Purpose of this handbook is to guide our management and reviews of projects in developing software management system for our client "Health Fitness". Our client, Health Fitness wants to have software development management system to renew their system management become efficiently and user friendly.
In handling this project, we need to prepare the guidelines for our working techniques, so that we will work based on the guidance to have a perfect project result. This handbook will detail all the workflow happens in this project, what we need for the project, what do will happen in the project, and prepare in handling risk management system when it is come. This handbook also to avoid mistakes in the past and we will try to not repeat it again.
This handbook is very useful to make a project management working more efficiently. Following this handbook as a guideline in handling the project also help to reduce some conflict among project team. Because the guideline being agree should follow by all the project team, the procedures are clearly, and each team member will knows what are they duty and their responsibilities.
Project Methodology Selection
There are some methodologies usually used in the project management such as PRINCE2 (Project IN Controlled Environments), PMBOK (Project Management Body of Knowledge), IBM's Project Methodology Method, etc. Why use a project management methodology? Without a project management method, people who work in a project team will have many different ideas about how to do the best project, and that all ideas should be organize well so the project can be done completely without any mistakes. A good project management method will manage the project very well and controlled the organization working environment. (Copyright, PRINCE 2, 2002)
PRINCE2 is a de facto standard used extensively by the UK government and is widely recognize and used in the private sector, both in the UK and Internationally. PRINCE2 adopts the principles of good project management to avoid the problem just identified and help to successful projects. The principles are :
- A project is a finite process with a definite start and end
- Project always need to be managed in order to be successful
- For genuine commitment to the project, all parties must be clear about why the project is needed, what it is intended to achieved, how to outcome is to be achieved and what their responsibilities are in that achievement. (Copyright, PRINCE 2, 2002)
PRINCE2 provides the organization with ;
- Controlled management of change, in terms of investment and return on investment
- Active involvement of users and stakeholders throughout the project to ensure that the product will meet the business functional, environmental, service and management requirements
- An approach which distinguishes the management of the project from the development of the products, so that the management approach is the same whether the project is to build a ship or implement new working practices (Copyright, PRINCE 2, 2002)
PRINCE2 is chosen for this project development because it is perfect to meet the business in services, to develop the management requirement and implement new working practices. The organization will need to be aware with the opportunities in adopting a project approach in the way their business change. There are common structure of method for project management that brings a benefit for the organization ;
- A method is repeatable
- A method is teachable
- Building on experience
- Ensuring that everyone knows what to expect, where, how and then
- Early warning of problem
- Being proactive, not reactive but able to accommodate sudden or unexpected events. (Copyright, PRINCE 2, 2002)
Proposed of the Project
Our client "Health Fitness" has operating their fitness club for 3 years and they have ± 550 members. They want to recruit new member as much as possible and keep hold their old member to do not stopping the membership. Every month, their fitness club is always recruit new members, but on the other side some member also stopping the membership. It is a normal situation in the business world. However, the fitness club is still on the move and gets the profit every month. Propose of the project are to develop their software management system to be more efficient and user friendly. The software management system that need to be develop such as recruit new member database, maintain old member information database, maintain purchasing database, maintain staff database and financial database. The purpose of developing software management system besides to maintain database, is also to serve member in good service. Means, we try to avoid problems for the fitness club in servicing member such as double debt payment membership, class scheduling, personal trainer scheduling, and much more. If the fitness club never disappointed their member, they will have a good reputation and it is possible to be a recommend fitness club. The payment of membership can be done by credit card or bank account and also can be done by cash charge. Members also has a member card with numbers and barcode to identify member's identity when they entering the clubs. Member should always bring their member card. Fee membership will be charge every 15 date of month. Our system is also to keep the information for those members who stopped their membership and never charge them again. Because, there are some complaint from ex-member that the club still charge him even he stopped his membership since 2 months ago. That is the mistakes from the old management system and now we want to fix it and try to prevent the mistakes.
The key product for a process project is the project initiation documents, which describing of what, why, who, when and how of the project. There are some objectives that describing of project initiation means (Copyright, PRINCE 2, 2002);
- Explain what are the requirements for a product quality needed
- Planning and budgeting the project
- The project document is acceptable for a business case and it is validate
- Make sure that justifying the project process is clear and handle of the project risks
- Allow and support the project board to bring the owner of the project
- For the project's life decision-making is compulsory
- The team commitment is very important in a project process
When the project team has decided to start the project, an agreement should be written and this agreement called by the project authorization. This agreement made for approval between the client and the project management to start the project. The agreement will detail the scope of the project should be done. This agreement called by Letter of Intent (LOI).
