Valid Case Study Prompt: In Milestone Four, you will analyze the project team in the VALID case study and discuss mindset, motivation, disposition, and ass

Valid Case Study Prompt: In Milestone Four, you will analyze the project team in the VALID case study and discuss mindset, motivation, disposition, and assumptions. You will also assess the work performance of the project team and how it might have been affected by mindset.

 Specifically, the following critical elements must be addressed:

Project Team 

A. Characterize the mindset of the engineers on the project team. What are their strengths and weaknesses? Defend your position with specific evidence. 

B. Specifically describe the motivations, dispositions, and assumptions of the engineers working on the project team. How are they distinct from those of the nontechnical members of the project team? Illustrate with specific examples.

 C. Assess the extent to which the distinct mindset of the engineers impacts their work performance. In what ways are the engineers not thinking or acting strategically? To what extent are they failing to maintain a holistic view of the entire project? Illustrate with specific examples

Guidelines for Submission:

 Milestone Four should be a 2 page Microsoft Word document with double spacing, 12-point Times New Roman font, one-inch margins, and sources cited in APA format. ema600_valid_case_study/ema600_valid_case_study_overview.docx
EMA 600 Case Study

VALID: Short Circuited Battery

Overview

The final project for this course is the creation of a new manager case report.

As you have learned in this course, an engineering project can be thought of as a complex system with many interrelated parts. In your role as an engineering manager, you must be aware of the typical problems that can disrupt that system. Sometimes you may be brought into an existing project—perhaps because of a restructuring in the organizational chart or because that project has gone off-track and is in need of new leadership. When that happens, it is important to thoroughly assess the project dynamics before implementing new management strategies.

In this assessment, you will assume the role of a newly hired engineering manager for a company called VALID, and you have been brought in to diagnose and fix the problems plaguing an important project for —namely, to develop safer, thermally-stable lithium-ion batteries. Your task is to assess the root cause issues and identify possible strategies for addressing each to present to the executive leadership team. The main areas of dysfunction include methodological or “handoff” failures between the different teams; interpersonal and communication breakdowns across the technical divide; and, potential ethical dilemmas in balancing engineering integrity with business needs. You must apply your knowledge gained throughout this course in developing a new manager case report aimed at transforming the project into a well-functioning system.

Introduction and Background

You have accepted a position as engineering manager for the lithium-ion battery development team (LiBDT) of VALID, Inc. (VA=powered lithium-ion devices), a highly respected engineering firm with an illustrious history of bringing cutting-edge energy storage to the marketplace.

You accept the management position fully aware that in the recent past several news stories have surfaced about problems with lithium-ion batteries. The first thing you do as a new manager is some research into the problem. You find the following related news stories.

Consumer Reports:

Chemical & Engineering News:
Periodic graphics: Why Li-Ion batteries catch fire

CBS New Report:

(2:11)

Joint Center for Energy Storage Research:

Electropaedia:

Phys.Org:

MIT News:

Although VALID has not been implicated in any of the stories, its market share has suffered significant drops, nonetheless, and the bad press for lithium-ion batteries is affecting sales. This situation coupled with a growing discord within the development team and the recent internal testing failure of the new lithium-ion battery line, led VALID’s executive leadership team to dismiss the former manager, Peter Q. Robin, and downsize the group by 20%. The company was upfront with you when you interviewed for the position to replace Mr. Robin as manager of the lithium-ion battery development division. They acknowledged conflict within the engineering team as well as the decline in company’s market share.

It is understood by the executive leadership team that you do not have engineering expertise. You have been hired for your management leadership skills. You job is to thoroughly assess the project dynamics before implementing new management strategies by assessing the root cause issues and identifying possible strategies for addressing each. You are charged with rebuilding a cohesive and collaborative LiBDT team to release a new safe, high-energy battery. VALID believes that LiBDT needs to lead the industry with safer, thermally-stable lithium-ion batteries if the company is to recover a solid market share.

To begin, the executive leadership team has asked you for a project analysis in the form of a “case report,” analyzing the details of project methodology, the project team, and ethical concerns. They would also like your opinion on the overall health of the project and your general recommendations.

