Global Green Books Publishing produces customized eBooks

Global Green Books Publishing produces customized eBooks for a local college. It has just received an order for a new eBook on Strategic Human Resource Management in a Global Context from a senior professor. This distinguished faculty member is dissatisfied with the current textbooks and wants a customized eBook that is versatile enough to use with her on-campus courses, graduate seminars, and executive education courses. This is the most complex eBook that Global Green Books has undertaken. As this project is so important to the professor and will be used in so many different settings, the professor ensured the eBook request was placed early to allow enough time for production. She selected a broad set of the most relevant papers to include in the eBook, written an introduction and discussion questions for each eBook section. This meant the project required an extensive set of permissions to acquire before production could happen, and significant desktop publishing efforts to include the materials written by the professor.  She was sure Global Green Books was provided more than enough time to have her eBook ready before the first class.

A verification process was required to validate the content and manage the vast number of permissions.  Several communications with the professor were needed to support the process.  This caused the project to be delayed. Due to the number of permissions, and the delays, the Global Green Books Supervisor accelerated the activities for obtaining permissions in attempts to receive permissions before assembling and collating the eBook in production.

As the Publisher\’s Liaison worked through the extensive list of permissions, the Colleges Customer Service Representative started receiving more inputs from the college, including frequent requests from the professor.  As new papers were released, she was making additions to the eBook. As time went on, with a continuous review of the eBook, she identified changes to improve her planned eBook.

The business manager at the college bookstore was becoming increasingly concerned about the projected cost of the eBook. Due to the number of article/paper reprints and chapters, the book\’s estimated price is increasing. The college expected their eBooks to be delivered at a low cost, to cover the bookstore overhead (sales and distribution and marketing costs), the bookstore\’s markup, and the cost of the eBook from Global Green Books. Global Green Books costs include permissions costs, desktop publishing, and production costs.

The Customer Service Representative communicated these issues to several people within Global Green Books, including the account manager for the college, the supervisor managing production, and the publisher’s liaison responsible for obtaining permissions. The account manager was concerned about upsetting this critical customer. The supervisor didn\’t know how these various requests could be accommodated or impacted his project. The Publisher\’s Liaison was worried about both added costs for new permissions and the time needed. This, in addition to expenses already expended for permissions no longer required (caused by replaced articles).

The professor\’s requests just kept coming at an increasing rate as it got closer to the eBook deadline.

The supervisor complied the estimated costs for each change requested by the professor:

  • $500 for each new permission and $500 for each permission already acquired that can no longer be used
  • Two hours of Publishers Liaison effort for each new permission requested at a rate of $55
  • One hour of supervisor time for planning each change at a rate of $70
  • A sales commission of 20%

This continuing series of requests for changes from the professor is quickly adding to the upwardly spiralling cost of this project. The supervisor feels that something must be done about this scope creep – continually changing scope.

Read the case carefully and take notes!  Create a word document with a title page and answer the following questions related to the case study. Ensure the questions are answered clearly and completely to maximize your points. Please do not submit the case with your assignments and do not convert to PDF:

 

  1. Who are the stakeholders of this project? (10 marks)
  2. Make 5 recommendations to improve the way Global Green Books is managing the change requests. (15 marks)
  3. Based on your recommendations, identify who should be involved. (10 marks)
  4. How should Global Green Books manage the conflicting requirements from their customer, the bookstore manager who needs an inexpensive ebook and the professor who wants the best and most up-to-date collection of readings possible for her courses? (15 marks)

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