The genesis of this assignment is an anecdote recounted in Chapter 13 of our Highsmith text. Highsmith relates how Helen Pukszta reported in a Cutter Business-IT Strategies report, “I recently asked a colleague whether he would prefer to deliver a project somewhat late and over-budget but rich with business benefits, or one that is on time and under budget but of scant value to the business. He thought it was a tough call, and then went for the on-time scenario. Delivering on time and within budget is part of his IT department’s performance metrics. Chasing after the elusive business value, over which he thought he had little control anyway, is not.”
A dilemma is a situation which requires one to make a choice between two alternatives, neither of which is ideal. Pukszta describes what we will call “the project manager’s dilemma.” While it may not be the only dilemma project managers will ever face, the choice between staying within budget and schedule constraints and taking more time to “get something right” is all too common.
For this assignment, you will write a two to four page paper on this topic using the official assignment template provided in NYU Classes. In it, you will analyze the tradeoffs between the two choices and provide your own personal answer to the dilemma.
You may relate any similar situations which you may have encountered in your own career, any previous course you’ve taken, or even integrate sources selected from a trade journal, newspaper or magazine article, book or web-based source. You should describe assumptions and any background information about such situations in your paper. If you do reference a third-party source, please be sure to list its name and provide a link to it if it is available on the Internet or in the Bobst Library’s digital archives.
The wonderful thing about dilemmas is that there are no single answers to them. Your grade will be based on the depth and clarity of your analysis as well as how well you express your own opinion and justify it.