Custom Software Inc case

Custom Software Inc case

Order Description

1. Using Excel, compute the Expected Time (Te) in days to the nearest two decimal places for all project tasks using the formula:

2. Enter all tasks and the expected times you just calculated into Microsoft Project making sure all tasks have a finish-to-start relationships. Be sure to set the project calendar so that all work takes place on Monday through Friday, between the hours of 8:00 am and 5:00 pm, with a lunch break from noon to 1:00 pm. (this should be the default standard calendar, but double check). Make sure each task is set to “Auto Scheduled”.
3. Insert a Start milestone and a Finish milestone (0 time) with appropriate links to existing tasks.
4. Insert the “Immediate Predecessors” information in the Gantt table.
5. Set the start date for the task “Approach the Customer” as a “Must Start On” constraint
6. Put a “Finish No Later Than” constraint on the task “Obtain Customer Sign-off” for the day the IT Manager signed the contract
7. Put a “Start No Later Than” constraint on the task “Customer Receives Computers” to ensure the computers have arrived in sufficient time for the IT manager to perform testing as requested by the IT manager in the case.
8. Make sure the task name appears to the right of the task bar on the Gantt Chart. Also, make sure the task bars for the critical activities are highlighted in red on the Gantt Chart. Be sure to exclude the vertical linkages in the Gantt chart.

Submit: (a) An Excel file showing your calculations for the Te calculations
(b) Your MSProject file which opens onto your Gantt table.

Custom Software Inc.

You are a project manager working for a company called Custom Software Inc. which produces custom software packages for schools and businesses. Each new contract is considered its own special project and each project consists of eight main tasks, most of which include a number of subtasks. After the customer has signed a contract and their specific needs are ascertained, the necessary hardware can be ordered and development of their custom software can begin. After the hardware has been delivered and set up the fully tested software is installed and tested to ensure it behaves as it should. While the custom software is being developed a custom manual is also created. This manual is checked against the final software build to ensure the two are consistent. Once the software has been installed and tested and the manuals printed, the merchandise is shipped to the customer who sets up and installs the systems. After approval has been sent from the customer and payment received, there is an internal project closeout meeting where the success of the project is evaluated. A full outline of tasks, durations, dependencies and personnel responsibilities can be found in Table 1 below.

Table 1: Tasks, durations, dependencies and Personnel Responsibilities
Task #    Task    Immediate
Predecessors    Optimistic Time
(a)    Most Likely Time
(m)    Pessimistic Time
(b)      Expected
Time
1    Approach customer and begin negotiations         1 day    4 days    8 days
2    Create customer specific contract    1    1 day    1 day    6 days
3    Gain approval from relevant internal project team members    2    1 day    3 days    8 days
4    Obtain customer sign off on initial contract and get deposit    1    1 day    1 day    3 days
5    Hold internal project “kick off’ meeting    3,4    0.4 day    0.75 day    1 days
6    Liaise with customer to ascertain specific requirements    5    2 days    4 days    8 days
7    Agree on specifications and implementation with customer and internal team members    5,6    2 days    4 days    5 days

8    Obtain customer sign off on detailed project specifications    7    3 day    5 day    8 days
9    Order base setups    6    1 day    2 day    3 days
10    Await delivery of base setup    9    6 days    10 days    15 days
11    Send ‘extras’ orders to suppliers    10    1 day    1 day    2 days

Task #    Task    Immediate
Predecessors    Optimistic Time
(a)    Most Likely Time
(m)    Pessimistic Time
(b)      Expected
Time
12    Await delivery of ‘extras’    11    3 days    5 days    8 days
13    Set up computer Hardware    10,12    1 day    2 days    5 days
14    Write client specific software
15    Write testing specifications    8    2 days    4 days    8 days
16    Write software installation script    15

1 day    2 days    4 days
17    Perform testing    13, 15    6 days    10 days    12 days
18    Software installed on all customer computers    17    1 day    2 days    5 days
19    Project manager ensures hardware and software setup is completed    18    2 day    3 day    5 days
20    Quality manager performs necessary checks    19    3 day    4 day    6 days
Create & Proof User Manual
21    User manuals
written    8    3 days    7 days    12 days
22    User manuals
checked against software for consistency    21    1 day    2 days    4 days
23    Project manager checks user manual
for presentation and content    22    1 day    1 day    3 days
24    Final check on computers and user manuals performed by Quality Manager    20,23    3 day    4 day    6 days
25    Computers shipped to customer    24    0 day    0 day    0 days
26    Transit of computers    25    4 days    8 days    9 days
27    Customer receives computers     26    0 day    0 days    0 days
28    Customer performs own quality test    27    2 days    3 days    5 days
29    Approval sent to company and additional support/guidance provided as necessary    28    1 day    1 day    3 days
30    Customer signs off merchandise and provides full payment    29    1 day    1 day    4 days
31    Final Project Closeout MEETING    30    0.5 day    0.5 day    0.5 day

A member of the sales team from your company contacted the IT manager for Summerville High School on May 13, 2015. The IT manager had previously shown interest in purchasing some computers from Custom Software Inc.  As a result of their negotiations, on May 28, 2015 the IT manager ordered a batch of 100 computers with Custom Software for the school’s IT lab. The IT manager has made it clear that the computers must arrive by August 21, 2015 so he has enough time to set up and perform User Acceptance Testing (UAT) on the computers by August 28, 2015 (the Fall semester class using the computers is set to begin on Monday August 31, 2015).

Assumptions:
Below is a list of assumptions you need to make when answering the case.
•    The project start date is May 13, 2015
•    The dates automatically generated by Microsoft Project are true and accurate.
•    The default calendar accurately reflects the company working hours and there are no public holidays over the duration of the project.
•    Staff are 100% available over the duration of the project; there are no anticipated staff absences.
•    No overtime will be worked.

Questions

1.    Using Excel, compute the Expected Time (Te) in days to the nearest two decimal places for all project tasks using the formula:

2.    Enter all tasks and the expected times you just calculated into Microsoft Project making sure all tasks have a finish-to-start relationships.  Be sure to set the project calendar so that all work takes place on Monday through Friday, between the hours of 8:00 am and 5:00 pm, with a lunch break from noon to 1:00 pm. (this should be the default standard calendar, but double check).  Make sure each task is set to “Auto Scheduled”.
3.    Insert a Start milestone and a Finish milestone (0 time) with appropriate links to existing tasks.
4.    Insert the “Immediate Predecessors” information in the Gantt table.
5.    Set the start date for the task “Approach the Customer” as a “Must Start On” constraint
6.    Put a “Finish No Later Than” constraint on the task “Obtain Customer Sign-off” for the day the IT Manager signed the contract
7.    Put a “Start No Later Than” constraint on the task “Customer Receives Computers” to ensure the computers have arrived in sufficient time for the IT manager to perform testing as requested by the IT manager in the case.
8.    Make sure the task name appears to the right of the task bar on the Gantt Chart.  Also, make sure the task bars for the critical activities are highlighted in red on the Gantt Chart.  Be sure to exclude the vertical linkages in the Gantt chart.

Submit:     (a) An Excel file showing your calculations for the Te calculations
(b) Your MSProject file which opens onto your Gantt table.

Upload your answers to the questions to Blackboard by the deadline shown on the syllabus.

Sample Gantt Table

Sample Gantt Chart