Business description from previous project:
You work for We Make Neat Things (WMNT), Inc., a small startup company providing turnkey Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) solutions. The company has just won a new contract to provide an IIoT solution for the local diary industry. Data will be captured from the barn, grow-out area, and beyond to provide correlated information about production with the goal to improve revenue for farmers and processors. Multiple sensors will capture data for each animal such as the amount and type of feed, weight, volume of milk, and quality of milk. The data is sent in a specific encrypted format to the WMNT “appliance” where the data is decrypted, verified for accuracy, and re-encrypted before being stored on cloud- based servers. Benefits of using an external company to provide the servers include easy and low cost scalability of storage and computing power. This also provides a lower cost solution compared to WMNT purchasing, configuring, and maintaining the servers and required network infrastructure. The cloud-based server provider has yet to be chosen. The appliance will encrypt all data before sending to the backend database. An integrated router will provide the connection to an available WiFi network. Initial research has shown that approximately 50% of barns have an existing Internet connection (wired or WiFi). The other 50% would require the installation of a router or optionally connect to a cellular network. This will require an account with a cellular provider. The IIoT appliance will provide this optional functionality but the customer pays for monthly plans and/or data usage. The solution includes a number of advanced software functions. A web-based application provides the ability to search, organize, and view the data. Users will be able to graphically view key performance indicators through dashboards, graphs, and other automated tools. Data mining tools will help users find relationships amount variables to enhance production. Mobile versions for both Android and iOS will be available.
Your team is to design all the hardware (including the sensor boards) and software for the appliance. The project must be completed within five months. Complete the design in three months. Installation and field trials to monitor 20 animals will take one month. This leaves one month to complete the other tasks required to manage the project (this can be spread out throughout the project as necessary).
The project team consists of:
You will act as the project manager. Besides managing the project, you will act as liaison with customers, management, and outside consultants.
Jack and Jill – Both are software developers with several years of experience developing applications.
William and Kate – Both are computer network technologists with several years of experience installing and securing wireless networks. Kate also has experience designing databases. William has worked on several project teams in the past. He has experience installing and configuring all the necessary applications the team will need, including, software development tools, hardware development tools (including CAD), and collaboration tools.
Hans and Gretta – Both have designed numerous Internet of Things (IoT) sensors and devices in the past three years.
The budget for the project is $400,000.
The team has just found out about a big program meeting in England next month that the project manager and one or two of team members should attend. The project sponsor (and owner of the company), Ben, has made it clear that delivering a good product is the most important goal, and he thinks you should have no problem meeting your schedule goal. He can authorize additional funds, if needed. Your team has agreed to add a one-week buffer at the end of the project to ensure that you finish on time or early.
Identify at least four milestones for this project. Write a one-page paper that describes each milestone using the SMART criteria
Project management is the process of leading a team’s work to attain the set goals. Numerous situations can change a project while managing a project. Before the beginning of a project, it is of paramount importance for the project manager to brief the clients of the expected revision and hours that the team will allocate to the project. This involves indicating the work being done, why it is being done, and how they feel about every stage. Once the project design has been duly approved, the project manager should identify the most practical method to raise funds. Funding requirements are essentially carried out in the preliminary stages of planning in the cost baseline and split up between the project’s complex stages. Thirdly the project manager should formulate a communication milestone to keep the stakeholders, clients, and team members updated with the whole process. A clear communication plan allows clients to provide feedback during the project, thus avoiding delays and unnecessary mistakes. Finally, early testing will allow the stakeholders to identify errors in the product’s usability and technicality that may not be readily noticeable to the manufacturer. Establishing a product sample milestone will help the team achieve the goals set at the beginning of the design process. For projects in the IT field, software and hardware need to go through the testing and evaluation phase before launching.
Project Time Management
Project management is the process of leading a team’s work to attain the set goals. Numerous situations can change a project while managing a project. Therefore setting milestones can effectively deal with all the issues that may affect the project
Before the beginning of a project, it is of paramount importance for the project manager to brief the clients of the expected revision and hours that the team will allocate to the project. This involves indicating the work being done, why it is being done, and how it will feel like in every stage. At this point, the clients will gain trust and confidence in the team which simultaneously leads to a good working relationship. Involving stakeholders from the beginning will allow a seamless interaction and feedback that allows the team to reach the approval milestone much more quickly.
Once the project design has been duly approved, the project manager sets up a flexible and practical budget to complete the project. Following this, the project manager should identify the most practical method to raise funds. Funding requirements are essentially carried out in the preliminary stages of planning in the cost baseline and split up between the project’s complex stages (Workflow, 2020). The funding source should be identified as early as possible and a milestone set to ensure the team reaches the set objectives on time.
Effective communication is the foundation of any project. Without a clear communication plan from the onset, the project is likely to stall. Stakeholders, clients, and the team members should be updated throughout the whole process. Standards and key performance indicators should be established to guide the team on the timeframes the clients need to update the budgets, timelines, and upcoming needs. A communication milestone lays a firm foundation for open and transparent communication. It creates a proper channel to relay feedback during the project to avoid delays and mistakes that would have been avoided. Traditionally milestones track the progression of a project from one stage to another (Workflow, 2020). The key performance indicators positively guide a project’s success at every level of the project. This is achieved by constant monitoring of the measurable goals, which simultaneously reflect the overall performance. These measurable goals include return on investment, actual project cost, and resource utilization. Using these metrics allows a straightforward and actionable way to measure the success of a project.
Release of Product Samples
The release of prototypes, products, or samples creates tangible evidence that the project is actually in progress. However, stakeholders get a chance to test, experiment with the products, and offer reviews. Early testing will allow the stakeholders to identify errors in the product’s usability and technicality that may not be readily noticeable to the manufacturer. Establishing a product sample milestone will help the team achieve the goals set at the beginning of the design stage (Brett, 2018). For projects in the IT field, software and hardware need to go through the testing and evaluation phase before launching. During this time, the software developers and computer network technologists check and inspect bugs, defects, and viruses and ensure they are configured correctly. Due to this project’s complexity, a single milestone will be set for multiple tasks to ensure all the IoT technologies are communicating with all the other individual systems.
Brett, H. (2018, November 5). How to Use Milestones in Project Management. Retrieved from Team Gantt: https://www.teamgantt.com/blog/the-how-and-why-of-using-milestones-in-your-project-plan
Workflow. (2020). Project Milestones. Retrieved from Workflow: https://toggl.com/blog/project-milestones-examples