This chapter has presented a framework into which the techniques described in the other parts of the book should slot. Any planning approach should have the following elements:
• the establishment of project objectives;
• the analysis of the characteristics of the project;
• the establishment of an infrastructure consisting of an appropriate organization and set of standards, methods and tools;
• the identification of the products of the project and the activities needed to generate those products;
• the allocation of resources to activities;
• the establishment of quality controls.
Project management is an iterative process. As the time approaches for particular activities to be carried out they should be replanned in more detail.
Chapter 2 Step Wise: an overview of project planning 2.13 Further Exercises
1. List the products created by the Step Wise planning process.
2. What products must exist before the activity 'test program' can take place? What products does this activity create?
3. An employee of a training organization has the task of creating case study exercises and solutions for a training course that teaches a new systems analysis and design method. The person's work plan has a three-week task 'learn new method'. A colleague suggests that this is unsatisfactory as a task because there are no concrete deliverables or products from the activity. What can be done about this?
4. In order to cany out usability tests for a new word processing application, the software has to be written and debugged. User instructions have to be available describing how the application is to be used. These have to be scrutinized in order to plan and design the tests. Subjects who will use the application in the tests will need to be selected. As part of this selection process, they will have to complete a questionnaire giving details of their past experience of. and training in, typing and using word processing applications. The subjects will carry out the required tasks using the word processing application. The tasks will be timed and any problems the subjects encounter with the application will be noted. After the test, the subjects will complete another questionnaire about what they felt about the application. All the data from the tests will be analysed and a report containing recommendations for changes to the application will be drawn up. Draw up a Product Breakdown Structure, a Product Flow Diagram and a preliminary activity network for the above.
5. Identify the actions that could prevent each of the following risks from materializing or could reduce the impact if it did occur:
(a) a key member of the programming team leaving;
(b) introducing a new version of the operating system that has errors in it;
(c) a disk containing copies of the most up-to-date version of the software under development being corrupted;
(d) system testing unearthing more errors than were expected and taking longer than planned;
(e) the government changes the taxation rules, altering the way that Value Added Tax (VAT) is to be calculated in an order processing system under development.
6. Read Appendix A on PRINCIi 2. To what extent could the PRINCE 2 project management standards be usefully applied to the Brightmouth College payroll?
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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.