INF 336 Ashford University Project Procurement Management Discussion


Respond to #1: 

Risk Management

Risk management is a critical aspect of project management. The supply chain decisions that are made have risk involved like any other project decision. Comment on two examples of risks that can occur in the supply chain that can affect a project. What can you do as a project manager to reduce or eliminate the risks that you defined? Provide professional examples, if at all possible, from a project you have managed or of which you have been a team member.

Risk management is always a top priority while planning a project. The two main things that affect my projects are with weather; especially in the winter time up here in Michigan. The other is just ordering the materials through our company?s designated supply chain team.

I was the PM for a project last year where we had to replace some old jersey barriers at one of our stations. Jersey barriers are used to protect ankle high electrical boxes that when it snows gets covered up and the plow might hit them. Our company was going to an orange barrier to mitigate other risks, instead of the typical concrete barrier. Well long story short with how the risk management worked for me is that I could have just ordered them from a local vendor, but our supply chain in house has ?approved? vendors we need to order from. Well, there was a three month wait on the barriers from a company in Kansas. I was able to speed the process up, because in my company safety is everything. The process paperwork wise was sped up but the day they were supposed to get there we had a huge snow storm which prevented the barriers from getting there an extra 3 days. I learned right then to always plan and go over every possible risk with the project team, maybe make it easier for future work!

Respond to #2: 

Risk is a part of every and any project.  It is important to consider potential risks of a project so in the event of a risk like weather or supply constraints happen there is a plan to mitigate the effects of the risk.  It isn’t possible to keep all risks from happening or that all alternative plans work without issue but it is still important to know what the risks might be mitigate negative affects. 

I manage projects that involve opening new retail stores and work with different channels to ensure the store opens as planned and on budget.  One major part of opening a store is making sure we have the exterior sign with our company name installed.  We have a few preferred sign vendors that we can depend on that are familiar with our specifications.  There was one time when the sign vendor received the wrong materials from their supplier, and then found out that the supplier did not have the needed material in stock.  In order to meet our deadline, the sign vendor reached out to other suppliers.  They were able to find the necessary materials however there was a price difference. 

Another example I have is also related to signs, the location we were planning to open did not allow our preferred sign type to be installed as we had planned.  The sign vendor was unable to get the sign permitted through the city because of concerns of the roof type.  This was not an issue we had run into before.  We had to get a structural engineer to survey the property and then provide their approval or requirements to get the roof updated to allow our sign to go up.    This information had to be presented to the city.  We did not meet the deadline for this sign, our temporary fix until we got a sign up was to have a very large banner installed where the sign would go and made sure our logo was on the monument sign for the plaza so there would be some street visibility.

Even though we work work seasoned and reliable sign vendors that are familiar with our specifications and with their industry requirements, issues or risks still happen

Respond to #3:

Organizational Structure

First let?s define what the terms mean when it comes too centralized and decentralized organizational structures.

What does Centralized organizational structure mean? To be short and sweet, it can be described as a hierarchy decision?making structure, where all of the decisions and procedures are handles and made at the top management level. Policies and rules are made and put in place to make sure the rest of the company listens and follows the direction of the head management team.

A decentralized organization is the exact opposite of the centralized organization. A decentralized organization is one where decisions are made by mid-level or lower-level managers instead of being made by the head honchos at the very top of the executive ladder.

I work for a major pipeline transmission company. I believe we are more a centralized organization. Decisions are made by the top leadership and we have to follow them. I do believe that mid-level and lower-level personnel give feedback to the top branch that helps shape these new policies, but at the end of the day we are definitely a centralized organization.

1.What are the benefits and weaknesses of each structure?

I think the benefits of this structure it makes the people?s lives a little less hectic, some people just need to be told what to do and they excel at that, there is nothing wrong with that the military operates the same way. A weakness? Maybe a weakness could be that since the mid to lower level managers are continually just taking orders and not helping decide new policies it doesn?t create better leaders?

1.What are your proposed recommendations to change the organization structures to guarantee business success and maximize profit for the company?

I like working under the centralized organizational structure personally, I show up to work and the policies that I have to follow in order to do my job very well are already written. Only thing I would mention is that the top execs can keep pushing out policies but just ask your ground level employees for feedback on them

Respond to #4:

Identify if your organization is centralized or decentralized and evaluate benefits and weaknesses of the structure. 

To provide a brief definition of a Centralized organizational structure and Decentralized. The Centralized organizational structure the administrative decisions are made from a central authority of an organization and follow a chain of command. With the Decentralized organizational structure, the decision making authority is delegated throughout the various organizational components.

In establishing a business, I would have a business plan that spans a region such as the east coast as its primary coverage area. I would choose the Centralized organizational structure because it will limit the decision making process to a centralized theme which is the business’s mission statement and organizational objective.As stated in Johnson, Leenders & Flynn (2015),” Centralized is where the authority and responsibility for most supply related functions are assigned to a central organization ` “.(Pg.50,Par.2) One of 

the strength of this form of organization is its ability to utilize a chain of command based decision making process that limits confusion. A disadvantage or weakness, would be in the ?red tape? created by the various layers of management(within a Centralized structure) that often delay the effectiveness of decisions as they relate to the organization.

Would you change from centralized or decentralized to meet the needs of your projects? Why or why not?

When I need to address individual project needs, I would change from centralized to decentralized if my company grew to a scale where centralized structure was no longer an effective way to manage the organization. If the company was successful enough to branch into multiple regions, changing to a decentralized structure would then be a suitable measure to address the added locations as well as to distribute the command capabilities of the organization.


Johnson, P. F., Leenders, M. R., & Flynn, A. E. (2015). Purchasing and supply management (15th ed.). Retrieved from

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