Problem Statement: In the recent VALID prototype failure there was a mismatch between the residual heat generated and the battery’s capacity to dissipate that heat. Consequently, the battery exceeded the established safe temperature limits. The prototype development followed the standard engineering design process, using industry standard software tools to simulate the conditions, the battery response, and to determine the design of the thermal packaging. Testing followed industry standards as well, but in the final tests the battery temperature was significantly different from the predicted simulation values. Simultaneously, the marketing division had already sent out pre-release advertisements enthusiastically promising a new, more powerful battery for all your toys and tools.

Project Structure: The lithium-ion battery development team is comprised of two sub-groups. The electrical and chemical engineering group works on developing higher electron density packing factors. The mechanical engineers and materials scientists address the electric anode/cathode isolating materials and the heat dissipation enclosure designs.

Challenges: It is unclear at this time what led to the discord within the team, but it is interfering with productive development and has become a critical factor in meeting the delivery schedules promised by the marketing division. The last prototype failed internal testing due to overheating, and the previous manager was trying to get the product released to satisfy the marketing department’s schedule and promises made to clients.

Your role as manager is to understand the root causes for the disturbances and bring the team together. An important part of this is to build cooperation between the two primary teams and relieve the pressures felt by the other divisions’ expectations.

Notes: As you flip through the files you see some notes left by the previous project manager, Peter Q. Robin:

· Disharmony among groups? Why? Root causes? Can it be rectified? How?

· Ethical issues?

· Product testing? Internal inspections? Product release? Constraints? Limits? Reliability? Safety?

· Communication w/marketing? Communication w/stakeholders? Communication w/engineering team? How to restore trust? Why should stakeholders trust us after the battery problems our competitors had?

ema600_valid_case_study/VALID Communications File/EELitihumIonEmailExchange.docx

Lithium-Ion Electronics Team Communication

Note: To get a full picture of the communication process throughout the project, pay close attention to dates and times of the emails below and how they interact with the other email threads in the project. In other words, you want to determine what Peter and the various key members of the team knew and when they knew it, as well as what significant information they were missing at any given time.

Also, as you analyze the communications, pay particularly close attention to communication styles among technical and non-technical employees as you apply the knowledge gained from the textbook about mindset, motivations, and assumptions.

You will also be analyzing the ethical concerns at the intersection of business, society, and engineering.

From: Peter.Q.Robin <>

Date: Friday, October 9, 2015 at 11:12 AM

To: Carolyn.D.Energy < >

Subject: Re:: Battery Volt Limits

Thanks Carolyn,

At the basic level, Harold did corroborate your findings. We don’t have the budget to make multiple physical models. I’ll talk with Harold to see what other options exist for him.

Keep your team focused on this new line.

Appreciate it,

Pete

===========

From: Carolyn.D.Energy < >

Date: Thursday, October 8, 2015 at 4:12 PM

To: Harold.I.Janu < >

Subject: Re:: Battery Volt Limits

Hi Harold,

I’m glad you were able to get similar results compared to our work. We don’t normally make physical models of our units beyond millimeter laboratory scales. If your results match our test model, why do you need more information from us?

– Carol

===========

From: Carolyn.D.Energy < >

Date: Wednesday, October 7, 2015 at 1:55 PM

To: Peter.Q.Robin <>

Subject: RE: Battery Volt Limits

Hi Pete,

Harold did some tests. He wants to do several more and also wants some physical prototypes before giving the green light. However, his earlier simulations do show that the new Li-Ion composition did give the voltage and temperature that we predicted based on our electronic measurements. If we are to generate some preliminary physical prototypes for the mechanical group, then I need a separate charge number for it. My budget doesn’t allow for such a request. It will also take us a week if we’re going to run tests at 110% maximum load conditions, and I need another technician at minimum to replace some of my missing staff if you want the results by then.

