Project Management Of IT Projects

Although computer systems have been employed since the 1970s in significant applications military, civil, government, finance, business and so on, unlike any other engineering discipline the success rate of ICT projects remains unacceptably low. Describe and discuss why ICT projects fail and what measures can be taken to improve the chance of success.

ICT Project is the development and forward of an ICT system where as an ICT system is a combination of computer hardware, software, input and output, activity data or information and the personal that have to use it.

ICT Projects can bring changes and improve organizational activities. Business and processes can become more effective and efficient by the use of information and communication technology (ICT) systems as in case with engineering discipline but unfortunately successful applicants in other field like military, civil, government is still questionable even they are employed there since very long.

Performance evaluation of the project can also direct the determination of victory or malfunction of an ICT project. Also such evaluations cannot be justified as good or bad without the successful execution of such project.

The core value of any of the ICT projects can be accomplished to figure out its capability to support the organization in finding right result to its troubles. The adaptability of ICT system and its overheads can only be logical if there are benefits accruing to it. Few of the benefits can be listed as below:

Escalating capacity of system

Efficient access to data

Improved efficiency and outputs

Transparency & Simplicity

Lessening of Cost

Quality Service

Enhanced and effective decision making

FAILURE OF ICT PROJECTS:

Regardless of the successful stories of ICT projects around the world, studies have proved high speed of ICT Project failure. These failure can be either project stakeholder expectations or correspondence failure where the project failed to meet the specified objectives such as enhancing efficiency, upgrading in resource utilization, superior output etc. It can be process failure which refers to plan overruns, resources blowouts and it may be interaction failure where new system may be or was used shortly and then terminate or occasionally used or not used at all. Although benefits of ICT cannot be disputed but there are several issues and points about its achievements as well as the approach in its implementation. Triumph of any project can be evaluated or measured on different factors but success of information and communication technology (ICT) project depends upon timely completion within budget, trustworthiness (bug-free), user friendliness, easy inexpensive alteration and maintenance in addition that it must meet specifications, goals and satisfaction of users.

In order to understand the extent of ICT failure, we need to categorized failures related to information systems which can be technical breakdown, project collapse, organizational crash, environmental breakdown, developmental stoppage and user disappointment

ICT failure can be categorized depending upon the degree of its achievement or usage. It can be total failure where initially the ICT was never implemented or in which a new system was put into action but immediately discarded. It can be considered as partial failure as major goals are unattained or in which there are major unwanted results. There is another class of sustainability failure where an initial implementation was first succeeded but is then neglected after a year or so.

REASONS FOR FAILURE OF ICT PROJECTS:

The failure factors which prevent smooth execution of ICT projects can either be Infrastructure, finance, poor data system, lack of compatibility, skilled personnel, leadership styles, culture, bureaucracy and attitudes There are certain factors which may not prevent the execution or implementation of projects and can the hinder system advancement and its sustainability. Among them are User needs, Technology, Coordination, ICT policy, and Donor pressure.

There can be a number of reasons, which require a detailed and careful review to fully identify. ICT projects are often too ambitious and too complex because of the combination of the political, organizational and technical factors lacking top management prop up, insufficient resources of project, lack of user input, poor project management, design problems, scarce training, unsuitable technologies, and many more including incomplete requirements, changing requirements, technology Incompetence, unrealistic expectation. Therefore Projects run into problems, they get far more expensive than budgeted, need more time than planned or do not deliver the intended results. Unfortunately, project failures can also be related to lack of post-mortem probes across all sectors (private and public). Organizations are neither interested to achieve organizational erudition for themselves nor are they allocate their difficult experiences with others.

Vision without substance and a budget without vision are two sorts of planning. Problems encountered encase of vision without substance are ambiguity of future vision, lack of organizational vision, current position and time. Budget without vision arises questions as to what problem is being solved, priorities and definition of the roles and responsibilities.

Poor Project planning in organizations are due to lack of risk management, business systems are not utilized and understood completely and also lack of concern & involvement from management.

MEASURES FOR THE SUCCESS OF ICT PROJECT:

Success or failure of any ICT project can be measured by identifying institution “where we they are now” and “where the new project is taking them”. Success factors are those whose presence or absence establish the success of an ICT project. They can be drivers or enabler. Some of these are vision and strategy, stakeholders support, external pressure and cooperation, consumer expectations, technological alteration, upgrading, and globalization in addition to efficient project coordination and good practices.

