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A WEB BASED SOLUTION TO AID PROJECT MANAGEMENT IN AN ACADEMIC ENVIRONMENT

10,000 3,000

Topic Description

Project Summary
Project Management is a necessary process for any business that embarks on any sort of project. Without management projects are likely to struggle to meet the goals set by those sponsoring the project and therefore be considered a failure. I have experienced project management in the context of a business during my industrial placement year.
Several projects carried out in the course of a university degree also require project management to ensure deadlines are met. I had experience of project management in an academic context from several group projects conducted during my first two years at university. There were many other projects or coursework’s that had to be completed to successfully pass modules during these two years. I often found that I had periods of constant work and struggle to complete these projects. Also my
experience of project management in groups had not been a good one and I often found such projects stressful. It occurred to me that employing project management
approaches similar to those used in business might help to relieve stress and help me
to better coordinate my time and effort. I envisaged that a simple software tool would
be useful in achieving this since most businesses used some sort of project management application to coordinate their projects.
After searching for an application to suit my needs I had found several. However, I found that these were largely geared towards projects in a business, not academic, environment. Due to this I felt there was scope to design and develop a project management application that was geared towards an academic environment.
There were several high level requirements such an application would have to meet in
order to be a success:
• There would need to be provision to break projects down into more
manageable segments.
• Provision would have to be made for the management of group projects since
such projects are encountered in most degree courses.
• The application would have to be easy to use and as simple as possible in order
to avoid having the same drawbacks as some of the existing products.

Table of Contents
1. Introduction…………………………………………………………………..1
1.1 Why Project Management? …………………………………………….1
1.2 What The Project is trying to Achieve ……………………………….1
1.3 What The Project is not trying to Achieve ………………………….2
2. Background Research……………………………………………………..3
2.1 Motivation for Research…………………………………………………3
2.2 Project Management …………………………………………………….3
2.3 Project Planning…………………………………………………………..4
2.4 Time Management ……………………………………………………….4
2.5 What is CSCW? ……………………………………………………………5
2.6 What is Groupware?……………………………………………………..5
2.7 Categorization of Groupware…………………………………………..6
2.7.1 Administration ……………………………………………………………….6
2.7.2 Information Management …………………………………………………6
2.7.3 Communications Management …………………………………………..6
2.7.4 Real-time Meeting Facilitation ……………………………………………7
2.8 The Future of CSCW……………………………………………………..7
2.9 Functionality of Existing Topics ……………………………………7
2.9.1 Microsoft Project …………………………………………………………….8
2.9.2 Microsoft Outlook……………………………………………………………9
2.9.3 OurProject (www.ourproject.com)…………………………………….10
2.9.4 Ace Project (www.aceproject.com)……………………………………11
2.9.4 Summary…………………………………………………………………….12
3. Requirements & Design…………………………………………………13
3.1 This Project ………………………………………………………………13
3.2 The User Community………………………………………………….13
3.3 Technology Choices …………………………………………………..14
3.4 Architecture Design…………………………………………………….15
3.4.1 Application Architecture………………………………………………….15
3.4.2 The Web Service…………………………………………………………..17
3.5 Interface Design ………………………………………………………..17
Tim Elliott ___ Web Based Project Management
iv
4. Implementation……………………………………………………………22
4.1 Database Implementation…………………………………………….22
4.2 Implementing the Web Service ……………………………………..23
4.2.1 Implementing Classes and Collections ……………………………….23
4.2.2 Connecting to the Database…………………………………………….23
4.2.3 Exposing Web Methods ………………………………………………….24
4.2.4 The Completed Web Service ……………………………………………25
4.3 Application Development ……………………………………………..25
4.3.1 Referencing and Using the Web Service …………………………….25
4.3.2 Web Forms Page Processing ……………………………………………26
4.3.3 Using Panels To Control The View…………………………………….27
4.3.4 Managing Projects and Tasks………………………………………..29
4.3.5 Validating Input ……………………………………………………………31
4.3.6 The Project Calendar……………………………………………………..32
4.3.7 Managing Groups………………………………………………………….33
4.3.8 Sending an E-mail to a User ……………………………………………35
4.3.9 Overdue Tasks……………………………………………………………..35
4.3.10 Document Management………………………………………………..36
4.4 Testing…………………………………………………………………….39
5. Evaluation……………………………………………………………………41
5.1 Technology Evaluation…………………………………………………41
5.1.1 Technology Choices ………………………………………………………41
5.1.2 Using the Technology…………………………………………………….41
5.2 Application Evaluation …………………………………………………43
5.2.1 Evaluation Criteria…………………………………………………………44
5.2.2 User Evaluation Results ………………………………………………….46
5.3 Evaluation Summary …………………………………………………..49
6. Bibliography…………………………………………………………………50
7. Appendices…………………………………………………………………..52
7.1 Appendix A: Personal Objectives ……………………………………52
7.2 Appendix B: Sample Test Plan ………………………………………54
7.3 Appendix C: Project Plan ……………………………………………..56
7.4 Appendix D: Evaluation Questionnaire

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