Analyzing Scope Creep

Analyzing Scope Creep

In today’s generation with increasing project assignments there are often unforeseen obstacles that pop up during the launch of the project. I recalled working on a project that was centered on my previous agency’s Child Support Automated Management System (CAMS). CAMS is actively used statewide to evaluate and communicate on new and existing child support cases. Some major features of CAMS are the ability to monitor incoming and outgoing payments, send and receive transmittals’ requests or replies, add or revise business partners’ information, provide notation on cases that are reviewed, review and maintain attachments that are sent to or from other states, establish paternity and/or support, etc. The problem with using CAMS is that on a daily basis the system fails or the system prohibits certain functions from being accessed while reviewing a case. Management decided that will assign a team to gather all vital information for problems that occurs during daily operation. At the initial project assignment management assign a few people to work on the project within a week timeframe. A scope creep was that management shorten the time to work on the project to three days. It meant that we had to rush to complete the task. I realize after the project was over that a solution to the problem could have been to assign certain people to work on certain teams in order to cover all problems of CAMS.

 

 

 

 

 

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Blog Assignment: Estimating Costs and Allocating Resources

Blog Assignment: Estimating Costs and Allocating Resources

In the article Project Management Cost Estimating Techniques, it discusses resource costing, unit costs, empirical methods, and historical costing. Resource costing is estimating the cost based on the resources needed to complete the project. Such resources could be the equipment, materials, services, and labor (Markgarf, n.d.).  For my project, I can use this technique to solicit the most cost-efficient and budget friendly prices for the needed resources.  Unit costs evaluate “using a cost-per-unit” for the project which can be received from the project suppliers (Markgarf, n.d.).  I can use this within my project to have my supplier provide me with the lowest cost available per unit. According to Markgarf (n.d.) explained empirical methods by saying:

If your project is typical of your industry and businesses have completed similar projects over the past few years, an empirical approach can be highly accurate and take the least time. To use this approach, you usually have to buy software or a paper-based system that contains statistical information about the other, completed projects. You choose the characteristics that apply to your project from a list, fill in the overall parameters such as size and location, and ask for the cost breakdown. The system will provide typical costs for that kind of project. Consultants active in your industry will have information on empirical systems and might be able to supply them. (para. 3)

Historical cost is estimating the cost of the project by utilizing recent similar project cost. I can use this approach by reviewing similar projects completed by various IDs to see what costs I should include or not include in my project.

In the article 4 Tools to Estimate Costs in the Project Management, it discusses four tools to estimate costs for any project. It lists analogous estimating, parametric estimating, bottom up estimating, and three point estimating. Analogous estimating based on similar project previously completed. Parametric estimation technique uses historical information along with statistical data from similar projects to estimate the cost of current projects. The Bottom-Up Estimating technique is also known as the “definitive technique” (Usmani, n.d.). In this technique, the cost of each single activity is determined with the greatest level of detail at the bottom level and then rolls up to calculate the total project cost (Usmani, n.d.). Three-Point estimating takes three estimates and then their average to determine how to reduce unforeseen costs or risks. All of these techniques I could use to select the most affordable resources needed to complete the project.

References:

Markgraf, B. (n.d.). Project Management Cost Estimating Techniques. Retrieved from http://smallbusiness.chron.com/project-management-cost-estimating-techniques-40508.html

Usmani, F. (n.d.). 4 Tools to Estimate Costs in the Project Management. Retrieved from http://pmstudycircle.com/2012/06/4-tools-to-estimate-costs-in-the-project-management/

 

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Communicating Effectively

Communicating Effectively

Context plays a major role for communication between the presenter and audience. The context allows the presenter to illustrate their sense of flow for their audience. It gives the presenter the opportunity to show his or hers talent. Csikszentmihalyi (2003) states, “the most important way that savvy managers can optimize opportunities for flow among their employees is to give people new challenges that are commensurate with their abilities” (p. 63-70). Changes in context affect the communication as well as interpretation. When an author writes context based on an argument, he or she creates the surrounding paragraphs to support it. If one part of the context is change, it must all be change to support the point-of-view.

