CST 282. Information Technology Project Management
Case Study Analysis (25 points)
The analysis of this case study should be answered using no more than five (5) pages, single-spaced, with one-inch margins on all sides and using a 12-point font.
Brian Davis and his design team are developing a new “video toaster” for Video Appliances Company. They spend two weeks working very closely with Daniel Seligman, vice president of new product development. Mr. Seligman is a highly creative individual—the classic idea man—and he offers several novel suggestions for features that should be built into the product. Davis accepts the suggestions and begins building a prototype.
Two months later, Seligman visits the design shop to see how the video toaster is progressing. While viewing the nearly finished prototype he becomes very excited. “I’ve just got a brainstorm! Let’s include voice synthesis, so it can talk to the user.”
The design team members, recognizing that this suggestion would require a major redesign of the product, look at Brian Davis with apprehension to see his response to Seligman’s suggestion.
“We’ll do it,” says Davis, and the design team members groan inwardly.
Three months later, Seligman returns to the design shop to review the nearly completed prototype of the talking video toaster. The demonstration he sees causes him to jump with glee.
“This is great!” he says. “This is the stuff of science fiction! You know we should carry it one step further than we have. What we produce should not only be a talking video toaster, but it should be a complete multimedia control center for everything related to video. Look into this, will you, Brian?”
Brian nods his head in agreement while performing some lightning calculations in his head. He guesses this latest request will extend the project by at least nine months and will require doubling the design team staff, at the very least.
a. What types of problems are being illustrated here from the requirement definition perspective? What tools would you use to capture requirements?
b. Who should Brian have included in discussions about the evolving video toaster?
c. How would an experienced project manager have handled Mr. Seligman’s requests?
d. Would you have recommended using a prototype? Why or why not?
e. Would time-boxed scheduling help control the development time of the product? How would you apply it?