Stealth Security Systems: Project Development

The project ‘stealth security’ – a home security system – is the development of a computer-based security system to alert the house owners on any trespassing into the property. The project consists of five distinct phases starting from the planning phase and continues through concept development, system-level design, detailed designing, testing and refinement, and final production. A Gantt chart showing the project milestones with probable completion dates was prepared at the beginning of the project. For reasons cited in this review report, some of the segments could not be completed as per the predetermined schedule.

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Even though the project appeared to be simple, in reality, there were several complex processes in reaching the final stage of production because a number of activities are to be completed before concluding the project. This posed a serious challenge to the progress of the project according to the schedule. In addition, using more than one programming language such as java for using Skype and assembly language for microcontroller has contributed to a major delay in the progress of the project. Combining the languages has made it hard to manage the progress effectively.

The first snag occurred during the third phase which deals with the detailing of the design. This phase is scheduled to occur during the final portion of development just prior to quality and final testing. Normally during this phase, the hardware development had to come to a close with a definite schematic and an overall definition of architecture. However, because of the fact that a proper sensor that detects the motion of the people accurately could not be found, the hardware development was not completed as per schedule. Actually, the sensor required for the project should work with a 0-5V power; but the sensor that was available readymade has an inbuilt power usage of 9V. This technical snag had altogether changed the mission of the project that altered the course of the project.

The overall architecture definition could not be completed due to the reason that the microcontroller was to be made to work with assembly language. Learning the assembly language for making the microcontroller work with the sensor took longer than the expected time which delayed the completion of this phase.

Other issues arose during phase four. Phase four was to deal with testing and refinement of the programs and processes. During this phase, full quality testing will have to be done. The testing has to report on actual and recommended tolerances and limitations which could be verified through field testing. At this stage when the system was to be tested, the system failed and therefore full testing could not be conducted. Troubleshooting had to be undertaken which proved to be a difficult task as the problem with the system could not be identified easily. Locating the system bug took considerable time for the project team and consequently, there was a significant delay in completing this phase after the problem was located and rectified. With too many interruptions in the progress of the project caused by hardware and software issues, a number of modifications have to be made to the original project plan. Such modifications have delayed the progress of the project to a substantial extent, as every modification to the project took considerable time to plug in and make the system incorporate such changes.

In addition to the hardware and software problems, human resource issues were also present which were also responsible for the delay in the project completion. Some of the team members had to undertake travels and took time off to meet some emergent situations. Such time off taken by the team members caused a delay at every phase of the project.

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Because of the series of delays in the project, the original schedule fixed for the project could not be maintained. The delay in phase three and phase four has resulted in a delay in the subsequent and final phase has been delayed.

Gantt chart which incorporated the schedule for the completion of the project lists all the activities involved in the project with the proposed time of completion of the activities. From the Gantt chart, it may be seen the activities follow each other in a precise manner and a delay in one of the activities would automatically lead to a delay in another. This is obvious from the fact that delay in phase 3 in finding the correct hardware component has delayed phase four. The delay in the different phases contributed to the delay in completing the project in time.

The project milestones depicted by the Gantt chart need to be revised taking into account the delays in the individual activities so that the real-time schedule can be presented to the readers of the chart.

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