You are a Project Manager, and are meeting with your customer for the first time. Your Customer tells you the following about the project: "I need you to build me a software accounting system >I have $1,000,000 to spend. >It needs to be done 6 months from now. >It needs to include all components that are generally accepted according to standard Accounting practices. > It needs to support 200 users, and be accessible from 3 separate physical locations, and have interactive user response time of no greater than 5 seconds while executing any transaction from any location regardless of the number of users logged on. " The customer wants to hear from you in 2 weeks as to your commitment and initial plan. What do you tell the customer initially, and then what would you do to prepare for the next meeting? (Remember that this exercise is based on the PCTS Lecture material). I am not looking for a detailed project plan here - you can keep your analysis at a high level. I have not specified what specific resources you have as a PM to work this project - you can assume or adjust these as you want to support your analysis and support your point of view. Fell free to add any information you think might be applicable to the exercise.
p ..stand for performance
T .. time
S ; scope
Initially inform the customer that you will analyze the brief and develop a proposal of how to execute the project. You will share your findings at your next meeting in two weeks.
As the project manager you will need to analyze the constraints of the project to come up with the best available options of execution. Performance, cost, time and scope (PCTS) are the constraints to be analyzed through use of the PCTS model by picking any three. The constraints influence each other directly. This means changes in one will affect the rest.
Elements of the PCTS Model
Time: The time to completion of the project as set by the customer
Cost: The amount the customer is willing to spend
Quality/Performance: The standards of the system
Scope: The capacity and features of the system
Time=Fast, Cost=Cheap, Performance=Quality, Scope=Scope
After analysis the project manager will arrive at 1 of the 5 outcomes as outlined below:
- The system can be developed as proposed by the customer with precision.
- The system can be developed quickly, with high quality and covering the entire scope but it will not be cheap.
- The system can be developed quickly, cheaply and covering the entire scope but it will not be of high quality.
- The system can be developed quickly, cheaply and with high quality but it will not cover the entire scope.
- The system can be developed with high quality, cheaply and to cover the entire scope but will take a relatively long time.
It is important to note that it is rare for customers to compromise on quality so in most cases there are only 4 practical outcomes.