Coursework "City and the State"

Date: Nov 23, 2018

Project Plan

Scope Statement

The scope of this coursework is limited to what has been provided in the assignments. Then, the assignments ranging from those in set 1 through 3 will be completed. These are different assignments, which aim at answering fundamental problems that are faced in project management. These relate to both regular project management as well as to software engineering. The scope of the software engineering is wide and includes software project quality and management. This involves the management of time, cost, and quality. Then, there is also the fundamental need to manage any change notifications that keep coming up during the project processing.

The scope of this project will not go outside of what is given in different assignments. Rather, the scope of the project will be limited to completing each and every assignment and in time with the acceptable level of quality. This will comprise completing all of the mandatory and elective assignments given in each assignment set. Then, a total of 10 assignments will be completed, which will comprise both mandatory and elective assignments.

Communication Statement

A first set of communication will occur with the instructor. Then, the instructor will be communicated to about the project plan. The instructor will agree to it. Then, the deliverables will be communicated to the instructor on set dates. The instructor will provide the feedback on the dates of gate reviews. The deliverables will contain all the information regarding the project. This will range from project plans, progress reports, problem and issue reports, to a final post-project review. Additionally, this information will also be communicated to the public. This will be done through posting all of the project deliverables on a public blog. The blog will be developed through WordPress. All of the deliverables will be posted on the blog in time. Then, the public will be able to access this information. As mentioned earlier, these will be the project documents and will contain the entire information regarding the project and its management.

Quality and Risk Management Plan

Risk Impact Likelihood of occurrence Degree of impact Action trigger Response plan
The deliverable is not completed on time Will result in failing grade L H Work has not been started on individual assignments Start working on all assignments by the start date
There is not enough time to complete the entire set Will delay the submission M H Work was started late and was stopped in the middle Do not stop working until the project set has been completed
There is lack of information and data It will not be possible to complete the assignment M M The researcher is unable to find the required data Go back to the readings and look for the relevant lectures
The quality is lacking Lower marks will be awarded M H Work has been started without going through the requisite readings First complete all readings, then start working on the assignment
High quality is missing Lower marks will be awarded M H External sources have not been consulted Consult external sources where appropriate

Quality Baseline Statement

Very high quality of the project deliverables will be maintained. This will be done through putting an extreme emphasis on meeting the requirements and adhering to the highlighted learning objectives. An emphasis will also be placed on including as much research as possible to ensure that the outgoing product is of high quality. The quality of research will reflect the knowledge of the project manager. Then, only correct answers will be provided to the given questions on the basis of learned concepts.

At the same time, the researcher will also ensure that he does not include his own opinions and views in the research. On the contrary, there is the need to be objective and accurate. This also requires that the project manager seeks help from others and ensures that the concepts not clear to him initially are sought for input and feedback. High quality in the deliverables can only come when the researcher has achieved the command on the underlying concepts of project management. This requires good reading and understanding of the concepts of project management. Likewise, there is also the need for the researcher to understand the concepts of software project and its quality management. Here, no direct costs are involved, but the cost could come on the basis of the final awarded grade. Therefore, it is necessary that the quality concern is managed throughout the lifecycle of the project. Then, the researcher will have to make a deliberate effort to check all deliverables for quality before the same are finalised.

Living Next Door to Alice

Alice has encountered a new problem in her job as two of her colleagues are moving and cannot come to office anymore. Accordingly, she has given them the chance to work from home or remotely. The nature of work is such that it can be accomplished while sitting at home without the need for the workers to commute to the office. Then, it is possible for the two workers to remain connected with the project management firm and also keep rendering their services. However, the nature of work also requires coordination and communication. Resultantly, Alice requires current information technologies that can solve this problem. She needs rich and useful information technology tools that can solve her problem of meetings and coordination. Accordingly, she is looking for effective coordination tools that can be used by these colleagues for telecommuting work.

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The first and most obvious of these tools is the electronic mail or email. They can use either the regular email service provided by public companies like Yahoo and Gmail or they could use company email. It is possible for the company to provide remote email access to its mail server over the internet through P2P networks. Then, users will be able to use this email through MS Outlook. The utility of this external email provision is that it is more efficient and it also provides wider abilities to store and communicate or transfer big documents and files. There are limits on file sizes of attachments in regular email services. However, such limits are usually not posed by company email services, which are backed by powerful company mail servers. This email service will enable them to communicate in real-time and also share documents and files that comprise their work. It is not only very necessary, but also indispensable.

