1. Executive Summary
3.1High Level Solution of the Project
3.2 Project Initiation
3.3 Project Planning
3.4.1Development and Testing
3.5 Project Resource Management
3.6 Project communication
3.7 Project cost
3.8 project communication
3.9 Project Risk Management
This project is spearheaded by Queensland Book Company. The project aims at providing an online ordering system for their customers. The project aims at adding new ordering methods to the existing ones.
The information technology of the solution has be designed to have a web application which will have java/ jsp web pages and will be connected to the world over the internet. This application will have a back end database where all the information will be stored. The web application will be linked to the database and will query and return the information as required.
The author is engaged to the project as a project manager and as part of the project management has performed various aspects of project management like Project planning, project, project execution, project monitoring and project closing.
In this project, schedule, cost and quality will be managed by three people. The project manager, his deputy and a senior staff will oversee the running of the project. The project also follows a standard information technology methodology of Requirements capture, design, develop, test and deploy.
It can be said that when the project management tools and techniques are followed, the probability of the project achieving its objectives are more.
Projects are temporal activities that are done to provide goods and services to many people. They go through processes before they can get approved. It is important to do adequate research before any project to determine whether the project will be beneficial or wasteful (Crosall B 2011). It encompasses Setting objectives (these should be measurable), identifying deliverables, planning the schedule, making supporting plans (Rouse M 2007).
This project is related to a book store in Queensland, hence forth referred to as “the bookstore”. The Book store has launched a prestigious flagship project in which it would be starting internet-based operations in which a customer can order online from any part of the globe and his order would be processed by shipping the ordered book to the physical address.
Providing a softcopy of the books and providing the capability to download the ebook was also in scope of this project.
The project has engaged the author as a project manager to execute this project. As part of this project the high-level plan is to implement a data base which will store all the information about the book’s stock and inventory and a front end web application which will be available via internet to customers across the globe. Ebooks and shipping activity of hard covered books are treated as separate components which will be finally integrated to the newly developed information technology (IT) solution as part of this project.
It is to be noted that this report is based on pure speculation by the author and in no way may represent the actual solution for the bookstore. The idea of this report is to demonstrate the author’s knowledge in project management skills in managing a similar kind of project.
3.1 High Level Solution of the Project
The proposed solution to the Book store revolves around the implementation of a web application which will be hosted on a web server and will be connected to the world by the internet. This application will have a listing of the available books at the book store along with its description, some information about the author and its cost in local currency.
The order placing process is also simple and users are free to browse the website without any registration and view the availability of books in the catalog page, in case some title interests the user, he may navigate to any individual book page where details of the book and its author are available. When the user is ready to buy a book he can add the book to his cart and do a regular check out process in which he can opt for a softcopy of the book (ebook) or a bounded book which will be shipped to his address. Based on his selection, the logistics costs are added and on completion of the financial transaction of the user, the order is placed. The architecture of the proposed solution can be shown as :
Project Management Activities of the solution
Based on the above general information on the project and the high level solution the following project management activities are carried out.
3.2 Project Initiation
As part of the project initiation activity the project charter and the statement of work was developed which will give the project manager an initial scope of the project and a go ahead to start work on the project.
Once the project Statement of work is signed, the project manager starts with the project planning phase in which the project work break down structure will be created and the project schedule created.
3.3 Project Planning
Project planning is an important phase of the project in which the blueprint of the project is created.
Project planning mainly consist of schedule planning, resource planning and cost planning.
During the planning phase of the project, the project solution is decomposed into smaller units of works called Work break structure (WBS) This activity helps to manage the project as it is easy to manage smaller bits than a large piece.
The project will be divided into the following high-level WBS (level 1)
- Requirement gathering
- Development and testing
- Ebooks component implementation
- Logistics component arrangement
- Go live activities.
Requirement Gathering: Requirement gathering is the activity in which the projects stake holders and business leads are interviewed. The basis of these interviews is to gather the business requirements for the project.
The business requirements can be consolidated in the following business requirements:
- Have an online portal which will display the inventory at the book store along with the book description, author description and price.
- A user will be able to select a book and add to cart.
- The user will be able to modify the cart easily (Add, modify, delete books)
- The financial transaction performed by the user will be executed in a secured manner.
- The user will be provided with the choice to purchase an ebook or a hard copy book.
The design phase of the project is in which the conceptual and the low level design will be done, Design is the blueprint on basis of which the actual development takes place. A feasibility study will also be undertaken as part of the design. During the feasibility study phase, the feasibility of the solution is undertaken where the implementation of the project will studied. Only on completion of the feasibility phase the conceptual design and later phases are executed.
3.4.1 Development and Testing
Development phase of the project is when the actual project code is being built. For this project development has been divided into three streams:
- Back end stream: The solution of this project consists of a database design and development, in the back end stream the back end database model is prepared and based on the logical model a physical database is prepared. The main requirements for the data base come form the information which is to be stored for the operations of the business.
- Front end stream: The second major component of the solution is the front end in which is the view the world would see. This solution develops a web application hosted on a web server which will have various java pages (screens) and a defined navigation flow between pages which will ensure the user of the website has a good user experience navigating through the website. The front development stream deals with the development of these front end screens.
- Middle ware integration: The solution develops a middle ware which will integrate the back end and the front end. This is mainly in form of queries issues by the front end and executed by the back end.
The testing phase of the project will be divided into three cycles:
- Unit testing: in unit testing, individual testing of the components will be done as and during development of the system.