Degree of change is proportionally related to risk of project success. Bigger change might produces bigger organizational improvement at the cost of big risk of project disaster whereas small change might promise less degree of change at the price of less project risk. Thus we can say that there is a trade-off between threat and transformation.

ICT projects can be designed according to models of engineering and managerial concepts. Drafting of complex technical systems in much more perplex social surroundings through development of local knowledge base systems can lead to avoid failures.

Review by local sections and organizations to determine the extent of ICT failures can also be very useful and productive approach. These experts can make conclusive and detailed analysis and they can point out flaws and make recommendation for the improvement of ICT projects. Reports and lesson learnt should be available to other practitioners in other organizations for betterment of their projects.

Division of the project in smaller groups and controlling subsidiary projects is better approach as changes during the project are sometimes or often unavoidable and difficult to manage.

Information systems qualities which are achieved via efficient ICT projects affect the perceived benefits. An ICT project implementation can be considered successful if the perceived benefits are determined and understood. ICT services quality can be reviewed after vigilant assessment of the infrastructure to establish technical functionality. For instance with reference to networking different departments, the point to check is whether it may be has been achieved successfully or not. This in turn will involve a technical and user assessment of the efficient communication systems. Generation of information can be assessed to determine efficiency of Information system quality for budgeting purposes, the question might be whether the information system can generate exact and timely financial information and data or not.

Perceived benefits are the end products that can be used to judge the success of the whole system. If the perceived benefits like easier communication, networking, and system integration, timely, relevant, complete and useful information are not realized, then the system will be perceived to have failed. Attributes of each component are shown for clarity and focus.

A familiar maxim says, ‘if you cannot plan it, you do not do it’. Another maxim says, ‘I never planned to fail, I just failed to plan’. Project planning begins as soon as project planning activities determine the organization’s strategy and identifies the ICT projects. Under the few limitations, project plans evolve with the lifecycle. These limitations are time and money so each project should have a define deadline and a tight budget. Planning as a tool can be helpful in minimizing waste by classifying the pre-requites conditions for successful ICT implementation rather than rushing into a complex strategy. ICT needs careful planning, communication and coordination prior to implementation instead wise trial and error methods.

Clarify goals, targets and objectives shall be established. These goals may form major role in planning process and ultimately help in the successful implementation of ICT projects.

ANALYSIS

Improvement in the ability of those involved in the design, execution and management of IT related projects shall be enhanced to solve and tackle specific contextual attributes of the institute, division, country or location where such ICT projects will be implemented.

Strategy and support are the core areas which lead to success of any ICT project and at the same time finance and lack of fund in addition to weak infrastructure leads to failure of such projects.

Maximum benefits and output of ICT implementation can be achieved if there are no failure factors but it’s not possible but framework can be developed for the maximum output. This framework must cover and identify themes, prioritize activities develop program of action, categorize target groups and in the final stage implement solutions

ICT projects must be streamlined and established while focusing following approaches.

Never underestimate complex environment where ICT program evolves.

Get maximum output and benefits for the target group

Staff shall be re-skilled to cop up with changes

Identification and utilization of new technologies

How institute processes will fit in technology

Strong and supportive program management

Don’t underestimate the total cost of ICT project.

Part B

COMP1592 Organisation and Project Management

Tutorial for Week 1.5 – Introduction to ICT Project Management

Upload your answers in Week 1.6

List the problems you experienced when you carried out a recent assignment. Try to put these problems into some order of magnitude. For each problem consider whether there was some way in which the problem could have been reduced by better organisation and planning by you.

Risk management

Team management

Team collaboration

Schedule

Project plan was impractical

Identify the main types of personnel employed in an ICT department. For each stage of a typical ICT development project, list the types of personnel who are likely to be involved.

Business Analyst (who gathers requirements from client)

System Analyst (based on the requirements, design the software)

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Solution Architect (application is designed on the basis of technical specification)

Software Developers (who develops the software)

Database developers (design and maintaining of DB)

Quality Team (who tests the developed software)

Configuration manager

A public library is considering the implementation of a computer-based system to help administer book loans at libraries. Identify the stakeholders in such a project. What might be the objectives of such a project and how might the success of the project be measured in practical terms?

