Project Management

Project Management

The case study simulates a project management scenario where the student takes on the role of project manager. Students are required to use project management software as part of this assessment task. The case information is not complete so where necessary students will have to make assumptions and argue the pros and cons for any recommendations they make.
If necessary, students are expected to find relevant information in the academic literature to justify their answers.
To assist students in their assessment solution development the following information is provided:
• Product development case description
• Specific assessment questions that must be answered
• Information regarding the submission of the assessment
• Marking guide
JJ Electronics Product Development Case Description
JJ Electronics is a medium sized company that develops and manufactures electronic devices. You are an employee of JJ Electronics and work as project manager in the product development department. The people involved in this case are:
• You are Ms. Brown, the project manager.
• Mr. Howden is the Director of Product Development.
• Ms. Hodgson is the Director of Marketing and Portfolio Management.
• Functional line managers.
• Engineers and members of your project team.
You have been leading a small team of experienced electronic and software engineers conducting a technical feasibility study to investigate a new concept for an advanced, intelligent power monitor for the home market. The results of the feasibility study indicate that the concept is achievable, would be attractive to home owners and can be mass produced within the required budget.
You are planning to hold a M1 Milestone Concept Review meeting on 26th April 2013. (For the purposes of this assignment assume that this is next week.) If you assume that the project gets the “go ahead” at the concept review meeting, the M1 milestone represents the start of the project. The start date (and M1 milestone) should be on Monday 29/4/13.
The concept review is one of the milestones in the company’s product development process.
The potential for the new product was identified by the marketing department lead by Ms. Hodgson, Director of Marketing and Portfolio Management. Ms. Hodgson provided your small project team with a product brief and had also developed the business case for the product.
Schedule and Budget
Great Devices Milestones
The milestones your team will use are:
A. M1 Concept review (A go/no-go decision for detailed specification and design will be made at this milestone.).
B. M2 Design review (At this point the overall design will be complete and reviewed. A go/no-go decision for procurement will be made at this milestone).
C. P1 proto build start (Confirmation that everything is ready for the prototype build and that the product prototype is able to be manufactured with the quality level expected.).
D. M3 Testing complete (At this point the product quality has been verified based on the product validation testing carried out and the product has satisfied the regulatory approval tests. Assuming regulatory approval, production of 20 monitors for field testing can go ahead).
E. M4 Final review completed (A go/no-go decision. If all business areas are ready for market launch begin manufacture of devices in preparation for product launch). The schedule you are developing should stop at M4.
As the project manager you have accepted the tasks of creating the compiled project schedule and allocating resources. After M1 you hold a 2 day workshop with Mr. Software, Mr. Mechanics, Mr.
Electronics, Mr. Production, Mr. Documentation 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:
1. A work break down structure (WBS), resource estimates and some dependencies provided in Table 1 below.
2. Mr. Production did some preparations prior to the workshop and his input is summarized in the Activity-In-the-Box (AIB) network diagrams in Figure 1.
Note that the following abbreviations are used in the table below:
• Electronic Engineer (EE)
• Software Engineer (SE)
• Mechanical Engineer (ME)
• Test Engineer (TE)
• Technical Writer (TW)
• Production Engineer (PE)
• Printed Wire Board (circuit board) (PWB)
• Electromagnetic Compliance (EMC)
Table 1- Work Breakdown Structure
s or days of effort (and the type of resource required)
To be completed at the following milestone
PW: Planning Workshop
2 days fixed duration. 1SE, 1TE, 1ME, 1 PE, 1EE, 1TW will be in attendance as described in the documentation
1. Requirements Gathering
1.1 Hardware requirements
1 person-week of EE
1.2 Software requirements
2 person-weeks of SE
1.3 Product requirement
1.1, 1.2
1 person-week of EE and 1 person-week of SE (Same resources involved in 1.1 and 1.2 – they will work together on the task 1.3)
2. Electronics
2.1 PWB outline
1 person-week of EE.
2.2 Component selection
Selection of electronic components.
2 person-weeks of EE.
2.3 P1 (Prototype 1) circuit
design and PWB layout
Creation of circuit diagram and PWB layout. Breadboard solution created. Must be started together with 2.2.
