Analysis adapted from the following:
Pinto, Jeffrey, K., Project Management, Achieving Competitive Advantage, Third Edition—Case Study 5.1, Boeing’s Virtual Fence, Pearson, Inc. 2013, p. 163-64.
The government’s apparent mismanagement of SBInet proved particularly problematic because it delegated its responsibility—securing U.S. borders—to a private contractor without any transparent oversight.
For example, the government supposedly limited its role merely to “apprehending” illegal aliens after SBInet “first detected them.” The overall implementation of technological resources to target illegal immigrants infiltrating U.S. borders, including, inter alia, “listening devices, motion, sensors, cameras, and radar,” Boeing presumably subsumed. [i] The government’s failure to assert these responsibilities and/or communicate is scope management in implementing them appear problematic, plausibly factoring into SBInet’s eventual demise.
As the text asserts, project managers, especially government guardians entrusted with a fiduciary responsibility to secure borders for national security, “require Ronald Reagan’s compelling facility of communication.” Reagan indeed possessed a resplendent extemporaneous ability, as “The Great Communicator” projected his message accordingly without vacillation to “maintain strong contacts with all government stakeholders,” throughout “policy development.” [ii]
Here, however, the government evidently failed to maintain such synchronicity among government stakeholders by “relying on private contractors,” who allegedly supervised SDInet implementation programs. [iii] Reliance on private contracts assumes a “flagrant lack of oversight,” namely, the “synchronous work breakdown structure,” ordinarily ascribed to Project Managers, especially, government agents securing U.S. borders. [iv] If true, assuming such failure to “track ongoing interaction among project team members,” by relinquishing its fiduciary supervisory duties with impunity, the project presumably, “shut out federal agencies and oversight groups.” [v]
To strengthen this probative inference, the government allegedly struggled with intractable issues as obtaining “accurate project status.” [vi] If true, this conclusion also implies shoddy scope management because the government presumably failed to specify its purview of authority in managing borders. A contract requires express specificity in unequivocal, definite terms. But the government’s difficulty procuring “accurate project status,” perhaps from inadequate federal oversight demonstrates it plausibly failed to specify its scope of authority.
Therefore, if true, the government’s inadequate communication—delegating its duties to an independent contract, possibly further precipitated by failures to specify scope of authority—demonstrate irresponsible project management (PM).
As aforementioned, SBInet’s referenced failure seems consistent with both substandard scope management and oversight concerning project controls. Nonetheless, suboptimal scope management perhaps culminated in inadequate oversight, which seems suggestive of a more troubling PM flaw—apparent government failure to communicate. Since communication inheres to scope management—specifying project responsibilities—and failure thereof plausibly triggered inadequate oversight as a contributing factor, SBInet’s failure perhaps more strongly correlates with undefined scope management. For example, the government ostensibly solicited Boeing, an independent contractor to galvanize SBInet, relinquishing its fiduciary responsibilities regarding border protection. If true, the government let Boeing define scope, rather than the government promulgating its scope and integrating those terms expressly under contract. Therefore, the lack of communication inherent in such shoddy scope management—failing to assert responsibilities and/or articulate its range of responsibilities—presumably stultified implementation, inhibiting, “federal oversight.” This inference seems consistent with the textual description of arguably, “shutting out federal agencies and oversight groups,” perhaps further exacerbating difficulties, procuring “accurate project status.”
[i] Pinto, Jeffrey, K., Project Management, Achieving Competitive Advantage, Third Edition—Case Study 5.1, Boeing’s Virtual Fence, Pearson, Inc. 2013, p. 163.
[ii] Id. at 112-13.
[iii] Id. at 163.
[iv] Id. at 145, 155.
[v] Id. at 164.
[vi] Id. at 164.