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Capella University CollegeNET
Final Report - TS4992



Christine Pena
Dr. Sharon L. Bender, Instructor
Course Title: IT4992 Integrated Action Learning II - Project Development and Interim Report
Date: March 13, 2005
Project Description

My IAL project has been to develop and implement a new and redesigned Network Plan for Miami Dade College. In a preliminary investigation this plan was to serve as a guideline for the college-wide campus network services department and focus on incremental upgrade and replacement of an old and inefficient network providing support for as many as tens of thousands of workstations and remote access users located at five large fixed facilities spanning Miami-Dade county with provisions for supporting dozens of temporary "Outreach learning centers." The new redesigned Network defines the capability of vastly improved performance and modular scalability across all sites both permanent and temporary across the county.

This new network is capable of being fully integrated and interoperable with the prior netwrok infrastructure that already exists in order to allow for project cost and time overruns that will likely span departmental fiscal years to fully implement thus allowing full flexibility at the departmental level as well as at the campus level taking into consideration the academic, budgetary, departmental facilities and strategies, as well as planning goals.

The people who have been involved in my project were Professor Brian Robinson, PhD., Engineering Department and Mohammed Hassan Network Engineering, Manager Network Department. Dr. Robinson is a professional who was looking for improvements to the Network Department and all campuses of Miami-Dade College. Other stakeholders are primarily Engineering, Computer Information Systems and Campus Network Services Administrators, Professors, and highly skilled personnel and staff. A staff leader for applications development worked with the Applications Working Group and was instrumental in the design, implementation and applications development architecture for this project.

The need for a high-speed network infrastructure to support research and advanced services exists not only for tomorrow - it exists today. The commodity of the Internet, once the sine qua non of education and research applications has become increasingly congested and overloaded to the point that it can no longer reliably support many advanced applications. Further, this network was not designed to support the emerging research applications that demand very high bandwidth and predictable network performance characteristics.

This project described a plan to create a network not only to support advanced research, this simple yet effective design will provide each participating institution with direct access to all other participating institutions. It will also allow individual institutions to increase the bandwidth of their connection to the gigapop as need and resources allow. Further, pairs of institutions can install additional inter-institutional links, further meshing the network and providing added redundancy. This design is robust, straightforward to manage, and will provide a suitable platform for migration to the eventual SONET ring topology. My goal was to design a global large-scale network upgrade and replacement that was feasible, flexible, backwards compatible, modular, and resilient enough to be effective should it be left partially completed and is prepared with possible contingency solutions to overcome expected obstacles. This required the effective allocation of project management as well as network engineering expertise, and only a very well planned modular redesign would be capable of handling the numbers and kinds of problems that such a large network would expect to encounter such that the project would be able to reach a satisfactory level of completion to justify the expense. This network plan has allowed project managers and network engineers to anticipate potential troubles, understand them, provide means to make the corrections, and as a result will be much more likely to be successfully implemented in Miami Dade College.

This project began in Unit 1 and concluded on March 13, 2005 in Unit 10 of TS4992.

Project Objectives

The project objectives in producing my IAL Project have been to:

  1. Create a well define strategic plan for the implementation of a very large scale complex and custom Wide Area Network featuring multiple large facilities each with more than one physical building separated by a maximum of 40+ miles that must ultimately be scalable and powerful enough to support tens of thousands of users providing real-time audio and video throughput both internally and across the Internet portal.
  2. Develop a detailed set of project outlines for those managers and staff who are involved as primary stake holders in the implementation of the new network, and administrate and coordinate the operation from the feasibility study through the implementation to the final establishment of a standard operations procedure manual and support desk administrative framework for this very large scale implementation plan of the replacement of the existing network on all five campuses.
  3. Develop and manage the training of the smaller scale project managers and staff providing a well designed and organized plan for implementing and defining the responsibilities of the labor force involved in the entire operation, including training for end users, and testing of all phases of the system during installation and once various major landmarks are achieved.
  4. Integrate and coordinate closely with the department chairpersons and the deans of the college to allow for the implementation of a network that will provide the highest accordance with the educational goals of the institution's top educational administration and manage the implementation of these technological goals of the college by developing strategies and supplemental departments for applying all processes at all campuses involved in the new network's master plan.

I met all objectives during the completion of my project. We have created a high-level design document to properly manage the project. This assisted us to develop a network plan that renders a more efficient functionality which allowed us to meet all objectives. However, we have previously been assisted with the administrative functions of the courses which has saved us time and made a noticeable reduction in human errors.