Carolyn

===========

From: Harold.I.Janu < >

Date: Wednesday, October 7, 2015 at 8:30 AM

To: Carolyn.D.Energy < >

Subject: RE: Battery Volt Limits

Hi Carolyn,

We’ve run some standard test simulations on your new Li-Ion composition. As you’ve stated, the simulations corroborate your set point. However, you should really use 110% maximum load drainage and recharge rates to verify that the composition is stable under those conditions. The simulations for those set of loads is not reliable at the current resolution. We’d need much greater resolution to address that. I think this composition is on the border of causing Lithium Plating and breaking down the SEI layer. We will run some additional simulations as best we can. If you can provide a few physical prototypes, we can subject them to more intense load testing. Can you work with Pete to get that implemented?

Harold

===========

From: Carolyn.D.Energy < >

Date: Tuesday, September 29, 2015 at 4:30 PM

To: Harold.I.Janu < >

Subject: Battery Volt Limits

Hi Harold,

I’ve told you we’ve gotten reliable reproducibility of a Li-Ion mixture with set points at 4.1V and 92 deg C steady-state dissipation temperature. We haven’t looked at the microstructure yet. Our recharge rate was overnight and our loads were at 20% of maximum load. My staff is short by 2, one on jury duty and another is out with the flu for the week. We will continue to perform more tests and gather more data. However, the system does create the 4.1V at 92oC and that is within the acceptable range.

See you,

Carolyn

===========

From: Harold.I.Janu < >

Date: Tuesday, September 29, 2015 at 3:17 PM

To: Carolyn.D.Energy < >

Subject: RE: Battery Volt Limits

Yikes Carolyn,

Do we really want to operate there? What do your chemist findings reveal about the Li-Plating growths under prolonged energy drainage or charging about that set point? How long have you operated at this set point? What were your deviations? How much of a recharge voltage were you applying? I think we need to know how stable your new design is at that set point before we see if we can dissipate the heat loads with that configuration.

Harold

===========

From: Carolyn.D.Energy < >

Date: Tuesday, September 29, 2015 at 2:35 PM

To: Harold.I.Janu < >

Subject: Battery Volt Limits

Hi Harold,

My team has gotten reliable reproducibility of a Li-Ion mixture with more free lithium ions. It reaches 4.1V at 92 deg C steady-state dissipation temperature. Can your team work up a packaging unit for it so that it can work with power drills and portable skill saws? I’ve attached the compound mixture formulation for your simulation parameters.

See you,

Carolyn

===========

From: Peter.Q.Robin <>

Date: Tuesday, September 29, 2015 at 9:17 AM

To: Carolyn.D.Energy < >

Subject: Battery Volt Limits

Hi Carolyn,

I’m excited that you’ve pushed the electronics to output 4.1 volts per cell. This will really extend the power duration of our battery line. You mentioned that the repeatability of the voltage was very good, but that it was on the margin of the thermal and voltage limits. Can you send Harold the development information so they can work on new heat venting designs?

Pete

ema600_valid_case_study/VALID Communications File/MarketingAnnouncementVALID.docx

Interoffice Memo

Subject: New Release of Li-4

Date: October 13, 2015

To: Lithium-Ion Battery Development Division

From: Margaret N. Overtop, Director

Marketing and Communications

We’ve just released the announcement that our new longer lasting lithium-ion battery will be on the market in time for the upcoming holiday season! This breakthrough will provide us with the single, most rewarding opportunity for VALID! We will have the top battery in power and duration! Hurray!!

We know this will be a mad rush to get our production lines in shape to manufacture sufficient product quantity for the holidays.

Thanks, in advance to everyone for being willing to help with this push. Our product will be the first out there operating with this boosted power capacity. It will put us back on top!

Congratulations, everyone!

Maggie

ema600_valid_case_study/VALID Communications File/MarketingEmailExchange.docx

Marketing Communications

Note: To get a full picture of the communication process throughout the project, pay close attention to dates and times of the emails below and how they interact with the other email threads in the project. In other words, you want to determine what Peter and the various key members of the team knew and when they knew it, as well as what significant information they were missing at any given time.

Also, as you analyze the communications, pay particularly close attention to communication styles among technical and non-technical employees as you apply the knowledge gained from the textbook about mindset, motivations, and assumptions.

You will also be analyzing the ethical concerns at the intersection of business, society, and engineering.

