Project Plan

The purpose of the project plan is to demonstrate that your team has set up an environment where you can productively work on the project. The project plan is oriented towards your own team, helping you to understand the work required and plan how you can deliver the design proposal in time. Your plan must include at a minimum:

  Required Sections Pts
1.1 Problem statement – Clearly and succinctly state what the problem is that you are addressing. It is crucial that your whole team works on this section as you all need to understand as clearly as possible what the problem is that you are working on. 6
1.2 Mind-map of the problem as your team has created it. 6
1.3 Team management and communications plan – Demonstrate how your team is operating. e.g. how are you communicating and exchanging documents; what practices, procedures and standards are you using to manage the project and the team; what are your expectations of each other, etc. 4
1.4 Work plan – Show what needs to be done and how you are doing this. This involves at as a minimum:

work breakdown structure (WBS) or an ordered task list (e.g. Trello); • Gant chart or timeline charting how you can track your work progress.

1.5 Project scope – Briefly summarize what a design solution would look like for your team

(in scope) and what would be outside (out of scope). Your project scope may be structured stating clearly: justification for the project, the objective of the project (you can use the SMART principles – Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, Time frame); stakeholders involved and their expectations; constraints and limitations; any other assumptions you are making about the project. Remember – you are NOT expected to solve the problem, build computational models (unless you want to!); create algorithms. You should create workable ideas, processes and approaches which will enable CUBIC to work on those details.

Attention to detail matters! (This includes, but is not limited to: organization, creativity, professional appearance, meeting notes, team contact information (name, phone and e-mail), and consistency among the parts. +/-
Total points for the project plan 25


2.  Design Proposal (Due Week 11)

Your design proposal is oriented towards the client as it outlines the solution you are proposing for them. The design proposal should include the following sections below (at a minimum).

  Required Sections   Pts
2.1 Project Background – A synthesis of background research on any matter that will help you with the project. This may include: research articles, books, news items, press releases, industry standards, technologies, specifications for data exchange, background on user groups, existing products, etc. Make sure your research is well structured,  




detailed and that you are correctly referencing your sources. Even though you are only
  asked to submit this section as part of your proposal in week 12 it is highly advised
that you work on this section continuously from the first day of the project !
2.2. A system narrative/story board – Provide a thorough and complete overview of  how the system works. The purpose of this section is to describe (in a non technical way) how the system will fit into the work of the different user groups. This section either has to be a third person narrative telling the story of individual users (e.g. Tom the data analyst); or it can be more visual using a story board approach similar to how stories are told in comic books. A set of pictures is not enough and will fail, hence, generally the narrative is the advised approach.   5
2.3 Use case – You need to provide a detailed and complete use case of one system function. This use case has to show all steps involved in the user interaction and the processing done by the ICT. If users are provided with options you need to outline these alternatives. Use cases are much more technical than story boards as they show in detail what technology is doing step by step. Please be specific as to the circumstances under which your described uses case applies e.g. listing all pre-conditions for the function to be executed. (a video we will post will help explain this)   5
2.4 Logical design of one process – You need to draw a process model of one business process supported by your system using the business process modeling notation (BPMN). This could be similar to the use case described. We will have one session where we discuss in detail the mapping of business processes using BPMN. One good tool for drawing BMPM is   5
2.5 Reporting structures / Dashboard(s) – Describe the reports produced by the system and how and why these reports will be useful to specific user needs. Be clear for which user group you are producing a specific report or dashboard. It has to be clear how data is presented to a specific user group and why this presentation is important for that user group. — Not everything that can be reported is necessarily useful for a user.   5
2.6 Suggested system architecture – Describe in detail the physical design of your proposed solution. This must include a detailed listing of all elements used for the system including the specifications for each element. Where possible your architecture should be based on an evaluation of possible alternative designs.   5
2.7 Project risks and risk avoidance plan – Demonstrate that your team has thought about potential issues that could derail your project and that you have devised strategies for how to deal with these issues.   4
2.8 Additional Section – As the project progresses the client may request an additional section to be developed as part of the proposal.   5
Further marking criteria for the project apply that are not bound to a specific section  
2.9 Client Satisfaction – Suitability of your solution for addressing the clients need outlined in the project brief.   10
Attention to detail matters! (This includes, but is not limited to: understanding the problem, organization, creativity (in solving the problem), professional appearance, meeting notes, team contact information (name, phone and e-mail), and consistency among the parts. +/-
  Total points for the project design proposal  50



3. Video Project Presentation (Due Week 12)

Your presentation to the class has to provide a brief summary of your proposed solution for the client. The orientation of the presentation is that of a pitch, so you will need to work on effectively communicating the most important aspects of your project with very limited time. The pitch has a time limit of a maximum 3 minutes per team. There will be questions on your solution both from the lecturer, the client and the other groups; how you handle these questions will be part of how your presentation is assessed.

  Required Sections Pts
3.1 Problem – The pitch is clear in what the client’s problem is. 5
3.2 Solution – The pitch is clear in how the client’s problem is addressed and in how your proposed design will address the client’s problem. 5
3.3 Presentation – The pitch is well structured and presented (e.g. making good use of signposting, timing, visualizations, transitions, etc.) 5
3.4 Questions – Answers to questions are straight forward clearly addressing the question and comments made by the audience. 5
  Attention to detail matters! Understanding the problem, organization, creativity (in identifying the problem), professional appearance and consistency among the parts. +/-
  Total points for the project presentation 20


Team Management

As you are aware, working in groups can be really challenging! In most projects you will not be working alone – you will work with other people, be they users, the client, other departments, programmers etc. Learning how to do this better is an advantage. However, many people have pointed out that at University, a few students will not contribute to group work knowing that their peers will “pick up the slack” to avoid low marks. In the “real” world, they would be fired! So in this project you have 2 mechanisms to help a group:

  1. At the end of the term you each will evaluate the performance and contribution of each member of your group using SparkPLUS. A link to the SprkPLUS evaluation will be posted on Canvas after the project is finished in week 12. The results from SparPLUS including the quality and depth of the feedback you give to others will be used to adjust marks for individual team members of the group project. Failure to submit a SparkPLUS evaluation will negatively impact your mark for the team project. The assessments in SparkPLUS do count! So if someone does more work than everyone else, he/she may be rewarded with a higher mark on the project. The opposite also holds true.
  2. If someone is simply not following through on their tasks, the group, by majority vote, may “dismiss” that person. This may only be done:
    1. After discussion of the issue in a group meeting (provide evidence that such a meeting took place).
    2. After discussion of the issue in a second group meeting at which we are present. At this meeting evidence must be presented that a team member is chronically not performing.
    3. The dismissal is in writing and signed by all the members voting for dismissal and With our written approval.

If someone is dismissed from a group, it will be up to them to work with the lecturer to find a substitute project to work on (he/she will not be allowed to join another group). This is quite serious!