2 person-weeks of EE.
2.4 P1 electronics verification
Electronic verification tests with the use of the P1 prototype.
P1 build complete
1 person-week of EE.
2.5 P1 Thermal verification tests
Verification that electronic heat generation and heat transmission through covers is acceptable with the use of the P1 prototype.
3 days of EE- fixed duration.
2.6 P1 EMC verification tests
Verification of compliance with electromagnetic compliance regulations with the use of the P1 prototypes.
3 days of EE – fixed duration.
3. Software
3.1 Design
3.1.1 Data acquisition design
Design of the data acquisition software
1 person-week of SE
3.1.2 User interface design
Design of the user interface
1 person-week of SE
3.1.3 Data Persistence (internal
and external) design
Design of the data persistence software
1 person-week of SE
3.1.4 Application functions design
Design of the software to perform the various application functions
3 person-weeks of SE
3.1.5 test harness
Design of the test harness software
2 person days of SE
3.2 Development
(note the effort for the tasks below include development and testing of individual modules)
3.2.1 Data acquisition software
Development and testing of the data acquisition software
2 person-weeks of SE
3.2.2 User Interface development
Development and testing of the user interface
2 person-weeks of SE
3.2.3 Data Persistence software
Development and testing of the data persistence software
2 person-weeks of SE
3.2.4 Application functions
software development
Development and testing of the software to perform the various application functions
6 person-weeks of SE
3.2.5 Test Harness development
Development and testing of the test harness software
1 person-week of SE
3.3 Integration Testing with Test
3.2.1, 3.2.2, 3.2.3, 3.2.4, 3.2.5
1 person-week of SE
3.4 Integration and module testing
with prototype hardware
3.3, 9.5 (prototype hardware) built and tested)
1 person-week of TE
4. Development of Test Plans
3.1.1, 3.1.2, 3.1.3, 3.1.4,
1 person-week of TE and 1 person-week of SE (working together 100% of their time for 1 week)
5. Mechanics
5.1 Industrial design
Design of the industrial design for the device. Must be started in parallel with 1.1 and 1.2
2 person-weeks of a ME/industrial designer.
5.2 PWB outline modifications
Modifications of the PWB to fit the industrial
5.1, 2.1, 22, 2.3
1 person-week of ME.
design, new components and usability requirements.
5.3 P1 mechanical CAD design
CAD design of mechanical plastic parts and metal parts for the device.
2 person-weeks of ME.
5.4 Tolerance stack analysis
Analysis of the mechanical tolerance stacks compared to part tooling and moulding capabilities.
1 person-week of ME.
6. Review of Designs and Test Plans
4, 5.4
3 days fixed duration. 1SE, 1TE, 1ME, 1 PE, 1EE, 1TW from the team will be in attendance.
7.Validation and Regulatory Approval tests
7.1 Product validation tests
Test of product against reliability to various standard tests like drop and humidity, safety and end user requirements.
3.4, 2.6
1 person-week of TE
7.2 Technical Construction File
Creation of documentation for regulatory approvals.
1 person-week of TE.
7.3 Regulatory approval tests
Approvals from regulatory authorities.
4 weeks by regulatory authorities, Fixed duration. Assuming approvals this is M3 milestone.
3 person-weeks of TW
9 Prototype1 build
(see figure 1 for details)
10 Production of 20 monitors
4 days fixed duration of PE
11 Field testing of 20 monitors
11.1 field testing
Field testing – 20 monitors in use
1 month fixed duration – no resources allocated
11.2 field test report
Analysis of results of field testing (and production of report)
1 week fixed duration. 1 TE, 1TW involved 100% of their time for the week
12. Final Review
2 days fixed duration (Senior management review – do not allocate team resources to this activity)
Figure 1 – Activity in Box Network Diagram for Production
All durations shown in figure 1 are fixed durations.
Note to students: When you develop the schedule, you are only required to allocate the project team members as resources. You are not required to allocate yourself (the project manager), members of senior management involved in review tasks or suppliers.
Available Resources
The available resources are listed in table 2 below.
Table 2- Available Resources
Number Available
Electronics Engineer
Software Engineer
Mechanical Engineer
Test Engineer
Production Engineer
Technical Writer
The functional managers have assured you that the engineers are able to do all the tasks within their engineering field (i.e. there are no differences in the abilities of the different engineers).
P1 component lead-time
P1 PWB manufacture and delivery
P1 mechanical part lead-time
P1 assembly and production test preparation
Production Engineer
P1 prototype build + prototype tests
P Engineer
Additional Information
In addition to the work breakdown structure and AIB network diagram you have collected the following information:
