The genesis of this assignment is an anecdote recounted in Chapter 13 of our Highsmith text. Highsmith relates how Helen Pukszta reported in a Cutter Business-IT Strategies report, “I recently asked a colleague whether he would prefer to deliver a project somewhat late and over-budget but rich with business benefits, or one that is on time and under budget but of scant value to the business. He thought it was a tough call, and then went for the on-time scenario. Delivering on time and within budget is part of his IT department’s performance metrics. Chasing after the elusive business value, over which he thought he had little control anyway, is not.”

A dilemma is a situation which requires one to make a choice between two alternatives, neither of which is ideal. Pukszta describes what we will call “the project manager’s dilemma.” While it may not be the only dilemma project managers will ever face, the choice between staying within budget and schedule constraints and taking more time to “get something right” is all too common.

For this assignment, you will write a two to four page paper on this topic using the official assignment template provided in NYU Classes. In it, you will analyze the tradeoffs between the two choices and provide your own personal answer to the dilemma.

You may relate any similar situations which you may have encountered in your own career, any previous course you’ve taken, or even integrate sources selected from a trade journal, newspaper or magazine article, book or web-based source. You should describe assumptions and any background information about such situations in your paper. If you do reference a third-party source, please be sure to list its name and provide a link to it if it is available on the Internet or in the Bobst Library’s digital archives.

The wonderful thing about dilemmas is that there are no single answers to them. Your grade will be based on the depth and clarity of your analysis as well as how well you express your own opinion and justify it.

Submit this assignment in the designated area in NYU Classes by 11:55 PM on Sunday, September 23rd.

Each written assignment for this course must be word processed, have a 12-point font size, be double spaced and submitted on the scheduled due date. Reports and/or papers that are submitted after the due date will be automatically reduced in score by 20% before they are read. All written reports must be submitted with a cover sheet, using the template provided for the course. Failure to include a cover sheet will result in an automatic reduction in points. The cover sheet must include student name, course name, course ID number, the assignment name given above and the date of submission.

The criteria the instructor will use to evaluate student performance with respect to the Project Manager’s Dilemma assignment is shown below:

An exemplary score (95 to 100 points) will be given to summaries which:
Provides in-depth, clear analysis of the tradeoffs involved in “the project manager’s dilemma”.
Explains the student’s opinion of the dilemma in a clear, thoughtful manner. The student may qualify his/her opinions, but must give the instructor a clear sense of under which circumstances the student would prefer to be either a project manager who gets a project completed within budget and time constraints or wants to be known for providing value in project results, even if constraints aren’t met.
The length of the paper is no less than two pages, using the template provided and no more than four pages.
The paper is well-organized and written, with minimal language errors.

An effective score (80 to 94 points) will be given to summaries which:
Provide some analysis of the dilemma’s tradeoffs, but does not do so clearly or does not offer sufficient depth of analysis.
Offer a personal opinion regarding the dilemma, but does not sufficiently explain or justify it.
Do not meet the length constraints described above.
Contain more than a minimal number of organization or language issues

An ineffective score (0 to 79 points) will be given to summaries which:
Do not provide a clear analysis of the dilemma, or the analysis is only superficial.
Do not clearly state the student’s opinion regarding the dilemma.
Do not met the length constraints described above.
Contain a significant number of organization and language issues.

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