HA 640, Spring 2020 Offsite Essay #1: The Sinking of the Vasa

HA 640, Spring 2020
Offsite Essay #1: The Sinking of the Vasa
In Module 4, we talked about all the things that happen from a the time an organization makes the decision to purchase a new system to the time it’s ready to take the system into a live environment where it becomes part of the daily operations. Your textbook outlines the “best case scenario” and I tried to supplement the material with some personal experiences or take a deeper dive on certain topics that I believe are relevant to you in your careers as future healthcare executives.
My MO with this class is not to have you finish it with all the answers, but for you to be able to pinpoint the right questions to ask. The video I recorded about the Sinking of the Vasa is about a wooden ship, built centuries ago, that meets its end in a swift and catastrophic way. But the same problems that lead to the sinking of the Vasa closely align with some common problems encountered in software development projects – and could just as easily apply to a system implementation. At the end of the article and my presentation, there is a list of antidotes to the common problems many software projects face. I chose this particular case study because I believe it provides a framework for naming, diagnosing and managing risks in an implementation.
Your Deliverable
Please consider a past or present IT product implementation that you have been a part of that did not go well or did not go as planned. Preferably this will have been in healthcare, but it’s okay if you have an experience outside of healthcare that’s just as relevant. In thinking about your experience, I’d like you to do 2 things:
Use the 10 software problems and antidotes from the presentation/article to categorize what went wrong. Use as much detail as you can to describe the situation. You can use multiple antidotes.
Using any information from Chapters 5 and 6 in your textbook, any supplemental material, recorded lectures or outside material, how could the situation have been managed better? What recommendations would you have made so that the situation would not have happened? Are there any steps that were missed that could have corrected your situation? Part of this might involve speculation on your part and that’s okay.
The expected length of your essay is 1-2 pages single spaced. Please cite 2-3 sources to back up your recommendations and list these on a separate page (not part of the essay). Preferred font: 12 points either Arial or Calibri.
Here is a link to the actual article from the IEEE journal: https://www.semanticscholar.org/paper/Why-the-Vasa-Sank-10-Problems-and-Some-Antidotes-Fairley-Willshire/65a2ed319723d06b465792d8777ce4a1dbf1231c
If you’re a visual/details person, here is a video reenactment of the building and sinking of the Vasa: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6IM3vZMlcsI
Evaluation Rubric
 Outstanding graduate level work
Acceptable Graduate Level Work
Content Areas:
Definition of Problem(s)
No areas of content are missing
Covers all content areas with outstanding depth
Addresses topic appropriately with sufficient  depth and breadth
Includes some of the main areas but misses major areas and/or insufficient depth of content
Memo Format
1-2 pages single-spaced
Sources on separate page
Outstandingly clear organization/
Well organized, well written, with no grammatical and typographical errors
Generally well organized with only a few minor errors
Problems in organization and/or  with multiple grammatical or typographical errors
Support for argument/position
References to articles and/or websites
All arguments are very strongly supported
Exceptionally thorough use of references and sources
Acceptable amount and appropriateness of references/sources to address the topic