Email is an effective method for allowing communication between multiple users. Emails can be an effective tool when used without abbreviations or short hand. In fact emails are crucial in an online course. Wang explained by saying:

An effective way to facilitate coordination in an online setting would be to integrate the strengths of various communication tools such as the email and instant messaging into a shared workspace, where users can send and receive email messages, chat with others, and discuss ideas in a synchronous or asynchronous way. (Wang, 2010, p. 1271)

On the other hand emails can be a hindrance when trying to examine the audience thought. Voicemails are another great tool to use. Voicemail allows the sender to get straight to the point with a brief but detail message. It allows the recipient to screen the voicemail to determine if they will like to return the call. On the contrary, voicemail is not personable and can pose a threat to building an effective communication with others. The overall best communication tool is face to face communication. Face to face communication allows the speaker to view the expressions of the listener as well as allow them to interact with one another. An implication of face to face communication is the inability to meet people across the world in a centralized location without making travel arrangement.

References:

Csikszentmihalyi, M. (2003). Good Business: Leadership, Flow and the Making of Meaning (Viking, New York).

Wang, Q. (2010). Using online shared workspaces to support group collaborative learning. Computers & Education. Retrieved from http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0360131510001557

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Blog Assignment: Learning from a Project “ Post-mortem”

Blog Assignment: Learning from a Project “ Post-mortem”

Throughout the previous course, our team developed the “Beginner’s Guide to Tweeting” as an instructional that will reflect the importance of the principles of instructional design. Each member had to contribute to the instructional plan/module by building concepts from the Analysis, Design, Development, Implementation, Evaluation model also referred to as ADDIE (Kruse, 2009). Our instructional plan/module was geared towards educating and promoting the use of Twitter within a company and partner companies. A successful project must be well planned and managed throughout the entire project (Portny et al., 2008).

The guide introduced employees within a company on how to get started by creating an account, navigating Twitter, using the appropriate terminology, and applying the newly found knowledge to stay up-to-date with industry news, clients, and network on Twitter (JLCCR Instructional Designers, 2014). Of the ADDIE process, I was group member E which my role consisted of completing the procedural analysis, multimedia design, instructional plan and summary, and finalizing the entire project. Basically, my role evaluated, built upon the existing knowledge, or summarized the different sections. I think when all the sections of the ADDIE process was composed and put together as one completed project that it help contributed to the success of educating our students. I think that if we used more enhancement tools throughout the project would have been more successful and the process could have been expedited.

References:

JLCCR Instructional Designers (2014). [Website].  Retrieved from: http://jlccrinstructionald3signers.wikispaces.com/.

Kruse, K. (2009) Introduction to Instructional Design and the ADDIE model. Retrieved from http://www.transformativedesigns.com/id_systems.html

Portny, S. E., Mantel, S. J., Meredith, J. R., Shafer, S. M., Sutton, M. M., & Kramer, B. E. (2008). Project management: Planning, scheduling, and controlling projects. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.

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Project Management in Education and Training (EDUC – 6145 – 1) – Blog Assignment

Welcome All,

My name is Reshanda Hill and welcome to my blog. Throughout this course, I will be using this blog to complete assignments. I am thrilled that you are here to follow along on my journey in becoming an Instructional Designer. Thanks for visiting.

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Reflection

Reflection

In today’s generation it is crucial to embrace distance learning especially if you are looking to become a successful Instructional Designer (ID) and further your career. Distance learning has become one of the most commonly used forms of learning in the education industry. Reflecting back throughout this course, I have learned the impact that distance learning has had on education, industry, and instructional design. I’ve learned that on-line learning is also known as distance learning throughout the world (Simonson, Smaldino, & Zvacek, 2015). I learned various distance learning theories and how they relate to distance learning. I’ve learned different technology tools and how to design a successful orientation using CourseSites.

Now, moving ahead to the future of distance learning and how it will change the educational industry. Distance learning is vastly increasing in the educational intuitions as well as in the work field. I think that the enrollment in distance learning online courses will be sufficiently higher than the enrollment in a traditional or blended course. I think online course will be more successful and used more because of the convenience and flexibility that it grants the students. I think that technology advance will also allow distance learning to become more interactive and allow the instructional designer or instructor to have more evolvement in the direction of how he/she will like the class to be centered around. I overall think that the educational industry will grow because of the demand for convenience, cost efficient, and flexibility.

