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“Private Questions & Study Emergency” Reflection – Failed Projects Learning Team Assignment: Choose an organization that is introducing a product or service that has failed. The organization is: “Hewlett-Packard Touch Pad Tablet”Evaluate the project that failed in the organization, including cost of the failure (actual and unrealized), causes, and how monitoring could have prevented the failure. (See attached paper)Use publicly available information, including Securities and Exchanges Commission filings.Discuss strategies that could be implemented to minimize this type of failure in the future. Your assignment is to write only 200 words on the “Cost of the failure (actual and unrealized) causes” only and provide your references on a separate page.That’s it.

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Rescuing Troubled Projects
Hewlett-Packard TouchPad Tablet Failure
Today, several companies continue to keep announcing new products to the market,
without completing their research. However, majority of these new products fail to get the
recognition or the huge percentage of the buying global consumers. One of the companies is
Hewlett-Packard. The organization launched the New TouchPad Tablet in 2011 trying to stay
competitive within the hardware industry with Apple Inc. and other companies and they failed.
Team D will discuss what went wrong, why the HP TouchPad Tablet failed, and what could have
been done to avoid it. Point out the warning signs and what strategies could have implemented to
avoid failure.
How Hewlett-Packard could have avoided the TouchPad Tablet from failing
The TouchPad tablet from Hewlett-Packard was one of the most closely watched new
gadgets of 2011 and quickly turned out to be the year’s biggest flop. There are many reasons
why HP launch of the TouchPad in 2011 was a failure. But the main reason for the failure was
quality assurance. We now know is primary issue with the TouchPad table was due to the
operating system built on the same technology used by many Web browsers called WebOS.
Analysts point to a long list of factors behind the tablet’s quick demise. But some of the people
involved in creating the tablet’s core software now say the product barely had a fighting chance.
“Palm was ahead of its time in trying to build a phone software platform using Web technology,
and we just weren’t able to execute such an ambitious and breakthrough design,” said Paul
Mercer, former senior director of software at Palm, who oversaw the interface design of WebOS
and recruited crucial members of the team” (Chen, 2012).
If the quality management process was string and have implemented the proper controls
the operating system fault would have been discovered. This discovery early on in the project
would have allowed the stakeholders and the right decision could have been made to determine if
to move forward with the launch of the touch pad or to push out the release date. The best
approach in this situation to get the project back on track would have been to reconstruct the risk
plan which is your control tool. There also needed to be a much vetted out quality assurance in
terms of what requirements needs to be meet to ensure quality. For example some of the things
that could have helped avoid the failure would have been: stringent research and testing, product
models and prototypes and ensuring all the criteria / requirements were met prior to launch.
In regards to the risk management plan you would need to list out the potential risks or
issues that already exist and may become worse. Then create risk and issue treatment actions.
Lastly, you will need to conduct additional meetings with stakeholders to reduce the probability
of this occurring again.
Some of the warning signs that appeared to be evident prior to project completion
The HP TouchPad Tablet was introduced but failed because there were problems in the
project implementation. Even before the complete failure of the project, there were early signs
that the project would not succeed. One of the early sign warming that appeared to be evident
even before the completion of the project was the disconnection which was there between the
project strategy and the management of the business. For instance, during the launch of the HP
TouchPad Tablet, there was no ship date nor pricing which dampened most of the attendees. This
made the tablets unavailable for purchase during the events which was well covered by the press
(Kendrick, 2011).
The second sign was that the management direction of the project was missing (Andersen
et al.., 2012). In this case, the launch of the tablet for sale was done on a low profile ceremony.
The company did not have its retail stores, and it depended on major retailers to create an impact
for its launch. Lack of direction by the management to manage the tablet project made it difficult
to promote them or even to be displayed by the retailers. Also, the management team lacked
commitment on the articulated goals. Those who were in charge of the project were not
committed to the implementation of the project to success. This resulted in inconsistent and
tactical decisions which undermined the progress of the project. For instance, despite the
increase in sales after the price of the tablets had been lowered, HP announced its decision to get
off of the tablet market (Kendrick, 2011). The decision was upheld despite there being no
company which was willing to buy the software from them. This demonstrates that the
management was not committed to the project goals.
Strategies that could have been used to prevent the TouchPad Tablet from failure
There were many factors that participated in the failure of the HPs Touchpad Tablet.
Noticeable contributions were issues with HPs management, lack of apps, the competition, and
patience or lack of it (Adhikari, 2018).
The main software behind HPs Touchpad was the WebOS, same technology used by our
web browsers today. This was different from the software used by Apple and Google,
respectively iOS software and Android. During the initial and planning phase of the project,
many of those involved stated the WebOS was ahead of its time in technology and many were
still trying to figure out how to properly leverage the WebOS system and integrate it with the HP
Touchpad design and product requirement. The challenge of surpassing Apple or Google with
inexperienced leaders and engineers to push the technology to the next level was one of the key
issues (Chen, 2012). One of the strategies to fix this would have been to leverage the WebOS
technology and build the required apps to ensure the touchpad would function the way it
supposed to. Many of the workers who initially worked on WebOS stayed with HP because they
believed in the technology they produced and believed it would provide one heck of a touchpad
product. Unfortunately, once the product was introduced during the control and monitoring
stages, the touchpads initial reviews were substandard. What HP should have done in this
instance was give the product a chance and listen to consumer’s likes and dislikes about the
product. Instead, HP decided to stop improving WebOS altogether considerably making the easy
decision to stop production of the touchpad.
Marketing the product was not there. HP and its marketing team failed to leverage the
technology and availability of social media, which in turn is way cheaper than paying millions
for marketing the touchpad via television or printed magazines (Wheibe, 2011). HP failed to
utilized Facebook, Twitter, and the ever increasing popularity of people and their blogs. All of
these social media avenues were available.
From the above analysis, it is evident that for the tablet project to be successful, Hewlett
Packard Company needed to have monitored the market and listen to the views of the customers
and conduct proper marketing. Failure to follow these strategies led to the early warning signs
which were easily identifiable but nothing was done to rescue the project. The managers were
also not patient in the implementation and lacked knowledge on project management where
failure to be keen to the early warning signs by the project managers led to a complete failure of
the whole project.
Adhikari, R. (2018). Tech News World. Retrieved from
Chen, B. X. (2012). The New York Times, In Flop of H.P. TouchPad, an Object Lesson for the
Tech Sector. Retrieved from
Kendrick J. (2011). How HP doomed the TouchPad to failure. Retrieved from
Wheibe, T. (2011). Business Development Strategies. Retrieved from
Williams, T., Jonny Klakegg, O., Walker, D. H., Andersen, B., & Morten Magnussen, O. (2012).
Identifying and acting on early warning signs in complex projects. Project Management
Journal, 43(2), 37-53.

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