The learning objectives in producing my IAL Project have been to:

  1. Gain experience in and put in practice the theory of organization in this project in the role of the project leader in a real world environment.
  2. Discover how to handle the improvements that the network technology can bring to Miami-Dade College.
  3. Develop large scale project management and integration skills.

Tasks and Schedule

The following timeline represents the schedule of events accomplished in producing my IAL Project:

Research Phase
Tasks Duration Resources

Task 1: Research and implement (examples of other college plans and our previous plan)

Week 1 - 01/04/05 1/06/05

Campus Dean, Chairperson of CIS Department, Network Engineering, and CNS Departments articles, books on Network System Administration, and online resources.

Task 2: Investigate potential issues and research former issues in the network plan for a community college

Week 1 - 01/04/05 1/06/05

Task 3: Discuss and define the roles and responsibilities of the staff of MDC (CIS, Engineering, and CNS Departments) and plan an outline for the implementation of the new network

Week 2-01/07/05-01/13/05

Task 4: Technical availability and analysis of findings, continue with more research, and retrieve other campus plans

Week 2-01/07/05-01/13/05

Recruiting and Organization Phase
Tasks Duration Resources

Task 1: Send out email to all MDC campus users (faculty/staff) to give an overview about the new network plan to be implemented and to invite them to participate in providing opinions and feedback, plan subcommittees, compile information packets with sample plans and information for all committee members for review prior to meeting.

Week 3-01/14/05-01/20/05

Users (all MDC campuses), current network plan, facilities for a new network plan, campus strategic plan, guidance for a new network plan framework, research and resources as much information as I could obtain. The Internet.

Task 2: Schedule meetings discussing the new network plan that would be implemented and show the former network plan for comparisons (old and new plan). First meeting.

Week 3-01/14/05-01/20/05

Task 3: Organize all paperwork (create an outline with pros and cons), and meet once a week with all staff who is involved in the project. Send e-mail for the second meeting. Review the first meeting with the Chairperson of CIS, Engineering and CNS Department. Meet with staff, second meeting.

Week 4-01/20/05-01/26/05

Task 4: Prepare for next meeting. Review all resources. Proceed, and send via e-mail the second meeting date.

Week 4-01/20/05-01/26/05

Development Phase
Tasks Duration Resources

Task 1: Meet with Network administrators and develop strategy for implementation of the new infrastructure. Review campus equipment. Evaluate our current equipment standings and host/traffic requirements.

Week 5-01/27/05-02/03/05

Network administrator, staff (tester, software development, etc) Internet, CIS, Engineering, Network, and CNS Departments

Task 2: Schedule meetings with the staff who would be involved and organize the documentation and role that each will fulfill. Discuss new ideas, implement, and brainstorm, exchange ideas to create a new better vision, and develop new goals and plans. Meet with the chairpersons of CIS, Engineering, and CNS Departments for progress report. Send via e-mail the third meeting with date.

Week 5-01/27/05-02/03/05

Task 3: Review all paper work. Proceed with the plan.

Week 6-02/4/05-02/10/05

Task 4: Continue research and make modifications as needed. Schedule fourth meeting via e-mail with date and confirmation.

Week 6-02/4/05-02/10/05

Task 5: Weekly meeting

Week 6-02/4/05-02/10/05

Production Phase
Tasks Duration Resources

Task 1: Meet with staff, and begin to develop drafts that will detail each section and produce a draft report. Send via e-mail a reminder for the next meeting with date

Week 7- 02/11/05-02/17/05

Network administrator, meet staff, schedule meetings, Internet access. Workstation computer, MSOffice (Word software), e-mail. Chairpersons from all departments

Task 2: Develop drafts for presentation

Week 7- 02/11/05-02/17/05

Task 3: Schedule meeting for feedback and revision of material that would be implemented.

Week 8-02/18/05-02/19/05

Task 4: Include all information for this network plan. Schedule next meeting for presentation to chairpersons of all departments, and send via e-mail confirmation of meeting.

Week 9-02/20/05 02/26/05

Implementation Phase
Tasks Duration Resources

Task 1: Deliver implementation and presentation of the new network plan to the staff (dean, faculty, etc)

Week 10- 02/27/05 02/28/05

Staff, stakeholders, Internet access, and schedule meetings with both chairpersons of CIS, Network, Engineering, and CNS Departments.

Task 2: Feedback and schedule meeting with network staff for additional development. Finish the plan for final approval

Week 10- 02/27/05 02/28/05

Task 3: Present the new plan to CIS, Engineering, and CNS Departments and to the college administration and the Board of Trustees.

Week 11-03/01/05-01/08/05

Task 4: Obtain signature for final approval (after all modifications, additions or deletions have been made.)

