Case Study 1 Hewlett Packard – Kittyhawk Project
Case Study Assignment #1
Read and write an analysis of Case II-9, “Hewlett-Packard: The Flight of the Kittyhawk” from the textbook. Select one partner to work with and prepare an analysis of the case. In your analysis, include answers to the following questions:
a. What would you rate as the strengths and weaknesses of the way Hewlett Packard structured and supported the Kittyhawk development team?
b. What do you think of the way the team set out to find a market for the Kittyhawk?
c. What correct turns and what wrong turns did they make?
d. What do you think are the root causes of the failure of the Kittyhawk program?
e. Is ...view middle of the document...
Strengths of project:
The Team -
Kittyhawk development team enjoyed the meticulous attention and priority of top management HP.
Apart from the financial and functional autonomy their ability to procure best employees from other divisions (even from the other high priority projects such next generation 2Gb project) shows the importance being accorded to this project by the top management of HP.
Kittyhawk three unique technologies to be developed for its implementation. The intellectual property generated would benefitted HP in the future had it been successful.
Encashing Brand Name for Marketing-
Kittyhawk though perceived as internal startup had HP’s brand-name to venture into the market. This reduces the efforts by significant amount
No competition because First in the market-
Early launch had its benefit of having no completion in the market providing the product. This would have given HP an advantage time of atleast 18 months in the market to capture the customer base.
Since the funding of the project was channelized from the profit of another division. The risk of debt was internal thus giving more flexibility.
The Kittyhawk team did not comprised of people who had prior experience of developing new architecture. It only boasted of people who were risk-takers and were willing to take up challenging tasks.
Seymor, the head of Kittyhawk project, was an R&D section manager for DMD with a manufacturing background. He had no prior experience of developing a new architecture. He was selected as the role because of his reputation for quick thinking and action.
Similarly the marketing manager of Kittyhawk, Jeff white had joined HP only a few years back and was enjoyed a similar reputation.
Given the manner in which the team was formed that enthusiasm and risk-taking was given higher priority than experience and knowledge.
It is commendable for the team to have delivered the product within the set deadline. But due to the lack of experience they were a bit overoptimistic of the prospects of such a drive. They did not anticipate the changing market scenario and the dependence of the success of their product on the success of PDA devices.
Lack of Talent retention-
A case where two employees returned back to their departement owing to refuseal for signing the creed ‘I am going to build a small dumb, cheap disk drive!’ portrays lack of professional and mature decision.
No ‘Plan B’-
The team did not had a backup plan and almost zero scope of customizing the product according to the needs and demands of different customers. This is evident from the fact that even the second generation of Kittyhawk (nearly 40 MB) could not accommodate the Windows OS. The team did not have fail-safe plan to compensate the unanticipated.
HP had seemingly chalked out two methods for conducting the market study:
Analysis potential customer Requirements: