Reference no: EM131340112 , Length:
Assessment - case study
This case study simulates a project management scenario where the student takes on the role of project manager. Students are required to use Microsoft Project 2013 management software as part of this assessment task.
The Case Study
Progressive Software Ltd is a leading web design & development companybased in Sydney. The company specialises in mid to large sized corporate and government web projects.Recently, Progressive Software Ltdhas been awarded a contract by a major retail company to develop itswebsite.
You are appointed as a project manager to manage the development of the website. Several people are involved in this project including:
- Yourself(Mr. Corbitt), the project manager.
- Ms Julia Robertson, Director
- A project team isto be drawn from the following skill sets
o Software engineer/s
o Business analyst/s
o Test Engineer/s
o Project officer/s
The project will begin on 1 December 2016. This will be the official start date of the project and should be noted in the Project Information section in Microsoft Project.
1.2 Initial Data
As the project manager, you have described a number of tasks that will need to be completed to achieve the desired outcomes of the project. You use these tasks as a basis to createthe project schedule and allocate resources.
You have noted down the following information:
1. A work break down structure (WBS), resource estimates and some dependencies summarised in Table 1 below.
Note that the following resource abbreviations are used:
- Project Manager (PM)
- Business Analyst (BA)
- Software Engineer (SE)
- Test Engineer (TE)
- Project Officer (PO)
2.1 Part A: Developing the schedule
For part A of the assessment you must complete the following tasks and questions. Read all the questions before you commence the tasks. The schedule is to be developed in an appropriately named Microsoft Project 2013 file (see the name specified below) and the questions are to be answered in a Word document. As stated above, any assumptions must also be listed at the beginning of the Word document (after the coversheet).
1) Use Microsoft Project 2013 to develop the project schedule.Note that Ms Julia Robertsonhas also asked you to include the following in your schedule:
a) The project title as the overall project summary (as task 0 and WBS number 0). All other tasks should be "indented" according to the WBS structure described in the case study.
b) The project name and start date be noted in the Project Information section in Microsoft Project.
c) The Microsoft Project workbook columns are set up as shown below:
d) The task names are to include the WBS identifiers prior to the name in the ‘Task Name' column (1.2 Conduct design review) and the milestones are to be placed throughout the schedule, with the milestone identifier included at the start of the milestone name in the ‘Task Name' column (M1 Functional design specifications approval). All milestones are to be highlighted yellow.
e) Resource allocation details are included.
f) Holidays are entered.
g) The critical path(s) automatically displayed in red on the bars of the Gantt chart view of your schedule
At this point there may be resource over allocation issues. Do not attempt to resolve these before answering question 2. Save this version of your schedule asWeb_A1.mpp. You will be required to submit this file as part of your assignment submission.
2) At this point, ignore any resource over allocations. For the purposes of this question only, you can assume that there would be no resource constraints so do not attempt to resolve any resource overallocation (if any exists). Based on your Web_A1.mpp schedule:
a) Use the "view tab" filter to display only the critical tasks. Provide a screenshot showing the task names and the Gantt chart of all the tasks on the critical path(s).
b) Did the annual holidays make any difference to the end date of your project? If so, note the previous and changed end date. Explain why/why not there was/was not a change in end date.
c) You were asked to complete the project 3 days earlier by reducing the duration of some of the tasks in the project. Fill in the table below stating what tasks you will reduce the duration of, by how much and how you will reduce the duration of each task.
d) Create a new version of the schedule with the changes you outlined in part (c) highlighted greenusing the "background colour" icon on the task ribbon. Make sure that your changes have reduced the project duration by 3 days. Call this file Web_A2.mpp. You will be required to submit this file as part of your assignment submission. This file is not to be modified/developed further.
3) Create another copy of your original question 1, Web_A1.mpp in another file called Web_A3.mpp. In this question, unlike question 2, assume that you will not have any additional resources assigned to the project even if there are resource over allocation issues. If your schedule had any resource over-allocation issues, resolve these in the PartAQ3_resources.mpp file without adding any additional resources. For this assignment, do not "split tasks". Save this "modified" version of Web_A3.mpp file. You will be required to submit the Web_A3.mpp file as part of your assignment submission.
a) Describe how you used(or how you would have used Microsoft Project) to resolve any resource over-allocation issues.
b) Does the fact that you cannot have any additional resources for this project have any impact on your project duration and end date? Explain.
4) Continue working with Web_A3.mpp. In this file, include two additional milestone to show the following notifications:
a) The Design Reference Group needs notification to be sent out five business days prior to being able to approve the Design reports complete (M5). Continue working with Web_A3.mpp. In this file, include an additional milestone called ‘N1 Design Reports Notification' to highlight the latest date that the project manager should contact the Design Reference Group to provide notification and papers.
i) According to Web_A3.mpp what is the latest date that notification and papers can be sent to the Design Reference Group?
b) The Project Board needs notification to be sent out a week prior to being able to perform Deployment and go-live (8.1). Continue working with Web_A3.mpp. In this file, include an additional milestone named ‘N2 Project Board Go-live Notification' to highlight the latest date that the project manager should contact the Project Board to provide notification.
i) According to Web_A3.mpp what is the latest date that notification can be sent to the Project Board?
Make sure that these new milestones have the appropriate predecessor relationships so that the dates will be automatically adjusted if there is any change to the schedule. On your schedule, highlight the rows that include these milestones in blue. This change is to be saved in your Web_A3.mpp file.
5) Write a memo to the Director, Ms Julia Robertson, providing your project proposal and include following information:
a) an explanation of the project need and what it is trying to achieve.
b) the expected completion date of the project, assuming it commences on 1/12/16;
c) the total duration of the project;
d) an explanation of the main factors that cause the project to require that length of time and any recommendations that you might make if time was a priority for the project;
e) the estimated labourcosts for each of the resource types working on the project. Present the costs in a table similar to the following:
Part B: Modifying the schedule
Ms Julia Robertson advices you that you need to make the following changes stated below.
- She states only one Software Engineer will be available for the project.
- The task ‘2.1 Develop database specifications' needs to be reduced to 4 days.
- The task ‘5.1 Code web pages' needs to be reduced to 8 days.
Based on the information given above complete the following tasks:
1. Copy your Web_A3.mpp file into a file called Web_B.mpp file. Amend the project schedule in your new Web_B.mpp file incorporating the change requestsbyMs Julia Robertson. If this has created any resource overallocation issues resolve these before progressing to the next question.Save the changes. The Web_B.mppfile is also to be included as part of your final assignment submission.
Have the changes impacted on the duration or costs of your project and if so in what way? Be very precise in your answering of questions 2 and 3 below. If the project is longer or shorter state the previous finish date the new end date and by how much the project has been shortened or lengthened. If the changes had an impact on the cost, mention what the previous cost was and what the cost was after the change and explain why there was or was not an impact.
2. Describe the impact of each of these changes on the project duration in a table similar to the following:
Note that if a combination of the changes has had an additional impact that would not have occurred if the change was made in isolation, clarify this in your explanation.
3. Describe the impact of each of these changes on the labour costs for the projectin a table similar to the following:
Part C: Tracking Progress
In this part of the assignment, you are to imagine that your project is underway and that it is time to produce one of a project performance report.
1. Copy Web_B.mpp to Web_C.mpp. Save the baseline for this version of your project.
2. You are back at work after the Christmas and New Year's holidays. You are writing the project performance report for the period from the start of the project to the end of December 2016. You review the information provided to you by your project staff on the progress of the project and need to update your schedule accordingly. In your Web_C.mpp file
a. Set the current date to 5March 2017, the status date to 1 March 2017and include a solid, purple status date gridline in your project to ensure the status date is clearly visible in your Gantt Charts.
