Swot Analysis - Communications Plan - Project Management Assessment Answer

February 19, 2019
Author : Andy Johnson

Solution Code: 1CEI

Question: Project Management Assignment Help

This assignment falls under Project Management Assignment Help which was successfully solved by the assignment writing experts at My Assignment Services AU under assignment help service.

Project Management Assignment Help

Case Background

Willow brook School is a small, private school in the Midwest United States. As an independent systems analyst, you work as an IT consultant, specializing in developing IT solutions for small businesses. You have been contacted by the director, Victoria Owens, to discuss the possibility of setting up an information system to handle some of the school’s administrative and financial tasks. You agree to meet with Victoria and the principal, Kathy Gilliard next week to discuss the school’s need for an information system.

Victoria explains her role as the executive director of the school. She administers the activities of the school in accordance with the mission, vision, and policies established by the Board of Directors. She supports the educational staff and oversees the financial, payroll, and human resources functions for the school. Susan Brown is the vice principal. She is responsible for the after-care program. Michelle Madrid is the administrative assistant reporting to Victoria. There are six part-time after-care teachers, three for the pre-school/kindergarten group, and three for the primary grades. After-care teachers report to Susan Brown. The following activities are undertaken by the school, Admission, Enrolment, Attendance management, Accounts, Transport Management and the Library Database. The school also supports the local charity by selling artefacts and toys made by the students and maintains an online website where people can buy and look at the new toys and crafts made by the students, which is user friendly and has images of the artefacts, toys and crafts. Willowbrook school being a small private school is looking to expand and develop into one of the niche school with a unique selling proposition of having few number of students per class. Use of technology and providing IPADS to students and eliminate the need of notebooks. Michelle, the administrative assistant, in particular is feeling the strain of the increased workload associated with the rapid growth in the student population. The system that she has been using, of spreadsheets and word processing documents, worked well when enrolments were smaller, but now the amount of time spent copying information from one place to another is daunting, and the possibility of errors is increasing. An information system is necessary to cope with the growing administrative workload.

Based on your initial conversation and the work that you prepared, you begin planning to conduct a preliminary investigation. You call Victoria and discuss with her the strategic plan for the school including its mission and vision. You explain to her that planning IT systems and projects requires a similar approach to strategic planning as the school likely took when it initially created its mission, vision, and strategic plan. She begins to ask you questions about the next steps for developing the information system. After discussions it is decided that school would invest $80000.00 and 3 months for developing this system. You have also decided to consider taking inputs on this projects from PWC and Co.PWC and Co have been in the field of administration system for years and have expertise in doing administrative activities for schools and colleges.

Assignment Task


Conduct SWOT analysis giving 5 points each for S, W,O,T as per descriptions below to help project managers.

Task 2: Prepare Project Charter as per below template

Template for Project Charter

Basic details Including: Title of the project, Nameand email of the Project Manager(yourself), Duration of the project, and High level budget

Project Objectives

  • Clear, concise reasoning for why the project is being performed
  • Clear, concise definition of what the project’s activities will entail
  • Brief description of primary deliverable(s)
  • Clear description of the project’s behefits to the organisation
  • Recognition and description of any limits that the project will not cover and address

Acceptance Criteria

  • Identification of specific factors against which the project can be compared to determine success/failure
  • Identification of specific deliverables not only for class, but for the project as a whole
  • Agency-specific deliverables
  • Inclusion of due dates for the deliverables
  • Clear identification of milestone and milestone exit points
  • Factors should include a specific metrical comparison

Assumptions and Constraints

  • Any assumptions made during the course of the project
  • List of constraints that entail the limitations that are required to be addressed


  • Complete list of stakeholders including the sponsor, PM, executive members and few important members that are required to contribute to high level decisions

Lessons Learned

  • Identification of pitfalls to be avoided, based on the student’s past experience
  • Evidence of thought as to what can and cannot affect the project in terms of how the project will run

Charter Sign off

  • make sure all the stakeholders have signed off the project charter document making comments on this project.

Task 3: Prepare Communications Plan as per the template given

Communication Plan Template

Plan purpose– A brief description of why and how the communication plan was developed, and an overview of the overall team communication philosophy.Also states types of communications planned, for lateral, downward, and upward communication.

Identification of stakeholders– The “who” in the project that requires information, (i.e. team members, project sponsor, class professor, etc.) and also the responsible parties to receive and/or communicate information.

