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Audio Conferencing for Smart Phones: Project Management Essay


Project Background/Introduction

Communication has been redefined with the advent of the new technology. The high rate of phone accessibility among most people in the current world has made the world a global village. The situation makes it possible to get in touch with any person using the mobile gadgets. Due to technological advancements, and the competition of leading firms smartphones have been developed and are readily available to most of country’s population. A smart phone is a handy device, which has the ability of serving both as a traditional cell phone as well as personal computer. Smart phones nowadays deliver satisfactory performance for audio communication as well as multimedia apps, thus setting up a high quality VOIP conferencing system has been made possible by the entry of smart phones. The ability of smart phones to support an audio conferencing system has given a new prospect to people with great convenience it has brought to the world. Inasmuch as variety of products exist in the market, a few of the products have the capability of offering audio conferencing services via the smart phones.In this project ,the audio conferencing system will be embedded with GPS location to it plus and user interface to allow selection of predetermined numbers.

Voice-over-IP (VOIP) audio conferencing systems are widely used as Internet apps. VOIP has brought in breakthroughs in bridging the gap between persons distant apart. The application of the voice concept has been evident across varied sectors like social, academic, and business circles – indicating a strong need for the systems. VOIP systems are gaining more acceptance as the quality of service delivery as well as surrounding network environment keeps improving.1 A highly eye-catching situation is when users can participate in a conference meeting, using their smart phones, without having to physically be present. This characteristic can be utilized in emergencies scenarios especially in raids and robberies in home situations. The research analyzes how a modest and extensible audio conferencing and GPS notify scheme for smart phones can be developed as well as executed fully. This paper considers all the essential modules of constructing an audio conferencing and GPS notify arrangement for Android-based mobile phones. Moreover, the system usability was examined by performing two key experiments. These experiments tested limited energy or battery use as well as determine the application of service quality using delay testing.

Project Selection

There are several safety and security issues faced by the citizens. By factoring in vital precautions, nonetheless, incidence security risks can be reduced considerably. For example, it can be done by reducing the temptation for robbers, keeping off bad areas, and even applying common sense on selecting safe locations. But one major problem which has been on the rise in all parts of the country is home invasions and raids. Most people are caught unawares and cannot use the current system integrated in our society. By employing the SOS application on one’s mobile phone or tablet one can save their lives, reduce risk of post trauma and property loss. With just a few taps on one’s phone one can call and give GPS location to several people and neighbors at once.

Communication Plan

Communication between all the involved stakeholders is important for the success of any project. Communication shall be a key aspect in various phases of the project. This shall include analysis, design, implementation, testing and deployment as well as maintenance. During the analysis phase, communication is mainly geared towards requirements analysis. This being an in-house project, requirements shall be determined from people drawn both from the company as well as the public, who will be the targeted users of the system. The deliverable of this stage shall be a requirements document detailing the functional and non-functional requirements of the system. During the design phase, the stakeholders shall include management, design and development personnel. The aim shall be to generate a blueprint that shall guide the development and deployment of the system. Management personnel shall include people from upper level management, project manager/s and leads, marketing and sales people. The design team shall consist of people draw from the development, marketing and art design department.

The development team shall consist of lead developer/s, developers, testers, IT administrators (system, database and network admins) and deployers. There will be several deliverables including system design documents (use case diagrams, class diagrams, and ERD diagrams), scheduling documents (Gantt charts, task assignment tables among others), branding and marketing documents (color schemes agreements, visual design documents) and others.2 The most important in direct relation to the project are the system design documents. During the implementation phase, communication shall be key within the development team as well as with other relevant stakeholders. Daily meetings shall be held by the development team in the mornings for the purposes of ensuring development efforts are in concert. Weekly meeting shall be held with management to evaluate progress and resolve any issues that crop up. The same methodology shall be used during the testing and deployment phase.

Scope Statement

The scope of this project, SOS, is vast given that it has great implications attached to it given the number of lives as well as time it saves. SOS can be a reference or foundation that one can use to realize a scheme worth implementing other key projects of higher magnitude such as social video international calls, tracking of people or devices. The key drawback of the services mentioned above is the endless need to have internet accessibility infrastructure. Markedly, there are circumstances where internet availability infrastructure remains a key challenge, either due to the unavailability of necessary infrastructure or the high cost of the available infrastructure, for instance, surfing the internet can be expensive.3 In such situations, one could buy internet bundles so that the mobile device has constant internet connection or the application can be expanded to work through SMSs.

Work Breakdown Structure (WBS) for the project and Responsibility matrix:

There are various tasks that shall be carried out during the implementation of the project. The major activities are as broken down below.

