This case study simulates a project management scenario where the student takes on the role of project manager. Students are required to use Microsoft project management software as part of this assessment task.
This is a group assignment that also includes five individual student submissions (see below). You should aim for groups of four students. Four is the maximum number of students allowed in a group. Ideally, no group should have fewer than 3 students.
(Note that distance education students have the option of smaller groups or working on this as an individual assignment. To form groups with other distance education students, use the distance education forum on the unit website.)
Although this is a group assignment, all members of a group are required to attempt all parts of the assignment individually as assessment item sub-deliverables 1 – 5. Members of the group are required to submit their own individual attempt for each of the sub-deliverables in Moodle before the group meets to consolidate answers to produce the “group solution”. There are separate submission areas and due dates for the individual submissions. On time submission of the 5 sub-deliverables is worth a total of 10 marks, but these submissions are also be used to assess individual contributions and may impact on a student’s final mark. Late sub-deliverable submissions will be given a mark of 0.
Groups must meet at least once a week to produce the “group solution” for the most recently submitted individual sub-deliverable. This solution should then be added to the “in progress” final group solution. All members of the group must keep a copy of the “current group assignment”.
It is also important to meet early in week 10 to produce the updated schedule to be used to complete the Part C questions and status report. Each group is responsible for providing their own status data. This means that the group members must collaborate to produce the PartC.mpp file to be used to complete the Part C questions. This is explained further in Part C.
There is one final group solution to be submitted at the end of the assignment. It is worth 30 marks and is to be submitted by only one member of the group. The names and student ids of all members of the group must appear clearly on the coversheet of the final assessment submission.
Peer assessment and your individual submissions will also be used to assess group member contributions. If any member of a team is not contributing satisfactorily to the group then he/she may have marks adjusted and/or be asked to leave the group and be required to complete the assignment as an individual. If you are having any difficulties within your group you must alert your tutor/lecturer as early as possible.
To assist students in their assessment solution development the following information is provided:
Where necessary, students are expected to find relevant information in the academic literature to justify their answers. Any assumptions made must be clearly documented.
Synthesys Informatics is a medium sized company that develops and manufactures mobile data collection devices. You are an employee of Synthesys and work as project manager in the product development department. The people involved in this case are:
You have been leading a small team of experienced engineers conducting a technical feasibility study to investigate if it is possible to modify one of its standard products to create a product variant to satisfy the needs of a local organisation involved in environmental management. You are planning to hold a M1 Milestone Concept Review on Friday, 2nd February 2018. The concept review is one of the milestones in the company’s product development process.
The need for the new product has been identified by the marketing department lead by Ms. Horsell, Director of Marketing and Portfolio Management. Ms. Horsell provided your small project team with a product brief, outlining the special end user, sales and service requirements to supplement the requirements already established for the standard product. She also developed the business case for the product and believes that there is a market for this variant of the product beyond the customer with the original requirement/request for the modified product.
The milestones your team will use are:
At the M1 concept review it was decided to go ahead with the project. M1 milestone is to be the start of the project. Make the start of the project Monday, 5th February 2018. This is M1 – the first milestone.
On Monday, 5/2/2018 (after M1) you have a workshop led by Mr. Software, Mr. Mechanics, Mr. Electronics, Mr. Production and Mr. Validation to plan the product development activities. They are members of your project team and very experienced managers and engineers.
From the team workshop you have obtained the following information:
Note that the following abbreviations are used:
Table 1- Work Breakdown Structure
|Activity||Description||Predecessor(s)||Person days/weeks of effort 1(and type of resource required.)||To be completed at the following milestone|
|The MDC Project|
|PW: Planning Workshop||Planning workshop||M1||2 days fixed duration. 1SE, 1TE, 1ME, 1 PE, 1EE, 1TW will be in attendance.|
|1.1 PWB outline modifications||Planning workshop(PW)||1 EE for 1 week.
|1.2 Component selection||Selection of electronic components. Must be started together with 1.3.||1.1||1 EE for 2 weeks (fixed duration)|
| 1.3 P1 circuit design and PWB
|Creation of circuit diagram and PWB layout. Breadboard solution created. Must be started together with 1.2.||1.1||1 EE for 2 weeks
| 1.4 P1 electronics verification
|Electronic verification tests with the use of the P1 prototypes.||P1 build complete (5.5)||1 person-week of EE.|
| 1.5 P2 circuit design
|Electronic improvements to circuit diagram, component selection and layout.||1.4||1 person-week of EE.|
| 1.6 P2 electronics verification
|Electronic verification tests with the use of the P2 prototypes.||P2 build complete (6.5)||1 person-week of EE.||M3|
|1.7 Thermal verification tests||Verification that electronic heat generation and heat transmission through covers is acceptable.||P2 build complete||2 person-days of EE.|
|1.8 EMC verification tests||Verification of compliance with electromagnetic compliance regulations.||1.7||2 person-days of EE.||M3|
