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3000 word report
BooToo is a startup company that hopes to become the biggest online fashion retailer.They have acquired large modern premises in Chelmsford that will act as their Head Office and IT centre. The warehousing and distribution functions will be sited at numerous world-wide locations. You have been appointed as the project manager for installation of the HQ IT systems. This is quite an opportunity as you are not a very experienced Project Manager.
Task 1 (1200 words 28%)
One way of trying to ensure a successful outcome from a project is to follow a formal methodology. This has proven not to be the sole factor to ensure success as the number of large failed IS projects demonstrates. You have been informed however that a key to a successful project outcome is to identify five key critical success factors (CSFs).
Research into what is meant by a CSF. You will find that different authors identify different factors. As the previous statement suggests it is beneficial to find a number of sources and not rely on a single one. In order to be beneficial the CSFs chosen for a project must align with the project; different types of project will have different CSFs.
Briefly explain what is meant by a CSF and indicate the range of CSFs identified by different authors.
Using the knowledge that you have gained during the course of the module identify five CSFs which you think would be appropriate for this scenario with a brief justification of each.
Task 2 (800 words 28%)
As a new startup there will be pressures on budget and time. There will be a temptation to cut QA corners to ensure that a system is produced quickly so that money from sales come in as quickly as possible.
Explain what sort of QA steps you would intend to take and explain why it is important to ensure a proper QA regime. Your answer will need to demonstrate the potential costs of not properly adhering to good QA practice.
Task 3 (equivalent to 1000 words 28%)
As part of your initial report to the stakeholders of BooToo you produce a Work Breakdown Structure,Gantt Chart and Network Diagram. (Note that you must use Microsoft Project Management application to create and design the network diagram)
The three tools should represent a project where there is an initial analysis of the requirements (38 days)
that can be done at the same time as a site survey (27 days). Once the requirements have been agreed by the project board then it is possible to develop a logical topological design (12 days) which will need to be approved by the project board. When the logical topology has been agreed then a physical topology (14 days) can be designed utilising the site survey which should have been completed by this
point. Once the logical design has been completed it is also possible to start an analysis of the server requirements (18 days). This again will need to be approved by the project board. Once the server 16 requirements have been agreed then servers can be procured (21 days) and a plan can be created (7 days) to configure, test the servers It is expected at this stage that these are likely to take about 17 and 15 days respectively. The plan will need to be agreed by the project board.
Once the plan has been agreed and the servers have been acquired the plan can be put into action.
Once physical topology have been agreed then the networking kit can be acquired (38 days) and a plan for the installing of the cabling and networking devices (21 days) drawn up. The plan will need to be agreed by project board. Once the cabling has been acquired the cabling can be installed (75 days) according to the agreed plan. Once the network devices have been acquired then the process of
configuring (24 days) and testing (28 days) them can be started. In order to assist in the configuration process for the network devices are simulated (29 days) . The simulation can be commenced as soon as the logical topology is completed. Once the simulation and physical topology are completed then the network can be modelled to ensure there are no compromising bottlenecks (12 days). The configuring of the physical devices should not be commenced until the modelling is completed. The final acceptance test is expected to take 5 days once the server once everything else has been completed.
The Project is intended to get underway on the 12th October 2014. Determine suitable days for the project board meetings mentioned above and an expected end data.
The report you produce will need to be submitted electronically following the instructions in Section 5. It should be well structured and written with proper referencing throughout. Note that this document is to be read by senior management in BooToo so you would want to make a very good impression. This means exemplary layout,, style, spelling and grammar. Leave plenty of time for writing the report as there will need to be some thought about how to present the Gantt chart and network diagram in the required single word or PDF document.
The first sentence of the assignment actually says that it is an ‘on-line’ fashion retailer. Therefore one would expect to have a website and Sales Order Processing system. The assignment brief does not say whether these will be using ‘Cloud Services’ or in-house nor what the servers are going to be used for, say; users’ accounts, or Information Systems? This is possibly to give you an opportunity to make your own inferences. Do the planning for and apply techniques to the outline by activity as described in Task 3.
There are two distinct parts to this project: –
The infrastructure: (networks, Datacomms, servers, printers, ancillaries and all related technology).
The Applications: (Sales Order Processing, web-site, Finance, stores, HR (Human Resources), e-mail system etc.). Some of these like HR and Payroll could be out-sourced (run by an external company). In the real world all these Information systems could be done either; in-house or external developers employed and sometimes buying ‘off-the-shelf’ applications. Indeed a combination of all three at times.
But what the examiner wants to see is how you manage the project rather than the details of the technical solution.
The steps to get to the above: –
Requirements (this is where quality checks should start. It is very important to be unambiguous, concentrate on stakeholders’ values not simply on functions and users but all those that may be related to the business) these include the Law and other regulatory bodies.
Architecture (this is an overview of how it is going to be implemented and can sometimes have two or three possible solutions). In practice one would need to work out the impact of each proposed solution on; resources and the system as a whole.
Plan, Do, Study, Act cycle
Use scales to challenge project sponsors and technical authorities.
Critical Success Factors (CFS’s) – See what the; record, past, goal and what is tolerable. Also do comparisons with what is the record say on TV Teleshopping, shops, advertising etc. As well as referring to other notes I have given you on the subject of CFS.
The assignment: apply; the techniques, tools, theory, principles and practice you have learnt to this project. The more things you consider and arguments put forward the better marks you get. But above all you need to show your; analytical, organisational, co-ordination, and presentation skills.
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