A Rush to Failure Essay

1546 Words May 25th, 2012 7 Pages
MBA 523
A Rush to Failure Case
The Canadian Aeronautics Administration (CAA) has commissioned two contracting companies, Hollenbeck Aircraft and Eskina Software Systems, to build a set of giant robotic arms known as Retractable Extended-Arms Compatible Holder, or REACH, for the International Space Station. The REACH project has a deadline of six years. It has been noted that under normal circumstances the project would take around 10 years but there are time constraints due to political pressure in the form of threats to cut funding to the CAA and deadlines for construction on the space station itself. The time constraints have been of the utmost importance to the project. But, while the contractors have maintained the deadlines,
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This method is a point of tension because the minimal QA and real-world simulations are perceived to be the reason for the quality problems.
The contract is another main point of dispute for both sides in the case. The contract is called a “cost-plus-fixed-fee contract.” The use of this contract is due to the method of development that creates many unknowns. Under this style of contract the contractors were paid a specified amount over their costs for labor materials and overhead. Siroy and Van Sant both believe that the contract puts all of the risk on CAA and creates discrepancies between the goals of the agency and the contractors.
MacDonagle has a press conference to discuss the use of REACH in the repair of a tear in the space station’s solar collectors. It is noted that it is much safer to use the robotic arms because putting an astronaut so close to high voltage levels could easily electrocute him or her. During the conference they watch as REACH fails to complete this repair due to a system failure notification. Yet, it should be noted that REACH was never designed to do this type of repair so its inability to do so should not be seen as a failure but due to the media’s perception and possibly the information presented in the press conference it was seen as just that.
Identifying Goals All of the stakeholders in this case appear to have different goals which is

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