project management assignment

As a consultant you have been asked by the Global Retail Solutions Group (GRS) to develop an implementable project plan for a point of sale and stock control system for a proposed chain (DSE) of retail outlets across Australia. You have been supplied the following information, information not available maybe assumed, this will be a competitive bid targeting the dual goals of quick implementation and low cost.

DSE is an aggressive player in the growing DIY electronics market with a plan to open a chain of retail outlets to further their growth in the market. Outlets will be located in major cities in seven states. The larger cities will have more than one store. Critical to sales is monitoring sales and stock turn to ensure adequate stock is available when demanded. Each store will be responsible for day-to-day operations, however, there is a strong central management structure at the national level. The services provided by the organization include volume buying to gain discounts, pricing, merchandising strategies, and consolidation of performance reporting for the corporate management.

The Information Systems Department at DSE’s corporate office has been given the assignment to develop a transaction processing system that will apply modern RFID code scanning at the point of sale and provide automatic inventory control. The system will also relieve the store personnel of the tedious task of generating sales and performance reports as required by the head office.

An earlier project has successfully defined the store level hardware that will be used at the points of transaction plus the communications network that will connect the stores with the state offices. This hardware consists of standard PCs plus the scanning equipment and any other specialized interface hardware needed. The communications facility consists of a polled network and will be based on dial-up lines from the head office to the individual stores. The stores have no requirement to communicate with each other.

At this point in time, consider yourself a consultant who has to bid for the software development piece of the project upon which this system is based. You will have access to several DSE employees to execute the various tasks that your project proposal will guide to a successful conclusion.

You have selected Microsoft Project as a software tool to assist in the development of your proposal.

Five major activities have been defined, each of which contains a number of tasks. The tasks have been defined such that each task requires only one resource. Since there is a limit to the number of resources available to the project, a resource will probably be assigned several tasks throughout the duration of the project. However, for best efficiency the team has decided that it is best to schedule the completion of one task before the next task is started by the same resource. Your project design has divided the work into sufficiently small increments that this strategy can be successfully applied.

Since the software development is being done on standard platforms with standard operating environments and well-known development tools, there are no restrictions on the assignment of resources to tasks. This means that you can reassign tasks among your resource pool as required to make the most efficient schedule.

From the information supplied by DSE (below) you have to develop a design for the project. Your next task is to transfer the entire design to Microsoft Project so that you can clearly establish a timeline for the project based on detailed planning and costs associated with your preferred choice including resource utilisation. A concise business proposal including outputs from Microsoft Project will be required to make your case.

The project is due to begin on 01 September 2015.
Transaction processor

  • User Interface – Driver code to display individual transaction data, including item name and price to both the customer and the operator. Richard – 3 days
  • Peripheral Interface – Driver code to accept input data from the UPC scanner, scale and keyboard. Richard – 2 days
  • Price Look-up – Inter-process communication to send item identification to the database and retrieve price information. Elizabeth – 3 days
  • Order Control – Application code to accumulate item totals, accepting multiple quantities and calculating total price. This module also assigns items by tax category and maintains a total for each tax rate. Elizabeth – 10 days
  • Payment Resolution – Application code to accept cash and debit transfers as payment for the order total. Note: Requires communications facilities with banking network. Harry – 4 days Transaction Resolution – Application code to update inventory, accumulate sales amounts, account for taxes collected by category. Harry – 5 days
  • Receipt Printing – Application and driver code to print itemized receipt for cash sales and authorization form for debit transactions. Richard – 4 days

Price and inventory file

  • Database Design – Schema design to include full description of each item and associated data to support price look-up and inventory management functions. Also includes tax rate by category and application of specific state tax rules. Sam – 5 days
  • Database Access Library – Library applications that accept queries from the transaction processor and return data requested by the transaction. Includes inventory adjustment based on sale quantities. Jenny – 12 days
  • Database Maintenance Library – Library applications that accept and apply price updates, add new items, change tax categories and update inventory status with new receipts. Ellie – 12 days
  • Database Report Generation – Library applications that support database search for specific input criteria for product movement studies etc. Sam – 10 days

