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Zayed University: Project Management Plan Case Study


Introduction

The SFAA (Smart Financial Aid Application) program is pursued to support Zayed University’s agenda. The purpose of the project is to design a new app that can transform the experiences of needy students at the university. Initially, learners were required to apply for financial support and scholarship manually. They had to collect the required documents from the institution and return them to the relevant department.

The process was tedious and incapable of supporting the expectations of the students (Silvus & Schipper 2014). The challenges emanating from this manual application process catalyzed the SFAA idea. With new technologies influencing a wide range of human functions and activities, the app will support the needs of more disadvantaged students at the university. The beneficiaries will have access to financial assistance. The detailed project management plan for the SFAA program is described in this document.

Project Scope: Product Scope and Requirements
Project Details
Project Title: Smart Financial Aid Application (SFAA)
Project Manager: [student to insert name]
Sponsor: Zayed University
Dates: October 2016 – December 2017
Team Members
  • Only one person is responsible for the project’s development process and deliverables.

Project Purpose

  • The SFAA program is designed to simplify the application process for financial support.

Background

  • Zayed University has been using manual systems for finance application.
  • Modern changes in technology have led to new developments in resource management.
  • The institution’s student population is increased, thereby making assistance application tedious.
  • This gap has encouraged the involved department to request for the SFAA app.

Product Scope

  • The targeted product is an app that can meet the changing needs of the university and those of its learners.
  • The concept behind the product is informed by the current challenges emerging from the use of paperwork during application for assistance.
  • The product is to be integrated with Zayed University’s website.

Deliverables

  • The project seeks to deliver an effective system for sponsorship application.
  • The main measure of success is the completion of the app within two years.
  • Students will be able to apply for financial support instantly.
  • The app must meet the specified requirements by the institution.

Stakeholders

  • The Office of Student Support
  • University’s top leadership
  • App developers/programmers
  • Students and parents
  • Community members

Resource Requirements

  • The app will be developed by two IT specialists/programmers
  • Superior software programs
  • Computers with desirable/huge random access memories (RAM)
  • A period of two years (twelve months)
  • Training resources
  • Enough funds

Life Cycle Cost.

Cost(in USD) Year 1 Year 2 Year 3
Implementation 1,800 1,000
Expenses/procurement 1,400 400
Maintenance 500 500 1,000

Operations and Support

  • The app will be monitored and supported by the involved project members.
  • The IT department will liaise with the finance department for effective implementation.
  • The Office of Student Support will coordinate the process and liaise with the learners.
  • Future users/administers for the app will require some form training.

Project Schedule: Gantt Chart Based on Resource Utilization

The success of a given project depends on the manner in which different activities are undertaken (Lehmann 2016). The involved individuals should be ready to collaborate, identify emerging challenges, and understand how specific roles or duties will be accomplished. Throughout the project development phase, it is critical that different stakeholders and participants are involved. This evidence-based practice is utilized to monitor and address emerging issues before they can affect the project’s success.

At Zayed University, it was necessary for the professionals involved in the SFAA app development project to acquire adequate resources, inform the right departments, get approval, and outline enviable procedures to pursue the aim. The use of a detailed Gantt chart was taken seriously by the developers. This approach was appropriate in order to ensure every activity was undertaken and completed within the specified time. Emerging issues could be addressed much faster through the use of the Gantt chart (Lehmann 2016). The chart depicted below gives a step-by-step path that was followed to develop the app. The diagram presented was used to develop the most appropriate chart for the project.

Steps followed to develop the SFAA app.
Fig 1: Steps followed to develop the SFAA app.

The above steps were condensed into five phases for the chart. Two individuals were involved throughout the design process. However, most of the activities and programming roles were completed by one individual. This was the case because the targeted app was simple and capable of running in a wide range of devices. It was also notable that the team had a period of two years to develop and launch the app. This period made it possible for the involved players to complete the process with the need of extra assistance or support (Junior & Carvalho 2013).

The chart presented below shows clearly that the project was undertaken by two developers. The initial stage (analysis and planning) was managed by the Developer B. The programmer communicated with different stakeholders within the first six months. This move was done in order to make sure the intended project was approved and matched with the available resources at Zayed University. The approval was critical to deliver the right resources, expertise, and ideas to Developer A. This was necessary in order to ensure everything was done in a timely and professional manner (Junior & Carvalho 2013).

Gant chart.
Fig 2: Gant chart.

The chart explains how most of the programming and app development roles were completed by Developer A. From this chart, it is observed that the programmer managed to come up with the most appropriate design for the app. This means that he acquired the right resources to develop the best software and interface designs for the app (Junior & Carvalho 2013). The unique specifications for the SFAA applications were designed during this stage. The next stage was to develop the app and make it usable. The app was then integrated with the university’s website. The integration process paved way for the initial testing. The app was tested successfully by Developer A. This step paved way for the completion phase.