Week 11- 03/01/05-03/08/05

Task 5: Once the new network plan has been approved, obtain the final feedback

Week 11- 03/01/05-03/08/05

Post-Project Phase
Tasks Duration Resources

Task 1: Archive all assets and documentation

Week 12- 03/09/05-03/13/05

Workstation Computer, Blank CD media, Software, Party Time

Task 2: Summarize and prepare final assessment of project success

Week 12- 01/09/05-03/13/05

I followed this schedule from the beginning. The most important resource was the financial resources that Miami Dade College has put toward the effort for completing and implementing it.

Risk Management

Several risks were identified in performing a risk assessment of my IAL Project.
I have performed a risk management analysis as follows:

Risk Factor Checklist
Risk Considerations Low Risk Medium Risk High Risk

Team, skilled personnel, participation

 

 

X

Meeting timeline participation

 

X

 

Change schedule project

 

X

 

User/Sponsor/stakeholder/manager reliability

 

 

X

Project assistance availability

 

 

X

Technology reliability

X

 

 

Data reliability

X

 

 

Stakeholder availability

X

 

 

Technical Staff

 

X

 

High Risk Solutions
Risk Considerations Problem and Solution

Team, skilled personnel, participation

Participation is very important for a successful project. If the team is compounded over more than ten people, it is considered high risk.

User/Sponsor/Stakeholder/Manager reliability

During project development we can find that personnel would change. The personnel would be have to be replaced buy in from the replacement personnel.

Project assistance availability

Project experts and mentors may not be available. We need to substitute for new available and skilled personnel


Contingency Planning

After completing a risk analysis it has been determined that the high-level risks to the successful completion of my project are:

  1. Team, skilled personnel, participation
  2. User/Sponsor/Stakeholder/Manager reliability
  3. Project assistance availability

Efforts to offset these risks were in place. However, if for some reason my project does not appear to be developing successfully regardless of the efforts made, I would present reasons why I am unable to proceed with the project as planned. Appropriate redirection of the plan would take place upon instructor and/or stakeholder approval and the new direction would be discussed in the final project report. Redirection might be to permit the development and implementation of limited phases of my project to eventually constitute my project in its entirety. The outstanding development and implementation phases of my project would in such case be completed outside the scope of the capstone project. Upon approval, such redirection would represent my project in its entirety.

The process of identifying risks have helped me to avoid any of these pitfalls during my project implementation phase. In addition, I did not need to resort to my contingency plan to complete this project. In my humble opinion, during the course, I was clever to successfully complete all goals.

Research

The research materials I used in producing my IAL Project and what purpose they served follows. Included is a brief discussion of what I learned from each resource.

Assisting Resources

In producing my project I would utilize the following assisting resources:

Books/Publications

  1. Bender, S. L. (2003). Producing the capstone project. Dubuque, Iowa: Kendall/Hunt Publishing Company.

    Producing the Capstone Project was an excellent reference book for aiding in the development of my capstone project. I used this book as a guide and reference as I produced my project.

  2. Bentley, Lonnie D., Dittman, Kevin C.; and Whitten Jeffrey L. (2001). Systems analysis and design methods (5th Edition) New York Publisher: McGraw-Hill Irwin Companies, Inc.

    This reference book also has helped in the analysis, process and redesign techniques for preparing a schedule and timeline as Project Manager where it is capable of showing the risks and how these can be solved, after a rapid analysis the user can develop the application using tools, and different cases for direct application in information technology scenarios.

  3. Chacon, Michael, Chellis, James, London, Suzan S., and Sheltz, Matt (2003) MCSE: Windows Server 2003 Network Infrastructure Planning and Maintenance Study Guide (70-293), Berkley, CA: Sybex Inc.

    This textbook would be used as a reference for producing my project. It contains many helpful tips on supporting Windows Server 2003; it is practical information on planning, implementing and maintaining Windows Server 2003 network infrastructure

  4. Lammle, Todd (2004) CCNA Cisco Certified Network Associated Study Guide, (4th Ed.)(640-801) Berkley, CA: Sybex Inc.

    This textbook would be used as a reference for producing my project. It contains many helpful tips on producing planning, implementation, troubleshooting, and technology in the network architecture. It is an excellent road map for Cisco networking success. This reference helped me in many complex networking areas, from routing and switching on LANs and WANs to setting up firewalls, proxies, and VPNs. Cisco not only dominates the router and switch market to the extent that Cisco routers and switches are considered by many networking professionals to set the standard for all other companies, but also MDC strongly recommends the exclusive usage of this equipment. Cisco routers, switches, and other equipment keep running without problems, are readily upgraded, are easily adapted to new network configurations, and are compatible with virtually every transport or access method.

