One of the recent advances in the world of information technology is the rapid development of communication which has turned the world into a global village, we can send mails electronically (e-mail), search for information (www), buy goods online (e-commerce), withdraw/ transfer money (e-banking), school online (e-learning); this has affected the society positively to a great extent, as a result, computerization of project management should not be exempted in this revolution.
Project Management (PM) is the discipline of planning, organizing, and managing resources to bring about the successful completion of a specific project goals and objectives. A project is a finite endeavor having a specific start and completion date, undertaken to create a unique product or service which brings about beneficial change or added value. This finite characteristic of a project stand in sharp contrast to processes, or operations, which are permanent or semi-permanent functional works to repetitively produce the same product or service. In practice, the management of these two systems is often found to be quite different, and as such requires the development of distinct technical skills and the adoption of separate management philosophy, which is the subject of this study.
The primary challenge of project management is to achieve all of the project goals and objectives while adhering to classic project constraints usually scope, quality, time and budget. The secondary and more ambitious challenge is to optimize the allocation and integration of inputs necessary to meet pre-defined objectives. A project is a carefully defined set of activities that use resources (money, people, materials, energy, space, provisions, communication, motivation, etc.) to achieve its goals and objectives.
Project management is quite often the province and responsibility of an individual project manager. This individual seldom participates directly in the activities that produce the end result, but rather strives to maintain the progress and productive mutual interaction of various parties in such a way that overall risk of failure is reduced. A project manager is often a client representative and has to determine and implement the exact needs of the client, based on knowledge of the firm they are representing. The ability to adapt to the various internal procedures of the contracting party, and to form close links with the nominated representatives, is essential in ensuring that the key issues of cost, time, quality, and above all, client satisfaction, can be realized.
Regardless of the approach employed, careful consideration needs to be given to clarify surrounding project objectives, goals, and importantly, the roles and responsibilities of all participants and stakeholders. In software development, this approach is often known as “waterfall development”, i.e., one series of tasks after another in linear sequence. In software development many organizations have adapted the Rational Unified Process (RUP) to fit this methodology, although RUP does not require or explicitly recommend this practice. Waterfall development can work for small tightly defined projects, but for larger projects of undefined or unknowable scope, it is less suited.
The Cone of Uncertainty explains some of this as the planning made on the initial phase of the project suffers from a high degree of uncertainty. This becomes specially true as software development is often the realization of a new or novel product, this method has been widely accepted as ineffective for software projects where requirements are largely unknowable up front and susceptible to change. While the names may differ from industry to industry, the actual stages typically follow common steps to problem solving “defining the problem, weighing options, choosing a path, implementation and evaluation.”
1.1 BACKGROUND OF STUDY
In many tertiary institutions in the country, students seek a project in a given field of specialty as part of the upper level of their degree programme. Usually, a project can be filled by at most one student, though in some cases a project is suitable for more than one student to work on simultaneously. To give students something of a choice, there should be as wide a range of available projects as possible, and in any case the total number of project places should not be less than the total number of students. Typically a lecturer will also offer a range of projects, but does not necessarily expect that all will be taken up.
Each student has preferences over the available projects that he/she finds acceptable, whilst a lecturer will normally have preferences over the students that he/she is willing to supervise. There may also be upper bounds on the number of students that can be assigned to a particular project, and the number of students that a given lecturer is willing to supervise. In this paper we consider the ways of allocating student project in our various institutions.
1.2 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
It has become widely recognized that manual storage of student projects has inherent problems. Looking at our University, students submit hard copies of projects to their various departmental libraries. The disadvantages of this manual method are as listed below;
Possibility of repeating project topics without detection by a project supervisor
Records of project topics carried out by a student are stored in the departmental library for a long time which occupies valuable office space
Projects are prone to loss due to natural disasters such as fire outbreak.
Difficulty in searching for project topics already done
Projects cannot be accessed outside the University, that is, it has the problem of geographical barrier.
Backing up projects becomes a problem since more space will be employed.
Faced with the need to organize projects, the proposed system for management of student projects is unique and totally innovative in its integrated approach. Its functionality of making project storage easier makes it called for. The system to be developed makes use of rich internet technology to replace desktop application with web application running on a remote server. The system shares the advantage of both web application and desktop application, and removes the most disadvantages of both.