System Analysis

The town of Eden Bay owns and maintains a fleet of vehicles. You are a systems analyst reporting to Dawn, the town’s IT manager.


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Eden Bay is a medium-sized municipality. The town has grown rapidly, and so has the demand for town services. Eden Bay currently owns 90 vehicles, which the town’s equipment department maintains. The fleet includes police cars, sanitation trucks, fire trucks, and other vehicles assigned to town employees. The maintenance budget has risen sharply in recent years, and people are ask- ing whether the town should continue to perform its own maintenance or outsource it to private firms.

In the first part of the case, you planned a preliminary investigation for a new information sys- tem that would cut costs and improve maintenance efficiency. Based on your investigation, Dawn wants to move forward, and she asked you to help her present a budget request at the next Town Council meeting. She suggested the following to-do list:

First, double-check the cost and benefit data we will need for the proposal (3 days).

Then, start two tasks at the same time: send an e-mail message to the Town Council re-
questing that the proposal be placed on the agenda (1 day), and develop the proposal it-
self, including all necessary documents and charts (5 days).

As soon as the proposal is complete, start work on two tasks at once: print copies of hand-
out material for the meeting (2 days) and develop a PowerPoint presentation (5 days).

When the presentation is ready, conduct a rehearsal for the Council meeting. (2 days).

Finally, when the rehearsal is done and the handout material is ready, help Dawn deliver
the presentation. (1 day).

Prepare a list showing all tasks and their durations.

Analyze the fact situation carefully to identify any tasks that are dependent on other tasks.

Create a PERT chart that shows the project. Use a format similar to Figure 3-27 on
page 110. If project management software is available, use it to develop the chart.

What is the critical path for this project? How do you know?

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