Case Study: Cherry Tree Farm is located in Clunes, Victoria. It offers farm stay accommodation geared towards the needs of schools. The 100-acre property is home to multiple personnel from gardeners to educational teachers. Cherry Tree Farm offers an excellent lesson program covering all aspects of AusVELS from Foundation to Year 10.
Cherry Tree Farm is managed by director, Sarah Turner and has been experiencing a reduction in schools willing to bring their children for camps. To add to their problems, a larger, more modern camp has just opened 30 kms away creating additional completion. Cherry Tree Farm has a basic web presence and has considered developing their site, along with traditional marketing approaches and an app, to help to promote and grow their business.
You have been working for SpringLogic for the last three months in their mobile app development department. As a virtual team specialist, your company has applied for a tender to develop an app for Cherry Tree Farm. Due to the importance of this project, the CEO of SpringLogic, Thomas Bock, and the Director of Mobile Development Mimi Paree have both made this project a priority.
The initial investment in the project is estimated to be $100,000 in year 0 of the project, $50,000 in year 1, $25,000 in year 2, and $25,000 in year 3 a total of $200,000. It is anticipated project future cash inflow as follows (Years 0 to 3): $0, $100,000, $110,000, and $120,000, a total of $330,000 The project will be expected to make at least a 20% ROI.
The goal of the project is to propose an app, which is optimised for iPhone and Android devices. The app should allow schools to book and pay for accommodation and additional activities such as the high-ropes course, cooking classes, nature walks, wildlife monitoring, introduction to indigenous culture and astronomy. Schools should also be able to subscribe to Cherry Tree Farm newsletters and upcoming events.
There should also be access maps showing to accommodation layout and videos showcasing all the facilities. There should be a photo album that can only been accessed by individual schools. The app should provide schools with an ability to provide an overall ranking of the farm stay in addition to its activities. Management believes it will take about six months (26 weeks) with a budget of $200,000 for this important project. Thomas Bock aims for a budget contingency reserve of approximately 15%.
Thomas Bock and Mimi Paree have formed a search committee to find the best candidate for managing the Cherry Tree Farm App Development Project. After reviewing many strong candidates, they decided to appoint you, to put together the business case for this critical project. Your previous job was with a consultancy firm where you successfully implemented several android application development projects for small to medium sized enterprises, using virtual teams. Since this is a high priority project that should be completed in six months, they felt it was appropriate to get the best candidate to put together a quality business case and project management plan. They are offering you a contract at $80 p/hr for 2 d/wk, but a lot is at stake, Cherry Tree Farm and similar businesses are likely to request further mobile app development projects.
Thomas Bock and Mimi Paree propose to be joint project sponsors, and have handpicked Frank Stantos to be the main internal IT liaison and Kate Grobbert to be the Cherry Tree Farm liaison. They will let you as the new project manager form the rest of the project team if the tender bid is successful.
In order to get the app developed in the time frame you propose to use an agile development approach with a team of two programmers and a digital image specialist working on the app. It is anticipated the programmers will spend the equivalent of half a day a week on project management related activities (e.g. completing status reports and attending meetings etc.) and the remaining 4.5 days on development. They will be paid at a rate of $60 p/hr, which is negotiable. You will also need to access to a school camp specialist consultant (Terry Evans). The consultant and liaison team members pay rates are negotiable and will only be required for a maximum of one week.
You anticipate several challenges if this tender bid is successful. SpringLogic originally focused on developing games apps for kids, but the CEO, Thomas Bock, has emphasised the need to increase profits by tapping into other markets, including business marketing projects. The type of people who work on gaming projects are often different from people working on the new business marketing projects. They often have different educational backgrounds, skill sets, and ideals. Most of the people hired in the past year have been hired to support these new markets. Even though you and the SpringLogic project team tried to do a good job managing key stakeholders, there are some difficulties with several employees who disagree with the company’s new market strategies.
The plan is to roll out review existing information, conduct research and gather new material. Detailed storyboards, a prototype, alpha, beta and final version of the app will developed. The app will need to be tested, and promoted prior to roll out. The project will be considered a success, if it comes in on time, on budget, within scope and key stakeholders have been pleased with the communication and reporting processes.