  5. Syngress Media, Inc. (2002). Windows 2000 Network Administration Berkley, CA: Osborne-McGraw-Hill

    This textbook has been used for more detailed network systems administration functionality. It helps the reader to understand the Microsoft network architecture and paradigm and how it would be applied to this project. Furthermore, it explains procedures, administration, monitoring, and maintaining the network environment.

Internet

  1. Bird, Tina (1999, June 01) Building VNPS: The 10-point plan. Retrieved November 2, 2004 from:
    http://www.networkmagazine.com/article/DCM20000510S0053

    This article is a tremendous help for cutting WAN costs. Tina Bird explains some basic design and implementation requirements and simplifies VPN design. Also, the book shows the possibilities for building VPN's that can address the needs of any organization from very small to very large. These ten steps are very useful and helpful for this project.

  2. Currie, Scott (2003, April). Draft: Network Strategy and Implementation Retrieved on November 1, 2004 from:
    http://www.ucs.ed.ac.uk/nsd/nsd-strategy.html

    This article has assisted me with my project to implement the new network service, including an entirely new infrastructure in MDC. Also, this infrastructure has been given the appropriate requirements for finishing my project.
    John Currie explains in an easy way what type of technology and infrastructure I would use for this purpose. I have found that developing a strategic plan, maintaining a high quality as the author showed me, observing the support and the impact on the network of consolidating the servers in central locations and/on storage area networks where the scalability and the requirements levels encompass very high performance applications.
    For that reason, I would apply a better plan in the MDC Master Plan for Technology which began a new era of planned and coordinated technology growth at the College. The groundbreaking plan called for a unified College network and microcomputers for faculty and staff to use in support of instruction, student support and innovation. The Miami-Dade College Strategic Technology Plan for 2005-2010 is based on the Master Plan Prioritization list developed by the College Technology Committee (CTC) subsequent to the approval of the Master Technology Plan. Each priority in the Strategic Technology Plan for 2005-2010 relates directly back to one or more of the goals in the 1997 Master Plan. Since these original goals were broadly conceived, they provide a solid foundation for expanding the role of technology at the College. The Tasks are arranged in order of the strategic priorities that they address. This website has helped to make a perfect plan.

  3. Fratto, Mike (2003, December 19).The 2004 Security Survivor's Guide. Retrieved on November 1, 2004 from:
    http://www.securitypipeline.com/showArticle.jhtml;jsessionid=D4KH3OTMFM3FMQSNDBCCKHQ?articleId=17000382&printableArticle=true

    This article discusses the new security products and develops methods for finding the right combination of them that can maximize protection internally as well as externally to a network, from the servers to the workstations to the perimeter and beyond. The author develops a sound patching strategy that can be implemented and maintained effectively. He also emphasizes that security plans must never get in the way of the company's business needs. This is a critical help at the time of the implementation of security on the network. We can select and use the best protection for the network.

  4. North Central Regional Educational Laboratory. (2003). (n.d.).Learning Through Technology: Annotated Outline. Retrieved November 1, 2004, from:
    http://www.ncrel.org/tandl/contents.htm

    This article is a tremendous help from the beginning, because it gives tips when we need to produce an outline. I would recommend this reference for the first time student who is not very secure as to how to write an outline. It is also great because it directly applies to the successful planning and implementation of a technology plan.

  5. Heathfield, Susan M.(2004). How to manage the perfect project?. Retrieved November 4, 2004 from:
    http://humanresources.about.com/cs/projectmanagement/ht/Projectmgmt.htm

    If we want to complete projects successfully, on-time, within budget, and involving the appropriate people to ensure integration, these project management steps will ensure you practice effective project management. I recommend for a successful project to follow these steps.

  6. McRobbie, M., & Palmer, J. (2001). Strategic and Financial Planning for Information Technology in Higher Education. Retrieved on November 4, 2004, from:
    http://www.educause.edu/ir/library/pdf/ffp0007.pdf

    This is a perceptive article that begins by stating "the creation of new knowledge and the sharing of information are defining features of a modern university; thus the goal of excellence in the use of IT is an essential ingredient in achieving academic excellence for the institution as a whole" (McRobbie & Palmer, 2001, p. 128). It seemed to suggest that without technology, the university would not be able to achieve academic excellence and went on to explain each step that was taken by a university to implement an extensive plan and the goals and strategies that would be needed to fulfill that plan. It brought to light some of the issues that were encountered in the planning process and discusses the why, how, when, and concerns that need to be focused on and what diligent planning can do for an institution. It covered the strong need to incorporate financial planning and why that is a key area when planning for technology. Although it would be common sense to understand that you cannot purchase technology without funding, the article focuses on a strong budgetary perspective. By implementing technology, are improvements being made that would cut costs? Will work patterns or skills change due to this new technology and the efficiency in the amount of work done pay for the cost of technology? I have not seen this particular focus and insight on cost and return on investment in any other resource.