From: Margaret.N.Overtop < >

Date: Thursday, October 8, 2015 at 1:39 PM

To: Peter.Q.Robin <>

Subject: can we meet today ☺

Outstanding Pete!

I knew you had achieved success! Let me have my team craft up an announcement. We’ll show it to the boss and I’ll send it to you too.

Stay charged ☺

Maggie

===========

From: Margaret.N.Overtop < >

Date: Friday, October 9, 2015 at9:32 AM

To: David L Richie < >

Subject: Extended tests requested

Nice to hear from you David.

Yes, development has a new prototype. It will put us back in the lead, especially if we can get it to our B2B clients for the upcoming holiday season. ☺ ☺ They’ll love having an extra 20 minutes of drilling per battery! Why do we need to wait a month? It would completely destroy the entire holiday season! We can’t do that. Especially since we’ve got the product in hand!

Miss you,

Maggie

===========

From: David L Richie < >

Date: Friday, October 9, 2015 at 8:55 AM

To: Margaret.N.Overtop < >

Subject: Extended tests requested

Dear Maggie,

Development has a new prototype that can run at higher voltages and longer times than our competitors. However, they are seeking to delay by a month and exceed budget by 3 people plus a month!

How do you view this situation?

David

===========

From: Peter.Q.Robin <>

Date: Wednesday, October 7, 2015 at 1:23 PM

To: Margaret.N.Overtop < >

Subject: RE: can we meet today ☺

Hi Maggie,

OK, yes our new battery prototype is “bigger” and “better.” The tested application environment was in large open spaces with commercial auxiliary cooling. We hope to have more information in a week or so. We still need to monitor the behavior in realistic environmental situations as well as testing at the limits of the operational parameters. We need to run the test at 110% loads, and similar charging rates too.

Pete

===========

From: Peter.Q.Robin <>

Date: Tuesday, October 6, 2015 at 2:13 PM

To: Margaret.N.Overtop < >

Subject: RE: can we meet today ☺

Hi Maggie,

Sure, see you at 4:30 at Jakes.

Pete

===========

From: Margaret.N.Overtop < >

Date: Tuesday, October 6, 2015 at 1:15 PM

To: Peter.Q.Robin <>

Subject: can we meet today ☺

Aw Pete

I’m happy you got a bigger, better battery. It will be great to announce this. The boss will love it. That’s about all I understood in your response, but that’s OK! Let’s meet. How about the happy hour this afternoon at Jakes, my treat!

Looking forward to it ☺

Maggie

===========

From: Peter.Q.Robin <>

Date: Tuesday, October 6, 2015 at 11:03 AM

To: Margaret.N.Overtop < >

Subject: RE: can we meet today ☺

Hi Maggie,

Yes, our Electrical team has increased the voltage output per cell in our newest prototype. However, its testing is still not completed and the Mechanical team hasn’t designed a new heat dissipation harness nor determined what the heat flux loads will be under various conditions. The efficiency of the 4VA transformer isn’t determined either. I think it is too early for a discussion.

Pete

===========

From: Margaret.N.Overtop < >

Date: Tuesday, October 6, 2015 at 9:45 AM

To: Peter.Q.Robin <>

Subject: can we meet today ☺

Hey Pete!!

I just heard last night at cocktails that your team has delivered an upgraded battery power system. This will be great if we can get some press on it. We’ve been in a slump with all the battery upsets from other manufacturers. Can I stop by and have a chat with you later today?

Looking forward to it ☺

Maggie

ema600_valid_case_study/VALID Communications File/MELitihumIonEmailExchange.docx

Lithium-Ion Mechanical and Materials Communication

Note: To get a full picture of the communication process throughout the project, pay close attention to dates and times of the emails below and how they interact with the other email threads in the project. In other words, you want to determine what Peter and the various key members of the team knew and when they knew it, as well as what significant information they were missing at any given time.

Also, as you analyze the communications, pay particularly close attention to communication styles among technical and non-technical employees as you apply the knowledge gained from the textbook about mindset, motivations, and assumptions.

