Assignment #2 - Project Charter
Assignment #2 Overview
Submittal: See Canvas Calendar for Submittal Date
Target Word Count: 1000-1500 words (this is just a target to provide a general idea on level of detail)
Total Points: 50 points - see rubric for specific details
Assignment #2 is to create a project charter for the City of Metropolis Geodatabase Design and Development Project.
In this scenario, you are the City's project manager (Lucille Geodata in the Public Works Department) assigned responsibility for the City of Metropolis Geodatabase Development Project. The City of Metropolis RFP for contractor services was prepared by you and other City project team members. This request for proposal (RFP) document provides details information about the project scope and management and is the formal means for soliciting proposals from and selected a contractor to carry out project work in collaboration with the City's project team. As stated in Section 1 of the RFP, the project involves the development of an ArcGIS geodatabase (that contains up-to-date data on City signs, pedestrian walk signal devices, and ADA pedestrian hazards) AND custom GIS applications that support future City access and update of the data. Work includes database design, evaluation and use of existing data sources, field data collection, and application development for ongoing City database update.
As City Project Manager, it is your responsibility to create a charter for this project as a way to summarize the project scope, timing, resources, management, business case, and confirm commitments from key City stakeholders. The sponsor of this project, Director of the City's Public Works Department, has asked you to prepare the project charter.
Your Submittal for Assignment #2
For Assignment 2, create a charter for the City of Metropolis geodatabase design and development project. The Charter serves the key role of providing a high-level description of the project, its benefits for the City, and commitment of resources (monetary and staff time) for carrying out the project. This commitment of resources positions the charter as a type of “internal contract” documenting the formal participation of commitment of resources by the various stakeholders (City management and participating departments). The charter, therefore, is not just a summary of elements from the RFP; it should persuade upper management that the project is good for the organization and that it’s worth the commitment of the required resources.
You know from the course content and readings in Lesson 3 that there is not a single prescribed format for a project Charter, but the general rule is that it is a high-level document—concise and aimed at senior management, not technical staff. This is a City document--the selected contractor is not involved. You should assume that this charter is prepared at a date prior to any selection of a contractor (although the RFP document preparation is in progress).
At a minimum, the Charter should include the following topics and parts:
- Cover page with prominent title and all necessary information identifying the course, assignment, author, and date. The main title of the document should be "PROJECT CHARTER". The Cover Page should also reference "City of Metropolis" and the full project name. At the bottom of the Cover Page (right side is best), include the course name and number, assignment number, your name, and date.
- Table of contents.
- Brief description of what this Charter is and its purpose.
- Summary of project background and purpose: Mention lead role of Public Works Department, overall objectives, and decision to use contracted services (via RFP) to carry out major work elements of the project. Emphasize that this is a City project--the Public Works Department is the lead but other City Departments are involved and the project has benefits to the City overall as well as citizens and the business community. Mention that the City itends to hire a private contractor to do much of the work and coordinate with the City Project Team--an RFP is in preparation at the time of this Charter (the RFP has not yet been released and the City has not yet selected a contractor).
- Summary of project scope and deliverables: Include description of major project activities and deliverables but avoid too much technical detail (but assume that most of the readers and signers of this Charter do not know much about the project so sufficient background and scope information is important).
- Project stakeholders and organization: Identify the City sponsor, Departmental participants (those City Departments that have staff people assigned to the project team), and the overall project team organization. A project organization chart is a good way to present this.
- Business case and main benefits*: Begin with a strong statement about why the City is launching this project (e.g., incomplete and poor quality data causing problems with operations and regulatory compliance). A concise identification of benefits that the City and general public will get from the project results. The RFP document hints at some of these. There is no need to provide a lot of detail, but this is an opportunity to “make the case” for the allocation of resources (time and money) for this project. A bullet point list is a good way to identify specific benefits.
- Anticipated timing: This is a summary of the timing (dates) for key milestones for main activities and deliverables suring the project. A detailed schedule for project tasks should NOT be included here just a few key milestones about project execution. Do NOT include milestone dates associated with the RFP and procurement process (e.g., RFP Release, Questions from respondents, proposal submittal due date)--start with the beginning of the project (see anticipated start date in the RFP). It is appropriate to include 5 to 10 project execution milestones and dates.
- Project budget: This is just a statement of the projected cost for contracted services. Don’t worry about coming up with a detailed budget—we will do that in Lesson 6. Just assume that a budget has already been approved and that the number is between $170,000 and $220,000. Put in a single dollar amount. Make sure to state that this number is just for contracted services (for contractor to be selected through the RFP process), not costs for City project team staff or expenses.
- Formal sign-off: Identification of key senior management from the City departments that are formally involved and are committing resources for the project. In addition to the main sponsor and Departmental participants, it is not a bad idea to include City leadership (e.g., City Manager). The Charter should have actual signature blocks for senior management people (identifying their affiliations and titles).
*There is no existing document with a list of benefits for this project, so you have to do some of your own "brainstorming". See Croswell, Section 2.6 to get some ideas about defining GIS benefits. For this project, one obvious benefit is greater efficiency and reduction in staff time for maintaining signs and signals. But there are other benefits too. Have some fun with this and come up with a bullet list of benefits that impact City departments as well as a broader community (e.g., business community and citizens).
The Assignment #2 submittal should be about 1000 to 1500 words in length. As is the case for all written assignments, the word count is a target to give you an idea about the level of detail expected. As a general rule, it is best to keep it concise and as brief as possible, while still covering the necessary topics. No points will be deducted for submittals if they exceed the maximum word count by a small amount.
You can include other information in the Charter but, remember to keep it concise, high-level, and to avoid technical detail. It is good practice to make reference to any important external sources or documents (e.g., the City’s RFP).
As in all written assignments, you should include a cover page which includes the following information: a) course number and name, b) assignment number and name, c) your name, d) submittal date. The cover page should also have the full project name and document title ("Project Charter"). Your submitted assignment should be formatted as specified in the Format Quality of this assignment’s rubric below to earn maximum points. As you prepare this assignment, START WITH AN OUTLINE, with sections and subsections that cover the topics above. We recommend that you use the Outline/Heading feature of your word processing software in document preparation. It is expected that you will organize the document into numbered and named sections. It is best practice today, for technical and management documents to use a "decimal" outline numbering scheme (1., 1.1, etc.) as opposed to the older Roman numeral numbering approach.Submitting the Assignment
Assignment Submittal and Grading
View specific directions for submitting Assignment #2 and the Canvas calendar due date.
This assignment is worth 50 points. The grading approach is explained in the table below.
The instructor may deduct points if the Assignment is turned in late, unless a late submittal has been approved by the Instructor prior to the Assignment submittal date.
|Basis for Scoring
|Total Possible Points
Point Award Explanation
|A. Inclusion of Required Content
|B. Overall Document Organization
|C. Quality/Clarity of Writing
|Writing quality and clarity refers to how well and effectively words and sentences to convey meaning to the reader including the following:
|D. Format Quality
|Well-formatted document helps convey content and meaning to the reading. Important format parameters include: