Group case study: The case study simulates a project management scenario

Group case study
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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 make assumptions and/or seek clarification from their tutor/lecturer.

To assist students in their solution development, the following information is provided:

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• Product development case description
• Specific assessment questions that must be answered
• Information regarding the submission of the assessment
• Marking guide
Software Development Case Description

Jiemba Software is a leading software development company delivering comprehensive solutions in application development, systems integration and software testing. The name of the company is from the Indigenous Wiradjuri language and means ‘Laughing Star’. The company’s headquarter is located in Brisbane and the company has over ten years’ experience in custom software development for medium to large enterprises. The company specialises in developing games to engage Indigenous youth into the area of software development. The company has recently won a contract to develop a 2D-arcade games framework for a global entertainment company.

You are appointed as a project manager to manage the development and production of the new software framework. Several people are involved in this project including you as the project manager, Ms Gurumarra as the Director of Software Development, and your project team members consisting of three software engineers, two technical writers and two test engineers.

Your task is to generate the project schedule and allocate the resources provided to you using the information given regarding the milestones and the work breakdown structure shown in Table 1, and the resources and costs given in Table 2.

The following milestones have to be taken into account by your team members.

A. M1 Contract signed (This is the start of the project after the contract has been signed). The start date of the project is on 7/12/2015.
B. M2 Design approved. This milestone occurs after the design review meeting (task 1.7). The design must be approved before the project can proceed with the development tasks. For the purpose of this assignment, you can assume that the design will be approved at the review meeting.
C. M3 Test plan approved. This milestone marks the point at which the test plan has been developed and approved.
D. M4 Interface development tasks complete
E. M5 Engine development tasks complete
F. M6 Testing complete. This milestone occurs after all testing has been completed.
G. M7 Customer acceptance. This milestone occurs after task 7.3 Customer acceptance meeting has been completed.

Table 1- Work Breakdown Structure
Task Name WBS
Predecessor(s) Effort To be completed prior to the following milestone
1. Requirements Specification & Design
1.1 Requirements specification 9 person-weeks of SE
1.2 Engine architecture design 1.1 3 person-weeks of SE
1.3 Utilities design 1.1 3 person-weeks of SE
1.4 User interface design 1.1 2 person-weeks of SE
1.5 Database design 1.1 2 person-weeks of SE
1.6 Develop test plan 1.1 2 person-weeks of TE
1.7 Review of design meeting 1.2, 1.3, 1.4, 1.5 2 days fixed duration.
3 system engineers and 1 test engineer. M2
1.8 Review of test plan meeting 1.6 1 day fixed duration.
2 test engineers. M3
2. Utilities and Database Task Breakdown
2.1 Level editor 1.8 6 person-weeks of SE M4
2.2 Database construction 1.8 3 person-weeks of SE M4
2.3 Export game files 2.1, 2.2 1 person-week of SE M4
2.4 Export .cpp files 2.3 1 person-week of SE M4
3. Engine Task Breakdown
3.1 Object handler 1.8 3 person-weeks of SE M5
3.2 Image handler 1.8 2 person-weeks of SE M5
3.3 Sound handler 1.8 2 person-weeks of SE M5
3.4 Input handler 1.8 3 person-weeks of SE M5
3.5 Text handler 1.8 2 person-weeks of SE M5
3.6 Logic handler 1.8 3 person-weeks of SE M5
3.7 Attribute handling 1.8 3 person-weeks of SE M5
3.8 File I/O parser 1.8 2 person-weeks of SE M5
4. Help Task Breakdown
4.1 Interface help 2.1-2.4 and M4 3 person-weeks of SE
4.2 Engine help 3.1-3.8 and M5 3 person-weeks of SE
4.3 FAQ 2.1-2.4, 3.1-3.8, M4 and M5 3 person-weeks of SE
4.4 Game building tutorials 2.1-2.4, 3.1-3.8, M4 and M5 3 person-weeks of SE
5. Testing Task Breakdown
5.1 Integration testing 2.1-2.4, 3.1-3.8, M4 and M5 2 person-weeks of TE
5.2 Validation testing 5.1 2 person-weeks of TE
5.3 Performance testing 5.1, 5.2 1 person-week of TE
5.4 In-house alpha testing 5.3 2 person-weeks of TE M6
6. Documentation
6.1 Documentation plan 2.1-2.4, 3.1-3.8, M4 and M5 2 person-weeks of TW
6.2 Development of documentation 6.1 2 person-weeks of TW
6.3 Review of documents 6.2 2 person-weeks of SE
7. Customer acceptance review
7.1 Develop demonstration game 5.4 2 person-weeks of SE
7.2 Develop customer presentation 5.4 1 person-week of SE
7.3 Customer acceptance meeting 6.1-6.3, 7.1 and 7.2 1 day fixed duration
3 system engineers and 1 technical writer.
7.4 Customer training 6.3, 7.3 1 person-week of SE M7

