High-Performance Project Team Dynamics within Microsoft South Africa
Author: Noorodien, Mohammed Yazeed
Supervisor: Professor Erik Schmikl
Date: March 2007
Faced with ever-growing competition in the software industry, one of the strategic objectives of executive management at Microsoft is to develop sustainable customer relationships. Everyday businesses face the ongoing challenge of ensuring that a wide variety of software from many different software vendors works together. Customers connect with vendors’ ecosystems, access data from mainframes, connect applications written in different programming languages and try to log on to a multitude of systems. In all of these scenarios, bringing heterogeneous technologies together while reducing costs is a challenge.
Over the years, the software industry has tried many approaches to come to grips with the heterogeneity of software. However, the solution that has proven consistently effective is “interoperability”. That means letting different kinds of applications and systems do what they do best, while agreeing on a common “contract” for how disparate systems can communicate to exchange data with one another.
Strategic analysis and decision support capability: IT has developed to a point where it can be readily harnessed by business to use it effectively and profitably. A world-class IT solution is one that results in businesses’ decisions and actions combining to create competitive advantage that results in profit growth and greater market share. Although projects are successfully completed at Microsoft, the delivery cycle is slow. In addition, there are facets of Microsoft’s project delivery that are unstructured and consequently effectiveness around ‘high performance project (and process) team dynamics’ suffers. Microsoft management is of the opinion that IT today is strategically important for many businesses, but they also perceive that IT is seldom the defining factor of business. It is the people and their actions that are critical.
The research presented in this dissertation examines how high performance project team dynamics within Microsoft South Africa can be improved by utilising the correct human talents, creating synergies and innovating to improve quality. Ultimately, these activities can be shown to deliver faster and superior product creation and project delivery cycles. Currently, the lack of high performance project team dynamics within Microsoft South Africa may be attributed to weaknesses in one or more of the above areas.
The findings should give direction to initiatives that will optimise the creation of high performance project team dynamics. This should result in higher levels of customer satisfaction, trust, reputation, relationship proneness and perceived value for money and a better understanding of project and programme management within Microsoft South Africa.
It was found that through a better understanding of project and programme management within Microsoft South Africa it is possible to attain greater levels of customer satisfaction, trust, reputation, relationship proneness and perceived value for money.