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									Case Study Assignment- Fact Gathering Outline – Nancy Flowers-Mangs – Page 1 of 7




Case Study Assignment – Fact Gathering Outline




 Individual Assignment – Nancy Flowers-Mangs




            GEN 480 – Capstone Course




                       Dee Sloan




                      July 3, 2006
                   Case Study Assignment- Fact Gathering Outline – Nancy Flowers-Mangs – Page 2 of 7



ANALYSIS
1. Describe all assumptions seen in any documents provided.
   For full credit, provide AT MINIMUM: four to six assumptions held by Kelly; six to nine
   assumptions held by Pat; two to three assumptions held by Cliff; two to three assumptions
   held by Chris.
   a. Kelly – Senior Engineer Product Development
   Assumptions:
       1. Pat is trying to undercut Kelly’s authority by talking directly to the developers on his
             staff.
       2. He does not agree with Pat’s business practices.
       3. Getting existing work done is difficult due to previous staff cuts.
       4. Kelly does not believe he has the spare staff to develop a prototype by the August
             deadline.
       5. Kelly is being pressured by his boss to create a prototype but does not have enough
             resources to manage his existing work and add new product development to the list.
       6. Kelly does not believe the budget allocation and timeline are realistic.

    b. Pat – New Marketing Executive
    Assumptions:
       1. In order for the company to succeed in the marketplace, they need to develop new
           products that expand to new markets.
       2. Use the scanning technology to scan shoppers at the stores, gather information
           based on their movements, and generate reports on shopping habits etc. to use by
           the specific retail operation and other retail operations.
       3. Product development will be minimal as hardware and software technology has
           already been developed and tested.
       4. Need to get the product to the market before the competition in order to be a
           success; this will require a quick turnaround in development and implementation.
       5. Delaying the launch of a complete product will be costly and prevent the opportunity
           to grab the market of this newly emerging technology.
       6. In order to meet the deadline, contractors would need to be hired to supplement the
           current development.
       7. This will add to the cost and reduce the first year ROI, but the capital investment will
           pay for itself over the period of 10 years as the product is used and little additional
           investment would be needed.
       8. Pat sees the development team as a road block to making the progress in bring
           Operations Optimize to the market.
       9. She does not feel supported by Kelly who is the director of product development.

    c. Cliff – CEO AcuSacn
    Assumptions:
       1. The company is not doing well and we need to recapture the market.
       2. Existing budgets need to be cut to help us to reach the company goal.
       3. Development of new products is necessary to increase market share and become
            profitable.
       4. Pat Lambert and Chris Marinas are working together to develop a product that will
            help to pull the company out of the slump they are in, increasing market share.
                   Case Study Assignment- Fact Gathering Outline – Nancy Flowers-Mangs – Page 3 of 7



   d. Chris - VP of Product development
   Assumptions:
      1. The development department is under a great deal of pressure to perform and cut
         costs.
      2. Need to cut costs by 15%
      3. Determined to cut costs without laying-off staff.
      4. The issues of getting the product to market are between Kelly and Pat. He has left it
         to them to work it out.

2. Explain the arguments made by each of these people. Explanations should be comprised
   of two to six sentences for each of the following.

   e. Cliff O’Connor
   As the CEO of AcuScan, Cliff’s primary goal is to keep the company profitable and growing.
   The company is loosing market share as the products are limited to specific markets and
   becoming a commodity. Cliff’s job is to turn the company from this downward shift to become
   more profitable, regardless of how employees feel about the necessary changes. He must
   also make sure the costs are contained to work within the budget. Therefore, he has
   requested the new development be completed at 2/3 less than the estimated costs and is
   unwilling to adjust the deadline.

   f. Pat Lambert
   As a newly hired Marketing Director her job is to provide ideas that will help to move the
   company into profitable range. She has limited resources, but needs to meet the goals and
   objectives that she believes will bring the company out of their slump. She believes that using
   the existing technology in the retail market will work to create a new product for a new
   market. She believes the Product Development group needs to work with her plan, and build
   the new product in her timeline.

