Project Management; case study

Project Management; case study

ASSESSMENT
All students are to submit electronically – max file size
is 2Mb.
Weighting:
35%
Length:
No set length
2
Introduction and Student Guide
This assessment item is to be completed individually.
The case study simulates a project management scenario where the student takes on the role of project
manager. The case information is not complete so where necessary students will have to argue the
pros and cons of any assumptions they make. If necessary, students are expected to find relevant
information in the academic literature to justify their answers and provide appropriate references.
The following information is provided to assist students to develop their assessment solution:
Product development case description
Specific assessment questions that must be answered
Information regarding the submission of the assessment
Marking guide
Product Development Case Description
Background
PMcomp is a new, small sized company that has won their first contract to develop and manufacture
Meteor Monitoring Devices (MMD). You are an employee of PMcomp and work as the project
manager on the MME project. The newly recruited key people involved in this case are:
You are Mr. Project, the project manager.
Mr. Product works in the field of Product Development.
Ms. Marketing looks after Marketing and Portfolio Management.
Ms. Resource is the Human Resource Manager.
Functional line managers in the fields of research and development.
Engineers and members of your project team.
Prior to the company’s inception, you have been a member of a small team of experienced engineers
conducting a technical feasibility study to investigate the tracking of Near Earth Objects. Your study
was successful and you have won a government contract to manufacture a small number of MMDs. A
few of your colleagues have formed a company and appointed you as the project manager.
PMcomp’s intention is to use this first contract as a stepping stone to launch their manufacturing
business in high-tech remote monitoring technology. Ms Marketing has reviewed ways to take
advantage of the design and manufacturing processes to further advertise PMcomp’s services. Other
staff in the company asked questions and requested information before the project commences. This
has prompted you to develop the milestone review checklist provided below.
The Project Management Milestone Checklist for S1
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.
7.
8.
9.
10.
11.
12.
13.
14.
15.
16.
17.
18.
19.
20.
Are the marketing requirements agreed?
Are project targets agreed (e.g. schedule, features and quality)?
Is the product concept selected and well understood?
Are user product mock-ups circulated and reviewed with marketing?
Are the product and production technologies selected?
Have key components and suppliers been identified?
Has the supply chain impact of a new product been reviewed?
Is the project organisation agreed?
Is the project team established and operational?
Is any project teambuilding and leadership development required?
Is any technical training of project members required?
Is the project plan document reviewed within the project?
Is the MS project schedule reviewed?
Is the project budget established and approved?
Have the project risks been assessed, mitigated and reviewed?
What are the key risks and how are they mitigated?
Are the appropriate resources identified and allocated to the project?
Are key stakeholders identified?
What are the quality assurance activities required?
What are the quality metrics you propose to monitor and what are the control methods you
plan to use in your project?
Your team have come up with a unique and novel product concept based on your feasibility study.
The concept satisfies the requirements of the contract perfectly. The feasibility work carried out
showed that the user requirements were sound and that the technical complexity of the development
was relatively low. The contract requests 5 MMDs to be provided with the option to purchase an
additional 5 at a later date. The contract allows for MMDs to be manufactured and sold to consumers,
depending on demand. To minimise production and financial risks, PMcomp has decided to produce
only 10 MMDs in the first production run.
Your team also estimates that there might be a reduction in the Bill of Materials (BOM) for the new
product from those previously provided during the feasibility study, although you have not assessed
this at this stage.
You and your team believe that you can develop the product with limited resources and within the
timeframe requested in the contract. The sales launch deadline for the consumer market is to be
advised (TBA).
Milestones
The milestones your team will use are:
A. S1 Project start (At this point the system architecture and feasibility study will be complete).
B. D1 Design review complete (At this point the overall design will be complete. A go/no-go
decision for procurement will be made at this milestone).
C. P1 Proto build start (An internal project review confirming that the product prototype is able
to be manufactured with the quality level expected.).
D. P2 Proto build start (An internal project review confirming that the product prototype is able
to be manufactured with the quality level expected).
E. D2 Final Design review complete (At this point the product quality is verified based on the
product validation testing carried out on the last prototype. A go/no-go decision for
production ramp-up is made).
F. L1 Launch review (A go/no-go decision depending if all business areas are ready for market
launch and 10 units are in stock). This is to be the end of the project schedule, i.e. when the
10 units are in stock.
