Pat is assuming that it is better for the company to build a new application than improve the existing ones. She is also assuming that it is best to launch a prototype on the market in August and refine it in a second version. Subsequently, she is assuming that the impact on the customer of the new product is enough to counter the effect of small QC and testing periods. She estimates that the eventual ROI explains the initial investment and believes the company's main priority should be the new project.
Kelly is assuming there aren't enough programmers within the company to tackle an entire new project and he is assuming it can't be done by August. In this sense, she is assuming that, realistically, only the first feature on the list can be done and that the estimated figures presented are too optimistic.
Cliff is assuming that the new technology that the company is currently projecting and preparing will mean a recapture of the company's former market share and an overall increase in revenues. Further more, he is assuming that, until the launch of the new product and its first effects, a 15% budget cut from each department is essential in order to keep the company's financial health.
Chris is assuming that, in order to survive in the market and in the new economic conditions, AcuScan needs to expand its technology into new markets. Additionally, he assumes that the expected ROI justifies the initial capital investment.
2) Cliff's argumentation comes from his evaluation of the market and of an analysis of ways to restore the company's market share. In this sense, focusing primarily on a new technology is the best way to recapture the market's attention.
Pat sees everything from a marketing and not a production perspective. In his opinion, for the company, from a marketing point-of-view, it is best to launch the product as soon as possible. This is, according to him, the priority of the company, and it should be achieved even if it means less quality.
Kelly's team of programmers is involved in a series of other projects and, in the eventuality of budget cuts, he arguments that she does not have enough people to complete the project by August. Further more, she knows how much each phase of a project takes, including testing and QC, and evaluates that six months are not enough for a quality product to be completed.
Chris has evaluated that the launch of the product on the market will bring a certain ROI in the future. Compared to this, the initial spending is fully justified.
3) Cliff's arguments seem to come from an overall perspective over the company and its activities. As a CEO, he is able to project long-term plans and analyze the company's trend.
Pat's arguments seem justified from the marketing perspective I have mentioned. In his own area of expertise, he needs to achieve the product launch in August. What happens in production does not really matter.
Kelly seem to have a few emotional arguments, mainly the fact that her division is understaffed and she doesn't have the resources to fulfill the project on time.
Chris's arguments are somewhere on the same line as Pat's. Additionally, his figures show that the amount spend in the begin is justified, which is true, unless the figures are too optimistic.
4) The most important fallacious argument that is used through the case study, by all the characters involved, is the so called ad verecundiam. This means that they all say they are right because they said so: Kelly says she knows it can't be done by August, Pat says it can, because a programmer said so, etc.
Kelly uses argumentum ad infinitum in her argumentation: she keeps repeating over and over again that only one can be done. She also uses arguments by analogy: the first project was done in a year, so it seems natural to believe that this one cannot be done in six months.
Pat often uses argumentum ad ignorantium, because she says it cannot be proven that the project cannot be finished by the due time.
1. The estimate for the project budget is not realistic according to Kelly. The due date for the project is unrealistic.
2. According to Kelly, there isn't enough human resource to pursue the project and finish it by August and the figures are not realistic. Her arguments come from her past experience in previous projects with the company and from the fact that the first project, similar in length and importance, took a year to complete.
3. The conflict situation is quite simple: in order for the company to achieve an increasing market share, it needs to be the first to present the new technology to the customers. This would mean getting it done by August. However, the Senior Engineer argues that a tested product, with a high quality cannot be achieved by then.
4. In my opinion, there are two possible alternative solution. The first one would be to launch the product prototype in August and improve it in the second version, as Pat proposed. The second one would be to go with Kelly's idea: launch the product later, but fully prepared and tested.
5. If the prototype is launched in August, the customers will be thrilled and, further more, it can be tested in actual market conditions (in stores, etc.). However, its quality will be low. On the other hand, launching it later would mean losing preeminence on the market for the new technology, but it would achieve the appropriate QC conditions.
6. In my opinion, the first solution should be preferred. Indeed, the product could be adapted to the requirements of the market and it could be corrected as things went along, with all the positive aspects deriving here from.
In order to regain lost shares of the market and sustain future growth, AcuScan Inc. has decided to launch "Operation Optimize," a new technology meant to keep up with the competitive market that is constantly evolving.
According to the estimates, the best time to launch the product would be August. Reasons for this include being the first on the market with this new technology and the ability to profit from the initial enthusiasm of the customers. Deals with stores that will be acting as testers of the new product have already been concluded.
In order to be able to achieve this goal, there are several key issues of relevance. First of all, the minimum estimated budget of $575,000 needs to be evaluated and approved. This would include costs for software design and programming ($200,000), repackaging design and development ($75,000), marketing campaign ($50,000) and advertising costs ($250,000).
Discussion with the persons involved in the project captured several key points. The product developers sustained the fact that the August deadline is not feasible, at least not at the level of quality that AcuScan is used to. Backing this conclusion were arguments such as previous experience in the company (the iScanner project had taken a year to complete) and the limited human resources available. Further more, the division had to cut 15% of its budget. The Senior Engineer in charge argued that a project implied a programming, a testing and a QC phase, each needing several months to properly complete.
The Marketing Director had a different view point. In his opinion, achieving the release date was the priority, following marketing considerations. In this sense, he suggested that a prototype version, less tested, could be released and that adjustments could be made on the way. According to him, it was benefic to see reactions to the product on the market and that make the adjustments with full knowledge of what the demands actually were.