As a newly assigned project manager for the Ohio Department of Human Services, you are excited about working with technology projects throughout the state. The Ohio Department of Human Services’ (ODHS) Office of Network Support (ONS) is responsible for managing the network and software applications for over 15,000 state and county agency employees throughout Ohio’s 88 counties. The office coordinates software upgrades and network modifications from an operations center located in the capital, Columbus, with assistance from local technology employees in each of the county seats.
The position is not without its challenges, however. The network infrastructure throughout the state ranges from high quality, high-bandwidth connections in major population centers to older, partially working connections in the poorer, more regional counties. Additionally, budget and resources are a constant issue, with a high turnover rate among existing employees and an emphasis on outsourcing the labor force to several vendors to accomplish the myriad of support and project tasks. Your initial assignment is to examine the viability and costs associated with upgrading the existing e-mail, with the objective of developing the implementation project for the organization. ODHS had adopted the e-mail software called Globalupgrades (a Worldviewupgrades product) as its e-mail standard in 1994 and executed minor upgrades since then. However, the latest version of Globalupgrades, Version 9.0, contains significant enhancements desired by the ODHS user base, and the existing Version 7.0’s support will be phased out in the next year by Worldviewupgrades. The Worldviewupgrades sales representatives have been offering discounts for a Version 9.0 license, but the costs are approximately 20% more than previous licenses. Additionally, several other e-mail product vendors are lobbying state officials for business, some of them offering significant incentives. Generally, these products are viewed as less robust than Globalupgrades, but there are some segments of the user community that are supportive of these other options.
You are reviewing the existing documentation on the current state of the e-mail system, including license agreements and the Worldviewupgrades Globalupgrades 9.0 preliminary proposal. You are also examining the staffing structure and developing ideas on how to accomplish this task. In two weeks, you will need to brief the ONS Director on your planned approach to completing this effort.
Develop a Work Breakdown Structure (WBS) and project schedule in a Gantt format for the E-Mail Upgrade Project described in the scenario. The WBS and resultant schedule should contain the following high-level activities:
1.0 Evaluate User & System Requirements
2.0 Evaluate ODHS Network Suitability
3.0 Conduct E-mail System Selection
4.0 Upgrade ODHS Network & Hardware
5.0 Develop E-mail Training
6.0 Deploy E-mail System
Each of the six WBS elements should be decomposed into two or more activities; additionally, three of these six elements should be decomposed into a third level consisting of at least two more activities. Thus, there should be six high level WBS elements, twelve or more second level activities (two per the six elements), and six third level activities. Use the format described above to define the activities (action verb followed by subject, such as Deploy E-mail System).
The Gantt chart should be developed based on the WBS (all activities should be detailed on the Gantt chart). The Gantt chart should reflect the proper dependencies of each of the activities (for example, you can’t have “Deploy E-mail System” before “Evaluate User Requirements”). For activity duration, provide a reasonable estimate of the time you expect each activity to take; while students are not expected to provide accurate durations, durations should be reasonably defensible and logical. For formatting ease, high level activities should be left justified while second and third level activities should be indented below their parent activities.