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Introduction

The successful completion and implementation of a particular project is highly dependent on the comprehensiveness and thoroughness of the planning process. Without a solid plan, the project is doomed to fail from the start.
The purpose of this planning and evaluation report is to offer a clear directive to our client, Erasure Company- Syracuse the breakdown and skeleton concepts of the plan the company intends to take as a way of keeping up with the highly competitive manufacturing world. The project’s main aim is to provide a way through which the three distinctive buildings of the company are networked.

Project name, identification and business case

This part will outline basics of the project, its identification and the statement of the business case.

Project name and identification

The name of the project shall be ‘Network installation and upgrade in Eraser Company- Syracuse’ and the project shall be identified as described in the following sentences.

This project will involve the installation, upgrading and implementation of the existing cabling network and manufacturing software infrastructure for the Eraser Company of Syracuse. The project will involve the creation of a network system for the company integrating all its operations carried out within three distinct buildings.

The Business case

Erasure Company complex is composed of four buildings- the manufacturing building is the main building and is situated across the road. Three other buildings of the company are located in one periphery. These are the buildings that house the accounting, sales and R&D building. There is increasing demand of information systems on the company’s manufacturing software and network infrastructure and the company wants to ensure that there is sufficient capacity and cable connectivity at all points in the company network to assist in manufacturing of quality products.

The present and existing network of fiber-optic cable that connects the buildings was a very expensive endeavor to install initially. The systems that are in this company are outdated and have no capacity to hold the manufacturing edge and capacity. These are the systems that need to be upgraded or replaced to bring the company up to the modern standard of operation.

The plan is to replace these old systems but in such a manner that it would not disrupt the processes in the company during the implementation period. The company has a preference to machines from Dell, HP as well as CISCO networking systems and they are willing to pay for a good service.

The project is expected to take a time frame of eight months beginning on January 2013 to September 2013 when the new systems go online. The placement of the project time frame here is meant to coincide with the peak season where manufacturing begins to increase. The budget estimate for the project was placed at approximately $ 350,000 and the client conceded that the company was ready to pay the amount for good equipment and service.

Detailed objectives

A number of objectives have been formulated here and they are meant to be hit in the analyses of this project. These objectives will form the base line upon which the project analysis will be conducted. These objectives are outlined in the sentences below;

The major and key driving objective here is the upgrading of the existing cabling network and manufacturing software infrastructure for the Eraser Company of Syracuse. The company feels that it needs to have a productive edge because of the increasing demand of their products by increasing their speed and capacity of production. The project will improve network cables, and existing PCs to ensure efficient information flow within the company because the already existing cables and PCs are ineffective for addressing the company expanding information demand.

The company also wants to find a cost effective method of production since the current methods and systems are too costly and too slow. It feels that once the upgrades and new equipment is brought to replace the old ones, the production speed will increase and consequently, the production capacity. Also, the costs of production will also go down considerably.

Detailed and specific deliverables

The project deliverables are the products that the company wants to have brought in to replace the old ones. These are modern PCs with specifications of PIV, 3.0 GHz speeds to bring about the essence of speed to the company. The numbers of PCs that are proposed for this project are 40 and they are to be distributed to the various departments and buildings in the company. 5 are to be placed in the executive area, 8 in the sales, 5 in the accounting department, 6 for research development section and 16 in the core area, manufacturing. Several printers will also be installed, 2 in the executive area, 2 in the sales department and 2 for accounting department. A plotter and 2 more printers will be placed in the research and development section and 5 printers and another plotter in the manufacturing section.

There will be upgrades to Microsoft operating systems and office software on the new computers. Also, there will be the installation of the system X enterprise client software on each new computer.

Project scope boundaries

The project scope boundaries are important in filtering the important sections that are to be covered by the proposed project to avoid deviations from the original plan. The importance of developing these boundaries is to make sure that only the proposed sections and changes take place. The project scope boundaries here will be broken into two. The main areas of specialization will be on the buildings where the project is proposed to take place and the type of services that are proposed to be carried out on these buildings.