The MMD system architecture has been used as the basis for the project organisation and the work
breakdown structure. As the project manager you have accepted the tasks of creating the compiled
project schedule and allocating resources.
From discussions with Mr. Software, Mr. Mechanics, Mr. Electronics, Mr. Production and Mr.
Validation, very experienced managers and engineers, you have obtained the following information:
1. A partially complete work break down structure (WBS), resource estimates and some
dependencies provided in Table 1 below.
2. In addition, Mr. Production provided you with the Activity-In-the-Box (AIB) network diagrams in
Figure 1. You will need to interpret the AIB network diagram to complete the WBS.
Note that the following abbreviations are used in the table:
Electronic Engineer (EE)
Software Engineer (SE)
Mechanical Engineer/Industrial Designer (ME)
Test Engineer (TE)
Production Engineer (PE)
Technical Writer (TW)
Printed Circuit Board (PCB)
Electromagnetic Compliance (EMC)

Table 1- Work Breakdown Structure
Activity
Description
Predecessor(s)
Relationships
Person days/weeks of
effort (and type of
resource required.)
1 Product development
1. 1 Electronics
1.1.1 PCB design
PCB design
S1
Selection of electronic
components.
Electronic improvements to
circuit diagram, component
selection and layout.
Electronic verification tests
with the use of the P1
prototypes.
Electronic improvements to
circuit diagram, component
selection and layout.
Electronic verification tests
with the use of the P2
prototypes.
Verification that electronic
heat generation and heat
transmission through covers
is acceptable.
Verification of compliance
with electromagnetic
compliance regulations.
1.1.1
3 person-weeks of
EE.
1 person-week of EE.
1.1.2 Component selection
1.1.3 P1 circuit design improvements
1.1.4 P1 electronics verification
tests
1.1.5 P2 circuit design improvements
1.1.6 P2 electronics verification
tests
1.1.7 Thermal verification tests
1.1.8 EMC verification tests
1.2. Software
1.2.1 Software specifications and
design
1.2.2 User interface additions
1.2.3 Data storage additions
1.2.4 Device to PC protocol
additions
1.2.5 PC software additions
1.2.6 R1 release creation
1.2.7 R1 release tests
1.2.8 R1 error correction and user
interface improvements
1.2.9 R2 release creation
1.2.10 R2 release tests
1.2.11 R2 error corrections
1.2.12 R2 interoperability tests
Specification of the
software functionality based
on user requirements.
Software additions due to
modified menus and
functional keys.
Software additions for data
storage.
Software additions to the
communication protocol
between the device and the
PC.
Software
additions/modifications to
the PC software
functionality to support the
device functionality.
Creation of the R1 software
release used for the P1
prototype build.
Testing of the R1 release
and identification of errors.
Creation of the R1 software
release used for the P1
prototype build.
Creation of the R2 software
release used for the P2
prototype build.
Testing of the R2 release
and identification of errors.
Correction of errors
Testing of interoperability
with 3rd party accessory
To be
completed at
the following
milestone
D1
1.1.1
3 person-weeks of
EE.
D1
1.1.3
2 person-weeks of
EE.
P2
1.1.4
1 person-week of EE.
1.1.5
2 person-weeks of one
EE.
D2
1.1.5, P1 build
complete, P2
build
complete
1.1.7, P1 build
complete, P2
build
complete
6 person-days of EE.
D2
6 person-days of EE.
D2
S1
14 person-days of SE.
D1
1.2.1
12 person-days of SE.
1.2.1
7 person-days of SE.
1.2.1
7 person-days of SE.
1.2.3, 1.2.4
9 person-days of SE.
1.2.2, 1.2.3,
1.2.4, 1.2.5
2 person-days of SE.
1.2.6
18 person-days of SE.
1.2.6
21 person-days of SE.
1.2.8
2 person-days of SE.
1.2.9, P1 build
complete
1.2.10
1.2.11
18 person-days of SE.
21 person-days of SE.
16 person-days of SE.
P1
1.2.13 R2 interoperability error
correction
1.2.14 R3 release creation
1.2.15 R3 release tests
1.2.16 R4 sales release creation
1.3. Mechanics
1.3.1 Industrial design
1.3.2 Design testing
1.3.3 PCB outline modifications
1.3.4 P1 mechanical CAD design
1.3.5 Tolerance stack analysis
1.3.6 P1 mechanical part analysis
1.3.7 P2 mechanical part
modifications
1.3.8 Mechanical tool approval
1. 4. Verification
1.4.1 Test plan creation
1.4.2 Component tests
1.4.3 Module tests
1.4.4 System integration tests
1.4.5 Product validation tests
1.4.6 Technical Construction File
compilation
1.4.7 Type approval and regulatory
approval tests
devices.
