Medisys Corp The Intenscare Product Development Team Case Study

MediSys Corp: The IntensCare Product Development Team1. How well is the IntensCare project team performing, and why? Include in your group’sanswer a rating on a scale of 1 to 5 and provide support for your assessment.The IntensCare project team exhibits many of the characteristics of an underperforming team,as noted broadly by the fragile confidence in the team's ability to execute and the negativeinternal dynamics between many team members. Consequently, as a team we believe theIntensCare project team scores a 2 out of 5 on overall project team performance (1 very poorperformance, and 5 very strong performance).The largest factors contributing to poor team and project performance stems from a lack ofcommon understanding regarding the final project objective—ie differing views on the finaldeliverable. The primary goals assumed by Merz and O’Brien best highlight the divergingviewpoints. Merz firmly believes the first product deliverable needs to incorporate modularfunctionality, while O’Brien “acknowledged that engineering had no intention of developingthese modules” in the first version of the new system. The disconnect in project objectivescreates unnecessary friction between team members, which introduces effective conflict andundermines any task conflict that would otherwise help find solutions to the team’s problems.Another fundamental factor derailing team and project performance stems from lack ofcommunication between team members. The lack of communication and development ofconflicting factions (Merz vs the rest of the team) is best exemplified by the email by O’Brien toJack Fogel that describes a critical engineering issue that could negatively impact the productand explicitly aims to exclude Merz from preliminary brainstorming events. The intentionalwithholding of critical information, and even malicious intent to exclude others, exposes a deepdisharmony within the team and a strong undercurrent of negative sentiment that inhibits manyof the traditional benefits gained team projects.In addition to the primary factors listed above, credibility of the project leader from somewithin the team is also hampering the team's abilities. Specifically, Merz holds reservationstowards the project leadership capabilities of Jack. In the absence of the two previously listedfactors, this issue would be easily overcome with deployment of role clarification tools such as aRACI chart, however, the lack of communication and diverging views makes addressingleadership credibility more difficult.

 

Question 1

 Art Beaumont joined MediSys Corp in January 2008. Within weeks he introduced a series of changes.What were those changes and how did he go about making them? If you were Art Beaumont what would you have done under the circumstances? Support your opinions with appropriate evidence.

Beaumont identified areas in the corporation that he believed required changes in order for MediSys Corporation to continue to grow its business. He identified a lack of strategic focuswithin the corporation and he realised the need to be the first to market with innovativeproducts.

Creation of Executive Committee

In reaction to the lack of strategic focus, Beaumont created an Executive Committeecomprising of the five Vice Presidents that reported directly to him. Beaumont was hired intothe role of President to sharpen the strategic focus of the corporation. Based on the Vroom,Yetton and Jago’s normative decision making model, it appears Beaumont made thisdecision in an autocratic (A

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) manner (DuBrin, Dalglish & Miller 2006). It would appear thatthis decision was based on information that was available to him, together with intuition andperhaps his professional experience.

Product Development Process

In order to be first to market with new products, Beaumont saw the need to speed up productdevelopment times. Nohria, Joyce and Roberson (2003) suggest that an agile corporationcan deliver innovative products and anticipate events rather than reacting when it may betoo late. Beaumont set about formalising a fast-tracked product development process byensuring that the critical functional areas work in parallel from the conceptual stage to finalproduction. It appears that Beaumont also made this change in an autocratic manner, as per Vroom, Yetton and Jago’s normative decision making model (DuBrin, Dalglish & Miller 2006).

Different Decision Making Process

In Beaumont’s position I think I would have followed a different decision-making process.There is no question that Beaumont identified some valid problems within MediSysCorporation that required some decisions to be made. To his credit, Beaumont acted quicklyand forcefully however I believe he did not consider all of the stakeholders that would beimpacted by his decisions.In Beaumont’s situation, I would make use of Vroom, Yetton and Jago’s decision-makingtree (DuBrin, Dalglish & Miller 2006). Based on my analysis (Appendix A) of the decision toform the Executive Committee I would have adopted an autocratic (A

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) decision-makingstyle. This approach involves gaining information from the Vice Presidents and the board of MediSys Corporation before making a decision.

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