   g. Kelly Thomas
   As the Director of Development, Kelly needs to manage the existing work and determine how
   to use resources to support existing customers. He also needs to be sure that the products
   he develops (new and existing) are built to perform as expected. This requires planning,
   development, testing and more testing. With his resources already working to capacity, he
   does not see how he can possibly meet the goals of the new development plan as outlined by
   Pat Lambert. Expecting the existing resources to build a new product while maintaining
   existing business contracts and relationships is unreasonable if not impossible.

   h. Chris Martinas
   As VP of Product Development, Chris must work with the goals of the CEO and the realities
   of the current work environment. Something needs to be done to increase profitability; and he
   would like to do this without cutting staff. He needs to deal with the realities of the budget and
   staff resources while finding the method for developing new products that will help the
   company become more profitable. To begin, he has suggested that each department cut
   budgets 15%. He would like the department managers to determine how else costs should be
   cut in order to meet the budgetary goals. He is not getting involved in the details of the
   conflict between Pat and Kelly.

3. Evaluate each argument listed above as sound or unsound and why. Indicate whether
   they are emotional or logical in nature. Evaluations should be comprised of two to six
   sentences for each of the following.
                    Case Study Assignment- Fact Gathering Outline – Nancy Flowers-Mangs – Page 4 of 7




    i.   Cliff O’Connor –CEO – Cliff wants to keep the company from bankruptcy. In order to do
         this, he needs to show an increase in profits. This argument is sound because he is
         keeping in mind the best interest of the company, working towards a better future for all.
         He is working to lead the company in a new direction in the hopes of growing the
         business. His argument is logical in nature and sound.
    j.   Pat Lambert – new marketing executive – Pat was hired to find new ways to use
         existing technology for different market shares and to determine how to develop new
         technology to meet the needs of a newly emerging market. I believe her vision is
         accurate – repurpose existing technology for different markets – but she does not have
         the cooperation of Product Development. She is looking at the deadline and trying to fit
         her agenda into that picture without taking into consideration all the components
         necessary build and deploy the system she envisions. Her argument is emotional
         because it is based on her need to meet her goal.
    k.   Kelly Thomas – Director of Development – Kelly believes that the project cannot be
         done in the time allotted. Kelly was the original developer of the flagship software product
         and may be too involved in how the development should be completed. He is not looking
         at other alternatives, such as outsourcing. At the same time, he has the experience to
         know what it will take to make these changes. This is based on his actual work with the
         project. His argument is emotional and logical; emotional because he is too involved in
         the project and seeing a new perspective is difficult; logical because he has the
         experience to know what it takes to get the job done.
    l.   Chris Martinas – VP of Product development – Chris sees the conflict between
         Marketing and Product Development but he is not sure what to do. He knows the work
         needs to be done, and can see both sides, but does not know how to “break” the
         loggerhead. Chris’s argument here is logical as he is not emotionally involved in the
         conflict.
         Chris also believes he needs to cut costs now, without cutting staff. He is looking at the
         past events – layoffs due to previous year’s budget cuts – and the current business at
         hand. He sees that any departmental cut will be difficult, but would like to see it done in
         the least painful way possible. Chris’s argument is logical as it is based on the company’s
         business events of the past and future goals.


4. Describe specific fallacious arguments, and identify the people who hold them.
   For full credit, provide AT MINIMUM four to six fallacious arguments.
   m. Kelly – My staff cannot possibly get the project done by that date. I do not have the
       resources and the project is too large.
   n. Kelly – Pat has undercut my authority by talking directly to my staff to see if the work she
       needs done is feasible.
   o. Pat – The development of a prototype for a small test market by August should be able to
       be completed with minimal time and effort on the part of the existing staff.
   p. Pat – Any delay in the deployment of the prototype and final product will impact the
       market as a competitor is also working on the development of a similar product in hopes
       to be the first to capture the market.

