The Project Notebook

PMP® Challenge Question – 10/15

Here is the 10/1 question again:

You are in the middle of rolling out a Unix development and production platform to 8 US and 8 overseas locations, primarily Australia and Europe. This is a major initiative to move development and clients off proprietary mainframes and on to more flexible, vendor supported platforms. The equipment is shipped to the US, repackaged, and forwarded to locations to coincide with the arrival of an installation and training team. Halfway through, the manufacturer of the platform announces a major chip upgrade which would provide key functionality not available at the time of the start of the rollout. What is your next step?

The “PMP” answer is determine the impact to the project plan (cost, time, scope, quality) and report to management. To that I’ll add, be sure you know what you are going to do when they tell you to “hop to it” and get the project done.

For this specific project, it meant putting the deployment process on hold just for a week or two while we investigated what was and wasn’t possible. We found the new chip was easy to upgrade even for someone like me who was really clumsy with hardware. So for the machines yet to be shipped, we simply opened them up and put in the new chips before sending them out. With 4-5 people working on around 200 (of 400) systems which were arriving about 50 per week, this wasn’t too time consuming to do. The upgrade didn’t take more than 10-15 minutes per system. We then had to write out clear instructions for the people who already had systems. A few also had to be coached by phone, but the work was low risk and I believe we had only 1 or 2 systems fail needing new chips. Putting in a little extra time, we were able to get all the systems out in the intended timeframe.

Now for the next challenge — list at least 2 or 3 ways to collect expert opinion. What way of collecting expert opinion allows us to collect information from one person without influencing another?

See you back here 11/1 for the answer!

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© 2010-2012 Ray W. Frohnhoefer, MBA, PMP, CCP