How miscommunication and lack of ethics almost destroyed a project Timothy Glenn 7/17/2011
T. Glenn/AMBA 640/Week 2 Executive Summary Hiring Gary Allison as the Project Manager for the Orion Shield Project was a big mistake. One must question both the judgment and ethics of Henry Larson in hiring an inexperienced person to lead such an extensive project. Many erroneous decisions were made by Gary as he erroneously heeded the poor and unethical advice of Henry Larson. Among the many adverse decisions and mistakes made by Gary was his lack of communication and honesty with the stakeholders involved with the project. If Gary would have been more forthcoming with all parties involved (including the Space Technology Institute, the function manager, the team representative from the production department, and the production team as a whole), many problems would have either been avoided or rectified more smoothly. Henry Larson should have also been reprimanded for his involvement and contribution to the project over-run and mismanagement of funds. This would have been the case if Gary would have upheld his integrity and simply communicated to the SEC about Henry’s involvement from the beginning of the project. Yet, among many other erroneous decisions that Gary made, he decided to be covert about Henry’s involvement, which ultimately led to Gary taking on the complete responsibility and accountability of all the problems and failures that occurred throughout the project. His miscommunication, poor decisionmaking, and mismanagement of funds not only negatively impacted the stakeholders of the project; it also negatively impacted Gary’s career.
T. Glenn/AMBA 640/Week 2 Introduction Project management is a skill that requires a great depth of experience and expertise in some very critical areas. Some of those skills include administration, planning, budgeting, and risk assessment. The Orion Shield Project was by far no exception to these essential requirements which is why this project was poorly managed from the beginning stages to the end. Poor time management, lack of proper documentation, mismanagement of funds, and miscommunication were among the many factors that proved to be detrimental to the project. According to Schwalbe, “Project managers must not only strive to meet specific scope, time, cost, and quality requirements of projects, they must also facilitate the entire process to meet the needs and expectations of the people involved in or affected by project activities” (2010, p. 8). As the project proceeded, it became evident that Gary was not meeting the expectations of the stakeholders. Is Gary the right person for the position? First of all, Henry Larson, the Director of Engineering, made a bad decision in hiring Gary Allison to be project manager for the Orion Shield Project. Gary’s inexperience to project management caused a great deal of problems for the Orion Shield Project. The Orion Shield Project had a contract worth over $2 million. Hiring Gary to be the overseer of this project proved to be detrimental to the company. It would have been more suitable for him to gain experience by being an assistant manager for first, working and learning from an experienced and seasoned project manager for the Orion Shield Project. Hiring Gary not only negatively impacted the company; it also negatively impacted his career. Conversely, it would have benefited Gary more to refuse this position for lack of experience and request an assistant manager position before being responsible for an entire project for which he is not qualified to handle. According to Hodgson, Paton, and Cicmil, in the International Journal of Project Management, “organizations operating in the fields of engineering and other technical domains are particularly likely
T. Glenn/AMBA 640/Week 2 to rely, explicitly or implicitly, on a cadre of professional project managers,...