Case Study- Opening Case



Case Study – Opening Case

Managers experience numerous challenges as they oversee projects. For instance, time presents a serious constraint to them. Other constraints may be maintaining cost and quality targets. To counter the constraint of time, managers develop schedules to assist in organizing projects. In the case study provided, Sue Johnson faces several challenges towards completion of the project. She faces the loss of a team member, and poor cooperation by her consultancy’s customer. However, her project is at its early stages and there is time for various tweaks to the operation. This essay highlights the steps that Sue can undertake to make up for lost time, and meet the set targets.

First, Sue’s largest challenge is the loss of a senior programmer on her team. Hiring another would be a less time-effective solution. It involves a great deal of time to adapt a programmer to a project previously carried out by another. To recoup lost time, she may allocate other senior programmers overtime hours. This way, extra work will be met in the same calendar time. This is a result of minimal time spent in retraining new programmers. Furthermore, the other programmer’s salary may be used to pay them for the extra hours. This approach is devoid of costs associated with retraining a new hire in the team. However, Sue needs to clearly outline the need of extra hours to each affected employee. This will minimize risk of frustration in the employees, resulting in optimal productivity during extra work hours. Furthermore, it will minimize schedule conflicts, related to cultural differences (Schwalbe, 2000).

If Sue does not like the idea making her employees work extra hours, she may reallocate resources from a less critical section of the project. In this approach, she will delay the less demanding parts, or forego them altogether. However, this approach needs careful thinking before implementation. It requires strict analysis on whether it compromises on the set quality requirements. Alternatively, she may reassign another senior programmer on the project’s critical components. To clear other elements of the project, Sue may hire new talent. This will minimize time spent in informing the new programmers on the previous senior programmer’s progress.

During the development of a computer system, review by the customers is crucial. This enables customers to evaluate the product, with respect to their requirements. In Sue’s case, a sign after a review is required, for each stage to proceed. However, the school employees, in charge of system review, have taken vacations. This is detrimental to Sue’s project as she lacked prior notice to this. This results in frequent stalling. In response to this, there are several steps that Sue may undertake. First, she may request the school administration to allocate new personnel for the review. This will allow her to carry out the project within the required timeframe. Sue may also request a revision of the project’s scope, by her customers. This will result in savings of her project’s labor costs. Employees are still getting paid despite not working, during the rescheduled review time.

If the school management fails to allocate new reviewers, Sue needs to revise the project’s schedule. To do this, she needs to consult her team first. During such a meeting, she needs to give an outline of how far the project has progressed, and the constraints facing it. After such a meeting, Sue may split her employees into several teams, with respect to the project’s scope. This will serve in speeding the transition from one project to another as a previous stage faces pending approval. Some will focus on coding while others will maintain focus on system design and preparations. This approach is cost-effective


Schwalbe, K. (2000). Information technology project management. Cambridge, Ma: Course Technology.


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