The Vasa Project’s Major Problems
There were six central issues with the Vasa project. The king (user) altered the initial specifications when the project had already advanced, and the project manager Hybertson was unable to accommodate these new requirements. The project manager had no provision for making additions or adjustments to the initial specifications. The rigidity of the process caused the project manager to try in vain to convince the king to stick to the original specifications. The inability to adjust to the new specifications showed that there was a problem with this project. The project manager embarked on the final project too early, too fast, acquiring and cutting the timber needed to the initial specifications that were later changed by the king. Hybertson needed to consider using a miniature model of the ship (prototype) to gather more user requirements before embarking on the real project.
There had never been a ship built of that design with two-gun decks implying that the project manager had limited technical expertise. The fact that there was no ship initially built to such specifications necessitated that the project manager consults widely and makes use of a prototype to elicit more user requirements. This approach would have reconciled the user (king’s) view with the developer’s (Hybertson’s) view. The project manager died while the project had not reached its conclusion, and the assistant who took over had no idea about the issues arising as a result of the altered specification of the ship. This project required a team of people vast in ship-building knowledge who would have carried on the project even at the demise of the project leader. The builders and king were not present during the ship’s testing, which was carried out inadequately.
The king in setting a timetable for the deliverable meant that the project was hurried through even without adequate testing. The fact that the ship’s armament was not completed yet when the ship was being tested points to this fact. The ship’s armament was being produced while it was undergoing testing. This indicates that some aspects of the project were not subjected to testing, and therefore the user had no idea how they worked as such. No documented methods were available for calculating the ship’s center of gravity or stability. Every test was performed by trial and error. This meant that the project may not have undergone the various types of tests necessary to certify a successful project deliverable.