What are the quality metrics you propose to monitor and what are the control methods you plan to use in your project

What should the project manager do to ensure product quality

 

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Background

CQVideo is a medium sized company that develops and manufactures industrial monitoring equipment. You are an employee of CQVideo and work as project manager in the product development department. The people involved in this case are:

  • You are Mr. Project, the project manager.
  • Mr. Product is the Director of Product Development.
  • Ms. Marketing is the Director of Marketing and Portfolio Management.
  • Ms. Resource is the Human Resource Manager.
  • Functional line managers in the research and development department.
  • Engineers and members of your project team.

You have been leading a small team of experienced engineers conducting a technical feasibility study to investigate if it is possible to modify one of the company’s standard products to create a product variant to satisfy the needs of the mining industry. The M1 Milestone Concept Review will be held on Friday 5th September 2014. The project management milestone concept review checklist is provided below.

The Project Management Milestone Checklist for M1

1. Are the marketing requirements agreed?

2. Are project targets agreed (e.g. schedule, features and quality)?

3. Has a feasibility study been successfully completed?

4. Is the product concept selected and well understood?

5. Are user product mock-ups circulated and reviewed with marketing?

6. Are the product and production technologies selected?

7. Have key components and suppliers been identified?

8. Has the supply chain impact of a new product been reviewed?

9. Is the project organisation agreed?

10. Is the project team established and operational?

11. Is any project team building and leadership development required?

12. Is any technical training of project members required?

13. Is the project plan document reviewed within the project?

14. Is the MS project schedule reviewed?

15. Is the project budget established and approved?

16. Have the project risks been assessed, mitigated and reviewed?

17. What are the key risks and how are they mitigated?

18. Are the appropriate resources identified and allocated to the project?

19. Are key stakeholders identified?

20. What are the quality assurance activities required?

21. What are the quality metrics you propose to monitor and what are the control methods you plan to use in your project?

 

The concept review is one of the milestones in the company’s product development process. The need for the new product has been identified by the marketing department lead by Ms. Marketing, Director of Marketing and Portfolio Management. Ms. Marketing provided your small project team with a product brief, outlining the special end user,

The need for the new product has been identified by the marketing department lead by Ms. Marketing, Director of Marketing and Portfolio Management. Ms. Marketing provided your small project team with a product brief, outlining the special end user, sales and service requirements to supplement the requirements already established for the standard product. She also developed the business case for the product. Your team h

Your team have come up with a unique and novel product concept. The concept satisfies the new requirements perfectly. The feasibility work carried out showed that the user requirements were sound and that the technical complexity of the development was low.

Your team also estimates that there is a reduction in the Bill of Materials (BOM) for the new product although you have not assessed this at this stage.

You and your team believe that you can develop the product with limited resources and within the timeframe requested by Ms. Marketing. The sales launch deadline is to be advised (TBA).

 

Milestones

The milestones your team will use are:

A. M1 Concept review complete (At this point the system architecture and feasibility study will be complete. A go/no-go decision for detailed design will be made at this milestone).

B. M2 Design review complete (At this point the overall design will be complete. A go/no-go decision for procurement will be made at this milestone).

C. P1 proto build start (An internal project review confirming that the product prototype is able to be manufactured with the quality level expected.).

D. P2 proto build start (An internal project review confirming that the product prototype is able to be manufactured with the quality level expected).

E. M3 Final Design review complete (At this point the product quality is verified based on the product validation testing carried out on the last prototype. A go/no-go decision for production ramp-up is made).

F. M4 Launch review (A go/no-go decision depending if all business areas are ready for market launch and 50 units are in stock). This is to be the end of the project schedule, i.e. when the 50 units are in stock.

 

The system architecture of the product has been used as the basis for the project organisation and the work breakdown structure. As the project manager you have accepted the tasks of creating the compiled project schedule and allocating resources.

