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Critical Thinking Case Study

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Critical Thinking Case Study

Case Study: Operation Optimize


AcuScan, Inc faces several challenges as it tries to launch iScanner, a new retinal-scanning product, designed specifically for the retail industry. Assuming the role of Vice President of Operational Development for AcuScan, Miranda must evaluate all arguments and provide alternative solutions.


Cliff O’Connor, Chief Executive Officer, deem extreme measures to be the best option for the company to revive its financial health and reposition itself as an industry leader. The company must re-establish its leadership position by creating a new highly technological product, which will enable the company to be more competitive in the market. Due to economic slowdown and necessary reduction in force the previous year, AcuScan is forced to trim the budget by 15% in every department except for Sales and Marketing, the company’s main revenue generators. Based on the recommendations of the Vice President of Product Development and the Director of Marketing, O’Connor believes the budget cut is reasonable. He believes the company can still develop the iScanner product under the conditions of smaller staff, reduced product and operational budgets. O’Connor argues that although AcuScan has posted an impressive profit in the previous year, major changes are necessary to ensure the company’s continued success. O’Connor’s line of reasoning is a logical, sound argument. The company cannot rely on the previous year’s performance since its success may be attributed to several factors such as cost-saving measures within the company, such as budgets, reduced workforce, etc. AcuScan cannot exclusively give credit to improved sales and service revenue for the record profit. Trimming the budget is a mere short-term solution to the company’s financial problem; therefore, drastic changes must be done to increase sales and service revenues, which would ultimately help the company to succeed.


Kelly Thomas, Chief Engineer of Product Software, believes that it would be impossible for AcuScan to accommodate new product development and concurrently maintain service for existing software product. He points out that the company would be unable to create a whole new program by the target date of August. He believes AcuScan has already exhausted all its human resources as the developers are already supporting existing clients. In addition, current resources do not allow for several features to be created and integrated into the program in such a short time frame. The mandatory budget reduction and possible reduction in force may further hinder projection completion. Thomas and Lambert have opposing views on design and implementation. Thomas believes that it is more important to release a product without any flaws than to get a faulty product out in the market first than its competitors. Thomas’s assumes the conflict between Lambert and himself can be attributed to Lambert’s lack of understanding of how product designs, implementation and AcuScan’s operation. Thomas understands Lambert’s reason for wanting to release the product by August; however, he puts value on quality more than being the first to hit the market. Rushing to get the product out in order to beat the competitor only interferes with the quality development process. Thomas asserts that in order to release a successful product, it must pass AcuScan’s high quality controls and tested in every level to ensure there is no flaw or program bug. Delaying the release date would provide the developers more time to design and test the product. Therefore, Thomas believes that Lambert and Martinas’ approximation of iScanner Retail product delivery is improbable. The arguments made by Thomas can be both considered emotional and logical. Thomas has been with the company for at least a decade, created a successful product for AcuScan, understands the company’s history and objectives, and the company’s financial and technological capabilities. He understands the difficulty in meeting a short deadline based on the workload, availability and skills of the staff. Based on these factors, he makes a logical argument that it would be difficult for AcuScan to release a new product by the company’s desired deadline. However, Thomas’ reluctance to meet with Lambert to discuss product specifications, alternatives or compromise reflects Thomas’ tendency to react based on his emotions. His argumentative nature towards Lambert is countered productive. In addition, Thomas uses the flawed “not invented here” argument by rejecting Marketing’s idea because it was not formulated using AcuScan’s traditional way of thinking.

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