Assume you are working for an SME operating in the microelectronics sector. You are required to plan a new product development project. This is an internal project, so it does not generate any income during the development phase.
The product will be ASIC based and will be sold in fairly high volumes - about 50,000 units/month when sales become established.
Initial considerations indicate that the product will comprise the following:
- a small plastic base and a plastic cover that clips to the base.
- a small LCD that will be capable of displaying simple alphanumeric data, which will mount inside the cover.
- a double sided PCB populated by surface mount components.
- a simple "keyboard" using 6 keys, to be mounted on the front of the case cover.
- an ASIC that will have about 12 pins. The ASIC will be die bonded and wire bonded to the PCB.
Product development plan in Microsoft Project
The project plan should be commented in detail using the task notes facility within MSP. Produce a calendar and resource pool for the project: remember an SME will not employ many development engineers. The project should be fully costed so appropriate costs should be assigned to the project resources.
Project risk log and risk reduction strategies
ASIC risks should be included as well as risks associated with other tasks. Where appropriate, low cost strategies for reducing risk should be suggested.
Structured meetings directory
This will include an outline meeting agenda, an outline meeting minutes document and an outline action list.
Short report providing an overview of the proposal
This will explain the rationale behind your proposal and items of particular interest, such as the project risk log and risk reduction strategies. State any assumptions you make, for example about the resources available for the project.
Where appropriate the rationale associated with the activities, the development plan, the structured meetings directory, the proposal overview and the project implementation should be included.
The report should be structured, i.e. sections, diagrams and tables should be numbered. There should be a title page and a table of contents.
Project Implementation and Review
When you are satisfied with project plan, you should create a project baseline and start the project on the planned start date. This should be completed at the end of week 7. Note that you may subsequently change your project plan if you wish.
From week 8 onwards you should record project progress on selected tasks in the MSP plan on a weekly basis. Be sure to save the MSP project plan when you do this each week. In this way, you should end up with a series of 5 or more sets of files from earlier weeks which will be valuable later when it comes to undertaking the project review.