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Mini-Case Study: The Back to School Crunch at Global Green Books


Global Green Books Publishing is a successful printing and publishing company. Just two years

old, it has taken on a great new customer, a local college that needs customized eBooks.

To deal with this new customer, they have hired several new part time employees to help them

with their publishing business, some of them students at the college with flexible hours.

As the new school year drew closer, the orders started coming in. They had been told how

many different printing jobs the college would need, but they weren’t all arriving at once, and

orders were quite unpredictable in arriving from the professors at the college. Some professors

needed rush orders for their classes. When Global Green Books finally got the orders, some of

these jobs were much larger than they had thought they would be.

Printing these orders turned out to be very challenging. Not all of the new student hires were

trained for all of the printing and binding equipment used to print and assemble to books. Some

of them often made mistakes, some workers called off from work due to other demands, and

there were often not enough people available to get all the work done before deadlines.

Quality was a serious issue, as they had to provide quality texts—if there were quality problems

with the printed product, they would have to spend time and money to fixing defects in their


Deliveries started slipping past their requested dates and times. Global Green Books was

unable to deliver eBooks to their customers on schedule.

The local university was unhappy as their eBook products reached campus late for use by

professors and student. In some cases, the books were a week or two late.

Samantha had been hired as a project management assistant. In her new role as a project

manager, one of the processes she was trying to institute was risk management. She started

looking at what was happening in the business, talking about it with the owners and employees,

and heard about the college’s unhappiness. As she did this, she started identifying risks and

potential risks. As she went along, she started doing more proactive risk analysis and risk

response planning, and as she did surprises and issues were reduced. By talking with

stakeholders and addressing their concerns, communication with stakeholders was also


Comment on the following aspects of the case study:

a) What risks can you identify? Why are they a risk to Global Green Books Publishing?

b) What kind of impacts does each of your identified risks have? Can you categorize these

as low impact, medium impact, or high impact?

c) How probable are each of your identified risks? You can think about something simple

like categorizing these as not very likely, likely, and highly likely to occur.

d) What would you advise Global Green Books are their three most critical risks?

e) What would you suggest that they do about these three risks? Are there specific actions

to deal with these risks? Have you identified a contingency plan to carry out if the risk


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