CONCLUSIONS
5. Describe all problems in this situation. Describe a minimum of two to three problems that
   characterize the situation. Single sentence format is acceptable.
       1. The company is loosing market share and profits are falling.
                   Case Study Assignment- Fact Gathering Outline – Nancy Flowers-Mangs – Page 5 of 7



       2. The company resources are currently tied up working to maintain the business as is.
          The company must maintain its current business while determining how to break into
          the market with new business ventures.
       3. The new marketing executive and Director of Development do not see eye to eye on
          how to do business.
       4. New Marketing Executive wants it all and is unwilling to compromise.
       5. The Director of Development is not willing to compromise on the work getting done.
          However, he does think he can work with one.
       6. The CEO would like to develop Operation Optimize with 2/3 of the projected budget.

6. For each problem listed above, describe the data, arguments, and reasoning that
   contribute to the problem. Describe issues of data, arguments, and reasoning-related to
   each problem within two to six sentences.
   q. The company is loosing market share and profits are falling. Facts – The profits are
      down…. Service revenues will only provide 70% of the revenue, and new business only
      comprising 30% from last year.
   r. The company resources are currently tied up working to maintain the business as
      is. The company must maintain its current business while determining how to break into
      the market with new business ventures. Email February 19, 2003 RE RE RE RE RE
      Meeting from Kelly Thomas.
   s. The new Marketing Executive and Director of Development do not see eye to eye
      on how to do business. Email February 19, 2003 Subject RE Meeting, and emails prior
      to and subsequent between Kelly and pat prove this point.
   t. New Marketing Executive wants it all and is unwilling to compromise. Email
      February 19, 2003 Subject RE Meeting, and emails prior to and subsequent between
      Kelly and pat prove this point.
   u. The Director of Development is not willing to compromise on the work getting
      done. However, he does think he can work with one. Email February 19, 2003
      Subject RE Meeting, clearly states Kelly as saying that there is no way to come up with
      all the features, possibly one but not all.
   v. The CEO would like to develop Operation Optimize with 2/3 of the budget
      projected. The company does not have enough money to support the full implementation
      of the project at the costs indicated by the new Marketing Executive. Email February 18,
      2003 Subject RE Operation Optimize budget from Cliff Connor.



7. What is the underlying problem that is the base cause of the conflict within the
   company? Present the underlying problem in one to four sentences.

   The biggest problem is the conflict between the new Marketing Executive and the Director of
   Development. Pat, the new Marketing Executive has very good ideas, and is willing to look at
   alternative methods to achieving her goals but she wants all the functionality rolled out by the
   August deadline. Kelly, the Director of Development is challenging her plan, based on his
   knowledge and experience in the development of this software. He created the flagship
   product and knows the history and code more than anyone else in the company.

   Pat strongly believes that the full product needs to be launched in order for this to be a
   success and is unwilling to compromise even though Kelly has stated that he could provide
   part of the solution in the deadline stated. Kelly wants to put a mechanically sound and stable
   product on the market. Somehow there needs to be a common ground where they can
                   Case Study Assignment- Fact Gathering Outline – Nancy Flowers-Mangs – Page 6 of 7



   develop a new product, so that it meets the company goals, consumer needs and performs
   without failure.

8. What alternative solutions would you propose for this situation?
   Present a MIMINUM of two potential solutions in the format of two to four sentences each.

   Solution One: Outsource the work for the new development leaving the current staff to focus
   on maintaining the customer relationships and business that already exists. Develop a plan to
   use an external company to create new products from the existing technology, with an exit
   strategy that involves transitioning the development to the existing staff.

   Solution Two: Use the existing personnel to develop the new product. Work with the Director
   of Engineering to create a plan that allows developing, testing and deployment to meet the
   August deadline. Determine how to handle the existing work, minimizing the effect on the
   existing business.

   Solution Three: Segregate employees into two teams - development and customer support -
   leveraging the existing employees’ knowledge current business to meet the new goals. The
   employees on the development team would plan and manage the project, using outside
   consultants to do the work. The employees on the customer support team would manage the
   existing business, using outside consultants to supplement workload as needed.

   Solution Four: Roll out the product in stages. Get the critical work done by product launch
   date using the standard methods of development and testing with the existing staff. Possibly
   hire some consultants to fill in the gaps as needed. Once phase one is completed, begin work
   on the other phases to completion.



