Advanced Project Management
Assignment 1: A project and its charter
The project will entail creating an online portal for a retail corporation (TechMart Stores). The company has realized the need to come up with an online portal to extend it retail business online considering it has been in the traditional retail business for a long time, The project will involve creating a project team that will be tasked with coming up with a fully operational online portal. The deliverables are: encapsulating internet-based operations in the company, training the staff to use the new portal, and ensuring that the enterprise fully adopts the portal.
The purpose a charter. The TechMart Store portal project development charter documents and tracks the required information that is needed by decision makers to approve the project for funding (Ruecker & Radzikowska, 2008). The project charter encompasses the project needs, justification, scope, and resource commitment, which entails the project’s sponsor’s decision to proceed or not with the project (Bronzite, 2012). The charter’s creation was drafted at the project’s initiation phase, and its intended audiences are the company’s senior leadership and the project sponsor.
Purpose of the project. The project will entail coming up with a fully operational online portal to extend it retail business online.
Business objectives of the project. The proposed project must achieve the following goals for the client to be considered successful:
|BUSINESS GOAL||EVIDENCE OF GOAL ACHIEVED|
|Keep track of all of the company’s activities.||Have a record of TechMart and be able to refer to it whenever needed.|
|Extend the company’s operations to the online platform.||Having more clients transact through the portal.|
|Increase sales.||Increased profits.|
Figure 1: goals
The scope of the project. The project team will provide the client with the following items:
|Portal Documentation||The project charter, as well as requirements, such as design specification, test documentation, and maintenance manual, will be done by the project team within the first one week of the project’s initiation.|
|Portal development||This part will entail the development of the portal up to its completion.|
|Training||Training will be conducted to educate the staff on how to use the portal.|
|Device configuration||The company’s devices will be configured with the portal for effective working.|
Figure 2: items for the client
Assignment 2: A business Case to Secure Support of the Senior Management
A project is a temporary undertaking aimed at achieving set objectives within a specified period and using allocated resources. Companies use project management in solving temporary problems or implementing strategies. Indeed, due to the importance that is placed on projects, it is prudent to enlist effective project managers to use contemporary project management methodologies and follow concrete and effective frameworks. As such, having an effective project management is the main aspect that differentiates a successful project from that which is unable to deliver on its deliverables.
The suggested project of coming up with an online portal will expand TechMart’s business operations to encompass internet based business. In modern times, internet-based retail businesses have been o the rise because of the successes recorded by the established online businesses. Essentially, the development is evidenced by the growth of internet-based companies such as Alibaba and Amazon. Retail stores which have traditionally been brick-based businesses such as Walmart and Target have also embraced the internet in advertising and selling and their products. As such, it would be beneficial for TechMart to adopt the mentioned project.
The benefits of the project will include an increased reach to potential clients since a diverse client base will be able to access the services offered by the company remotely. Additionally, sales would increase since clients will have the opportunity to buy commodities via the portal and have them shipped. Lastly, the portal will ensure increased growth for the company that will be necessitated by an increased client base and profits. Undoubted.ly, the project strategically aligns the company with its vision of continual growth across the world. The company’s goals include offering competitive offers to clients and having a holistic growth. Its mission is to be the most effective and efficient retail store in the world. As such, the project strategically aligns the company with its vision, mission, goals, and objectives, and hence should be adopted and implemented (Ward & Chapman, 2003).
Assignment 3: Assessing the Alignment of the Project Using the System Approach
The corporation has to align itself with core factors that are crucial to the clients for the project to be efficient and effective in serving the needs of the customers. In this case, the project should be strategically made to ensure that it addresses a problem that the company may be facing either knowingly or otherwise. Additionally, the project should open up more opportunities for the client and hence come with competitive advantages (White & Fortune, 2002). The system approach in assessing the project’s alignment encompasses the following:
- Systems are organized around a specific goal – the project’s specific goal is to come up with an online portal that will expand the operations of TechMart Stores.
- Systems are made up of subsystems serving their purposes but interacting with each other to help the main system to function as intended. In this case, the project will be divided into tasks whose completion will mark the project’s completion.
- The subsystems that make up the whole should be able to function independently so that the system can function as intended. In this case, the tasks of the project will encompass their subtasks. Each task will be function independently, and the connection of the completed tasks will mark the completion of the project.
- A system’s parts work synergistically. Every aspect of the project, from its inception up to its completion, should work synergistically to ensure that the plan actualizes its deliverables.
- A poorly operating part may cause a system to malfunction. In the same way, if a part of the project fails, it can lead to the whole project being ineffective.
Assignment 4: The Use of Weighted Selection Model to Select a Suitable Project Manager
A project manager is an important person when it comes to the management of projects. The project manager is responsible for delivering the project according to desired objectives. It is this individual who manages and leads the project team. In essence, he/she is a change agent who makes the project goals his/her own and uses expertise and skills to inspire a sense of shared purpose in the project team. As such, it is crucial that the right person is chosen for a project.
