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Critical Thinking: Report to AcuScan CEO

The CEO of AcuScan needs information about the situation described in the GEN 480 Critical Thinking Case Study.
1. Part One: Respond to the specific questions on the worksheet that follows.
2. Part Two: Write an executive summary for the CEO of AcuScan.

1. Describe all assumptions seen in any of documents provided in the case study.
a. Kelly
b. Pat
c. Cliff
d. Chris

2. Explain the arguments made by each of these people.
a. Cliff O'Connor
b. Pat Lambert
c. Kelly Thomas
d. Chris Martinas

3. Evaluate each argument listed above as sound or unsound and why. Indicate whether they are emotional or logical in nature.
a. Cliff O'Connor
b. Pat Lambert
c. Kelly Thomas
d. Chris Martinas

4. Describe specific fallacious arguments, and identify the people who hold them.

1. Describe all problems in this situation.

2. For each problem listed above, describe the data, arguments, and reasoning that contribute to the problem.

3. What is the underlying problem that is the base cause of the conflict within AcuScan?

4. What alternative solutions would you propose for this situation?

5. State the relative strengths and weaknesses of each alternative solution.

6. Which solution will you recommend to the CEO and why?

Executive Summary
Write an executive summary of the case for the CEO of AcuScan. Be sure to include the following:
1. Purpose and scope of document
2. Summary of the situation
3. Key points relating to the situation
4. Conclusions
5. Recommendations and actions to be taken, and why

Solution Preview

Part One: Analysis

Kelly Thomas - Senior Engineer, Product Development
4-6 Assumptions
1First and foremost, Kelly assumed that Pat, Director of Marketing, knew nothing about quality control. 2He also assumed that all the features for the retinal scanner could not be developed in the time frame allotted. 3The third assumption made by Kelly was that he assumed AcuScan would not have the staff to develop a new product because of lay-offs the previous year. 4Finally, he assumed Pat did not have the technological experience since his past experience was with the cereal business.

Pat Lambert - Director of Marketing
6-9 Assumptions
Pat is not without fault. 1His assumptions led him to believe that the new product would be a simple addition to the product line. 2He also assumed that the programmers had plenty of time to work on new product even with staff cuts in the previous year. 3His third assumption was that because others were not agreeing with him they were not committed to the new product. 4Pat assumed that the job could be done by outside contractors in the time frame called for. 5As with many project managers, Pat assumed a meeting would resolve all problems. 6As far as the customer is concerned, Pat assumed they would be happy with whatever product was developed and launched since AcuScan has been an industry leader for a decade. 7Finally, Pat assumed Kelly was against him since Kelly questioned his QC experience and knowledge.

Cliff O'Connor - CEO
2-3 Assumptions
As CEO, Cliff does not have an easy job and has made some assumptions of his own. First, he assumed Pat's history in marketing for a cereal industry would enable him to produce the new product for AcuScan. Next, he assumed the staff would work together to overcome any hurdles for the goodness of the company. Finally, he assumed there was enough money in the budget to pay for the cost of the new product.

Chris Martinas - VP, Product Development
2-3 Assumptions
Chris assumed it was a simple project all that was needed was adding to the iScanner. He also assumed it would take a little repacking to get the scanner into retail. Finally, Chris assumed it would not take much time to produce new product.

Arguments, Evaluation and Discussion

Kelly's main argument is that the new product is more complicated to produce than Pat had implied. He also argued that Pat did not understand how the iScanner worked and would have a better understanding if Pat involved him in other areas besides marketing. Kelly's argument is logical since it is based on the time it took the staff to initially develop the iScanner. With knowledge of the company's history of creating a new product, he feels he can offer valuable insight into the development and production of a new product. However, Kelly does not want to jeopardize his reputation, or that of the company, by producing a substandard product.

Pat was emphatic that the scanner should be launched in the retail industry only. He also argued with the CEO saying that Kelly told him it would not be a problem to expand the iScanner line into ...

Solution Summary

Example of a GEN 480 Critical Thinking memo including analysis, assumptions, and executive summary.