Discussion board reply

I need support with this Management question so I can learn better.

There are two person’s opinion about the discussion board questions. i have to reply them separately.

just give your opinion.


reply for person 1 post……

reply for person 2 post….

Person 1 Post: (john leg)

Allen McDonald was the director of the Space Shuttle Solid Rocket Booster Project for Martin Thiokol during the 1986 Challenger explosion. On January 28, 1986 the Space Shuttle Challenger exploded 73 seconds after launch and sent shock waves across the nation as the tragedy unfolded. In my opinion, often times the government puts timelines and visibility higher that other aspects for publicity like the Challenger Explosion. How would the U.S. look to adversaries if the most advanced space vehicle ever conceived was grounded due to a simple temperature restriction concerning some O-rings? As stated before, just my opinion. On to the discussion, but keep those comments in the back of your head because history often repeats itself.

Allen McDonald said the smartest thing he ever did was refusing to sign a document for NASA stating there were no temperature restrictions for launching the shuttle after his company’s engineers recommended temperature restrictions of 53 degrees and lower. Those temps may not sound extreme, but the night of the launch a cold front blew through Cape Canaveral and lowered temps down to 18 degrees, which also iced much of the space vehicle and launch platforms; much lower than the engineers at Allen’s company recommended. As a PM, Allen did the right thing and listed to his subject matter experts.

The PMI Code of Conduct highlights aspirational and mandatory conduct pertaining to professional conduct. Aspirational conduct being the conduct that we strive to meet, also meaning we should always try and hold ourselves to the highest standards. Mandatory standards pertain to the firm requirements that if not upheld lead to disciplinary action in some form or another. Luckily for Allen he displayed impeccable standards. According to the PMI Code of Ethics and Professional Conduct paragraph 2.2.1 he made a decision and took actions based on the best interest of society, public safety, and the environment. This responsibility was ignored by the government at large.
Sometimes lessons learned are forgotten in the bureaucracy of day to day operations in government entities. I think the lessons learned to always put safety first and sometimes it’s okay to say “no” to pressure were upheld for a long time, but eventually after many leadership changes and management changes those lessons get put aside. People tend to gravitate towards the easiest or quickest solution in most cases and the 2003 the Space Shuttle Columbia disaster was no different. Although there were no ethics violations like there were in 1986, NASA put their trust in computer modeling rather than taking the extra initiative to have a spy satellite take a look at a different angle. Some of my opinions may be speculative concerning government views, but after 22 years of service I have seen some doozies. The key is not to be complacent concerning safety, and as Allen said in his interview to “trust your gut”.

I will never forget the Challenger explosion. I was in third grade attending a private school in Conroe Texas. Thankfully during all memorable events the staff gathered up the students to watch those events on television like elections or shuttle launches. The advantage of attending a private school was the classes were really small and current important events could be discussed during classes and the teachers taught us why those events were important. Anyhow, it was tragedy I will never forget.

Person 2 Post: (Michael)

The challenger disaster happen at the Kennedy space center in Florida. NASA and Morton-Thiokol attempt to cover up what happened prior to, during, and after the catastrophic rocket launch. As stated by Allan J. McDonald in a video provided by the (American Society of Civil Engineers [ASCE], 2017) reveals that on hearing about the initial concerns about the O-ring seal behavior in the presence of low temperature, direct the engineers to investigate the issue. Allan followed the (PMI, 2020, p. 2) code of ethics by deciding and taking actions based on the best interests of society, and the environment.

The Vice President of Engineering made a recommendation that the Scientist at NASA and its Management to not launch the Challenger space rocket below 53℉ because the O-ring seals have not been qualified to run at lower temperatures (ASCE, 2017). The recommendation was based on a lesson learned from qualitative observation from prior projects.

In a move that contradicts science and engineering empiricism, Allan McDonald’s boss, the Vice President of Programme management overrides the initial recommendation provided. The Vice President of Programme management now reports that after recessing the data, it was fine to launch with no restriction of temperature. Management at NASA accepted without any question and requested that the recommendation be put in writing. Allan McDonald ethically refused to sign this revised and patiently wrong recommendation, instead, he made a direct call to people at NASA. He told them that they knew that the recommendation was wrong because people at the solid rocket development company and at NASA know that the rocket seals are not qualified at temperatures below 53℉ (ASCE, 2017). They did not discuss Allan’s concerns in launch meetings.

During the launch, the system exploded because the integrity of the O-ring failed at low temperatures. Allan J McDonald, note breach of ethics in multiple places. The ethical breach occurred throughout the stages of the launch process. There was a mass dereliction of ethical duties such as following the code of ethics as provided by the PMI (PMI, 2020, pp. 1-8). NASA management was in cahoots with the management at Morton-Thiokol. Morton-Thiokol with the knowledge of NASA management made unsafe recommendations about hardware safety at low temperature to be signed off, allowing unsafe launch to proceed, they even manually must scrape off Ice from the rockets prior to launch. After the Challenger disaster, they cover up the root cause of the catastrophic accident.

Allan J. McDonald observed that the lessons learned after the challenger disaster was well implemented initially, but quickly got forgotten after 17 years, leading to the Columbia rocket catastrophic re-entry disaster.

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