The responsibilities of a project manager

1.1.1.1 Rationale

This assessment has been designed to allow you to demonstrate your ability to:

  1. identify the responsibilities of a Project manager when participating in a real world IT project;
  2. define the role of management in IT projects, particularly from the view point of the practitioner as a member of the project team;
  3. discuss the many problems facing software development management and to note the ‘best practices’ being utilised in order to produce effective, efficient and quality computer systems projects on time and within budget;
  4. apply project management skills, methods, techniques and tools to a real world problem typical of a project manager in the IT industry; and
  5. explain the areas of knowledge, relevant to project management and quality assurance, that are required in a tertiary course by the Australian Computer society (ACS) for professional level course accreditation.

1.1.1.2 Tasks

Part 1: Project Integration Management

Recently, several banks have started offering customers remote deposit capture. With this new service, customers do not have to physically go to banks or ATM machines to deposit checks anymore. Instead, they can send checks as a scanned image through an Internet portal provided by the bank. This technology can save banks and customers time and money making the transactions. Blue Bank is considering implementing this new service. To use it, customers need a remote capture account with Blue Bank and a special scanner to get the necessary images to make the electronic deposit. Once the account is established in the system, customers will be able to scan all of their checks anytime and anywhere by accessing the Blue Bank service through the Internet, logging in, and scanning the checks. The service should be as easy as sending an attachment in an email. Of course, this new application has to be very reliable, secure, and easy to use. It must be integrated into the current Blue Bank Web site, and the Web site must also provide the ability for customers to purchase the special scanner. Blue Bank will set up the scanner-purchasing ability with several appropriate hardware vendors and sell the devices at its physical banks as well. Blue Bank is not sure yet what to charge for the scanners or service. The Web site will also provide online technical support and instructions showing customers how to set up and use the new scanner and service. Support will be provided 24/7 via the Web site and telephone.

Tasks

  1. Research information on remote deposit capture. Who is using it, and how does it work? Do you think it’s an important feature to provide for banking customers? Why or why not? How much do you think customers would be willing to pay for this service? Summarize your response in a two- page paper citing at least two references.
  2. Several managers at Blue Bank are not sure that they should invest in remote deposit capture. The bank prides itself on being customer-oriented, having several large bank buildings, ATMs and remote bank sites in many grocery stores, primarily throughout the Midwest. Many of its customers have banked with Blue Bank their whole lives, but less than half of them use any of its current Internet banking services. The new VP of IT was hired to prepare Blue Bank for the future and to reduce the loss of younger customers who have moved to banks that are more progressive. Based on this information and research on the current banking industry, identify three potential strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats that Blue Bank may be experiencing.
  3. Prepare the financial section of a business case for the Remote Deposit Capture Project. Assume the project will take 6 months to complete and cost about $500,000 (year 0 costs). Annual operating costs would be about $150,000 per year for three years. Estimated benefits are about $400,000 per year for three years. An example of a Business case template can be downloaded from https://acc.dau.mil/CommunityBrowser.aspx?id=46512. Calculate the NPV, ROI, and year in which payback occurs. Assume a 6.5 percent discount rate.
  4. Prepare a project charter for the Remote Deposit Capture Project. Assume the project will take 6 months to complete and cost about $500,000. Use the project charter template and examples of project charters in Chapters 3 and 4 as guidelines. Assume that the project sponsor will be the new VP of IT, Harold Johnson, you will be the project manager, and you will have people from marketing and IT supporting the project on a part-time basis. The VP of Marketing, Tricia Young, is also a key stakeholder in the project and head of a project steering committee formed to oversee this project.
  5. You know that people will be requesting changes to the project and want to make sure you have a good integrated change control process in place. You also know that you want to address change requests as quickly as possible. A template for a change request form can be downloaded from http://www.consulting.ky/free_project_management_templates.php. Write a one- to two-page paper describing how you plan to manage changes on this project in a timely manner. Address who will be involved in making change control decisions, what paperwork/electronic systems will be used to collect and respond to changes, and other related issues.

Part 2: Project Scope Management

The project steering committee has asked you to put together your project team. They suggest that you have two people from IT, two from marketing, and one person from the purchasing department all working part-time on the project. As always, you will need the services from Code Corp., the software company that has developed the entire Blue Bank Web site. Code Corp. has people working in several different countries, mostly in a virtual environment. The main contact with that company is Christian Jones. Since this new remote capture service requires the use of a special scanner, you will need to compare different scanners on the market right now. For this reason, you will be working with DevAn, a devices analysis consulting firm based in India that will help you determine which scanners to use with the new application. Alexandra will be the DevAn consultant assigned to you. An initial estimate suggests that one half of the budget will go to outsourced software and consulting services.

