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Acuscan Case Study Part 1 and 2 All That You Need !!!

In: Business and Management

Submitted By grindlel
Words 2200
Pages 9
Part One: Analysis

Kelly Thomas - Senior Engineer, Product Development
4-6 Assumptions
1First and foremost, Kelly assumed that Pat, Director of Marketing, knew nothing about quality control. 2He also assumed that all the features for the retinal scanner could not be developed in the time frame allotted. 3The third assumption made by Kelly was that he assumed AcuScan would not have the staff to develop a new product because of lay-offs the previous year. 4Finally, he assumed Pat did not have the technological experience since his past experience was with the cereal business.

Pat Lambert - Director of Marketing
6-9 Assumptions
Pat is not without fault. 1His assumptions led him to believe that the new product would be a simple addition to the product line. 2He also assumed that the programmers had plenty of time to work on new product even with staff cuts in the previous year. 3His third assumption was that because others were not agreeing with him they were not committed to the new product. 4Pat assumed that the job could be done by outside contractors in the time frame called for. 5As with many project managers, Pat assumed a meeting would resolve all problems. 6As far as the customer is concerned, Pat assumed they would be happy with whatever product was developed and launched since AcuScan has been an industry leader for a decade. 7Finally, Pat assumed Kelly was against him since Kelly questioned his QC experience and knowledge.

Cliff O'Connor - CEO
2-3 Assumptions
As CEO, Cliff does not have an easy job and has made some assumptions of his own. First, he assumed Pat's history in marketing for a cereal industry would enable him to produce the new product for AcuScan. Next, he assumed the staff would work together to overcome any hurdles for the goodness of the company. Finally, he assumed there was enough money in the budget to pay for the cost of the new product.

Chris Martinas - VP, Product Development
2-3 Assumptions
Chris assumed it was a simple project all that was needed was adding to the iScanner. He also assumed it would take a little repacking to get the scanner into retail. Finally, Chris assumed it would not take much time to produce new product.

Arguments, Evaluation and Discussion

Evaluations should comprise two to six sentences for each person. Describe 4-6 fallacious arguments, and identify the people who hold them.
Kelly's main argument is that the new product is more complicated to produce than Pat had implied. He also argued that Pat did not understand how the iScanner worked and would have a better understanding if Pat involved him in other areas besides marketing. Kelly's argument is logical since it is based on the time it took the staff to initially develop the iScanner. With knowledge of the company's history of creating a new product, he feels he can offer valuable insight into the development and production of a new product. However, Kelly does not want to jeopardize his reputation, or that of the company, by producing a substandard product.

Pat was emphatic that the scanner should be launched in the retail industry only. He also argued with the CEO saying that Kelly told him it would not be a problem to expand the iScanner line into retail. Another argument Pat has made is that he has bigger problems to solve opposed to answering questions from other staff members.

Pat's decision to launch a new product in a new market was sound and would make AcuScan the first company on the market to launch a new product. His idea to use an outside contractor was not so good since there is a budget deficit and no guarantee the contractor would have the product completed in time. His statement about having bigger problems than to answer questions from other staff members was an emotional one. More than likely he felt people did not want to work with him and he was tackling this project by himself.

Pat does have two fallacious arguments. The first is when he stated other staff members were not supportive of the new product. The other staff members have been with AcuScan longer than Pat and already know what it takes to get a new product developed and marketed. The second fallacious statement made by Pat was an outside contractor would be able to produce the new product in the allotted time given. It is a possibility that the outside contractor is unfamiliar with the AcuScan's product. Therefore, the contractor would have to take the same steps as AcuScan to produce a new product.

The principle argument made by Cliff O'Connor was that the retinal scanner would help them regain their position as the industry leader. He also argued that the product could be developed and launched even thought the company was facing a budget deficit.
It can be interpreted that Cliff made his decision based on the past history of the company and it probably can regain its position at the top. While his decision was logical, it was an unsound decision to assume a new product could be launched in a new market at a minimal cost.

Chris' arguments were that the company had to expand into a different market. He also stated that they had to act quickly to beat the competition. His basis was that if the product did not hit the market by early 2004 it would put AcuScan at a disadvantage since Secur-a was also working on a new product. Chris believed that if AcuScan was first to market that would put it back on top. Chris's argument that the company should jump into a new market is logical and sound because AcuScan must generate new revenue. He also knows that offsetting the budget deficit will require new and innovative products to bring in revenue and keep ahead of its competitors.

Chris made a fallacious argument about the company rising to the top if it developed a new product. There is no guarantee that retail markets will have a need for this type of product. Also, the cost of the product might be too much for retail stores to pass on to consumers.