The project scope boundaries in the context of buildings will cover the Manufacturing building, the accounting building, the sales building, and research and development building within the company complex. All the other buildings are out of the scope of the boundaries of this project. On the services scope, the boundary is drawn at where the network cabling and manufacturing software infrastructure upgrading reaches. All the other areas of service are left intact. This margining of the project will help not deviate from the fulfillment of the original objectives of the project that have been described in the preceding discussion.

Detailed constraints and other assumptions

A project of this scope and magnitude will have some attributes that need to be scaled down by the concept of provision of assumptions.

Constraints

Constraints are also almost always imminent in such an undertaking and these must be factored in here too. There are a number of constraints and assumptions that are to be formulated here so that the project can take off well and follow the pre-meditated path. Some of these constraints and assumptions are highlighted in the following discussion.

The major constraint factor that has been identified here is the constraint of time. The project has a fixed timeframe that has to be strictly observed so that it can run smoothly. The time frame for this particular project is 8 months, from January 4th 2013 to September 5th 2013. Within that time, all the processes and services that are formulated in this project paper need to be carried out. The time frame given might prove to be a little rigid and if not well observed, the processes and all the services outlined here may not be achieved.  The other factor is scope. The project is too huge and the timeframe given here might prove to be too little. Within 8 months, the following have to have been formulated and implemented;

  • Buying and delivery of the equipment

  • Installation of new network switching equipment, including upgraded interfaces to the existing fiber-optic backbone across the campus complex for each building

  • Installation of supporting racks to protect the equipment and cable connection

  • Rewiring of about 70% of the network cables with new cable connections at both ends

  • Installation of the procured equipment to all the specified areas in the deliverables

  • Upgrading of softwares of Microsoft operating and Office software on all the new PCs

  • Installation of the system X Enterprise client software to all the new PCs.

Cost is another constraint in this project. The estimated cost for the purchase of the equipment, installing the fiber optic and server networks, the upgrade of the software systems on the entire machines and the cost of delivering this service to the company is $ 350,000. The management of the company feels that this figure is a little nit on the higher side.

The cost constraint is vital in estimating the projected profit of the company. The cost of upgrading the systems of the company is balanced out with the actual expected returns after the upgrades have been made and if the expected returns in the long-run outweigh these costs, then approval is given for the upgrades to be carried out.

In this project, these three constraints must be balanced out and taken care of one at a time for the successful completion of the project. Since these three are competing for attention in their own aspect, it is important to have a uniform balancing of the three factors for the attainment of the objectives of the project.

Assumptions

A number of assumptions are made here for the project to smoothly go through the processes of initiation, implementation and successful completion. Some of these assumptions are given here in the ensuing discourse. The project planners assume that the client has enough money set aside for the project. Despite having cost as a constraint factor in this project, it is always important that it be established beforehand that there are funds available for the particular project. Once the project is initiated, the time frame and the scope mechanisms fall immediately into space and if there are problems with money, the objectives of the project may not be hit in due time or the project may even stall.

Another assumption is the availability of manpower and personnel to carry out the project to completion.

Project Risks

In every project of such scope and magnitude as this one, there are always impertinent risks that are looming over that may in one way or another, if not well inhibited, result into the collapse of the project or stalling. Some of the risks that are facing this project are outlined in the following discussion.

One of the risks of this project is the possibility of precipitated cost hiking because of the magnitude of the project. The professionals that will be conducting the services that are outlined in this project might demand more pay that could not have been initially budgeted for. This increase may lead to either cutting down on the time scope, increase the time scope to match the reduction in project resources or increase cash that is not in the project’s budget.

Another risk factor lies in the project not being able to be completed in time. This could be because of the provision of employees’ training rooms. The process of transition of the employees from the old model to the new model might take quite some time. This could lead to the overall slowing of the project.

Management of these risks

In order to make sure that the above discussed risks do not impede the smooth initiation, implementation and completion of the project, measures must be put into place to mitigate the risks. To manage the risk of professionals not hiking their pay, a detailed survey should be conducted before hand and the current market pay trends for such professionals established. Because the projected is destined for a time in the future, then this figure should be aligned with the inflationary figures so that a proper salary figure can be established.

Employees training should be conducted in phases so that they can be ready for a smooth transition from the old system to the new ones after the project is completed.

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