Next, they can use a file sharing service available freely on the Internet. One such service is YouSendIt. It allows the users to create an account with the service and then share documents and files with whom they want to. The utility and benefit of this service is that there is no limitation on file sizes or numbers. It also provides the ability to organise files in folders and save them on the servers of the service. Then, users do not have to store anything in their personal computers. Everything is stored online in their service accounts. Then, the files or folders can be shared with other users by providing them with a link to the file or folder of concern. This service provides unlimited storage and use, all for free. The use of this service will solve all their problems with big files and many files that need to be transferred and shared. This file sharing and storage service is also indispensable. It will not be possible to share all the data and information through the email. There must be an online repository of data that is shared and accessible by multiple users.

The final face-to-face communication tool available is Skype. Skype service is available for both home and business users. They can get this service for a minimal fee and then can even call phones with their Skype accounts. Alternatively, they can engage in free Skype to Skype communications through making calls on Skype to the other person. All they need to do is set up an account with Skype. Of course, they will also need webcams to engage in this communication.

Running Scared and Late!

Project Estimate

It is possible that the initial estimate of work content of a project varies during the life of the project. It is possible that the project takes longer than this initial estimate. This is because it is only an initial estimate and does not represent the final estimate of the work content in the project. There could be project scope creep as the project unfolds and new requirements will surface once some work has been completed. These requirements were unknown at the start of the project. These are additional ancillary requirements and need to be fulfilled as these cannot be skipped to complete the project. It is also possible that the project manager gives a lower initial estimate. This could be due to his or her intention with reducing and optimising the work and/or the cost. Only doing what is required will enable the project manager to finish the project in time, with high quality, and in budget. Additional work can always be included in the project at an extra cost to the project sponsors.

Late Project

If the project was running late and the manager offered five more people at the time, then the project manager will not refuse that. This is because the project is late only because of the lower level of manpower working on it. However, it is not true that increasing the workforce or labour force by half would indeed increase the pace of the project by one-and-a-half. On the other hand, this will put the project back on track by reducing the delay. However, there is no guarantee that the project will go ahead its schedule as the delay could be embedded in the project schedule. Then, increasing the workforce will only solve half of the problem and will increase the pace somewhat. This is because some activities must be completed before others can be started.

London Ambulance Case Study

The London Ambulance case study indicates that a new system was implemented there. However, the system failed as the despatch system that was implemented was full of flaws and shortcomings. It simply did not work and the project was a failure. Accordingly, there were a number of deaths attributable to the failure of the system. Had the software vendor and London Ambulance Service used proper project management methodologies, such an occurrence would have been averted.

First, there was a need to conduct good requirements engineering by the software vendor. This was totally skipped. Instead, the company was given a turn-key system that was not customized at all and dictated how the work had to be accomplished rather than mapped the current workflows. Accordingly, no requirements gathering had been done and the system was a total failure as it failed to meet the requirements of users and te customers. The critical initial phase of system analysis and design was done away with.

Then, the organisational fit of the system was also neither documented nor implemented. The baseline project plan and scope documents were neither created nor used during the system design. There was no scope of the system and no functionalities had been documented or included in the system. Likewise, as there was no system analysis and design exercise, no workflows had been documented. There was a requirement by the business analysts to document current workflows of the ambulance management and despatch system. However, they did not do any system’s analysis exercise. Similarly, they also did away with system’s design work and there was no such system design that could handle the data that was being generated by the system. Accordingly, the incoming call data was neither processed nor stored in the system database that could be used later or identified. There were no call logs. The vendor had even skipped the system design exercise.

However, the coding had been done and there were no problems with this activity. Accordingly, there was a system in place, not regarding the fact that it was totally useless. Subsequent to this phase of the system’s development lifecycle, the next phase was also done away with. There was no testing of the system and the system was directly put to the production environment. No system was run initially in the test environment to see if it actually worked or not.

The next phase was that of system implementation. Here, the system was implemented overnight. Although there were reports of individual user training, no group training was done to use the system in a team environment. The whole system was put to production at once rather than by test running sub-parts and modules of the system. Similarly, the training phase was also lacking.

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This all happened as good project management was done neither by the vendor nor by the London Ambulance Service. Had either one or both of the companies followed a proper project management way, then they would have been able to include all the necessary phases of the project including respective activities that were required therein. On the other hand, as there was no project, likewise, there were no activities in the project that could be implemented. Consequently, important project activities like group training, requirements engineering, and change management were done away with.

Identifying the Risks

There are several risks that afflict any project. There are those risks that have higher or lower likelihood. Likewise, there are those risks, which have higher or lower impact. The product of these two factors determines the severity of the risk. Accordingly, it is necessary to measure, monitor, mitigate, and manage more closely those risks that have the highest severity. Thus, severity is the determining factor of the level of risk management. Good risk management practice requires that only those risks are closely monitored that have the highest severity.

