Water Node: Project Management

Stakeholders and Communications

Stakeholder Communication
Client: Dad Monthly progress reports and consultation
Barney None required


Number Description Importance
1 Autonomously waters trees High
2 Maximum attendance: once per fortnight. Ideal: once per 4 weeks High
3 Off grid High
4 Can water approximately 20 trees, approximately 50 L/month, for 3 months of the year Medium
5 Track weather Low/optional
6 Maximum $10 per tree cost Medium
7 Easy to install High
8 Product life of approximately 10 years High
9 High reliability High


Since it is planned that many of these Water Nodes will be produced, the cost must be kept reasonably low to reflect the value that they add to the trees that they service, and reduce the starting cost required to trial the product. Given that the 1000L container around which the design is based costs around $70, the total cost of the system should perhaps be less than $300. Another way to consider the price is to take the market price of the 3 year old trees ($30 each), multiply by 25, giving a cost of $750. Essentially, the cost should be kept as low as practical while not compromising quality.


For the protoype, eBay and local suppliers (as well as held stock) should be cheap enough and easily accessible. For the final design and product, depending ont he required quantities, the parts may have to come direct from Chinese uppliers or similar in order to reduce cost.


The final design will have to be of a very high quality, in order to ensure that it is able to survive the necessary 10 year life requirement. Aesthetics are of little to no consequence, but the design must be rugged and reliable for use in an agricultural environment. A UV resistant coating could be useful on the outside of the water container, for instance.


Since this device will work off the grid, it will in a sense be very environmentally friendly. Additionally, the design should include a plan to decomission each individual part in an environmentally friendly way. Additionally, many parts could be reused in other Nodes.


Event Outcome Risk Controls Risk
Water Node is not completed before next summer Project is delayed another year High Reduce: create soft deadlines and realistic project timeline Medium
Scope is poorly defined Project is completed incorrectly High Transfer: Get Dad to check over the scope/requirements Low
Scope creep Project is completed incorrectly High Avoid: Refer to requirements while making design decisions Low
Misunderstand requirements and/or requirements are ambiguous Project is completed incorrectly Medium Transfer: Get Dad to check over the scope/requirements Low
Resource shortfalls Project is not completed High Reduce: allow time each week to work on this project Medium
Resource inexperience Project is completed incorrectly High Reduce: learn the required skills Medium
Design is infeasible Project is completed incorrectly, or not completed, or becomes too costly Medium Accept Medium
Technology components aren't reliable Project is completed to a poor standard Medium Reduce: procure high reliability components where appropriate Low
Technology components don't have proper documentation Project is completed to a poor standard Medium Remove: create and execute tests to document components Low
Integration issues Project is completed to a poor standard High Remove: timely completion of project, and rigorous testing Low
Procurement issues Project is not completed on time Medium Reduce: order well in advance, design utilises easily sourceable components Low
User interface issues Product is not usable by client Medium Reduce: maintain communications with client Low


I am the only resource involved in this project. I only have to make sure that I have the required skills, and that I allocate the required time.


Weekly progress will be important for the success of this project. The timescale is roughly 1 year, and consistent progress will have to be made to complete the project in a timely manner.