assignment

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Project management
Hi. I would really appriciate some advice. I am a student and have an assignment to develop a NEW electronic interface with vital statistics (citizenship, birth, death and so on) for residents with American citizenship. Card design accommodating special considerations for security, digitized photos and signature. Existing systems are are based on multi tier architecture using mainframe, Unix mid tier and Windows workstations. Tombstone data is stored in IMS, DB2 & Oracle. Expected 3 years to complete the project. Questions: Realistically, how many team members I would require to complete this job properly? How many programmers would I need? What is the difference between Sys.Admin and Net.Admin? Is the role of Sys.Admin to do the backup? Whom else should I hire? Below is a list of my team (not in any particular order) I think I would need to accomplish the task. TECHNICAL TEAM Database Architecture Team System Analyst Network Administrator Backup/Restore Team DEVELOPMENT TEAM Programmers GUI Designers Thank you.

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The answer to you question depends on what is the composition of the talent on your team? A extremely talented person could do everything them self on time.

You did not mention:
What is the budget.
Is on one site or multiple sites.
Are you using off the shelf hardware?
Are you using off the shelf software?

Here is a list (partial) of areas you will need to consider:

Hardware Team
End Point Infrastructure
Card Readers
Cards
User Workstations
Network Infrastructure
Firewalls
Routers
Switches
Cabling
Server Infrastructure
Servers
SAN
NAS
Environmental (System wide including End Points)
Power
Cooling
Protection from the elements
Operations
Change Management
Preventative Maintenance
Deployment
Site Preparation
Installation
End User Training
Disaster Recovery
Who does:
What
Where
When
How

Software Team
Cards
Programming
Change Management
Card Readers
Drivers
Operating Systems
Network
Endpoint
Security
Card
End Points
Servers
Network
Firewalls
Routing
Routers
Switches
Application
End Point
Databases
Management
Disaster Recovery
Management Team
System Administrators (End Points)
Network Administrators (Infrastructure)
Server Administrator
WAN Administrator
Database Administrator
Security Administrator
Programming Team
Drivers
End Points
Desktop Operating Systems
Network Operating Systems
Bio-metric
Front End
User Interface
Administrative Interface
Back End
Database

