Project Plan Scenario: Cool Widgets Inc.

You are the Project Manager in charge of a large training project for Cool Widgets, Inc. a fictional company. As part of one of its long term strategic goals to streamline internal operations, Cool Widgets is standardizing on a single business suite of tools, and has decided to switch to Microsoft Office for all of its employees.
Because Microsoft Office is very different from the current business software used in the organization, you need to develop a project plan for training the organization’s 500 employees. There are five offices which are located in five states (CA, NY, TN, MT, NV). There are 200 employees in the corporate office in California and 75 people in each of the four branch offices. You have a budget of $200,000 and a team of four course developers and trainers (Sandra, Palo, Aaron, and Alesha). Your team may use a portion of the budget allocation to engage some outside services where appropriate.
Your team is charged with creating the educational materials, planning the courses, and delivering the training to the employees. The rollout of the new software will begin in three months and be phased in to the organization over the following nine months, making your training project 12 months in duration. (Hint: this section contains the elements of the scope statement you will need to create.)
You need to create a project plan for the employee training that addresses the five process groups defining a project’s life cycle according to the PMBOK guide in section 1.3 (Initiating, Planning, Executing, Monitoring/Controlling, and Closing). Your project plan needs to include all of the deliverables and activities that will be required to train the employees on the new business software. Your project will include a WBS, a critical path analysis, a project cost report, and a status report. Your work on the Cool Widgets training project will form the basis of your final project for the course.
General MS Project Plan Outline – (Major Deliverables are in bold)
Your final project plan outline can include additional elements if you desire.

  • Training goals


      • Develop outline


  • Training materials


      • Write outline
      • Gather materials
      • Assemble takeaway handouts
        • Electronic and/or paper


  • Training plan


      • Identify and schedule venues
      • Work with onsite and/or offsite facilities personnel
      • Reserve training equipment (projector, PCs, power strips, etc.)
      • Send electronic materials (and/or ship hardcopy takeaways)
      • Select/engage external trainer for NY
      • Engage caterers


  • Travel schedule


      • Select travel dates
      • Reserve air travel, transportation, and lodging


  • Training delivery


    • Notify students
    • Set up and test training equipment
    • Deliver training
    • Student survey

WSM – External Resource Selection Criteria (to use in your final project)
Because Cool Widgets’ branch in New York is a two hour drive north of New York City, your team has elected to engage an outside resource to do the training for your company in this branch location. A weighted scoring model (WSM) will help you identify the best training resource choice for this branch. Use the following criteria and assign your own weights to them to create a new WSM from the template used in Week 1.

  • Training firm location
  • Trainer’s experience with material to be delivered
  • Cost
  • Trainer availability
  • Client references


  • Introduction

[Explain what a project is and how project management improves an organization’s success.
Summarize the five stages of the project lifecycle]

  • Initiating/Pre-planning/Project Selection

[Explain the Pre-planning stage of the project management lifecycle.
Explain project management terms, tools, and techniques that are applicable to the Pre planning/Project Selection Stage.
[Describe various approaches for selecting projects.
Explain the importance of project stakeholders, sponsors, and project teams to the success of the project.]

  • Planning

[Explain the Planning stage of the project management lifecycle.
Explain project management terms, tools, and techniques that are applicable to the Planning Stage.
Using the WSM template from week 1 and the criteria from the Cool Widgets scenario, create a WSM model that will help select the appropriate training resource company to outsource the employee training in Cool Widgets’ NY branch. Be sure to incorporate any applicable instructor or peer feedback you may have received about your work on the WSM in Week Two. Using the criteria from the Cool Widgets’ scenario, create the WSM and insert it as a screenshot into your manual. Explain the purpose of the WSM. Supply the rationale for the training resource you chose based on the WSM results.
Explain the WBS, project milestones, and the critical path.
Create  a WBS in MS Project, or modify the example you created in Week Three, taking into account both instructor and peer feedback (as applicable), and include a screen shot of it as an example in your training manual. Make sure the example contains the appropriate level of detail so the reader understands the context.]

    1. WBS Example

[Insert screen capture here of WBS example]

    1. Critical Path Example

[Insert screen capture here of the Critical Path]

    1. WSM Example

[Insert screen capture here of WSM example]

  • Executing

[Explain the Executing stage of the project management lifecycle.
Explain project management terms, tools, and techniques that are applicable to the Executing Stage.
Create  a status report, or modify the example you created in Week Two or Week Four, using your Cool Widgets training project plan and taking into account both instructor and peer feedback (as applicable). Your status report must contain a WBS, a critical path analysis, and a project cost management report.  
Make sure the status report is clear, succinct and contains the appropriate amount of detail that a reader would need to understand the context for the report.
Copy and paste the status report into your training manual. Explain the importance of presenting a clear project status report to stakeholders.]

    1. Project Report Example

[See the Appendix for an example of this document. [Note to Student – You will need to include an example of your project report that incorporates the feedback from your instructor and your peers in the Appendix section at the end of this manual. You should update the report you’ve been working with for your week two and week four assignments and include it as the example.]

  • Monitoring and Controlling

[Explain the monitoring and controlling stage of the project management lifecycle, including related project management terms, tools, and techniques that are applicable to the Monitoring and Controlling Stage.
Explain project cost management.
Create a project cost report using MS Project and the data you’ve entered for your Cool Widgets training project. Include a screen capture of the cost management report in your Training Manual as an example.]

    1. Cost Management Example

[Insert screen capture here of MS Project’s Cost Management report using the Cool Widgets’ Training Project.]

  • Closing

[Explain the Closing Stage of the project management lifecycle.
Explain project management terms, tools, and techniques that are applicable to the Closing Stage.
Explain what a “lessons learned” report is and its importance for future projects within the organization.]

  •  Appendix

[Include your updated project report document here that incorporates the feedback you’ve received from your instructor and your peers.]

    1. References

[Include your APA formatted references here.]

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