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A detailed requirements document is the starting point for successful project management. This document allows project managers to focus on the main functions of the product or service that is being developed, the characteristics, needs and requirements of the end-users, the constraints and dependencies that can negatively affect the execution of the project, and the system/interface requirements that will determine what the best instructional management system to deliver the final program is.

Once managers have a clear understanding of their goals and objectives, which are included in the requirements document, they will be able to effectively delegate tasks to team members and create high-level project schedule plans and milestone charts. Neil Stolovitsky, British Project Manager, states that what sets apart great project managers from good project managers is their ability to minimize their administrative role in producing project documents while maximizing their strategic role in managing the people that will deliver a successful project. In order to achieve this, project managers must follow some basic rules in developing key project documents, such as the requirements document, covering all phases of a project's life cycle.

This is my first semester designing and leading an online training program that will educate approximately 1,000 employees (administrators, faculty, and staff) on disability laws, academic accommodations, and universal design. Using the requirements documents as the starting point for project planning has allowed me to set specific goals to satisfy the demands of stakeholders, to design a budget and create strategies to secure funds, and to actively participate in curriculum design, assessment and evaluation.

Miguel Llovera Da Corte



I also got confused the first time I started to edit the Gantt chart. It took me a while to figure out how to adjust the scale on the x-axis. There are some features that I found extremely helpful about this project management tool: The Gantt chart allows you to look at the main tasks that a project manager is leading, in just one graph. It also depicts the tasks that have been completed, those that are in progress, and the ones that will be completed within a certain timeframe. Upper-level management can use this tool to assess and evaluate team performances, progress and other areas pertinent to organizational goals and objectives.

Although I believe that the benefits of the Gantt charts outweighs the costs/disadvantages, John Jeffreys, Project Manager, states that these charts: Can become extraordinarily complex: except for the simplest projects, there will be large numbers of tasks undertaken and resources employed to complete the project. Do not indicate the amount of work: each bar on the chart indicates the time period over which a particular set of tasks will be completed. However, by looking at the bar for a particular set of tasks, you cannot tell what level of resources are required to achieve those tasks. Need to be constantly updated: as you get into a project, things will change. If youre going to use a Gantt chart you must have the ability to change the chart frequently. This is just some food for thought


Your project sounds very interesting and innovative. Federal and state laws required educational institutions to refer to certain standards when it comes to employing software application and operating systems in the delivery of educational material. One of these standards is the State Law 2191 signed by the former governor of Oklahoma, Brad Henry. The State of Oklahomas website explains that one provision requires alternative keyboard navigation, which is essential for people who are blind or have low vision or for people with motor or dexterity disabilities who cannot rely on pointing devices, such as a mouse. Other provisions address animated displays, color and contrast settings, flash rate which can affect epileptic seizures and electronic forms, among others. As a means of creating an environment that is universally designed with no barriers for individuals with disabilities, these considerations should be extended to the administrators, faculty, and staff that will be benefiting from your paperless classroom software project. As you select your vendors, please keep in mind that software shall not use flashing or blinking text, objects or other elements having a flash or blink frequency greater than 2 Hz and lower than 55 Hz.

Thanks for sharing your ideas with us,

Miguel Llovera Da Corte

Carolyn, The vendor selection process is time consuming and quite challenging. I have never used SABA before, but I noticed that you considered this instructional management system as an option to deliver your training program. After doing further research into the SABAs website, I learned that Saba LMS supports business learning processes, from managing risk through better compliance, driving learning throughout extended value chain, developing critical skills or consolidating multiple learning systems. SABA focuses heavily on HR and that may limit their possibilities for targeting/appealing to educational settings or other organizations interested in developing training programs for employees. I noticed that your team decided to use Desire2Learn. However, Blackboard can also satisfy the demands of your project. Blackboard recently announced a new cloud-based learning object repository that will work with several LMS used in higher educational environments. For more information visit the following link: http://creativecommons.org/weblog/entry/35378.

On a personal note I was a bit disappointed as I was navigating SABAs website. The company states that the name Saba means a variety of things in different languages, including Greek, Arabic and Spanish. In Spanish, Saba means knowing, or knowledge. As a native speaker and language instructor, this word does not exist in the Spanish language. The Spanish word for knowledge is conocimiento.

Thank you,

Miguel Llovera Da Corte

Paul, One of the keys to success in project management involves being flexible and able to adjust to schedule changes to meet the requirements and demands of your project. From a personal standpoint, this is my first time leading an online training program for TCC administrators, faculty, and staff. Although, I am planning to complete this project for the summer semester, I am assuming that my training program will be tested and edited at least once, and that it will be challenging to get every single administrator and full-time/part-time faculty member to participate in this mandatory training session. Therefore, I have decided to implement my project on December 1st, 2013. The following article is quite interesting and it emphasizes the importance of being a flexible project manager, especially when budgetary assumptions are made: http://www.business2community.com/strategy/project-management-success-depends-onflexibility-0136016


Your responsibility matrix is easy to read as you incorporated the main and specific tasks that you and your team are planning to accomplish. I believe that it is necessary to add to your matrix that the employees from the school district in question can assist you during the planning/design phase of your project. Empirical data is a good starting point. However, it is always a good idea to survey key stakeholders to see what their needs and expected solutions are. Surveys can also be used as a quantitative tool to support the implementation of a program, particularly when writing a grant.

Thank you, Miguel Llovera Da Corte

Laurel and Marisa, Your organizational chart is very concise. I like how you used colors and dotted lines to identify the project managers in charge of the learning management system and different stakeholders that will benefit from the execution of this plan. Do you think it would be appropriate to incorporate school counselors as part of your primary stakeholders? I have evidenced that sometimes students feel more comfortable working with a counselor on issues related to goal setting, time managements, communication skills, and test preparation. In the future when creating organizational charts, I invite you to use Visio a Microsoft product that facilitates the creation of team lists allowing users to:

Save them as an HTML file and post them to the project team Web site. Paste the organizational chart into a Microsoft Office PowerPoint presentation. Link to each resource's status reports directly from Visio. Track organizational changes and compare versions of your team throughout the project cycle.




Thank you,

Miguel Llovera Da Corte


Great ideas. I think that the project schedule will come in handy once the goals and objectives of the project have been clearly outlined. Your team members will not be able to know how to proceed in certain situations if they do not know what the end-user requirements and limitations are. This information can be easily found in a well-developed requirements document. The National Institute of Building Sciences explains that effective project management includes strategies, tactics, and tools for managing the design and construction delivery processes and for controlling key factors to ensure the client receives a facility that matches their expectations and functions as it is intended to function. Improvements in building quality directly contribute to reduced operational costs and increased satisfaction for all of the stakeholders. Successful project delivery requires the implementation of management systems that will control changes in the key factors of scope, costs, schedule, and quality to maximize the investment. What do you think?

Miguel Llovera Da Corte