TerraCog, Inc. is a privately held company specializing in high quality GPS and fishing sonar equipment. Although TerraCog was not always first to market with their new products, they were known for surpassing their competitors in addressing consumer needs because of their innovation in creating exceptional product design and functionality. In 2006, TerraCog’s competitor, Posthaste, launched BirdsI, the only handheld GPS with satellite imagery. Caught off guard by the product’s success, TerraCog President, Richard Fiero, makes a snap decision to satisfy the “gadget” appeal of BirdsI by launching the company’s own version of the competing GPS called Aerial. However, as TerraCog moved forward with the initiative, the estimated costs of developing Aerial threatened to thwart the launch. Needing to finalize decisions on cost, pricing and initial production volume, key department managers gathered in a series of dubious meetings laced with frustration, disagreement and reluctance, but produced no effective conclusion. In the end, the onus fell to Emma Richardson, a newly-promoted Executive Vice President to push the group toward a go/no-go decision. Problem Definition
TerraCog Inc. is suffering from a stalemate in the development and execution of Project Aerial brought on by poor decision making and an ineffective team structure. Relevant Theories and Models
The overall decision making process at TerraCog seems a bit puzzling. Management’s decision to underestimate consumers’ response to the satellite imagery technology featured in BirdsI led to a valuable loss in time and market share. As a result, Fiero, under the sole advice of Vice President of Sales, Ed Pryor, hastily chose to start Project Ariel without the due diligence of consulting with key stakeholders to understand the implications of producing such a product. There was no discussion regarding the technological capabilities that Project Aerial would offer...