CST 281. Agile and Iterative Project Management
1. Michelle Grancesos is the visionary CEO of Appliance Masters Toaster Co. While taking a shower, she has a breakthrough insight into a new concept of toaster that Appliance Masters should be developing. In Michelle’s view, the toaster can take advantage of new information technology and become the brains of the kitchen. Following are some features she envisions in the New Age Toaster:
n Voice recognition, so that it can understand spoken instructions
n Voice synthesizer, so that it can speak to user
n Toasts bread
n Oven toasting capabilities to cook small items (e.g., hot dogs)
n Command center, so that it controls all kitchen appliances – the oven, the dishwasher, the range, the garbage disposal, vents, and lights.
Using the Poor Man’s Hierarchy, prioritize the features that Michelle proposes to include in her New Age Toaster.
2. In brainstorming features of a “new age” toaster at Appliance Masters, the five following features stood out. As a consequence of a market survey of 20 panelists, market researchers were able to develop “value scores” for each of the features. These are shown in parentheses and they add up to 1.00.
Voice recognition, so that it can understand spoken instructions (0.10)
Voice synthesizer, so that it can speak to user (0.15)
Toasts bread (0.50)
Oven toasting capabilities to cook small items (e.g., hot dogs) (0.20)
Command center, so that it controls all kitchen appliances – the oven, the dishwasher, the range, the garbage disposal, vents, and lights (0.05).
Create a Pareto diagram that reflects potential customer preferences for features. Which features should be contained in early versions of the toaster?
3. A big challenge facing iterative projects is to estimate what work efforts should be undertaken in individual iterations. One approach to estimating work efforts per iteration is to start by creating a rough PERT/CPM chart that lays out your best understanding of what needs to be done on the project. It is important that the PERT/CPM chart show both tasks and resulting milestones, where milestones reflect executable code.
The PERT/CPM chart below shows task sequences and durations associated with a hypothetical project. Using the information contained in the PERT/CPM chart:
a) Calculate the critical path;
b) Calculate latest and earliest start dates for each task and milestone;
c) Calculate float for each task.
Assuming the target length of an iteration is about4 weeks (20 days if you ignore weekends), identify how you would organize the tasks by iteration. Assume you have all the resources you need. Explain how working with known resource constraints would affect how you carry out this exercise.
4. Exercise: Catching the 7:00 am Metroliner Train to New York
In order to make her 10:30 am client meeting in New York City, Marsha needs to catch the 7:00 am Metroliner train at Union Station in Washington, DC. When she arrives at the Union Station parking lot, it is 6:40 am, so she has 20 minutes before her train leaves. The trip from the parking lot to the ticket counter typically takes three minutes. Following is a list of things she hopes to do:
· Purchase tickets (min: 3 minutes, max: 8 minutes if there is a long line)
· Buy coffee and donuts (min: 1 minute, max: 4 minutes if there is a long line)
· Consume coffee and donuts at food court table (min: 4 minutes, max: 6 minutes) (The alternative is to consume the coffee and donuts on the train.)
· Buy newspaper (min: 1 min, max: 2 minutes)
· Board train at 6:50 am to be assured of locating a good seat
· Browse through bookstore, where there is currently a fantastic sale on best sellers (min: 3 minutes, max: 15 minutes)
Question: How should Marsha schedule her time?