Sign in to follow this  
marmar

Question in software engineering

Recommended Posts

marmar    122
I am a softwre engineering student and i have this question pls can any body help and give me the idea of some solutions? the question is: You are the project manager in charge of development of a healthcare management infirmation system to be delivered to the customer within 9 months. Three months later, you realized that the project costs would be over budget and the system would not be able to meet the delivery date. What are the possible and immediate actions that you could take to ensure costs within budget and to deliver the system on time? thanks

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
LorenzoGatti    4442
The only "solution" would have been to use better programmers, able to deliver what was expected, or better estimates.
Good management, on the other hand, requires deciding what unrealistic requirements should be relaxed: if you want to respect deadlines and budget, you'll need to define a reduced feature set that you can deliver, but realistically all three factors will need some compromise.
A healtcare system is likely to have many non-negotiable requirements of privacy, safety, etc., but to tolerate delays because it replaces established and decently working manual procedures and old systems, which can be kept operational for a long time.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
BlindSide    136
I would switch to an easier, faster-prototyping programming language or helper library. A good free helper library can speed up developement and reduce costs by a ton.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
d000hg    1199
Quote:
Original post by BlindSide
I would switch to an easier, faster-prototyping programming language or helper library. A good free helper library can speed up developement and reduce costs by a ton.
After 3 months you want to throw it all away? Besides, bringing in any new technology will slow down progress as people have to learn it.
Quote:
Original post by stevenmarky
Try to get more staff and time to develop the program, if this isn't possible quit while you are ahead.
NO! It is a well known fact that adding people to a team slows things down.

I don't think you can give an easy answer of how to fix it. If it turns out to be a bigger job than originally thought, or you had an unexpected delay, there is no magic cure. Otherwise you could have estimated less time in the first place. There is no reliable way to estimate a large piece of software deveopment.

I think the correct answer would be to make a list of all features. Order them by priority and accept you have to drop some.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Xai    1838
the general rule of managing a project is that you can use money to reduce time (but only if managed well and only to a certain limit), you can manage features to manage time (reduce features to reduce time), you can increase time to increase quality. But you cannot reduce quality to reduce time, you cannot reduce time beyond a certain point with only money ... and there is no known method to reduce both time and money on a project - else as mentioned before - you would simply have estimated more correct lower numbers to start with.

P.S. Do not abandon quality constraints for time, it only backfire and costs time. You may, however, sacrifice some formality in areas where the team feels the formal procedures are completely wasted and do not increase quality.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Seem like a homework assignment, but here's a few points to consider from a more broad perspective:

Tell the customer, be proactive and honest. If there is no chance the customer wouldn't find it out anyway, you do yourself a favour by telling well in beforehand so you can deal with the situation together. In defence industries, banking, pharmaceuticals etc. there customers usually genuinely want their product and it means lost money and market if they have to switch to another supplier. This may be not the case with healthcare information management system, but it is important the customer to be aware of the situation.

If it is really going over the budget and there is no gain to be seen and you can afford the loss of goodwill and credibility, dump it. The gains could be, just to name a few like SLA (Service Level Agreement) to bring money afterwards, a good reference to get more projects, gaining insight to the process and field and educating the developers. Oh yes, if such a system was put in place, probably newspapers etc. have told it already and dumping the project most likely won't phase out quietly.

You should be aware also that many fields have their own standards, regulations and system auditions, so it's not a good idea to just rush the product through the door. In any case, as I've seen here in Finland at least, if the system is dysfunctional, either it will be repaired by you or someone else and you will pay the costs of doing so.


What comes to actually delivering the product, and this should be self-evident, you should make a good investigation on why the project is late already. You can't fix problems unless you are aware of them. Were the requirements documented insufficiently in the first place? Is the contact between you and the customer functional or could it be significantly improved? Is there something wrong in the development process (practices, tools, personal disputes, other problems), is the customer trying to jack some more requirements into the development all the time (feature creep), was there a wrong CMS system selected (Alfresco, Magnolia, InfoGlue, Alfresco, SharePoint 2007) etc. etc.

What comes to actually delivering the product on time (remember that you can actually extend the deadline in many cases), you could try to hire a consultant that has a proven track record on such systems. It will cost money, but you probably avoid many of the pitfalls still to come. Though this won't matter if he can't work with your team. So to say there's a problem in your team chemistry or team practices, for instance.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Malone    151
>> You are the project manager in charge of development of a healthcare management infirmation system to be delivered to the customer within 9 months

If you were actually a project manager working in the industry, you would tell your boss in no uncertain terms that such a thing is not possible. (If you had some really experienced software engineers, you might be able to gather the requirements for such an undertaking in 9 months.)


>> Three months later, you realized that the project costs would be over budget and the system would not be able to meet the delivery date

You tell your boss to cancel the project. This will save the company millions. It cannot be done. There are companies (Cerner, for example) who have been in business for decades, and are only just now beginning to get this sort of thing right.

On a side note, I really hate homework questions like this. This is a prime example of something you learn in school that you will never ever use in the real world. Project management cannot be learned in the classroom. It can only be learned by working on projects at actual companies that do actual work.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

Sign in to follow this