Inventory management

  • Daily Status Report – Application code to search the database for all items that have been flagged as low stock status, sorted by supplier and displayed on a PC in the store manager’s office. Elizabeth – 5 days
  • Item History Report – An interactive query transaction to display on the manager’s terminal the sales pattern for a selected item over the last two months. Jenny – 4 days
  • Order Generation – Application code that accepts as input a specific item and returns the economic lot quantity and other pertinent vendor data. Also allow the manager to select and process an order to replenish stock. Harry – 7 days
  • Order Communication – Application code that collects the decisions made in the Order Generation process and prepares an order for transmission to the head office. Harry – 3 days
  • Receipt Processor – Application code that accepts input from the receiving dock via either scanner or keyboard to signal the receipt of stock. Richard – 3 days
  • Inventory Update – Application code access the database library to update quantities in stock after receipt of shipments. Richard – 5 days

Communications

  • Banking Network Interface – Driver code to initiate connection to local transaction switch and submit account and charge amount. Includes confirmation transaction and error recovery. Elizabeth – 7 days
  • State Network Interface – Driver code to control incoming calls from the head office on the dial-up network. Handles automatic answer, message transfer in block mode and error recovery. Harry – 12 days
  • Communications Command Interpreter – Application code to recognize incoming requests from the head office for various store performance reports. Jenny – 5 days
  • Report Generator – Applications code to respond to a request from the communications interface to generate specific reports and return data as a file for sending to the state office in block mode. Each report is saved at the store and may be sent during the same communications session as the request or in a later session. Ellie – 10 days

Documentation

  • Help for Transaction Processor – Richard – 5 days,
  • Help for Price and Inventory Modules – Jenny – 5 days
  • Help for Inventory Management – Harry – 5 days
  • Help for Communications – Ellie – 5 days

Alpha test

  • This test is conducted by a resource obtained from the head office. The objective is to verify that all of the functions are operational and that the results of each transaction are accurate and reliable. Barry – 20 days
  • Developer support is provided as follows: Richard – 5 days, Jenny – 7 days, Harry – 6 days, and Ellie – 5 days

Beta test

  • This test is to be conducted by actual users in several of the retail outlets. No development resources are allocated to this test. The duration of the test is 60 days.

Start roll-out

  • This milestone marks the completion of the project. The rate at which the product is actually installed and delivered to operating personnel depends on the availability of resources and plans from the individual stores. Each of these is the possible subject of a project plan.

Resource costs

$/hour $/hour
Richard 200 Elizabeth 100
Jenny 100 Ellie 90
Harry 100 Outside Contractors – Sam 200
Barry 100 Transfer pricing – other internal resources 120

Task A

You are required to present your project plan to the project sponsor that shows how you propose to implement this project. As a minimum you should provide your plan as a business report including typical plan components such as objectives and goals, risk assessment and other elements you feel are important to support this project, and required to obtain approval from the project sponsor.
You must also incorporate, as a minimum, the following specific project software outputs:

  • project summary
  • gantt chart
  • cash flow/budget
  • network diagram
  • resource sheet, and
  • any other content you feel is appropriate.

The assignment will be marked on the basis of the sponsor’s understanding of how you plan to complete this project in the most effective manner. This means value for money, timeframe, presentation, understanding of your approach and consistency and accuracy of the plan.

As you prepare your report, don’t forget to format the software so that reports (eg. Gantt chart) are easy to read and can be handled (ideally on 1 page) as part of a meaningful project plan.

You are presenting your plan to the project sponsor who needs to understand your project plan, have confidence in you as the project manager and have the appropriate supporting documentation to back up your approach.
Task B

  1. Generate a Turnitin originality report and submit this report via EASTS;
  2. Answer the following questions to interpret the Turnitin originality report. The questions can be found through the following link: http://www.academicinternational.org/teaching/turnitin.pdf  Submit your answers via EASTS.

Turnitin is more than a ‘gotcha’ device – it is an effective learning tool:

Because the sophisticated use of sources involves a complex set of research, critical thinking, and writing skills, you should expect to take several years to master them. Turnitin can be a helpful tool in this developmental process. You should use your originality reports as feedback on a first draft so that you can improve your use of sources before submitting the final draft for marking.

Interpreting the Turnitin Originality Report:

After you submit your draft to Turnitin for self-checking, you should look carefully at the originality report so that you can improve on your use of sources. Your essay will be on the left side of the screen, and the matching colour-coded sources will be listed on the right. Then you can make the necessary changes to your essay before you submit the final draft for marking.

