Spectrum Academy Charter School

Project Plan (Con’t)

Robin Engel

Zen Benefiel

University of Phoenix

January 23, 2003

Professor: R. D. Bates

Spectrum Academy Charter School

            This paper will discuss the charter school project plan from the perspective of analysis of critical path and allocation of resources. The information presented is the result of study team research and discussion. A responsibility matrix will outline the deliverables of the critical path, with a brief discussion of some tasks. Presentations will also include a priority matrix, and a calculation of the critical path using the formula in the reading and displaying the result in a MS Project Gant chart.

Critical Path  

The project plan currently has four areas. The Application section was determined to be the critical path because of the deliverable, the Charter Application, and the schedules of persons outside the core group. Priorities of the project may not meet with priorities of individuals and organizations that are necessary ingredients in the mix. Particular submission dates for grants, state funding, and the Stimulus Fund vary so the schedule includes the necessary buffer time for needed adjustments as we move forward. It is known that the Charter Application must be submitted to the State of Arizona Department of Education by the end of October, 2003. It is possible that the deliverable (school facility) may be pulled in by as much as several months, although it has a current scheduled delivery date, based on the exercise’s stipulations, of April 2004. (See Appendix 1)

            The critical path tasks include sampling other charters, getting letters of support, applying the research toward identifying adaptable programs, potential partners, and available resources. The critical path continues with developing the rough draft of the charter, editing and finalizing the charter, seeking approval from the Board of Directors, and submitting a final version with the charter application to the State of Arizona. Using the method of computing a project buffer, the scheduled time for the completion of the Charter will take approximately 193 days. Interestingly enough, the time for the Charter approval is estimated at 193 days also. This was not a planned outcome, although an interesting one indeed. The entire process is estimated to take 386 days. We believe it is safe to assume that this schedule will be reduced as the project actually develops over the next several months. The Application process applies analysis of researched information and development of the comprehensive school plan from the Exploration stage of the project.

Resource Allocation

Investigating resource allocation requires looking at the overall schedule slippage, inefficient resource utilization, and resource bottlenecks. Schedule slippage in this project could occur due to limited time commitments from the core group initially. The project will initiate with no starting budget so much of the time will be pro bono. Time committed to the project will be in small meetings and individual efforts/deliverables that will need to be completed before continuing. Inefficient resource utilization can occur initially while the draft is being developed, due to the need for conferencing on details as it is being written. There may be downtime in between some of the tasks due to competing schedule priorities of others. Bottlenecks can occur when schedules of outside parties, especially those necessary for feedback, are in conflict with the project’s flow. The project includes enough of a buffer to accommodate for all of these possibilities. It is also possible that the project’s schedule will drastically reduce as people and resources become available. There is also the possibility that many committed volunteers/stakeholders will join as we begin to formulate the team and word spreads.

Responsibility Matrix

            The responsibility matrix is used to determine and demonstrate the various tasks and deliverables, along with the responsible personnel. Research and reporting on sampled charters is the responsibility of the Education Group Manager. The Project Manager is responsible for the rough draft, circulating the rough draft for feedback, analyzing the feedback, and submitting the charter application when complete. The Assistant is responsible for collecting the letters of support once commitment has been made, for compiling the feedback information, and for finalizing the charter application, with the Project Manager’s approval. These letters of support serve as community agents of ‘jobarchy.’ Our human resource allocation will be through the area managers initially, along with one assistant that has committed to serve. The responsibility matrix below displays the deliverables and responsibilities.



Allocation of Resources

            Allocation of material resources for this phase include computers and software, internet access, vehicles and fuel, telephone and fax service, and manuals from the US Charter Schools website and Arizona Department of Education’s Charter School Handbook. Human resources committed to this phase of the project are listed above in the Responsibility Matrix. They include the Project Manager, Business Manager, Educational Manager, Community Manager, and the Administrative Assistant. Additional resources, such as documentation already prepared, may be available to the area managers. Some may even have documents already prepared from their own research or the sharing of same from others. Even though this effort is led by the project manager, the team members are people of purpose who are committed to educational excellence and know how to let the job be the boss. Managerial philosophy that includes “Flow” and its relative applications is also part of the foundation of our core team.

Resource Constraints

            It is probable that initial constraints will be focused in the area of time and time management, relative to the availability of the team members. Financial constraints are also a primary concern initially, due to the start up budget. As the project grows and resources are accessed, grants and private investors, we will be able to commit greater human and material resources to the project. This is reflected in the priority matrix below.

Application Phase Priority Matrix


















            Managing these constraints will require attention to detail from the Project Manager and the Administrative Assitant in order to maximize the time and materials available currently. A detailed schedule of appointments and list of resources to be gathered will facilitate the process. The impact of these constraints will slow the process down considerably in the beginning. The important feature will be the ability to adjust and compensate for glitches in the schedule. Many have gone before us and found their own process. We will be accessing their expertise along the way so that these constraints can be minimized and eventually resolved. This phase will lead us into the Pre-Operations phase which has more definable timeframes and allocations of resources.


            The Application phase of the project incorporates research and the written comprehensive school plan in order to prepare, draft, revise, and complete the charter school application. The result of this process is receiving the approval of the charter from the State of Arizona. The outlined critical path, resource constraints, and resource allocations in this paper are covered in a cursory approach as the project has not been initiated. Some of the details and concerns are bound to change as the project develops and discovery occurs. Using the project management tools provided in the text, resources, and software packages will be keys to making the project a success. Best practices in project management will rally the people toward the goal.