A Rush to Failure

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MBA 523
A Rush to Failure Case
The Canadian Aeronautics Administration (CAA) has commissioned two contracting companies, Hollenbeck Aircraft and Eskina Software Systems, to build a set of giant robotic arms known as Retractable Extended-Arms Compatible Holder, or REACH, for the International Space Station. The REACH project has a deadline of six years. It has been noted that under normal circumstances the project would take around 10 years but there are time constraints due to political pressure in the form of threats to cut funding to the CAA and deadlines for construction on the space station itself. The time constraints have been of the utmost importance to the project. But, while the contractors have maintained the deadlines, there have been many issues with the quality of their work. Currently, the project is its fourth year. They have completed the first phase of the project which is to attach the robotic arms to the space station. The second part of the project involved putting a sophisticated set of “hands” on the ends of the robotic arms for extremely delicate work. In the case, it is noted that these robotic hands would be able to do something as complex as peel a hardboiled egg. The key stakeholders in this case are:

* David MacDonagle, the head of the CAA and a former astronaut. * Samantha Van Sant, the program manager for REACH and a former Canadian Army major with a reputation of being aggressive and goal oriented. * Alfred Siroy, the head of a CAA panel that is investigating quality issues with the equipment in the REACH program. Siroy has a reputation of being extremely meticulous and slow. His personal opinion of projects completed quickly may affect the outcome of his opinion in the investigation. * Charlie Truss, a representative from Hollenbeck Aircraft. * Harris Webb, a U.S. Astronaut and former colleague of MacDonagle who is currently working on the space station. Webb has a reputation of being brilliant and...
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