BUSA 695 – Organizational Consulting Project

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Nov 2007 Materials and concepts used in this proposal have been reproduced with permission of the Author and Client.
BUSA 695 – Organizational Consulting Project
<<Client name, Client title>>
Catalyst Paper Crofton Division, Crofton BC
Dear <<Client name>>:
Re: Human Resource People Strategies – Performance Management Consulting Project for
Catalyst Paper Crofton Division
Thank you for the opportunity to explore potential consulting project ideas with you for Catalyst
Paper Crofton Division. I appreciate the time you spent with me sharing information about your
organization, current situation and plans for the future. I understand the many challenges your
organization currently faces. The recent downsizing and reorganization of your management
workforce directly affects your employees and increases the risk of morale, retention and
performance issues.
Following careful consideration of our discussions and your current situation I am pleased to
submit the attached proposal to help you address challenges with your current employee
performance management program. The proposal further explains the purpose, scope, objectives
and anticipated benefits of the services I have to offer. As a human resources professional and
MBA student, I have professional experiences and interests that align with your need to improve
the performance of your staff workforce as you work through significant organizational change.
I appreciate your review and consideration of this proposal. I would welcome another opportunity
to meet with you to further discuss the details of the services I have to offer and answer any
questions you may have.
If you accept the terms and conditions presented please indicate your acceptance by signing the
OCP proposal agreement form located on the last page of the attached proposal.
<<Learner Name>>
MBA Candidate
Nov 2007 Materials and concepts used in this proposal have been reproduced with permission of the Author and Client.
A Consulting Proposal for
Catalyst Paper Crofton Division
Human Resource People Strategies:
Evaluating the use of the Performance Management Program
Submitted to:
<<Client name>>
<<Client title>>
Mr. Michele Vincenti
Organizational Consulting Project Coordinator
Royal Roads University
Prepared by:
<<Learner name>>
Nov 2007 Materials and concepts used in this proposal have been reproduced with permission of the Author and Client.
The pulp and paper manufacturing facility located in Crofton, BC began operations fifty years ago
as part of British Columbia Forest Products Limited (BCFP). Now owned by Catalyst Paper
Corporation, Crofton Pulp and Paper operates as one of four independent manufacturing divisions
within the company’s current structure. With five manufacturing lines, Crofton produces pulp and
paper products for global customers.
Many changes have impacted the Crofton employees over the past decade including multiple
changes in company ownership and identity. Major organizational transformations involving
restructuring took place in 1996, 1998 and again in 2001. By the end of fiscal 2006, the company
employed 768 union employees and 209 non-union management staff.
The senior management team (SMT) relies heavily on the skill and talent of its workforce to
manoeuvre through constant change and industry challenges. A performance management (PM)
program exists for non-union staff employees. According to past practice the SMT communicates
expectations to managers and employees by providing a yearly timeline for PM related tasks and
deliverables such as completion of yearly performance evaluations for employees. Unsure of the
state of the actual PM practices at Crofton, Vern Phillips, the newly appointed Director of HR
requires consulting assistance to enable a well informed and strategic decision making process for
addressing Crofton’s PM in support of the future direction of the company.
Many changes have occurred within the organization over the past year:
ƒ In early 2007 a financial investment group, Third Avenue Management, purchased a large
quantity of Catalyst shares making them the company’s single largest shareholder. Declining
market prices, fiber supply challenges and a higher Canadian dollar have placed the
profitability of the business in jeopardy and company strategy has turned to cost
ƒ In August 2007, Crofton’s SMT announced and implemented a new organizational structure
involving an approximate fifteen percent downsizing of the non-union management
workforce. Some employees were terminated immediately; others were notified of their
termination with an effective date at year end. For many remaining employees, reporting
structures, home departments, job positions and responsibilities as well as future
opportunities within the company have or will change.
Nov 2007 Materials and concepts used in this proposal have been reproduced with permission of the Author and Client.
ƒ In September 2007, senior management announced changes to employee performance
contracts, a component of the performance management program, directly altering the
employee variable pay structure.
Continuous change, looming uncertainty and increasing workloads are affecting employee morale,
motivation, and retention. With a leaner management workforce any employee performance and
retention issues pose a significant threat to the business. As the SMT moves forward with plans to
reestablish Crofton Pulp and Paper as a profitable, cost effective global competitor, the HR director
is faced with the challenge of developing strategies to ensure the organization has the people
resources it needs. The current situation highlights the importance of assessing the existing PM
program to understand how it is being used and to ensure this component of the HR strategy
meets the current and future needs of the business and its employees.
Problem Definition
A preliminary SWOT analysis reveals multiple challenges facing the company:
External Factors
ƒ Strengthening Canadian dollar adversely impacting profits
ƒ Lower cost producers entering the market, specifically in China
ƒ Increasing raw material costs, specifically oil and gas
Internal Factors
ƒ Declining EBITDA
ƒ Weakening and extremely low share price; share price below book value
ƒ Declining availability of capital for reinvestment
ƒ Shrinking market in North American
ƒ Customers losing confidence in products due to disruptions in fiber supply
ƒ Customers demanding guaranteed production and sourcing alternate suppliers
ƒ Aging assets without sufficient reinvestment
ƒ Union labour contracts expire in April 2008
Human Resources:
ƒ Reduced workforce resulting in a loss of talent and manpower
ƒ Morale, motivation and retention issues
ƒ Lack of focus on human resources processes, specifically performance management and
training and development.
Nov 2007 Materials and concepts used in this proposal have been reproduced with permission of the Author and Client.