- System integration testing: in System integration testing, the complete system will tested in whole for its functionality. It is during this time performance and regression testing will done.
- User acceptance testing: this will be the final phase of the project when the user tests the application and certifies its fitness for use.
This high level WBS along with their sub-tasks have been plotted against the project plan generated in Microsoft Project 2010. Based on the WBS and their detail the project schedule is created by allocating the duration. A snapshot of the Project schedule can be shown as. The above screen print shows certain tasks in Red colour, these are the tasks which are said to be on the critical path. Any change in the duration of the critical path changes the overall project schedule.
3.5Project Resource Management
Based on the project plan the following project resources have been identified and their main responsibility is as:
|Resource Profile||Main responsibility|
|Business Analyst||Requirements gathering for new functionality|
|database analyst and Developer||Back end design and Development|
|Web application analyst and Developer||Front end design and Development|
|Test analyst||Testing of application and assisting user to perform user acceptance testing|
|Project Manager||Stake holder management and Project management|
3.6 Project Costs
The project cost management deals with the project costs.
In this project the major cost involved is the resources cost which will be needed to executed the other costs like the hardware cost and logistics costs are not calculated in the project costing below.
The resource cost can be calculated from the project management tool and it can be summed to a total of: 157160$.
The cost Vs project progress measured by the time since the project started can be plotted as:
|Cumulative (Days)||Cost (cumulative)|
Please note the above numbers are obtained from the project management tool from the project plan.
The project schedule as obtained from the project plan can be showed in the Gantt chart. (Please refer to the project plan)
3.7 Project communication
Project communication management is an important aspect which determines the project success criteria. A project consists of various stakeholders who have varied interest levels in the project, it is very important to keep all the stake holders on the same page, this can be best achieved by proper communication. Not only stake holders the project team performs various functions which need to take inputs from other functions, hence it is important that the project team should in on the same page which is again achieved by a communication plan.
The project will have a communication plan which would have the following details:
- What communication is to be sent to stakeholders at what frequency
- frequency of status reports
- Maintenance of communication log where decisions are made.
- (Responsible, Accountable, Consulted and Informed)RACI identified for communication generator, distributor
- Publishing, distribution and storage of in general communication.
A sample status report should contain the following information and should be generated and published periodically.
Objective / Key Activities
Key accomplishments for reporting period
Upcoming milestones / tasks for next reporting period
Action to Mitigate
3.9 Project Risk Management
As part of the project management activities, risk management was actively taken. The following activities were performed as part of risk management:
- Identification of potential risks to the project
- Identification of the characteristics of the risk
- Identification of the mitigation strategy for the risk
Based on the above risk management activities the following risk plan has been prepared for the company.
|Risk #||Risk||Risk Description||Risk Identification||Risk Mitigation||Risk probability||Impact if occurred.|
|1||Failure to gather requirements in complete||Business requirements not captured to the required level of detail.||1. changes in scope of the project or scope creep.
2. Requirements captured not enough to solve requirement
|1. A requirements workshop will be conducted where all stake holders will be walk throughed to the captured requirements which will address any missing or misunderstood requirements.||High||High|
|2||Hardware compatibility Risks||The current hardware of the company is not compatibility with the new solution||1. programs fail to install in the existing environment.
2. performance issues, slow response etc.
|A feasibility study will be conducted to check the feasibility of the new software on the current hardware.||Low||High|
|3||Software compatibility risks||The new software is not compatible with the hardware or does not integrate with the existing software.||1. programs fail to install in the existing environment.
2. migration of existing system is very difficult.
|A feasibility study will be conducted to check the feasibility of the new software integration with the existing software.||Low||High|
|4||Solution not in line with requirements.||The solution does not address all the requirements.||all expected functionality not available.||1. A requirement traceability matrix will be generated where all the business requirements will be traced to the solution. In an event any requirement is not been able to be traced to the solution, it will be flagged as not addressed.||High||High|
4. Evaluation and analysis of the project
This project will be evaluated on a weekly basis. It will be evaluated to check whether it is in line with the plan. The secretary of the project will record all the progresses of the project. The reports will be submitted to the project manager on a weekly basis. It will be the role of the manager and his managerial staff to assess the project’s development.
This project is technical and it requires several factors for it to be successful. I recommend that the project hires specialized IT specialists. These personnel’s will oversee the coding of the new pages. These members of staff should be passed through a thorough interview and a scrutiny of their experiences to ensure that they will deliver the project on time
Based on the above discussion it can be concluded that any project no matter how complex the project problem statement may be, can be successfully completed by applying proper project management techniques (as long as the feasibility is successful)
Project management tool and techniques do not help the project to become successful, however they guide the project processes and task to be completed successfully.
Crosall B 2011 [online] 12 Basic Principles of Project Management available at http://chronicle.com/blogs/profhacker/12-basic-principles-of-project-management/31421 (accessed on 06/10/2013)e.
Egnyte 2013 What are the differences between a file server and a client server? Available at http://www.egnyte.com/ask-an-expert/file-server-questions/what-are-the-differences-between-a-file-server-and-client-server.html ( accessed on 06/10/2013)
Project management journal 2004 A guide to the project management body of knowledge vol. 1 issue 2, pp. 35-70. print
Rouse M 2007 [online] Project planning available at HYPERLINK “http://searchcrm.techtarget.com/definition/project-planning” http://searchcrm.techtarget.com/definition/project-planning (accessed on 06/10/2013).
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