The IT director opened the department staff meeting today by saying “I’ve got some good news and some bad news. The good news is that management approved the pay- roll system project this morning. The new system will reduce clerical time and errors, improve morale in the payroll department, and avoid possible fines and penalties for noncompliance. The bad news is that the system must be installed by the end of December in order to meet new federal reporting rules, costs must be within the bud- geted amount, the new system must interact with existing systems, and the vice presi- dent of finance insists on approving the final design.”
1. Name the constraints and indicate whether each is present, future, internal, external, mandatory, or desirable. The Constraints are:
IT Director (internal), new system (future), Approved payroll system project (present), Cost (future), management (internal), approving the final design (mandatory), reduce clerical time and errors (desirable), improve morale (desirable), payroll department (internal), the budgeted amount (mandatory), avoid possible fines and penalties for noncompliance (desirable), must interact with existing systems (mandatory), vice president (external), good news (internal), bad news (internal)
2. Explain why it is important to define the payroll project’s scope. Explain how to define project scope.
You will define project scope by identifying what initiated the request for a new product or service. It’s useful to quantify objectives–“This service will increase the end user’s efficiency by 15%.” It’s a good idea to characterize difficulties you’ve experienced without the product or service and what will happen if the project is not approved. You must describe what you are creating, how much money you will need, how much time it will take, and how many people you will need. The authorizing body will also want to know the limitations of your project as well as the risks involved. It is important to define the payroll project’s scope, because scope is bound to change, and this is to be expected.
As the detail becomes clearer, more complications creep in. These are not foreseeable at the start and hopefully we build in a contingency for what we cannot see. The scope changes that usually cause problems are those where the perception of what was in and out of scope was different between various parties. The Project Manager assumed there would only be four or five reports, and the business assumed ten to twenty. Nobody felt it was worth talking about because they assumed the other person thought the same way they did.
3. Identify tangible and intangible benefits of the new payroll system. Tangible benefits- avoid possible fines and penalties for Noncompliance, costs must be within the budgeted amount. Intangible benefits- reduce clerical time and errors, improve morale, new federal reporting rules. 4. What topics should be included in a report to management at the end of the preliminary investigation? The topics that should be included in a report to management at the end of the preliminary investigation are:
• The scope
• Present vs. Future
• Internal vs. External
• Mandatory vs. Desirable
• Project usability, cost, benefit, and schedule data.