Acuscan case study
Acuscan case study
Part One: Questions
a. Kelly-Assumes the project as too ambitious for the company, considering staff shortage and the heavy workload on the existing labor force.
b. Pat-There are people in the company not in full support of the project. Pat further assumes that projects can only succeed when outside programming companies are used. Pat is more optimistic than rest, maybe because he is the team leader.
c. Cliff-Opinions that project can succeed with even less budgetary allocation (2/3 of the estimated sum)
d. Chris-assumes that all departments and individuals would understand and support the project no matter the costs.
a. Cliff O’Connor: Better management would reduce the cost of running the company and especially the especially the new project.
b. Pat Lambert: As the project leader, Pat is rooting for the new product thus embarks on convincing colleagues on following suit.
c. Kelly Thomas: As the head of programming, Kelly feels his department is being overburdened. He roots for postponing the project to allow for better planning.
d. Chris Martinas: Chris argues that employees and other stakeholders understand importance of the project and would therefore make the necessary short
3. Evaluate each argument listed above as sound or unsound and why. Indicate whether they are emotional
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Evaluations should comprise two to six sentences for each of the following:
a. Cliff O’Connor: This argument is sounder considering that it was coming from head of the company. Having such positive mentality provides guidance for other employees and department leaders to follow. However, it would be a tough order to convince the seemingly overstretched programming team. O’Connor should therefore embark on approaching the team with regard to forming appositive working relationship.
b. Pat Lambert: Lambert’s support of the project generates from being the lead manager. His arguments are therefore more informed. He is therefore better placed to improve organizational understanding. Only then can success be achieved in aligning stakeholder goals.
c. Kelly Thomas: Kelly is the most difficult person to convince. He feels the team is more stretched and cannot allocate time for another project. Kelly’s arguments are unsound because he is not willing to negotiate with the others.
d. Chris Martinas: Chris’ arguments are sound because he provides proper reasoning for the project. His argument on all stakeholders to support the project is also sound, as it is the source of inspiration to the others. Maybe Kelly, the programming head would follow into Chris supportive arguments.
4. Describe specific fallacious arguments, and identify the people who hold them.
For full credit, provide AT MINIMUM four to six fallacious arguments.
Kelly’s argument that the programming department can hardly allocate time for another project.
Chris’ view that employees and employees agree with the decisions made, which is out rightly fallacious—some employees could have reservations.
Pat’s claim that the project can be done without programming team’s help.
Kelly’s claim that Pat knows too little of what is needed in designing the project.
1, 2.: The bigger problem in the AcuScan case is the lack of cooperation between departmental leaders. The senior management only directs juniors to starts cooperating instead of driving the cooperation attempts. Secondly, Pat and project enthusiasts are not keen on understanding programming team’s work. Pat and colleagues are pressuring programming department to come on board. Little attempt is made by the management to reconcile the warring sides.
3: The underlying problem is rushing through the project, which cold affect results.
4: The proper solution is to arrange for stakeholder (departmental heads only) meeting to discuss the matter. Pat and others should start the meeting by explaining importance of the project. Kelly should respond by illustrating the timeframe that his team can allocate.
5: The meeting would provide opportunity for all stakeholders to be on the same page. However, there is the disadvantage of being explosive and personal.
6: The CEO should still hold a meeting with departmental heads. All should first be made to understand the project’s importance of project.
Part Two: Executive Summary
This brief aims at explaining the situation in AcuScan as it embarks on developing new product for the mass market. Other than producing a wholly new product, the company is aiming at reclaiming its leader in security imaging. The company has lately experienced increased competition in a market segment it had controlled since its inception. In this regard, the new product would be used to reposition the company as industry leader. Most importantly, the new security gadget would be the first of its kind, meaning that AcuScan would be establishing yet another market segment. But success would only be achieved when management embarks on popularizing the product to potential clients before competitors embark on developing their brands.
Success in developing and marketing the new product before competitors is being hampered by disagreements between the very departmental heads that are supposed to be cooperating in the development process. The main problem arises from programming team’s insistence that they do not have time window to allocate the development. This is unfortunate considering that programming team’s support is vital for the product. Though outside programmers could be contracted to undertake the project, AcuScan’s team needs to be deeply involved, because of customer support when the product hits the market. Lack of enough finances for the project is another headache that AcuScan has to contend with, especially considering declining revenue. Worse still, the company had laid-off at least 500 employees in the last financial year; it would be difficult to send more home this year. Various departments have been asked to cut respective budgets by 15 percent. Hopefully, the budget cuts would not affect normal business operations in the company, especially in the current economic times in the company and the entire industry. Despite these problems, all is being done to ensure the project is still on course.
The biggest problem is to have programming department commit to the projects. The head of this department has categorically said that his team can only undertake only one of the more than half a dozen sub-assignments of the project. This has resulted to bitter disagreements between marketing and programming departments—both need to cooperate for the project to become success. The current standoff means that little can be achieved in the project until the warring departments develop a solution. The programming team will especially need to understand that failing to take the project as a priority would be a blunder; respective department head should especially get convinced of project’s vitality.
Among other recommendations, the senior company management, including you, the CEO, should intervene on this issue promptly. Most importantly, management should call a one-on-one meeting with the warring departmental heads. This meeting should begin with a thorough explanation of project’s importance in providing a lifeline to already struggling AcuScan. The explanation should be followed by each department head expressing respective concerns on the project. Finally a common ground on the issue would be developed and communicated to stakeholders. Cooperation between the departments is more likely to be established after the meeting. Should it appear that the company’s programming team is truly stretched, meeting participants should embark on devising ways of either increasing manpower in the department or looking for an outside contractors that can undertake the project. Regardless of the chosen approach, the programming team should still be at the heart of the matter. This could be done by selecting several departmental representatives that would be guiding the development process, even as they concentrate on their day to day activities. This would be the beginning point of greater collaboration that would result to the development of successful product and the eventual success in reclaiming AcuScan’s place as industry leader. Meetings between the coordinating departments should not end. In fact, they should be intensified as the project gains speed. According to Wilson (2007, p. 2) success in departmental collaboration results to the development of an important organizational culture that saves the company lots of time; more time would be used in respective work stations, which increase individual and organizational productivity. Senior management should therefore make such precedence a priority through immediate intervention
Wilson, T. (2007). Innovation in Departmental Collaboration. Toronto: FAITC.