File  04  project description      .doc  as of  22-01-2003 09:22:29 AM


Syst 371 - Project - Spring 2003


Due by 1330   24 April 2003


Status reports due weekly.

Status presentations due as per lecture schedule.

Personal and team resource log due weekly.




The class and project will simulate a real work environment to the extent possible.


The Highly-Powered Consulting Co. (HPCC) is a small company that needs to produce a book on project management as a marketing tool and to provide credentials as to their being experts in project management. 


As your first assignment, in this temporary position,  you have been tasked with providing a project plan to publish this book.   Of course, as a new employee,  you are eager and enthusiastic about this assignment as it will solidify your project skills.  As additional motivation,  you know that you can recycle this plan in the future and that the data and checklists you create will also be useful.  Knowing that the time you invest now, will be paid back in the future many times over you are eager to do an excellent and thorough job. 


You do not need to write the book, only to provide a complete plan so the book can be delivered by the deadline noted.   A Gantt chart with tasks and time durations is required.  As appropriate include estimates of other resources needed for budgeting, risks anticipated and conditional recovery plan,  assumptions, problem description including the objective, terminology, and any necessary reference material, etc.


Your manager knows that you are doing your first plan, so has teamed you with some other new employees.  The manager also says that  he will get back to you with more details later.  His assitant tells you that means this Thursday at 1330J.


 [Talking to some of the old timers you discover that means he will set up regular meetings to discuss your efforts {see lecture schedule}.   For now he wants you to think about this task and do some preliminary planning.   He will be available during regular status meetings to answer any questions you may have and help suggest solutions to problems.]


[In the lunchroom you overhear comments that indicate that he is easy to deal with, will act as a mentor, and will not let you fail.   He also is absent minded and tends to lose things so you should document all conversations and provide hardcopy as a reminder (as well as keeping a copy for yourself).  He also has bad eyesight and insists that special fonts be used so that he  can avoid eyestrain.]


You have also been told by his assistant that status reports are due every Thursday at 12:30.   He wants to know what progress has been made, problems encountered, approach being used to prevail, and a summary of resources used.  [He has budget responsibility and needs this data to do his job.  Also, the data is fed into the PAL (Process Asset Library) to guide future estimations and planning.]


The schedule for starting the book is not later than September 2003.  There is an absolute deadline of May 2004 for copies of the book to be available to kick off a PR campaign.  [Any similarity to a senior project is purely intentional.]  Your plan for this project is due 24 April to allow time for budget approvals, staff planning, and other preparations.   The plan should include a major review at about the halfway point [end of 2003] so that corrective action may be taken to improve the product and or insure the schedule is met.


The deadline for your final project plan has been set at 24 April 2003 { for system 371 project}.   {Consequently failure to meet your 24 April deadline will negatively impact the grade given.}


 Any delay in having an approved plan will seriously impact the HPCC project instantiation and concomitant business plans.   Consequently, all problems need to be noted and overcome promptly.  Your mentor will help guide you but you must make an attempt and provide some alternatives or suggestions for him to consider.


Start thinking about what needs to be done and how you will do it.  How will your team meet and coordinate?  How will it make decisions?  How will you stick to your time budget without allowing delays?   What is a project plan?  What should be in this plan?  What other information is needed?  Where can you obtain it?   What is your Myers-Briggs type?  What are your teammates types?  How will this affect how you interact with each other?  What is your objective?  What are your initial thoughts on the tasks that your team has to do?  What effort do you estimate that this will take?   Give as much thought to this new assignment as is appropriate and be ready to discuss it with your manager on Thursday.