A Critique of the ‘ Edifying Games’ Project Plan
This paper presents a critique of the “ Edifying Games” project plan which is a game project plan. The introduction section presents an overview of what is expected in the paper giving an outline of the paper. In the section, the objectives of this critique is presented as well as the report scope. The analysis section (which is the second section) of the critique provides a comprehensive evaluation of the plan covering the organization critique, management and technical approach critique, the work to perform, the schedule and the budget critiques. The introduction section of the analysis presents the objectives of the scope of the plan. The organization section of the analysis presents a comprehensive evaluation of the organizational plan besides highlighting on the responsibilities of participants in the project. The management and technical approach analysis serves to inform about the evaluation results of how effective the plan is in managing the technical aspects of the project. It also involves the human resource management, technical processes, project controls and the risk management alike. The work to perform involves the major work packages/ tasks and the deliverables. The schedule section presents an analysis of the time management and cost management analysis as well. Finally, it presents the conclusions made of the critique outcome based on the good practice of project management.
Table of Contents
Executive Summary 2
1. Introduction 4
2. PMP Analysis 5
2.1 Introduction 5
2.2 Organizational 6
2.3 Management and technical approach 7
2.4 Work to perform 10
2.5 Schedule 10
2.6 Budget 10
3 Conclusions 11
4. References 11
This PMP critique presents a critical analysis of the plan for “Edifying Games” project. The critical analysis is with due consideration of the project objectives, the planned execution process as influences the outcome. It mainly takes into consideration the good practice that was adhered to or not adhered. The main criterion used in the analysis is as guided by the good practice guides for a project in
controlled environment version 2 (PRINCE 2) project and the Project management body of knowledge (PMBOK) guide. Included in the report, is an analysis on whether or not the planning used the most effective planning tools (electronic tools) or not.
By applying the guides above and the most current tools in project management, the main objective of this report is to clearly illustrate how good or otherwise adherence to good practice can be an effective tool towards attaining the objectives of a project. It illustrates how a good presentation of the plan using the project management tools can be helpful in coming up with an effective plan. Less effective planning tools may lead to unnoticed errors. This will be reviewed and the most commended tool identified. The sections below present the analytical results for the project management plan (PMP).
Among the things to consider during the management is the changes made on the plan to accommodate new revelations about the project and still attain the desired results. This will include the accommodation with regards to risk management and changes in scope as revealed while the project progresses.
Among the aspects to be analyzed is how effectively the expected time and cost of the project has been attained through various project management techniques. This is in the understanding that after commencement of a project, some factors come in between that require careful control otherwise the project prematurely terminates. The details and roles of each party should be well outlined and this will be analyzed in the report. The analysis considers that as an IT project, some management criteria may be of special address of an IT situation.
As the name suggests, this is a games project. A definitive name is good practice in project management. It gives a direction towards understanding what the stakeholders are all addressing. This project had a defining name of the project and according to Greene & Stellman (2007), this was good practice and it would enhance a directed interpretation of what is being worked on. An understanding of the objectives of the project is paramount for referencing by the stakeholders. Failure to have a well outlined list of the project objectives is not good practice compared to otherwise. This project did not present very well defined project objectives. Neither does the document present the intended objectives. As such, any reader of the plan fails to get a summary of what is expected in the paper. This, according to Kay’s (2014) PMBOK guide, it would make a reader fail to get the first impression of the plan presentation. Having identified the objectives of the project (which are lacking) and the definitive name of the project, below is an analysis of the organizational structure and presentation of the same. In it an analysis of relevance of the constituent members is presented. The project deliverables should also be clearly presented in the PMP at the beginning of the document for the readers to have a clear view of what is expected (Heldman, 2013). This project gives a breakdown of deliverables and the management deliverables. This is very helpful and good practice such that absence of the objectives noted above can be covered by this breakdown. However, it is not representative of the objectives.