  7. Mochal, Tom (2004). Six steps for selecting a project management software package. Retrieved November 4, 2004 from:
    http://techrepublic.com.com/5100-6315-1028034.html

    This article gives the solution on how we can choose the right project management software in our project. It also gives many helpful tips for producing a successful project.

  8. Ptak, Noel & Associates/TechTarget webcast (2004) Best Practices for Systems and Network Management(White paper). Retrieved on November 1, 2004 from:
    http://searchnetworking.techtarget.com/searchNetworking/downloads/SNET_CA_BPNSM.pdf

    This article assists me in addressing and applying IT infrastructure to the solution of business problems. The best practices implementations are more effective and efficient in getting the necessary tasks done. A best practice according to the article can be as simple as a change in daily operations or also through documenting an automated service provisioning system. However, for system management, this involves reducing time for administrative tasks. Another important point that this resource offers is the time to go back and revise or reevaluate any related policy. The goal is to improve the performance of the administrative team. New technologies would encourage the project manager to rethink how we manage the infrastructure, because the regular review process would be able to identify areas for improvements or pinpoint inefficiencies within the system. Best practices arise from determining the right course for organization and management.

  9. Pine Technical College Technology Master Plan. (n.d.). Retrieved November 4, 2004 from:
    http://www.oit.mnscu.edu/ITS_Planning/PTCTechMasterPlan.pdf

    This document utilizes information drawn from the original Strategic Technology Planning, the Academic Master Plan, the Facilities Master Plan, economic impact assessment and increases the benefits to all. It develops a simple way, demonstrating how to plan a master technology plan.

  10. Project Management Tips and Articles (2004) (n.d.). 7 Habits of highly unsuccessful Project Managers. Retrieved November 1, 2004, from:
    http://www.startwright.com/project2.htm

    These tips and articles provide a reference for the information technology project manager's needs and support staff traveling to, starting up, and working on remote, dispersed or virtual projects. Between tips and articles for success in projects and the basic management skills (IEE) provides and shows the path for developing and implementing a successful project.

  11. These last three websites (a, b, and c) are examples of a guideline for the planning process. After reviewing each one, I could pre-select and tell which is easier or more comprehensive or best suited for the particular solution for the end user:

    (a)TenStep Project Management Process. (2004, October). 7.2.1 Manage Risk / Risk Factors. TenStep, Inc. Retrieved November 4, 2004, from:
    http://www.tenstep.com/7.2.1ManageRisk.htm

    (b)St. Paul College Technology Master Plan 2002-2005. (n.d.) Retrieved November 4, 2004, from:
    http://www.oit.mnscu.edu/ITS_Planning/StPaulCollegeFinalTechPlan.pdf

    (c) Metropolitan State University Information Technology 2003 – 2005 IT Master Plan. (n.d.). Retrieved November 4, 2004, from:
    http://www.metrostate.edu/it/pdf/2003ITPlan.pdf

People

Committee Members

Courtright, Robyn Assoc. Director District-Kendall Purchasing
Gosnell, Gary Director Kendall Facilities Planning
Harper, Harold Director District-Kendall Applications Development
Levering, E. H. Interim Vice Provost District-Kendall Business Affairs
Montoya, Rolando Interim Dean Kendall Academic Affairs
Moran, Chris Vice Provost District-Kendall Facilities
Ruff, Joy Director District-Kendall EEO & Employee Relations
Stanton, Rona Project Analyst District-Kendall Quality Management
Yanni, Gabriel Assoc. Vice Provost District-Kendall Computer Services
Klein, Hank Liaison Board of Trustees
Martha Garrity Dean for Administration
Jackie Lyons ASTRA Coordinator
Carmen Liriano Senior Budget Clerk

Computer Information Systems & Design Technology
Jose Lozano, Chairperson

Computer Information Systems Department (CIS)
Richard White, Chairperson
Pauline Chohonis Asst. to the Chair

Engineering & Engineering Technology
Jose Lozano, Chairperson

Antoine, Michel Network Technician/Coordinator
Arias, Edgar PC Technician
Calixto, Enrique and Cardoso, Damian Network Technician/Coordinator
Cappellini, Carlo Macintosh Support Technician
Garcia, Alex Administrative Network Manager
Henderson, Traci Director
Morales, Jeffrey Academic Network Manager
Sardinas, Evelio Client Support Manager
Weber, Rita Office Manager
Phd. Robinson, Brian Assistant Chairperson
Project Network Manager Chief: responsible for managing resources including the project team and the overseeing the budget, Chief, Systems Analysis and Security Specialized Network Engineer, Dr. Brian K.Robinson, Recovery Data Specialist and Professor of CNS, CIS, Engineering, and Network Departments.

