Orion Shield Project

8 August 2016

Scientific Engineering Corporation (SEC) had decided to compete for Phase I of the Orion Shield Project. The Director of Engineering Henry Larsen, wanted to employ an engineer to the role of project manage instead of an experienced project manager. Enter Gary Allison an experiences Project Engineer with absolutely no formal Project management experience. Gary was known around the organization as a knowledgeable with numerous years of Project Engineer expertise.

It appears Henry intentional wanted someone with limited Project Management knowledge in the hopes of being able to easily control the situation and to get his way without much resistance. The ethical and management challenges faced by Gary in the implantation of the Orion Shield Project will be discussed in this analysis. Gary wasted time doing administer work and did not focus enough attention on properly managing the project. Due to the poor management of time and resources benchmarks were not meet which caused production and cost delays.

Orion Shield Project Essay Example

Henry’s decision to select new materials without consulting Gary was extremely inappropriate and caused major disruptions with the SEC and the client. Gary should have never been offer the role of Project Manager. Project Management is a job that requires a great deal experience which Gary lacked. Henry put Gary in very difficult position when he offered him the role. If Henry truly believed Gary had the potential to be good Project Manager he should have an offered Gary an assistant project management role.

This position would have allowed Gary to learn on the job and gain experience. A Cost-reimbursable contract would have been a better option for SEC. This contract would have required detailed budgets that indicate the intended use of the funds as this detail helps define appropriate and allowable expenditures. A Cost-reimbursable contract would have better motoring, accountability and incentive to meet deadlines. The saying “lead by example” speaks volumes in this case. In a sense Gary was doomed for failure because he lacked guidance and support from Henry.

There were no guidelines set of what was expected causing the project to become disorganize. Introduction: In this analysis I will discuss the technical, ethical, legal, contractual and other project management issues which occurred during the execution of the Orion Shield Project. In order to put new NASA regulation Henry felt it necessary to change the strategy of the organized without fully brainstorming the cause and effects of his actions. One of the major mishaps was hiring Gary to lead and manage this project. Ethical and Legal Issues:

Gary had no project management experience so it was unsuitable for the Director of Engineer Henry Larson to hire Gary to take on seem an important project. Henry intentional wanted someone with limited Project Management knowledge in the hopes of being able to easily control the situation and to get his way without much resistance. One example of Henry using his rank over Gary to be unethical was when Gary mentioned the present model would not support required temperatures over 130 degrees. Henry dismissed Gary’s concerns and instructed Gary not to admit this noncompliance issue with the client in order to maintain the NASA contract.

Even with no project management experience Gary should have known this disclaimer was not ethical and been a whistle blower and reported Henry to his superior. Henry was aware it was “Unethical” to conceal and misrepresent the actually specification results. With this knowledge he still he proceeded concealing and misrepresenting results which resulted in the clients being forced to change their specifications under pressure In the ninth week without informing or advising Gary, Henry presented a type of new material to the project.

Henry introduced this new material in hopes of it meeting the heat specifications. Henry had good intentions but he never reviewed this important change with Gary or anyone on the team. Gary only discovered this critical change when they were weeks from a crucial milestone. SPI understandable was not pleased unexpected change in the project. No one likes being caught off guard especially when you are paying for a service. This event also made Gary seem incompetent in leading this project to completion. All this could have been avoided if Henry would have followed protocol.

Another important unethical issue is Gary had concealed the short shelf life of five years of the new material to top management of SEC and client. In essence the client is not really getting what they are paying for. PMI notes the importance of conducting work in an ethical manner (Schwalbe, 2009, p. 23). This allows workers to develop confidence in the project which increases moral and performance. (Schwalbe, 2009, p. 23). A good project manager should be transparent and exhibit truthfulness in business dealings (Schwalbe, 2009, p. 23). Contract issues:

A Cost-reimbursable contract would have been a better option for SEC. This contract would have required detailed budgets that indicate the intended use of the funds as this detail helps define appropriate and allowable expenditures. A Cost-reimbursable contract would have better motoring, accountability and incentive to meet deadlines. SEC was offered a fixed price contract for ten months. The fixed contract as well as mis management caused the project to go over budget. Thus the risk was on the shoulder of SEC if it costs more to provide the goods or services than originally assumed.

SEC did not foresee any problems arises with the project therefore the settled on a fixed contract. SEC had to spent money for testing the new material that was not called out in the program plan. From the start Gary did not submit the required meeting minutes which resulted in the customer insisting on daily calls to track progress. This caused in more administrative work hours and budget over run. Project Management Issues: The management structure for the Orion Shield Project did not allow Gary the project manager full authority over the project and project funding.

Gary had limited control over schedule and process of tasks throughout the duration of the project. Although a balanced matrix structure organization notes the importance for a project manager, giving the project manager total over the project an money does not exist in this model (PMBOK, 2008, p. 30). At the start of the project Gary had challenges finding appropriate and qualified team members. This critical task during project planning sets the foundation for a successful project. This complication in his staffing management plan was stressful for Gary as a result costing him time and money.

For example, since Gary did not have adequate administrator staff we wasted a lot of time doing administer work instead of Project Management work. It is essentially that a project manager communicates with other managers within the company to balance and share resources so the staffing needs can be meet throughout the company (Schwalbe, 2009, p. 225). Gary did not work with the other managers to acquire the staff he needed set a well-rounded team. Gary also did not have the negotiating skills required to gain access to vital engineering staff for the production of the Orion Shield Program

The top executives in the company should have realized that Gary’s team was under staff and step in to get him the appropriate resources he needed. The failure of an important project like this makes the whole organization look bad so it is in top managements best interest for allocation resources fail. Gary also struggled in terms of his balance between R&D and administrative task. Due to his lack of experience and staff he was not able to concentrate his time and energy on his project management activities. A project manager has to maintain balance in terms of – scope, schedule, and cost.

Due to Gary’s lack of experience he failed to use a cost management plan to track and monitor expenses. There was no cost check and balance system in place. With this project any changes to the budget should have been reviewed and approved by a delegate of both the company and the client. On more than one occasion Gary was blindsided because he was not made aware of changes in the project. Both Gary and Henry did not look at the long terms results of their decisions. Focusing on short term objectives in project management and dismissing risk in the future will produce a failed project.

It is the role of project management to foresee potential risk and find suitable solutions. (Schwalbe, 2009, p. What should been done for successful Project Completion: Henry should have offered Gary the opportunity to attend project management training and allowed him to work as an Assistant Project Manager to get on the job training. Customer and employees should have been involved in major decision making. Do not conceal or misrepresent information to employees and customer. Roles and responsibilities need to be clearly defined by Project Manager.

This is especially true for staff being brought in from other departments. Document action items at meetings, meeting minutes, focusing on key decisions and send them out quickly. Project schedule must be realistic and risks need to be managed. Conclusion: In conclusion a seasoned Project Manager should have been selected to a positive and effective completion of this project. The top executive at the company should have provided a checks and balance and recognized Gary was not qualified for the role of Project Manager. SEC should have negotiated a Cost-reimbursable contract.

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