The next phase was that of testing (Silvus & Schipper 2014). During the stage, Developer A tested the app for the second time. The process made it easier for him to identify emerging issues that could be redesigned or changed. The ultimate goal was to produce a powerful app capable of delivering the outlined results. This analysis was then used to come up with a better version. This was achieved by continuous experimentation, testing, and correction of every identified issue. The process made it possible for the programmer to come up an app that resonated with the needs of the end users.

Deployment of the app was managed by the two programmers. What comes out from this chart is that the concept of resource utilization is taken into consideration (Junior & Carvalho 2013). It is quite clear that the roles were undertaken by different individuals. This meant the roles of the programmer did not interfere with those of his colleague. During the second (design) and the third (development) stages, Developer A managed to combine the activities without necessarily affecting the development process. Roles were only shared (50-50 percent) during the deployment phase. This nature of resource utilization explains why it was possible for the SFAA project to be designed and completed successfully.

Quality and Communication Plans

Quality Control Plan

Contact List

  • Developers A and B [Insert Contacts]
  • University Finance Department [Address]
  • Office of Student Support [Telephone Address]

Regular Control Meetings

  • Developer A will act as the quality control manager.
  • Meetings will be held monthly to update stakeholders about the achievements made.
  • Policies and procedures should be communicated to every player.
  • Forums will be used to reinforce the agenda to different stakeholder.

Task Preparatory Meetings

  • Before every phase above is implemented, the developers will hold meetings to understand the next way forward.
  • Specific requirements for various tasks will be identified.
  • Participants are involved throughout the process.
  • Interested clients (students and parents) will be involved in the preparatory meetings in order to identify their unique demands or expectations.
  • Inspection forms or journal entries will be filled to ensure important issues are taken into consideration.
  • Sketch diagrams will be utilized to capture various phases throughout the implementation process.

Quality Control and Book Keeping

  • The quality control process will be guided by different documents or reports.
  • Inspection and test documentations will be availed to different stakeholders.
  • The developers will use performance records and audit controls to ensure the right information is communicated to different parties.
  • Challenges and gaps emerging are communicated and captured in performance progress reports.

Quality Measurement

  • Assessment reports will be utilized to measure quality in a timely manner.
  • Routine analyses and monitoring of different resources will be done.
  • The needs of the students in need of financial assistance will be monitored during every phase.
  • Collected information from quality measurement procedures will be communicated continuously to the right individuals.

Quality Culture

  • The concept of quality will be taken seriously.
  • This will be realized through the establishment of a new culture characterized by teamwork.
  • Posters and newsletters/memos will be used to inform the players about the most appropriate practices.
  • The best culture will be promoted during the process in an attempt to deliver quality outcomes.

Communication Plan

Communication Methods

  • The project was guided using an effective communication plan. With different stakeholders, participants, developers, and managers from Zayed University involved, the team decided to use two communication methods.
  • These included memos that informed the stakeholders about the status of the project. Such memos were pinned on notice boards, emailed to different stakeholders, and/or posted on the institution’s website.
  • The move made it easier for the involved team to manage the process and ensure quality results were realized.
  • The second methods entailed the use of electronic mails. These were considered to support the communication process.

Participants

  • Developers A and B
  • Zayed University (top management)
  • Office of Student Support
  • Students and parents
Communication channel for the project.
Fig 3: Communication channel for the project.

Conclusion

The proposed plan has the potential to sustain the project and implement it within the specified period. The presented project scope proves that the involved individuals or developers can acquire the right resources and bring on board different stakeholders to support the program implemented process. The Gantt chart is based on appropriate resource allocation, thereby ensuring that various roles and duties are delineated in a professional manner.

The developers had unique responsibilities that were critical towards delivering positive outcomes. The outlined quality and communication plan also meets the threshold of an effective strategy for supporting the success of the project (Silvus & Schipper 2014). With these considerations, the SFAA program was supported and completed successfully. The launched app will make it possible for more students in the university to apply for financial support. Consequently, it will be possible for the targeted learners to address their financial challenges and eventually realize their potential. These project management insights can also be applied elsewhere to deliver meaningful results.

Reference List

Junior, R & Carvalho, M 2013, ‘Understanding the impact of project risk management on project performance: an empirical study’, Journal of Technology Management & Innovation, vol. 8, no. 1, pp. 64-78.

Lehmann, O 2016, Situational project management: the dynamics of success and failure, CRC Press, Boca Raton.

Silvus, A & Schipper, R 2014, ‘Sustainability in project management competencies: analyzing the competence gap of project managers’, Journal of Human Resource and Sustainability Studies, vol. 2, no. 1, pp. 40-58.

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