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COIT12208 Duplicate Bridge Scoring Program Assignment Sample

Case Study: A Not-for-Profit Medical Research Center

You are Alexis, the director of external affairs for a national not-for-profit medical research center that researches diseases related to aging. The center’s work depends on funding from multiple sources, including the general public, individual estates, and grants from corporations, foundations, and the federal government.
Your department prepares an annual report of the center’s accomplishments and financial status for the board of directors. It is mostly text with a few charts and tables, all black and white, with a simple cover. It is voluminous and pretty dry reading. It is inexpensive to produce other than the effort to pull together the content, which requires time to request and expedite information from the center’s other departments. At the last boarding meeting, the board members suggested the annual report be “upscaled” into a document that could be used for marketing and promotional purposes. They want you to mail the next annual report to the center’s various stakeholders, past donors and targeted high-potential future donors. The board feels that such a document is needed to get the center “in the same league” with other large non-for-profit organizations with which it feels it competes for donations and funds. The board feels that report could be used to inform these stakeholders about the advances the center is making in its research efforts and its strong fiscal management for effectively using the funding and donations it receives.

You will need to produce a shorter, simpler, easy-to-read annual report that shows the benefits of the center’s research and the impact on people’s lives. You will include pictures from various hospitals, clinics, and long-term care facilities that are the results of the center’s research. You also will include testimonials from patients and families who have benefited from the center's research. The report must be “eye-catching”. It needs to be multicolor, contains a lot of pictures and easy-to-understand graphics and be written in a style that can be understood by the average adult potential donor. This is a significant undertaking for your department, which includes three other staff members. You will have to contract out some of the activities and may have to travel to several medical facilities around the country to take photos and get testimonials. You will also need to put the design, printing, and distribution out to bid to various contractors to submit proposals and prices to you. You estimate that approximately 5 million copies need to be printed and mailed.

It is now April 1. The board asks you to come to its next meeting on May 15 to present a detailed plan, schedule, and budget for how you will complete the project. The board wants the annual report “in the mail” by November 15, so potential donors will receive it around the holiday season when they may be in a “giving mood”. The center’s fiscal year ends September 30, and its financial statements should be available by October 15. However, the non-financial information for the report can start to be pulled together right after the May 15 board meeting. Fortunately, you are taking a project management course in the evenings at the local university and see this is an opportunity to apply what you have been learning. You know that this is a big project and that the board has high expectations. You want to be sure you meet their expectations and get them to approve the budget that you will need for this project. However, they will only do that if they are confident that you have a detailed plan for how you will get it all done. You and your staff have six weeks to prepare a plan to present to the board on May 15. If approved, you will have six months, from May 15 to November 15, to implement the plan and complete the project. Your staff consists of Grace, a marketing specialist; Levi, a writer/editor; and Lakysha, a staff assistant whose hobby is photography (she is going to college part-time in the evenings to earn a degree in photojournalism and has won several local photography contests).

Case Study Questions for assignment help -

Question 1

Establish the project objective and make a list of assumptions about the project.

Question 2

Develop a Work Breakdown Structure (WBS) for the project.

Question 3

Prepare a list of the specific activities that need to be performed to accomplish the project objective. For each activity, assign the person who will be responsible for seeing that the activity is accomplished and develop an estimated duration for each activity.

Question 4

Create a network diagram that shows the sequence and dependent relationships of all the activities.

Question 5

Using a project start time of 0 (or May 15) and a required project completion time of 180 days (or November 15), calculate the Earliest Start (ES), Earliest Finish (EF), Latest Start (LS), and Latest Finish (LF) times and Total Slack (TS) for each activity.

If your calculations result in a project schedule with negative TS, revise the project scope, activity estimated durations, and/or sequence or dependent relationships among activities to arrive at an acceptable baseline schedule for completing the project within 180 days (or by November 15). Describe the revisions you made.

Question 6

Determine the critical path, and identify the activities that make up the critical path.


Project Objectives and Assumptions

The primary objective of this project is to prepare the annual report for the company within a specified date. In order to achieve this objective, several requirements must be followed that are listed below.

To collect sufficient data regarding the organisation’s services and performance

To collect financial data of the company for the current fiscal year

To visit various facilities of the company around the country and collect photographs, testimonials and interviews of patients and their families

To create the documentation contents in the form of the annual report

To add the collected pictures and data to the report

To hire a contractor for design, printing and distribution of the annual report

To get the report approved by the management

The assumptions made for this particular project are as follows.

- The entire project work can be completed within the 6 months window, working 5 days a week.

- The current group of staff is sufficient and skilled enough to handle all the necessary actions during the project execution.

Work Breakdown Structure

Work breakdown structure is a representation of the list of tasks within a project that can be shown in the form of a table or diagram. The purpose of the diagram is to break down the entire project into smaller individual activities and work packages that help the team members to better understand the work requirements and their duties in the project.

The work breakdown structure for the project in focus is shown in the following diagram.

Figure 1: Work Breakdown Structure of the Project
(Source: Created by Author)

Activities, Duration and Resources

The list of activities along with estimated duration and resources attached is given in the following table.

The overall list above contains the entire cycle of the project that starts right after the kick off meeting of April 1. However, the main part of the project (execution) starts on 15th May and the durations for the work packages have been allocated in such a way that the execution phase ends on 15th November with the submission of the fully prepared annual report to the board, as per the necessary requirement and agreement. The detailed schedule based on the allocated dates and duration can be shown in the form of a Gantt chart as follows.

Figure 2: Gantt Chart of the Project
(Source: Created by Author)

Network Diagram

The purpose of a network diagram is similar to a Gantt chart i.e. exhibiting the project schedule but in much more detail. The network diagram shows details of each activity including project duration, start and end dates, allocated resource within each single box representing a work package. While Gantt chart can also exhibit the same, it can become very confusing to view the details of a particular activity / work package when the project is very complex and there are vast numbers of activities.

Figure 3: Network Diagram (Shown part by part in chronological order)
(Source: Created by Author)


Figure 4: ES, EF, LS, LF and TS for the Execution Phase of the Project
(Source: Created by Author)

The diagram above depicts a PERT chart that shows the sequence of tasks in the project. Since actual part of the project is considered to be the execution phase that starts on 15th May and ends on 15th November, only the execution phase in drawn in the diagram rather than the entire project that has been shown in the WBS. In the legend added to the top left of diagram, the meanings of the abbreviations are as follows.

ES – Early Start
EF – Early Finish
DUR – Duration
LS – Late Start
LF – Late Finish
TS – Total Slack

For this part of the project, the total duration has been considered to be 6 months (May 15 = day 0 and November 15 = ending date).
Critical Path

Based on the diagram shown above and the calculations the critical path of the project can be stated as (using WBS IDs):

3.1 > 3.2 > 3.3 > 3.7 > 3.8 > 3.9 > 3.10 > 3.13 > 3.14

The critical path itself has been already highlighted in the above diagram itself, in the form of red arrows whereas non-critical paths are shown with blue arrows.


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