Responsibility Assignment matrix

Item No. and Work Items Number of Days Responsibilities (Divided among Team mates)
1. System analysis
  • Requirements analysis
    • Functional requirements analysis
    • Non-functional requirements analysis
5
5
1
2. System design
  • Use case diagrams
  • Data flow diagrams
  • Entity Relationship diagrams
  • Class/ object diagrams
  • Sequence diagrams
  • System architecture diagrams
4
0.5
0.5
1
0.25
0.25
1.5
3. System implementation
  • Core API development
    • API creation
    • Cloud development
  • VOIP System Development
  • Mobile App development
9
9
4
5
7
8
4. System Testing
  • Unit testing
  • Integration testing
3
1
2
5. Deployment 2
6. Maintenance (ongoing)

WBS

WBS

Network diagram, project duration critical path

Network diagram, project duration critical path

Critical Path Calculation

The critical path is 1, 2.1, 2.2, 2.3, 2.4, 2.5, 2.6, 3, 4.1, 4.3, 5, and 6. Development tasks can be carried out concurrently and unit testing done after each unit of development. Alternatively, test-driven development can be followed whereby the tests can be written before the source code is written. Either way, development and unit testing shall be carried out concurrently. Additionally, integration testing shall be done as the software is being developed. The final testing will thus be carried out to bring the completed system together and to ensure it works as expected in extreme cases such as outlying inputs and large traffic.

Gantt chart

Phases Days
Analysis X X X X
Design X X X X X
Implementation X X X X X X X X X
Testing X X X
Deployment X X

Cost Estimation

The project costs in terms of human and financial capital are explained and broken down below.

Human capital costs

The project costs shall require several teams for its successful completion. The teams involved shall be drawn from different disciplines as previously stated. In the cost estimation, the focus shall be on people directly involved in the various phases and who are part of the development team. They are listed below:

System analysis and design team: The team shall compromise of one analyst or at most three analysts/designers. The analysis team shall require the following skills, which shall determine whether a single analyst will suffice or more shall be required.

Database analysis

System development and testing system: Given the timeline of the system, the development team shall compromise of three teams. One team shall be responsible for core API and cloud development; the other shall develop the VOIP system while the third shall focus on Android development. Every developer shall be expected to be conversant with testing. However, a team two professional and dedicated testers shall be responsible for testing the customer facing app. The testers shall test the system in a mostly black box manner in that the testers who shall be involved from the onset will be the developer/testers and not the dedicated testers. The developers shall use automated testing tools and the dedicated testers must be well versed in testing mobile applications using both automated and non-automated methods. The core API and cloud development team shall compromise of three developers well-versed in Python or Java.4

The VOIP developers shall be two developers who shall agree on the technology to use. The Android team shall consist of three developers well-versed in Java and Android development: The lead developer shall be in the core API and cloud development team. In addition to dealing with all the teams, they will be responsible for cloud development and system integration. As such, the lead developer will be highly experienced in cloud, VOIP and Android development. They must be highly skilled in Java and Python if the core API team chooses to use Python for development. Being an in-house project with the requisite human capital, the human capital costs shall not impact the financial costs in any way. There also would be no opportunity cost as all the people being pulled into the project are not committed to any other project or tasks currently.

Deployment and system-related administration: The deployment team shall consist of the development team as well as the various administrators. The administrators involved shall include a system administrator well versed in security or alternatively, a system and a security administrator, a database administrator and a network administrator. The database administrator shall ensure all the databases are properly configured and up and running during development and testing. During deployment, she shall be responsible for migrating the database from the development/testing environment to the deployment environment. The network administrator shall be responsible for ensuring that there is sufficient connectivity and bandwidth during the development and testing phase.5 During the deployment phase, they shall additionally handle any network configuration that many be needed depending on the type of cloud architecture the system is being deployed on.

Financial Capital Cost

The project shall be funded in-house. The cost calculations also provide some leeway in case of any changes or emergencies that may crop up during the project implementation.