Tasks

  1. Develop a scope statement for the project. You may use the template (developed by Value Management Partners) in appendix 1. Be as specific as possible in describing product characteristics, requirements, and deliverables.
  2. Develop a work breakdown structure (WBS) for the project. Break down the work to level 2 or level 3, as appropriate. You may use the template (developed by Value Management Partners) in Appendix 1. Print the WBS in list form as a Word file. Be sure to base your WBS on the project charter, scope statement, and other relevant information.
  3. Use the WBS you developed in Task 2 above to create a Gantt chart in Project 2003 for the project. Use the outline numbering feature to display the outline numbers (click Tools on the menu bar, click Options, and then click Show outline number). Do not enter any durations or dependencies. Print the resulting Gantt chart on one page, being sure to display the entire Task Name column.
  4. Develop a strategy for scope verification and change control for this project. Write a two-page paper summarizing key points of the strategy.
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1.1.1.3 Assessment item 1 – Marking criteria

Marks given will be dependent on the quality of the answers. The following areas will be examined: research with references, identifies SWOT, calculations of NPV, ROI, payback year, presentations, managing change, scope management, product requirements/deliverables, WBS and Gantt Chart.

Part 1: Project Integration Management

1. Research information on remote deposit capture. Who is using it, and how does it work? Do you think it’s an important feature to provide for banking customers? Why or why not? How much do you think customers would be willing to pay for this service? Summarize your response in a two- page paper citing at least two references.

Today, it is possible to make bank transactions such as receive bank statements, reconcile your account, initiate wire transfers, pay bills, review credit card activity and even apply for a loan without leaving your home or office. Gone were the days where one needs to make time in their hectic schedule to go to the bank for important bank transactions such as depositing a company’s daily receipts. There are technologies that would enable one to make bank transactions without going to a bank. One of these technologies is called Remote Deposit Capture. A summary and description of this technology is outlined in this paper.

Remote Deposit Capture is one of the fastest growing technologies used by small and large banking organizations around the world; it is widely used in the US. This technology refers to depositing cheques to a bank account without having to physically deliver the cheques to a bank branch. The basic requirements for Remote Deposit Capture service include a computer, an internet connection, a cheque scanner and a service provider such as your current bank. What the bank customer needs to do is to scan a digital image of the cheque onto a computer. Once the cheques are scanned to create a digital image or digital deposit, it is then transmitted over an encrypted internet connection to your bank who then accepts the deposit, verifies, processes and clears the cheques.

Below are the benefits that can be gained with the use of this technology:

  • Clients have the ability to deposit checks earlier in the day. The earlier the client can make the deposit to the bank, the better an availability schedule can be assigned to that deposit since the bank has more time to process and clear the checks.
  • Accelerate clearings and improved availability result in improved cash flow and working capital for your company.
  • It is easier to detect items that need to be returned due to poor image quality.
  • Transportation costs will be reduced since there is no need to go to the bank personally since checks can be sent electronically.
  • Processing costs will be reduced since the time and expense of traveling to the bank, and the time spent balancing the deposit & associated keying will be eliminated.
  • It will enable consolidation of banking relationships.

Here in Australia, people can now conduct most banking transactions over the internet or using their mobile phones. Depositing cheques to a bank is one of the reasons why people regularly visit a bank. This technology has been considered, however, the use of cheques is not that common anymore and Australians have largely stopped using it. There is a decline in the volume of checks receive by banks here in Australia so investing in this technology would not be beneficial for the banks since there is no high demand for it.

Australian banks also want to ensure that implementing new technologies would not have an impact on customer security. Flexible banking methods such as using Remote Desktop Capture could help customers’ lives easier but different customer’s payment preferences should also be recognized before implementing such technology.

In addition, there is also a possibility that banks will ask for an additional charge for the use of this technology. It is convenient to use Remote Desktop Capture but people will have to shell out money for it. With the number of additional charges that people pay everyday for bank services, most people would rather a bank to deposit a cheque.

2. Several managers at Blue Bank are not sure that they should invest in remote deposit capture. The bank prides itself on being customer-oriented, having several large bank buildings, ATMs and remote bank sites in many grocery stores, primarily throughout the Midwest. Many of its customers have banked with Blue Bank their whole lives, but less than half of them use any of its current Internet banking services. The new VP of IT was hired to prepare Blue Bank for the future and to reduce the loss of younger customers who have moved to banks that are more progressive. Based on this information and research on the current banking industry, identify three potential strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats that Blue Bank may be experiencing.