You will also be analyzing the ethical concerns at the intersection of business, society, and engineering.

From: Peter.Q.Robin <>

Date: Friday, October 9, 2015 at 11:55

AM

To: Harold.I.Janu < >

Subject: Re: RE: Battery Temp Limits

Harold,

Your group has used all the industry standards for testing and we have documentation of that. Those tests indicated that the modified electronics should produce heat within an acceptable range. Going to higher resolution studies will require an external contract and NDA agreements. It is unclear that it will necessarily give us definitive answers. Let’s go with what we have.

Pete

===========

From: David L Richie < >

Date: Friday, October 9, 2015 at 9:55 AM

To: Peter.Q.Robin <>

Subject: Extended tests requested

Dear Peter,

You’ve developed a new prototype that can run at higher voltages and longer times than our competitors. Your results have been stable. EE wants to push it forward and Marketing thinks it will bring a fresh relief to many of our customers.

Now, you’re asking for a month delay, potentially releasing our new prototype out before being released and Marketing wants this on the shelves for the holidays? We should keep this within our walls only. I don’t want to authorize external simulation teams to have all our data.

Our industry has been in the slumps. Our sales have dropped; our image has faded. If this can bring new light upon us, then why should we bury it and miss out on the entire holiday season sales.

See what else you can do. But I don’t want to wait on this needed relief from all the negative lithium-ion press.

David

===========

From: Peter.Q.Robin <>

Date: Friday, October 9, 2015 at 8:23 AM

To: David L Richie < >

Subject: Extended tests requested

Hi David,

We’ve developed a new prototype that can run at 4.1V and 91oC. It is on the cusp of stability. Our results have been stable under very limited testing. EE wants to push it forward. Marketing thinks it will bring a fresh relief to much of the clientale. ME wants to extend tests and run the components at 110% of maximum load, build a few prototypes and see what the long term effects are on the lithium plating within the batteries. This will require that we hire an external simulation team, get their NDA in place and hire 3 new staff (that could be temporary) to get the results done in the next month. Can you work on a charge account that I can use to address these needs?

Pete

===========

From: Harold.I.Janu < >

Date: Wednesday, October 7, 2015 at 2:30 PM

To: Peter.Q.Robin <>

Subject: RE: RE: RE: Battery Temp Limits

Hi Pete,

The thermal characteristics are fairly subtle and require detailed, high resolution simulations. The lithium plating can remove active voltage potential sites on the substrate. Consequently, the available sites have greater draw. We ran a number of simulations using the highest resolution that we could manage on our system but it is still under-resolved. We can’t simulate all the plating site consequences. Once we move into higher temperature and voltage areas, the lithium plating changes the material characteristics and that requires further resolution to address the materials science forecasting on material site availability and material property changes. Further the solid electrolyte interface material properties change too. Each situation requires additional resolutions to determine if the new EE configurations will be dependable. This will take time and we need external computational resources to resolve it.

Harold

===========

From: Peter.Q.Robin <>

Date: Wednesday, October 7, 2015 at 12:20 PM

To: Harold.I.Janu < >

Subject: Re: RE: Battery Temp Limits

Hi Harold,

What was wrong with the previous simulations? Why does a few degrees change the simulation requirements?

Pete

===========

From: Harold.I.Janu < >

Date: Wednesday, October 7, 2015 at 11:45 AM

To: Peter.Q.Robin <>

Subject: RE: Battery Temp Limits

Hi Pete,

The Electrical team wanted to expand the voltage over which the batteries would operate and this resulted in a change in the thermal characteristics. In order for them to increase the voltage to 4.1V per cell they simultaneously were borderline around 92 degC. The new design is pushing the battery to the perimeter of the safe limits. We need more data and we need to increase the simulation resolution. However, this will take more time. Tell marketing to wait. Carolyn has been reluctant to have her chemist measure the onset and development of Lithium Plating. I think that needs to be done. I’ve asked her for some prototypes. Currently her load applications are at 20% of maximum. However, users will apply significantly larger loads for many applications. We need more time to measure the potential degradation of the Li-I compound and many high-resolution simulations.

