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Question Synopsis

Create a comprehensive project proposal for the acquisition and implementation of a remote vehicle tracking system for Connect-W; a marketing transport & logistics firm. It should also outline the detailed plan of the project phase like; pre-project planning, acquisition, construction or build of the system, installation and testing phase. Emphasize on tasks that are critical, their relation to resources, dependencies and anything that can be considered as risky.

Synopsis

Answer Synopsis

A general overview of Connect-W’s vehicle tracking system project plan includes several phases that comprise certain tasks in terms of the corresponding resources. First, the initial project planning entails an activity chart that calls for a software engineer to perform an activity, followed by a purchasing agent who will perform another activity, and lastly a hardware engineer to perform another activity, in not more than four days. Next is the procurement of the system hardware compounds starting with the first order of system components that are used for breadboard testing. The IT system build phase involves system specification, build for software update and preparation of manuals. Vehicle installation first involves field trials on three vehicles then a complete installation on the entire fleet of vehicles. Breadboard testing, EMI testing, pilot functional testing and final validation testing are the major activities performed under system testing. Strategic risks are specifically long procurement time slots and instances of software update after the trials. This is important because failure to timely complete the projects attracts penalties which in turn has an adverse effect on the resources.

 

Introduction

Connect-W is a logistics and transport company which aims to revolutionize its activities by implementing a coordinated route planning system. REC Logistics is tasked with this operation, which demands serious planning and execution to achieve its success within the timeframe and budget allocated. Connect-W will achieve benefits from selecting this system include multi-drop route planning, better vehicle maintenance scheduling, enhanced breakdown recovery tracking, improved driver performance assessment and optimized route planning for reduced fuel consumption and improved fleet CO2. The essay applies project management concepts and adopts a robust plan that orchestrates the vision of Connect-W into reality. The work breakdown structure will be constructed, defining the main deliverables of the project, the precedent task order and the likely appropriate duration to complete the operation. Also, the relationship of the deliverables to each other will be defined by showing their dependencies.

Additionally, materials, human resources, facilities and expenses for each task will be assigned accordingly. The Gantt Chart will be constructed and find a critical path. Planning intricacies of inheriting a coordinated route navigating system for Connect-W's fleet while ensuring delivery on time within allocated budget and resource constraints necessitates a dynamic and comprehensive project management approach.

Project Details

1. Work Breakdown Structure (WBS)

WBS is a visual tool that helps break down complex tasks into smaller and manageable ones (PMBOK Guide, 2021). It gives a clear understanding of the project scope, identifying the work to be done for better planning and management of the project (Adobe Experience, 2023). The work involved project management, IT system build, vehicle installation and system test. However, due to continuous improvement and technological advancement, the contract will allow flexibility to ascertain that the project features and facilities are updated. The project management team will ensure that all tasks required to achieve a successful project are done and accurately monitored to protect the project from all identified risks. The WBS below highlights and presents a bird's view of the leading project activities. It guides all the project stakeholders and greatly contributes to its success.

Table 1: Project Phases

Phase

Phase Description

Phase one

This is the first phase of the project and involves project management

Phase Two

This is the second phase of the project and involves IT System Build

Phase Three

It is the third phase of the project and involves Vehicle installation

Phase four

This is the final part of the project and involves system tests.

The phases are broken down into specific tasks using the provided timeframe and using the formula te = a + 4m + b) /6. Where m is the most likely time, a is the Optimistic time, 80% of m, and b is the pessimistic time, 120% of m.

Justification of Assigned Durations

  • Project Management: 4 days for planning, 14 days for system procurement, 28days for trial system procurement, 28days for project system procurement, 4 days for training, and 2 days for project handover.
  • IT System Build 5 days for system specification, 25 days for software build, 6 days for software updates, and 14 days for manual writing.
  • Vehicle Installation: 1 day for pilot installation, 14 days for project system roll-out.
  • System Tests: 5 days for breadboard testing, 1 day for EMI testing, 3 days for pilot functional testing, 6 days for project system validation testing, and 30 days for technical support.

The table below shows a list of tasks assigned to each project phase.

Table 2: Tasks Specifications

 ID

Task Description

1

Project Management

1.1

 Project planning

1.2

 System Procurement

1.2.1

Initial Hardware Procurement

1.3

 Trial System Procurement

1.4

 Project System Procurement

1.5

 Operators Training

1.6

 Project Handover

2

IT System Build

2.1

System Specification

2.2

Software Build

2.3

Software Updates

2.4

Operations Manual Writing

3

Vehicle Installation

3.1

Pilot Installation

3.2

Project System Roll-out

4

System Tests

4.1

Breadboard Test

4.2

EMI Test

4.3

Pilot Functional Test

4.4

Project System Validation Test

4.5

Technical Support

01

Figure 1: The WBS

2. Task Dependencies

Laoyan (2023) outlined that task dependency is when a task relies on another task. There are different types of dependencies within the project.

