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BUS353E Project Management

Questions:

The Objective of this ECA

(a) To provide an opportunity for the students to apply the materials learnt in the course and to develop/sharpen the necessary technical skills and knowledge on project management.

i. The details of this project are fictional. Any resemblance to real-life situation is purely coincidental.
ii. As information is given throughout the case, you are advised to read the entire ECA ocument before working on the report.
iii. Students who simply reproduce the course materials without relating to the ECA case will be given low or no mark.
iv. Students should not include the questions in the report.

Background
Digital Wise Systems (DWS) is a fast-growing Singapore small and medium enterprise (SME) which specialises in implementing system solutions using artificial intelligence (AI) technology. It has done projects in logistic and security sectors. One new area DWS intends to work on is Smart Building System. DWS has just secured a project to implement a smart building system for Richland Realty Ltd (RRL), an industrial property developer, for one of its new industrial buildings at Tuas. DWS calls this the “Smart Industrial Building (SIB) Project”. 

Question 1
Assume that you are a Sales Manager in DWS. You have managed a few projects successfully since joining the company five years ago. The Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Mr. Daniel Tan, appointed the following staff to form the SIB Project Team.

1. You as the Project Manager (PM). Besides overall project management, you will liaise with the external parties: the direct customer RRL, the government regulator Infocomm and Media Authority (IMDA), and other contractors of RRL. You will also be responsible for procurement of all project items, with support from DWS Purchasing Department.

2. Mr. Lim Kheng Chuan: Solutions Designer. He is in charge of developing and implementing the smart building control system.

3. Ms. Sharifa: Hardware Engineer. She is in charge of setting up the data room, installing the server hardware, network communications systems and laying cables. 

Sharifa and Lim joined DWS less than four months ago. They have smart building knowledge and experiences from their previous jobs, which DWS was lacking. However, all of you have not worked on a common project and are unfamiliar with each other.

(a) Classify three (3) common vehicles you can use to establish a strong identity for the new team.

(b) The CEO has briefed you on the management’s expectations of the project:

• The smart industrial building must fully comply with all the regulator’s (IMDA) requirements.

• The project shall start on 2 Sep 2019. Although RRL allows the smart building system to be completed in early January 2020, DWS Senior Management wishes it to be completed as soon as possible, preferably by 26 Dec 2019.

• An appropriate budget has yet to be worked out. Although budget is tight, any increments justifiable will be approved by him. A Cost Performance Index (CPI) of at least 1.0 will be good. 

Base on the CEO’s direction, you are to appraise the priority of the project and construct a project priority matrix.

(c) Examine any four (4) conditions in deciding to use the Top-down or Bottom-up Estimate approach for estimating the project cost. Relate each condition to the SIB Project and DWS’s situation, compare and determine which type of estimate
approach DWS shall adopt.

Question 2
(a) Operate Microsoft Project to show in a single diagram the Gantt Chart view (after Clear Leveling) with Information (i), Task Mode, Task Name, Duration, Start Date, Finish Date, Predecessor and Resource Name column shown. Identify the project completion date and explain any resource conflicts observed.

(b) Due to the specialised skills and full dedication of the team required in this project, resource conflicts cannot be solved by transferring the task to other people, multitasking nor add in more manpower. Hence, only resource levelling can be done to resolve the conflicts.

You are aware of the management’s wish to minimise the project duration. Operate MS Project Resource Levelling to solve the conflicts within the available slack (deadline).

To resolve the conflicts within slack, use either one of the following options:

Option 1: Right click on one of the conflicted tasks, select Reschedule to Available Date. After the conflict is resolved, check that the Project Deadline is not exceeded. It the deadline is exceeded, undo the change by Clear Levelling. Then work on another resolved conflict. 

Option 2: Choose to do Auto leveling by clicking Resource-> Leveling Option -> check the box: Level only within available slack. The click Level All. This method is more efficient, but the software may not respond in some cases.

Discuss the changes due to the resource leveling operation within the project deadline. Identify the project completion date.

(c) You are aware of the need to fully comply with the regulator’s requirements; hence, quality of work cannot be compromised. For any resource conflict that cannot be solved within the original deadline, operate MS Project Resource Levelling beyond the deadline.

To resolve the conflicts beyond the deadline slack, use one of the following options:
Option 1: Right click on one of the remaining un-resolved conflicted tasks, choose to select Reschedule to Available Date.

Option 2: Choose to do Auto leveling by Resource-> Leveling Option -> uncheck the box: Level only within available slack. Then click Level All. This method is more efficient, but the software may not respond in some cases.

Examine the changes due to this resource leveling operation. Identify the project completion date and comment on the schedule.

Question 3
At the User Requirements Study phase, Lim mentioned that he wanted to use a new software protocol to design the control system. However, it was found not able to communicate with the sensors suggested by Sharifa. Lim insisted his method was more efficient and Sharifa had not keep up with the latest technology. Sharifa insisted that she was using industrial standard sensor and Lim was adopting an unproven method. The two are disagreeable with each other. As a project manager, you have to intervene.

(a) In terms of the Five-Stage Team Development Model as described in the textbook (Gray, G.F., & Larson, C. (2018) Project Management – The Managerial Process, 7th Edition, Fig 11.1), categorise the current stage of team development and explain the
behavior of Sharifa and Lim. 

(b) In terms of managing dysfunctional conflict, evaluate any four (4) strategies to resolve Sharifa and Lim’s conflict, by suggesting an action by you (PM) for each strategy and comment on the suitability. Hence, recommend the best strategy. 

Question 4
The project progresses on. Several issues occurred:
1. Due to appreciation of the US Dollars, the equipment cost (Activity 3) increased by 6%.
2. The data room (Activity 6) is found to be too small. Some reworks are required which costed additional $3,000.
3. Cable length (Activity 7) was underestimated. Additional cost of $2,000 was required.
4. Due to a software bug, three (3) additional days were required for Test overall system (Activity 13) but there was no change in cost.

The Management of Digit Wise Systems (DWS) requests you, the Project Manager for Smart Industrial Building (SIB) Project, to make a presentation one week after project completion.
Your presentation shall address the following issues:
1. What are the objectives and priorities of the project, and are they met?
2. Are there changes in schedule and what are the contributing events?
3. Is there a cost overrun and what are the contributors for the cost overruns if any?
4. Lessons learnt and suggestions for future project.

Prepare a video recording of the presentation of at least 3 minutes but not exceeding 6 minutes. There are two methods for ECA video assignment submission; either Record Media or Upload Media. For Upload Media, please note that your file size should be no more than 500MB and the format is in .mp4.

Prepare a set of PowerPoint presentation upon which the video presentation is based. Please note that the PowerPoint must be converted to PDF before submission to SUSS (Canvas).

BUS353E Project Management

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