Stakeholders

Following are the stakeholders for computer based library system:

Librarian

Library Staff

Administrator/ Technical Board

Book Suppliers/ Volunteers

Partner Universities

Friends of the Library (Providing funds and assistance to Library)

Educators/ Trainers (train the usage of the system)

Software House or company developing the computer based system

Library Users (those who lend the books)

Objectives

Cataloguing (classification and indexing books)

Compilation of books and the stuff

Control of books circulation

Track users

Efficiently confirm the availability of books

Automate the library loan system and make it computer based

System will be fully authenticated as it will be solely based on computer

Issue and return dates will be catered by the system which will ensure that no preference is given to any public user in case of late return.

Automation and authentication will be achieved.

Record of all the books will be managed and kept up to date

Success of the project:

Success of the project will be measured on the following parameters:

Productive system usage

System efficiency

Gradual rise in users will predict the success

Ease and comfort for public

Reduction of staff

Confidence of stakeholders on the system

Authentication and automation is an important factor

Authentication i.e. more authenticated the system is more will be its progress

4. A software house has developed a customised order processing system for a client. You are an employee of the software house that has been asked to organize a training course for the end-users of the system. At present, a user handbook has been produced, but no specific training material. A plan is now needed for the project which will set up the delivery of the training courses. The project can be assumed to have been completed when the first training course starts. Among the things that will need to be considered are the following:

Training materials will need to be designed and created;

A timetable will need to be drafted and agreed;

Date(s) for the course will need to be arranged;

The people attending the course will need to be identified and notified;

Rooms and computer facilities for the course will need to be provided for.

A. Identify the main stakeholders for this project;

Software House

Software developers

Trainers

End users/ Client

Customers of client (must not be an end user)

B. Draw up a statement of the objectives for this project;

Evaluation, planning and business handling in an efficient manner.

Identify and develop connections between sales, planning and purchasing (by using tools such as flow charts and activity diagrams)

Create business to business environment by creating link with customers.

Encourage staff input to identify problems and solutions.

Handling customer’s feedback.

C. for the objectives, identify the measures of effectiveness;

Evaluation, planning and business handling: efficient report generation and boost the business.

Identify and develop connections between sales, planning and purchasing: by comparison with previous records

Create business to business environment by creating link with customers: gradual rise of customers

Encourage staff input to identify problems and solutions: system improvement and staff satisfaction.

Handling customers feedback: customers satisfaction

D. For each objective, identify relevant sub-objectives or goals and who would be responsible for each of them

Evaluation, planning and business handling: company management is the goal and sales team is responsible.

Identify and develop connections between sales, planning and purchasing: sales team is responsible

Create business to business environment by creating link with customers: sales team is responsible.

Encourage staff input to identify problems and solutions: Human Resource department is responsible.

Handling customer’s feedback: Quality assurance department is responsible.

Organisation and Project Management

Tutorial for Week 1.6 – Introduction to Database Design

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A company providing photo storage on the web needs a database to support the website. Visitors to the site can register by providing personal details including their email address, username and password. Once registered the user can create photograph albums into which they can upload their photographs (stored as files on the company server) along with a suitable caption and description. Users can add as many tags as they need to each one of their albums and their photos in order to classify them and enable meaningful searches. Design a database schema that fulfils these requirements.

visitor

username

password

Email address

Photograph

album

Album ID

name

caption

description

tags

photograph

photographID

name

tags

Username is foreign key in photograph album and albumID is foreign key in photograph

Convert your logical schema from question 1 into a physical schema identifying each attribute data type.

visitor

Username

Password

Email

address

Photograph

album

albumID

Name

Caption

Description

Tags

Photograph

photographID

Name

tags

A visitor has multiple photo albums i.e. 1-n relationship between visitor and photo album

A photo album has multiple photographs in it i.e. 1-n relationship between photo album and photograph

Write SQL statements which will implement the physical schema you created in question 2. Create some INSERT statements which will populate your tables with example data.