Correction of errors
Creation of the R3 software
release.
Testing of the R3 release
Creation of the software
sales release
Design of the industrial
housing for the device.
Design and material testing
for housing
Modifications of the PCB to
fit the industrial design,
new components and
usability requirements.
CAD design of mechanical
plastic parts and metal parts
for the device.
Analysis of the mechanical
tolerance stacks compared
to part tooling and
moulding capabilities.
Physical analysis of
moulded plastic parts and
sheet metal parts.
Modification of moulding
and sheet metal tools used
for P2 parts.
Evaluation of P2
mechanical parts and
approval of moulding and
sheet metal tools used in
part manufacture.
Creation of a plan
documenting what is to be
tested.
Test of key component
reliability to various
standard tests like drop and
humidity.
Test of module
functionality after
assembly.
Test of integration of
modules.
Test of product against
reliability to various
standard tests like drop and
humidity and end user
requirements.
Creation of documentation
for regulatory approvals.
Approvals from regulatory
authorities.
1.2.12
16 person-days of SE.
1.2.13
2 person-days of SE.
1.2.14
1.2.15
18 person-days of SE.
9 person-days of SE.
S1, Must be
started in
parallel with
1.1.1
1.3.1
4 person-weeks of a
ME/industrial
designer.
P2
D2
3 person weeks of ME
1.3.1
3 person-weeks of
ME.
1.3.1
2 person-week of ME.
1.3.2, 1.3.3,
1.3.4
2 person-week of ME.
P1 build
complete
2 person-week of ME.
1.3.6
5 person-weeks of
ME.
P2
P2 build
complete
3 person-weeks of
ME.
D2
S1
1 person-days of TE.
D1
After delivery
of
components
(for P1) i.e.
1.5.1 ,1.4.1
P1 build
complete,
1.4.2
1.4.3
16 person-days of TE
P1
4 person-days of TE.
9 person-days of TE.
1.4.4, P2 build
complete
18 person-days of TE
1.4.5
15 person-days of
TW.
21 days by regulatory
authorities.
1.4.6
D1
P2
D2
Figure 1 – Activity in Box Network Diagrams for Production
P1 prototype build
P1 component lead-time
D1
1.5.1
Supplier
P1
3w
1.5.5
Production
Engineer
5d
P1 PCB manufacture and
delivery
1.5.2
Supplier
Hint: Remember that the
R1 software is also
required for the P1
prototype build (1.2.8 in
previous table)
4w
P1 mechanical part lead-time
1.5.3
Supplier
3w
P1 assembly and production test
preparation
1.3.5
1.5.4
Production
Engineer
4w
P2 prototype build
P2 component lead-time
1.1.6
1.6.1
Supplier
P2
3w
P2 PCB manufacture and
delivery
1.6.2
Supplier
4w
P2 mechanical part lead-time
1.6.3
Supplier
3w
P2 assembly and production test
preparation
1.3.7
1.6.4
Production
Engineer
4w
Documentation – Creation
of a user manual
D2
1.7.1
Technical
Writer
3w
L1
1.6.5
Production
Engineer
5d
General Information
In addition to the work breakdown structure and AIB network diagram you have collected the
following information.
Assume that at the S1 concept review approval will be given to start the project and that the
start date of the project schedule will be 8/12/14. (S1 milestone can be 8/12/14.)
The company has a general holiday period between 26/12/14 to 2/1/15 and the 26th of January
is the designated Australia Day holiday. For the purposes of the assignment, assume that
there are no other holidays.
Production ramp up to manufacture 10 units is estimated to take four (4) weeks after the D2
milestone. The production engineer is required for this task. Include this task as 1.8 on your
schedule above the milestones. It should be a predecessor for L1.
Booking dates: (There is no need to include the booking on your schedule initially.)
The project booking of the proto builds (task 1.5.5 and 1.6.5) will have to be done at the latest
four (4) weeks in advance of the build. This is the lead time required to include builds in the
manufacturing’s master production schedule.
The booking of the Type Approval (TA) test house (task 1.4.7) has to be done seven (7)
weeks prior to type approval.
