Case study – Social Media Research Centre

Case Background
As the project manager you are required to present an initial project report to the project sponsor that shows how you propose to implement this project. As the project manager you may make any assumptions you think are necessary.

Case study – Social Media Research Centre

During a meeting with his boss (David Wright), Bruce has been asked to establish a researcher centre. The research centre, which will commence operations in February 2018 first as an informal research group, should be established by June 2017. Alex’s decision to proceed with this major project is spurred by the fact that an associated organizational centre, which researches in a closely related area, has recently ceased operations. There is also a tremendous pressure from David’s senior executives to produce high quality research that is focused in nature. In fact one of David’s senior executives’ comments was that David’s Unit does not have a clear identity when it comes to its scholarly research output compared to the one in Australian National University. After several meetings with subject matter experts (consultants) and a rigorous analysis of the current trends in research in the area of information technology it has been decided that the most appropriate research area for the proposed research centre to focus on is social media. Fortunately several of David’s Unit staff are active researchers in this area. What made this direction even more attractive is that demand from Master and Doctoral students has been largely for programs in this area. David’s Unit also enjoys a very good relationship with an international expert Craig Bamworth in the social media area who has kindly agreed to offer his expertise to Bruce (the program manager).

One of the projects within the Social Media Research Centre larger project that Bruce has identified as important is the development of a web application for the proposed centre.

This application would include an internet website and section for members on the intranet. Bruce has appointed You as the manager of this project commencing work on 1 April 2017. Bruce’s team has conducted the feasibility study and financial analysis to confirm that project must go ahead and must commence as you join your role.

You must assist Bruce in preparing the project charter that need to be submitted within first week of May 2017 via a kick-off meeting to be held with all major stakeholders presenting and discussing the charter before they all signoff and approve charter.

This website should contain information about the major research projects, list of supervisors, Masters and PhD student projects, publications (conference and journal papers), and project reports. The application manager Sonia Reed should update all these details on the website using the intranet login. Members can also update their project details via their member account. It has also been identified by Bruce that displaying the information, program, recorded presentations and reports/publications of the events held in the area of social media research will help in promoting the centre. Sonia would collect this information from the events manager and update the information on the web application before, during and after the events as needed.

Your team must include appropriate experts to assess the application, network and database software and hardware needs to support this project.

Your manager, Bruce has given you guidance that the project needs to be completed within 8 months and that costs should be minimised wherever possible with given budget of AUD 50000.00

Task 1: Prepare Project Charter as per below template – 55 marks
SWOT Analysis : 5 bullet point for each
Basic details Including (5 marks): Title of the project, Name and email of the Project Manager (yourself), Duration of the project, and High level budget

Project Objectives (10 marks)
o Clear, concise reasoning for why the project is being performed
o Clear, concise definition of what the project’s activities will entail ( high level scope)
o Brief description of primary deliverable(s)
o Clear description of the project’s benefits to the organisation
o Recognition and description of any limits that the project will not cover and address
MOV – Measurable Organisational Value ( 15 marks)
(This is the goal of the project and is utilised to define the value that your team project will bring to your client)
Identify the desired area of impact – Rank the following areas in terms of importance: Strategy / Customer / Financial / Operational / Social
With reference to your project, identify one or two of the following types of value:
• Better – is improving quality important to your client?
• Faster – does your client want to increase efficiency?
• Cheaper – is cutting costs important?
• Do more – does your client want to continue its growth?
Develop an appropriate metric – this sets the target and expectation of all the stakeholders. It is important to determine a quantitative target that needs to be expressed as a metric in terms of an increase or decrease of money. ( 5 Bullet Points)
(Note: the MOV should inform everyone what the project will achieve, not how it will be achieved. It should also focus on the organisation, not on the technology that will be used to build or support the information system).

Acceptance Criteria (5 marks)
o Identification of specific factors against which the project can be compared to determine success/failure
o Identification of specific deliverables for the project as a whole
o Inclusion of due dates for the deliverables
o Clear identification of milestone and milestone exit points
o Factors should include a specific metrical comparison
Assumptions and Constraints (5 marks)
o Any assumptions made during the course of the project
o List of constraints that entail the limitations that are required to be addressed
Stakeholder List (5 marks)
o Complete list of stakeholders including the sponsor, PM, executive members and few important members that are required to contribute to high level decisions
Lessons Learned (5 marks)
o Identification of pitfalls to be avoided, based on the past projects and experience
o Evidence of thought as to what can and cannot affect the project in terms of how the project will run
Charter Sign off (5 marks)
o This section should include the stakeholders signing off the charter for commitment.
o Some key stakeholders must comment make comments
Task 2: Prepare Communications Plan as per the template given- 20 marks

Communication Plan Template
• Plan purpose – A brief description of why and how the plan was developed, and an overview of the overall team communication philosophy. Also states types of communications planned, for lateral, downward, and upward communication.
• Identification of stakeholders – The “who” in the project that requires information, (i.e. team members, project sponsor, class professor, etc.) and also the responsible parties to receive and/or communicate information.
• Information to be shared – The “what” in terms of project information communication. Describes types of information that the team uses to communicate amongst its own project members, and also to the sponsor
• Frequency of information exchange – The “when” describes how often communications will be held (i.e. daily, weekly, monthly, as needed, etc.)
• Location of information exchange – The “where” states the location of the meeting or other interactions
• Purpose of communication – The “why” description assures that communications are held effectively.
• Mechanism for communication – The “how” describes the media for communication (i.e. physical meeting, email, phone, message group, etc.)
• Change management – Description on how the team will handle changes in the project, whether it is in terms of project scope, schedule, or resources. This includes how the team plans to communicate changes as well as how the team plans to make decisions about changes.
• Meeting agenda – Gives a brief overview of what the team plans to accomplish in each of its meetings, how it documents goals and objectives for meetings, and defines and assigns actions for the team to accomplish project objectives.