Information to be shared– The “what” in terms of project information communication.Describes types of information that the team uses to communicate amongst its own team members, and also to the agency sponsor and the class professor.

Frequency of information exchange– The “when” describes how often communications will be held (i.e. daily, weekly, monthly, as needed, etc.)

Location of information exchange– The “where” states the location of the meeting or other interactions

Purpose of communication– The “why” description assures that communications are held effectively.

Mechanism for communication– The “how” describes the media for communication (i.e. physical meeting, email, phone, message group, etc.)

Change management– Description on how the team will handle changes in the project, whether it is in terms of project scope, schedule, or resources.This includes how the team plans to communicate changes as well as how the team plans to make decisions about changes.

Meeting agenda– Gives a brief overview of what the team plans to accomplish in each of its meetings, how it documents goals and objectives for meetings, and defines and assigns actions for the team to accomplish project objectives.

Length, format, references and writing style


This assessment task covers first five topics and has been designed to ensure that you are engaging with the subject content on a regular basis. More specifically it seeks to assess your ability to:

  • Identify the responsibilities of a Project manager when participating in a real world project;
  • Define the role of management in projects, particularly from the view point of the practitioner as a member of the project team;
  • Apply project management skills, methods, techniques and tools to a real world problem typical of a project manager;
  • Explain areas of knowledge relevant to project management; and
  • Discuss the many problems facing the project manager and to note the "best practices" being utilised in order to produce effective, efficient and quality projects on time and within budget

Task 4

This assignment follows from the case study used in Assessment 2. For the same case study, complete the following tasks by creating the following:

  1. Scope management plan( including Requirements, In scope-out scope items, Deliverables and scope verification process) to direct your efforts.
  2. Change request form. (Determine what level of changes you as an individual can make without further approval, what changes you as a student team can make, and what changes your sponsor needs to approve.)
  3. WBS first using either the free-form or the org chart format.
  4. Gantt chart-Take the WBS you have already developed.Define all of the activities that will be necessary to create each deliverable in your WBS.Create a schedule for your project.First create the schedule by hand using Post-it®Notes, and then put the information into MS Project.Take screenshots of the schedule to be pasted ni your word document that you are submitting. Be sure to include all of the summary rows (including the first row for the project title) and any key milestones.Make sure the critical path is easy to see.-
  5. RACI chart.
  6. Histogram of demands on each key participant’s time from MS Project.

  7. Create a time-phased budget for your example project using bottom-up estimating.To the extent your sponsor will supply rates for workers, use those.Approximate rates for ones you cannot get.Ask your sponsor how they treat indirect costs.Be sure to include direct labour costs for you and your team mates and add 20% for fringe.State all assumptions and constraints you have used when creating your budget.State how confident you are in your estimates and what would make you more confident.Give examples of known knowns and known unknowns on your project.Tell how you have budgeted for both of them plus how you have budgeted for unknown unknowns.
  8. Create a risk register ( 4 risks- 3 negative and 1 positive risk)for your example project.
  9. Length, format, References and writing style


This assessment task covers topics 1 to 9 and has been designed to ensure that you are engaging with the subject content on a regular basis. More specifically it seeks to assess your ability to:

  • demonstrate how a practicing project manager actually applies project management skills,
  • methods, techniques and tools ;
  • use an industry standard project management software tool (Microsoft Project);
  • apply project management skills, methods, techniques and tools to a real world problem typical of a project manager.

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Task 1: SWOT analysis

In the school, there is a requirement of IT solution so that the problem of increased activities of the administration can be collected at one point. For this a special IT consultant has been hired which will help in developing the right information about the administrative activities conducted by the school. There are different kinds of activities that are increased with the time and the executive director is facing the problem of collecting the data in the manual form. While creating the manual data there is a considerable increase in problem related to data so for this they decided to implement a permanent IT solution which will help in collecting the data at one place. For this there is a need to do the SWOT analysis in accordance with the educational staff that is able to understand the function of the IT solution. Now following are the details of the IT solution: -

  1. Strength: -

The strength of the school staff can be checked with the help of survey that is conducted within the organization. The following are the points that have been observed as the strength of the school: -

  • Victoria who is the executive director of the school is supporting the educational staff and other financial activities in the administration (Coombs, 2014).

  • All the educational staff is well aware of the technology and they are able to understand the way they can able to update the data on the regular basis.

  • The organization has ample amount of finances so that they could able to invest on the project of IT solution and other factor is that all the departments are equally separated in the information.