INSERT INTO `photograph` (`photographID`, `caption`, `tags`) VALUES

(‘photo1’, ‘caption1’, ‘tag1’),

(‘photo2’, ‘caption2’, ‘tag2’);

INSERT INTO `photographalbum` (`albumID`, `name`, `caption`, `description`, `tags`) VALUES

(‘album1’, ‘name1’, ‘caption1’, ‘description1’, ‘tag1’),

(‘album2’, ‘name2’, ‘caption2’, ‘description2’, ‘tag2’);

INSERT INTO `visitor` (`username`, `password`, `emailAddress`) VALUES

(‘visitor1’, ‘12345’, ‘[email protected]‘),

(‘visitor2’, ‘12345’, ‘[email protected]‘);

Using either the MySQL or Microsoft SQL Server database servers provided by the school implement your database using the SQL statements you created in question 3.

SET SQL_MODE=”NO_AUTO_VALUE_ON_ZERO”;

CREATE TABLE IF NOT EXISTS `photograph` (

`photographID` varchar(30) NOT NULL DEFAULT ”,

`caption` varchar(30) NOT NULL,

`tags` varchar(30) NOT NULL,

PRIMARY KEY (`photographID`)

) ENGINE=MyISAM DEFAULT CHARSET=latin1;

CREATE TABLE IF NOT EXISTS `photographalbum` (

`albumID` varchar(30) NOT NULL DEFAULT ”,

`name` varchar(30) NOT NULL,

`caption` varchar(30) NOT NULL,

`description` varchar(30) NOT NULL,

`tags` varchar(30) NOT NULL,

PRIMARY KEY (`albumID`)

) ENGINE=MyISAM DEFAULT CHARSET=latin1;

CREATE TABLE IF NOT EXISTS `visitor` (

`username` varchar(30) NOT NULL DEFAULT ”,

`password` varchar(30) DEFAULT NULL,

`emailAddress` varchar(30) DEFAULT NULL,

PRIMARY KEY (`username`)

) ENGINE=MyISAM DEFAULT CHARSET=latin1;

Write a SELECT statement which will output all of the filenames in an album with a tag matching ‘punk’ created by a person called ‘Leibovitz’.

COMP1592 Organisation and Project Management

Tutorial for Week 1.7 – Critical Thinking

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For each of the following questions you must explain your strategy and approach to answering the question. Simply providing an answer is not sufficient.

1. In these designs there is a particular shape and a particular colour such that any of the designs which has one, and only one, of these features is called a PHOG.

If the Blue Diamond is a PHOG, could any of these other designs be a PHOG?

Answer: Since Blue Diamond is a PHOG, it means that the particular shape is “Diamond” or the particular colour is “Blue”. Based on this observation, we can say that “Red Diamond” (because it has the shape but not colour) or “Blue Circle” (because it has the colour but not shape) are PHOGs.

2. Which of the hidden parts of these cards do you NEED to see in order to answer the following question decisively?

For these cards is it true that if there is a circle on the left there is a circle on the right?

If above is ordering of respective cards, we should check Card-A and Card-D. For Card-A, if there is a circle on the right side and for Card-D, there is no circle on the left side, we can conclude that: “If there is a circle on the left there is a circle on the right.”

It is useless to check Card-B, because even if there is a circle or not, it shall not affect the conclusion drawn. Similarly for Card-C, if there is a circle on left side, our conclusion shall be justified. And if there is no circle on the left side, it shall not affect the conclusion.

3. There is a truth teller (always tells the truth), a liar (always lies), and one who sometimes answers truthfully and sometimes lies. Each person knows who is who. You may ask three yes or no questions to determine who is who. Each time you ask a question, it must only be directed to one of the people. You may ask the same question more than once, but of course it will count towards your total.

What are your questions and to whom will you ask them?

Answer: Let us call them TT, AL and TL to symbolize. All of them shall say NO if they are asked if they are a Liar so: Ask TT: If I ask AL if he is a Liar, what would his answer be? If he says YES, TT is a Liar. If he says NO TT, is a Truth Teller. Then ask AL: If I ask TL if he is a Liar, what would his answer be? If he says YES, AL is a Liar. If he says NO, AL is a Truth Teller.

And then ask TL: If I asked TT if he is a Liar, what would his answer be? If he says YES, TL is a Liar. If he says NO, TL is a Truth Teller

4. Three boxes are all labeled incorrectly, and you must get the labels right. The labels on the boxes read as follows:

[Box 1] buttons [Box 2] coins [Box 3] coins and buttons

To gain the information you need to move the labels to the correct boxes, you may remove a single item from one of the boxes. You may not look into the boxes, nor pick them up and shake them, etc.