Available Resources
The maximum full time resources available for your project are:
Resource
Electronics Engineer
Software Engineer
Mechanical Engineer
Test Engineer
Production Engineer
Technical Writer
$/hour
$130.00
$95.00
$130.00
$105.00
$145.00
$80.00
Number Available
1
2
2
1
1
1
All staff work a 40 hour week from Monday to Friday (i.e. a 5 day week with 8 hour days). All
engineers are able to do all the tasks within their engineering field (i.e. there are no differences in the
abilities of the 2 software engineers compared to one another and similarly no difference between the
abilities of the 2 mechanical engineers).
If the project is resourced as requested your team is committed to producing only two prototype
iterations to develop and validate the design.
You know that there are items you did not address at the project workshop and that you may need to
make some assumptions to complete your schedule and budget. Make sure that you list any
assumptions you make at the beginning of your assignment submission and explain why you believe
your assumptions are valid.
Assessment Part A
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 2010 file (see 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.
1. Ms. Marketing has asked you to use Microsoft Project to develop the project schedule. Note
that she has also asked you to include the milestones at the end of the task list in your
schedule.
Based on the information in the case study description above, use Microsoft Project 2010 to
produce a “Part A” schedule. Make sure that you:
a) Include the milestones at the end of the task list.
b) Include the resource allocation details on the schedule.
c) Have an appropriate project name as the top of the task list and have all other tasks
indented below this heading.
d) Make sure that the holidays described in the “general information” are not included in
the available working days for your project.
e) Use the Microsoft Project software to make sure that the critical path(s) are
automatically highlighted as red bars on 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 in PMcompPartA1.mpp.
You will be required to submit this file as part of your assignment submission.
2. List the tasks that are on the critical path(s) of the project.
3. Create a copy of PMcompPartA1.mpp and rename the copy to PMcompPartA2.mpp. If there
were any resource over-allocation issues resolve these in this new PMcompPartA2.mpp file.
Note that you must resolve any resource over-allocation issues without the addition of any
additional resources. Save the “modified” version of PMcompPartA2.mpp. You will also be
required to submit this file as part of your assignment submission.
a) How did you/would you resolve any resource over-allocation issues without adding
additional resources?
b) What impact did the resource constraints have on your schedule?
c) List any tasks that have changed on the critical path.
4. Include the booking dates (found in the general information section of this assignment) as
additional “milestones” (tasks with 0 duration) in your schedule to show the latest date when
you need to contact:
a) the production manager to ensure that the facilities are booked for the first prototype
build.
b) the type approval test house to ensure that the facilities are booked for the type
approval.
c) According to your schedule when is the latest date that you need to contact:
The production manager to book the facilities for the first prototype build?
The type approval house to book the facilities for the type approval?
Note that these additional milestones should be listed at the end of the milestones list at the
end of the project task list and should be highlighted in the task list in yellow using the
“background colour” icon on the task ribbon. This is to allow your marker to locate them
easily.
5. Write a memo to the director of product development, Mr. Product outlining:
a) the expected completion date of the project and the total project duration;
b) an explanation of the main factors that cause the project to require that length of time;
c) the estimated labour cost of the project after the S1 concept review. Present the costs
in a table showing the costs for the following:
Electronics
Software
Mechanics
Verification
Prototype 1 build
Prototype 2 build
Documentation
Production ramp up to 10 in stock
Total for the Project
Assume that you will send the project schedule as an attachment to the memo.
6. Accurate cost estimates are critical for effective project management. Provide an explanation
on the influence of learning curves on cost estimates. Describe the process of two estimation
methods you could use to account for this effect? Provide examples with your explanation.
(maximum 500 words)
7. In your own words, define what is meant by a contingency reserve? Classify two different
methods that can be employed to estimate the contingency reserve for your project? Which
method would you select and provide a detailed example of your solution. (maximum 500
words)
8. You have been asked to recommend an organisational structure for the new company.
a) Compare the ‘pros and cons’ of each structure type listed in the course textbook (You
may use a table format similar to the one below. I have started you off with some
project characteristics);
Project characteristics
Functional
Organisational Structures
Matrix
Weak
Balanced
Strong
Matrix
Matrix
Matrix
Projectised
Project manager’s
authority
Resource availability
Who controls the
project budget
Project manager’s role
Project management
administrative staff
b) Referring to the table above, discuss the ‘pros and cons’ of each structure type.