Still, it is clear that technological risks should be monitored more closely. These pertain to risks associated with hardware, software, security, and other technological changes. This is true for information systems development projects. There are both qualitative and quantitative risk assessments that are available for the project. The risks that are monitored closely are those that have the highest quantitative risk assessment. We have already identified these project risks as those having the highest severity as measured through quantitative assessments. This implies that the risks to be monitored closely include those that have both a high likelihood of occurrence as well as a high impact. These are also those risks that cannot be easily avoided or transferred.

A Good Suggestion?

The suggestion is correct that the cyclomatic-complexity metric must be calculated for the entire software project. This is because it calculates the complexity of the project on the basis of its source code, relating it to previously identified source coding errors. It is determined by developing the Control Flow Graph of the code. Of course, then it is the entire code for which this graph will be developed and will also include the entire range of exit points in the code.

Function Point Analysis

Unadjusted Function Points

Type of component Calculation Function points
Use cases =20*7 140
Object classes =12*11 132
Interface classes =9*11 99
Total Unadjusted function points   371

Adjusted Function Points

Unadjusted Functional Points - 371

Value Adjustment Factor (VAF) - 45

Adjusted Functional Points = 371*45 = 16,695

The gearing ratio for Java is 55 on average. Therefore, the lines of code required are 918,225 (=16695*55) lines of code.

COCOMO

For a semi-detached project ab is 3.0 and bb is 1.12. Therefore, the effort required is given as under.

Effort (E) = ab(KLOC)^bb=3(918.225)^1.12=6,246.32 staff-months.

This effort is then used to calculate the duration of the project.

Testing, Integration, and Debugging

Testing, integration, and debugging take about 10% of the time. According to our estimate, the number of staff-months required for this activity is (0.1*6246=) 625 staff-months. Therefore, 25 staff-months are too little for this activity.

Quality Plan

The quality plan for the activity of testing, integration, and debugging will have standards and controls. These are given as under.

  1. Unit testing will be conducted for each of the functions.
  2. Use cases will be developed and executed for each of the functions.
  3. All of the open interfaces will be linked with external systems.
  4. Services will be used to provide external functionality in the system and for integration.
  5. The entire code will be debugged for errors.
  6. Automation testing tools like LoadRunner, TestComplete, and others will be used.

Scheduling Techniques

The most common form of scheduling techniques in project management is network-based schedules. These result in the project manager making a network of activities and how these are to be performed to complete the project.

Network-based project management methodology has different time estimation techniques, which are used in different network scheduling techniques. The simplest one is that in which only one time duration is given to each activity in the schedule. This then depicts the normal duration of the activity. It requires the most human discretion in determining a single estimate of duration. Network techniques of scheduling, which are based on this method, are popular for their simplicity.

There is another method, which is 'two time estimation method.' Then, each activity is assigned a normal duration and a crash duration, which is the smallest possible time to complete the activity. Techniques like CPM and Lowest Cost Scheduling use these two values to determine a range of values. Then, there is a range of activity durations that can be followed. These can result in numerous activity duration networks for the project. Then, different goals can determine the duration of the activity that is needed.

The third method used for time estimation is the 'tree time' or PERT method. The PERT (Program Evaluation and Review Technique) is based on the logic of a network. This one is significantly different from the other two techniques. It is based on the assumption that activity durations have a stochastic distribution. It is like the level of ground water, which has a stochastic distribution in its drainage. The Pert model has a ? distribution. To make things simple, only three values were selected from this probability distribution, which were the most likely, the most optimistic, and the most pessimistic. The most likely duration will occur most of the time. The most optimistic will be the fastest one most of the time. The pessimistic will be the slowest most of the times.

Then, this technique reduces the original Pert to a one-time estimation technique. Subsequently, the most likely duration is used first. Later, the procedure is performed again with the most optimistic and the most pessimistic durations. There is another problem with Pert, which is that the historical data is not available on project activity durations. Accordingly, the probability distribution, which is used, is hypothetical in nature.

'Resource balancing' implies that all resources are used to the maximum and there is no idle time. Then, all resources have work to do all of the time. Furthermore, there is no resource utilization, which is more than 100%. Rather, the actual resource utilization will always remain less than 100%. Although there is no direct way to achieve resource balancing through the project scheduling techniques, it can nonetheless be done through allocating on the basis of duration. Hence, the longer the task or activity is, the more resources can be allocated to it. Furthermore, the resource allocation can be made to equal the proportion of the task in the total project with respect to its duration. This allows the maximum resource utilization and also assures that all resources are used at all times. Hence, resource utilization can be achieved through project scheduling on the basis of activity durations. Furthermore, project management software like MS Project allows you to adjust the resource use through the means of Resource Graphs that show their utilization. Then, those resources that are overworked can be reduced and those that are underworked can be increased.