Answer: Since all labels are marked incorrectly, we know that the Box 3 marked with [Coins or Buttons] has any one of the two items and not both. Remove the label from this Box 3, pick one item from this Box 3 (it must be a coin or a button), remove the respective label (depending upon the item obtained) from other two boxes (Bow 1 or Box 2) and put it on this Box 3. Now we have Box 3 that has the right label on it.

Now there is one Box without a label and the other Box with incorrect label. Remove the incorrect label because it is on the box that must be having both [Coins and Buttons]. Put this label on the other Box and [Coins or Button] label on this box.

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In this way we have done the right labeling.

COMP1592 Organisation and Project Management

Week 1.8 – Step Wise: An approach to planning software projects

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What are the products created by the Step Wise planning process?

Which of the following are not SMART objectives and why?

Market research Research similar products

User acceptance testing Investigate product requirements

User training Test and Evaluate

Design database Implement middleware

Improve network performance Measure MTBF

SMART means Specific, Measurable, Acceptable, Realistic, Time Framed

Market Research: It is not a SMART objective because it is Specific to a segment of market, product; and there is no time framed specified

Research Similar Products: It is not a SMART objective because it is not measurable with respect to other products. Also there are no time lines mentioned for it.

User Acceptance Testing: It is not a SMART objective because it is not time bound.

Investigate Product Requirements: It is not a SMART objective because the product is not specified; also there is no time line specified for it.

User Training: It is not a SMART objective because the User training is not measurable and also there is no time frame mentioned for it.

Test and Evaluate: It is not a SMART objective because there is no measuring parameter specified for evaluations. Also time frame is not available in which this testing and evaluation is to be done.

Design Database: It is explicitly specified that the database of application is to be developed. But it is not a SMART objective for there is no time specified for it.

Implement Middleware: This is a specific, measurable and realistic objective but not SMART because there are no timelines available for implementation.

Improve Network Performance: There are no measuring elements that are mentioned for this performance activity. Also time frame is not mentioned for it. It may be specific and realistic but not a SMART objective.

Measure MTBF: Measuring Mean Time between Failures is not a SMART objective because there is no time line mentioned to perform this task

For each of the objectives in Q2 which are not SMART re-writes the objective so that it may be considered as SMART. Explain your reasoning.

SMART means Specific, Measurable, Acceptable, Realistic, and Time Framed

Market Research: “Perform Market Research in next 2 weeks to check for need of a mobile phone that supports instant texting at university level and include students of age between 18-24 years.”

This is a SMART objective for it is specific about the work to be done, has time frame included into it, and is measurable, realistic and acceptable.

Research Similar Products: “Perform a Research Study among shop keepers of market in 4 weeks to check for competitors of Nokia 6300.”

This is a SMART objective for it is specific about the work to be done, has time frame included into it, and is measurable, realistic and acceptable.

User Acceptance Testing: “Conduct Software Testing with at least 50 students to check for newly developed Online Registration System in next 5 days.”

This is a SMART objective for it is specific about the work to be done, has time frame included into it, and is measurable, realistic and acceptable.

Investigate Product Requirements:

“Have minimum of 5 meetings with client and prepare SRS document of new Software to be developed by the end of this month.”

This is a SMART objective for it is specific about the work to be done, has time frame included into it, and is measurable, realistic and acceptable.

User Training:

“Arrange and ensure a single user training session for changes made in one of the modules. This training should not be of more than two hours.”

This is a SMART objective for it is specific about the work to be done, has time frame included into it, and is measurable, realistic and acceptable.

Test and Evaluate:

“Conduct thorough testing of new Recording solution after taking minimum of 100 calls in 15 minutes. Repeat this activity 10 times at different timings.”

This is a SMART objective for it is specific about the work to be done, has time frame included into it, and is measurable, realistic and acceptable.

Implement Middleware:

“Develop the Middleware of Patient Education module in 2 weeks and engage maximum of 4 available programmers.”

This is a SMART objective for it is specific about the work to be done, has time frame included into it, and is measurable, realistic and acceptable.

Improve Network Performance:

“Identify applications that have higher network usage and try to monitor and configure them for next 24 hours to gain 5% improvement in network performance.”

This is a SMART objective for it is specific about the work to be done, has time frame included into it, and is measurable, realistic and acceptable.

Measure MTBF:

“Execute parallel applications and determine MTBF within 2 hours after connecting 10 users to it.”

