In the Heart of the Sea: The Tragedy of the Whaleship by Nathaniel Philbrick
- :: 11 Works Cited
- Length: 1232 words (3.5 double-spaced pages)
- Rating: Excellent
The book “In the Heart of the Sea: The Tragedy of the Whaleship Essex” by Nathaniel Philbrick is tragic, eyes widening and heart wrenching where all the morals and ethics are gravely subjected to situation and questioned when it comes to survival. What they must do for survival? How man love their lives and no matter what strikes upon them, holler from behind, ambush their morale, yet they want to keep going just for the sake of living. The book is epitome of such a situation that encounters survival over morality. However, in the thrust of knowledge and oceans of secrets locked inside the chambers of this world, there is a heavy price men have to pay in the ordeal of yearning for knowledge.
We can partially agree to what Kerzner has to say about quantifying cost and benefits. However, it is indeed; very much a practical approach studied by Kerzner who states cost a phenomenon difficult to quantify. But it would be gross understatement to suggest that it is rather more difficult than quantifying benefits. As in the above answer, two different examples are quoted to back Kerzner’s claim. The example of the cost of airport and train will justify my stance on the subject. It is difficult to quantify the cost of building up an airport even after conducting cost-benefit analysis as the operating and periodic costs vary but can we measure the number of citizens who will be benefitted from airport compared to train. I totally agree with your take on the subject but we can partially agree with Kerzner as he backs his opinions with practical justifications.
Well it is hard to justify whether costs and benefits can be quantified. However, they can be measured to a certain degree, but there are multiple factors inculcated into the process that makes it difficult to quantify the factors. There are tangible and intangible costs. One we can easily measure and the ones hidden and unforeseen, such can be explained via involuntary costs, operating expenses and variable costs. Therefore, it becomes difficult to quantify costs. One cannot agree whether costs are most difficult to quantify or benefits. Just because we don’t keep a count of number of benefits we enjoy doesn’t mean it is easy to measure. They both are difficult to measure. However, the measures can vary from case to case.
Feasibility studies and quantifying costs vs. benefits
It can be agreed upon without any doubt the reason why feasibility reports may be deemed as soft data.
To ask an outsider to conduct feasibility report is almost like inviting errors in your company. However, only the ones who are working on a project can determine feasibility of cost, technological, safety, marketability because they are involved in the project and they know the nooks and corners about it. However, one may argue that by asking project managers to conduct the report, the feasibility study may incur biasness and incorrect data but to hand over an outsider to conduct the study is more risky compared to someone within the company doing this job. I personally, consider feasibility reports of great significance as they allow us to look into the weak and strong points of our projects.
One would agree that it is critical of the companies for taking on various assignments simultaneously affecting the productivity of workers. I like the fact that you quoted a real life example to illustrate the answer. It can be indisputably agree d nuance that within limited resources it becomes crucial to prioritize work and divide tasks in order to ensure their success. In the limited time one has to make sure individual complete 4-5 tasks per day and do not weigh down oneself with work as it will result into plummeted morale, compromised quality of work and motivation. In the same manner business operations must take into consideration the number of projects assigned to each worker and time span. Projects should not overlap as their quality of work may be compromised (Wartz et., al, 2000; Schneider, 1980; Sakao et., al, 2009; Schmid et., al, 1996; Smetana, 2011; Richard et., al, 2009).
Risk analysis is indeed a very useful tool to determine factors that may endanger the accomplishment of a project or target. However, this tool is also useful to determine
Precautionary measures to minimize the chances of loss and hampering factors. Countermeasures are studied carefully.
Four common grounds this tool enables us to analyze that factors cannot be cost effective if:
1. The estimates take too much time in identification.
2. The documentation of the risk analysis becomes impractical to carry around and use if it is too voluminous.
3. Certain loss guesstimates are usually not necessary to resolve if control measures are needed.
4. It is a mere game of assumptions, therefore, assumptions play an enormous role in risk analysis to study each factor thoroughly (Kerzner, 2011; Matilla, 1987; Mittal et., al, 1996; Nguyen, 1996; Roth et., al, 1995).
Implications of Risk Analysis
However, the ordeal carried on by the crew members and an inexperienced captain faced multifaceted repercussions too severe to break a man’s backbone. The colossal damage caused many lives and it is only because the risk factor was not clearly analyzed. In the search of truth and answers, the captain and his crew did not think it through. If the captain was not familiar with the water and its dark secrets he must’ve held back or given the lead to someone experienced. He should have gathered factual data in order to minimize the risk factor. What remains uncertain is the fact that what was the main reason, determinant to carry out such an operation. Was it a hasty decision?
Statement of Work
SOW is the abbreviation of Statement of work and is however, an official documentation of work activities carried out in a project, gathered, collected and analyzed together. However, it generally comprises of comprehensive prerequisites and prices along with customary regulations defined by government. It becomes crucial to abide by the terms and conditions of government.
Implications of Statement of Work
However, it is a very crucial tool to apply to expeditions that are brimming with risky and unidentified factors. First of all, the captain along with the team members needed to identify the true cause of carrying out the plan. The second step was to determine its scope and application, specifying the routes and backup ensuring minimal risk factors. The third step was to locate the area that needed to be discovered along with the possibilities of difficulty in context with hypothetical situations of “what if the ships sink?”, “what if the weather is unfavorable” and food supplies. The next step was to study the proposed schedule, deliverable schedule and practically applicable schedule as boat expeditions are subject to weather and climatic changes. Other types of concerns were also to be notified such as what lied in the acceptance criteria and who determined the goal. What were the chances to reach the desired goal? Were any special arrangements made to ensure safety and risk aversion?
Work breakdown structure
This tool is highly beneficial for all sorts of projects as it breakdowns the arrangement into hierarchy and designed to deliver slanting disintegration in order to fragment the project into smaller chunks and pay detailed attention to every nook and corner of the project. However, this tool also benefits us by providing with cost analysis and control along with guidance documents to ensure step by step operation of a project (Kerzner, 2011; Matilla, 1987; Mittal et., al, 1996; Nguyen, 1996; Roth et., al, 1995).
In the case of this book, it can be stated that if only the captain was a shrewd man many of the problems could have been totally avoided. It is the captain of the boat and crew who has the supreme authority to rule out orders while it becomes crucial for the crew to carry out operations. The work should have broken down by assigning different ranking to different groups pertaining to their abilities and skills.
The world is still not our oyster, there are dark and secret places unknown to mankind, yet men loves to explore and open all possible channels of secret. Nathaniel Philbrick has done an immaculate job of accounting the real life event into a book and adding fluctuating emotions into it. However, what becomes crucial and prior to conducting such risky expeditions is the risk analysis to measure the possibilities of success and rate of failure. There are always unprecedented events yet a lot can be measured.
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