Windows XP Abatement Project

WINDOWS XP ABATEMENT PROJECT 1

Windows XP abatement project

Projectsummary

Nameof project: by Berkley University

Business need

The project was initiated by Berkley University in 2014. Theuniversity was acting in acknowledgment of the fact that there werecertain information technology needs of the campus community that hadnot been met. Leading the needs was the constellation of the aginginformation system. As such, the university had to take a strategicdecision to build a system that would support admission, enrollment,and other administrative functions. In recognition of this, thecampus’ infrastructure management department initiated the WindowsXP abatement project, which was equally recognized by theadministration as a high technological improvement priority for theuniversity. Besides improving the schools’ administrative needs,the school needed to improve student service. The move would improvefinancial management, registration and course planning, besides manyother student-oriented information management systems. Given theUniversity’s growth in capacity and size, the current platform,Windows XP, was not efficient in delivery.

The aging system was not able to adequately handle some complexissues regarding information systems management. Besides beingtime-consuming, the Windows XP platform was labor intensive. As such,the school’s faculty and staff were of the idea that the ITdepartment had to improve the system, basically by doing away withthe XP platform and installing a better one. According to the projectmanagement team, the new system would help the students to deal withadministrative issues such as finances and academics by giving themwarnings. Besides taking away the frustrations facilitated by theseissues, abatement of Windows XP and installation of a platform wouldempower the students in planning for their academic years moreeffectively. Finally, the project was aimed to liberate thefaculties, staff and students from manual operations, such asnotice-board advertisements.

Projectcharacteristics

Duration

The project was planned to begin in October 2013. It was during thismonth that the school management came together to form a committee tomanage the project. By November 2013, the proposal had been revised,and the school board gave the Information Technology department thego-ahead, hence commissioning the project. In February 2014, anevaluation of the project proposal was conducted, where the necessarychanges were made. The software contract was then signed by theproject committee in May 2014, after which plans to hire theexecutive director began. The director was hired in August 2014.Within a month, the committee had plans in place to sign the systemimplementation contract. The only remaining plans of the project inthat year were planning and discovery, which was finalized by the endof October. At the end of the year, the committee met and scheduledactivities for the following year, which included, but not limitedto, testing and launching of the program.

As the start of 2015, the project team had planned and finalized thedesigning stage. Part of the plans at the beginning of the year wereconfiguration, conversions, modifications, interfaces and portaldesigns. The first launch of the project was scheduled for May 2015.During this month, the project team tested the applicability of thesystem, an activity that was planned to evaluate needed improvements.The second launching was scheduled for June, during which the projectwent live. According to the official project report, the scheduleitems were not delayed, except for small mishaps that threatened theprogress of the plan. These were mainly in the technical areas, suchas signing the implementer contracts and configurations of the newsystem.

Cost

No readily available data on the project cost are provided. As such,this report uses a ‘project’ cost report that provides detailsand costs for the Windows XP abatement project. In this format, thetime and cost approximations are used, based on the nature of theproject elements and the deliverables.

Windows XP abatement project( From October 2013 to June 2015)

Reference

Activity

Cost

Bonus

#1

Evaluation of proposal

$ 750

$500

#2

Software acquisition

$ 15000

$8000

#3

Executive director

$9500

$5000

#4

Implementer contract

$7000

$4000

#5

Planning and discovery

$5000

$2000

#6

Configuration

$11000

$6000

#7

Testing and launching

$5000

$5000

These figures are based on the University’s informationinfrastructure schedules. As such, it cannot be established in thereport as to whether the budget was fulfilled as planned. However,the successful implementation of the project within the scheduledtime leads to an assumption that the activities and their respectivecosts were within budget limits.

People

The project director was Bill Allison (berkeley.edu. 2015).Mr.Allison is the director of Campus Technology Services at theUniversity. Additionally, he holds the title of director ofarchitecture platforms and integration at the University. Mr. Allisonwas appointed as the project director in October 2013 by theUniversity’s board. As the director of the project, he was giventhe responsibility of managing the entire project at the strategiclevel. He, therefore, was the point person in managing the projectresources, besides overseeing finances. As the project director, hewas also given the responsibility of ensuring that the projectprogressed on time and the budget. At various points of the projectprogress, Mr. Allison also ensured that project progress reports wereprepared and forwarded to the university board. All key financial andadjustment reports were also presented to his office.

The project manager was Venessa Kaskiris (berkeley.edu, 2015). Priorto and after the project, she was an administrator of theuniversity’s developing, automation and infrastructure managementdepartment. She was appointed project manager at the same time asBill Allison. As the project manager, she was responsible forensuring that the project was successfully handled. According toTurner (2014), the general function of the project manager is tomanage the team in terms of ensuring that everything is done as it issupposed to be. Proposal planning and budgeting were some of the keyfunctions that Kaskiris performed in the project. Besides helpingdevelop the project plan, she tracked all the financial aspects ofthe project from the beginning to the end. According to Kerzner(2013), project managers have limited authority when it to comes tocross-functional team management. The reason is that they handlethese tasks in collaboration with the project director and the board,to whom they are answerable. Finally, in her capacity as the projectmanager, she was the key contact person when it came to deliverables.

Risks

There are three major risks that are related to the Windows XPabatement project. The first risk is associated with the nature ofthe project. A system infrastructure upgrade project may facetechnical delays occasioned by technological details. While abatingthe XP platform, the project engineers have to deal with a new loadof coding. In most cases, according to Mohagheghi &amp Saether(2011), coding from scratch presents unique challenges, which aremost likely to delay the deliverables. It has been established thatestimates in coding are often erroneous, meaning that the specialistshave to scrap almost everything and start anew. This risk iscomplicated by the fact that the university’s population has grownsubstantially since the last upgrade of the system.

Secondly, Margaret (2012) says that information technology projectsare regularly faced with technical delays. In this particular case, adetailed impact analysis may reveal that there are certain detailsthat may have led to date extensions. Regardless of the fact that therequirements of the project may not have changed, the project teamfaced the risk of having to postpone some activities as theybargained for more time to accomplish others. One of the biggest riskfactors pertaining to the results of an impact analysis is theacquisition of software licenses and signing contracts with softwarecompanies. Given that the new system had to carter for a number ofadministrative functions, there are a number of software that had tobe acquired before fully implementing the system to replace theabated XP platform.

Thethird risk associated with this project was organizational setting.According to Galliers &amp Leidner (2014), organizational setting isthe extent to which the project requires cooperation andinterrelationship between units that make up the organization. AUniversity is made up of a number of departments that come togetherto form a community of higher learning. As such, the abatement of thesystem meant that these departments/units’ functioning andcollaboration had to be interrupted while the IT department managedtheir systems. For instance, the student registration department hasto collaborate with the graduation preparation department whiletransferring student information at the end of the academic years. Assuch, the project faced the challenge of failure of organizationalcollaboration within such departments, which would eventually haveled to the delay or postponement of the project.

Analysis

Evaluationof project success

The success of the project is measured by the deliverables(Ostafichuk, Naylor &amp Fengler, 2015). The project’s vision wasto transform the student and staff experience by delivering a singleand easy-to-use point of access. Some of the main key performanceindicators were integrated course management, financial systemsimprovement and cultivation of a rewarding work environment for thestaff (Berkley.edu, 2015A). As such, by doing away with windows andXP platform, the project looked to introduce a less transactional,more user-friendly and service-oriented platform. Additionally, theproject looked to deliver three main objectives. First, the projectwas designed to increase student, faculty and staff satisfaction bystreamlining key activities such as billing, admission, and financialaid. The second objective was to deliver tools and technology thatenabled innovation. By doing this, the project was designed to helpthe university’s community to continue development of the system byincorporating elements of future expansion of the services(berkley.edu, 2015A). The final objective of the project was tosupport the development of a high –performance culture. The culturewould help the university community to do their work by using moderntools and technologies, which besides improving competence, wouldensure that the University was maintaining global higher learningstandards. At the same time, the objective to help the universitycommunity to streamline all internal processes, besides boostingtraining. Given that the result was a technological solution thatachieved this vision, it is concluded that the project wassuccessful.

There is enough evidence to show that indeed the project was asuccess. As of present, the University has been able to providenumerous training solutions to the students and staff, using the newoperating platform that replaced the abated XP one (berkley.edu,2015B). As for pre-training, there are three main areas thatdemonstrate the success of the project. First, in-class persontraining has been provided to enable the students learn therequirements and operations of the new platform. These instructor-ledsessions have oriented the students to the nature of functioning ofthe new system. Secondly, eLearning has been made a reality, as thestudents and staff have access to a wider variety of online materialthan they did before. Finally, by using the new platform, onlineresources such as manuals and interactive websites have been madeavailable for the students and staff (Berkley.edu, 2015B). Accordingto the University’s projects website, the project has set a groundfor regular updating of the resources and eLearning portal, which arekey academic progress functions. At the same time, open labs havebeen created whereby the learners are given the opportunity tointeract with their professors online.

Lesson from project

This project is of significant interest to future project managerslooking to manage projects in big-sized institutions. Or particularinterest is the manner in which the project team collaboration inaligning the content and services to ensure that the system wasupgraded without interfering with normal institutional activities.This is a show of superior coordination and collaboration, whichaccording to (Hill, 2013), are part of the backbone of success inproject management. At the same time, the project is worth being usedas a case study to demonstrate how standards are applied inmanagement and workflow. This is because the project teamdemonstrated a unique and superior capability to utilize time andresources to meet the deliverables. A key lesson from the project isthat solid understanding of the scope of a project helps the projectmanagers to gain censuses with other stakeholders, which yieldspositive results in the long run.

Project Ghartt Chart

References

Berkley.edu. (2015A). Completed projects 2014. Retrieved on 21August 2015 from:http://technology.berkeley.edu/action-plan/completed#dh

Berkley.edu. (2015B). Students information systems project.Retrieved on 21 August 2015 from:http://sis-project.berkeley.edu/team/training

Galliers, R. D., &amp Leidner, D.E. (2014).&nbspStrategicinformation management: challenges and strategies in managinginformation systems.Routledge.

Hill, G. M. (2013).&nbspThecomplete project management office handbook.CRC Press.

Kerzner, H. R. (2013). Project management: a systems approach toplanning, scheduling, and controlling. John Wiley &amp Sons.

Margetts, H. (2012).&nbspInformationtechnology in government: Britain and America.Routledge.

Mohagheghi, P., &amp Sæther, T. (2011, July). Softwareengineering challenges for migration to the service cloud paradigm:Ongoing work in the remics project. In Services (SERVICES), 2011IEEE World Congress on (pp. 507-514). IEEE.

Ostafichuk, P. M., Naylor, C., &amp Fengler, M. (2015). Measuringthe Influence of Team Functioning On Design Project Outcomes.Proceedings of the Canadian Engineering Education Association.

Turner, J. R. (2014).&nbspThehandbook of project-based management&nbsp(Vol.92). McGraw-hill.