single spaced line item charges W r i t i n g
Information technology projects are typically very complex and involved many complicated tasks that must be performed in a certain order. This is a series of dependencies. In other words, certain tasks are dependent on other tasks being performed first. For example, in a truck engine, the tasks of creating the pistons and engine block should be performed first before the tasks of putting the pistons into the engine block, so the task of assembly is dependent on the engine block and pistons being manufactured first. There is a parent-child relation here, whereas the engine block and piston manufacturing is a parent task or process and the assembly is a child task or process. If there is a delay on a parent tasks, then the child tasks are also delayed. This is called slippage (we will cover this more in detail in future modules). We also should consider what are called constraints. A constraint is a limit on the time or money or number of people or something else that prevents just a wide-open throttle on getting things done.
Why is this important when we are talking about determining scope, budget and time? Since we are dealing with so many individual tasks to complete the project, potentially hundreds or thousands of tiny details must be addressed, each component matters. We must research and understand what must be done, how long it will take to be done and how much will it cost when it is all said and done?
In this week’s lecture, we talk at length about setting up the boundaries of the project. If there are no boundaries, how will we genuinely know when we are finished or even successful? We should define the scope of the project. Further, we need to know what the total budget (or at least the part of the budget for which we are responsible) so we know how much we must work with in funding labor and materials. Finally, we should understand how long we must finish the work are tasked to complete.
Consider this scenario: You are the manager of 5 desktop technicians that are replacing old desktop computers that have a tube monitor, large CPU that fits under a desk with an all-in-one flat panel computer with a wireless mouse and keyboard. You are doing this for an entire floor of a cubicle environment for 200 employees. There are two parts to this problem, physically moving the computers, which includes migrating data from the original computer to the new computer and testing success of the data move, but also there is a time and money constraint as well as they cube workers cannot be interrupted and work from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. If your analysts work third shift you must pay them time and a half, due to company policy. Simply put, you do not have money for third shift work. You have only one day to develop a plan and see if you can make it work, because the timetable for the project just got moved up. There will be a lot of critical thinking and how to plan the best processes to create efficiency and maximize budget.
Given the following constraints:
- You have 10 business days to complete the assignment
- Assume all hardware is paid for and does not calculate into your budget and there are spares for failed installs.
- Based on network bandwidth 10 computers can either have data moved to the network (backup) or installed to the new computer (restored). This can be done in any combination, but only 10 computers can push files or it becomes too slow to get things done.
- Backing up or restoring individual data across the network will take 30 minutes (again, only 10 computers at a time)
- It takes 15 minutes to unbox a new computer, remove the old computer and put the new computer in place.
- All old computers should be put on a cart and moved to a downstairs warehouse to be redistributed or decommissioned.
- There is only one cart and only 5 computers can be put on the cart at one time.
- One computer in 20 will fail the testing and will cause an installation restart with a different computer that takes an additional 20 minutes (disconnecting the old computer, installing a spare and restarting the install process)
- You can have multiple machines installing at the same time, but consider the network constraints.
- You can seek efficiencies by having specific analysts perform specific tasks (hint: it will not work if each analyst performs each of these steps for each computer)
- 2 analysts are out from work 2 days during this install and account for slippage (as appropriate)
- You have an $8000 budget for labor
- Your analysts are paid $20 per hour, your labor is not factored into this project, but you are responsible for them reporting their progress to you. You do not have to directly supervise them during the work, they are largely self-directed and motivated. You are lucky you have good workers.
Given these constraints, develop a task list with dependencies. You will probably have to write down all the tasks and then put them in order. You will have to determine if you have the funds to successfully overlap tasks and complete the project on time. Lastly you need to consider the timeframe (length of the project and the time of day you get to work on the project). There are lot of individual pieces that need to be figured out here, but be systematic and you will come to the best answer. Be prepared to defend your position based on the facts.
Write a two-page project process plan document, including financial and timeline information to be presented to management.
- The 2 page paper will be written in 12 pt. Times Roman, double-spaced for the paragraphs and single spaced line item charges and total cost.
- Explain the role of each desktop technician.
- There will be a second page for your references written in APA format.
- In your own words, summarize the problem and what is to be done in one paragraph.
- Create a list in a simple GANTT chart. There should be at least 10 line items for this chart. Be sure to put the parent tasks before the child tasks. Insert this chart into your report.
- Calculate how many computers can be swapped out per night.
- Total all the costs and time that will go into solving the problem.
- Using at least 3 credible sources, research companies that do this or have done this and look at how they did it (tasks and processes).
- Determine if the project can be done in the timeframe and if it will be under budget. If not, how many computers will not get completed and how much more would it cost to finish the job?
- Summarize if the project is likely to complete on time and on budget. State your reasons in a clear concise manner, limited to one paragraph.
Please do not hesitate to contact your instructor should you have any questions or need clarification. There will be a published grading rubric so you know how your paper will be graded. Please read and re-read the instructions carefully so you include all the requirements in your submitted assignment.