Write a brief introduction and complete the first three sections of your Project Management Plan


Question Description

In the first part of this assessment, students will analyze the case study, A&D High Tech (A): Managing Projects for Success, which includes a scenario along with a work breakdown structure and other pertinent project requirements. Students will write a report assessing the company’s resources and then develop a highlevel budget and schedule for the project discussed in the case study.

Note: The case studies for this project regularly reference the use of MS Project. While MS Project is a software tool that is often used for project management, the focus of this course is to understand the process, not this particular tool. As such, you will not be using MS Project to submit case study assignments. Suggested templates needed to complete the critical elements of the final project are listed in the Project Management Plan Template.

Prompt: Write a brief introduction and complete the first three sections of your Project Management Plan using the template provided. The first three sections of this plan will cover the project manager’s record for the project overview (roles and responsibilities), project tasks (description, time, and dependencies), and project resources (alignment and evaluation). Go over the activities you completed in Modules One and Two to help you with this milestone.

Specifically, the following critical elements must be addressed:

I. Project Overview A. Roles and Responsibilities: Identify the project leader and the other stakeholders involved in the project. What are the responsibilities of the stakeholders involved? B. Scope and Schedule: What is the project scope? Identify the key deliverables that are part of the project scope. When does the project need to be completed? Describe the timeline for the project.

II. Tasks A. Description: Describe the tasks and sub-tasks that will fulfill each of the project deliverables. What impact do the tasks and sub-tasks have on the project schedule? B. Time: Analyze the time estimates for task completion. How do the task time estimates impact the project schedule? C. Dependencies: Identify dependencies between tasks. In other words, which tasks must be finished before other tasks can be started?

III. Resources A. Alignment: Align resources to each of the sub-tasks you described. Justify your alignment. In other words, why does the company need the resource types to complete the sub-tasks? B. Evaluation: Evaluate the company’s resources. Does the company have the resources available to support the project? Are there any areas where the necessary resources may not be available to complete the sub-tasks?

Rubric Guidelines for Submission: This milestone will be submitted using the Project Management Plan Template along with additional required templates and spreadsheets. Any outside references should be cited in APA format, but are not required.