In some situations, a feasibility study might be required to investigate the situation and determine options for the way ahead. Using PRINCE2, the optimum approach would be to handle the study as a separate and distinct project and then operate a second project to implement the results of the study. Project Plan, Business Case and set of risks. The possible options may each vary enormously in their cost and timescales. Each option would have a different Project Plan, Business Case and set of risks. Having chosen the appropriate option, the second project would proceed with a straightforward set of project information. (Crown Copyright, 2002)
This is the important part in making process of the project. Feasibility study make to determine whether the project can be reasonable feasible or not. According to this report, feasibility study was made to making indication and analysis whether the proposed system from our organization will be feasible or not.
Process for determine whether the organization has the technology resources to develop or purchase, install, and operate the system.
In propose system there is server and desktop. The server contains the database for their member and the staff. All departments has own part job to the database server but each department already connected to one PC to another PC. The purposes are to redundancy for failure mistake, human error, and keep up to date for new information. The previous software are using in Windows operating system, even though now we are developing software management system, the software and hardware require in Windows only. So that, we will not changes the operating system into other requirement.
For the PC server, our organization recommends The IBM x3200 as the PC server to reduce management cost for distributed applications. It supported with based systems management and the IBM Remote supervisor Adapter (RSA) II for advanced hardware management. Affordable uni-processor tower server for medium-sized business or distributed large enterprise. More availability & management features than other systems in its class. IBM systems x3200 is able to help lower IT costs throughout its business lifecycle. The x3200 is not only affordable to purchase but also easy to manage, maintain, and keep up to date. With unprecedented system availability, x3200 can help to maximize uptime for your file and print or network infrastructure applications.
For the PC, our organization recommends the company to purchase 100 more desktop computer for efficiency and flexibility to implement the propose system. LenovoTM 3000 J200 can be the choice for the company, the reason is that the price is not expensive and already had facilities and features. Product descriptions ; Processor Intel Dual Core E2140 operating at 1.60GHz, has 2.0GB of PC2-4200 DDR2 SDRAM, 320GB hard drive, DVD±R/RW, 56K V.92 modem, 6 USB 2.0 port, 1 parallel port, 1 serial port, 2 PS/ 2 ports, Intel Graphics Media Accelerator 950 with up to 256MB shared memory, & Intel High Definition Audio. The price is RM850.
Printer and scanner are also needed to be purchase. We recommend Epson stylus CX5500 series (included color printer, photocopy machine & scanner) as an additional tool to work on. The price is RM250.
The software requirements :
For the operating system, I recommend for Windows XP Professional from Windows Corporation. The pluses of using this operating system in business are the fast method that be given, go mobile for the creator of business, this operating system also work smarter, improved reliability, security, performance and ease of use, setting the new standard in efficient and dependable computing. Those are needed by the company to improve the accessible of the system.
For Microsoft office, I am surely recommended to Microsoft Office 2003 because Microsoft Office 2003 is the successor from Microsoft XP Professional. For the database server, I propose to Microsoft Access 2003. Access 2003 provides a powerful set of tools that are sophisticated enough for professional developers, yet easy to to learn for new users. Based information from Amazon.com, with Access 2003, we can create or use powerful database solutions that make organizing, accessing, and sharing information easier than ever. The price is take around RM1000.
Antivirus is used to protect and against all illegal program when PC connect to the internet. Our organization recommends SymantecTM Endpoint Protection. According to Symantec website (www.symantec.com), they said their antivirus technology with advance threat prevention to deliver unmatched defense against malware for laptops, desktops, and servers. It provides protection against even the most sophisticated attacks that evade traditional security measures, such as rookits, zero-day attacks and mutating spyware. The price is RM150.
Backup System Recovery
Backup system recovery is used to backup database system from system loss or disaster. Our organization recommends SymantecTM Backup System Recovery solution for Microsoft Windows. The price is RM100
Database security is used to protect database activities from any damage, stolen and unexpected things. Our organization recommends SymantecTM Database Security to protect on the desktop system. The price is RM175.
For the web server, the software that should use is goes to Sun Java. We can use the infrastructure software at no cost. Once we need assurance and support, Sun Java offers licensing and supports plans for purchase. For the install price is around RM50
Operationally feasibility is a process of a system to maintain how it does the system work properly. It will look at the system which is acceptable and effective to support business operational. Operational feasibility is also help to identify problems and finds the solution immediately.
