Orion Shield Project

2215 words 9 pages
Executive Summary
The Orion Shield scenario presented a novice project manager’s actions, inactions and subsequent results during a project to produce materials for an orbiter’s launch booster rocket. While the contracted company eventually succeeded in producing a product, the project was plagued with numerous challenges that could have resulted in failure and did indeed result in the demotion of the project manager. There were business strategy, structural, contractual, ethical, and communication issues that impacted the successful completion of the project, causing cost overruns, strained internal relationships and customer distrust and dissatisfaction. Various solutions are recommended to decrease the incidence of issues in the
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The manager had issues other than ethical challenges related to the director. The director undercut the authority of the functional director, by telling the manager that he would be “on his own” working within program management. This direction may have led to the manager performing many functions without delegation or properly utilizing his delegation duties in coordinating overall work. This also may have led to the lack of his use of program management staff as resources in acquiring the skills in order to effectively manage projects, such as coordinating internal and external communication, running productive meetings, and managing resources such as staff and funding. This also could have been an organizational failure, in that there was no system to have sign-off from functional leads before personnel to perform those roles were selected, to train project managers, or to monitor their performance in real-time. In either case, the project manager was not protected from the organizational influence of the director of engineering, and myriad problems arose, with the stress being more about performance than cost and time, an imbalanced view if one is to maintain customer satisfaction and financial viability.
However, the largest overall issue was due to deficits in communication, both internal and external. Poor internal communication resulted in the lack of coordination between engineering, production, and testing, which caused cost overruns, human


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