In June of 1998, the executive committee of Quantum Telecom reluctantly approved two R&D projects that required technical breakthroughs. To make matters worse, the two products had to be developed by the summer of 1999 and introduced into the marketplace quickly. The life expectancy of both products was estimated to be less than one year because of the rate of change in technology. Yet, despite these risks, the two projects were fully funded. Two senior executives were assigned as the project sponsors, one for each project.
Quantum Telecom had a world-class project management methodology with five life cycle phases and five gate review meetings. The gate review meetings were go/no-go decision points based upon present performance and future risks. Each sponsor was authorized and empowered to make any and all decisions relative to projects, including termination.
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