Rationale
This assessment task covers first four topics and has been designed to ensure that you are engaging with the subject content on a regular basis. More specifically it seeks to assess your ability to:
o Identify the responsibilities of a Project manager when participating in a real world project;
o Define the role of management in projects, particularly from the view point of the practitioner as a member of the project team;
o Apply project management skills, methods, techniques and tools to a real world problem typical of a project manager;
o Explain areas of knowledge relevant to project management; and
o Discuss the many problems facing the project manager and to note the -best practices- being utilised in order to produce effective, efficient and quality projects on time and within budget
Marking criteria

STANDARDS
Criteria FL P C D HD
Task1 SWOT-Threats (5 marks) Weak attempt at threats of the chosen organisation, 1-2 points given Some attempt at threats of the chosen organisation, 2-3 points given Average attempt at threats of the chosen organisation, 3-4 points given Good attempt at threats of the chosen organisation, all 4-5 points given Excellent attempt at threats of the chosen organisation, all 5 points relevant to the case study given
Task 1 Project Charter :Project details and Objectives(15 marks) Not Considered Objectives are defined but unclear. Little Details given Objectives are defined but do not cover business need. Some Details given Objectives are defined and limited to business need. Most Details given Objectives are defined including need, ROI, benefits to stakeholders and success factors. All Details given and correct
Task 1 Project Charter: Provides an MOV and
identifies the target and expectations of all
stakeholders in a suitable format. ( 15 marks) The MOV fails to cover one or more
specified project requirements. The MOV illustrates the student’s
generalised consideration of the target; however analysis of the expectations of all
stakeholders is not clear. The format is
suitable to the information presented. The MOV illustrates the student’s
generalised consideration of the target and an attempt at analysis of the
expectations of most stakeholders is
evident. The format is suitable to the
information presented. The MOV illustrates the student’s detailed consideration of the target and an attempt at analysis
of the expectations of all stakeholders is evident. The format is logical and appropriate to the
information presented. The MOV illustrates the student’s detailed consideration of the
target and a thorough analysis of the expectations of all
stakeholders. The format is logical, clear and well-structured.
Task 1 Project Charter Acceptance Criteria(5 marks) Not Considered Check-list is defined but unclear Check-list criteria are defined but do not cover signoff process Check-list criteria are defined with signoff process Check-list criteria are defined with signoff process including template/ forms/approvals.
Task 1 Project Charter Constraints / Assumptions(5 marks) Not Considered Defined but unclear. Only Assumptions or only Constraints are defined. Few Assumptions and Constraints are defined, but not detailed enough. Most Assumptions and Constraints are defined with required details.
Task 1 Project Charter -Stakeholder list(5 marks) Not Considered Only Student team is covered. Student team and Customer are covered. Student team, Customer and Sponsoring agency are covered. Student team, Customer, Sponsoring agency and other stakeholders (e.g. Vendors) for the project are covered.
Task 1 Project Charter -Charter Signoff(5 marks) Not Considered Defined Charter signoff process but unclear. Defined Charter signoff process with forma/templates / approvals
Task 1 Project Charter- Lessons learned(5 marks) Not Considered Only considered personal experiences. Considered lessons learned from past projects / best practices. In addition to past projects, on-going learnings from current project have been considered. Considered lessons learnt / best practices and applied to project appropriately & developed contingency plan.
Task 2- Communication Plan: Purpose $ Team Meetings Agenda ( 5 marks+) Not Considered Defined but unclear. Internal team meetings are planned and conducted as per a schedule. Meetings are planned, conducted followed by Minute of the Meetings Meetings are planned, conducted followed by Minute of the Meetings and Action items.
Task 2- Communication Plan 5 marks
(Who, What and When,)
Not Considered Defined but unclear. Defined Who and What communication will take place. Defined Who (most stakeholders), What and When (Frequency) communication will take place. Defined Who (all stakeholders- to receive and to communicate, When, What (all types of information) communication will take place. Forms / Templates are covered.
Task 2- Communication Plan 5 marks
Where, Why and How)
Not Considered Defined but unclear. Defined Where and How communication will take place. Defined Where (location of the meeting or other interactions), Why and How (method) communication will take place. Defined Where (clearly and appropriately states the location of the meeting or other interactions), Why(description), How (i.e. physical meeting, email, phone, message group, etc.) communication will take place. Forms / Templates are covered.
Task 2- Communication Plan Change Management (5 marks) Not Considered Escalation method is defined but unclear Escalation method is defined, but without process documentation Escalation method is defined including process documentation. Escalation method is defined including process documentation & Issue log template.

Requirements
Students are required to submit the range of documents describing their proposed project solution for the above tasks.
All referencing in the project material must be in accordance with the APA style guide. A guide to the APA style of referencing (the style now used by the Faculty of Business) is available at: http://student.csu.edu.au/study/referencing-at-csu