Project Management Case Study
You are a Consultant and Project Manager at an information technology consulting company, RU Consulting. Your client is a small transport company, Logan's Loads (LL) working mostly in North-East Victoria and South-East New South Wales. The company is primarily concerned with delivering to country stores and large farms from a wide variety of suppliers in Melbourne and Geelong. Although most work is in Victoria and New South Wales, occasional jobs will involve customers in the regional cities.
The CEO of LL, Lynn Logan, has accepted your proposal to install a satellite tracking systems for its trucks. Lynn sees the system as allowing improved monitoring of performance and distribution of resources. Eventually the system would allow customers to track their deliveries although this is not intended in the first project. Lynn has already discussed the system with the driver’s union shop steward Burnie Weils and obtained initial acceptance. The system will track the position of Logan's Loads trucks using a Global Positioning System (GPS) and transmit the location of the vehicle to the system service provider (see below). The system will transmit this information every ten minutes, unless the transmission was unsuccessful. In the case of an unsuccessful transmission, the system will attempt to make the transmission every thirty seconds until a successful transmission is made.
At Logan's Loads office, staff can connect to a web-site and after suitable authentication, will be able to view the location of each truck on a map. It is possible to zoom in to the location of each truck to determine the position of the vehicle within fifty metres. It is also possible to examine a record of the position of the truck at the time of each transmission. The coordinates (latitude and longitude) are provided along with the vehicle registration number and a time-stamp. It is also possible to show a map tracing the movement of the truck over any period nominated by the user. This will be particularly helpful to the dispatch clerk Sally Foorth and the truck maintenance manager Paul Toeme. The records can be downloaded as a Comma Separated Value (CSV) file. The tracking system is provided by a service provider, Surface Satellite Tracking Pty (SST). Logan's Loads will pay a monthly fee of $2500 to SST for the tracking service and access to the software on the web site. The identified contact at SST is Miss Skie Heih. SST provides training in their systems at a fixed price of $400 per hour for a class of up to 10.
The tracking equipment that is to be fitted to the trucks is provided by Transport Electronics, Pty (TE) whose sales manager is Sally Kon. The equipment is provided pre-configured ready for installation into the trucks at a contracted price of $350 per unit. Configuration includes the coding of the truck's vehicle registration into the equipment so that the registration number is included in the transmissions.
The equipment is to be installed in the trucks by a local Albury company, Border Auto-Electrics (BAE) owned by Ted Lights. RU Consulting is to act as the prime contractor to Logan's Loads and will be responsible for the integration of the whole system. The scope of the project involves:
• Final definition of requirements.
• Management of sub-contractors: SST, TE and BAE as well as any interactions required with Telstra (the ISP providing internet services)
• Systems and integration testing.
• Provision of personal computer equipment with large screens (660mm) and A3 colour printers for use with the SST system.
• Upgrade of Logan's Loads Internet connection from ADSL to ADSL2+ (using Telstra as an ISP).
• Training of Logan's Loads staff
• User acceptance testing.
The system must be installed with minimum disruption and trucks must be on the road 7 days a week while the installation takes place. It is normal for 3 trucks (of the fleet of 30) to be in maintenance at any given time for 2 days. Now that the proposal has been signed off you have 4 days to finalize requirements and your project plan.
The proposal you gave to LL indicated an expected duration of 3 weeks from first to last installation and a further 3 weeks until testing and training is complete. The price was negotiated at 50% above your calculation of costs and you have a contracted contingency of 10% overall (that must be justified).