give to management and project managers for future
The answers to (i) and the recommendations to the management and project managers
for future improvement are as follows:
Re-prioritise the projects and postpone projects that can be done without for now
like the Porjects Trade Fair and FS. This will save the expenses, which can be
used for other purposes like new revenue and change projects, and bonus
Use participative approach while formulating projects. Include the feedbacks and
inputs from the project managers along with the project team and use senior
management expertise to make the project outcomes more strategic and beneficial
for all the stakeholders.
Address employee grievances more effectively and in time so as to avoid
employee turnover and lack of morale.
Address customer complains and improve the quality control mechanisms to
improve the brand perception and manage customer expectation in better way.
Make the payments to suppliers in time so as to retain them and improve the
relationship with them, which goes a long way into strengthening the supplychain of the company in the future.
Allocate the resources more efficiently and provide proper management
coordination and technical support to the project teams.
Hire more employees if the current number is inadequate for the departmental
tasks or if the volume of projects is likely to increase.
Formulate more R&D projects to improve the design and innovate new products
while cutting down costs and increasing the product utility and design.