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Good Answers has been growing exponentially over the past few years

Project Management

Good Answers has been growing exponentially over the past few years. Ima Prez built the company from scratch, beginning out of her car and basement to an enterprise with $18 million in billings last year alone and 150 employees. 

Good Answers is a company that provides telephonic support to companies without their own organic computer system help-desk structure. It concentrates on being able to handle hardware, LAN, and software application matters. The company provides support with a team of 10 to 20 people available at a time to cover any type of question. A knowledgeable screener answers the phone and then turns the caller over to someone with the correct expertise for the particular problem. Sometimes several experts have to be conferenced together to help the caller. This system has been in place for about five years. Good Answers has contracts with about 300 companies of various sizes to provide this support and is leading an active marketing effort to add new companies.

At present, Good Answers has outgrown its office space. The company can either stay put and triple up people in offices, wait 18 months until some extra floors of the office building become available, move to a nearby location, or perhaps even move to the next county. Everyone seems to have a different idea of what would be best, which they vigorously debate in the kitchen as they heat up their lunches or get coffee.

Finally, President Ima Prez makes a decision: Good Answers will move to new office space 10 blocks away.

You were hired six months ago as an assistant project manager and have spent the past few months getting acclimatized by shadowing more experienced project managers and learning company procedures. Needless to say, you are keen to get started. When you hear about the move, you suggest to Joe Storum, your boss and Good Answers' head of facilities, that you manage the project.

Joe, who was among the first 10 people hired at Good Answers and who once worked in the president's basement, is a little hesitant, but decides to give you the chance.

As you savor the upcoming challenge, you start thinking about a few things that make you nervous:

  • You know you must minimize Good Answers' downtime, because everyone is busy enough as it is.
  • Although Good Answers is moving less than two miles away, many employees walk their children to the next-door child-care facility or enjoy the nearby restaurants and fitness club. They would rather not move at all.
  • The president is concerned that the new office reflects the image of a successful company on the way to the top. The new place needs to look classy. But, of course, she is also worried about the effect of the move on the company's profits.
  • You have always assisted project managers before. This is your first time being in charge.

Considering the above scenario, answer the following questions.

1. What is the project in this scenario? Why is it a project?

2. Who are the stakeholders?

3. What are some of the main issues that you will need to address in this project?

4. What is the scope of this project? What is out of scope?

5. How will you validate the scope of the project?

6. How will you control the scope of the project?

7. What are some of the questions you will ask to gather requirements for the project?

8. Give examples of product-oriented deliverables and project-oriented deliverables based on the scenario.

9. Who should be the project sponsor of the project? Why?

10. What resources will you need for this project? What skillset will they ideally have?

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