Operational Decision Making

Cell Phone Design Process
You work for Motorola in the global cell phone group. You have been made operations/project manager
for the design of a new cell phone model. Your supervisors have already scoped the project so you have
a list showing the work breakdown structure and this includes major activities. You must plan the
production schedule and calculate production duration. Your boss wants the schedule on his desk
tomorrow morning! You have been given the information below. It includes all of the activities required
and the duration of each activity. Also, dependencies between the activities have been identified.
Remember that the preceding activity must be fully completed before work on the following activity can
be started. It is divided into five major production processes. Process “P” involves developing
specifications for the new cell phone. Here decisions related to such things as battery life, size of the
phone and features need to be determined. These details are based on how a customer uses the cell
phone. These user specifications are redefined in terms that have meaning to the subcontractors that
will actually make the new cell phone in Process “S” supplier specifications. These involved engineering
details for how the product will perform. The individual components that make up the product are the
focus of Process “D”. Process “I” brings all of the components together and a working prototype is built
and tested. Finally in Process “V”, vendors are selected and contracts are negotiated.

  1. Produce a network diagram that includes all of the activities. What is a network diagram and why is it
  2. Produce a Gantt chart that includes all of the activities. What is a Gantt Chart and why is it important?
  3. Calculate start and finish times for each activity. Assuming a start date of 10/1/2015, what is the finish
  4. What is the total number of weeks for completing the process?
  5. Which activities have slack? What is slack?
  6. Which activities are on the critical path? Why do we use the critical path in scheduling?
  7. Your boss would like you to suggest changes that could be made to production that would significant
    shorten it. What would you suggest?
    MAN 4504 Operational Decision Making
    Activities ID Predecessor Duration (days)
    Product Specifications (P) Overall Product Specifications P1 – 20
    Hardware Specifications P2 P1 25
    Software Specifications P3 P1 25
    Market Research P4 P2, P3 10
    Supplier Specifications (S) Hardware S1 P2 25
    Software S2 P3 30
    Market Research S3 P4 5
    Product Design (D) Circuits D1 S1, D7 40
    Battery D2 S1 5
    Display D3 S1 10
    Outer Cover D4 S3 20
    User Interface D5 S2 20
    Camera D6 S1, S2, S3 5
    Functionality D7 D5, D6 20
    Product Integration (I)
    I1 D1, D2, D3, D4,
    D6 15
    Software I2 D7 25
    Prototype Testing I3 I1, I2 25
    Subcontracting (V)
    Vendor Selection
    V1 D7 50
    Contract Negotiation V2 I3, V1 10
    MAN 4504 Operational Decision Making
    Managing a Project Assignment: Instructions
    This document contains the following information:
  8. Instructions for completing the setup of Open Project on your computer.
  9. Assignment Instructions.
  10. Video Tutorial for getting started on the assignment.
  11. Teaching Notes to guide you step by step through the assignment.
    If you have any questions please do not hesitate to ask.
    Downloading Open Project
    For this assignment you will use free project management software called Open Project. Open Project is
    an identical platform compared to Microsoft Project, but it’s free and easy to install. However, once you
    know how to use Open Project, you will also know how to use Microsoft Project – which is a great skill
    set to have in the workplace.
    To download Open Project, please visit http://sourceforge.net/projects/openproj/ and select Download.
    Follow the brief prompts and OpenProj icon will then be installed on your computer.
    Getting Started
    To get started with this assignment, you will need to complete the “project setup” portion which
    consists of inputting all data into the appropriate fields. The teaching notes below describe how to
    complete the setup.
    You may also view this video introduction to the process.
    Teaching Notes
    The teaching notes will walk you through step by step in answering the assignment questions. These
    teaching notes are designed so that you can become familiar with the inner workings of project
    management software and complete the assignment accurately. I believe that you will learn more using
    this method than completing it inaccurately and not mastering the material.
    The Setup
    To answer the questions posed in this case study, you will need to get the data provided input into Open
    Project. Follow these steps to complete the setup:
  12. Click on Open Project and choose to Create Project.
  13. Input the Project Name and click Ok.
  14. Right click on any of the columns and click Insert Column. Choose the “WBS’ data field.
  15. Right click on any of the columns and click Insert Column. Choose the “WBS Predecessor” data field.
  16. Enter the “Activities” into Name. Do not enter the category names (product specification, supplier
    specifications, etc.). Enter only the activities.
  17. Enter the “ID” into the WBS field.
  18. Enter the predecessor into the “Predecessor” field. Note that you will need to use numerals such as 1,
    2, 3, 4, etc. based on the defaulted id that MS Project lists in the far left column. As you enter these,
    note how the WBS Predecessor field is automatically filled in.
    MAN 4504 Operational Decision Making
  19. Enter the duration of each activity. For Open Project, only days are hours are supported so when you
    input the number of weeks (4 wks), this will be automatically converted to days. That is fine. You can
    make the manual conversion yourself to answer any assignment questions (8 hours = 1 days, 5 days = 1
    Now, your setup should be completed and should appear like this image below. Note that your start and
    end dates may be different since the date that I produced this image is my starting date.
    Question #1
    Click View, choose Network. Take a screenshot (or multiple screenshot if necessary) and put this in your
    final Word document. If you need assistance with screen shots, please research this on the Internet.
    Next to your image, type in a response to the question posed, if any.
    Question #2
    Click View, and choose Gantt. Take a screenshot (or multiple screenshot if necessary) and put this in
    your final Word document. Next to your image, type in a response to the question posed, if any.
    Question #3
    The start and finish times are automatically calculated based upon the default date, which is the date
    you are entering the tasks. Change your start date of the first task to 10/1/2015 and click enter. Notice
    how the rest of the project gets shifted. What is the revised Finish Date?
    Question #4
    Calculate the total number of days the project will take by counting day from the start date of the first
    activity to the finish date of the last activity. Indicate this number on your Word document.
    Question #5
    Right click on any column, click Insert Column, and choose “Total Slack”. Add the total slack column. This
    will show each activity that has slack and how much slack. In your Word document, indicate what slack
    means and which activities have slack.
    MAN 4504 Operational Decision Making
    Question #6
    Insert the Critical column. You should know how to do this by now. Which activities are on the critical
    path? Since we know the critical path are the activities that must be completed on time for a project to
    be completed on time, what is the minimum time to complete the entire process? (Hint: add the length
    of each activity that is on the critical path)
    Question #7
    Look at which tasks do not have to be dependent upon each other. For example, can one group of
    activities be completed at the same time as opposed to being completed one at a time? If so, this will
    save time. Play around with the different scenarios by removing/adding predecessors and seeing how it
    affects the project end date. Give us your recommendation and logic behind the recommendation.
    There is no right or wrong answer. I want to understand what you suggest, why you suggest it, and how
    much time it will save on the project. There is not an absolute right or wrong answer if you can justify it.
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