Essay about Project Management and Program Office

2573 Words Sep 10th, 2011 11 Pages
Federal Radar

On the morning of November 14, Sharon Taylor, Space Warning Network (SPAWN) Program Manager, was getting ready for a private meeting with Paul Shaifer, President of the Federal Rader Corporation (FedRad). Mr. Shaifer had scheduled the meeting to discuss the problems that had plagued the company’s important SPAWN Program during its first year and a half. These problems, which included unauthorized design changes and Taylor’s inability to control the program’s cost, schedule, and technical performance, had contributed to a cost overrun and schedule delay, estimated at 30% and four months respectively, and a general loss of customer confidence.

The Federal Radar Corporation

Since its founding, FedRad had been
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Soon after the contract award, Emery and Taylor developed a long and complete description of the SPAWN Program Office which called for a staff of 20 people reporting to Taylor. Emery and Taylor presented the new organization to key Engineering, Manufacturing, Purchasing, and Marketing Departments personnel. Their attempt to solicit support for the new SPAWN Program Office was a complete failure. Most functional managers vigorously resisted the concept that a centralized program organization should have overall responsibility for a program’s technical, cost, and schedule elements.

“Technical integration has always been performed by the Engineering Department,” declared Charles Greggson, “and, as far as I am concerned, always will. I plan to appoint a Program Engineer, the staff administrator we traditionally use to monitor program activities. This person will handle the Program Office’s contracts with Engineering and I’ll conduct my own Engineering budgeting and scheduling. I think your proposed provision that all customer contract be conducted through the Program Office is unnecessary and unworkable.”

The Purchasing Department resented the appointment of a subcontracts manager and felt that anything this manager would do directly with the subcontractors was a violation of their prerogatives. The Marketing Department opposed the idea that Taylor should play a major role in the marketing effort and should

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