3. Most of the tasks up to the 1 March 2017, were completed as per the schedule. However the following data represents information on tasks where the performance was different to what was planned.
a. Update your schedule with the information from the Include a screenshot of the top of your tracking Gantt chart showing the tracking table and the Tracking Gantt Chart for some of your tasks. For example, if asked to do this for the Microsoft Project practical 4 schedule, you would have included a screenshot similar to the following:
b. Include a screenshot of the top of the earned value table for your Web_C.mpp file. You will probably have to add the additional CPI and SPI columns. For example, if asked to do this for the Microsoft Project practical 4 schedule, you would have included a screenshot similar to the following:
c. Based on the current status of your project, you are to produce a status report with a similar format to "exhibit 13.1" in the textbook (the actual template you are to use for the status report is provided as Appendix 1). Detailed explanations for why tasks are not tracking according to their original estimates are not required for this assignment as the data you entered is "fictitious". However, you can suggest reasons for tasks to be tracking better or worse to make your report more realistic if you wish. Even if you do not give specific reasons, you must still flag which tasks are responsible for your project status being better or worse than planned.
4. You have been informed that the users insist on certain refinements of the project. You believe that the requested actions make sense to the project, but they constitute a major change to the project.Do you agree/disagree to make the changes? If you agree, what steps should be taken to ensure that the project completion time will not be affected?
5. It is a week out from when you will be released from the project. You decided to arrange a team meeting to identify and analyse lessons learned from quality control with stakeholders. What should be considered while organising documents as lessons learned?
The aims of this peer assessment are two fold:
1. to provide information to the markers to help with their assessment of student work
2. to give students feedback from their peers to help students toimprove their skills when working as part of a team.
In terms of point 2, it is important that the feedback be used in a positive way. It should only include "constructive criticism", i.e. it should:
1. Provide positive feedback so that the team member understands what they are doing that works well.
2. Provide constructive criticism, i.e. advice about how a team member could improve their team work.
3. Be polite and positive.
In terms of point 1, although there are two peer assessments scheduled as part of this assessment item (one in week 7 and onewith the final submission in week 11), it is alsoimportant that you alert your tutor as early as possible if you are experiencing any problems within your group (for example, if a team member is not attending meetings or is coming to meetings unprepared).
The peer assessment formsare on the next two pages.
Memos are used to communicate everything from routine details to complete reports. They are used to inform people about a specific issue. Generally they will consist of a few short paragraphs, but can be much longer.
There are various templates available that can be used for memos. (For examples see Microsoft Word memo templates.) However, regardless of the template, a memoshould have the following basic structure:
Company and/or department name
Consists of the following:
• To: (who is the memo being sent to)
• Cc: (any courtesy copies to other people who also need to be informed)
• From: (who sent it)
• Subject: (what is the subject of the memo - summarises the main idea, i.e. what the memo is about)
• Date: (date sent)
The body should convey the message. The tone, length and level of formality should be tailored to the particular audience. It does not begin with a salutation such as Dear Dr. Jarvis. Instead, you should go straight into your introduction.The body of the memo should consist of:
• Introduction - this should clarify what the memo is about, explain why you are writing the memo and supply any background information (if required)
• Main points - The aim is to keep the memo clear and succinct. It should be as concise and focused as possible. Plan the content of the body so that you convey the information in a clear, logical order. Keep paragraphs short and focussed with one main idea per paragraph. Use bullet points to list information where relevant.
• Close - The final paragraph should end positively and courteously stating any expected outcome or actions.The actual content will depending on the audience and purpose of the memo. For example, the final statement could:
o Explain that no further action is necessary on the part of the recipient, but offer to discuss the content of the memo further and explain that you will keep the recipient updated on progress.
o Ask for comments by a particular date (e.g. "Please send me your comments and suggestions by February 25th)
o Suggest a meeting to discuss the details and future plans further (e.g. "I would be happy to meet early next week to discuss any details and future plans regarding the next stage in the project" )
A signature is not always required at the end of a memo. However, you can end the memo with a salutation such as "kind regards" or "thank you" followed by your name. You can choose to use either your first name or your first and last name depending on how well you know the recipient and the formality of the memo.
Attachment:- Peer Assessment.zip