Case study 1


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Case study 1

  1. 1. Running head: ULTRAMAX 1 UltraMAX Testing Project Keller Graduate School of Management Advanced Project Management
  2. 2. ULTRAMAX 2 UltraMAX Testing Project IntroductionNutroBalance has begun the implementation of a new performance and weight loss pill forwomen. The Board of Directors for NutroBalance is set to introduce UltraMAX for women, afteradequate testing and proven results are seen and tested upon. The project started andimmediately was delayed by incomplete tasks. The Board of Directors has given the ProjectManager an opportunity to provide solutions for, and remediate the issue given the pressingdeadlines for the product’s release. The Project Manager has proposed two strategies withstriking differences and associated risks to the Board. Both plans have associated costfluctuations; however, the risks of tardy completion can be curtailed in both scenarios. Section 1 Alex has requested a response in regards to the UltraMAX product testing from theappointed Project Manager. The following response was delivered via email: The UltraMAX testing and implementation project requires the use of 4 resources;however, as indicated in the attached Critical Task Report, Robert has been over allocatedbetween tasks 5 and 6. Overall, the project at completion should take 138 days given theunaltered critical path analysis. The project is anticipated to start February 22, 2010 and thescheduled completion date is set for September 1, 2010. The tasks displayed in the criticalanalysis figure 1.1, which are significant to completing the project on schedule, are tasks:1,2,3,4,5,9,11,12, and 13. With the large amount of critical tasks for this project, strict andcautious planning should be utilized in anticipation of completing the project on time.
  3. 3. ULTRAMAX 3Figure 1.1 Critical Task Assessments
  4. 4. ULTRAMAX 4 Section 2 NutroBalance, a weight loss supplement and nutritional snack food company has longprovided athletes and health conscious people numerous products to enhance their goals ofweight loss and physical fitness. A recent investment in a pill-form supplement for weight liftingand cardiovascular exercising women called UltraMAX has stirred a request from the Board ofDirectors for testing and application before forwarding the product to customers. The weight-lossdrug study has a project manager and 4 team members assigned to the tasks of getting theproduct market ready. The Board of Directors has given the project manager 140 days tocomplete the testing phase inclusive of13 tasks. The project will begin on February 22, 2010.
  5. 5. ULTRAMAX 5 The project manager has analyzed the entire project with Microsoft Project. Currently,the 13 tasks are scheduled to complete 2 days ahead of schedule on September 1, 2010 with aninitial cost of $41880.00. There is a resource constraint that should be addressed in regards totasks 5 and 6 and Robert, the coordinator for those events. Leveling the schedule for Robert toadequately complete his tasks adjusts the scheduled completion date forward by two days, andremains intact with the 140 day deadline on September 3, 2010. Since task 6 was not part of thecritical path (essential tasks to complete on time), the assignment dates were moved to April 29and 30, 2010 with no conflict to the critical tasks. The UltraMAX project team must follow the schedule continuously, as any timealterations will alter the completion of the project as well as expected costs. The team holds theextraneous risks of extended task periods, product failure or that the product may be need to bealtered before results in test subjects present themselves- which may further the time periodneeded for the study. Figure 2.1 shows the over-allocation of Robert before resolving levelingthe project. Figure 2.2 and 2.3display resource usage before leveling the resources and after.