This is a SMART objective for it is specific about the work to be done, has time frame included into it, and is measurable, realistic and acceptable.

4. Amanda works for the Management Services department of a local authority. She has been active in organising the development of a computerised payroll processing system. The system is in the final stages of development. What products must exist before the activity ‘test program’ can take place?

Products:

Software:

Scope

Context (environment)

Information Objectives (input and output)

Functionality and performance requirements

Objectives:

Scope

Context

What products does this activity create?

Software Project Management activities are:

Feasibility Report

Planning & Monitoring

Execution & Production

Delivery

Closing & End of program

5. You are about to embark on an assessed group project as part of your degree programme. Draw up a list of the risks which may affect your assignment outcome. Individually classify the risks as high, medium and low. What can be done to reduce the impact of these risks on your project?

Following are the risks that can be faced during this project or academic assignment.

Scale: High Risk- H

Medium Risk – M

Low Risk -R

Project risks

Budget (H)

Budget risk can be reduced if the market value and demand of the project is marketed before.

Schedule (M)

Proper formal MS project plan will help reduce this risk.

Personnel (L)

Although it is an academic project and the personnel risk has low

COMP1592 Organisation and Project Management

Week 1.9 – Selection of an appropriate project approach

Upload your answers in Week 1.10

1. The Agile Manifesto values the items on the right, but places greater value on the items on the left

Individuals and interactions over Processes and tools

Working software over Comprehensive documentation

Customer collaboration over Contract negotiation

Responding to change over following a plan

Discuss each of these assertions and establish why?

To streamline existing operations and to develop effective communication, it is very important to have well defined processes and developed tools within an organization. But at the end of the day, individuals and their effective interactions are vital for the success of a project.

Documentation is considered to be an important asset for software development. It provides assistance and ability

To retain and manage information about the software. But the more important asset is the software itself. With strong documentation but missing functionalities within an application, the level of client satisfaction can decrease to a greater extent. It is therefore important to focus over the management functionalities of software.

Similarly contracts with customers are more like an effort. They have to be maintained as a token of agreement, but

The client satisfaction is far more critical for successful software implementations. Instead of staying stick to the contractual terms, it is better to have a collaborative environment where customers can openly provide feedback and share their experiences/concerns.

Changes are inevitable and are definite part of the software process. In case of any changes that are to be made, it is good to have a well drafted plan to communicate and follow up for changes. This plan can limit the customer to

Focus over actual changes that are to be made. At the same time, the focus of developers should be to understand and implement the change so that customer needs are timely met.

2. A software package is to be designed and built to assist in contract cleaning cost estimation. It will input certain parameters and produce initial cost estimates to be used at bidding time. A prototyping approach is to be

Used in the development. Describe and discuss the factors which need to be taken into consideration when deciding what classes of prototypes are to be developed.

Answer: Prototype Model is the development of working model that is the subset of desired system. There are several factors that should be in consideration while opting for this working model. It is not based on the strict planning but instead on user response. The user specifications must be clear to develop the prototype. Number of users should be interviewed to represent all respective departments/types of users. Users should be involved in designing the preliminary design of GUIs layout for software prototype. The first prototype is to be developed from this design and users should thoroughly evaluate it. After getting the comments from users, the first prototype should

Be modified accordingly. This is to be repeated for all subsequent prototypes this the time, a satisfactory

Development version is obtained. For every prototype to be developed, it is mandatory to evaluate it in real business domain.

3. An invoicing system is to have the following components: produce invoice, amend invoice, produce monthly statements, record cash payment, and clear paid invoices from database, create, modify and delete customer records. Identify the possible options in selecting a suitable process model if the proposed system is for:

(a) A large supermarket chain, Waitbury’s

(b) A firm of solicitors, Wright Hassall and Twist

(c) A local plumber, Fawcett and Son

System for a Large Super Market: For a Large Super Market System, we can opt for Increment Model. It should involve the division of complete system into several modules like Invoice Management, Cash Payment, and Customer Record Management. Each of these builds provides a specific set of features and once all of them are deployed, the complete system requirement is fulfilled.

System for Firm of Solicitor: For a firm of solicitors, a prototyping model shall work well. Development team should develop an initial prototype of the system, keeping in view some of the features of the system. Based upon

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The solicitors feedback, they should add and modify additional functionalities into this system for subsequent prototypes.