Part Two: Executive Summary
SUBJECT: New Product Executive Summary
As the new Vice President of Organizational Development, I have been charged with establishing the Organizational Development Department over the coming year. AcuScan is trying to find a new product based on its current retinal scanning system since revenues have fallen. Two members of the management team have suggested a new product for a new market and it is no secret that Kelly Thomas has refused to cooperate. The assumptions made by Kelly, Pat Lambert, Chris Martinas, and yourself all need to be addressed in the open as they are causing confusion and uncertainty. After addressing the assumptions and their arguments, I will provide an evaluation of the arguments and conclude with my recommendations.
Kelly Thomas has made the following assumptions:
1. Pat knows nothing about quality control.
2. All the features for the retinal scanner could not be developed in the time frame allotted.
3. Because of last year's lay-offs AcuScan will not have the staff to develop a new product.
4. Customers will feel cheated if AcuScan's product does not meet their expectations.
5. Pat does not have the technological experience to oversee this project.

Kelly's arguments about the new product being more complicated to produce than Pat implied are not based on fact, but opinion. He also argued that Pat had no understanding as to how the iScanner worked and would be better off if Pat took the time to let him help in other areas of the project. While Kelly's assumptions are mainly personal opinion, his arguments are logical because his decisions are based on past experience in developing the iScanner.

Pat Lambert's assumptions are:
1. The new product would be a simple addition to the new product.
2. Programmers have enough time to work on new product regardless of staff reductions.
3. People are not committed to the project because they do not agree with him.
4. The job could be done by outside contractors in the specified time frame
5. Believes a meeting would solve all the problems.
6. Customers will be happy with whatever product AcuScan launches.
7. Kelly is against him because he questioned his QC knowledge.

Pat argued that the scanner needed to be launched in retail. He also argued with you about a conversation you had with Kelly when you were told it would not be a problem to expand the iScanner. Another argument Pat made is he that he has bigger problems to worry about than answering other staff members' questions.

However, Pat's decision to launch a new product in a new market is sound. For AcuScan to be the first company on the market with a new product will help it move ahead of the competition. In contrast, his idea to use an outside contractor is not sound because we are already facing a budget deficit. When he said he had bigger problems than answering questions from staff members was not rational, but emotional. I believe he feels that he is taking on this responsibility on his own.

Pat had two fallacious arguments: other staff members do not want a new product developed, and an outside contractor would be able to produce the new product in the allotted time given. As I understand it, the outside contractor not unfamiliar with our product so they would have to take the same steps we would in order to produce a new product.

Chris Martinas has assumed the following:
1. It was a simple project all that was needed was adding to iScanner's features.
2. All it would take is a little repackaging in order to get the scanner into retail outlets.
3. It would not take much time to produce the new product.
Chris' arguments were that the company had to expand into a different market and we had to act quickly in order to beat the competition to the consumer. He also argued that if the product did not hit the market by early next year it would put us at a disadvantage with Secur-a because they are working on a new product.

Now, Chris' argument that we should move into a new market is logical and sound because AcuScan does need to create new revenue. He realizes that to keep the company grounded and help the budget deficit that new products are necessary to generate revenue and keep ahead of its competitors.

Chris did make some fallacious argument about the company being on top again if the company developed a new product. There is no guarantee that this is foolproof because retail markets might not have a need for the product and the cost might be too much for retail stores to make a profit.

Lastly, I am making my own assumption that you made the following assumptions:
1. You assumed Pat's success in marketing cereal would enable allow him to lead the new product development for us.
2. You felt the staff would overcome any hurdles by putting the company first.
3. Finally, you assumed there was enough money in the budget to pay for the new product's development.

You have championed the fact that a retail retinal scanner would help AcuScan return to the top of our industry. You also argued that the product could be developed and launched even though we are facing a budget deficit. I believe you are making a logical decision based on our past history and we, in fact would regain our position as the leader in technology. However, while the basis of your argument is logical, it might be an unsound decision to assume a new product could be launched in a new market at a minimal cost.

In conclusion, we are faced with many problems trying to produce and launch a new product. Pat Lambert is not familiar with marketing a new technology and AcuScan is facing a budget crisis. There are no meetings where ideas could have been shared, progress measured, and concerns addressed. There is no teamwork and this is something I feel you should be directly involved in.

My recommendation is to have a team look into other ways to increase revenue instead of creating a larger deficit with a new product: expanding the iScanner into hospitals and government buildings is feasible. We should find alternative ways to increase revenue before launching a new product at a later date -- when our budget is not a problem.
Thank you for your time and attention in this matter. I would like to schedule a face to face meeting with you later this week at a time convenient to you so I can address my concerns raised in this memo. After that, I would like to address this with the individuals mentioned so AcuScan can move forward on a positive note.

///// SIGNED /////
My Name
VP, Organizational Development…...

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