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- Case Study 5.2: Californias High-Speed Rail ProjectAgoal of the Obama administration has been to promote high-speed railacross the most populous and geographically-dispersed states in theUnited States. The idea is to adopt more energy-saving initiatives whilealso helping to improve states infrastructure. It is with this inmind that the Federal Government made billions available to variousstates in the 20082010 budget cycles. After the Fall, 2010 elections,several states that had elected Republican governors refused the grants,suspicious that this seed money would not be sufficient to pay for whatthey viewed as unnecessary construction based on over-optimisticexpectations of the need for and use of high-speed rail. One of thestates that accepted the money and has moved forward strongly intohigh-speed rail has been California, which has already begun work on a65-mile section in the middle of the state, earning the derisivenickname, the train to nowhere. This case details the statesprojections regarding the need for high-speed rail, against the views ofinfrastructure experts and critics who charge that for a state that isalready in a severe budget crisis, this is just the sort of project thatmakes no sense economically or demographically.Questions
- Assessthe benefits and drawbacks of the high-speed rail project. In youropinion, do benefits outweigh drawbacks, or vice versa? Why? Justifyyour answer.
- What are the implications of starting a project based on tenuous projections that may or may not come true 10 years from now?
- Couldyou justify the California high-speed rail project from the perspectiveof a massive public works initiative? In other words, what otherfactors enter into the decision of whether to pursue a high-speed railproject? Why are they important?
Case Study 6.1: Columbus InstrumentsThiscase is based on a true story of a once-successful organization thathad allowed its project management practices to degenerate to the pointwhere assignment to a project team was often a mark of disfavor and asign of pending termination. The case involves issues of motivation,structural effects on projects, and project team staffing. It offersstudents an opportunity to see how, if left unchecked, certain behaviorsby department heads and others in the organization can work counter tothe desires to use project teams to improve organizational profitabilityand instead make them a dumping ground for malcontents and poorperformers.Questions
- Whatare the implications of CICs approach to staffing project teams? Isthe company using project teams as training grounds for talentedfast-trackers, or as dumping grounds for poor performers?
- How would you advise the CEO to correct the problem? Where would you start?
- Discusshow issues of organizational structure and power played a role in themanner in which project management declined in effectiveness at CIC.
The answer should be in APA 7th edition format.
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