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Is the Rookie Ready?

Tim O'Connell is a senior manager at Driscoll Software, gets a call a week before Christmas from “Hybara Casinos”. Their new cheapo system has crashed, and the company wants the problem fixed in time to make a clean start in the New Year's Day. The project will generate much-needed revenue, but it involves six weeks' worth of work but it should be done into two - and over the holidays. Tim's main programmer Alessandra Sandoval, left the company, and the rookie Kristen Hammersmith has taken her place as a team leader. Tim is deeply concerned about handing a project over to a rookie Kristen-especially a rookie who hasn’t shown any ability. But bringing Alessandra to the team would mean swallowing his pride front of his superiors at Driscoll. Should Tim take a chance on his rookie Kristen or contract the project out to Alessandra? Three commentators offer expert advice in this case study. Michael Schrage, a researcher at MIT Sloan School of Management's Center for Digital Business says that Tim should hire Alessandra immediately. Because, she knows Hybara’s team and systems better than anyone within the company. And also, she is fluent in Spanish so this challenge best fits to Alessandra’s strength and flexibility. Kristen is in over her head. But more important, Tim is a shockingly poor manager and yet unprofessional. He is not doing his job because successful leaders know that their actions speak louder than their words. Carol A. Walker, the founder and principal of the consulting firm prepared to lead, agrees with Michael Schrage that Tim isn’t doing his job. He outlines a scenario, which by he demonstrates his confidence in, and support for, Kristen and prepares her to succeed. Give her an advice and manage people through the action plan. Paul Muller, Hewlett-Packard's vice president of strategic marketing for software products, says that in a compressed time line situation like this, Driscoll and Hybara need to assess the risks and costs...
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