Sinking of the Vasa

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Individual Component
Name: Mzee Mash
Case Title: Launching the Vasa

Short Cycle Process

Name: Fleming
Position: King’s Admiral
1. What are the issues in this case?
* Prepare to answer difficult questions about the sinking the of most expensive ship (and primary weapon) in Swedish history by royal board of inquiry * The time to prepare for these questions is unspecified because the King is out of communication, but it is assumed that he will come back quickly upon hearing the news 2. Why have the issues arisen?

* Ship and its weapons sink
* Missed launch date of 25 July 1628
* 50 people dead
3. When did the issues arise?
* 10 August 1628
4. Case Difficulty cube?
* Analytically:1
* Conceptually :1
* Presentation:1

Long Cycle Analysis

Case Analysis

Immediate issues
* An investigations into the following issues needs to be done before the King comes back from Prussia in Poland to avoid suffering severe personal and professional consequences: * The Vasa was launched 16 days after the day it was commanded to launch by the King * The Vasa sank after sailing about a 1000 yards

Basic issues
* The most expensive ship in the history of Sweden has sunk and cannot be recovered * 50 people were killed
* The king and Sweden have been disgraced

* Organization

Figure 1 below is a simplified estimate of how the organisational structure could have possibly looked. The estimate was constructed from reading various literatures.

Figure 1: Simplified estimated organisational structure
Some problems associated with this structure are summarized below: * The king has no technical knowledge or background, but has power to change design requirement during any stage of the project without understanding the limits and consequences (technically) * There is a lack of communication between the King’s court and the ship building team; some of the design changes are not finalized. Evidence of this is the absence of the shipbuilder and shipwright at the lurch test. * The there is a lack of transparency between Hybertsson (master shipwright), Jacobsson (assistant to shipwright) [4]. This is shown by Jacobsson’s inability to run the project well after the death of Hybertssson. * There are additional communication problems between Hybertssson and Isbrandsson, the main shipbuilder. There was no clear plan that had to be carried out until the end of the project. This again is shown by the collapse in coordination of actives when Hybertssson dies. * After Hybertssson’s death an estimated work force of about 400 people dividing into 5 groups worked on the ship on different components without any structured coordination or communication [4]. All these groups made assumptions and estimates that were based on their experience and judgement. These choices influenced critical engineering parameters like centre of mass and stability. There was no measurable and structured way to determine the influence on these parameters because there was no documentation system [3]

* Experience
* Shipwright Henrik Hybertsson, the main shipbuilder Isbrandsson and all the artisans working on the Vasa had no experience in building a ship 1. the size (135-ft keel) and weight of the Vasa 2. with 2 enclosed gun decks * Jacobsson, Henrik’s assistant, was not fully aware of all of Henrik’s activities and skills; hence he could not fill his role effectively during his illness and after his eventual death.

* Technology
* Due to the size, weight and design (2 enclosed gun decks) of the Vasa the shipwright, main shipbuilder and shipbuilders had to go into technical areas that were beyond their experience i.e. areas that had never been done.

* Risk Analysis
PMBOK [5] defines project risk as an uncertain event or condition that, if it occurs, has a positive or a negative effect on at least one project objective, such as time, cost, scope, or...
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