  • Students are also aware of using the technology this will also help the administration to check the data updated from the students side.

  • The school already running their own website in which they can able to sell the artifacts of the students so this can help the project managers to get picture of the organization.

  1. Weakness:

The weaknesses which are present in the organization and will not contribute in a beneficial way to the organization: -

  • The staff is facing the problem of high workload due to increase in the students in the school. This means that they will not be able to handle the burden.

  • There will be requirement of training to provide to the teachers so that they could able to run the program which would be created by programmers (Heldman, 2013).

  • The system of computers within the organization needed to be upgraded for the improved IT solution.

  • Extra finances will be required to upgrade the system and also to provide IPADS to the students.

  • There will be need to replace the staff which is not efficient enough to handle the development process.

  1. Opportunities:

Opportunities are the term which shows the school to change themselves with the time and requirement. Following are the details of the opportunities points within the organization which t is collected: -

  • The staff is willing to change.

  • School has enough finances to handle the process.

  • Staff us educated enough that they could handle the changing process.

  • The increase in the students in the school provides enough courage to the administration to take steps in the forward direction (Lech, 2014).

  • The necessary requirement of information system is must due to the increase in workload.

  1. Threats:

The threats which can be faced by the school during the implementation: -

  • The loss of important data of the students which can problems for school.

  • If the previous system will be continued then it will cause error in the data, which will be a daunting situation (Coombs, 2014).

  • Slow process of data collection.

  • In efficiency of the staff to get the exact data for school database.
  • Problems which are related to the education of the staff and their capability will be treating because this will force the management to throw them out.

Task2: Prepare project charter

Basic Information

  1. Title: - IT solution for school
  2. Name & email: -
  3. Duration of the project: - 3 months
  4. High level budget: - $ 80,000.00

Project objective

The main objective of the project is to develop an IT solution to enter the database of the students (Moore, 2013). With the increased number of students in the school there is a problem for the staff to maintain and enter the errorless data about the students that is why this step has been taken by the school authorities.

Acceptance Criteria

The acceptance criteria for the project will be based on different factors and different categories these are explained below: -

  • Identification of the factors against which the deliverables are to be given for the projects:

  1. Different data management system for different departments.
  2. The IT solution should be user friendly so that anybody can use can after little training (Kendrick, 2013).
  3. Errorless data should be saved in it.
  4. There should be the facility of seeing all the data at one place.

  • Specific deliverables: Following are the details of the project specific deliverables:

  1. Discover: This is the phase when the data will be discovered and all the parameters should be collected from all department like the kind of data they need to enter from a specific department (Coombs, 2014). This will help in building the platform for the IT solution. This will help in entering all the respective data according to the data with the concern of teachers and authorities.
  2. Design: This will be phase where the designing of IT solution will be done. This will be according to the requirement of the authorities and it should be user friendly so that everybody can operate who have the knowledge of using the computer. The changes will be done after confirming from the authorities (Lundgren, (2013)).
  3. Implement: Implementation of the IT solution will be done after the approval in different department and all the departments will be attached to each other for the data. All the data in collection will be available to the executive director so that she will be able to see all the data entered (Moore, 2013).
  4. Deployment: This is the final phase of the IT solution for the school. Under this, the changes will be done as per the requirement of the staff if required. This will be the finalizing phase and it will be deployed in every department after giving training to all the staff members about the IT solution (Heldman, 2015).

All the activities of the school in different department and also the website controlled by the school authorities will be joined to this system. This will able to find all the data at one place and there will be no need to go to different portals to check a particular data.

Agency deliverables

The agency deliverables for the IT solution will be:

  1. The IT solution will be made user friendly.
  2. Data can be searched quite easily.
  3. Errorless data can be found.
  4. On time delivery i.e. the project will be delivered within the time frame (3 months).
  5. Changes will be done according to the choice.
  6. Milestone points will be based on the deliverables of user friendly IT solution, every department have different assessed system and errorless data (Coombs, 2014).

Metrical comparison

Particulars Older system IT solution implementation
Data entry Difficult Easy
User friendly No Yes
Error in data Multiple None
Accessibility to different departments No Yes
Data improvement if required Yes No


Assumption and constraints

There different assumptions and constraints that are considered under the development of the IT solution


  • All the teachers are considered that they have the knowledge of computer.
  • They know how to enter data.
  • All the data provided by the staff is right.
  • All the network connectivity will be healthy.
  • There will be no Internet connectivity and electricity issues.
  • All the staff will support the changes and will contribute equally.


