Project management has a profound impact on the performance of the company. In this regard the role of the project manager is also very important. As part of the process, L’Oreal which happens to the largest cosmetics company, a study is undertaken, on the mode of operations of the company, the mechanisms of project as well as risk management and in the fag end an analysis along with suitable recommendations are framed.
L’Oreal is one of the reputed cosmetics companies in the world.(Peng, 2008, P 91). The company has its presence in over 66 countries with over 66,000 employees worldwide. The company had a turnover of close to 19.5 billion Euros in the year 2010. Incidentally the headquarters of the company is located in Paris. Loreal has subdivided its brands as professional, mass or luxury as per the target market and even has brands like Galderma and Body Shop, along with an active presence in other areas like finance, insurance, chemicals and more.(Begoun,2004, 559) Innovations as well as patents have been a part. In addition to this diversity are parts of the ethics in a big way. Some of the major features associated with the brand are as follows
- The company stresses on consistent quality all over the world. There is no sort of compromise in this regard
- The safety standards and procedures for the workers are of the highest order in the company.
- Take a clue of the environmental hazards most of the production process of the company confirm to the environmental regulations.
- Most of the products of the company are made locally
- Considering the future scenario, the buzzword of the company is innovation and it produces products considering the tomorrow.
For the successful implementation of various processes in the company the role of the project manager is very important. So in this case the role and responsibilities tend to be the most important as he is responsible for protection of the brand. There should be a rigorous economic as well as technical feasibility along with rolling out an effective marketing plan. The key job responsibilities are illustrated below
- esponsible for range of products on a global scale. This should ensure a suitable global strategy as well as the product development process
- Product range renewals as well as innovations in terms of products are increased of the highest order
Once these protocols are in place which will be the evolution of a new product concept one needs to give an exact explanation
- The research and development to develop a new product formula
- The packing design should be of unique propositions along with press releases as well as the internal communications staff
- Advertising in the form of billboards, internet as well as TV, press releases
One of the examples will drive this point on a clearer level. The company has developed application software based on Congnas software planning that uses sales data from the company’s core SAP database. This enables more sales forecasts than the previous systems which are based on excel sheets. This is uploaded into the cosmetics SAP BW datawarehouse. This is transferred into Congnas. After successful implementation the company tends to target small retailers. The key to this was the project implementation.
Risk management allows exchange of data as well as the proficiency across several countries as well as traits. The core aim is to produce ideas andencourageefficient practice for those people who are engaged in managing risks. Quiet often the assignments of risk can be crudely made and the consequences of getting things could be serious, loss of reputation, loss of life as well as lost opportunities as well. In this regard one needs to examine the present as well as the potential problems in this regard.
On the other hand risk management could be termed as the ability of the company to take risks. In this regard a company safety policy statement could be considered as an effective mechanism for the implementation of the risk management programme. On all counts the policy should state the responsibility as well as the accountability expectations as well. It should cleary state that the management is committed to the program and it should give both the employer as well as the employee sufficient scope of interaction as well. A sufficient policy statement also highlights the perception of the goal of the company from the point of view of the public (Wilson, Cutcheon, Buchanan, University of Albeta, Faculty of Engineering, Industrial Safety and Loss Management Programme, P 6)
In fact risk management is such a philosophy which most of the companies will agree that they have it covered but the reality is far from true. The true definition of the term risk management is not all that clear or to sum it up in one word it could be termed as internal control. Project managers have been entrusted with the difficult responsibility of understanding the efforts on the basis of risks which could be high, medium as well as low. (Moeller, P10) In this regard the help of the credit rating agencies tend to be very important as well. In this regard well organised standards are very important for an organisation. This allows the organisation to understand the fact that they are compiling with all the regulatory regulations.
Now from the analysing the company L’Oreal it has an effective risk management mechanism in place. This could be a branding strategy of sorts. On a global scale the company has been able to achieve success is undoubtfully the branding strategy in place. In the case of brand portfolios, they position themselves and create an identity for themselves. l. ( Kapferer, P 406) On all counts innovations happens to be cornerstone of any brand since they have a direct impact with the differciation of the brand. So for this precise reason one needs adequate developed platforms in place.