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For the exclusive use of A. Mopati, 2015. KEL156 MARK JEFFERY A&D High Tech (A): Managing Projects for Success In his twelve years as a technology project manager at A&D High Tech, Chris Johnson had a strong track record of delivering projects on time and on budget. His techniques for project planning, estimating, and scheduling had become best practices at the St. Louis-based computer products company. He had just led a project team that successfully revamped the supply chain systems in less than eighteen months. He was especially proud since many observers had doubted that the project could be completed on time. As part of the strategic initiatives set forth by its CEO and founder, Ted Walter, A&D was to be second to none in utilizing technology to increase operational efficiency and reduce costs. The supply chain project therefore received notable attention in the boardroom and with its competitors. Time and again, Johnson was asked to tackle difficult assignments that were critical to the company’s growth and profits. He had already been mentioned as the successor to the vice president of e-business, Chuck Gagler, pending his retirement. (See Exhibit 1 for the A&D High Tech organizational chart.) In early May 2003 Johnson received an urgent message from the company’s CIO, Matt Webb. Webb asked Johnson to join him for a meeting with A&D’s senior managers to discuss taking over the company’s online store project. Johnson realized that up to that point the company’s top brass had virtually ignored the Internet and its sales potential. But that situation was about to change. As Webb explained, A&D’s vice president of sales, Jeff White, had advised CEO Ted Walter that A&D was losing its competitive advantage by not selling online. As a result, Walter had made the online store project the company’s highest priority. Walter wanted to know whether the project could be completed in time for the holiday shopping season, when A&D’s cyclic business traditionally boomed. The current project manager, Eric Robertson, was taking a one-month leave of absence due to a family emergency, just as he was about to begin formulating the project plan and make staffing decisions. Johnson immediately began thinking about the best way to ensure the online store project’s success. He was concerned that there was too little time to get up to speed on this new project. It was already May, and the holiday season would approach soon. Given the urgency put forth by Webb and Walter, Johnson was already feeling pressure to come up with solid recommendations in short order. ©2006 by the Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University. This case was prepared by Derek Yung ’03 and Alex Gershbeyn ’03 under the supervision of Professor Mark Jeffery. Cases are developed solely as the basis for class discussion. Some facts within the case have been altered for confidentiality reasons. Cases are not intended to serve as endorsements, sources of primary data, or illustrations of effective or ineffective management. To order copies or request permission to reproduce materials, call 800545-7685 (or 617-783-7600 outside the United States or Canada) or e-mail custserv@hbsp.harvard.edu. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, used in a spreadsheet, or transmitted in any form or by any means—electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise—without the permission of the Kellogg School of Management. This document is authorized for use only by Aakash Mopati in Project Management Concepts and Processes-1 taught by Narayan Ramasubbu, University Of Pittsburgh from August 2015 to December 2015. For the exclusive use of A. Mopati, 2015. A&D HIGH TECH (A) KEL156 Company History A&D High Tech sold computer products, accessories, and services to consumers and small businesses. The company had its roots in Lincoln, Nebraska, where Ted Walter started its first store in 1988. A&D’s made-to-order products were very innovative at the time, and were the first to be introduced in the personal computer industry. Walter emphasized friendly customer service, a value that was deeply ingrained in the culture of the Midwestern heartland where Walter had lived his entire life. A&D’s revenues grew consistently for ten years and approached $400 million for fiscal year 2000. The company was primarily a regional player, with more than 90 percent of sales coming from customers in the Midwestern states. However, Walter was strategically seeking to increase its distribution nationally. A&D sales had come predominantly through retail outlets in shopping malls across the Midwest and via phone orders handled by its fifty-person call center in Lincoln. Before 1999, sales orders at the call center were written on paper and then passed to order-entry clerks. This added time to order entry, delayed shipment, and resulted in poor accuracy. Consequently, sales representatives often had to contact customers to correct errors or to suggest different options due to inventory shortages. On average, 30 percent of the orders required customer callbacks, compared to only 5 percent at A&D’s primary competitor. In 1999 A&D implemented its first enterprise resource planning (ERP) system, using software from J. D. Edwards. A&D opted to use J. D. Edwards primarily because its software could be customized to handle the thousands of parts that A&D used for production. The customization required many outside consultants to design and build the system, and since they left soon after the system was implemented there were some concerns that the system might be difficult to maintain. Even so, the project was deemed a success: after ERP was up and running, customer callbacks were reduced to less than 1 percent of orders. In 2001, given the successful implementation of ERP, A&D decided to further invest to improve its systems in handling the supply chain, payment process, customer relationship management (CRM), and order management. A series of technology initiatives was launched. A&D saw immediate benefits in reduced costs, as well as a significant return on investment on its supply chain and data warehousing projects. Business Case In 2002, faced with tough competition and decreasing margins, A&D decided to explore new segments of the market for growth. In particular, it focused on sales via the Internet. Historically, A&D was shy to adopt the Internet as a sales channel because it did not seem to play to the company’s sales strength of friendliness and customer service. However, since A&D’s products were approaching commodity status, the product cost was largely the determining factor for a customer. Furthermore, competitors had successfully increased their revenues and recognized cost savings in selling, general, and administrative expenses (SG&A) per order after starting to sell through the Internet. 