Conflict Management Lessons Learned from a Dod Case Study

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Conflict Management Lessons Learned from a DOD Case Study[1]

If you have to choose one individual in the case study as most responsible for the termination of LAMP-H project, whom would you choose and why?

As it has been mentioned in the case study, the Project management within the United States Department of Defense (DOD) has been aptly described as the one of the world’s most complicated processes due to the fact that various stakeholders involved from above and below are likely to besiege the project manager. Hence, there were various factors which led to organizational conflicts amongst project stakeholders which finally resulted in termination of the project.

Failures on the part of different stakeholders can be summarized as under:

US Army is responsible for wrong selection of “The Program Executive Officer (PEO)” who lacked the requisite criteria for successful project manager.

Since performance characteristics for the LAMP-H was not defined, there was fund cutting by US Army.

The user of the system, the Transportation School (T-School) was not clear about its requirement, even T-School was no longer certain whether it needed the LAMP-H system.

T-School’s untimely completion (seven years delay) of the Required Operational Capability (ROC) document which was indispensable in DOD acquisitions.

The Acquisition Strategy required that the R&D phase of the LAMP-H program be executed within 36 months but Test and Evaluation Command (TECOM) personnel failed to tailor its test program so that it could be completed within the ASAP (Army Streamlined Acquisition Program) structure.

Formation of new inexperienced project management team, which accommodated whatever might be requested by various stakeholders, regardless of whether the requests were supported by the requirements analysis.

Request for Proposal (RFP), which was expanded to include all of the special interests and additional requirements, was released twelve months late. Moreover, the inflated requirements had resulted in exorbitant rise in budget.

US army took several years to realize that there are other ways to discharge ships in the stream, though not as efficiently, not as fast, but they can get the job done. And, with the changing world status, the Army did not think they ought to spend money on a LAMP-H when there are other high priority things that need funding. [2]

But the one individual most responsible for the termination of LAMP-H project is none other than “The Program Executive Officer (PEO)” due to following reasons:

Although the PEO was overall responsible for successful execution of the program, but he had no technical expertise and acquisition experience. •He neither understood the significance of the program nor its Acquisition Strategy. The PEO’s lack of knowledge about the basic acquisition process prevented him from understanding any new innovations to the acquisition process.

Despite having an experienced & effective project manager as his subordinate, he failed to delegate authorities to PM and motivate the whole project team.

He badly failed to resolve conflicts amongst various stakeholders such as PM, TECOM, Watercraft R&D personnel, contractors, departmental managers and workers.

He continually delayed the fund restoration, which caused slippage and the need for the entire Acquisition Strategy to be revised and re-justified.

He failed to prevail against protest of R&D centre for preparation of fresh Request for Proposal (RFP) which led to a delay of about twelve months.

He did not have any control on the project on any stage of the project. He failed to organize and co-ordinate with other stakeholders.

He intentionally neglected the LAMP-H project in the hope of Termination of the project because the complexity of an R&D program with two IPRs (In Process Reviews) made him very nervous.

Hence, it is clear that the PEO was completely lacking the...
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