Project Network Manager Chief: responsible for managing resources including the project team and the overseeing the budget, Chief, Systems Analysis and Security Specialized Network Engineer, Dr. Brian K.Robinson, Recovery Data Specialist and Professor of CNS, CIS, Engineering, and Network Departments
Software and Network Engineer: Ted Silverman, Manager MDC (CIS Department)
Software Engineer: Mark Göesel MDC (CIS Department) Application Programmer/Analyst
Network Engineer: Mohammed Hassan, Professor MDC CED (CIS and CNS Departments)
Network Technician: Michel, Antoine
PC Technician: Edgar, Arias
Consultant: Dr. Kip Irvin Professor MDC, FIU, Systems Programmer and Analyst
User/Domain Consultant: Alex Ariza, Software/Network Engineer, QA, and Business Administration
User/Domain Consultant: Charlie Gerez Programmer/Analyst
Client Support: Evelio Sardinas
Tester: Felix Geere
Technical Officer: Responsible for systems maintenance, software development, and providing technical support to the project team.
Software/Network Engineer: Edward Phillips
Information and Communications Officer: Responsible for creating and implementing a dissemination/marketing strategy.
Marketing Engineer: Emelia Simmons
Evaluation: responsible for creating and implementing an evaluation plan.
Network/Project Management Engineer: Pauline Chohonis

A project is more likely to be successful if the team is working well together and the team dynamics are good.

This was a group of experts, stakeholders or other interested parties who met on a regular but infrequent formal basis to advise, guide and help the project team. They also received more regular reports so that they could maintain an overview of progress between meetings. There was usually a representative of the college. Sometimes if appropriate, there may be "user" representation.

Updates on progress, finance, evaluation, dissemination and future plans were common agenda items. The meetings were often chaired by a senior representative of the college.

Literature Review

I performed the following literature review concerning the value in producing my project.

Internet

AMS Services-Technology Research Department (2004, August) Network Security Retrieved on November 1, 2004 from:
http://www.ams-services.com/whitepapers/security.asp

This white paper brings a big challenge in today's world where criminals or unscrupulous advertisers are abusing the Internet. Each day a new security threat is being unleashed and IT professionals are discovering these critical issues and working around the clock to provide solutions. It teaches us how to take the information and the threats to it very seriously and how to protect the network, the data and the business.

Anonymous (2003) UW Colleges Information Technology Plan 2003-2005. Retrieved on November 1, 2004 from:
http://www.uwc.edu/cio/itplan.htm

This article helped to put the plan in practice, because this plan would be useful to anyone within the university who depends upon the support of the University's information technology resources, and inasmuch as the information technology goals discussed in this plan is understandable to all members of the university community.

Belay, Teweldeberhan, Tareke, Samuel, Tesfazgh, Teklay, and Tewelde, Samuel (2003).Threaded Case Study (CTTC Network Design) Retrieved on November 1, 2004 from:
http://www.cisco.uoa.edu.er/Public_html/ CTTC_ Network.pdf

This case study has helped me to understand why implementing the network backbone in Miami-Dade College is critical. The high performance that creates interconnectivity between buildings, and the alternative using the best products such as routers, brouters who present unparalleled performance and features for needing high-speed connectivity between enterprise LAN-to-LAN applications such as school or campus network connections, banking, manufacturing, hospitals and clinics. This enables a central Ethernet LAN to be connected with one or more branch office LANs up to 25 miles apart.

SearchNetworking.com (2004).Secure Content Management: Security Central by McAfee. Retrieved on October 31, 2004 from:
http://searchsecurity.techtarget.com/searchSecurity/downloads/WhitePaperSCM1004s.pdf

This white paper outlines how secure content management (SCM) solutions move beyond stand-alone anti-spam, anti-virus, and content filtering products, helping businesses increase productivity and optimize IT resources. SCM solutions also help reduce the liabilities of doing business. Now we can enforce their content and regulatory compliance policies, block viruses and malicious code, and slash costs and lost productivity associated with spam.