The PMP presents the organization on a chart that gives a clear presentation of the organizational model. A reader will easily notice it and this is according to (Kay, 2014), is good practice. From the chart, the organization takes the inverted V model/waterfall, which is very appropriate for a software project (Ward & Levin, 2013). If well executed, the plan, as presented, has the capacity to provide the stakeholders with a clear flow of events. From the chart, it is easier to monitor the project against the responsible department. However, the chart does not exactly give the V model at its merest presentation since it doesn’t give the numbers of the team programmers. It would be good practice if the numbers are given so as to understand whether it is a perfect V-model or not (Chandramouli, 2013). From the chart presentation, one would get the impression that this is a small task. More so, from the chart, it may not be very clear of the stages therefore one has to be an IT expert to get the level of the organizational tree where a task force will be implemented. It can therefore be said that the chart does not give sufficient information about the project organization besides just giving the parties to the project. As good practice, the PMP is lacking. One other presentation that may be of help is the responsibilities chart. From the chart, it can be seen the duties and responsibilities of each party involved in this game. This is a good for presenting the roles. From this one can conclude the model to be the waterfall thus rendering it a better tool. However, one must be a programmer in order to interpret the model by understanding what the role of the name does in IT. According to Ray (2014), this may not be the best practice if an interpreter is not an IT. However, everything notwithstanding, it is a good labour organization for a small IT project. However, it may require more programmers if the project is bigger. This is with due consideration that the bigger picture objective is lacking in the introduction section.
Management and technical approach
The managerial objective of any project is to have a timely delivery of a high quality product and within the available budget constraints. In this particular project, the project manager and the quality assurance manager (the test management) operate together. This can only be achieved through good control. This analysis considers the assumptions made in decision making and the project objectives as well. The procedural outline of the tasks as approach is very sufficient for an IT application. The consultations with the lawyers and other consultants is in good practice to avert problems with the law (Sliger & Broderick, 2008). The consultations are also important in the design stages. However, the approach does not present a design task (which is the essence of consulting). As an IT app, a design/redesign phase should always follow a consultation. The thorough testing is a good practice to avert failure in the field. Although contents of the presentation tell good of the plan, the presentation would have communicated better if in form tasks chart. It would have outlined the stepwise tasks. Some of the assumptions may not have been very good for an IT project. For example; assuming without research about some algorithm. As IT experts, it is dangerous to assume that there will be no major release in android and iOS. This ought to have been researched before commencing on the project. As a result, it can be concluded that there are chances of having the assumptions collapse since there was no documentations to back up the assumption. The failure of any of the assumptions would easily lead to failure of the project. Noted from the presentation, the managerial objectives are not as specific as one would expect. There is only a topic without the clear objectives. This according to Newell (2002) is not good practice in preparing a PMP. This section of the plan presents more general information. This is particularly not very fair to the stakeholders since they have to read through and imagine what the objectives are. The “Edifying Game” project management team should have been keen to include other specific objectives rather than just the general one. Similarly, the plan lacks the goals of the management team at the phases listed and it’s not clear the order in which the phases begin. With this it becomes hard for the management to monitor thus making it even hard to detect any deviations and timely rectification. Conclusively speaking, the objective is good but would have been better if presented with details to enhance it.
According to the PRINCE 2 guide by AXELOS (2009), there should be good communication during the project management. This plan hints a good communication plan for the progress through the progress reports expected both weekly, and high level meetings as well. The team members meetings can be a good tool in addressing prevalent issues and adjusting according to the reflections of the status reports. This would also give a sufficient project controls strategy through identifying possible threats to the project. What is a bit disturbing in the management is the “change management”. It is not very clear what changes are being addressed by the plan. Additionally, saying that anybody can effect a change whenever and according to how they feel like is a bit dangerous to a project. A change may have detrimental effects especially in IT. As a result, any change should be corroborated. The management needed/need to change this so that a change should go through a chain of corroborative team (Graham, 2008). However, in its sectioning, the communication plan section somehow dilutes the aforesaid plan. It says the project manager will choose the communication. Essentially, it should just be an addition to the reporting that any communication between members can be held at discretion on consultative basis (Common with IT and programming). Communication within a group about an issue will be handled by the group leader and presented to the next level leader. This is not outlined here thus a lacking on the side of the plan (Kay, 2014).