Item Description Cost
Cloud hosting Cloud hosting for the core API for an year based on traffic and usage 12000
Android phones 6 Android phones to handle various apis, screen sizes, resolution and network capabilities 1000
Android tablets 3 Android tables to handle various apis, screen sizes, resolution and network capabilities 600
Internet costs Internet costs for uploading source code and other resources as well as testing the core API.
It shall be used in backing up resources developed
400
Airtime costs Airtime to be used so as to simulate the kind of internet connection users are more likely to have. 100
Development resources This shall include commercial software to be used for simulation and development purposes such as SIP server simulators and commercial IDEs. 2000
Leeway funds Funds provided in case of any changes that can affect the budget 3000

Risk management plan

There will be constant communication between all the involved stakeholders to ensure that the project meets the stipulated requirements. Progress shall be constantly evaluated and reviewed so as to determine whether the project is moving on in the expected direction. Software best practices shall be followed to reduce risk. Given that the most common reason that projects fails is not providing for enough time, each phase of development has been estimated in such a way that time requested by those carrying it out actually makes up 80% of the assigned time. To further reduce chances of failure, test-driven development shall be followed during the development of the system. Unit testing shall be carried out after every unit is developed, with developers being encouraged to write tests first before developing the software. Whichever method a team of developers choose to use, unit testing and development shall go hand in hand. Each of the stakeholders will be assigned to areas they are highly competent in. The project manager is vastly experienced in software development and thus his schedule can be trusted to be based on both years of experience and her expertise. The teams being created have worked together previously on various projects. This therefore means they know how to work as a team, are used to each other’s source code and style of development and that communication issues within teams shall be minimal.

In addition, the development and communication guidelines have been put in place. Some of the examples include starting all class names in uppercase and following words are in camel case, that is, Database Connector, while variable names start with a lowercase character and following words are in camel case – database Connection. Software development efforts shall use version control and guided by prototyping whereby an iteration of development always result in a working version of the system. Version control shall make it easy to track changes and to rollback to working a working version of the software in case of any problems. All the developers on the team are well-versed in using git for version control. All commits on any developed software shall be agreed on by the team members, and in case of any issues, the project manager shall be involved to resolve the dispute. Leeway funds shall be used to ensure that in case of any changes, the budget is not a constraining factor. Teams also have the leeway of choosing the technology to use at each step of development. Open source technology shall be used in cases where there are several developers well-versed in it to allow them to make any requisite changes.6 Commercial software shall be used when the technology is new to most developers or where none of the developers is well-versed in the open source version. This is so as to take advantage of professional support provided by most commercial software product vendors in case of any issues or problems. The use of both open source and commercial software shall enable the development team to avoid the pitfalls of both while enjoying their combined benefits.7

Conclusion

The project should enable people to be more secure wherever they are. By downloading our application, a user can be assured that they can get help in case of any emergency. Further work shall be done to make the system more resilient and reliable. That includes providing offsite capabilities using an in-house or hosted cloud, implementing peer to peer technology and an SMS service for cases where internet connection is poor. Further enhances shall be made as users interact with the app and provide feedback. VOIP technology can be improved on by increasing the number of SIP servers in various locations to improve VOIP performance in such areas.

Bibliography

Cloud Tweaks, Cloud Tweaks [website]. 2012, Web.

Larman, C., Applying Uml and Patterns: An Introduction to Object-Oriented Analysis and Design and Iterative Development, Prentice Hall Professional Technical Reference, Upper Saddle River, 2005.

Miles, R. & K. Hamilton, Learning Uml 2.0, O’Reilly, Sebastopol, 2006.

Pilone, D. & R. Miles, Head First Software Development, O’Reilly, Sebastopol, 2008.

Turunen, T. & M. Boehm, ‘Benefits of Co-existing Open Source & Commercial Software Development’, Creative Destruction & Me [website]. 2013, Web.

, ISTQBExamCertification.com [website], 2011, Web.

Footnotes

  1. D. Pilone & R. Miles, Head First Software Development, O’Reilly, Sebastopol, 2008, p. 17.
  2. ibid., p. 33.
  3. ‘What are the Software Development Life Cycle (SDLC) phases?’, ISTQBExamCertification.com [website], 2011, Web.
  4. R. Miles & K. Hamilton, Learning Uml 2.0, O’Reilly, Sebastopol, 2006, p. 92.
  5. C. Larman, Applying Uml and Patterns: An Introduction to Object-Oriented Analysis and Design and Iterative Development, Prentice Hall Professional Technical Reference, Upper Saddle River, 2005, p. 104.
  6. Cloud Tweaks, ‘Advantages and Disadvantages of Open Source’, Cloud Tweaks [website]. 2012, Web.
  7. T. Turunen & M. Boehm, ‘Benefits of Co-existing Open Source & Commercial Software Development’, Creative Destruction & Me [website]. 2013, Web.
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IvyPanda. 2020. "Audio Conferencing for Smart Phones: Project Management." November 23, 2020. https://ivypanda.com/essays/audio-conferencing-for-smart-phones-project-management/.

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