Discuss This Question: 7  Replies

 
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  • Jimmer
    Newbie6: A major consideration regarding your issue hinges upon what kind of budget constraints you?re tied to. This ultimately dictates whether or not you have the luxury to invest in specialized personnel. Personally, I believe it?s important to hire individuals who have skill sets across several disciplines. This gives you the advantage of being able to redeploy existing resources to trouble areas as the project progresses. Regarding your question about system administrators and network specialists, my experience has been that the network specialist is typically involved with connectivity issues, network security, network infrastructure, etc. where the system admin is responsible for server / software issues, user profile maintenance, etc. However, it would not be unusual for these two roles to overlap, especially in your small to mid-size organizations. Typically, the system administrator oversees the backup process also. Good luck with the project.
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  • Almac
    The most apparent gap in you planning is Quality Assurance (QA). QA will be required from the very beginning all the way through to the final deliverable. Your QA group should be entirely seperate from the development groups to insure impartiality. I would also suggest you read a book by Steve McConnell titled ?Software Project Survival Guide? published by Microsoft Press. I found it very useful in my first large development project.
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  • VenPhil
    This project doesn't sound very big. I am a little puzzled by the three-year time estimate. So maybe there is more than you told us. Anyway, I am in total agreement with the above response that it is good to hire people with expertise across several areas. You get much better planning (and design/code reviews) when this is the case. It also appears to me that the database will be one maintained by a different organization (like the Federal Government, for instance), in which case you will work with the people who are responsible for that database. These are people you will not hire, and will not be responsible for, in which case you need to convince them to work with your team. This requires a good deal of bridge-building on your part and on the part of your team that works with them. Since the project is not a very big one (at least conceptually), I urge you to keep your team small, like 5-6 people. When you select a vendor for the card readers, have THEM be responsible for the interface between the reader and the workstation, and whatever driver(s) may be required. You also might consider using a server service for the mid-tier application, in which case, they would be resonsible for back-up and disaster recovery; these are normally part of the package when you contract with a service provider. As a student, you may or may not have heard of the KISS principle -- Keep It Simple, Stupid! And for relatively simple projects, like this one, it is doubly important. It is easy to let the planning and design of a simple project get out of control. Good luck! Phil
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  • DrillO
    About the only thing I could add to this (and at least one of the others hinted at it) is to make sure you build in time to talk to the client(s) and the people you are REALLY doing this for. I know that this is an assignment, but that factor is frequently overlooked. I can't tell you the number of times I have come across software and database apps. that were written by people that have no clue in the world how it will be used and it shows. I would give extra marks for that one consideration alone. Good luck, Paul
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  • Sandman328
    Hello, I can not help you solve the entire problem but i can give you some advice and some suggestions. I believe the systems admin is over (for example) all of the windows boxes in a network, but the network admin is responsible for all of the different types of machines and the relationships between them. for a full definition use wikipedia or security solution. I would begin planning by talking to the programmers (the critical link) and find out what they think it will take to do the programming. To me it seems like a rather simple process with a database, but again this is not my field of expertise. You do need to work out what will be needed for disaster recovery. Start with a risk analysis and see what you stand to lose at every level of possible risk. decide what is acceptable loss and then workout what resources and time will be needed. always prepare for the worst and make contingency plans. good luck
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  • Patminich
    You've received some interesting answers that are all going to help you make some decisions. Some of the areas you need to ask questions about in your design start with what is the system supposed to do. From the description it sounds like either a school or government project. In either any case you have to start with what legal issues do I have to comply with. (HIPAA, Sarbanes Oxley ETC) Don't get blindsided by ignoring this aspect of IT work. After you have done this devise surveys for your users. Talk to the project sponsor about the departments and users that will be affected by the new system, interview them and do a work flow analysis of the current system. Build a business case for the system and show why this is going to improve the process. Let them know where the ROI is either in cost savings, regulatory compliance or customer satisfaction. From the description of where the data is and the time frame I will assume that this is a legacy system that no longer fits the needs the business requires. Part of your analysis should also include the consolidation or replacment of the older systems. Has the cost of the maintenance on these systems become restrictive and how much useful life remains in the equipment before it is no longer supported? Is this the time to consider infrastructure? At this point you have shown there is a benefit to the organization. You have an assesment of the users and their knowledge, abilities and comfort levels. You know what regulatory issues you have to satisfy and you have a clear understanding of the current hardware infrastructure. Lets expand your team: I am assuming you will be acting as the project manager. Program System Architect. Find one that is not dependant on any one platform. Every system is different and in your case you need someone that can help you decide how to make all of the systems work together. This person should be able to work with your DBA and Network management to define the correct path to data base consolidations and infrastructure upgrades. Try not to get stuck with a platform zealot they can restrict your options. This person helps describe the options you have for the initial design. This defines the skill sets you need for the programers. DBA: you have legacy systems and probably someone taking care of each different one. You have to find out if they have the time required to support the project or do you have to hire someone. Network and System Architect: Same as the DBA. This person should be well versed in supporting software applications and capacity planning. The 3 tiers you mentioned don't fit the 3 tier specifications usually used for software development except for the data layer. Photos use a lot of band width and depending on the usage it could be a concern. This can be the same person or 2 network is concerned with the routers, switches, cabling and bandwidth issues. system is concerned with the server harware and does maintenance and provides the required uptime on the systems. Programers: You asked how many you need, the info you supplied is not enough to quantify an answer. But have at least 2 so you can have an easy transition if one leaves. The programmers are your GUI designer because the user has defined this design for you. The programmer implements it. You have also decided on the skill set they need whether it's SOA or EDI you have to bring the systems together. Security analyst:
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  • Troyswallow
    Simplest terms, the project is a tech refresh(lipstick on a pig). Consider this with scope of the project rather than designating a staff first. Couple of good observations: 1. You are dealing with vital statistics and citizenship which is a bit uneven. Vital statistics are more of a state function and citizenship is a federal function. You might better be served with functional experts like a statistition who knows births, deaths, etc....and a subject matter experts who has some depth in the following areas; citizenship, immigration, naturaliztion, homeland security. === 2 design staff 2. You are interfacing with existing data. You cannot get by without a straight maineframe programmer, the competencies are just too discrete(not rare or complex). Unix programmers are a dime a dozen. === 2 dev staffers 3. You need at least on tech staffer who knows multimedia with some depth, especially the ones that are specific to the project; digital photography, multimedia(incl. storage), badges, magnetic swipe technology, rfid, smart chips, digital signatures, and crypto. === 1 tech staffer (could a be developer but probably your best pick for project lead). Major tasks. - Determine new functionality and work integration scenarios with existing data sources. - Develop interfaces across the topologies, as an assumption, Mid-tier may be where the digital photos, storage, signature technology exists, but the customer service(point of service) might be windows workstations. You data has to go up and down, left to right across your platforms. Also, sometimes, mainframe shops require specific interfacing processes. - Five people on the team, two design & doc, two developers, one lead/developer. No more...unless you want to add a formal tester/qa. - As far as back ups, storage, network....think indirect or it already has to part of "the system" funding....your just here to build(...they already came). Three years is long enough to design, build, and test via any SD lifecycle methodology. Last advice, think deliverables, docs, programs, etc. Then, put them in a schedule. Depending upon how you build, you may require more staff after test when you go to deploy....ie, training, installation teams, qa.
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