ƒ Increasing complexity of technology
ƒ Loss of advanced technical support due to restructure
The purpose of the proposed consulting project is to conduct a Performance Management
Program Evaluation that provides a narrative description of how the PM program is actually used
by employees and managers within the organization and to develop recommendations for
improvement. The project will be conducted through a research based methodology. Major project
components include: discovery based research to investigate current practices, best practices
research, gap analysis and recommendations for improvement.
As currently proposed, the project involves:
ƒ Completion of one formal document, a Performance Management Program Evaluation that
will provide the information and analysis required for the HR director and SMT to understand
the current state of the PM program in order to strategically plan for the future of PM at
ƒ Recommendations for improvement based on short and long term needs of the business,
employees and managers and a proposed implementation plan for recommendations where
applicable. (Short term refers to the immediate year following the project; long term refers to
beyond the first year).
ƒ As the project progresses, depending on findings and timing, recommendations and / or
revisions to the current PM training and communication materials may be included.
The project does not involve:
ƒ Analysis of any PM type activity related to bargaining unit employees who are currently
excluded from the PM program.
ƒ Implementing recommendations or any implementation plan.
ƒ Gap analysis in comparison to best-of-class research.
ƒ Evaluation, analysis or research related to technological PM solutions.
Nov 2007 Materials and concepts used in this proposal have been reproduced with permission of the Author and Client.
The project will be conducted according the following steps:
1. Project set up:
ƒ Develop research plan
2. Detailed SWOT analysis:
ƒ A preliminary SWOT analysis was conducted in preparation of this proposal.
ƒ Conduct a thorough SWOT analysis to identify strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and
threats impacting the business.
3. Best Practices Research
ƒ Conduct secondary research to investigate PM best practices from literature.
ƒ Research will focus on PM concepts and approach, rather than technological solutions.
4. Internal Organizational Research
ƒ Develop an interview instrument and submit an ethical review for research approval to the
Royal Roads University (RRU) Ethical Review Board.
ƒ Conduct primary research to investigate the current PM practices and needs at Crofton
through staff and management interviews.
5. Internal Data Gathering and Review
ƒ Collect and review relevant available data on PM program related activity within the
6. Analysis
ƒ Incorporating information collected in each of the previous stages, analyze gaps between
current practices and: a) senior management expectations, b) employee and manager
expectations, c) strategic goals of the business, d) performance management best practices.
7. Recommendations and Implementation Plan
ƒ Develop recommendations for improvement based on short and long term needs of the
business, employees and managers.
ƒ Develop a recommended implementation plan moving forward based.
8. Presentation of results
ƒ Review draft with client followed by presentation of final document.
Methodology Details
Develop research plan:
ƒ Determine needs and methods for gathering information relevant to existing / past
performance management program activity.
Nov 2007 Materials and concepts used in this proposal have been reproduced with permission of the Author and Client.
Primary research:
ƒ Conduct interviews with an appropriate sample of management and employee stakeholders.
Secondary research:
ƒ Literature review of performance management best practices focused on concepts and
approach not technological solutions.
Project work will begin following your acceptance of this proposal with completion of the final
deliverables on or before March 14, 2008. Your acceptance is required within 5 days of receiving
this proposal for the project work to be completed within this time frame.
MONTH (Nov to March)
1. Project Set Up
November 30, 2007
2. SWOT Analysis
November 30, 2007
3. Best Practice Research
November 30, 2007
4. Internal Organizational Research
December 21, 2007
5. Internal Data Gathering and Review
December 31, 2007
6. Analysis
January 11, 2008
8. Draft Report and Presentation
February 15, 2008
9. Final Revisions
February 29, 2008
8. Submit Final Report
(sign off by client, advisor and RRU)
March 14, 2008
The final project will be completed over a 4 month period requiring a minimum of 360 hours of
work. Final deliverables will be provided to you the client and submitted as a requirement of the
Royal Roads University MBA program and therefore offered free of consulting fees. Limited
expenses include office supplies, printing and copying costs. Royal Roads University estimates a
project value of $30,000 to the client based on scope and required hours of work.
The project will provide an analysis of Crofton’s performance management program that will assist
senior management in:
ƒ Understanding how the current PM program is used at Crofton.
ƒ Revising the current program to meet organizational needs and business objectives.
ƒ Setting a benchmark and measuring the success of improvement strategies implemented in
the future.
Nov 2007 Materials and concepts used in this proposal have been reproduced with permission of the Author and Client.
ƒ Enabling the organization to efficiently and effectively conduct PM activities.
ƒ Improving the PM skills and knowledge of managers.
ƒ Improving the value of PM to individual employees and their managers.
ƒ Improving motivation, morale, retention and performance of the staff workforce.
ƒ Identifying and planning for required employee development and succession planning to
meet the future needs of the organization.
Following completion of the project you will receive 2 printed copies and 1 electronic file of the
following documents:
1. Performance management program analysis document (approximately 75-100 pages plus
appendices) including short and long term opportunities for improvement and applicable
recommended implementation plan.
2. Power Point Presentation summarizing findings and recommendations
I completed a Bachelor of Science (B.Sc.) degree from the University of Waterloo in 2001 and 6
years working experience in the human resources field. I began my MBA in Executive
Management in April 2006 at Royal Roads University. To date I have successfully completed the
required course work for the program preparing me with skills and knowledge essential to working
with clients to investigate potential business concerns, diagnose issues that need to be addressed
and deliver effective solutions.
MBA course work specifically relevant to this project include: Project Management, Business
Research Methods, Consulting Skills, Change Management and Organizational Relations.
My consulting philosophy centres on client partnerships; working directly with clients to provide
tools, information and mutually developed solutions to ensure the client’s specific business needs
are addressed.
Contact information:

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