  • Essential data and accessories for the IT solution will be available at one place.
  • Availability of the staff for helping the project manager will be not be available at every time because they need to take care of the students (Moore, 2013)..
  • There will be disturbance from the student’s side during the implementation.
  • The entered data can be wrong it will be dependent on the staff which enter the data.

Stakeholder list The stakeholder list of the school will consist of

  • Executive directive: - Victoria
  • Board of directors
  • Vice principle: - Susan Brown
  • Administrative assistant: - Michelle Madrid
  • Staff of different departments.
  • Students and parents All above is the list of stakeholders that will be involved in the process of IT solution for the school.
  • Lesson learned
  • Mutual collaboration of efforts.
  • Understanding between the staff (Coombs, 2014)
  • New system to enter the data system is easy and can enter errorless data.
  • Smarter way of entering the data.

Charter sign off

After all the work and implementation of the IT solution the final signature of all the stakeholders will give the proof that all the things are right and the solution has met the requirement of the stakeholders. Now it can be used accordingly in different departments and also give the approval to release the amount of contract to the project managers.

Task 3:

Prepare Communication PlanThe communication plan is the most required thing in the project management. Following are the features of the communication plan: -

Plan purpose

The communication plan will help in developing the channel between the organization and the project manager. The main purpose of the plan is initially to find reason of the why IT solution is required in the school and what are the kind of problems that the staff is facing in the existing system. This will help in providing the clear relationship between developed IT solution and the existing system. In the communication plan there are different kind of communication plans that are required to implement between the staff and the project manager: -

Face to face interview: - the face to face interview will be done with the staff members of the school in different departments. This will help in finding out the problem they are facing in the existing technology and system.

Surveys: - The surveys are conducted to check the overall feedback of the system and comments of the people on the basis of the development they requires.

Identification of the stake holders

The responsible people who are involved in the project or the key stakeholders of the project will be

Team Members: - The main team members of the project will be the key persons in different department who made the spreadsheets and do other data entries will help in providing the details of the flaws they face in the existing system and they will provide the details what they are expecting from the IT solution.

Project sponsor: - the main project sponsor for are the board of directors and the executive directors.

Class professor: - The class teachers will also contribute in IT solution and also the directors and the main coordinators.

Information to be shared

The information which is to be shared in the school has a structure in which Victoria is the executive director of the school and Susan Brown who is the Vice president of the School and Michelle Madrid who is the assistant of the executive director who pass on all the information from the concerned departments. This is the structure that is to be followed in the IT solution system.

Frequency of information

The frequency of information to be shared between the departments and the executive directors should be on the regular basis. This will help in updating the things on regular basis (Moore, 2013).

Location of information exchange

The location of information exchange will through mails or in the conference hall where are the stakeholders will be present.

Purpose of communication

The main purpose of communication is to share the information about other important things on regular basis.

Mechanism of communication

The main mechanism of communication will be through mails because it is quite tuff to get together on regular basis. It will consume extra time.

Change management

The change management can be done after assigning the critical duties to every responsible member in the school.

Task 4

Scope management Plan

The scope management plan of the school will provide the details of the requirement, in scope and scope of the project and other important factors that are required to be done in implementing the IT solution for the school (Stark, 2015).

Requirement: - The requirement of the project is the sharing of the experiences of the staff and key stakeholders of the school so that the IT solution could able to be designed according to the requirement. This information about the requirement can be taken with the help of face to face interaction and surveys and also the information from the key stakeholders.

In scope – out scope items: - the items which are in scope are the computers and the internet facility and the main things is the knowledge of staff about the computers. Out scope will be the items of staff that will require replacing, if not met the requirements (Kerzner, 2013).\\

Deliverables: - The deliverable will be user friendly IT solution which will provide the efficient solution for databases of all departments in the achool and also the website which is handled by the school for the selling of handicrafts.

Scope verification process: - The scope verification process will be done by the key stakeholders of the achool and the project manager because they are the people who are handling the financial flow of the project.

Change request form The change request form will provide the opportunity to bring changes can be done without permission. This is level up to which the changes can be done on the basis of the positive change to reach the objectives. Like if there will change required in the staff according to the requirement of the project it can be done without permission from the board of directors and after that the accessories that are required to complete the project like internet, computers etc.

WBS structures

Gantt chart

RACI chart

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