The city of Lakewood is a small but growing community of 35,000. Close to a major metropolitan area, Lakewood operates its own recreation department that runs a small recreation center and several parks with multiple ball fields. Antoine King, the director of the department, wants a computer system for registering children into its youth programs. He feels like an online registration system would alleviate some of the burden placed on the department’s staff and volunteers when they have to process paper forms and payments submitted to City Hall in the weeks leading up to each sporting season. The staff does have some concerns over switching to a new computer system because it will be different, and their current system does work. Local leaders have agreed that a new information system would be helpful to providing services to residents and local children, but the City Council needs to approve any proposal to fund a new system.
Some of the city officials would like an online registration component added to the city’s Web site, but the city’s Web site is not fully functional. The city’s marketing director is responsible for the Web site, but she has a lot on her plate. Currently, the Web site is primarily focused on attracting businesses to the area, but does have an online bill pay for residents to pay water and garbage collection bills. This component of the Web site is outsourced to another company that specializes in e-commerce for government entities called e-Gov. Antoine also has some concerns about City cutbacks in the budget; if the recreation department loses some of its funding, there may not be money for maintaining the system in future years.
You are an experienced IT analyst and have been appointed as project manager for the project. The preliminary investigation has revealed that an off-the-shelf package would be more cost-effective than in-house development. E-Gov offers some services that would help the city put together the registration system they want. Given the city’s current role as a customer of e-Gov, it will make using their services a little easier. The city would still have to implement the system on their own Web site using some of their own resources. You sit down to write a proposal for the city council to vote on, but you have some concerns about the project that you need to prepare Antoine and the City Council for.
- How would you explain the project management to the members of the City Council when they ask you about how you plan on keeping the project within budget and on time?
- Develop a risk management plan that identifies potential risks and states what the risk response plan would be for each of these risks. How would you analyze the risks?
- Explain some of the reasons for project failure. How would you explain to Antoine potential causes of failure?
- What are the advantages and disadvantages of using project management software?
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