2 KELLOGG SCHOOL OF MANAGEMENT This document is authorized for use only by Aakash Mopati in Project Management Concepts and Processes-1 taught by Narayan Ramasubbu, University Of Pittsburgh from August 2015 to December 2015. For the exclusive use of A. Mopati, 2015. KEL156 A&D HIGH TECH (A) So in early 2002, Ted Walter and vice president of sales Jeff White gave the go-ahead to CIO Webb to begin the project to create an online store. One of the first decisions Webb faced was “build vs. buy.” A custom-developed program would allow A&D the opportunity to build exactly what it needed, whereas a commercial application might not meet all of the requirements. For example, the commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) software might not have the formats, input processes, reporting capabilities, and other elements needed to make the program work well for A&D. Moreover, buying off the shelf might require A&D to purchase functionality it did not need and would not use. On the other hand, Webb realized that a commercial application could potentially cost much less than a custom application. However, this was not always the case, especially if the commercial application required more than 10 percent custom modifications to meet all the requirements. Webb knew that the key questions in the build vs. buy decision were:  Were there resources available in-house for project management, software development, hardware support, and long-term maintenance?  How much budget was available for the project?  How unique were the processes that the new application would automate?  Would the company be paying for commercial software functionality that it did not need and would not use? In his analysis, Webb listed some key determiners that pointed toward the “build” decision:  “Hidden” risks and costs of purchasing software increased as the need to customize a package increased.  Information technology (IT) could be used as a strategic weapon and a point of differentiation, versus just trying to keep up.  Potential benefits of an integrated but flexible system in custom-built software (versus simply integrating multiple vendors) could be significant.  There was a possible competitive advantage to be gained from a custom-built system.  The off-the-shelf package’s elements only met 60 percent of A&D’s functional requirements.  A few established quality vendors were committed to the market but no single vendor was a clear market leader. After deliberating for a month with his top managers, Webb was set on the “build” option. KELLOGG SCHOOL OF MANAGEMENT 3 This document is authorized for use only by Aakash Mopati in Project Management Concepts and Processes-1 taught by Narayan Ramasubbu, University Of Pittsburgh from August 2015 to December 2015. For the exclusive use of A. Mopati, 2015. A&D HIGH TECH (A) KEL156 Project History Webb created a cross-functional team of six people to plan the project based on his “build” decision (see Exhibit 1). Led by Eric Robertson, a young but bright IT project manager, the team’s planning components included:  Define the business requirements  Define the process flows  Create the technical architecture requirements  Build a simple prototype of the system  Create the work breakdown structure (WBS) for the project  Estimate the effort for each of the tasks in the WBS  Define the resources available for the project and assign resources to project tasks  Create a schedule with task dependencies and proper resource allocation After four weeks, the team presented its findings to the steering committee. A summary outcome for each of the planning tasks is listed below. BUSINESS REQUIREMENTS The scope and business requirements of the online store included new orders, add-on orders, order amends, order status, and lead capture with the following capabilities:  Configuration and pricing  Delivery date based on standard lead times  Real-time payment processing  100 percent validation of required data  Collection of prospect data about customers  Integration to back-end (ERP) for manufacturing and order management Senior management was adamant that the system incorporate this set of minimum functionality, since customers must have the same experience across all sales channels. As Jeff White put it: Once an order has been made and it gets into [J. D.] Edwards, I don’t see why we need to distinguish whether the customer shopped in our stores or made the order on the phone or the Internet. We should serve them with the exact care and quality that one comes to expect from A&D. PROCESS FLOW The introduction of Internet sales would have little impact on the current process at A&D, since it simply served as a new front to its existing activities. In fact, all existing activities would remain the same. New activities to support Internet sales, such as exception handling due to system errors, would be added to the IT support procedures. 4 KELLOGG SCHOOL OF MANAGEMENT This document is authorized for use only by Aakash Mopati in Project Management Concepts and Processes-1 taught by Narayan Ramasubbu, University Of Pittsburgh from August 2015 to December 2015. For the exclusive use of A. Mopati, 2015. KEL156 A&D HIGH TECH (A) TECHNICAL ARCHITECTURE Since A&D carried a range of products that ran the Windows 2000 operating system, A&D had standardized all custom applications to run on this platform. The online store’s architecture was N-tiered for greater flexibility and future scalability (see Exhibit 2). The first tier was the Web server layer. The Web server was the Microsoft Internet Information Server (IIS). Server side scripts were to be coded in MS Application Server Pages (ASP). The second tier was the application server layer. The application server was the Microsoft Transaction Server (MTS). The application components would leverage Microsoft Site Server and the Microsoft Site Server Commerce Edition components. Databases to support the application were to run on Microsoft SQL Server. The communication tier was the middleware Microsoft Messaging Queue (MSMQ). Through MSMQ, the application would access J. D. Edwards. Other back-end applications and databases existed but would not be interfaced by the online store. All software licenses were already in-house, so Robertson did not expect to incur any expenses from procuring software. PHYSICAL INFRASTRUCTURE A&D’s physical infrastructure was planned to be fairly typical for a company that conducted commerce over the Internet. For security, two firewalls were set up with a demilitarized zone (DMZ) in between (see Exhibit 3). Situated in the DMZ were servers that were accessible by the Internet and by A&D’s partners. Behind the second firewall was A&D’s internal network, or intranet. The servers behind this second firewall were only accessible in the intranet. Robertson’s team estimated that they would need twelve Windows 2000 workstations (at $3,000 each) and five Windows 2000 servers (at $12,500 each) for the project. PROTOTYPE A prototype, consisting of static HTML pages, was built by Robertson’s team to demonstrate a user interface and general flow of the application. Exhibit 4 shows a screen print of the order confirmation page. The prototype was approved by the vice presidents of sales and marketing, and would serve as a basis for the actual application’s appearance and