Our project is developing software management system. The system is requiring maintaining the members' database, staffing database and also database for purchasing fitness machines. Parts of operational feasibility;
The proposed of information system is to get all information from the company, about any benefits for being a member in Heath Fitness such as promotion membership fee, fee promotion for hiring personal trainer, and much more. Or it can be information about member's personal information, and much more.
Service requirements is to serve member's in using excellent facilities, such as the newest fitness machines, choices class activities, cozy and comfortable environment, personal trainer, and much more.
The propose system will give the benefit cost or not. Propose system will give the benefits, because there is only maintain cost that the company should spend. Save much cost from unnecessary outcome.
The propose system to control weekly or monthly invoicing in purchasing anything that related for facilities, to control customer membership fee, to control staff salaries and much more that need to be control.
This involves the feasibility of the planned project to create economic benefits. A benefit-cost analysis and a manage analysis are important aspects of evaluating the economic feasibility of new industrial projects. The tangible and intangible aspects of a project should be translated into economic terms to facilitate a consistent basis for evaluation. (Web, 1998)
Man hour is made to calculate the personnel who work in the project and detail the tasks of each personnel and their payment of being involve in this project. For team who involve in this project, we use a dedicated team. Why using a dedicate team? The reason is we want all the resources who involve in will focus on this project only so that we will get the best result for finishing the project. The prediction day to finishing this project is less than one and half month.
There is a formula for calculating for people budgets. Firstly, we should calculate the day rate for each personnel. Secondly, we count the man day. Third, we multiply between day rate and man day to get the result of costs. This cost is for people budget who involve in this project.
Most organizations must have established process for preparing budgets to control and monitor the projects. When preparing budgets, there are some listed that must include in such as human resources/ personnel cost, software and hardware budgets, and any other miscellaneous that related to the project. The project manager and the team member discuss and counting for the budgets and after decision is made they give it to the client and asked an approval from the client. If the client agreed with the budget had shown, the team can start to develop the project. As we mentioned before, for budgeting this project we use net present value.
Function point method is the size of a system can be computed by three components which are information processing size (Unadjusted Function Points-UFP) and Technical complexity adjustment factors (TCF) and Function Points (FP). Those components are analyzed below :
Unadjusted Function Points - UFP
This feature is also known as information processing size. This size is determined by identifying system components as five types namely external or logical inputs, outputs, inquiries, external interfaces to other systems and the logical internal files. These components are further weighted as "simple", "average" or "complex" depending on their characteristics. Then the sum of all components is called as Unadjusted Function Points (UFP). Note that the total field in the figure is obtained by multiplication of count by chosen weight ( simple, average or complex). (www.ii.metu.edu.tr/-ion545/demo/section1.2.html)
COCOMO is a set of hierarchical sub models which are basic, intermediate and detailed sub models. Basic model aims a quick rough estimate from small to medium sized project. Intermediate model adds more accuracy to the basic model by involving some attributes related to product, computer to be used, project personnel and project ,in the calculations. Finally the detailed model adds two extra capabilities namely phase sensitive effort multipliers and three level product hierarchy. (www.ii.metu.edu.tr/-ion545/demo/section1.2.html)
Process of working during project management which is support with time table, completion date and task responsibilities to complete the project finish on time. Project schedule feasibility usually made using a Gantt chart to show each task completion date and the scope.
It is very important to calculate the hardware and software budget and other things that related to the project in details and carefully. Our organization need to describe all the software and hardware budgets to our client as clear as possible and it is exclude in project budget. The method that we will use to justify the entire project budget is using the work breakdown structure as shown below (Schwalbe, 2006);
Organizations should select for the potential project that taken for their strategic planning processes and based on the experiences project manager will help them in making decision in selecting the project. As authors Dennis Cohen and Robert Graham said "Projects are never ends in themselves. Financially they are always a means to an end, cash". (Schwalbe, 2006). However, organization should make list of detail what type of potential project and what are the benefits for their organization. There are some techniques that commonly use in selecting the project (Schwalbe, 2006):
- Concentrate and focus with the organizations needed
- Select and listed the Information Technology projects
- Analysis the financial or net present value
- Using a weighted scoring model
- Implementing a balance scorecard
Most of organizations are select net present value and return of investment for financial analysis to selecting their project management. Net present value (NPV) is method uses by the project management to count how get the net monetary gain or loss from the project by giving a discount from the project expected cash inflows and outflows for a long term. Based on Kathy Schwalbe on ITPM book "an organization should consider only projects with a positive NPV if financial value is a key criterion for project selection". This is because a positive NPV means the return from a project exceeds the cost of capital-the return available by investing the capital elsewhere. Projects with higher NPVs are preferred to projects with lower NPVs, if all other factors are equal. (Schwalbe, 2006; p. 124)
The other method that use by the project management for project selection processes is return of investment. Return of investment (ROI) is expecting the result that you invest on and bring a benefit to your investment in the next year. Return of investment is always in percentage and it can be positive or negative. (Schwalbe, 2006)
We choose to use NPV and ROI for taking the benefit from project software management system. The reason is, we calculate the project budget as mentioned above and we count how much it will be our benefit in doing this project. We ensure to our client that they can manage well their system to invite new member and serve well their old member. If there has a good management system, their fitness club will serve their customer with satisfy, so that they will have a good reputation. We believe that our client will get the advantages by using our software management system.