|2.1 Software specification||Specification of the software functionality based on user requirements.||PW||1 person-week of SE.|
|2.2 User interface specification||Detailed specifications of the user interface||2.1||1 person-week of SE.|
|2.3 Database specifications||2.1||1 person-week of SE.|
|2.4 Software test plans||2.2,2.3||2 person-weeks of SE|
|2.5 Software design||2.1||1 person-week of SE.|
|2.6 User interface design||2.2||1 person-week of SE.|
|2.7 Database design||2.3||1 person-week of SE.|
| 2.8 Review of designs and test plans
|1.2,1.3, 2.4, 2.5,2.6,2.7, 4.1, 3.4||2 days fixed duration. 3SE, 1TE, 2ME, 1 PE, 2EE, 1TW will be in attendance.||M2|
|2.9 Software development||You can assume that there are three modules of approximately similar effort and if there are 3 SEs available for this task it could be reduced to duration of 4 weeks (this is still 12 person-weeks of SE effort). For this assignment, you can also assume that individual modules will be tested during development||2.8 (i.e. M2)||12 person-weeks of SE. In your initial schedule assign 2 SEs to this task, so it should take 6 weeks.|
| 2.10 User interface
|Assume this includes interface development and testing||2.8||6 person-weeks of SE.|
|2.11 Database development||Assume this includes development and testing||2.8||6 person-weeks of SE.|
|2.12 R1 release creation||Creation of the R1 software release used for testing with the P1 prototype (in 4.4)||2.9,2.10,2.11||3 person-days of SE.|
|2.13 R1 error correction and user interface improvements||4.4||1 person-week of SE.|
|2.14 R2 release creation||Creation of the R2 software release to be used for testing with the P2 prototype||2.13||3 person-days of SE.|
|2.15 R2 release tests||Testing of the R2 release with the P2 prototype||2.14,6.5 (prototype 2 build completed)||1 person-week of SE.|
|2.16 R2 error corrections||Correction of errors||2.15||1 person-week of SE.|
|2.17 R2 interoperability tests||Testing of interoperability with 3rd party accessory devices.||2.16||1 person-week of SE.|
| 2.18 R2 interoperability error
|Correction of errors||2.17||1 person-week of SE.|
|2.19 R3 sales release creation||Creation of the software sales release||2.18||3 days of SE.||M3|
|3.1 Industrial design||Design of the industrial design for the device. Must be started in parallel with 1.1 and 2.1||PW||2 weeks of a ME/industrial designer.|
|3.2 PWB outline modifications||Modifications of the PWB to fit the industrial design, new components and usability requirements. Must be done in parallel with 1.1||3.1||1 person-week of ME.|
|3.3 P1 mechanical CAD design||CAD design of mechanical plastic parts and metal parts for the device.||3.2||2 person-weeks of ME.|
|3.4 Tolerance stack analysis||Analysis of the mechanical tolerance stacks compared to part tooling and moulding capabilities.||3.3||1 person-week of ME.|
|3.5 P1 mechanical part analysis||Physical analysis of moulded plastic parts and sheet metal parts used in the first prototype||P1 build complete||1 person-week of ME.|
| 3.6 P2 mechanical part
|Modification of moulding and sheet metal tools used for P2 parts.||3.5||2 person-weeks of ME.|
|3.7 Mechanical tool approval||Evaluation of P2 mechanical parts and approval of moulding and sheet metal tools used in part manufacture.||P2 build complete||2 weeks of ME.||M3|
|4.1 Test plan creation||Creation of a plan documenting what is to be tested.||PW||2 person-week of TE
|4.2 Component tests||Test of key hardware component reliability to various standard tests like drop and humidity.
|After delivery of components for P1 i.e. 5.1,5.2,5.3 and also 4.1)||1 person-week of TE||P1|
|4.3 Module tests||Test of module functionality after assembly.||P1 build complete, 4.2||1 person-week of TE.|
|4.4 System integration tests||Test of integration of modules and R1 software – i.e. testing of P1 prototype||4.3 ,2.12||1 person-week of TE and 1 person-week of SE||P2|
|4.5 Product validation tests||Test of product against reliability to various standard tests like drop and humidity and end user requirements.||4.4, P2 build complete (6.5)||1 person-week of TE|
| 4.6 Technical Construction File
|Creation of documentation for regulatory approvals.||4.5||1 person-week of TE.|
| 4.7 Type approval and regulatory
|Approvals from regulatory authorities.||4.6||4 weeks by regulatory authorities.||M3|
|5. prototype 1 build|
|5.1 P1 Component lead-time||Components from Suppliers||M2||4 weeks by Suppliers||P1|
| 5.2 P1 PWB manufacture and
|PWB manufacture and delivery||M2||4 weeks by Suppliers||P1|
|5.3 P1 mechanical part lead-time||P1 mechanical part lead-time||M2||3 weeks by Suppliers||P1|
| 5.4 P1 assembly and production
|Assembling and production test preparation by PE||M2||2 person-weeks of 1 PE||P1|
|5.5 P1 prototype build||Building prototype||P1 prototype build start||2 person-days of 1 PE|
|6. prototype 2 build|
|6.1 P2 Component lead-time||Components from Suppliers||1.5||4 weeks by Suppliers||P2|
| 6.2 P2 PWB manufacture and
|PWB manufacture and delivery||1.5||4 weeks by Suppliers||P2|
| 6.3 P2 assembly and production
|Assembling and production test preparation by PE||1.5||2 person-weeks of 1 PE||P2|
| 6.4 P2 mechanical part lead-time
|P2 mechanical part lead-time||3.6||3 weeks by Suppliers||P2|
|6.5 P2 prototype build||Building prototype||P2 prototype build start||2 person-days of 1 PE|
|7.1 documentation plan||Table of contents etc.||2.8||1 person-week of TW and 1 person-week of SE|
| 7.2 development of
|TW writes documentation||7.1||2 person-weeks of TW|
|7.3 review of documentation||Review by SE and corrections by TW||7.2||1 person-week of TW and 1 person-week of SE||M3|
|8. Production of devices for customers/market|
| 8.1 assembly and production
|M3||2 person-weeks of PE|
|8.2 Production of devices||Bulk production of required number of devices for customers and market launch||8.1||3 weeks fixed duration. Requires 1 PE.||M4|
As the project manager you have accepted the tasks of creating the compiled project schedule and allocating resources.
The maximum full time resources available for your project are:
Your team is committed to producing only two prototype iterations to develop and validate the design.
In addition to the work breakdown structure, you have collected the following information.