Gary Allison had no idea what he was getting himself into when he accepted Mr. Larson’s offer to become Program Manager for the Orion Shield Project. Although Gary had a Ph. D. in mechanical engineering and 14 years’ experience as a project engineer, his education and engineering experience could not have properly prepared him for the large undertaking the Orion Shied Project turned out to be (Orion shield project, 2003, p.1).
Managing a program is different and more difficult than managing one project, it is like managing multiple projects and people at once, there is much more involved. According to Schwalbe, “Many program managers worked as project managers earlier ...view middle of the document...
Over the contract’s 10 month period of performance, technical, ethical, legal, contractual, and other program management issues occurred.
The first technical issue reared its head at the very beginning, when the RFP was received. Gary noticed that SEC’s design could not meet the technical specifications required in the RFP. Specifically, the components could not operate within the required temperature range of -65 degrees F to 145 degrees F. SEC’s components would fall short of this requirement, failing at temperatures above130 degrees F” (Orion shield project, 2003, p.2). Henry advised Gary to lie in the proposal, stating that the design could operate up to 155 degrees F. This technical issue becomes an ethical and legal/contractual issue, which will be discussed further in the sections below.
New longer-life raw materials were introduced in the middle of the project, and when these new materials were put through accelerated aging testing, the results showed that the age life would be much less than previously expected, less than five years” (Orion shield project, 2003, p. 11).
Many ethical issues occurred throughout the Orion Shield Project. The first ethical issue occurred when Gary accepted the position as program manager. According to the PMI Code of Ethics and Professional Conduct, project managers should only “accept only those assignments that are consistent with their background, experience, skills, and qualifications” (Schwalbe, 2012, p.24). Gary knew that he was unqualified for the position, but decided to accept the position. Mr. Larson offering the position to Gary was also unethical. Larson stated that he had his reasons for offering Gary the position over other qualified program managers.
Mr. Larson told Gary that he would be totally dedicated to the program no matter how long it took, and said if he wasn’t successful as a program manager he would go “out the door”. This is not only unethical but also threatening. Mr. Larson may be Gary’s superior, but he cannot force him to work long hours, and should not be threating to fire him. Paula, the chief project engineer tried to warn Gary of Mr. Larson’s unethical and manipulative ways. As we learn throughout the Orion Shield Project, all of Mr. Larson’s motives and actions were unethical.
For instance, as mentioned in the technical section, Mr., Larson advised Gary to lie in the proposal to state that their components/design could meet the specifications in the RFP. Larson even stated to Gary “the truth doesn’t win” (Orion shield project, 2003, p.2).The ethical thing to do when Gary realized that their specs could not meet the requirement would have been to let STI know. Maybe STI’s requirements were unrealistic, and they would have been changed if SEC had communicated the issue to STI. If the requirement was realistic, SEC may have lost out on the contract, however, being honest would have been the ethical and the legal thing to do.