Development of Degree Progress Tool

2222 words (9 pages) Essay in Information Technology

18/05/20 Information Technology Reference this

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Introduction to the Project

 The leadership of Regatta University have tasked a project team to create a degree progress tool for students. This tool must be easy to use and connect to a powerful information structure. The progress tool also needs to be accurate and provide instant information on the student’s progress toward program and degree completion.

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 The purpose of this project is to elevate student awareness and enable students to easily access vital information about their progress towards their degree. The objectives of this project contain the following elements: Provide the functionality described in the scope statement, the project will be delivered without going over budget, the project will be delivered defect-free and without causing any down time, and the project will be delivered no later than two business weeks from the targeted completion date. This information can be found on page 4 of the Project Description section of the IT Project Charter for Student Degree Progress.

Key Stakeholders and Roles

Project Organization

Name

Role

Jane Smith

Project Sponsor

John Doe

Project Manager

Arthur Bowman

Core Stakeholder

Shila Cole

Project Team Member, Systems Analyst

Ana Fischer

Project Team Member, Middleware Application Developer

John Jones

Project Team Member, Backend Systems Analyst

 The following information can be found in the Excel Workbook-RACI chart and the Project Charter, on page 6 under Project Organization.

Project Organization

Name

Title

Role

(Responsible for)

Assigned Tasks

Jane Smith

Project Sponsor

  • Assignment of resources and funds
  • Advisor to Project Manager and ambassador to university
  • Consulted and informed about budget and plan, creation of charter, milestones, integration tests, final report, and go-live transition

John Doe

Project Manager

  • Stakeholder satisfaction and communication
  • Integration of work into project
  • Creation of charter
  • Developing project plan
  • Define scope
  • Creation of budget and plan
  • Updating Gantt chart
  • Monitor project progress
  • Assigning team members
  • Manage deliverables
  • Assess risks
  • Monitor progress
  • Time management

Arthur Bowman

Core Stakeholder

  • Consulted during project definition
  • Informed about budget, milestones, and progress
  • Main point of contact for success of project
  • Final sign off on project success

Shila Cole

Systems Analyst

  • Creates test plan for system components
  • Testing all scenarios in app environment
  • Front and back end integration testing
  • Remedy system problems
  • Monitor system integration and uptime
  • Evaluate procedures
  • Prepare alternate workflow solutions

Ana Fischer

Middleware Application Developer

  • Develop mock-up for review
  • Create front-end interface
  • Develop GUI
  • Implement transition to live environment
  • Run test plan scenarios
  • Integration testing of front and backend systems
  • Assess and manage risk

John Jones

Backend Systems Analyst

  • Creation of architectural design of backend application
  • Create code for backend data processing
  • Live environment transition
  • Run test plan scenarios
  • Integration testing of front and backend systems
  • Assess risk

Technical Role

 Shila Cole is the Systems Analyst assigned to this project. A Systems Analyst is defined as “a person who examines complicated industrial and business operations in order to find ways of improving them, especially by the introduction of computer programs and equipment” (Cambridge, 2019). According to the Gantt Chart for this project, this definition holds true for Shila as she is responsible for the creation of the test plan and testing different scenarios to verify that both front and back end components work seamlessly throughout the entire application. She will also be responsible, with other team members, to manage any and all risk during the project.

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 From the first day and until the end of the project, the Systems Analyst is tasked with keeping an eye on any potential risk. This will help keep the project on task and on budget. Shila’s work on the project will begin with Task #12 on Day 11 where she is afforded two (2) days to create the test plan that will be used to for all of the components of the system. Starting on Day 16 and continuing for five (5) days until Day 21, Task #13 asks for the testing of different scenarios to check the application for proper behavior. Once that is complete, Shila will move to Task #14 which begins on Day 21 and lasts for five (5) days until Day 26. This task will execute integration testing for the front-end and back-end components to confirm that they work with the rest of the system seamlessly. And finally, on Day 26, Shila will work on Task #15 for one day to shift the application to the live environment.

