Your Final Project for this course (to be performed in teams) is to produce a partial Project Plan for a potential real-world technical project. Note that several parts of a real project plan (the quality assurance plan, the change control protocol, the reporting plan, etc.) will not be included in this assignment because they will not have been covered before the assignment is due.
One copy of this project plan must be delivered for the entire team at the start of the final project. The material must be in the order identified below printed on 8.5x11” paper and stapled.
You should select a project that is not yet real, but could be real. That is, write about a project that no one (so far as you know) has actually planned, but which, in your opinion, could or should be undertaken. You may draw on your own personal experience, the experiences of your friends, things occurring at your workplace, or items in the news as sources from which to generate a project. The project may be in any technical field – ideally it should be a field related to the major of at least some members of the team, but that is not an absolute requirement. Remember, though, that you’ll do a much better job of project planning if you actually understand what has to be done in the project! But if you pick a project from your own life, beware: People who are too close to a problem often are too attached to particular solution or miss key information. I recommend that the students who complete Divisions A & B (Preliminary orientation & Scope definition) should not be the particular student from whose life the project is taken.
You will need to have enough information about the factual circumstances surrounding the project to be able to complete the specifications of the assignment. If you do not already have such information, it may be possible to get it through interviews, documentary research or other means. But don’t let research overwhelm the rest of the assignment. The principal purpose of this assignment is to have you apply concepts from the course and demonstrate the skills learned, rather than to do research. (Of course the more accurate your information, the better your project plan will probably be. In the case of task identification, dependency identification and time estimates, it is a good idea at least to try to come up with some factually realistic information from a reasonably reliable source.) Where actual information to complete a particular specification is not available, you may use your imagination and reasonable judgment to generate the information – however, be careful to expressly identify each instance in which you are doing so.
This assignment will not completely match any of the formal definitions of a Project Plan (although it overlaps substantially with many of them) – that’s okay.
Responsibility for Individual Divisions:
The plan as a whole is the responsibility of the entire team. However, each member of the team must be responsible for one or more of the following Divisions. If a student is a responsible for a Division then s/he is responsible for everything in that Division. So, for example, if a student is responsible for Division B then s/he is responsible for all of Items 7-11, inclusive. Students may not share responsibility for a particular division. Here are the Divisions from which the students may choose:
Division A: Preliminary project orientation, including all of:
Source information (Item 2, below).
Problem statement (Item 3, below).
Stakeholder analysis (Items 4-5, below).
Objective (Item 6, below)
Division B: Scope definition, including all of:
Desirable criteria (Item 7, below).
Differing strategies/solutions (Item 8, below).
Comparative analysis of strategies/solutions (Items 9-10, below)
Scope statement (Item 11, below).
Division C: Task Decomposition (including both Items 12 and 13, below).
Division D: Task Schedule