PAROUT’S “BONE MARROW DRIVE”
Sunaina Chugani, University of Texas at Austin
Joo Y. Jung, University of Texas-Pan American
The primary subject matter of this case is project scheduling and resource loading.
Secondary issues examined include strategy and human resource management. This case study is
appropriate for upper level undergraduate students and MBA students taking operations
management related courses. The case is designed to be used in conjunction with two to three hours
of in-class discussion followed by approximately three to four hours of outside classroom analysis
and report writing. In class discussion topics may include project scheduling based on critical path
method, resource loading using spread sheet and leadership issues.
Parout Stores, a chain of super centers known as one of the largest retailers in the nation,
was struggling with its public image after bad press on its now improved labor practices. The
national office instructed local branches to begin conspicuous local community service initiatives
to help the company in rebuilding its reputation at the community level. Robert McClelland, the
manager of a Parout branch in a small Texas border town with a largely Hispanic population,
stumbled across an opportunity to serve the Hispanic community nation-wide. The idea evolved from
a brief conversation between McClelland and the founder of MatchJulia.org, a non-profit
organization dedicated to registering more minorities on the National Marrow Donor Registry so
that minority cancer patients have a better chance of finding a match for marrow transplants.
Villanueva, the founder of MatchJulia.org, was willing to fly to the community and publicly thank
any organization that recruits over 1,000 donors. One major problem was that Villanueva was
scheduled to travel abroad within four weeks. Hence, McClelland only had a month to achieve this
feat. He needed to strategically plan a community outreach program to register 1,000 donors in less
than a month as well as convince his team that this opportunity was worth all the extra hours needed
to plan and execute this project on such short notice.
Journal of the International Academy for Case Studies, Volume 16, Number 4, 2010
Although the emphasis of this case study is largely on quantitative analysis, discussions on
a qualitative side can benefit the students. Several different human resource management and
strategic issues can be discussed in class in order to guide students in answering problem numbers
1, 7, and 8.
1) Gaining Acceptance from Stakeholders
Gaining the buy-in from various stakeholders will not be an easy task. Both in-house
employees and community volunteers need to be approached with clear explanations of the project’s
goals. The importance of communicating and thus sharing the same project goal should be
emphasized to students. Students should discuss methods of selling the project to stakeholders (for
example, possible tactics may include using incentives and/or affective and motivational appeals),
7) Potential Problems
This project has very tight schedule and any slippage in sc