I. The Orion Shield Project
Gary Allison accepted a position at Scientific Engineering Corporation (SEC) soon after graduating with a Ph. D. in mechanical engineering. Over the last 14 years he established a reputation as a respected and talented project engineer. Everything changed once he accepted a position as Project Manager on the Orion Shield Project.
"This is impossible! Just totally impossible! Ten months ago I was sitting on top of the world. Upper-level management considered me one of the best, if not the best engineer in the plant. Now look at me! I have bags under my eyes, I haven't slept soundly in the last six months, and here I am, cleaning out my desk. I'm sure glad they gave me back my old job in engineering. I guess I could have saved myself a lot of grief and aggravation had I not accepted the promotion to project manager."
II. Project Proposal
Henry Larsen, the director of engineering, called Gary into his office.
“Gary, I just heard that Space Technology will be putting out an RFP for Orion Shield by the end of this month with a thirty-day response time. I've been waiting a long time for this to come along so I can experiment with some ideas of my own.
This is going to be my baby all the way, and I want you to head up the proposal team. It has to be an engineer. I'll make sure that you get a good proposal manager. If we start working now, we can get close to two months of research in. That'll give us a month's edge on everyone else.”
Gary was pleased to be involved in such an effort. He had no trouble getting functional support for the R&D effort necessary to put together a technical proposal. All of the functional managers continually remarked to Gary "This must be a biggy. The director of engineering has thrown all of his support behind you."
On December 2, the RFP was received. Gary identified one trouble area. The technical specifications stated that all components must be able to operate normally and successfully through a...