What is the budget and the time frame to complete this project?



Networking Essentials v1.0 Capstone Project: Implement a Technical Solution for a Small Business



Part 1: Gather information and determine customer requirements.

Part 2: Gather system requirements.

Part 3: Plan the installation.

Part 4: Prepare and present the proposal.

Part 5: Install and configure the network.

Part 6: Test and troubleshoot the configuration.

Part 7: Prepare documentation for sign-off.

Part 8: Provide ongoing support.

Background / Preparation

Congratulations! You have just successfully completed the Networking Essentials 1.0 course. While you have learned a great deal about networks, this capstone project requires a few more skills to effectively complete it. You are welcome to go ahead and start this project with your Networking Essentials skills and knowledge. However, we do recommend that you become familiar with the content in IT Essentials v6.0, Entrepreneurship, PT Know How, and even some of the CCNA courses such as Introduction to Networks, and Routing and Switching Essentials.

You have obtained a contract position at a small advertising company called AnyCompany Corporation. Your contract responsibilities are to help them update their IT resources. The company originally started with two partners who produced print flyers for local businesses. Their list of customers has greatly expanded, and their customers are demanding more interactive advertising media, including video presentations. The partners recognize the business potential in this new market and have hired you to review their existing IT resources and produce a proposal that allows the company to take advantage of this new market. The partners have stated that if the proposal meets their requirements, they may hire you full-time to implement and manage these new resources.

Part 1: Gather information and determine customer requirements.

You now have an idea of the scope of the project that you have undertaken, but do not have all of the information required to proceed. The first step in any IT project is to gather information. What is really required? What is the budget and the time frame to complete this project? What restrictions, if any, are there in equipment and resource selection? What resources are currently in place? The more information that you gather at the beginning of any project, the better.

A good way to start the information gathering process is to conduct interviews with the key individuals within the company, who are usually divided into three main groups: managers, end users, and IT support. Each group can provide valuable information.

Managers – Managers can answer questions regarding budget, expectations, and future plans. Any IT solution must take into account the plans that the company may have for growth, either in the number of employees or the technology being deployed. Managers can also provide you with information regarding company policies that may affect the proposed solution. Policies could include such things as access, security, and privacy requirements. The following information is normally gathered from managers:

·         Budget

·         Requirements and expectations

·         Restrictions

·         Staffing

·         Future growth

End users – End users are the people directly impacted by the solution you design. While managers are also end users, their requirements may differ drastically from the majority of the employees. It is important to talk to as many employees from as many departments or work areas as possible, to determine their requirements. It is also important to determine the actual, rather than perceived, requirements. From a customer service perspective, including employees in the initial discussions improves their buy-in and acceptance of the final solution. The following information is normally gathered from end users:

·         Requirements and expectations

·         Current perceived performance of the equipment

·         Applications used

·         Work patterns

IT department – Most small businesses do not have an IT department and responsibilities may fall on one or more individuals, depending on their job role and expertise. Larger businesses may have a separate IT department. Those individuals who handle the IT can provide you with more technical information. For example, an end user may complain that an existing network has become slow, but an IT person can provide the technical information to determine if performance has been degraded. The following information is normally gathered from IT:

·         Applications used

·         Work patterns

·         Hardware resources

·         Network infrastructure (physical and logical topology)

·         Network performance and issues

Part 2: Gather System Requirements.

AnyCompany Corporation has provided a written summary containing a floor plan, and a verbal interview with a company manager. Gather as much information as possible from these two sources to help you plan a technical solution for AnyCompany Corporation.

Step 1: Review available information.

AnyCompany Corporation Information

Because AnyCompany Corporation is a very small business, it has no IT department. Everyone has taken care of their own resources. If they could not fix the problem, they would call in an outside service technician. The machines are connected together through a 10/100Mb switch. The two partners and the office manager all have older PC tower computers with 2 Gb of memory, a 250 Gb hard drive, and 7 USB ports. The processors are AMD Athlon 64 x2 dual core processor and a CD/DVD read/write drives.

The systems are all still running the Windows 7 operating system, and there is a low-capacity, monochrome laser printer attached to each machine. These machines are not capable of running the software required for video development.

The office will be reorganized, and additional employees will be hired to handle the new video production work. The company will have the following employees:

Administrative Manager – Duties include scheduling work, hiring and managing part-time workers, weekly payroll, and project tracking. The administrative manager uses spreadsheet and database software and must be able to use email provided by the ISP.

Related Questions in engineering category