How one single project is implemented effects the outcomes of many activities. This is the precise reason on why several case studies have fared so badly. In this regard the selection of a project manager with all the requisite skills is very important. (Carmichael, 2005) Other than some technical help which he may require at some point he should be able to drive the project on his own. In short he happens to be the key person in the performance of the project.
In the organisation structure the deadlines get missed as there is no proactive behaviour. The strategic behaviour of the project manager is incited before the project begins. Instead of focussing on individual strategies the focus should be on group strategies.(Tinnirello ,2002, P 45.
Some of the effective mechanisms is this regard would be as a by product of project tracking the project manager as well as his team can build a project matrix database. This sort of database can be quiet invaluable for the other project managers to learn as well as micro and macro estimation in the future projects. Some of the information in this regard could be as follows
- Description – This would be in the general case
- Project development strategy- In this regard if research methods are used , on all counts they should contribute towards productivity
- Task lists- Should specify the manner in which the tasks are performed
- Risk assessment- A list of factors which effect productivity and quality are drawn in details
- Estimates- Both the efforts as well as duration are measured
- Actual- the efforts as well as duration are compared
The final step in the project management model is reporting of the project status of the project level at the project level to the project manager. In this regard the selection and intimation of the projects are the proclaimed factors.( Thomsett, 2002)
When a company follows a proactive style of marketing, its vision, mission and goalsare shared not just by the stakeholders, but it trickles down and gets shared by the employees as well. This leads to an enviroenment of innovation, renovation and motivation. ( Thoenig Waldman, 2006, P 74)
A company which has adopted a proactive approach has in its centre a management centric approach. The values implied are of political as well as social nature. L’Oreal brings about a scientific rigor, even a medical outlook to its skin as well as hair care products.
From all the analysis till now, it is quite clear that the project manager cannot control a project during the execution of the project. They need to be controlling minor tradeoffs with the major ones. The availability of specific options is also a particular function of project management. One of the greatest advantages of a project manager in the domain of project team organisation is stability in adverse conditions. In this regard interpersonal relationshave huge role as well with the various alternatives available and the probability of success since team performance is the call of the hour. The project manager can manage tradeoffs, encourage the team members as well as reassure the project sponsor for the satisfactory performance of the project.( Kernzer, 2009, Pg 16)On all counts the mentality is to make good things happen in a peaceful as well as proactive way. The philosophy which is applied is forget the past, join hands with reality and fit the current plans into reality and not the other way around. A traditional approach would be to start out with a plan and specify the requirements.( Decarlo,2010. P 26)
Taking a clue where an effective project management in place in the case of companies like L’Oreal some recommendations can clearly be specified in details.
- The project leader must foster an environment where all the members are actively involved in the project on the basis of mutual trust. Contrast to this when a member feels left out he does not put his whole hearted efforts and tends to leak out various information.
- There should be feeling of trust, respect among the team members. This will lead to effective decision making both on the individual as well as the group level
- Recognise barriers- The project manager must clearly understand the various barriers to team development and build a work environmental which is conducive to the motivational needs of the team members
- Define clear project objectives- The goals as well as the objectives of the project must be clearly communicated to all the personnel involved in the project
- Assure management commitment- The project manager must involve and update the management to refill their efforts as well as commitment towards the project
- Build a favourable image- brand visibility and potential for high rewards are very important for an organisation( Dinsmore, Brewin,2010)
- Managing and leading- Proper staffing mechanisms should be in place before a project is phased out. The selection of key personnel is the role of the project manager along with the functional manager.
An insight into the operations at L’Oreal will present an interesting picture of sorts. The company has always focused on a new product development strategy and the way they have managed is really a testimony to their success story. Constant research as well as development efforts have also been channelised into this array as well. A comprehensive research and development plan along with technological innovations have contributed to product like Fructis.
The company normally follows a three tier strategy in case of manufacturing commercial viable products which are depicted below
- Advanced research
- Applied research along with product development
- Each stage of the process having unique functions to foster innovations of the highest order.
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