2.1: Logical Dependencies

  • Logical dependencies are important in maintaining the correct project and task sequencing flow.
  • The System Specification precedes Software Build because software can only be developed after specification.
  • Breadboard Testing precedes before Pilot Installation because benches should be tested before installing them to vehicles.
  • A Pilot Functional Test precedes Software Updates because pilot issues need to be identified before the software is updated.
  • Software Build precedes Project System Validation Testing because the software should be developed and then proceed to the validation testing stage.
  • Operator training precedes project roll-out since users need to be trained before being given the system.

2.2: Preferential Dependencies

  • Preferential dependencies show the preferred order of tasks for clarity and efficiency. Project Planning is the preferred task to start to set the overall timeline and guide the rest of the tasks.
  • Preferably, manual writing should start after breadboard testing to include all the insights from the system tests.
  • Project handover is preferred to finish before formally transferring the system to company Connect-W.

2.3: External Dependencies

  • These dependencies entail factors outside the project team's direct control. Initial hardware procurement precedes breadboard testing since it relies on externally procured hardware.
  • Trial system procurement precedes project system validation since the trial hardware is needed for validation testing.
  • Specialist Lab creates an external dependency since it is the requirement for EMI testing.

2.4: Resource Dependencies

  • These dependencies highlight potential resource bottlenecks and the need for careful scheduling. For example, software engineers are needed for software updates and build, ensuring resource contention.
  • Hardware Engineers are required for Project System Roll-out and Pilot Installation, thus creating resource contention.
  • Project Manager is required for Project Planning and Project Handover, creating a need for careful scheduling.

02

Figure 2: Task dependencies_1

Picture303

Figure 3: Task Dependencies_2

04

Table 3: Task Dependencies (3)

3. Resource Allocation

The process entails the scheduling of resources processes such as work, materials, expenses, equipment, or labour needed for project task completion. It helps to reduce cost, maximize productivity and enhance morale among workers. Moreover, it facilitates customer satisfaction by achieving the best results and successfully delivering the project. The following figures show resource allocation for the connect-W fleet management project.

05

Figure 4: Resource Sheet

3.1: Resource Usage

Picture6

Table 4: Resource usage_page 1

Picture7

Table 5:Resource Usage page 2

Picture8

Table 6: Resource Usage page 3

4. Identification of Critical Paths

The Critical Path includes tasks with no slack. As shown on the Gantt chart below, they include project planning, system specifications, software build, project system roll and project system validation testing. Any delay in these tasks will directly impact the project timeline.

Picture9

Figure 5: Showing critical path in Gantt Chart

5. Resource Overloads Resolution

  • There is an occurrence of resource overallocation for software engineers during software specification since 150% of extra work is needed. An extra 110% work input is required at operational manual writing and software build.
  • The project manager is overloaded at the project management and technical support phase since an additional 10-30% of work input is required.
  • Hardware engineers are overloaded at operator training and software specifications since 150% more input is needed.

Picture10

Figure: Resource overallocation chart

To resolve this, resource leveling was applied. This involves redefining the operations scope to be performed by specific concerned resources (APM, 2023). Therefore, pilot installation is rescheduled after the project system roll out when the HW will be available. Temporary software engineer and HW engineer are hired to help with more input.

6: Timing Issues Resolution

Risk of exceeding the timeline was fixed through rescheduling the project to finish on the last week of may 2024.

Conclusion

Implementing a coordinated route planning system at Connect-W transforms the logistics and transportation activities at the company. The WBS is used to break down tasks such as project planning, IT system build, vehicle installation and system testing. Additionally, the task dependencies highlight logical dependencies, preferential dependencies, external dependencies and resources dependencies.

References List

Adobe Experience. 2023. What is a work breakdown structure (WBS)? - adobe

experience cloud. What is a work breakdown structure (WBS)? Available at: https://business.adobe.com/blog/basics/what-is-work-breakdown-structure1

Association for Project Management (APM). 2023. What is Resource Optimization? 

Available at https://www.apm.org.uk/book-shop/apm-body-of-knowledge-7th-edition/

Laoyan, S. 2023. Understanding dependencies in project management [2023]

asana. Asana. Available at: https://asana.com/resources/project-dependencies

PMBOK Guide. 2021. A guide to the project management body of knowledge: And the standard for project management. (7th ed.). ANSI/PMI 99-001-2021.

PMBOK Guide. 2021. A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge. (7th ed.). Project Management Institute. ISBN: 978-1-62825-664-2       

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