CIS 510 Managing a Large Financial Project

Strayer CIS510 Advanced Systems Analysis and Design, Case Study 2 Managing a Large Financial Project.
Your company has just hired a new CEO, and you make an appointment with her to discuss a large financial project that you have been managing. You make the following statement: “In our company, each project defines its own process and technology architecture to implement systems. The financial project is behind schedule, and I know how important it is to the company, so I wanted to make you aware that the deadline is at risk.”


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Discussion 1

When it comes to project planning, defining the project scope is the most critical step. In case if you start the project without knowing what you are supposed to be delivering at the end to the client and what the boundaries of the project are, there is a little chance for you to success. In most of the instances, you actually do not have any chance to success with this unorganized approach. If you do not do a good job in project scope definition, project scope management during the project execution is almost impossible. The main purpose of the scope definition is to clearly describe the boundaries of your project. Clearly describing the boundaries is not enough when it comes to project. You need to get the client’s agreement as well. Therefore, the defined scope of the project usually included into the contractual agreements between the client and the service provider. SOW, or in other words, Statement of Work, is one such document. In the project scope definition, the elements within the scope and out of the scope are well defined in order to clearly understand what will be the area under the project control. Therefore, you should identify more elements in detailed manner and divide them among the scope and out of scope. How to Define the Project Scope: When the project is about to be funded, there should be a set of defined deliveries and objectives for the project. There can be a high level-scope statement prepared at this level. This high-level scope statement can be taken from the initial documents such as SOW. In addition to the SOW, you need to use any other document or information in order to further define the project scope at this level. In case, if you feel that you do not have enough information to come up with a high-level scope statement, you should then work closely with the client in order gather necessary information. Project objectives can be used for defining the project scope. As a matter of fact, there should be one or more deliveries addressing each project objective in the project. By looking at the deliverables, you can actually gauge the project scope. Once you get to know the main deliverables of the project, start asking questions about the other processes and different aspects of the project. First identifying and clearly defining the out of scope also helps you to understand the scope of a project. When you go on defining the out of scope, you will automatically get an idea of the real project scope. In order to follow this method, you need to have a defined scope up to a certain level. Whenever you identify an item for the scope or out-of-scope, make sure you document it then and there. Later, you can revisit these items and elaborate more on those. Once you have successfully defined the scope of the project, you need to get the sign-off from the related and applicable parties. Without proper sign-off for the scope, the next phases of the project, i.e., requirements gathering, might have issues in executing. Scope Creep: Scope creep is something common with every project. This refers to the incremental expansion of the project scope. Most of the time, the client may come back to the service provider during the project execution and add more requirements. Most of such requirements haven’t been in the initial requirements. As a result, change requests need to be raised in order to cover the increasing costs of the service provider. Due to business cope creep, there can be technological scope creep as well. The project team may require new technologies in order to address some of the new requirements in the scope. In such instances, the service provider may want to work with the client closely and make necessary logistic and financial arrangements. Conclusion: Project scope definition is the most important factor when it comes to project requirements. It is vital for service providers to define the scope of the project in order to successfully enter into an agreement with the client. In addition to this, the scope of the project gives an idea to the services provider about the estimated cost of the project. Therefore, service provider’s profit margins are wholly dependent on the accuracy of the project scope definition

Discussion 2

All computer systems sold on the market are a collection of components that provide a functional computing system. Processors, memory and drives are just some of the components that make up a system and allow us to differentiate one system from another. As such, the performance and quality of a system is determined by the parts used in its construction. So what is the difference between a store bought system and a custom built machine from parts? There could be almost no difference to a very significant difference based on the parts selected for the machine. With this in mind, let’s examine some of the advantages and disadvantages of building a computer from parts rather than buying a system. Advantages of Building The most distinguishing advantage to building a computer from scratch is the selection of parts. Most computer systems come pre-built with the specifications and components already selected for you. This often can lead the user to have to sacrifice certain features that they may not want to give up. By building a computer from components, the user is able to choose the parts that best match the computer system they desire. Some vendors do allow you to customize a computer system, but you are still limited to their selection of parts. Another thing that users may not be aware of with pre-built systems is that two of the exact same model computer can actually have very different parts. The reason for this has to do with suppliers, parts available at the time the system was built and just pure luck. For example, Dell might switch between multiple suppliers of memory because one is less expensive then the other. Buying all the parts on your own guarantees what parts you will get in your PC. One of the less tangible advantages to building a computer from scratch is knowledge. By building a computer from scratch, a user is able to learn and understand how the parts work together. This information becomes immensely valuable whentroubleshooting computer problems. The knowledge of what components control the different sub-systems of a computer means users can repair their own hardware problems without having to deal with support groups or expensive repair labor bills. Disadvantages of Building The biggest disadvantage with building a computer is the lack of any one support organization you will be dealing with. Since each component can and likely will come from a different manufacturer and/or store means that if a part has a problem, you will have to deal with the appropriate company. With pre-built systems, you only have to deal with the manufacturer and their warranty service groups. The second biggest disadvantage with building a computer system is cost. In most cases, the cost of building a computer will be slightly more expensive than purchasing a pre-built computer. This is due to the fact that the manufacturers can buy in bulk for steep discounts that translate into savings on the computer system. They also include software with the systems that must be purchased separately when building a system. OEM software purchased with hardware does help reduce the costs on custom built systems. The cost disadvantage does not always hold true though. As the more money one is willing to spend on a computer system, the more likely you will be able to save money by building the PC yourself. This has to do with the top of the line specialized systems are often marked up for extra profits per unit by the manufacturers. So, if you are looking to spend big, investigate building it yourself first.