SWOT ANALYSIS OF BLUE BANK:

Potential Strengths:

  • Customer oriented. The bank has well trained staff that assists customers and process transactions on a day to day basis.
  • Accessible. It has several bank buildings/branches, ATMS and remote bank sites in many grocery stores, primarily throughout the Midwest.
  • Well capitalized. The bank has enough capital to afford current operational expenses.
  • Reputable. Many of its customers have banked with Blue Bank their whole lives.

Potential Weaknesses:

  • Weak Internet banking services. Less than half of the bank’s customers used their Internet banking services.
  • Lack of marketing expertise.

Potential Opportunities:

  • Good financial position creating a good reputation for future bank loans and borrowings.
  • Skilled workforce means that they can be moved and trained into other areas of the business.
  • Increased spending power in the economy.
  • Mergers, joint ventures or strategic alliances.
  • A developing market such as the Internet.
  • Moving into new market segments that offer improved profits.

Potential Threats:

  • Large and increasing competition
  • Rising cost of wages
  • Existing product becoming unfashionable or unpopular (for example, the bank’s Internet Banking services)

3.Prepare the financial section of a business case for the Remote Deposit Capture Project. Assume the project will take 6 months to complete and cost about $500,000 (year 0 costs). Annual operating costs would be about $150,000 per year for three years. Estimated benefits are about $400,000 per year for three years. An example of a Business case template can be downloaded from

https://acc.dau.mil/CommunityBrowser.aspx?id=46512. Calculate the NPV, ROI, and year in which payback occurs. Assume a 6.5 percent discount rate.

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FINANCIAL SECTION FOR REMOTE DEPOSIT CAPTURE PROJECT

4.Prepare a project charter for the Remote Deposit Capture Project. Assume the project will take 6 months to complete and cost about $500,000. Use the project charter template and examples of project charters in Chapters 3 and 4 as guidelines. Assume that the project sponsor will be the new VP of IT, Harold Johnson, you will be the project manager, and you will have people from marketing and IT supporting the project on a part-time basis. The VP of Marketing, Tricia Young, is also a key stakeholder in the project and head of a project steering committee formed to oversee this project.

Project Charter

Project Title

Remote Deposit Capture Project

Project Start Date:

27 August 2009

Projected Finish Date:

27 February 2009

Budget Information: The firm has allocated $500,000 for this project. The majority of the costs for this project will be internal labor. An initial estimate provides a total of 80 hours per week.

Project Objectives:

·Implement a new technology called Remote Deposit Capture to provide a convenient alternative for depositing bank cheques.

·Purchase cheque scanning hardware and license new software for the project.

·Allow customers to transmit images of cheques to the bank in place of depositing the original check.

·Allow customers to purchase or lease cheque scanning hardware and software and/or subscribe to new services.

Approach:

·Develop a survey to determine critical features of the new technology and solicit input from consultants and customers.

·Research and test hardware and software that will be used for the project.

·Determine a way to measure the value of the project in terms of reduced costs and revenues

·Encourage customers to use the technology by using marketing techniques.

 

Sign-off:

(Signatures of all above stakeholders. Can sign by their names in table above.)

Comments:

(Handwritten or typed comments from above stakeholders

“I will support the project manager and the project team.

” – Harold Johnson

“I will ensure that a project is completed on time, within budget, and according to the requirements.

” – Maria Angeles

5.You know that people will be requesting changes to the project and want to make sure you have a good integrated change control process in place. You also know that you want to address change requests as quickly as possible. A template for a change request form can be downloaded from

http://www.consulting.ky/free_project_management_templates.php

. Write a one- to two-page paper describing how you plan to manage changes on this project in a timely manner. Address who will be involved in making change control decisions, what paperwork/electronic systems will be used to collect and respond to changes, and other related issues.

MANAGING CHANGES TO THE PROJECT

Changes in a project are inevitable. Many of us feel threatened by change and are reluctant to engage in it, however, gaining skills in change management will enable an organization to adapt and handle changes in a project.

Successful change must involve top management, including the board and chief executive. Change is usually best carried out as a team-wide effort. Communications about the change should be frequent and with all organization members. To sustain change, the structures of the organization itself should be modified, including strategic plans, policies and procedures.

