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Case Study on Research and Development (R&D) Projects (100 points)

The case study below offers an excellent perspective on how projects are often initiated under less than ideal circumstances—which often lays the ground work for project failure.

Companies that provide a service for another company usually respond to a bid document from a company that needs help.  This case study is a good example of this situation.  The bid document can be as simple as an email from the buyer to the seller or as complicated as a request for proposal (RFP) outlining the objectives of the project and asking a seller to develop a proposal that provides a solution.

Each company (seller and buyer) will have a business case for doing the project. The Peter’s Company is outsourcing for a reason.  The Corwin Corporation is taking on the project for a different set of reasons.  One of the reasons the Corwin Corporation is taking on the work is the looming, potentially very lucrative production contract if they are successful.  There are no guarantees in research and development project that there will be success.

A strategy for completing this assignment:

There is only the group assignment for this unit as it is demanding and will require good time management and proper sequencing of the tasks completed by each team member.  

Each team member should spend time reading and thinking about the case, the cast of characters, information that you’d like to have but isn’t included in the case study, and so on.

Review what is required to complete each part of the assignment and estimate the sequence and time it will take to complete the work.  Assign tasks so that everyone has an equal share of the workload and try to capitalize on strengths of group members. 

Determine information gaps (things you’d like to know) and post questions in the Ask the Professor forum.  Do this early so that the instructor has time to respond during the 24-hour period after you post the question.  Do not email the instructor questions about this assignment.  

Communicate with each other and review each other’s work.  At least one person should be checking all content as a quality check to verify that the assigned person is meeting expected deliverables.

Read all responses to the questions posted in the Ask the Professor forum.

Correct and compile parts of the assignment into a cohesive document.   A key emphasis is to make sure the perspective (“our group believes” versus “I believe”) is correct when writing up the deliverables.  This is a group assignment.

Assume the Peter’s Company provided some initial statement of work documentation, by email or other means, that was sufficient for Dan West (the project manager) to move forward with the project for the Corwin Corporation.  A sample project charter is provided for you.

The project charter (provided) is a high-level document; read it carefully and use it to help prepare other documentation.

Be sure to list as many stakeholders and issues as you can by using your group’s collective project management experience.  The list of stakeholders is more than a relisting of the cast of characters in the case.   A stakeholder register is essential for collecting requirements and for managing communication needs.

Part 1 (20 points)–Prepare a requirements management plan (RMP) that addresses the five components described in Section 5.1.3.2, PMBOK 6e.  The plan should be at least 3 but not exceed 4 pages and does not need to conform to APA guidelines (except for citing and referencing sources).

Some things to think about – how is the role of the in-house rep dealt with in the RMP as it relates to activities for planning, tracking and reporting requirements?   Configuration management is not just about software and versioning.  What processes will be used for configuration management activities as they relate to changes in the product requirements?  How and who will authorize/approve changes?   The traceability structure should be tailored to the type of project and should ensure that each requirement adds business value.

Part 2 (15 points)– Prepare requirements documentation and a requirements traceability matrix (RTM).  The requirements documentation should be in MS Word and include:

•           Business requirements for the Peter’s Company (company-level perspective).

•           Business requirements for the Corwin Corporation (company-level perspective).

•           Stakeholder requirements for Delia, Royce, Frimel, Reddy, West, and Ray.

•           Solution requirements

•           Project requirements, and

•           Transition requirements (should successful R&D occur)

Two requirements per category above should be included in the RTM.  The RTM should be in MS Excel format.

Part 3 (15 points)– Create a Scope Statement.  Using the requirements documents from Part 2, prepare a Scope Statement that addresses the four components described in Section 5.3.3.1, Project Scope Statement, PMBOK 6e.  The statement should not exceed 3 pages and does not need to conform to APA guidelines except for citing and referencing sources

Part 4 (25 points) – Create a WBS and WBS Dictionary.  Now that your group (at Corwin) has a firm understanding of the product scope (i.e., “the features and functions that characterize” [the new rubber material] p. 154, PMBOK 5e), as well as the project scope (i.e., the work necessary to deliver the product), use the scope statement and other requirements documentation you group has prepared to create a WBS (no deeper than Level 4 on any tranche) and WBS Dictionary using the template provided.  The following elements of the WBS dictionary must be completed:  WBS ID, WBS Element Name, Description, Accountable Person, Acceptance Criteria, Assumptions, Constraints.  For project management-related work deliverables (e.g, plans, meetings and reviews, reports), also complete the Activity ID and Activity for each work package,

Additional considerations: The project will be completed in phases so preparing a WBS with phases at level 2 is a sensible way to design the WBS.  The project phases are: 1.1. Project Planning, 1.2. Rubber Material Research, 1.3 Rubber Material Development, and 1.4 Project Close.  The work required to complete the project associated with project management for execution, monitoring and controlling processes, can be sub-elements in the research and development phases.  The lucrative production contract (a hopeful outcome) is not part of this project, but could be part of the business decision by Corwin to expend their own funds to complete the development if additional funding is needed.

The scope statement, WBS and WBS Dictionary constitute the scope baseline.

Part 5 (15 points)– Create Scope Validation Process.  Using the cast of characters from the case study (and any additional people needed), prepare a process for validating the work packages and higher-level components of the WBS.   For each part of the process flow diagram, explain in a separate page who from the case study is involved and what is to be done.

Mechanics (10 points) It is expected that each part of this assignment have excellent mechanics (presentation, grammar and spelling) and exhibit the quality of work capable of a group of graduate students and working professionals. All sections of the document submitted must be readable at 100% magnification.

Your Instructor will use Turn-it-in to ensure your paper is authentic work.  To avoid plagiarism, see the course home page for more information and use the Purdue Online Writing Lab to learn how to paraphrase, summarize and cite the references you use in all academic writing assignments.

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