Menlo Innovations: A New Approach to Workplace & Project Management

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Case Details:

Case Code : OPER069
Case Length : 16 Pages
Period : 2001-2008
Organization : Menlo Innovations
Pub Date : 2008
Teaching Note :Not Available
Countries : USA
Industry : Computers, IT and ITeS

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This case study was compiled from published sources, and is intended to be used as a basis for class discussion. It is not intended to illustrate either effective or ineffective handling of a management situation. Nor is it a primary information source.

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A New Kind of Workplace Contd...

The establishment of Menlo dated back to 2001 when the information technology (IT) industry was coping with the turbulent times as a result of the dotcom bubble burst.

Richard Sheridan (Sheridan), co-founder, president, and CEO, Menlo, established the company in association with his colleagues based on Thomas Alva Edison's6 (Edison) Invention Factory of 1876.

Sheridan used extreme programming7 for software project management and also adopted an open, flexible, and collaborative working environment inspired by Edison's Invention Factory.

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Analysts felt that this approach was path-breaking since it not only enabled Menlo to provide innovative solutions to its clients but also gave new meaning to workplace flexibility and work-life balance.

Sheridan placed a lot of importance on project management.

"At Menlo Innovations, we've learned that project management is critical to successful innovation.

It's a concept that stands in stark contrast to the commonly held misconception that project management stifles innovation.

Innovative projects naturally thrive on an "out of the box" attitude that easily can lead to a "no deliverables" result if formal professional project management is absent,"8 he said...

 Excerpts >>

6] Thomas Alva Edison (Edison), the inventor of the incandescent light bulb, set up the Invention Factory in 1876 at Menlo Park, New Jersey, USA. Edison employed around 200 people with specialized skills in his invention factory who worked in an open environment. Edison believed in teamwork and considered hard work to be a prerequisite for invention.
7] Extreme programming is one of the new approaches to project management that requires two employees to work collaboratively during the creation and implementation of a software project.
8] Richard B Sheridan, "Innovate Inside the Box," PM Network, May 2004.

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