  6. 6. ULTRAMAX 6Figure 2.1 Before Leveling:
  7. 7. ULTRAMAX 7Figure 2.2 Before Leveling:
  8. 8. ULTRAMAX 8
  9. 9. ULTRAMAX 9
  10. 10. ULTRAMAX 10Figure 2.3 After Leveling:
  11. 11. ULTRAMAX 11
  12. 12. ULTRAMAX 12
  13. 13. ULTRAMAX 13 Section 3: Executive Summary The UltraMAX testing project commenced on February 22, 2010 with a 5 memberproject team inclusive of the project manager. Aligning with the required 140 day limitation setby the Board of Directors, the scheduling and resources were matched and configuredappropriately. Maintaining some risk of task completion requirements, the project manager madeclear to the Board that an extension of time and/or increased expected costs may be needed inorder to align with NutroBalance’s expectations for the product in the marketplace. As of April, 21 2010, the project has changed the course of the schedule and has pushedthe date of completion (given all other elements remain time efficient) to September 17, 2010.The project schedule reveals that the time constraint for testing became apparent after task 3(Screening the Test Subjects) took 10 days longer to complete than expected. Unfortunately, task3 is a critical task, thus pushing the remainder of the project back 10 days. There are currently 10 remaining tasks to complete. Decisive maneuvering must takeplace to ensure the 140 day deadline if the Board of Directors is unwilling to add time to thetesting of UltraMAX. Resolving the time constraint and ensuring adequate completion efficiencyof future tasks may add costs as well. There are ways to resolve this issue with minimum alteration of cost and schedule. Asmentioned, if the Board decides to stay with the 140 day limitation, then costs will increase.Increasing the maximum capacities of the project team, and modifying the work taskassignments may prove to be efficient ways to get the project back on track, and possibly finishearlier. Two different plans of remediation will be displayed and explained for the considerationof the Board of Directors. If no course of action takes place, than the expected projectcompletion date will tentatively be set back to September 17, 2010.
  14. 14. ULTRAMAX 14 Plan A Plan A requires the cooperation and focus of the project team as they will be asked to bemore productive than average on a daily basis and work overtime hours as needed. By increasingthe capacities of the individual team members to a maximum of 140 percent, the 140 daycompletion can be attained. By increasing the percentage of work done per day, the teammembers will finish tasks in less amounts of time. In other words, they will have to pick up theslack and work harder to make up lost time. This plan entails the most risk because the resultscannot be guaranteed to be successful, and the additional need of funding. By strategicallyplacing time decreases in the identified tasks, cost increases from overtime hours are minimized;however, the approval of cost estimations from the Board as well as the approval and willingnessof the team for overtime hours will be needed. This alternative plan entails the following features as shown in the attached Figures 3.1-2:  56 hour work variance  $3360.00 cost variance  Task 7 increase of max units to 133%, shortening the task by 3 days  Task 9 increase of max units to 108%, shortening the task by 5 days  Task 11increase of max units to 140%, shortening the task by 2 days  Task 13 increase of max units to 125%, shortening the task by 2 days
  15. 15. ULTRAMAX 15 Figure 3.1 Overview Report
  16. 16. ULTRAMAX 16 Figure 3.2 Unstarted Task Report:
  17. 17. ULTRAMAX 17
  18. 18. ULTRAMAX 18 Plan B Utilizing resources to their max potential will aid in getting the UltraMAX testingcompleted within time limitations. Another method to get the project schedule back in line is topair up resources to complete tasks sooner. If additional task assignments to team members arestrategically placed and the Board approves the slight cost increase, the entire project could becompleted earlier than expected. An anticipated two day buffer and an early deliverable can becreated with this sequence of changes. Since other projects have utilized partners in completingtasks, and the project is currently running behind schedule, team members are willing to worktogether to complete the project on time. This alternative is highly recommended by the ProjectManager over the previously mentioned Plan A due to its cost effectiveness, and schedulemodifications. The following figures 3.3-5 display the features of Plan B. Features of Plan B include:  Task 11 decrease to 3.5 days, addition of Tony to the task team, increased cost of $60.00  Task 12 decrease to 4 days, addition of Robert to the task team, increased cost of $320.00  Task 13 decrease to 5 days, addition of Robert to the task team, increased cost of $400.00  Total project cost increase of only $780.00  Project completion date of 9/1/2010, two day decrease to a 138 day total project time  Two days to buffer any incomplete tasks  All team members can fulfill the capacities of the additional tasks assigned
  19. 19. ULTRAMAX 19Figure 3.3 Plan B Overview
  20. 20. ULTRAMAX 20Figure 3.4 Task Assignments
  21. 21. ULTRAMAX 21 Figure 3.5 Unstarted Task Report
  22. 22. ULTRAMAX 22
  23. 23. ULTRAMAX 23