Bounded Rationality - a Personal Case Study Reflection Essay

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1. Introduction This report discusses a situation I faced as the Project Manager for a local manufacturing company who was contracted to build a quantity of ten C44aci class locomotives for an international coal distributor. Our company is a market leader in the rail industry, offering complete asset management services to its customers through the design, build and maintenance of locomotives. At the time of contract negotiations it was insisted upon by the customer that this new fire detection system be included within the terms of the contract or risk losing the contract to a competitor; under duress it was agreed by the bid team and included within the scope of contractual deliverables. At the time of contract award the system had not…show more content…
Due to this a sub optimal design including materials to be used was selected by the supplier; which ultimately caused the project to overrun on costs and schedule because of re-work to design and the need to prototype materials.

On reflection of this decision it is now clear to me that more time should have been spent researching product availability and assessing alternative suppliers and their capacity to support such a project. In future to ensure all alternatives have been thoroughly investigated more time should be assigned for the planning stage where all possible alternatives could be identified; following this, the procedure Janis and Mann (1977) define as vigilant analysis could be used to ensure a thorough consideration of each alternative is achieved. This procedure uses a balance sheet approach to ensure a systematic evaluation of each alternative is being achieved with alternatives ranked from most desirable to least desirable.

3.2 Thinking traps and biases At the time of making the decision my behaviour was heavily influenced by my personal motivation to succeed and prove myself as a capable Project Manager. I had recently been appointed into this role and I was not only responsible for the implementation of the system but the overall incorporation of engineering, procurement and production activities along with the management of internal and external
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