Additional Information
In addition to the work breakdown structure, you have collected the following information:

• The following public holidays are to be observed in the project: 25 December 2015 – Christmas Day, New Year’s Day – 1 January 2016, 26 January 2016 – Australia Day and 25 March 2016 – Good Friday.
• The booking/organisation of the review of design meeting (task 1.7) has to be carried out at the least one week prior to review of design meeting (task 1.7).
• The booking/organisation of the review of test plan meeting (task 1.8) has to be carried out at the least one week prior to review of test plan meeting (task 1.8).
• The booking/organisation of the customer acceptance meeting (task 7.3) has to be carried out at the least two weeks prior to customer acceptance meeting (task 7.3).

Available Resources and Costs
The pay rates and maximum number of full time resources available for your project are shown in the following table:

Table 2- Resources and Costs

Resource Type Initials Maximum number available Standard rate
Software Engineer SE 3 $130.00/hr
Technical Writer TW 2 $85.00/hr
Test Engineer TE 2 $100.00/hr

The software engineers, technical writers and testers work a 40 hour week from Monday to Friday (i.e. a 5 day week with 8 hour days). You should enter the number of each type of available resources as a percentage on the resource table (i.e. 1SE would be 100%, 3 SEs would be 300%).

There may be items not addressed in the information above and 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.

Assessment Part A

1. Use Microsoft Project to develop the project schedule. You must include the resource allocation details on the schedule as well as the WBS shown in Table 1. Develop the schedule and make sure that you:

i. Have an appropriate project name at the top of the task list as a summary task. Have all other tasks indented below the top summary task.
ii. Have the WBS shown in table 1.
iii. Include the milestones at the bottom of the task list (as this has been requested by senior management).
iv. Include the resource allocation details on the schedule.
v. Resolve any resource allocation issues.

2. Identify the critical path in your schedule:

i. Make sure that the tasks on the critical path are automatically highlighted by the software in the Gantt chart view (i.e. the software should highlight bars of the CP tasks in red in your .mpp file).
ii. List the tasks on the critical path in your answer to this question in the Word document.

3. a) Include three additional tasks in your schedule with a duration of 1 day each to do all the
organisation for following meetings:

i. Design review meeting
ii. Test plan meeting
iii. Customer acceptance meeting

You must manually highlight these three tasks in yellow using the “background colour” icon on the task ribbon. This is to allow your marker to locate them easily.

b) Based on your schedule, when is the latest date that you need to begin organising the test plan
c) Based on your schedule, when is the latest date that you need to begin organising the customer
acceptance meeting?

4. Write a memo to Ms Gurumarra, the director of software development outlining:

i. The expected duration and completion date of the project.
ii. The estimated labour costs of the project. This information must be presented in tabular form with the total cost for each of the work packages, the costs for any meetings and the final total for the whole project.

5. a) List two tasks you would target if you were asked to shorten the project duration.
b) Explain your reasons for choosing to target those tasks.
c) For each task, suggest what you would do to shorten the task.

6. List 2 important activities that the project manager needs to perform in the planning phase of the project. Describe one of these activities in more detail.
7. Why is it necessary to calculate the earned value of work performed? How is this done?
8. Describe how you would calculate a cost performance index. What does it mean when the CPI is below 1.0? What does it mean when the CPI is above 1.0?
Assessment Part B
You are informed by the software engineers that tasks 2.2 Database construction is going to take an extra 3 person-weeks and that task 3.2 Image handler is going to take 1 extra person-week to complete.

Based on the additional information given above, complete the following tasks:

1. Copy your Part A .mpp file to a Part B file and amend the project schedule incorporating the new estimated times for the tasks above (2.2 and 3.2). You need to resolve any resource over-allocation issues caused by the introduction of these changes. You also need to highlight the rows of these changes in green.

2. a) What is the duration of the project now?
b) When is the completion date of the project now?
c) Discuss whether the length of the project is now shorter/longer/the same in comparison to Part A (make sure you include the difference in your answer, that is how much longer or shorter is it).
3. List two negative risks that could impact your project. For each state what type of risk treatment you would use for the risk and describe the treatment action

During a lessons learnt meeting at the end of the project ethics was a key theme. You realise that your team does not understand how important ethics is to project management. Realising that you need to bring your team up to date with ethics you decide to provide some training for them. You have decided to develop a short handout based on the PMI Code of Ethics and Professional Conduct.

4. Develop a one page handout for your team outlining the PMI Code of Ethics and Professional Conduct. You need to include a section on how the PMI Code of Ethics and Professional Conduct applies to your team.


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