The best approaches to address resistances are through increased and sustained communications and education. For example, the leader should meet with all managers and staff to explain reasons for the change, how it generally will be carried out and where others can go for additional information. A plan should be developed and communicated. Forums should be held for organization members to express their ideas for the plan. They should be able to express their concerns and frustrations as well.

The Change Control process will run continuously during the project, and potentially beyond that into live running. The Project team and the Project Manager will administer and control the process.

A change request form is needed to document these changes. A change request form commonly includes the following details:

  • Person making the request
  • Details of change request
  • Reasons for requesting the change
  • Impact of the change on other users
  • Person improving the change
  • Who will implement the change
  • When the change is expected to be completed
  • Results of testing
  • Sign off by project manager and person making the request
  • Date of sign off
  • Any additional fields you believe will assist in managing changes to the system

Specific attention is paid to the cost and implications, identifying where work will be required and what its impact will be in terms of cost, risk and timescale. In particular, a benefit case will be prepared to summarize why the change should be made.

The Project Manager, Change Control Board or Steering Committee will use this Benefit Case in making a decision, in line with the pre-established guiding principles.

The status of the Change Request and its approval level should be tracked. In addition to the database of Change Requests, there would be logs and various management reports to allow the project leadership to track and control the changes.

Sample of a Change Request Form

Project Name:

Date Request Submitted:

Title of Change Request

Change Order Number:

Submitted by

: (name and contact information)

2 Change Category: Scope Schedule Cost Technology Other

Description of change requested:

Events that made this change necessary or desirable:

Justification for the change/why it is needed/desired to continue/complete the project:

Impact of the proposed change on:

Scope:

Schedule:

Cost:

Staffing:

Risk:

Other:

Suggested implementation if the change request is approved:

Required approvals:

Name/Title

Date

Approve/Reject

Part 2: Project Scope Management

The project steering committee has asked you to put together your project team. They suggest that you have two people from IT, two from marketing, and one person from the purchasing department all working part-time on the project. As always, you will need the services from Code Corp., the software company that has developed the entire Blue Bank Web site. Code Corp. has people working in several different countries, mostly in a virtual environment. The main contact with that company is Christian Jones. Since this new remote capture service requires the use of a special scanner, you will need to compare different scanners on the market right now. For this reason, you will be working with DevAn, a devices analysis consulting firm based in India that will help you determine which scanners to use with the new application. Alexandra will be the DevAn consultant assigned to you. An initial estimate suggests that one half of the budget will go to outsourced software and consulting services.

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Tasks

1.Develop a scope statement for the project. You may use the template (developed by Value Management Partners) in appendix 1. Be as specific as possible in describing product characteristics, requirements, and deliverables.

Scope Statement (Version 1.0)

Project Title: Remote Deposit Capture Project

Date:

27 August 2009

Prepared by:

Maria Angeles, Project Manager, (02) 9852 5251,

[email protected]

Project Justification:

Harold Johnson, Vice President of IT Department for Secure Consulting requested this project to assist the company in meeting its strategic goals. This new technology will increase visibility of the company’s expertise to current and potential clients. It will also improve profitability. The project will take 6 months to complete and cost about $500,000 (year 0 costs). Annual operating costs would be about $150,000 per year for three years. Estimated benefits are about $400,000 per year for three years.

Product Characteristics and Requirements:

  1. Scanning hardware and software: This will allow customers to transmit images of cheques electronically.
  2. Security: The technology should provide several levels of security. Internal employees can use the recognition software once they enter their security information.
  3. Availability: This technology must be available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. There should also be system maintenance every week and periodic maintenance as appropriate.
  4. Support: Support for this product will be available from 8-6pm, 6 days a week.

Summary of Project Deliverables

Project management-related deliverables:

business case, charter, team contract, scope statement, WBS, schedule, cost baseline, status reports, final project presentation, final project report, lessons-learned report, and any other documents required to manage the project.

Product-related deliverables:

research reports, design documents, software code, hardware, etc.

  • Hardware
  • Software code
  • Marketing techniques
  • Project Success Criteria:

    Our goal is to complete this project for 6 months for no more than $500,000. The project sponsor, Harold Johnson has emphasized the importance of the project paying for itself within 3 years after the project has been implemented.

    2.Develop a work breakdown structure (WBS) for the project. Break down the work to level 2 or level 3, as appropriate. You may use the template (developed by Value Management Partners) in Appendix 1. Print the WBS in list form as a Word file. Be sure to base your WBS on the project charter, scope statement, and other relevant information.