From discussions with Mr. Software, Mr. Mechanics, Mr. Electronics, Mr. Production and Mr. Validation, very experienced managers and engineers, you have obtained the following information:

1. A partially complete work breakdown structure (WBS), resource estimates and some dependencies provided in Table 1 below.

2. In addition, Mr. Production provided you with the Activity-In-the-Box (AIB) network diagrams in Figure 1. You will need to interpret the AIB network diagram to complete the WBS.

Note that the following abbreviations are used in the table:

  • Electronic Engineer (EE)
  • Software Engineer (SW)
  • Mechanical Engineer/Industrial Designer (ME)
  • Test Engineer (TE)
  • Production Engineer (PE)
  • Technical Writer (TW)
  • Printed Circuit Board (PCB)
  • Electromagnetic Compliance (EMC)

 

Table 1- Work Breakdown Structure

activityactivity1

 

Figure 1 – Activity in Box Network Diagrams for Production

act

 

General Information

In addition to the work breakdown structure and AIB network diagram you have collected the following information.

  • Assume that at the M1 concept review approval will be given to start the project and that the start date of the project schedule will be 8/9/14. (M1 milestone can be 8/9/14.)
  • The project booking of the proto builds (task 1.5.5 and 1.6.5) will have to be done at the latest two (2) weeks in advance of the build. This is the lead time required to include builds in the manufacturing’s master production schedule. There is no need to include the booking on your schedule initially.
  • The company has a general holiday period between 26/12/14 to 2/1/15 and the 6th of October is the designated Labour Day holiday. For the purposes of the assignment, assume that there are no other holidays.
  • The booking of the Type Approval (TA) test house (task 1.4.7) has to be done 8 weeks prior to type approval. There is no need to include the booking on your schedule initially.
  • Production ramp up to manufacture 50 units is estimated to take two (2) weeks after the M3 milestone. Include this task as 1.8 on your schedule above the milestones. It should be the predecessor for M4.

 

Available Resources

The maximum full-time resources available for your project are:

Resource $/hour Number Available
Electronics Engineer $125.00 1
Software Engineer $95.00 2
Mechanical Engineer $125.00 1
Test Engineer $100.00 1
Production Engineer $140.00 1
Technical Writer $75.00 1

 

All staff work a 40 hour week from Monday to Friday (i.e. a 5 day week with 8 hour days). The functional managers have assured you that the engineers are able to do all the tasks within their engineering field (i.e. there are no differences in the abilities of the 2 software engineers compared to one another and similarly no difference between the abilities of the 2 mechanical engineers).

If the project is resourced as requested your team is committed to producing only two prototype iterations to develop and validate the design.

You know that there are items you did not address at the project workshop and that you may need to make some assumptions to complete your schedule and budget. Make sure that you list any assumptions you make at the beginning of your assignment submission and explain why you believe your assumptions are valid.

 

Assessment Part A

1. Ms. Marketing has asked you to use Microsoft Project to develop the project schedule. Note that she has also asked you to include the milestones at the end of the task list in your schedule.

Based on the information in the case study description above, use Microsoft Project 2010 to produce a “Part A” schedule. Make sure that you:

a) Include the milestones at the end of the task list.

b) Include the resource allocation details on the schedule.

c) Have an appropriate project name as the top of the task list and have all other tasks indented below this heading.

d) Make sure that the holidays described in the “general information” are not included in the available working days for your project.

e) Use the Microsoft Project software to make sure that the critical path(s) are automatically highlighted as red bars on the Gantt chart view of your schedule.

At this point there may be resource over allocation issues. Do not attempt to resolve these before answering question 2. Save this version of your schedule in CQVideoPartA1.mpp. You will be required to submit this file as part of your assignment submission.