System for a Local Plumber: A Water Fall Model is good enough for this type of application. There is a single individual involved who is going to provide the complete system requirements. Once these requirements are well communicated and documented, the development team can focus on analysis and development of system.

4. Extreme programming dictates 12 practices including; Continuous testing, Pair programming, on-site customer and continuous integration.

Discuss why these four practices considered by Kent Beck to be beneficial in system development.

Continuous Testing: By developing Unit tests, programmers think about conditions in which respective code can

Fail or there can be a malfunction. This ensures that once the code is written, there are no specific cases in which the code behaves abnormally. By doing extensive testing, the quality of programmer work increases as well.

Pair Programming: It can enhance team wide coordination and communication. Along with that, one programmer can think about the coding specific details where as the other can work over the bigger picture of solution.

On-Site Customer: Availability of customers during development helps in getting timely response and immediate feedback. It improves the development experience and increased customer satisfaction.

COMP1592 Organisation and Project Management

Week 1.10 – Risk management and resource allocation

Upload your answers in Week 1.11

This week the application risk management to software development projects has been strongly advocated. In practice however, managers are often reluctant to apply the techniques. What do think might be the reasons for this?

Manager is a key player in software project development. Managers are responsible to ensure that day to day operations are delivered and the project is completed in time. Project managers usually does not completely practice risk management techniques because of their engagement in several other activities like management of resources, cost, schedule and quality etc. Also risk management is extremely critical where uncertainties are high. In those projects, where business domain is clear and team is technically equipped to undergo development tasks thoroughly, risk of small scales may be taken because the respective loss shall be at acceptable level. Completely managing risks may take a lot of time and managers can avoid this activity to deliver projects timely.

Fiona is a final year computing undergraduate student who in her third year undertook a placement with the IT department of an insurance company as a support analyst and then a network manager. The placement year was very busy and rewarding as the company saw IT as providing business advantage in what was a very dynamic and aggressively competitive sector. The project that Fiona proposes to do in her final year will use the insurance company as a client. The proposed project involves gathering requirements for an application that records details of change requests for operational systems made by users and then tracks the subsequent progress of the change. Having gathered the requirements she is to design the application, then build and implement it.

Identify possible risks in the proposed project of which Fiona should take account.

Project Scope: Recording Change Requests for Operational Systems and Tracking Progress of Change

Risks Involved:

Fiona is working in networking team and Business Domain and Project Scope may not be very clear to her.

There are not sufficient skilled workers available for this project.

Fiona is already engaged in academic and work commitments and availability of time for thorough requirement gathering, system designing and implementation is a concern. Also she should consider having higher work load at different times due to her multiple activities. It means that there are higher chances of delay in project completion.

Fiona has worked as Support Analyst and is not having expertise in system development and implementation that can lead to several missing functionalities and compromised quality. We can say that she is not an experienced staff member for this project.

It is a project from real world and there are chances of changes in client requirements during development phases of the project. This shall lead to changes in design as well.

Insurance company may not share the actual data related to its users so Fiona shall have to consider having incomplete technical data for testing purposes as well.

3. On a large project it is often is the responsibility of a team leader to allocate tasks to individuals. Why might it be unsatisfactory to leave such allocations entirely to the discretion of the team leader?

He may not be the expert in all the sections/departments.

It causes dissatisfaction among other team members of same level.

He can be biased towards some other members of the group.

He might not be well familiar of the expertise of the entire staff to allocate them tasks.

In scheduling her project, Amanda ignored the risks of absence due to staff sickness. What might she have done to estimate the likelihood of this occurring and how might she have taken account of the risk when scheduling the project?

Instead of separately considering the risk of staff absence due to sickness, Amanda might have added few extra days/weeks to the project plan. Her assumption might have been that she shall get the work done through other available staff members in case of any such occurrence. This is a risk that general has less probability of occurrence specifically for all employees at the same time. This observation might be based upon the absence history of employees over last few months/years.

COMP1592 Organisation and Project Management

Week 1.11 – Activity planning

Upload your answers in Week 1.12

1. Draw an activity network using either activity-on-node or activity-on-arrow network conventions for each of the following projects:

Choosing and purchasing a desktop computer;

Organizing and carrying out a survey of users’ opinions of a website.

PART1)

Choosing and purchasing desktop computer

PART 2)

Organizing and carrying out a survey of users’ opinions of a website.

