critical thinking challenge

ACME, Inc's Puzzling Case of Overplanning


A review of project performance at ACME, Inc., revealed that planning had a variety of benefits, including clarifying goals and identifying potential resource conflicts. Management at ACME agrees that their planning process was a strong contributor to overall business performance. Still, the company found that in general, projects that were planned extensively had more delays and were more likely to miss their performance goals than projects that were launched with little planning.

 

Question 1:

Which of the following, if true, would help explain the puzzling situation described above?

1) The approach to planning followed by ACME is similar to the approaches followed by other companies in ACME's industry.
2) The people responsible for planning for a project are also the people responsible for the success of that project.
3) At ACME, the only projects that receive extensive planning are those that are high risk.
4) At ACME, the plan for a project must fit into ACME's broad strategic goals.
5) ACME has determined that even effective planning cannot anticipate every possible change in the external environment.

Question 2:

Which of the following, if true about projects at ACME, would strengthen the claim that planning is an important contributor to ACME's performance?

1) Projects that received little planning tended to have more employees working on them than projects that received extensive planning.
2) Projects that received little planning had goals that were simple and well-understood before the planning process began.
3) Both projects that received little planning and projects that received extensive planning used the same general planning procedure.
4) Projects that received extensive planning made the fewest assumptions about changes in the external environment.
5) Projects that received extensive planning were the ones that were considered by ACME's senior management to be most likely to succeed.
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