HP Kittyhawk case study analysis

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BA 569: Advanced Strategic Management
Case Write-ups—Hewlett-Packard: The Flight of the KittyHawk(A)
Two years after launching the Kittyhawk in mid-1992, Rick Seymour, the Kittyhawk project leader, was facing a dilemma to continue the project with the three possible options or to recommend to abandon this project. Due to the comparatively small market share in disk-drive market, Bruce Spenner, the general manager of the Disk Memory Division, decided to enlarge Hewlett-Packard’s market share by launch an innovational product - Kittyhawk. However, plans can never keep pace with changes. Kittyhawk didn’t acquire the expected customer segments, which caused the dilemma.

To analyze the internal and external situation of Kittyhawk project,
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Hewlett-Packard’s disc-drive sales in 1992 was only 13% of IBM’s sales. Hewlett-Packard must be aggressive to be the market leader. Historically, 1.8-inch disk drive would be the most predictable next step for most companies. However, Kittyhawk is the first 1.3-inch drive, which is two steps ahead of the whole DMD market. Kittyhawk can differentiated itself from other major players.
Efficient Project Implementation
Rick Seymour choose his teammates he believed can serve the project best. He looked for risk taker and people who were quick thinking and action. In addition, Spenner laid emphasis on the project parameters a lot, especially in time and financial goals. They did everything they can to ensure that the team functioned well. Quite sensibly, Kittyhawk team finished Kittyhawk right on schedule with 12 months, which usually took 18 months.

Issues
Lack of Research and Development
At the beginning of Kittyhawk, David Woito, the project’s R&D manager, required all engineers to sign a creed before joining the team.: “I am going to build a small, dumb, cheap disk drive!” With the limited time, the engineers was able to make a decent 1.3-inch drive, which is small enough. Besides, with high-volume OEM, Kittyhawk priced at around $250. Although it was said that $130 seems to be the cost floor of any fully featured disk drive, the price of Kittyhawk was still in high-end

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