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The Blue Spider Project

Question 1: If you were Gary Anderson, would you have accepted this position after the director stated that this would be his baby all the way
Answer: The problem is not with calling the project Directors baby, the problem is with the unethical acceptance that the missile would work up to the required range which actually was not working as per the test

Question 2: Do engineers with MBA degrees aspire to high positions in management

Answer: MBA provides a wider exposure in management and helps the individual in understanding the broad areas of business. This may create the aspiration to take up new roles higher up in management.

Was Gary qualified to be a Project Manager

Though project management require developing specific skills on time management, reporting and driving which Gary might have a little experience, he could have learned these skills on the job. He was qualified as project manager owing to his experience in the organization and management degree.

What are the moral and ethical issue facing Gary

Gary was made to commit as a project manager that the missile would work above 130 degree F, whereas, this was not true Gary reports to Grey in Program Management. He has little authority directly over people, but he does his work thorough matrix relationship in the organization Project management has high stakes and therefore, there are high stakes with the projects. This seems partly true The priority should be given to the overall project. However, if the time permits, he can help the R&D to an extent that his other work do not suffer

What authority does Gary have and to whom he reports

Is it true when you enter project management, you either go up in the organization or out of the door

Is it possible for an executive to take too much interest in an R&D project

Should Paul Evans have been permitted to report information to Gable before reporting to project manager
No, in worst case they can go together

Is it customary for the project manager to prepare all the handouts for a customer interchange meeting
Project manager should take support from the team members.

What happens when a situation of mistrust occurs between the customer and contractor
This leads to unhappy situation and more and more black and white reporting starts happening

Should functional employees of the customer and contractor be permitted to communicate with one another without going through the project office
All the formal communication should happen through the Project office, however, there is no harm in sharing the knowledge

Did Gary demonstrate effective time management

No. Gary missed the timelines multiple times. He also did not communicate to people well in time

Did Gary understand production operations

Gary created work stress by not informing in time and thereby creating chaos in production operations which showed his lack of production operation knowledge

Are functional employees authorized to make project decisions

Functional employees need to take approval of their seniors for project decisions

On R&D projects, should profits be booked periodically or at project termination

There should be clear timelines and profits should be booked only if one phase of the project is over and to that extent

Should a project manager even sensor bad news


Could the lesson learned on the success and failure during project debriefings cause a major change in the project management methodology
Yes. Sharing the lessons learnt can help in avoiding the same pitfalls again