• The project booking of the proto build (task 9.5) will have to be carried out at the latest two (2) weeks in advance of the build. This is the lead time required to include builds in the manufacturing master’s production schedule.
• The booking of the regulatory approval test house (task 7.3) has to be carried out 6 weeks prior to the approval testing.
• The following 2013 public holidays are to be observed in Queensland after the start date of the project: 10 June – Queen’s birthday; 7 October– Labour Day; 25 December – Christmas Day; 26 December – Boxing Day.
• JJ Electronics normally schedules all work by their staff and contractors on an eight hour day working Monday to Friday (except public holidays).
You are aware that there are items you did not address at the project workshop and that you may need to make some assumptions to complete your schedule and budget. Make sure that you list any assumptions you make at the beginning of your assignment submission.
Assessment Part A
For part A of the assessment you must complete the following tasks and questions. Read all the questions before you commence the tasks.
1. Mr. Howden has asked you to use Microsoft Project to develop the project schedule and to include the milestones at the top of the task list in your schedule. Develop the schedule and make sure that you
i. Include the milestones at the top of the task list (underneath the project summary task at the top of the task list).
ii. Include the resource allocation details on the schedule.
iii. Resolve any resource allocation issues. Assume that the project is constrained to the resources listed above.
iv. Have an appropriate project name at the top of the task list and have all other tasks indented below this heading. Note that by having the overall project summary task and the milestones at the top of the task list the automatically generated outline numbers / WBS numbers will not correspond to the WBS numbering in the specification. However, you should introduce a WBS column and manually enter the numbering required to keep the work breakdown numbering specified in the assignment. The WBS column should be placed before the task column.
v. Make sure that the Queensland public holidays are not included in the available working days for your project.
2. In this question you must identify the critical path in your schedule.
i. The bars of the tasks on the critical path must be automatically highlighted in the Gantt chart view of your project schedule (in the .mpp file). The marker should be able to view all tasks in the project when they open the .mpp file.
ii. List the tasks on the critical path in your answer to this question in the Word document.
3. a) Include additional “milestones” (tasks with 0 duration) in your schedule to show the latest date you need to contact:
i. the production manager to ensure that the facilities are booked for the prototype build.
ii. the type approval test house to ensure that the facilities are booked for the type approval.
Note that these additional milestones should be listed at the end of the milestones list at the start of the project and should be highlighted in the task list in yellow using the “background colour” icon on the task ribbon. This is to allow your marker to locate them easily.
b) According to your schedule when is the latest date that you need to contact:
i. the production manager to ensure that the facilities are booked for the prototype build?
ii. the type approval test house to ensure that the facilities are booked for the type approval?
4. Write a memo to the director of product development, Mr. Neilson, outlining
i. the expected completion date of the project, assuming it commences after the M1 concept review;
ii. the duration of the project
iii. the factors that cause the project to require the estimated length of time
iv. the estimated labour costs of the project after the M1 concept review. This should be presented in tabular form with a total cost for each of the following: planning workshop, requirements gathering, electronics, software, mechanics, validation and regulatory approval, documentation, prototype build, production of 20 monitor, field testing, final review and the total for the whole project).
5. Generate a “who does what report” using the Microsoft Project reporting facilities. The start of a “who does what report” for a different project is shown below. Include a screenshot of your “who does what” report as the answer to this question in your Word document.
6. Suppose that there were no constraints with respect to budget or resources, is there any way that the overall duration of the project can be shortened without removing any tasks or reducing quality? Justify your answer. Be specific. For example, specify tasks that you might target to shorten their duration and for each task explain :
i. why you would target that task
ii. what you might do to reduce the length of the task
iii. any impact or implication that the change might have on your project (other than reducing the duration).
You may also make suggestions that do not target specific tasks and again you should be specific, justify your suggestion and describe any implications that would need to be taken into consideration.
