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ITECH 2250 ASSIGNMENT 1 SEMESTER 8 2015 (201507) – CASE STUDY
Educational Android Apps Project
Ed app Inc. is one of the world’s fastest growing educational application development firms for the Android market. In addition to performing education research, the company provides several educational app development services. They have recently expanded into the music educational games market as well as maintaining their traditional mathematics and science educational games market. The company has over 50 employees today, having added almost 20 people last year alone. They predict that they will continue to grow in the future. They currently are headquartered in Canberra and have offices in two other cities. They plan to open four additional offices next year. Part of the reason for the company’s success has been their strong work culture. The company’s founders wanted to focus on using technology and innovation to improve children’s engagement in the learning process. They believe in hiring highly talented and motivated individuals who can work well on self-managed teams. You have been working for Ed app Inc. for the last two months in their information technology department. You have just been assigned as a senior systems analyst supporting a new Music Application Development Project. Due to limited availability of music education applications, the CIO, John Smith and the VP of education research, Zack Addy, have both made this project a priority. Research has shown that when children are exposed to classical music regularly, their mathematical abilities are boosted. Music therapy can assist children who are struggling in math, language, or physical development. Music therapy has proven quite effective for children with varying disabilities such as Down syndrome, autism, cerebral palsy, traumatic brain injury, and many more. Currently there are almost no applications available in this field. The main goal of this project is to develop a set of two music apps. One app will be aimed at improving children’s mathematics and language development. The other will be a specialist app for children with disabilities. Senior managers believe it will take about four months and $310,000 for this important project.
Seeley Booth and Temperance Brennan formed a search committee to find the best candidate for managing the Music App Development Project. After reviewing many strong candidates, they decided to hire you to manage this critical project. You worked for a consulting firm and had successfully implemented several android application development projects in large organisations. Since this was a high priority project that should be completed in four months, they felt it was appropriate to go outside the company in this case. They knew they were paying a premium for your contract at $140 p/hr for 2 d/wk, but a lot was at stake. Seely and Temperance agreed to be joint project sponsors, and they hand-picked Lance Sweets to be the main internal IT liaison and Jack Hodgins to be the main educational liaison. They would let the new project manager, you, form the rest of the project team. In order to get the two apps developed in the time frame you will use a scrum programming approach with two teams of three programmers working on each app. The programmers will spend the equivalent of half a day a week on project management related activities and the remaining four and a half days on development. They will be paid at a rate of $80 per hour. You will also need to access a special education teacher, and a music specialist consultant, their pay rates are negotiable.
You are having several challenges on this project. Ed app Inc. originally focused on developing education apps to facilitate children’s learning but the new CEO, Camille Saroyan, has emphasized the need to increase profits by tapping into other markets, including 3D android mathematics educational apps and business training apps. The types of people who work on the former market are often very different from people working on the latter markets. They often have different educational backgrounds, skill sets, and values. Most of the people hired in the past year have been hired to support these new markets. Even though you and the Music App Development Project team tried to do a good job managing key stakeholders, they are having difficulties with several employees who disagree with the company’s new marketing strategies. Just a month into the project, several senior managers in the research and education-related departments have voiced their opposition to specializing in music education apps. A few very vocal managers said that they would continue to work on the traditional mathematics and science curriculum areas.
A memo that the project sponsors and you sent had mixed reviews, but the first monthly meeting was very effective in airing everyone’s concerns and clearing up misconceptions. The project team realized that in addition to high-level monthly meetings, they would need to have more detailed meetings and reports to help keep the project on track. Each project team was assigned a user representative. It was critical that the team develop a good list of requirements for these new apps, emphasizing the most important features early on in the project. They know that new features may be added in following versions.
You are almost three months into this four month project, and you plan to roll out the alpha version of each game in a couple of days. The Beta version is planned for release on time at the completion of the project. The project has been considered a success, coming in on budget, within scope and key stakeholders have been pleased with the communications and reporting process.
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