ISO 9001

ISO 9001 is a certification and not an accreditation. It is a certification where the accreditation body certifies that the said organisation has the ability and competency to provide the quality product or service that it sells. In contrast, the ISO (International Standardisation Organisation) is an international organisation, which has formulated these standards. In addition, an independent certification organisation is itself an accredited body where it has received the accreditation that it has the technical and organisational competence to carry out its conformance checking tasks. It is then an accredited certification body and provides external certification services.

In ISO 9001:2008, the organisation is responsible for providing quality in product, services, and processes. The top management has a special responsibility to ensure that there are processes and systems that provide consistent quality product to the customer. Then, they also have to ensure that a quality management process is instituted and provides continual product and service quality improvement. There is no need for external certification per se, however it can be obtained. The organisation can implement the system internally, check it through internal audits continually, and can be said to be certified.

Post-Project Review

Executive Summary

This project was undertaken to comprise a major portion of our project management course. The purpose of the project was to learn various project management techniques and processes. The entire project involved material and exercises related to the discipline of project management. The project had several deliverables. These included three sets of deliverables. The first set had a project plan. This contained project scope, project communications statement, and a risk and quality plan. Then, an exercise was given in which Alice had a problem of communication. She had to communicate with her colleagues who were to start their telecommuting jobs. Accordingly, there was a need to specify several technology options that they had to communicate with their colleagues from their homes. The technology options identified included email, YouSendIt, and Skype. Then, there was another exercise that dealt with late projects. It was learned that the project could be put back on track by resource enhancement. In this case, the project manager was advised to increase the labour force to keep the project on track and to complete it in time.

The next set consisted of an exercise on system failure. It was learned that a system could be kept on track through better project management. Here, the case was that of London Ambulance Service, which had implemented a failed system that was not developed through professional project management. Accordingly, several phases of the systems development lifecycle had been missed and done away with. Good project management was not necessary for the vendor alone, but was also required by the organisation itself. Then, there was a need to identify various risks for the project. Accordingly, a risk management and assessment matrix was developed that identified several risks afflicting the project and how those were to be dealt with. In this way, the likelihood of occurrence of each risk and its possible impact were tackled through appropriate risk responses. Then, a suggestion was also given to the project manager that it was better to conduct cyclomatic-complexity metric analysis on the entire project as it would identify the exit and entry points of the entire project. These were crucial for calculating and interpreting the metric.

question_answer Chat

Finally, estimation of project effort was done through the functional point analysis. In this exercise, first the unadjusted functional points were calculated through various software objects and their complexity. Then, adjusted functional points were calculated by considering other quality and effort requirements. These helped the project manager calculate the lines of code that would go into the product development using Java as the programming language. Then, the required amount of effort was also calculated using COCOMO and it was found that there was a huge requirement of labour for the testing, debugging, and integration task. It was also learned that testing was to be done for all functions in the system and through the use of automation testing tools. The integration could be achieved through implementing open interfaces in the system and through the use of services.

The third set also contained three exercises. In the first exercise, different scheduling techniques available to the project manager were learned. It was found that the project manager could use multiple network-based project scheduling techniques. It was possible to use a single estimate of activity duration or a two-time activity duration. The two-time activity duration had a normal time and the shortest time. This provided a range of durations. The third method was the Pert method, which used a distribution of project times. To simplify the process, the most likely, the most optimistic, and the most pessimistic times were selected. Then, the project manager calculated the project schedule based on each of these durations. This provided him or her with another distribution of expected project duration. Then, it was also learned that resource balancing was important. The project manager could balance resources on the basis of activity durations. Finally, the purpose was to know whether ISO 9001 was an accreditation or a certification. It was learned that ISO 9001 was a certification that was provided by ISO, which was an accreditation body. Then, ISO accredits other independent bodies that provide this external certification. However, it is also possible to develop it internally.

The student was the sole project manager. All deliverables were submitted on time. No significant or other difficulties were faced during the project as the project manager had already prepared for the project through class readings related to the project management literature. The project manager also consulted other external sources of data and information. The project manager also adhered to the project plan and schedule developed in the beginning. Accordingly, there were no delays. However, the project manager did complete all the deliverables well in advance of the completion date and time. The project manager was also able to achieve the level of quality that was expected from this project and the project manager. All the deliverables were of high quality, just as indicated in the quality baseline plan. Therefore, it is true that good project management is the key to success no matter what the size and complexity of the project are. It keeps the project team on track and also manages time and quality. It is not possible to undertake any small or large project without the use of proper project management techniques. This is especially true of software development projects.

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