You have just been employed by a dynamic company as a project manager and your first task is to assess the existing project experiencing delays and lack of overall progress. You are expected to collect the available information, set some realistic expectations with regards to completion and inform the company director.
This project has 15 activities, labelled A through O and is listed in the table below. The table indicates the immediate predecessors of each activity along with each activity’s expected duration, in days.
You managed to collect the following information on project activities:
|A||Perform needs analysis||None||10|
|F||Purchase equipment||D, E||3|
|G||Develop user manuals||C, D||6|
|I||Set up server||F||3|
|J||Develop training program||G||14|
|L||Connect network||H, K||3|
|M||Train users||J, L||8|
|N||Test and debug system||L||12|
|O||Get management acceptance||M, N||4|
Your output to the director should be in a form of a formal status report. The report should include a title, background information, objectives, methodology used (diagrams, if any used) with expected results and recommendations. Any references used should be clearly documented.
There are some specific components that you are expected to include in your report:
The following change scenarios need to be considered and questions answered:
Task 2: Work Breakdown Structure (10 out of 25 marks)
Consider the following scenario:
You are a member of a youth soccer club that helps bring recreational players to a higher level of competition and preparing them for the Olympic Development Program and/or A-League tournaments. The club currently has 123 boys and girls (ranging in age from 5 to 16).
The club’s board of directors decided to sponsor a winter invitational soccer tournament to generate revenue. Given the boom in youth soccer, hosting winter tournaments has become a popular method for raising funds. The club needs funds to refurbish and expand the number of soccer fields in their home ground. Funds would also be used to provide partial or full scholarships to youths who need financial assistance in paying the annual club membership fee of $450.
You are a soccer enthusiast and a long-time associate of the club who had been elected as the tournament director and is responsible for organising the club’s first winter tournament. A committee meeting planned for a two-hour duration, was held on a Thursday evening at 6 pm, after you election to gather the members’ opinion.
You started the meeting by having everyone introduce themselves and by proclaiming how excited you were that the club was going to sponsor its own tournament. You then suggested that the committee brainstorm what needed to be done to pull off the event; you would record their ideas on a flipchart.
What emerged was a free-for-all of ideas and suggestions. One member immediately stressed the importance of having qualified referees and spent several minutes describing in detail how his son’s team was robbed in a poorly officiated championship game. This was followed by other stories of injustice on the soccer field. Another member suggested that they needed to quickly contact the local colleges to see if they could use their fields.
The committee spent more than 30 minutes talking about how they should screen teams and how much they should charge as an entry fee. An argument broke out over whether they should reward the winning teams in each age bracket with medals or trophies. Many members felt that medals were too cheap, while others thought the trophies would be too expensive. Someone suggested that they seek local corporate sponsors to help fund the tournament.
The proposed sale of tournament T-shirts and sweatshirts was followed by a general critique of the different shirts parents had acquired at different tournaments. One member advocated that they recruit an artist he knew to develop a unique silk-screen design for the tournament. The meeting adjourned 30 minutes late with only half of the members remaining until the end. Jane drove home with seven sheets of ideas and a headache.
You realised that organising this tournament would be a big project and will need proper planning. The first thing you wanted to do was to develop a WBS for the project.
You need to do the following:
|Description – presentation and style||10%|
|Description – literacy||10%|
|Description – knowledge||10%|
|Description – evidence of enquiry and use of scientific method||20%|
|Analysis – application||10%|
|Analysis – deduction, inference, making connections within the subject||6.66%|
|Personal meaning / impact – knowledge||10%|
|Personal meaning / impact – making connections outside the subject||6.66%|
|Evidence of action taken||10%|
60903 Project Management for Science
Part 1 - Task 1: Project Assessment Report
The aim of the report is to present information about explaining the project network diagram and impact of critical tasks on a project. The company has a number of running projects that are experiencing delays and lacking overall progress. It needs assessment of its project schedule and finding out the reasons behind the delays in the project.
After the employment at one of a dynamic company, the main challenge for the project management is to align the ongoing project in such a way that there are lesser project failures due to delays and there was lack of progress in the projects. From the available information, the list of project activities due, the predecessors of each activities, and the duration to complete each activities have been found. Now the job for the newly appointed project manager is to prepare a schedule, and following the project management methodology to identify the critical path and understanding the scope of possible changes on the schedule.
The primary objective of the project is to collect as much information as possible about the ongoing projects, preparing a network diagram to understand the critical path and to determine the impact of some possible changes on the overall progress and deadlines of the project.
The project management methodology has been used for the project. It will help to understand the correlations among the project and to make a realistic schedule to finish the pending project. The traditional software development methodology has been followed to streamline the pending projects. The traditional methodology has a system development life cycle. The SDLC will help to plan and then execute the activities required to complete the project successfully.
A project network diagram is a tool used for making and understanding project plans and to track project progress from the start to the finish. A project network diagram also helps to understand the scope of a project and the critical path (Schwalbe, 2014). It is a concise and clear graphic representation of a project.
Based on the given activities, durations and dependency details, the project network diagram is given above. The critical path here is shown in red. A critical path contains critical tasks that have strict deadlines to meet. There is no slack time on critical task. It is the shortest path between the start and end of a project.
The total project will take 62 days to complete by following the dependencies as described in the network diagram.
The critical path is,
If the activity C is delayed, then the slack time of the activities C and E will be consumed and both will become critical tasks. There will be no effect on other tasks and the project duration.
As activity D is already a critical task, so increasing the time by 1 day will make the duration of the project increased by one day.
Without any changes the project schedule is 62 days duration and the task D is critical task, whereas the task C is not. But making activity D an immediate predecessor will increase the schedule up to 68 days. Then the changes in the days required by 2 days will make the schedule increased up to 70 days. C and D both will become critical activity tasks.
There is no change in the total duration of the project after the changes for the activities P and Q.
The project schedule duration will be increased to 67 days due to the changes made by the training module requirements.
In this report, different scenarios have been analysed. It is recommended that the project should follow strict deadline for the critical tasks or they must make the schedule realistically so that the number of critical tasks will be decreased.
Task 2: Project Assessment Report
Work breakdown Structure
The WBS has defined the scope of the project clearly. It has an outline for the plan of the project and the activities required to fulfil the tasks (Marchewka, 2011). It would help to streamline the meeting and to find out more insights from the members. It would have been used to guide the discussion. In a stakeholders meeting, it is a common scenario that every stakeholder shares their ideas and they gauge the project from their perspective. Often that breaks the scope of the project. Hence, the project manager needs to keep the discussion within the scope of the project. A WBS helps in keeping the discussion within the scope of the project by outlining the activities relevant to the project.
Internet and WWW are the primary sources for finding information about the project. Other than that, there are project management books. First, the information about how to arrange a soccer tournament was researched and then upon finding the information, the task was broken down into multiple activities that go with the case study. Finally, the concepts of project management and brainstorming helped to prepare the WBS.
To estimate cost the WBS can be extended to make a project Gantt chart and allocate resources to the activities. As duration are already given, so calculating the consumption of resources based on the allocated resources would help to estimate the cost. Other than that, a research on the Internet can help to estimate the unit cost for the materials and human resources working on the project. For example, the hourly rate of a project manager working on similar projects can be found by searching on the WWW. Further there are project management books that can be used to collect information.