(maximum 500 words)
c) Select a structure would you recommend for your company and explain why you
selected this structure. (maximum 500 words)
9. Organisational culture is very important for a successful company. What steps would you take
to create a company culture that promoted project success? Provide examples of your
solution. (maximum 500 words)
10. External organisations and internal staff have proposed new projects to be implemented by
PMcomp. Combined, the number of these proposed projects has grown to over 100 and the
nature of these projects is very diverse. For example, some projects are designed to improve
the company’s exposure in the industry while another project might improve safety
performance. You have been asked to evaluate, classify and select which projects the
company should pursue. Describe the process you would create to evaluate and select
appropriate projects? Provide an example of your solution describing each step in the process
(consider making a flowchart for this part). (maximum 500 words)
Assessment Part B
Mr. Production reviews your project schedule and requests that build participation of one engineer
from each of the following functions is required at the P1 and P2 builds: production, electronics,
software and mechanics. These additional resources will not change the task durations. You will
have to update your schedule as you agree with this proposal.
You are now 1 week after the S1 milestone and the Chinese mechanical servo supplier for task 1.5.3
has had to revise the delivery time. The delivery time has now greatly increased to 7 weeks, which is
longer than the time required for the other components in the P1 build.
In addition the mechanical engineer has completed the mechanical specification. However, this has
meant that the estimated time for the “P1 mechanical part analysis” has had to be revised. This task
is now estimated to require an extra two weeks.
Based on the additional information given above complete the following tasks:
1. Create a copy of PMcompPartA2.mpp in another file called PMcompPartB.mpp. Amend the
project schedule in PMcompPartB.mpp incorporating the request from Mr. Production, the
change to the delivery time for the servo and the new estimated times for the software tasks.
If necessary resolve any resource over-allocation issues without adding any resources. You
will also be required to submit this file (PMcompPartB.mpp ) as part of your assignment
submission.
2.
Describe the impact(s) of each the following on the project schedule:
a. The additional resources required for the prototype builds.
b. The change in duration of the delivery time for the servo component.
c. The change in time for the P1 mechanical part analysis.
Explain your answers.
3. Describe the impact(s) of each the following on the project budget:
a. The additional resources required for the prototype builds.
b. The change in duration of the delivery time for the servo component.
c. The change in time for the P1 mechanical part analysis.
Explain your answers.
4. These changes may have increased the total project budget. Are there any ways that the
overall budget of this project can be reduced without removing any tasks or reducing product
quality? (Justify your answer. Be specific and describe any tasks that you would target and
what you might do that could reduce the cost of the project.) (maximum 500 words)
Assumptions
You are free to make any assumptions necessary to complete the assignment. However, each
assumption must be justified and stated clearly in your assessment Word document. Marks will be
deducted for any unreasonable assumption or for stating an assumption and then ignoring it in your
assignment.
Submission of Assessment
The assignment is to be submitted as four separate files using the electronic assignment submission
system that can be accessed from the assessment item 2 link on the course website. The four files to
be submitted are:
1. The Word document with the assumptions and solutions to the questions for Part A and Part
B.
2. The Microsoft project files created for Part A and Part B. Please ensure that the Microsoft
Project files are named according to the instructions in the assignment specification
(PMcompPartA1.mpp, PMcompPartA2.mpp and PMcompPartB.mpp).
Marking Guide for Assessment item 2 – Individual Case Study
Assignment Question
Criteria
Marks
available
The adequacy of the Project Schedule
Tasks; correct WBS; overall summary task;
auto scheduling
Durations/effort
Resources allocated
Milestones
Predecessor relationships
Holidays
Critical path highlighted
(may have resource over allocation at this point)
List tasks on the critical path
(a-c) – dealing with resource constraints
Dates of bookings (+ milestones)
Appropriateness of the Written Memo and all
information included and correct according to the
schedule
Cost estimates
Contingency cost estimation
Organisational structure
Organisational culture
Project selection
7
Part A
Q1
Q2
Q3
Q4
Q5
Q6
Q7
Q8
Q9
Q10
Sub Total Part A
Part B
Q1
Q2
Q3
Q4
1
2
1
3
3
3
3
3
3
29
The adequacy of the amended Project Plan (+
ensure no resource over-allocation)
Discussion of the impact of each of the changes on
schedule + explain
Discussion of the impact of each of the changes on
budget + explain
Reduce the project budget
2
1.5
1.5
1
Sub Total Part B
6
TOTAL
35
Marks
awarded

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