George Mason University


Information Technology
Project Management


Plan a Field Project

This section describes the course assignment for planning an improvement project or planning the implementation of an Electronic Health Record.


  1. Produce a statement of work (SOW) and decompose overall project goals.
  2. Describe alternative methods of managing scope of a project
  3. Develop a work breakdown structure (WBS)
  4. Define the products of a project and final end of the project, including non-concrete products such as reputation.
  5. Estimate time needed for completing various sub-tasks in an Information Technology project within healthcare
  6. Analyze task dependencies to identify project’s critical path and project schedule.
  7. Assess project quality through regular monitoring of progress and nature of progress.

What is the Idea?

This assignment asks you to put what you have learned in the course to use by planning an improvement project or by planning to implement an electronic health record.  You have to have a specific organization and activity in mind to be able to carry out this planning effort.  You can collaborate with a colleague or you can do this project by yourself.  If you collaborate with a colleague, please select someone you have not worked with before.  You can plan for a project you are required to do for another course.

Steps in Completing the Project

  1. Select a project:  Here are some projects that might be doable in a semester: 
    1. Plan to conduct a satisfaction survey
    2. Plan to implement an electronic health record within a Department of a hospital or within a clinic. 
    3. Plan for construction of a new unit
    4. Plan a community improvement effort
    5. Plan the operating room's sequence of activities
    6. Plan for case management activities (Example)
    7. Analyze and identify a clinical pathway (Example)
    8. Other topics with instructor's approval

    Note that, in all of these projects, you are planning a project and not doing it.  Also note that planning requires a number of assumptions of the setting where the project is carried out and therefore you need to have a specific organization in mind, while you plan for them.

  2. Prepare a work plan
    • Draft a work breakdown and identify distinct inter-related tasks:  Make sure that all relevant tasks are identified and the precedence for each task is identify.  Consult the literature and an expert to make sure that you have not missed important tasks. 
    • Estimate completion times: Using the Estimate-talk-estimate procedure, query an expert and identify most likely duration of various activities within your project.   An expert is anyone who has completed a similar project at least once.
    • Identify critical path:  Analyze your data to identify a critical path for your schedule.  Report the earliest time to finish.
  3. Prepare other components of the plan
    • Describe your team
    • Describe project budget and resource assignment
    • Prepare a communication plan
    • Prepare a scope management plan and associated forms
    • Prepare a project risk management plan
  4. Report your plans:    Prepare a narrated set of slides that reports on your plans (less than 10 minutes).  Here are the suggested set of slides in your report:
    1. Title slide:  Identify yourself by initials and title your project
    2. Permission slide:  Indicate whether the instructor is allowed to post the plan to the web.
    3. Customer's voice:  Start your narration with the customer's voice, highlighting the need for your proposed project.  Give a quote from a customer.  Make sure the quote derives home the message for the need for your project.
    4. Source of data:  Explain why the estimated times are reasonable.
    5. Work plan
      • List of activities:  Describe the details of your plans and the activities that need to be scheduled.  Use a Gantt chart. 
      • Critical path:  Visually show the critical path.  
    6. Communication plan
    7. Scope management plan
    8. Project risks
  5. Narrate the slides: 
    1. Prepare all slides first (make sure that slides are not too wordy)
    2. Write full sentences and insert in a text box above the slides
    3. Narrate all slides in one take, ignore errors and continue with the narration:   Narrate & Convert slides►  SWF  Narrate Slides
    4. Delete the text boxes containing the full sentences
  6. Convert narrated slides into video format:
    1. Download Camtasia (if you time it, you will not need to pay for this software as the first 30 days are free) Download
    2. Convert the slides to AVI file
  7. Post the video:  Post your work on a public domain site without your name or personal identifying information. 
    1. You might want to use You Tube
  8. Send the URL for the site to your instructor. 


Here are examples of student projects:


  • In special situations, students can prepare a paper instead of the video.  The paper should have the same sections as the video.  The presentation of the paper (i.e. use of images to highlight the activities reported) will constitute 30% of the grade on the paper.  Make sure that not only the relevant content is present but also that titles, fonts, graphs, visual aids, set aside examples, are all arranged appropriately.  Make sure the entire report comes across as a unified package, with a central message.  Make sure the report is pleasant to look at and fun to read.
  • Students who prefer their work to remain private should ask to be exempted from the requirement to post their work on the web.

This page is part of the course on Project Management.   This page was last edited on 01/31/17 by Farrokh Alemi, Ph.D ©Copyright protected.