You must discuss at least two options for reducing the overall duration.
7. This question relates to risk management.
i. Describe in general terms how the project manager should manage risk throughout the project.
ii. Identify at least two risks for this project and how they might be managed.
8. a) Describe the procedures that the project manager should follow to manage the budget and to ensure that the project is completed within budget.
b) If you were the project manager and you found that the project was going over budget, what would you do? Note that it is not sufficient to say “take corrective action”, you need to make specific suggestions about the action you would take and make suggestions about how you might be able to reduce costs.
Assessment Part B
Mr. Production reviews your project schedule and requests the participation of one engineer from each of the following functional areas at the P1 (prototype 1) build: production, electronics, software and mechanics. Their involvement will not impact on the duration. You will have to update your schedule as you agree with this proposal.
You are now 2 weeks after the M1 milestone and you are advised that a new component supplier has been selected by the company and that the new supplier guarantees delivery 2 weeks after the order is received and not the 3 week lead-time required by the original supplier.
In addition the software engineer has completed the detailed software specification. However, this has meant that the estimated time for the development of the software application functionality is expected to take 8 weeks, not 6 weeks. The test engineer has also requested an extra week for integration and module testing with the hardware.
Based on the additional information given above complete the following tasks:
1. Amend the project schedule incorporating the request from Mr. Production, the change to the delivery time for the display and the new estimated times for the software tasks. Check that there is no resource over-allocation as a result of the changes and if necessary resolve any such issues.
2. Describe the impact of each of the changes upon the project? (For each change describe the impact of the change on both the schedule and budget).
3. This question is about the new critical path.
i. What is the duration of the critical path now?
ii. What is the expected finish date for the project now?
iii. Is the project duration longer, shorter or the same as the original estimates (part A) and if it has changed then by how much?
iv. List the tasks that are now on the critical path and make sure that they are highlighted in the Gantt chart view in your schedule.
4. Has the overall cost of the project changed? If so, by how much?
Assessment Part C
You have been advised that there will only be three software engineers available for the project.
1. Modify your resource details so that there are now only 3 software engineers available.
2. a) Does this result in a resource over-allocation issue in your schedule?
b) If so, resolve the resource over-allocation issue. If not, explain how you would resolve a resource over-allocation issue using Microsoft Project.
3. Has this change impacted on the duration of your project? Explain why/why not.
4. Has this change impacted on the sensitivity of the network? Explain why/why not.
You are free to make any assumptions necessary to complete the assignment. However each assumption must be justified and stated clearly in your assessment word document. Marks will be deducted for any unreasonable assumption or for stating an assumption and then ignoring it in your assignment.
Submission of Assessment
The assignment is to be submitted as four separate files using the electronic assignment submission system that can be accessed from the assessment item 2 link on the course website. The four files to be submitted are:
1. The Word document with the assumptions and solutions to the questions for Part A, Part B and Part C.
2. The Microsoft project files created for Part A, Part B and Part C. Please ensure that the names of these files clearly indicate their purpose, e.g. JJ_Part_A.mpp, JJ_Part_B.mpp and JJ_Part_C.mpp.
Marking Guide for Assessment item 2 – Individual Case Study
Assignment Question
Marks available
Marks awarded
Part A
The adequacy of the Project Schedule
• Tasks; correct WBS; overall summary task; auto scheduling
• Durations/effort
• Resources allocated (+ no over-allocation)
• Milestones
• Predecessor relationships
• holidays

Critical path highlighted and tasks listed
Appropriateness of the Written Memo and all information correct according to the schedule

Who does what report

Details on shortening the Project

Risk management

a) Procedures to manage budget.
b) What you would do if you found that the project was going over budget.

The adequacy of the amended Project Plan (+ ensure no resource over-allocation)

Discussion of the impact of each of the changes (for each discuss impact on budget and duration)

The new critical path and comparison with Part A