As an instructional designer, I could be a proponent for improving societal perceptions of distance learning by providing insight to an audience on the many benefits and advantages of distance learning such as flexibility, variety of selection for course program, and no travel time (NJVU, 2011). I can inform that distance learning enhances the effectiveness of the learner by utilizing various technology tools such as discussion boards, assignments, modules, etc. I can inform that distance learning will help close the gap between geographic and resources problems. I will be a positive force for continuous improvement in the field of distance education by using my creativity to come up with new ideas on ways to enhance existing technologies. I will search for more innovative ways to connect to with the students and have them engage in the lesson.

In closing, distance learning is the newest and most exciting form of learning in a classroom environment. The future of distance learning can be foreseen as drastically increasing. Informing the others of the many benefits of distance learning will make a major impact on the perceptions of distance learning. Utilizing creativity can reduce the perceptions as well as reinforce a positive view on distance learning.

References:

NJVU, (2011). Top 10 Advantages and Benefits of Distance Learning. Retrieved from: http://www.njvu.org/top-10-advantages-and-benefits-of-distance-learning/

Simonson, M., Smaldino, S., & Zvacek, S. (2015). Teaching and learning at a distance: Foundations of distance education (6th ed.) Charlotte, NC: Information Age Publishing.

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Converting to a Distance Learning Format

Converting to a Distance Learning Format

A training manager has been frustrated with the quality of communication among trainees in his face-to-face training sessions and wants to try something new. With his supervisor’s permission, the trainer plans to convert all current training modules to a blended learning format, which would provide trainees and trainers the opportunity to interact with each other and learn the material in both a face-to-face and online environment. In addition, he is considering putting all of his training materials on a server so that the trainees have access to resources and assignments at all times.

Before the training manager can covert his program, he will need to have a few pre-planned strategies to ensure an easy transition from the current training format to the new blended learning format. Such pre-planned strategies should include: budget examination, audience learning styles, and server support determination. First, the trainer should check to see if the new training format aligns with the current allocated training budget. If not then he will need to select a more cost efficient. Second, the trainer should ensure that the learning styles of the employees being trained are included in the delivery of the new format. Lastly, the trainer needs to consider if the server is equipped to support the materials used in the new format because some server has a limited space and certain restrictions to successfully utilize the server.

An aspect of his original training program could be enhanced during the distance learning format by utilizing an asynchronous discussion board to communicate with fellow trainers and trainees. Asynchronous discussion board “does not occur at the same time” (Keller, 2012). It allows the trainer and trainees to communicate at different times on the topic of discussion. All the parties involved could explore course materials at their own pace then they can share the information learned in a centralized location.

His role as trainer will change in a distance learning environment by allowing him to become a more diverse trainer. He will be able to communicate and delivery course material utilizing the most common technology used in today’s industry. This in return will allow him to reach more trainers and trainees throughout the organization.

There are many steps that the trainer should take to encourage the trainees to communicate online. For example, he can create an environment that will “provide a detailed syllabus that clearly defines expectations for the course in general and specific guidelines for each assignment” (Durrington, Berryhill, & Swafford, 2006, para. 5). He could also divide the trainees into multiple groups and allow them to select a topic of interest that they can build a working relationship. Having trainees to “work on an activity that is not academic in nature may help the students build their confidence in the group collaborative experience” (Simonson, Smaldino, & Zvacek, 2015, pg. 193).

To concluded, the training manager will need to have pre-planned strategies prior to converting the current training program into a new blended program. He must pre-plan for the budget, the audience, and the existing server. The training program could be enhanced by using asynchronous discussion board to communicate with trainees and fellow trainers. The training manager role, as trainer, can change in a distance learning environment. There are steps that should be taken to encourage the trainees to communicate online.

 

References:

Durrington, V., Berryhill, A., & Swafford, J. (2006). Strategies for enhancing student interactivity in an online environment. College Teaching, 54(1), 190–193. Retrieved from http://www.redorbit.com/news/technology/433631/strategies_for_enhancing_student_interactivity_in_an_online_environment/

Keller, C. (2012). Synchronous vs. Asynchronous Communication [Video file]. Retrieve from https://youtu.be/ONGtUTGc9sE

Simonson, M., Smaldino, S., & Zvacek, S. (2015). Teaching and learning at a distance: Foundations of distance education (6th ed.) Charlotte, NC: Information Age Publishing.

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