The unmovable team project is based on the defense contractor company Electronic Control Systems (ECS), which is responsible for obtaining government contracts for military and defense systems. The team within ECS responsible for developing analog technologies consists of four major members, Chris Rawlins the senior project manager, Dana Paulson an analog engineer, Terry Singh a second key senior engineer, and Jordan Sanchez another senior engineer. ECS’s primary focus is to build sensing systems for the government; the government would specify the type of sensing system needed and the engineers would develop solutions to implement the system. As additional costs were incurred during the development, the government would reimburse the company through an accounting system called cost-plus. Because the cost-plus system guaranteed the company a profit even when projects went over scope, engineers had the opportunity to be creative in designing the system, and could give the customer more than the original requested specifications. The engineers were driven to perform by delivering high quality products to their customers. However, during the 1990s, cost-plus contracts were phased out, and ECS had to reassess its current strategy. To make a profit, ECS needed to consider its development costs when creating the sensing systems, and therefore, new budget cuts were in effect for the company.
This new cost structure limited the engineers' creativity and they struggled to adhere to cost. The engineers were frustrated and their motivations started to decline. After Chris Rawlins took control of the team, he fired Blake Whitley, a team member who was “slow” (Kudisch, Stevens, Tesluk, p. 4) and often over budget to prove that the analog team needed to make a concerted effort in adhering to the new budget. As a result of Chris’s bold managerial move, the engineers of the analog team became overly protective of their projects... [continues]
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