The Risk management strategy is good by virtue of its presence. However, according to Graham, (2008) guide, there wasn’t an early detection strategy of possible risks. As a result, some risks may come by and beat the logic laid down in risk management strategy due to insufficient preparedness for such a risk (Stackpole Snyder, 2013).
Human resource management and staffing plan gives impression of how the resource will be distributed. From the histogram (which gives a very good presentation), human resource management was well organized. The distribution of human resource by task vs time was sufficiently done except that the consultant ought to have been among the last resources on the project (as an IT project). The current status may apply on other projects other than IT (Stackpole Snyder, 2013). Conclusively speaking, the human resource management plan was near perfect.
The technical approach to this project can be said to have been perfect. A clear understanding of the environmental technology in games, the using of waterfall model and the documentation standards such as IEEE standards, for software user documentation and test documentations is one of the technological procedures recommended (IEEE guide—adoption of the Project Management Institute (PMI®) standard, 2011). This is commendable for this particular project. The documentation of milestones, time, the structured phases of the project and product familiarity product outline are a good practice for an IT project (Kay, 2014). The plan is commended for that.
The user support documentation prepared in advance is a very helpful affair in IT. This is commendable for this particular project management in terms of communication.
Work to perform
The work to perform is clearly outlined in this project. Every task is outlined in a list. This is very commendable for any task plan. However, the task is not satisfactorily presented. One of the most recommended presentations would have been a task sheet using the Microsoft project program. It would make the readers easily interpret the tasks and works to be performed (). In the same task list, presenting the phases of the project, some assumptions which may bring problems ahead. For example the assumption that all the programmers are familiar with all the tasks is a bit wrong in practice of IT project management (Heldman, Jansen, & Baca, 2005). All the programmers should be taken through the project and familiarize. As such, the project initiation can be described as having some gaps that need address. The deliverables and the tasks are however credibly demarcated apart from the presentation problem.
The project plan gives just an expected wholesome duration. It does not give a breakdown of the project tasks and the schedule of each task. It only mentions them in a not so organized presentation and in the description of the deliverables. This section of the schedule ought to have been presented clearly using the commended MS project software. AS such this section was not very well managed or at least not well presented in the plan (Heldman, Jansen, & Baca, 2005).
This project is mainly a human resource project. It requires more expenditure on the human resource than the physical infrastructure. However, the budget presented in the plan is a bit exaggerated in assigning a very slim budget to the software’s and hardware. All the same if any, the adjustments would be very small thus commendable. In budget management, the resort to open source for softwares is helpful in reducing the cost of production. The most wanting part of this plan is the schedule management (Kay, 2014).
From critical analysis of this project plan, a few conclusions and recommendations can be made. The organization is followed the inverted V model which would be commendable. However, the presentation may need improvement to bring out the clear picture for easier tracking. The management and technical approach is a bit wanting and needs reorganization as recommended within the text. However, the changes are only small. One major change that looks small is the adjustment of change management to a corroborative. The presentation of the management needs a better way such as an illustrative presentation. The work to perform is clearly listed down. The deliverables are also well outlined. The most wanting part of this plan is the schedule management. It does not give a single clearly outlined detail of the project tasks. This is less likely to enable good monitoring of the tasks. The budget is however reflective of an IT project in software development of this kind. It is highly recommended that the management team should use project management plan applications such as the MS project software. The plan should also follow keenly the PMBOK guide and PRINCE 2 project guide to attain a higher quality plan. (Heldman, Jansen, & Baca, 2005).
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