Seton Hall University Information Technology Department (2004, October). Information Technology at Seton Hall University: A Five Year Plan for Excellence, June 1995. Retrieved on October 31, 2004 from:
http://technology.shu.edu/page/Conclusion!OpenDocument

This article would help to view the best investment in planning and support for information technology would provide a strategic advantage to the college, and is essential in order to prepare the students for effective and responsible participation and leadership in their communities and in a changing world.

Lessons Learned

The major lessons learned in producing my IAL Project have been:

  1. The communication between different teams and administrative personnel and other members have been very important, because we all have good ideas to contribute in this project. All members who have been involved in this project have provided excellent communication. I have learned how this works in a real world.
  2. The meetings which have been scheduled in advance have included the responsibilities and tasks of the respective sections

The important point was to work ahead as often and as far ahead as possible all tasks or in the worst case, perform them on time

In general, all people who were involved were very creative, participating actively in meetings, and creating and implementing new ideas. Everyone was very approachable.

I have received feedback from my stakeholder and other members who encouraged me to continue with the project. Also it was important to depend on technical resources during the course.

I think that I have learned more and use new technical skills which I have learned from those who are more skilled than I. However, the project has helped me to understand the different parts of the network and the various facets of administrating it from design, to implementation to daily standard operations maintenance and logistics.

I think that it is beneficial because provides a way to record the amount of time spent working on the project and assign the time for specific tasks. Tracking is a way where we have done safe time, costs, and maintain an effective evaluation by those involved in the project.

There are many elements that are beneficial to track the project and are important:

  1. Tasks and Completion Dates
  2. Strategies for Implementation
  3. Objectives
  4. Issues Concerns
  5. Key Decisions
  6. Major Accomplishments
  7. Feedback (from peers, stakeholders, users, and others)
  8. Resources (budget, people, equipment, systems, and others)
  9. Research

Because the daily tracking provides a better way as well as valuable information while the development is my own and unique way for tracking it.

In producing my tracking device, I gave serious consideration to the areas that I believed would help in this project. Maintaining tracking devices were a necessary effort of this project because they clarified the areas that I needed to concentrate renewed efforts and concerns because they would appear to lag, and this was instrumental in being able to continue the production. The decisions that I needed to take, and the major accomplishments, the issues concerning all of the team for concluding on time this project, the objectives, and the plan traced for completion the tasks accordingly with the Tracking Project Diary.

The ways to track project progress were the WBS (Work Breakdown Schedule), another important track was the website where it provides the store of all documentation associated with the project. I think it makes things easier for the people who were involved in the project, because the information contained in the tracking is available at any time.

In addition, the website links contain the updates, and weekly progress, capturing the issues with which everyone is most concerned. I have experience in using WBS. The method for capturing notes on project progress was using a website as mentioned above. Of course, it is important to upload daily if updates or changes are made in the project tracking website. However, I am not used a Palm Pilot. I preferred to use a website to capture feedback rather than a PDA. The best way for establishing a working method was using the WBS and post it online or giving a paper to each staff, which is not the best way, or sending e-mails.

In fact, my skills have been improved in the last months; I think that it was very easy to handle activities with all members, and understanding more the use of a tracking website to coordinate with the team members.

My time spent every day for implementing the project has been very well invested and successful.

Some of the feedback I received during the course of the project included:

The feedback has helped me to achieve better communication with stakeholders, administrators, the team, and users. Additionally, it helped to improve the implementation as it progressed to better address the needs of the users. The result was a simple implementation and satisfied users.

Implementation

The proposed implementation process for the MDC Instructional Network included the following steps:

Step 1: Build conceptual support for the Network. Solicit and use feedback from appropriate community college leaders, administrators, faculty and staff.

Step 2: Prepare item for legislative budget request.

Step 3: Develop an agenda for any needed legislative actions in support of the Network or its use.

Step 4: Build conceptual support for Network

Step 5: Provide Network design information to community college faculty and staff through a workshop and via other communications.

Step 6: Obtain feedback on Network as proposed and incorporate feedback as appropriate.

Step 7: Acquire needed resources.

Step 8: Survey colleges to ascertain needs for distance learning program reception and delivery.

Step 9: Develop partnerships as needed with local cable operators.

Step 10: Identify key courses for purchase, development, adaptation, and statewide delivery.

Step 11: Assist in the implementation of the Network as refined by Step 5.

Step 12: Support needed community college faculty/staff training for Network use. (Does not include comprehensive distance learning development activities.)

Step 13: Develop DCCDL Consortium management role, policies, and procedures for coordination of the Network.

Step 14: Work with the issues related to program development, specific course selection, and integration with existing or developing systems.