Project management should begin after completing the entire project requirements such as resources, budgets, and the work breakdown structure are made. Project plans is to determine the project schedule, target delivery requirements, all the estimates must be fitted into the available time frame as best as they can. Most the project planning is time constrained because if the time that planned is restricted, the other requirements should be found the ways how to reschedule the entire project from the beginning. There are view steps in scheduling a project planning such as preparation, review, up-date, approval, and refresh. (Whitten, 1995)
To planning the project, our organization will use finish-to-start activity relationships to develop the software management system. Means that, we will strictly start the next step after the first step is done (Whitten, 1995). As a professional project management, we want to ensure that the first step is completely finished then we will move on to the next step. With this kind of method that we can guarantee the project will be perfectly done.
A lot of project failed, it cause of they fail to meet schedule expectation. Our organization already make the schedule for tasks phases, so that we will work based on that. Our personnel member already have schedule in their own duties and they will work based on the time schedule.
In making a project, as a project management we need to discuss review the progress of the project, to see and to know whether there is any problem while working on the project. As well as possible, it is important to have meeting between the team member and the project manager to discuss any problem that they meet and looking for the solution. When the problem comes, let the customer knows it so that they will know how actively we are in doing projects. (Lock, 1996)
In addition, we need identify how is the progress done and what kind of problem that comes in to the project and who is the responsible person at the time. We can write in on the form for every progress and any problem comes in. (Lock, 1996)
Conduct of Project Meeting
The project manager is responsible to arrange a weekly meeting with the team member of project. It is important to conduct a weekly meeting to discuss about the project progress or any problem in project. Our project management team suggested that it is better if we arrange meeting for every one week, it is important to prevent the trouble in doing project. If we have weekly meeting, we can discuss the problem and find the solution soon. We must write all topics that discuss during meeting and make minutes of meeting as a report to distribute to all team members, so that they can remember what kind of discussion and solution do we have during the meeting time.
Frequency of progress meeting
On project with short duration, detail progress is to be considered and the good case for monitoring the project progress is having a progress meeting frequently at least once a week.
Internal reports to company management
Progress report to company management will have a benefit for the company performance. Discussion of a report might activate important management decisions that can directly changes a contract policy or project organization. However, it is important that data relevant to the condition and management of the project are given trustily, if it necessary supports it with explanation or reasoned prediction.
Reports to the client or customer
Reporting the meeting result to the client could be one of the conditions of contract. Client will received the progress report from our organization but it is not the technically report.
Client Review Meeting
After conducting meeting between the project management and the team member, we also need to arrange a review of the total initial proposal. It is important to re-check whether the problem is solve or not within the previous step. If problem remain, it is concern to inform before the meeting, and perhaps those people get the solution before or during the meeting time. After review the meeting, the project team member will have an idea to complete the project based on the schedule plan, their personal commitment and how the plan will require every activity to complete successfully in order for the total schedule to be achieved as committed. (Lock, 1996)
However, when we have finished with this kind of matter, we can have a review meeting with the client. Basically, we will conduct the review meeting according the client request. In this meeting, the customer is briefed about the progress of the project whether the project is ahead, behind or on schedule. Then, client and the project team should discuss whether continuing the project based on the schedule or any changes by request.
Change management is handling any changes during the project development process. In order to final completion of project, at least one change is come without the notification. A change means any different approach from the project particular or specification after initial issues.
Whenever changes arise, they can usually be recognized as belonging to one of two principal commercial categories. One way of defining these categories is to ask whether the request for a change has originated within the project organization, or if it has come from customer. However, some borderline cases which cannot be put into either of these classifications but which contain elements of both. A more useful way of classifying changes from the commercial point of views is to label them as funded or unfunded. For a funded change the customer must take responsibilities for the change and pay for it. For unfunded changes the project management will have to carry the costs itself, with consequent risk to budget limits and expected profits. Whether or not a change is to be funded or unfunded will determine to a very large extend how it is handled and considered for authorization. (Lock, 1996; p. 433)
Risk Management Plan
Risk management planning is an important case during the project. Mostly it comes suddenly without any warning actions or it might be the factor that determines the failure of a project. On the other hand, that is the project management and the team member responsibilities to discuss and handling about the risks it might come during the project.