Harold

===========

From: Peter.Q.Robin <>

Date: Wednesday, October 7, 2015 at 10:29 AM

To: Harold.I.Janu < >

Subject: Battery Temp Limits

Hi Harold,

Just following up on this morning’s meeting. You mentioned that test results indicate that the batteries are operating near the edge of, or outside of, the safe operating region. Is this consistent across all batteries, all tests? Do we know what the uncertainties are? Marketing is looking to try and get an announcement out on this new prototype.

Pete

ema600_valid_case_study/VALID Personnel and Team Structure File/ema600_dlr_resume.docx

RESUME

 

Mr. David L. Richie

538 Greenback Drive, Washington DC 20002

DLR@VALID.com

 

Chief Financial Officer overseeing IT, facilities and financial services.

 

I am responsible for managing the financial, physical, and technological resources of the corporation. I am responsible for budget and planning; financial accounting and reporting; financial services; facilities operations; planning, design, and construction of capital projects.

 

      2013 – present      CFO, VALID Inc.

      2008 – 2013         Director of Controller’s Office, Happy Pharmaceuticals, Inc.

      2005 – 2008           Director of Sales, Latino Fashions, Inc.

      2008 -2010          Associate Director of Finance, Streaming Cable Services, Inc.

2006 – 2008 MBA in finance and foreign markets, Greens University, London.

      2002 – 2006           BBA in finance, Peak University, Colorado Springs, CO.

 

     

Chief Financial Officer

Progressive executive leader with rapid career advancement and record of sound financial advisement for multiple companies. Driver for operational efficiency using proven metrics that optimize productivity and keep strong employee morale.

 

· Member AFP, Association of Financial Professionals

· Member AFA, American Finance Association

· Member AMA, American Management Association

ema600_valid_case_study/VALID Personnel and Team Structure File/ema600_ee_resume.docx

RESUME

 

Carolyn D. Energy, Ph.D.

123 Hadley St, Youngstown, PA 05423

CDE@VALID.com

 

 

Director of the Lithium-Ion Electronics Team

 

USAF veteran serving on high altitude radar signal processing and local energy storage requirements for radar units. Solid foundation in circuitry and board designs for high energy requirements.

 

      2014 – present      Director of the Lithium-Ion Electronics Team, VALID Inc.

      2009 – 2014          Senior engineer in Lithium-Ion Battery group, VALID Inc.

      2004 – 2009           Circuitry and schematic design engineer, ABC Inc.

      1996 – 2003          Ph.D. Electrical Engineering, University of Volts

      1992 – 1996           BSEE Electrical Engineering, University of Watts

 

     

Chief LiBDT director of Electronics

Responsible for technology vision, design and development of high energy Li-Ion battery development.

 

 

∙        Senior Member IEEE

∙        Strathmore’s Who’s Who in Engineering

∙        Member of The Electromagnetic Academy (Volts)

 

 

113 publications, 2 books, 5 patents.

ema600_valid_case_study/VALID Personnel and Team Structure File/ema600_me_resume.docx

RESUME

 

Dr. Harold I. Janu, PE

1024 Archimedes Ave, Boston, MA 05053

HIJ@VALID.com

 

Director of the Lithium-Ion Mechanical and Materials Design Team

 

US Navy veteran served on the USS Maine. Primary duties were thermal regulation of engines and HVAC throughout the ship. Area of specialty was associated with evaporative cooling and energy utilization.

 

2010 – present Director, Lithium-Ion Mechanical and Materials Team, VALID Inc.

2003 – 2010 Senior Technical Engineer in Evaporative Cooling, FREEZE Inc.

2000 – 2003 Advanced Design Engineer, FREEZE Inc.

1994 – 2000 Ph.D. Mechanical Engineering, University of MHD

1990 – 1994 BSME Mechanical Engineering, University of Linkage

 

     

Chief LiBDT Director of Mechanical and Materials Design

Responsible for advanced technology vision, design, and development of high energy heat dissipation containers and advanced electrical insulation materials for Li-Ion battery applications.

 

 

∙        Fellow ASME

∙        Member National Academy of Engineers

∙        Member of The …

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