9. State the relative strengths and weaknesses of each alternative solution.
   Describe at least one strength and one weakness for each alternative solution.
   Solution One:
          Strength - Outsourcing would certainly help with the resource needs and allow the
           current staff to stay focused on the business at hand. Although this will add additional
           cost, the expense would be justified by the gain in profit and market share that might
           otherwise be lost if new development is delayed.
         Weakness - Using outside resources puts the development in the hands of people
          who do not have the working knowledge of the existing infrastructure. Critical issues
          that might be obvious to seasoned employees might be overlooked by outside
          resources. The learning curve may slow down the project as issues arise in the
          development. Assumes that all features must be completed. Budget will not support
          the high cost of consultants.
   Solution Two:
          Strength - Using the existing company resources leverages the expertise and
           knowledge of the people who have hands-on experience with the existing product.
           They are also committed to the company success and might be more willing to go the
           extra mile.
          Weakness - There is a chance the business could be lost as existing personnel is
           used for new product development. Relationships for maintenance and support must
           be maintained in order to keep the business at hand. If the same resources are
           pulled in the area of new development, how will they manage the existing business
                   Case Study Assignment- Fact Gathering Outline – Nancy Flowers-Mangs – Page 7 of 7



           and keep those customers happy. Overworked employees do not perform at best;
           this could hurt morale and ultimately, result in faulty code with bugs that would impact
           the final product.
    Solution Three:
           Strength - Using the existing company resources leverages the expertise and
            knowledge of the people who have hands-on experience with the existing product.
            They are also committed to the company success and might be more willing to go the
            extra mile. They could oversee the consultants work, ensuring the knowledge and
            integrity of the company’s intellectual property is protected. This could open up new
            opportunities for those who are chosen to manage the teams and provide them with
            new incentive to become more engaged in the success of the company.
          Weakness - Might spread the group too thin, scattering the knowledge and
           fragmenting work being done. The management team would have to be sure the
           employees chosen to do the work are committed to the project and the success of
           the company as a whole. It would require additional work on their part, taking them
           out of their comfort zone. Assumes that all features must be completed. Assumes
           that the budget can be increased to cover the consulting fees for the additional
           developers.
    Solution Four:
           Strength - Rolling the project out in phases would ensure the product development
            and testing is done properly and all aspects of the development are working as
            expected. The lighter development plan would allow AcuScan to use existing
            employees who already know the software and are committed to the success of the
            company.
           Weakness - The complete product would not be available to the market and
            competition would beat them in the race. Might loose an opportunity for business
            because of the inability to provide a complete project.

10. Which solution will you recommend to the CEO and why?
    I would recommend Solution Four. Based on the facts, the company does not have the staff
    to develop the complete project nor does it have the money to hire a consulting firm. Based
    on the Director of Development’s experience, even in the best circumstances, the project
    cannot be completed with full functionality and meet the high standards that AcuScan is
    known for. By rolling it out in stages, a stable product can be brought to market before or at
    the same time as the competition; additional features can be added in phases as scheduled
    to ensure the new business has the complete functionality as desired.
                  Case Study Assignment- Fact Gathering Outline – Nancy Flowers-Mangs – Page 8 of 7




References

Critical Thinking GEN480: Assessment Case Study. University of Phoenix Courseware.

   Retrieved from the World Wide Web June 20, 2006.

   https://ecampus.phoenix.edu/secure/resource/ResourceLog.asp?strF=/secure/resour

   ce/vendors/tata/GEN480/index.html&ir=3102535881&or=31&pt=Resource-

   ASSESSMENTS&pd=GEN480R2&ut=ST&ld=6/26/2006 4:48:20

   PM&dl=False&id=8143

University of Phoenix Faculty Material. (N.D) "Master List of Logical Fallacies."

   Retrieved from University of Phoenix GEN480 Course-Materials Newsgroup June

   26, 2006.

Sloan, Enid. (N.D) "Week Three Lecture." Retrieved from University of Phoenix GEN480

   Course-Materials Newsgroup June 26, 2006.

								
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