2. Convert the example activity on node precedence network from today’s PowerPoint slides into an activity on arrow network.

Activity Duration (weeks) Precedents

A Hardware selection 6

B Software design 4

C Install hardware 3 A

D Code software 4 B

E Data import 3 B

F Write user manual 10

G User training 3 E, F

H Install and test 2 C, D

A

C

H

D

B

E

F

G

3. The activity networks below contain errors. Identify the errors and re-draw the networks correctly.

4. Draw up an activity precedence network for the following scenario:

The specification of an IT application is estimated as likely to take two weeks to complete. When this activity has been completed, work can start on three software modules, A, B and C. Design/coding of the modules will need 5, 10 and 10 days respectively. Modules A and B can only be unit -tested together as their functionality is closely associated. This joint testing should take about two weeks. Module C will need eight days of unit testing. When all unit testing has been completed, integrated system testing will be needed taking a further three weeks. This testing will be based on the functionality described in the specification and will need 10 days of planning.

A

IT application

Complete

Done

P

I

C

B

(Days) 14 28 36 57 67

5. For the activity network in 4 above, derive the earliest and latest start dates for each activity and the earliest and latest finish dates. Work out the shortest project duration.

IT Application Completion: Day 1 – Day 14

Activity

Start Dates (Day)

Finish Dates (Day)

A

14

28

B

14

28

C

28

36

I

36

57

P

57

67

6. There are a number of software tools which can help in project planning:

I) Microsoft Project, which does Gantt and network charts but is a bit rubbish.

ii) Microsoft Visio, which draws nice pictures but doesn’t help with the calculations.

iii) Microsoft Excel or Open Office Calc, a reasonable spreadsheet to help with the calculations and has some graphical capability.

Research the application of these tools to project planning and use all three of these tools to perform critical path analysis on the following case.

Activity

Depends on

Duration

(days)

A

5

B

A

7

C

B

6

D

A

5

E

D

10

F

B

15

G

B

8

H

G

8

I

C

4

J

G

4

K

E,F

5

L

I,H

3

COMP1592 Organisation and Project Management

Week 1.12 – Individual Motivation, Teams and Organisational

Behaviour Tutorial

Upload your answers in Week 1.13

Directed unsupervised learning:

read Chapter 11 Managing people and organizing teams: R. Hughes and M. Cotterell, Software Project Management – 4th Edition, McGraw-Hill

1. Identify three incidents or times when you felt particularly pleased or happy about something to do with your work or study.

Achievement in activities (Successful in extra curricular activities) Recognition in class (Good grades in assignments)

University Festival or function (Gathering and get together)

Identify three occasions when you were particularly dissatisfied with your work or study.

Assignment not completed in time

Family Function during examinations

Unsuccessful in extra curricular activities

Compare your findings with those of your colleagues and try to identify any patterns.

My pattern of satisfaction and dissatisfaction are quite similar to my classmates but there is difference among those who also do job and has some other activity other than study and sports because of different satisfaction and dissatisfaction factors.

Analyse your findings in terms of Herzberg hygiene and motivation factors. Since hygiene and motivation factors vary for different environments therefore we

find different pattern among colleagues involved in different activities.

2. An organization has detected low job satisfaction in the following departments.

How could these jobs be redesigned to give more job satisfaction?

• The system testing group

Social assistance:

Arrange friendly Lunch / Tea party with team member to create friendly environment &

team cooperation.

Show Respect to individuals:

Reevaluate their technical expertise and interest and redefine job with acceptable work pressure.

Work/life balance program:

Should not force employee to work late or should not overload them.

• The computer applications help desk

Identifying and eliminating recurring technology problems

Streamlining the elimination recurring technology problems

Develop help desk standars

Help gest audit and review

3. Reflect on a team based activity in which you have previously participated and try and categorize each participant according to the Belbin classifications (Chair, Plant, Monitor-evaluator, Shaper, Team worker, Implementer, Resource- investigator, Completer-finisher and Specialist).

Which role or roles did you take?

Coordinator

Were there any duplications or gaps in any of the roles?

No there is no duplications in any of the roles.

Did this seem to have any impact on progress?

Yes Belbin classification has great impact on the progress of the activity as

by categorizing different roles, we can create and maintain a behavioural and skill balance within teams.

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