A manufacturer of farm animal feeds received an increased number of complaints from its wholesale and retail customers regarding contaminants in its finished feed products. Currently, the company has a manual quality control process in place, but it is so time consuming that test results are seldom provided in a timely manner. The end result is that tons of product are being destroyed and costing the company hundreds of thousands of dollars each quarter. The sponsor for this project is the division manager of production, and he advises you that the company's goal is to improve the quality control process, which will increase customer satisfaction and reduce production costs. The sponsor has requested that you provide a weekly project status to him via e-mail so he can relay the progress to the corporate officers as appropriate.
The feed ingredients and finished products are currently tested for chemical, bacterial, viral, and fungal contaminants that can all cause harm to animals and humans and must be identified immediately.
In the normal process, lab technicians test the ingredients at three different points during the manufacturing process, record the data on an MS Word template, and then e-mail the template to a data entry clerk. The clerk then enters the data into a locally managed database. The same template is used for all three tests. This means that depending on the test being performed, some fields on the template don't apply to the specific test but are completed by the technician, or some critical information fields do apply but aren't completed by the technician. The three required testing points and their current process flows are:
1. The incoming raw ingredients are first physically and chemically inspected by lab technicians upon receipt of the ingredients. The lab tech records the results on the Word document and then e-mails the Word document to the warehouse and to the data entry clerk. If the ingredients are contaminated, the warehouse notifies the supplier of the specifics about the raw ingredient testing, and then marks the ingredients for destruction. The data entry clerk prints a copy of the form and types the information into the database where all test results are logged by the ingredient, the date received, and the storage bin where it is physically stored at the manufacturing company. An e-mail is also sent from the warehouse to the accounts payable department, so when the bill comes in from the supplier, the decision is made whether to pay the supplier for the ingredients.
2. The second inspection takes place just prior to manufacturing, in which the technician rechecks the raw ingredients for contamination and records the results on a new Word document. The technician then e-mails the results to the warehouse, where the ingredients have been stored awaiting production, and sends another e-mail to the production department, where the decision is made as to whether to begin production. The data entry clerk also receives the e-mail and enters the new information into the database. The accounts payable department does not receive a copy of the second test.
3. The third test takes place after the product has been manufactured. The results of this test are sent to the warehouse for determination of whether the contaminated finished product should be removed from the warehouse shelves. The data entry clerk also enters these results into the database.
The project team is currently developing an intranet solution for this project. The solution includes individual screens containing only the required fields for each test and three separate process flows, which again are dependent on the test being performed.
The senior analyst/programmer on this project has discovered that the process flow for the second of the three required tests has not been designed to include the production department, and there are not enough in-house technical resources available to complete the project by the deadline. It appears that the team lead for the process flow design was preoccupied with a family emergency and did not follow up on all aspects of his responsibilities.
Two alternative solutions to this problem are as follows:
• Outsource the work to a third party, which will be expensive and will significantly delay the project.
• Require mandatory overtime for the programmers working on the process flows, which will not impact the project deadline but will definitely have a negative impact on the budget.
1. Review the alternative solutions and identify the possible benefits and/or drawbacks of each.
2. Clearly identify the issue causing this potential increase in scope, time, and cost for the project.
3. For each potential change, identify stakeholders who must be notified or who must give approval for changes to the project.
4. Develop a plan for advising the stakeholders of the change, the rationale for the change, and the consequences if not approved.
5. Provide an example of a justifiable change to the animal feeds project based on each of the following conditions.
As a response to scope creep
Preventing Scope Creep
The key areas that may be affected and must be evaluated are as follows:
What actions can be taken to accommodate the scope change without increasing the budget? Examine alternatives such as the following:
> Working around the scope j Reordering tasks
) Adding resources
3 Contracting for outside help
What actions can be taken to accommodate the scope change while minimizing the effect on quality? Examine alternatives such as the following:
) Modifying the work process
) Increasing the number of test sites
) Modifying the design j Using substitute materials
What can you do to accommodate the scope change without jeopardizing the schedule? Examine alternatives such as the following:
Modifying the schedule
Altering the workstation layout
5 Using different tools
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What you need to know about… Project Management Made Easy! Project management consists of more than just a large building project and can encompass small projects as well. No matter what the size of your project, you need to have some sort of project management. How you manage your project has everything to do with its outcome.