 

2. List the tasks that are on the critical path(s) of the project.

 

3. Create a copy of CQVideoPartA1.mpp in another file called CQVideoPartA2.mpp. If there were any resource over-allocation issues resolve these in this new CQVideoPartA2.mpp file. Note that you must resolve any resource over-allocation issues without the addition of any additional resources. Save the “modified” version of CQVideoPartA2.mpp. You will also be required to submit this file as part of your assignment submission.

a) How did you/would you resolve any resource over-allocation issues without adding additional resources?

b) What impact did the resource constraints have on your schedule?

 

4. Include additional “milestones” (tasks with 0 duration) in your schedule to show the latest date when you need to contact:

a) the production manager to ensure that the facilities are booked for the first prototype build.

b) the type approval test house to ensure that the facilities are booked for the type approval.

c) According to your schedule when is the latest date that you need to contact:

  • The production manager to book the facilities for the first prototype build?
  • The type approval house to book the facilities for the type approval?

Note that these additional milestones should be listed at the end of the milestones list at the end of the project task list and should be highlighted in the task list in yellow using the “background colour” icon on the task ribbon. This is to allow your marker to locate them easily.

 

5. Write a memo to the director of product development, Mr. Product outlining:

a) the expected completion date of the project, assuming it commences at M1 (8/9/14);

b) the total duration of the project;

c) an explanation of the main factors that cause the project to require that length of time;

d) the estimated labour cost of the project after the M1 concept review. Present the costs in a table showing the costs for the following:

  • Electronics
  • Software
  • Mechanics
  • Verification
  • Prototype 1 build
  • Prototype 2 build
  • Documentation
  • Production ramp up to 50 in stock
  • Total for the Project

Assume that you will send the project schedule as an attachment to the memo.

 

6. What should the project manager do to manage risk in this project? Provide examples of your solution.

7. Is there any way that the overall budget of the project can be reduced without removing any tasks? (Justify your answer. Be specific and describe any tasks that you would target and what you might do that could reduce the cost of the project.)

8. Describe what the project manager needs to do to ensure that the project runs smoothly and completes on time. Give a detailed answer describing procedures, processes and anything else that you believe is important both in general terms and specifically for this project.

9. Are there any other project related supporting activities, plans, events or tasks that you might have overlooked? If they were overlooked describe how this could impact on the project. (Aim to identify and discuss at least two activities.)

10. What should the project manager do to ensure product quality?

 

Assessment Part B

Mr. Production reviews your project schedule and requests that build participation of one engineer from each of the following functions is required at the P1 and P2 builds: production, electronics, software and mechanics. These additional resources will not change the task durations. You will have to update your schedule as you agree with this proposal.

You are now 1 week after the M1 milestone and the Chinese mechanical servo supplier for task 1.5.3 has had to revise the delivery time. The delivery time has now greatly increased to 7 weeks, which is longer than the time required for the other components in the P1 build.

In addition the mechanical engineer has completed the mechanical specification. However, this has meant that the estimated time for the “P1 mechanical part analysis” has had to be revised. This task is now estimated to require an extra week.

Based on the additional information given above complete the following tasks:

1. Create a copy of CQVideoPartA2.mpp in another file called CQVideoPartB.mpp. Amend the project schedule in CQVideoPartB.mpp incorporating the request from Mr. Production, the change to the delivery time for the servo and the new estimated times for the software tasks. If necessary resolve any resource over-allocation issues without adding any resources. You will also be required to submit this file (CQVideoPartB.mpp ) as part of your assignment submission.

2. Describe the impact(s) of each the following on the project schedule:

a. The additional resources required for the prototype builds.

b. The change in duration of the delivery time for the servo component.

c. The change in time for the P1 mechanical part analysis. Explain your answers.

 

3. Describe the impact(s) of each the following on the project budget:

a. The additional resources required for the prototype builds.

b. The change in duration of the delivery time for the servo component.

c. The change in time for the P1 mechanical part analysis. Explain your answers.

 

4. Project changes can influence the schedule and budget of successor tasks in a project and this can also have a large impact on other project stakeholders. What steps could the project manager take to allow a smoother transition of project changes? Provide two specific suggestions in your answer.

 

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