    WBS Template for Remote Deposit Capture Project

    Prepared by:

    Maria Angeles, (02)9852-5251, [email protected]

    3. Use the WBS you developed in Task 2 above to create a Gantt chart in Project 2003 for the project. Use the outline numbering feature to display the outline numbers (click Tools on the menu bar, click Options, and then click Show outline number). Do not enter any durations or dependencies. Print the resulting Gantt chart on one page, being sure to display the entire Task Name column.

    GANTT CHART (no duration or dependencies)

    GANTT CHART WITH DURATION (6 MONTHS)

    4. Develop a strategy for scope verification and change control for this project. Write a two-page paper summarizing key points of the strategy.

    SCOPE VERIFICATION PROCESS

    Scope verification is important in project management. It is a process of formally communicating any changes to the project scope and deliverable to the main sponsors or stakeholders for approval or acceptance. Deliverables should be reviewed to ensure that each has been completed adequately.

    The project manager is in charge of the scope verification process. Scope control deals with influencing the aspects that produce project scope changes and controlling the impact of those amendments. This process guarantees that all requested amendments and corrective actions are process through the project.

    The following is the strategy developed for scope verification for the Remote Deposit Capture Project:

    • Present draft copies of the proposal to the stakeholders. The proposal will be subject to inspection for any questions or concerns.
    • Changes to the scope will be necessary once the concerns and questions of the stakeholders have been taken into consideration. Make amendments to the scope according to what the stakeholder wants and what would be beneficial to the success of the project.
    • Get approval from stakeholders once the final project scope has been defined. It is crucial to get a formal signature on paper from the main sponsors or stakeholders that states project approval.
    • Once approval has been received, the copy of the project plan will be delivered to interested parties for their information. The project management team should be available to answer questions and for clarification.

    CHANGE CONTROL PROCESS

    Change control is a formal process that is to be used for requesting and managing changes to a product or a system that is created or maintained by the members of the project. This process will assist in informing stakeholders about requested amendments of the project and provide a common process for resolving amendments and reported problems.

    A requested change will pass through several possible statuses during its life. These statuses, and the criteria for moving from one status to another, are depicted in the diagram below:
    Changes are also performed according to the issue’s severity. The following table describes different levels of problem severity:

    Severity

    Examples

    Minor

    Customer can live with the problem. Minor impact to users.

    Major

    Problem adversely affects product functioning, but a workaround is available; customer will be annoyed; serious usability impairment; problem blocks some testing

    Critical

    Product does not function at all or crashes; the wrong results are generated; further testing of the application is not possible

    Emergency

    Anything that requires a change to be made immediately.

    REFERENCE LIST

    Remote Deposit Capture, Retrieved September 4, 2009, from http://www.remotedepositcapture.com

    Asher Moses (2008). Banks bounce off remote cheque idea, Retrieved September 4, 2009, from http://www.smh.com.au/news/technology/banks-bounce-off-remote-cheque-idea/2008/02/12/1202760272158.html

    Wikipedia, Remote Deposit, Retrieved September 4, 2009, from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Remote_deposit

    A SWOT Analysis in Preparation for Your Direct Mail Campaign, Retrieved September 4, 2009, from http://www.ourcommunity.com.au/marketing/marketing_article.jsp?articleId=1460

    Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats (SWOT), Retrieved September 4, 2009, from

    http://www.marketingteacher.com/Lessons/lesson_swot.htm

    Wikipedia, SWOT analysis, Retrieved September 4, 2009, from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SWOT_analysis

    Mindtools, SWOT Analysis, Retrieved September 4, 2009, from http://www.mindtools.com/pages/article/newTMC_05.htm

    Wikipedia, Change Management (ITSM), Retrieved September 4, 2009, from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Change_Management_(ITSM)

    Change Control Management, Retrieved September 4, 2009, http://www.pilgrimsoftware.com/solutions/Change-control-management-software.shtml

    Wikipedia, Change control, Retrieved September 4, 2009, from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Change_control

    Change Control Process document, Retrieved September 4, 2009, from

    www.processimpact.com

    Scope and Change Control, Retrieved September 4, 2009, from

    http://www.epmbook.com/scope.htm

    Scope Change Control, Retrieved September 4, 2009, from

    http://certifedpmp.wordpress.com/2009/0

    Scope Verification, Retrieved September 4, 2009, from

    http://www.project-management-knowledge.com/definitions/s/scope-verification/1/19/scope-change-control

    Schwalbe, K. (2007). Information technology project management (5th ed.). Australia: Thomson Course Technology.

    Marchewka, J. (2006). Information technology project management: Providing measurable organizational value. New Jersey: John Wiley & Sons.

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