For part A of the assessment you must complete the following tasks and questions. Read all the questions before you commence the tasks. The schedule is to be developed in an appropriately named Microsoft Project 2010 file (see below) and the questions are to be answered in a Word document. As stated above, any assumptions must also be listed at the beginning of the Word document.
- You have been asked by the operations manager, Ms. Whyte, to use Microsoft Project to develop the project schedule. Note that she has also asked you to include the milestones at the end of the task list in your schedule.
Based on the information in the case study description above, use Microsoft Project 2010 to produce a “Part A” schedule. Make sure that you:
a) Include the milestones at the end of the task list.
b) Include the resource allocation details on the schedule.
c) Have the project name (Environmental Monitors) as the top of the task list and have all other tasks and summary tasks indented according to the given WBS.
d) Make sure that the holidays described in the “additional information” are not included in the available working days for your project.
e) Use the Microsoft Project software to make sure that the critical path(s) are automatically displayed in red on the bars of the Gantt chart view of you schedule.
At this point there may be resource over allocation issues. Do not attempt to resolve these before answering question 2. Save this version of your schedule in EnvironemntalMonitorsPartA1.mpp. You will be required to submit this file as part of your assignment submission.
2. At this point ignore any resource over allocations. Based on your EnvironmentalMonitorsPartA1.mpp schedule (and assuming that you would have no resource constraints):
a) How long would the project take?
b) What are the start and finish dates of the project?
c) List all the tasks that are on the critical path.
d) Did the annual holidays make any difference to the end date of your project? Explain why/why not.
e) If you were asked to complete the project 3 weeks earlier by reducing the duration of some of the tasks in the project, what tasks would you target for reduction and why? In your answer, include specific suggestions about how you could reduce the duration of those tasks.
- Create a copy of EnvironmentalMonitorsPartA1.mpp in another file called EnvironmentalMonitorsPartA2.mpp. If there were any resource over-allocation issues resolve these in this new EnvironmentalMonitorsPartA2.mpp without adding any additional resources. Save the “modified” version of EnvironmentalMonitorsPartA2.mpp.
a) Describe how you used/would use Microsoft Project to resolve any resource over-allocation issues?
b) In your Word document, list the tasks that are now displayed as “critical”.
c) Do the resource constraints have any impact on your project duration and end date? Explain.
d) Sometimes it is possible to resolve resource over-allocation issues by levelling within available slack. What impact does this have on your project schedule? (Hint: consider both the advantages and disadvantages in your answer.)
- As explained in the case study, the environmental scientist will come from the “customer” organisation to work on the project as required. You have been asked to give at least 2 weeks notice to the customer company before you require the involvement of an environmental scientist. Answer the following questions based on your EnvironmentalMonitorsPartA2.mpp schedule:
a) List the dates you expect to require an environmental scientist for work on the project.
b) Add a “milestone” as a reminder of the last date you need to give notice to the customer of your requirement for an environmental scientist. Add this at the start of your list of milestones and highlight the milestone in the task list using the “background colour” icon on the task ribbon. This will make it easier for your marker to check your work.
c) According to your schedule, when is the last date you need to give notice to the customer about your requirement for an environmental scientist?
- Write a memo to Ms. Whyte outlining:
a) the expected completion date of the project, assuming it commences at M1 (1/6/15);
b) the total duration of the project;
c) an explanation of the main factors that cause the project to require that length of time and any recommendations that you might make if time was a priority for the project;
d) the estimated direct labour cost of the project (excluding the cost of the environmental scientist). Present the costs in a table showing the costs for the following:
Software Development and Testing
Field Trial 1
Field Trial 2
Total for the Project:
Assume that you will send the project schedule (EnvironmentalMonitorsPartA2.mpp) as an attachment to the memo. The information in the memo should correspond to the attached schedule.
- You have summarised the direct labour costs in question 5. What additional costs are associated with this project? Be as specific as possible in your answer.
- Are there any other project related supporting activities, plans, events or tasks that you might have overlooked? If they were overlooked describe how this could impact on the project. (Aim to identify and discuss at least two.)
Assessment Part B
Ms. Whyte reviews your project schedule and requests that the analyst/designer also be involved in the field test reviews. Ms. Whyte wants the additional expert (the analyst/designer) involved as part of the review process, but does not want to reduce the time for the review process. Ms. Whyte has also asked you to change the estimated time of delivery for the tablet and components to 1 week as she believes that most suppliers would have no difficulty delivering the tablet and components in this time frame. However, she has also been contacted by the customer who now requires two additional reports. You are told that they will both have the same resource requirements as report A and they will be referred to as report E and report F.
1. Create a copy of EnvironmentalMonitorsPartA2.mpp in another file called EnvironmentalMonitorsPartB.mpp. Amend the project schedule in EnvironmentalMonitorsPartB.mpp incorporating the requested changes from Ms. Whyte
Make sure that you add all the tasks required to generate and test the two new reports as well as all the necessary predecessor and successor links to incorporate these tasks into you
schedule. Again, use report A as a guide. Also ensure that you assign the required resources to the new task
Highlight all the changes (including changes to predecessor relationships in other tasks). This is to aid your marker.
If necessary, resolve any resource over-allocation. You will also be required to submit this file (EnvironmentalMonitorsPartB.mpp) as part of your assignment submission.
2. Describe the impact(s) of each the following on the project schedule:
a. The addition of the analyst designer to the field test reviews.
- The change in duration of the delivery times.
c. The requirement for the two additional reports.
Explain your answers.
3. Describe the impact(s) of each the following on the project budget: a. The addition of the analyst designer to the field test reviews.
b. The change in duration of the delivery times.
c. The requirement for the two additional reports.
Explain your answers.
- Project changes can influence the schedule and budget of successor tasks in a project and this can also have a large impact on other project stakeholders. What steps could the project manager take to allow a smoother transition of project changes? Provide two specific suggestions in your answer.
- Organisational culture is very important for a successful company. What steps would you take to create a company culture that promoted project success and ethical behaviour? Provide examples of your solution.