You need to register with Turnitin to create a Student Account under the CSU Turnitin Licence at http://www.turnitin.com/login_page.asp

Further information on how to use Turnitin can be found through the following link: http://student.csu.edu.au/study/plagiarism/checking

Rationale

This assessment task covers topics 1 to 9 and has been designed to ensure that you are engaging with the subject content on a regular basis. More specifically it seeks to assess your ability to:

  • demonstrate how a practicing project manager actually applies project management skills, methods, techniques and tools ;
  • use an industry standard project management software tool (Microsoft Project);
  • apply project management skills, methods, techniques and tools to a real world problem typical of a project manager;
Marking criteria
Marks given will be dependent on the quality of the answers and the suitability and correctness of the proposed project as represented in Microsoft Office Project. This is a project management plan project NOT an IT project.

 

CRITERIA
STANDARDS
HD
DI
CR
PS
FL
1. Provide a plan as a business report including typical plan components such as problem statement (5 marks)
Objectives and goals (5 marks)
Requirements including functions and features and scope items (in scope and out of scope items) (10 marks)
WBS (indented form) (10 marks)
Marks: 30
Comprehensive business report includes clear objectives and goals as well as consideration of risk factors and other important elements; includes clear description of all perspectives. Mostly comprehensive business report includes clear objectives and goals as well as consideration of risk factors and other important elements; includes clear description of all perspectives. Mostly comprehensive business report includes clear objectives and goals as well as some consideration of risk factors and other important elements; includes clear description of all perspectives; includes clear description of most of perspectives.
Some omissions.
Reasonable business report includes clear objectives and goals as well as some consideration of risk factors and other important elements; includes clear description some of the perspectives.
Some omissions.
Major omissions in the answer.
2. Suitability and correctness of the proposed project as represented in Microsoft Office Project. Project outputs:
Gantt chart (in MS Project) Allocated duration is 150 days (20 marks),
Resource allocation (in MS Project) (10 marks), cash flow/budget (in MS Project) (10 marks) and risk assessment (probability impact matrix) including risk register (include 5 risks out of which 1 should be a positive risk) (20 marks), and Quality Issues (10 marks)
Marks: 70
All values of project outputs are accurate and consistent such as project summary
Gantt chart
cash flow/budget
network diagram
resource sheet, and
any other content you feel is appropriate.
Most of the values of project outputs are accurate and consistent such as project summary
Gantt chart
cash flow/budget
network diagram
resource sheet, and
any other content you feel is appropriate.
Most of the values of project outputs are accurate and consistent such as project summary
Gantt chart
cash flow/budget
network diagram
resource sheet, and
any other content you feel is appropriate.
Some omissions.
Some values of project outputs are accurate and consistent such as project summary
Gantt chart
cash flow/budget
network diagram
resource sheet, and
any other content you feel is appropriate.
Major omissions in the answer.
3. Submit Turnitin report and  answer the questions to interpret the Turnitin originality report. (10 marks)
Presentation and clarity (accuracy, spelling, grammar, punctuation) of assignment (5 marks)
Marks: 15
Shows a polished and imaginative approach to complete the assignment and Turnitin questions.
Very well fluent writing style appropriate to assignment with accurate grammar and spelling
Carefully and logically organised approach to complete the assignment and Turnitin questions.
Fluent writing style appropriate to assignment with accurate grammar and spelling
Shows organisation and coherence approach to complete the assignment and Turnitin questions.
Mostly fluent writing style appropriate to assignment with accurate grammar and spelling
Shows some attempt to organise approach in a logical manner to complete the assignment and Turnitin questions.
Writing style not always fluent or well organised, and grammar and spelling contain errors
Fail to submit Turnitin report and did not answer Turnitin questions.
Disorganised/incoherent assignment.
Writing style not fluent or well-organised, and grammar and spelling contain lots of errors
4. Referencing and Citation
Marks: 5
Referencing is consistently accurate and according to the APA standard. All references are cited in the text Referencing is mainly accurate and according to the APA standard. Most of the references are cited in the text Some attempt at referencing and not according to the APA standard. Few references are cited in the text Some attempt at referencing but not cited in the text Referencing is absent/unsystematic

 

Total marks: 120 marks
Requirements

Students are required to submit the range of documents describing their proposed project solution for the above tasks..

All referencing in the project material must be in accordance with the APA style guide.