 In order for Shila to stay on time and budget with her responsibilities, it is vital that all predecessor tasks be completed on time. The entirety of Shila’s work cannot be started until the front-end architecture, back-end architecture, and GUI are completed. Without a proper working application, there is nothing for the Systems Analyst to test. Therefore, these tasks have to be completed before Shila can testing the system on Day 16 as described on the Gantt Chart.

The Triple Constraint Matrix

 As the project is set to begin, the team has been given a new directive to add an option to see what would happen to the student’s degree progress if they chose to change their major. This will include a button that will open a call out box to show the changes to the student’s progress. The manager has given the team an additional $10,000 in funding and seven (7) more days to the timeline. This extra time is definitely needed as this kind of addition to the application will require more development time. The testing time should remain the similar as it will require little time to test along with the other elements.

 The addition of this new element has increased the time to complete the entire project by five (5) days from Day 30 to Day 35. The increase in time came from the increased work on the GUI to add the additional element. The production time changed from five (5) days to ten (10 days due to the increased workload for Ana Fischer on Tasks #9, #10, and #11 on the Gantt Chart. This also ahs affected John Jones as he needs the additional time on Task #12 to implement the new element into the backend of the system.

 The Triple Constraint Matrix of schedule, cost, and scope essentially states that a Project Manager can trade between and manipulate the three constraints. However, changing one of them will affect the other two in a negative way. For example, if one changes the scope and schedule of the project, then the cost will be affected due to the increased time to complete the project. For the purposes of this project, the cost was affected by the addition of $10,000 and the schedule was changed by adding five more days. This in turn negatively impacted the scope by adding in the inclusion of a new element to the project pushing back some of the other elements from their original completion date and the overall date that the project was to be concluded.

Project Risk

 A potential risk from this project included in the Project Management Documents Excel Workbook is that one of the two concurrent projects will be delayed and cause the go-live date to be extended. This situation has a high level of risk due to having multiple projects needing to be done at the same time. Considering that these tasks start in the second week of the project cycle, after the creation of the architectural design phase, any delay in these tasks could potentially derail the entire project increasing cost, extending the schedule, and affecting the scope.

 This risk also can affect several dependencies within the project. Any delay to the completion of the two tasks could affect later tasks that are dependent on their completion. Tasks involving the integration testing of the front and back end components, transitioning to the live environment, and delivering the completed project on time are all completely dependent on the two concurrent projects staying on schedule.

 Implications of this risk in terms of the triple constraint matrix include an increase in cost. A change to the scope to increase costs would enable the ability to hire additional developers in order to complete the two projects on time. This could prevent any change to the schedule. Another implication could be changing the schedule by adding more time to complete the tasks on time. This, however, would affect the cost and scope in a negative way. If this risk is completely ignored, then costs would increase, the schedule would be extended, and the project would fall victim to scope creep.

Risk Mitigation

 According to the risk analysis done on this project, the risk probability of having two tasks needing to be completed at the same time was deemed to be a high. Since both of these tasks need to be completed in order to have its dependent tasks stay on schedule, the risk impact is also high. In order to effectively manage this risk, a proper plan is needed to respond in the event that things go wrong.

 After thorough analysis of this risk, the proposed response would be to hire additional developers. This will affect the project in multiple ways. First, costs will increase. The budget will have to include extra funds for wages, time, and supplies. Secondly, the schedule will stay on track which keeps other dependent tasks also on schedule. Lastly, the scope will be changed for this new change. Ultimately, this would be the best option to choose because the project will stay on schedule. This solution would be the best way to deliver the project to the stakeholders’ satisfaction.

 A change to the schedule by adding more time to complete the two tasks will delay the launch of the site to students. This could negatively affect Regatta University by delaying the ability for students to properly register for courses needed to complete their degree. Conversely, adding the extra costs into the project’s scope will prevent scope creep and keep it on track. Scope creep can derail any project by failing to have a defined and well-documented scope.

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