A brief description of why and how the communication plan was developed, and an overview of the overall team communication philosophy

SKU: Emoo19 Category:

Evidence of thought as to what can and cannot affect the project in terms of how the project will run


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Case Background

Willow brook School is a small, private school in the Midwest United States. As an independent systems analyst, you work as an IT consultant, specializing in developing IT solutions for small businesses. You have been contacted by the director, Victoria Owens, to discuss the possibility of setting up an information system to handle some of the school’s administrative and financial tasks. You agree to meet with Victoria and the principal, Kathy Gilliard next week to discuss the school’s need for an information system.


Victoria explains her role as the executive director of the school. She administers the activities of the school in accordance with the mission, vision, and policies established by the Board of Directors. She supports the educational staff and oversees the financial, payroll, and human resources functions for the school. Susan Brown is the vice principal. She is responsible for the after-care program. Michelle Madrid is the administrative assistant reporting to Victoria. There are six part-time after-care teachers, three for the pre-school/kindergarten group, and three for the primary grades. After-care teachers report to Susan Brown. The following activities are undertaken by the school, Admission, Enrolment, Attendance management, Accounts, Transport Management and the Library Database. The school also supports the local charity by selling artifacts and toys made by the students and maintains an online website where people can buy and look at the new toys and crafts made by the students, which is user-friendly and has images of the artifacts, toys and crafts. Willowbrook school being a small private school is looking to expand and develop into one of the niche school with a unique selling proposition of having few number of students per class. Use of technology and providing IPADS to students and eliminate the need of notebooks. Michelle, the administrative assistant, in particular is feeling the strain of the increased workload associated with the rapid growth in the student population. The system that she has been using, of spreadsheets and word processing documents, worked well when enrolments were smaller, but now the amount of time spent copying information from one place to another is daunting, and the possibility of errors is increasing. An information system is necessary to cope with the growing administrative workload.


Based on your initial conversation and the work that you prepared, you begin planning to conduct a preliminary investigation. You call Victoria and discuss with her the strategic plan for the school including its mission and vision. You explain to her that planning IT systems and projects requires a similar approach to strategic planning as the school likely took when it initially created its mission, vision, and strategic plan. She begins to ask you questions about the next steps for developing the information system. After discussions it is decided that school would invest $80000.00 and 3 months for developing this system. You have also decided to consider taking inputs on this projects from PWC and Co. PWC and Co have been in the field of administration system for years and have expertise in doing administrative activities for schools and colleges.



Conduct SWOT analysis giving 5 points each for S, W, O, T as per descriptions below to help project managers.


Task 2: Prepare Project Charter as per below template

Template for Project Charter

Basic details Including: Title of the project, Name and email of the Project Manager(yourself), Duration of the project, and High level budget


Project Objectives

  • Clear, concise reasoning for why the project is being performed
  • Clear, concise definition of what the project’s activities will entail
  • Brief description of primary deliverable(s)
  • Clear description of the project’s behefits to the organisation
  • Recognition and description of any limits that the project will not cover and address


Acceptance Criteria

  • Identification of specific factors against which the project can be compared to determine success/failure
  • Identification of specific deliverables not only for class, but for the project as a whole
  • Agency-specific deliverables
  • Inclusion of due dates for the deliverables
  • Clear identification of milestone and milestone exit points
  • Factors should include a specific metrical comparison


Assumptions and Constraints

  • Any assumptions made during the course of the project
  • List of constraints that entail the limitations that are required to be addressed


Stakeholder List

  • 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

  • Identification of pitfalls to be avoided, based on the student’s past experience
  • Evidence of thought as to what can and cannot affect the project in terms of how the project will run


Charter Sign off

  •  make sure all the stakeholders have signed off the project charter document making comments on this project.


Task 3: Prepare Communications Plan as per the template given

Communication Plan Template

Plan purpose – A brief description of why and how the communication 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 team members, and also to the agency sponsor and the class professor.


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.



This assessment task covers first five  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:

  • Identify the responsibilities of a Project manager when participating in a real world project;
  • Define the role of management in projects, particularly from the view point of the practitioner as a member of the project team;
  • Apply project management skills, methods, techniques and tools to a real world problem typical of a project manager;
  • Explain areas of knowledge relevant to project management; and
  • 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


Task 4

This assignment follows from the case study used in Assessment 2. For the same case study, complete the following tasks by creating the following:

1.Scope management plan( including Requirements, In scope-out scope items, Deliverables and scope verification process) to direct your efforts.


2.Change request form. (Determine what level of changes you as an individual can make without further approval, what changes you as a student team can make, and what changes your sponsor needs to approve.)


3.WBS first using either the free-form or the org chart format.


4.Gantt chart-Take the WBS you have already developed. Define all of the activities that will be necessary to create each deliverable in your WBS. Create a schedule for your project. First create the schedule by hand using Post-it® Notes, and then put the information into MS Project. Take screenshots of the schedule to be pasted ni your word document that you are submitting. Be sure to include all of the summary rows (including the first row for the project title) and any key milestones. Make sure the critical path is easy to see.


5.RACI chart.


6.Histogram of demands on each key participant’s time from MS Project.


7.Create a time-phased budget for your example project using bottom-up estimating. To the extent your sponsor will supply rates for workers, use those. Approximate rates for ones you cannot get. Ask your sponsor how they treat indirect costs. Be sure to include direct labour costs for you and your team mates and add 20% for fringe. State all assumptions and constraints you have used when creating your budget. State how confident you are in your estimates and what would make you more confident. Give examples of known knowns and known unknowns on your project. Tell how you have budgeted for both of them plus how you have budgeted for unknown unknowns.


8.Create a risk register ( 4 risks- 3 negative and 1 positive risk)for your example project.



This assessment task covers topics 1 to 9 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:

  • demonstrate how a practicing project manager actually applies project management skills,
  • methods, techniques and tools ;
  • use an industry standard project management software tool (Microsoft Project);
  • apply project management skills, methods, techniques and tools to a real world problem typical of a project manager.



Work Breakdown Structure (WBS)

  • The first major section (1.0) should be project management and include the various project management deliverables such as charter, WBS, schedule, progress reports, etc.
  • Deliverables should match those in the charter.
  • Each item on the WBS should have a unique name.  If there is possible confusion between two items add an extra adjective to differentiate them. For example, two items could be “first draft report” and “second draft report.”
  • Each line should be numbered with major sections being 1.0 then 2.0, etc.
  • Each major section should be broken down into between three and twelve subsidiary sections. If further breakdown is needed, more levels should be used.
  • All items on WBS are deliverables oriented (they are the “whats” of the project). Activities are defined as an outgrowth of the WBS and will appear in the schedule.
  • The WBS can be submitted in free-form, org-chart, or indented-outline format.
  • The WBS should appear to be complete with all interim and ending deliverables included.

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