According to PRINCE 2 guide on electronic book, risks management could be analyze before it comes to the project. When the project management and team member could analyze the risks come, the organization has the solution already and could solve the problem immediately. Steps to analyze risks management are listed below:
By identify the potential risk (or opportunities) facing the project. A list of potential risks may lead to hurried and incorrect decisions to exclude some risks.
Risk evaluation is concerned with assessing probability and impact of individual risks, taking into account any interdependencies or other factor outside the immediate scope under investigation :
- Probability is to evaluate a particular outcome actually happen
- Impact is the evaluated effect or result of a particular outcome actually happening
- Impact should ideally be considered under the elements such as time, quality, benefits and people/resources
The risk response process should involve identifying and evaluating a range of options for treating risks and preparing and implementing risks management plans. (Crown Copyright, 2002)
During the project process, our organization could identify the risks that might be come and we are trying to identify, evaluate and select the risks to avoid the problem more dangerous. When the risks come to the project, project management team should be discuss and solve the problem immediately and find the solution. As a project management must have a back-up planning, so when the risks come without any warning sign the project plan can be modify according the back-up planning.
Project Quality Management
The purpose of project quality management is to make sure whether our project development will satisfy the customer's. To implement the quality management, now there is an organization to monitor and standardize the quality which is called The International Organization for Standardization (ISO). Project manager and the team member should have good relationships with key stakeholders, especially the main customer for the project, to understand what quality means to them. (Schwalbe, 2006)
Mostly, the project team only focused on meeting the written requirements for the main products and ignoring other stakeholders needs and expectation for the project and it make the project become fail. (Schwalbe, 2006)
The reason to planning the quality techniques and standards is required and responsibilities during the project. Project quality plan is made to listed how is the project will acceptable for clients requirements, reference to any standards that need to be met, is the criteria acceptance, and much more expectation. According PRINCE 2 methodology, quality plan is derive from :
- Organizational standards
- Customer's quality expectations
- Supplier and customer quality management systems (QMS)
- Configuration management requirements
- Change control requirements.
Project quality plan also involves communicating the correct actions for ensuring quality in a format that is understandable and complete. Important scope aspects of information technology projects that affect quality include functionality and features, system outputs, performance and reliability and maintainability. (Schwalbe, 2006; p. 295)
- Functionality is a step of system performs. Features are system in a special point that request users.
- System output are the screen and reports the system generates. It is important to describe clearly is the screen and reports look like for a system
- Performance addresses how well a product or service shows the customer's intended use
- Reliability is the ability of a product or service to perform as expected under normal conditions. Maintainability addresses the ease of performing maintenance on a product. (Schwalbe, 2006; p. 295-296)
All aspects of project scope that mentioned above are some of the requirement issues that linked to quality planning. Project managers should be knows well about basis quality terms, standards and resources. (Schwalbe, 2006)
The quality assurance process involves taking responsibility for quality throughtout the project's life cycle. Top management must take the lead in empahasizing the roles all employees play in quality assurance, especially senior manager's roles. The main output of this process are requested changes, recommended corrective actions and updates to organization process assets and the project management plan. (Schwalbe, 2006' : p. 294)
An important tool for quality assurance is a quality audit. Quality audit is a structure review of specific quality management activities that help identify lessons learned that could improve performance on current of future project. (Schwalbe, 2006; p. 298)
Quality control is to monitor the project progress which is following the quality standard and looking for the improvement of high quality. Usually, quality control process is followed by technical tools and technics quality management. Quality control has many general tools and techniques such as pareto analysis, statistical sampling, Six Sigma and quality control charts. (Schwalbe, 2006)
One sample to use tools and techniques for quality control by using statistical sampling. Statistical sampling is a key concept in project quality management. Members of project team who focus on quality control must have a strong understanding of statistic, but other project team members need to understand only the basic concept. (Schwalbe, 2006; p. 301)
Statistical sampling involves choosing part of a population of interest for inspection. For example, a company planning to develop an electronic data interchange (EDI) system for handling data on invoices from all of its suppliers. Assume also that in the past year, the total number of invoices was 50.000 from 200 suppliers. The size of the sample depends on how representative you want the sample to be. A simple formula for determining sample size is:
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