Blue Spider Project

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Parks Corporation is a company that concentrated mainly on R&D business, doing projects for the Department of Defense. Parks Corporation has changed it’s focus over the years from predominantely R&D business to a low-cost production facility. The recession resulted in the company retrenching a number of employees, the staff compliment going from 6700 to 2200. In 1975, the corporate strategy changed again with the upturn of DoD spending. Parks began to beef up it’s R&D engineering staff.

Owing to the salaries that Parks was offering their access to experienced engineers was limited so they opted to employing mainly young inexperienced engineers, straight out of college, like Gary Anderson. Gary was an outstanding production engineer and was promoted to senior scientist responsible for all R&D acitivities performed in the Mechanical Engineering department.

In January 1978, Parks Corporation decided to bid for Phase I on the Blue Spider Project, with Lord Industries as the prime contractor for the Army’s Spartan Program. The project was to improve structural capabilities and the age life of the short range tactical missile, which was exhibiting fatigue failure after 6 years in the field. The criteria for a subcontractor was not only a low bid, but technical expertise and management performance. Parks Corporation felt that they had a distinct advantage over most competitors, as they had worked on other successful projects for Lord Industries.

From the beginning of the project the following problems were evident.

Project Kickoff, this was done informally and without specific guidelines. •The Proposal was unethically won, by not disclosing the truth. •Parks Corporation Management is deemed to have behavioural problems. •The Operational Process needed to be improved.

The Organisation architecture / Relations needs to be clearly defined and followed. •The 9 areas of Project Management knowledge were not used,...
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