The benefits to the college and, the taxpayer, include:

  • Reduced need for new facilities;
  • Reduced education costs as time to graduation for MDC students is shortened by offering alternative delivery systems for "bottleneck courses";
  • More sharing of community college resources as a single course can serve multiple institutions instead of only the institution developing the program; and
  • Course delivery to the home allows for more and enhanced learning opportunities for non-traditional students and will better serve individuals as well as Florida business and industry.

MDC would contribute significantly to the infrastructure and application base at the heart of the Internet's present success. It would be ironic if MDC failed to be a proactive participant in the evolution of the next generation of network applications which can be glimpsed on the Internet horizon today and which promise to alter radically the prevailing methodologies of instruction, research, and public service. The Internet 2 Project is a clear signal that MDC intends to contribute to the advance of those network technologies and, especially, those network applications which will be the foundation for the knowledge society envisioned in Next Generation Internet Initiative.

In summation, this project has helped me in maintaining great communication with all staff members involved. Therefore it has helped me to understand how to handle teams from different parts of the project including those not even directly associated with the actual network itself such as college administration and faculty providing input as to the general direction in which they have liked to see the college's educational mission evolve in the future.

Also, the assistance of Dr. Robinson, his cooperation and feedback, made me feel more secure about the general plan as well as the specific details of this large scale operation and what it will encompass in the way of college resources, funding and man-power and how best to obtain these from the college administration.

The most problematic learning experiences including the non-technical aspect of implementing a huge, expensive and time consuming project, therefore I think was where I have gained tremendous experience in the planning of this project.

During the planning process, I was fortunate to have the support of Dr. Robinson and Dr. Bender, and I felt encouraged to continue with it. The constant communication via e-mail with Dr. Bender has been a great help to me to focus in the planning of the project.

As well, Dr. Robinson has also assisted me constantly. We maintain permanent contact and it has contributed to my ability to continue with the project.

By the way, I would like to say to the other learners that they should not feel deterred if they need to ask of those who are more experienced for help of any kind. I would like to encourage them to follow through with their projects.

I think that my instructor will help me to be more successful in this course, especially with all of the support and feedback. Of course I mean not only the encouraging words in each feedback, but also the advice when she noticed I was proceeding in the wrong direction.

Thinking Habits

We applied the following Thinking Habits in our project. These habits have assisted me and I consider them a great benefit to others as well. More specifically, they are a benefit to MDC, where the new network plan would be the ultimate outcome. The Thinking Habit 4 was impressive for me, because in one way or another it is important in all orders of our lives. The cooperation and with the combination with the individual initiative in our work, university, school, etc when we need to take some action it would help us.

  • The Thinking Habit 10, I have chosen because we are learning all of time, it makes us more successful, in all orders too.
  • Thinking Habit 11: Constructive Learning – The habit of perceiving and accepting fundamental civic interdependence through the service learning concept – expanding individual growth through constructively applying learned skills in service to others

The Thinking Habit 11, of course, all habits that we make to grow individually or in a team framework, always, the skills are useful at that time or later, but it is one way where our expansion as an individual will be constructive and we apply all of our skills, it will become a greater outcome for ourselves or in the service to others.

Appendix

The following appendices evidence project completion and provide a sample of my work to the Integrated Action Learning Project Final Report and to evidence satisfactory project completion:

To evidence the completion of my project I have included the following appendices to the IAL Project Final Report in TS4992:

Appendix A: Sample Documentation of the New Network Plan

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Appendix B: Letter Confirming Project Completion from Professor Brian Robinson, MDC Engineering Dept. Kendall Campus.

Stakeholder Confirmation of Satisfactory Project Completion

Date: March 13, 2005

To: Capella University

From: Prof. Brian K. Robinson

Subject: Satisfactory Project Completion

To whom it may concern:

Christine Pena has satisfactorily completed the project titled, "Implementation of a Network Plan for Miami Dade College" per the project plan and/or according to the specifications of the stakeholders.

I have reviewed the project final report and find that there is no content that violates security or privacy needs of the stakeholder or beneficiary in the project. It is therefore considered "publishable." This means that the learner will upload a copy to a project tracking website that has been maintained to meet academic requirements in the respective degree program.

I consider all network professionals to be potential stakeholders if the tool is beneficial to their productivity, particularly if it could identify those errors in advance that would jeopardize success. If the above premise holds to be true, then the value is greater. Just because technicians can do their job now without it, does not mean that it would not provide superior efficiency, potential and productivity into the future.

Due to other project priorities, several project tasks were able to be completed by March 13, 2005 under my supervision as a stakeholder.

If you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact me.

Sincerely,

Prof. Brian K. Robinson
pcrepairprof@yahoo.com

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Copyright (C) 2004 Christine Pena ALL RIGHTS RESERVED