Imatron Case Analysis

Topics: Problem solving, Team Pages: 5 (1519 words) Published: March 24, 2013
Imatron Case Analysis
By Team Synergy
Problem Identification
The Remote Imaging Division (RID) of Imatron is responsible for the development of a satellite camera to monitor environmental threats for the U.S. government. This project is of tremendous significance because it will provide future technology and profitability for Imatron. The project has a strict schedule to meet in regards to the requirements or else penalties will be placed on the company if the deadlines are not met. There appears to be conflicts of intra-group dynamics within the team as well as individual cooperation differences.

The differences of opinion between Lovas and Bennett have become hostile and have alienated others within the group. The bitter relationship is threatening the entire project and has placed tension on Gary Pinto, who is running out of time and options in deciding the best application for the system.

Pinto is aware of the dynamics surrounding the two main protagonists. He has been very conscientious when dealing with the conflicts and is very accommodating to the entire group as they appear to be negatively affected by the conflict presented by the two individuals.

There seems to be gossip and behind the scenes communication that is relating to the project. This appears to be causing more complications to the process. It also seems that the team is encountering social loafing because no one wants to get involved in the conflict between the two engineers. The lack of communication between the two leads, and their inability to work together, is resulting in unaccomplished tasks.

Problem Analysis
There are several underlying problems within this team. Bennett and Lovas are both unwilling to compromise and collaborate their designs which is holding up the entire project. The two engineers are very competitive because they both feel they are more knowledgeable than the other. Because of this conflict, team members avoid speaking up during meetings. They are being asked for input by Pinto and they seem to be accommodating rather than giving their perspectives. During the meetings there are no open-ended discussions or effective problem solving. There appears to be divergent thinking happening but no compromise is being obtained. The biggest issue is the lack of trust within the team. Bennett and Lovas are unable to form an effective partnership due to this issue. The lack of trust could also lead the group to losing faith in Pinto because he has been struggling to fix this situation between Bennett and Lovas. With the lack of trust, it is more than likely that the perception of the abilities of the all three senior members is being questioned.

All three of these problems directly correlate with each other. The correlation can be viewed in reverse. The lack of trust within the team stems from the feeling that Pinto cannot resolve Lovas and Bennett’s conflict. This distrust in the projects leader causes the lack of communication between members because honest opinions could potentially lead to more conflict. These two problems are caused because of the two mechanical engineers’ unwillingness to see how each other’s input and criticism could benefit the project as a whole. Ultimately, there is very little respect for each other’s expertise and talents.

Currently, the situation is problematic for everyone and it’s hard to detect which needs could benefit from this lack of trust, respect, and communication. The main root of the three problems is that the two engineers have two very different ways of thinking. The most apparent benefit is that Lovas’ organized and methodical thinking, and Bennett’s risk taking approach could lead to a prototype that is well thought out during the planning process, yet very innovative during the execution process. It is difficult to see how the team could benefit from the different perspectives because these two members must realize the benefits first.

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