The Orion Shield Case Analysis

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The Orion Shield Project Case Study

Executive Summary Project management is the science of planning, organizing, executing, and managing the resources needed to achieve a specific goal. Effective project managers (PM) strategically facilitate the entire project management process to ensure the project’s success. To do this the PM must adequately meet the specific requirements (i.e., time, scope, quality, and cost) set forth by the project and its stakeholders. It is theorized that PM must possess a set of core competencies in order to successfully manage a project. Those competencies are development of project management knowledge areas, application of appropriate project management tools and techniques, understanding of the project environment, possession of leadership skills, and general managerial and human relations skills. This paper will critically analyze the performance of a newly appointed project manager, Gary Allison, through his response to various issues that arose during the management of The Orion Shield Project. In my analysis, I will thoroughly discuss the technical, ethical, legal, contractual, and change issues and Gary’s response to each. I will conclude my analysis with a reasoned deduction of what competencies Gary lacks that prohibit him from being an effective project manager.

Technical Issues

Gary identified the presence of technical issues during the initiating stage of the project. According to the request for proposal (RFP) released by Space Technologies Industries (STI), the technical specification required that the design should be able to operate at temperatures ranging from to F. Gary spent two months trying to get

the design to meet the required specifications; however, he was unable to get the preliminary design to operate over F. Armed with this knowledge, Gary should have

informed the sponsor at STI of the potential problem so it could be dealt with efficiently. Instead he allowed the Director of Engineering, Henry Larson, to coerce him into bluffing the proposal submission. Had he properly reported the discovery of not being able to meet the specification requirements, STI may have made an allowance in the contract by changing the contract type, scope, or cost to accommodate the additional research and development efforts. At the onset of the project Gary showed that he lacked a very vital competency – understanding of the project environment. The project’s environment is the cultural, social, and organizational elements of the project. A keen understanding of a project’s environment would allow a project manager to identify the project’s stakeholders, learn whose opinion matters, and who benefits and suffers from the work performed (Bach, 2006). If Gary had possessed this understanding he would have known that most projects experience resources, constraints, and other forces that both enable and prohibit a project from being successful.

Ethical Issues After spending a very extensive and rigorous amount of time working on meeting the desired specifications of the RFP, Gary was confident the design SEC manufactured wouldn’t work unless the materials were changed. Although after a brief meeting with Larsen he decided to deceive STI. He deceptively submitted the proposal stating the model SEC had constructed will remain operable in temperatures reaching up to Based on this submission SEC was awarded the contract. Another ethical issue that arose was when Henry Larsen interfered in the spec requirement problem and created what he thought was a solution – JBX3. To fund the testing of the new product, JBX3, Larsen insisted Gary tell STI that SEC had used independent research and development funds. When instead they had used STI’s money. Gary felt uneasy about both accounts of deception and felt it would surely lead to conflict and customer dissatisfaction. However, he did nothing. Gary’s inability to effectively act when the abovementioned ethical acts occurred shows...
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