functionality. PROJECT WBS Robertson’s team created a complete WBS that detailed all the tasks that needed to be performed for the project as of May 26, 2003. See Exhibit 5 for the complete WBS. TASK ESTIMATES Estimates were created for each task as part of the planning effort. Robertson’s team had some experience in IT project estimating, so they were fairly confident that the total project estimate would be close to the actuals. See Exhibit 6 for listing of the estimates for each task. PROJECT RESOURCES All the resources for the project had been identified except for the software developers. For A&D in-house developers, a flat rate of $75/hour was traditionally used for estimating purposes. But since there were no developers available internally, Robertson had solicited a contracting KELLOGG SCHOOL OF MANAGEMENT 5 This document is authorized for use only by Aakash Mopati in Project Management Concepts and Processes-1 taught by Narayan Ramasubbu, University Of Pittsburgh from August 2015 to December 2015. For the exclusive use of A. Mopati, 2015. A&D HIGH TECH (A) KEL156 company, Geneva, to staff these positions. For the contractors, the rates varied depending on skill level and their market value. Moreover, the overtime rates for contractors were different from the A&D standard rate. (Overtime was defined to be more than eight hours of work in a day.) By May, Geneva was still identifying the actual resources needed, but had provided the resources’ rates so that Robertson could prepare the estimates. See Exhibit 7 for a list of the resources and their appropriate rates. Robertson’s team also examined the tasks and made assignments accordingly. See Exhibit 8 for the resource assignments. PROJECT SCHEDULING As a final step in preparing for the project plan, Robertson scheduled all the tasks by adding dependencies (or predecessors) and calculating the leveling delay required to properly allocate all the resources. See Exhibit 9 for the schedule.1 Review Meeting When Johnson walked into the conference room fifteen minutes before the start of his meeting with A&D’s senior managers to discuss the online store project, he found Webb and Robertson already there. As the other attendees filed into the room, Robertson was sorting through a stack of papers, giving a set to each of them. Jeff White, the vice president of sales, and Chuck Gagler, the vice president of e-commerce, arrived just as Webb was ready to start the meeting. Webb outlined the purpose of the meeting, which was to facilitate the effective transition between Robertson and Johnson, as well as to update senior managers on the project’s status. As Robertson was going through the details of the work that had been performed by his team, Johnson began to feel more at ease. He recognized that Robertson had done well in gathering all the relevant data to create a good project plan. Despite the challenge to quickly overcome the learning curve of a new project, Johnson felt more comfortable that he could come up with a detailed recommendation along with strong facts and potential issues. As the meeting ended, Webb pulled Johnson aside and told him, “I know I may be asking a lot here, but I really need you to get the plan together in the next week. Walter really wants to know if we can get this thing done by Christmas.” 1 The predecessors were identified using a Task ID. This was different from the WBS ID. 6 KELLOGG SCHOOL OF MANAGEMENT This document is authorized for use only by Aakash Mopati in Project Management Concepts and Processes-1 taught by Narayan Ramasubbu, University Of Pittsburgh from August 2015 to December 2015. Functional Analyst Stacy Lyle Tester Todd Eliason KELLOGG SCHOOL OF MANAGEMENT Planning Team Functional Lead Ryan Neff Test Lead Kara Siposki Developer 3 TBD Developer 2 TBD Developer 1 TBD Developm ent Lead Marc Sanders Project Manager Eric Robertson Sales Manager Todd Fredson Project Manager Chris Johnson CIO MattWebb W eb Matt CEO & Chairm an Ted W alter VP Sales Jeff W hite Exhibit 1: Organization Chart A&D HIGH TECH (A) DBA Sanjay Vohra Infrastructure Lead Rick Burke VP eCom m erce Chuck Gagler 7 KEL156 For the exclusive use of A. Mopati, 2015. This document is authorized for use only by Aakash Mopati in Project Management Concepts and Processes-1 taught by Narayan Ramasubbu, University Of Pittsburgh from August 2015 to December 2015. . . . ASP ASP ASP KELLOGG SCHOOL OF MANAGEMENT IIS IIS IIS Web Server Layer Technical Architecture Application DB (MS SQL Server) MTS Components (Custom) . . . MTS Components (MS Site Server Commerce Edition) MTS Components (MS Site Server) Application Server Layer Exhibit 2: Technical Architecture Middleware (MS MQ) A&D HIGH TECH (A) Tax (Vertex) Data Warehousing HR (Peoplesoft) Financials (Peoplesoft) Supply Chain (I2) ERP (J. D. Edwards) Back End Layer Peoplesoft DB (Solaris) I2 DB (Solaris) . JDE. DB (DB2/400) 8 KEL156 For the exclusive use of A. Mopati, 2015. This document is authorized for use only by Aakash Mopati in Project Management Concepts and Processes-1 taught by Narayan Ramasubbu, University Of Pittsburgh from August 2015 to December 2015. Web Server Farm KELLOGG SCHOOL OF MANAGEMENT Internet Firewall External Partners Exhibit 3: Physical Infrastructure A&D HIGH TECH (A) Web Load Balancing DMZ Other Servers Firewall Vertex Server I2 Servers Intranet J. D. Edwards Online Store Application Server Farm Data Warehouse Server ...
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School: Cornell University



Case Study-A&D High Tech
Institution Affiliation




Table of Contents

Introduction ................................................................................................................3

Purpose of Project ........................................................................................................................3
Background Information ..........................................................................................................3
Project Approach……………………………………………………………………......4

Project Overview ..........................................................................................................4

Roles and Responsibilities ................................................................................................................... 5
Scope and Schedule .......................................................................................................................... 6

Tasks.............................................................................................................................. 6


Resources .....................................................................................................................7



A&D High Tech is a technological company that is involved in sales of computer
products, accessories as well as provision of services to customers and small scale
entrepreneurial organizations. The firm was founded by Ted Walter in 1988 in Lincoln city in
Nebraska. Mr. Walter insisted on friendly service to customers and this value was the very cor...

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