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The Discussion Board (DB) is part of the core of online learning. Classroom discussion in an online environment requires the active participation of students and the instructor to create robust interaction and dialogue. Every student is expected to create an original response to the open-ended DB question as well as engage in dialogue by responding to posts created by others throughout the week. At the end of each unit, DB participation will be assessed based on both level of engagement and the quality of the contribution to the discussion.

At a minimum, each student will be expected to post an original and thoughtful response to the DB question and contribute to the weekly dialogue by responding to at least two other posts from students. The first contribution must be posted before midnight (Central Time) on Friday of each week. Two additional responses are required after Friday of each week. Students are highly encouraged to engage on the Discussion Board early and often, as that is the primary way the university tracks class attendance and participation.

The purpose of the Discussion Board is to allow students to learn through sharing ideas and experiences as they relate to course content and the DB question. Because it is not possible to engage in two-way dialogue after a conversation has ended, no posts to the DB will be accepted after the end of each unit.

Discussion Board Question

Scenario

Company Background

PROVISION Healthcare Technologies manufactures patient image wands (hardware with underlying software) used by healthcare providers (primarily hospitals and physician offices) as part of larger systems to test and monitor patients' body functions. The wand has been on the market for ten months and a new release of the wand’s software isn’t expected for another eight months. The company is approximately 150 people total, and has been in existence for just over five years. They have several products on the market, but the newest is by far the most complex product they have created. They are privately-owned and are financially stable.

Project Background

New government regulations have just been issued regarding patient safety. PROVISION must modify the wand software to incorporate this new functionality within six months or face steep fines. PROVISION has decided to move up its next wand release to meet the government deadlines. It has also decided to incorporate some new functionality and make some software fixes as part of this release. 

Project Team

You have been named the project manager. You are from the Product Development department, from the Software team.

The project will require a cross-departmental team:

DepartmentOperational ResponsibilitiesProject Responsibilities
Product DevelopmentAssist with customer service / help desk calls.Software team: designs, makes, and tests modifications to the software.

Hardware team: tests the new software against the current hardware to ensure it still works.

Product ManufacturingProduces the product.Designs and develops product packaging, including release notes and upgrade instructions.
Product DistributionFills customer orders.Tests installation and upgrade procedures.
Sales & Marketing

Sales team – sells the product, manages accounts, etc.


Marketing team – delivers marketing campaigns, updates the Web site, etc.

Sales team: provides input and subject-matter expertise around the wand’s functional requirements.


Marketing team: develops and delivers the marketing campaigns to promote the wand; will be responsible for preparing customer communications and updates to the corporate Web site.

Assignment #1- Discussion Board 

Based on your own business experience and your reading (including here), discuss how various organizational structures, cultures, and management impact the project management process. 

In your own words, post a substantive response to the Discussion Board question(s) and comment on other postings. Your response should address the DB question(s) and move the conversation forward. You will be graded on the quality of your postings, including mastery of the concept as well as critical thinking. If asked for your opinion, do not simply state that it is a good or bad idea; elaborate on your reasons and argument. Include enough detail to substantiate your thinking as well as your position on the questions or comments.

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