The following weighted method will be used in the selection of the project manager:
|Candidate A (Charles)||Candidate B (Alvin)|
|Requirement number||Requirement Description||Priority||Score||Weighted score||Score||Weighted Score|
|1.||The candidate has strong communication skills.||5||5||100%||4||90%|
|2.||The candidate has required academic qualifications.||4||4||100%||4||100%|
|3.||A candidate is a person of integrity||5||5||100%||4||90%|
|4.||The candidate is an excellent team builder.||5||4||90%||4||90%|
|5.||The candidate has the required experience in project management.||4||4||100%||4||100%|
|6.||A candidate is a person of integrity.||5||5||100%||5||100%|
Figure 3: qualities required of the project manager
The weighted method puts a semblance of objectivity into an overly subjective process. The model uses some factors in choosing the best person for a given job. Concerning the above table, two candidates are assessed concerning the determinant factors. From the results, it is evident that Candidate A (Charles) scores higher than Candidate B (Alvin). As such, Candidate A is chosen to be the project manager for the TechMart portal development project.
Assignment 5: Pairwise Selection Approach to Select between Suppliers
In the implementation of the project, there will be a need for some technological components. The project entails encapsulating internet-based operations in a company which has not been using such operations before. As such, computers, internet connection, and other relevant devices will be required. Additionally, it will be necessary for the needed software to be supplied by relevant vendors. Due to these requirements, it is imperative that the project management team selects the most suitable suppliers (Cicmil et al., 2006). One methodology of selecting a suitable supplier from a pool of them is the use of the pairwise selection approach.
The pairwise selection approach will be used to in comparing suppliers in pairs to ascertain which of the two encompasses a greater amount of desirable quantitative properties than the other. Since the project will need both hardware and software materials, the desirable supplier is a company that can supply both of them at reasonable prices. The two suppliers to be considered are Microsoft and Apple companies.
|Provides superior hardware||Microsoft Company is not an excellent supplier of hardware since the company primary deals with Operating systems.||The enterprise is a suitable supplier of hardware because it manufactures different communication and computing devices.|
|Provides superior software||Microsoft offers superior software.||Apple offers superior software as well.|
|Provides aftersales support||Microsoft provides aftersales services.||Apple offers aftersales services but to a lower degree.|
|Which supplier is cheaper||Microsoft is cheaper than Apple.||Apple is relatively expensive.|
|Which supplier is more reliable||Microsoft is a reliable supplier.||Apple is a reliable dealer as well.|
|Apple is selected over Microsoft as the preferred supplier for the project as it offers more benefits than the latter.|
Figure 4: comparison between two suppliers
Assignment 6: Application of the NPV Concept in Evaluating the Feasibility of the Project
A feasibility study is used in the determination of an idea’s viability, such as making sure that a project is economically justifiable as well as legally and technically feasible. In essence, evaluating the feasibility of a project tells its stakeholders whether it is a worthy investment. This approach is crucial since it allows companies to work with limited resources. As such, resources can only be committed to worthy projects (Söderlund, 2004). The NPV concept encompasses ascertaining the net present value. It calculates the amounts that are invested in a project concerning the projected returns of the project. Concerning the TechMart Store portal project, costs will be incurred in its implementation. A significant percentage of the costs will go to purchasing some of the materials which are necessary for the completion of the project. Additionally, the project management team will be comprised of professionals who will be compensated for their time and input in the project implementation. As such, it is projected that the cost of implementing the project will be high. However, after its completion, the company will start reaping the project’s benefits. The projected benefits of the project include reaching more clients through the internet. Also, the portal will increase the number of sales since it will attract more clients than the company did before. As such, it is expected that the enterprise will increase its revenues tenfold in its first year of encapsulating the portal in its operations. Therefore, the benefits far outweigh the costs of instituting the project hence it is a highly feasible one (Söderlund, 2004).
Assignment 7: Causes of Quality-Related Issue
The implementation of the TechMart portal plan encompasses quality assessment to ensure that it meets the expectations of various stakeholders. In a situation whereby a project’s management quality is not assessed, it is a high probability that the project’s quality would be poor. Indeed, such a project may be unable to actualize its deliverables or meet set objectives. It is in this light that assessment tools, such as the cause-and-effect tool, are used in the identification of the causes of the quality related issue (Engwall & Jerbrant, 2003). The tool analyzes a problem, checks the possible causes and then determines on the way forward. Additionally, the tool can be modified to show the seriousness of a given problem and the possible quality issues that can be experienced because of the indicated problems. The following is the analysis of quality issues encountered during the implementation of the TechMart project.
|Uncooperative project team||Selfish interestsLack of a teamwork culture within the project team.Lack of connection between the project team members.||Incapability to complete the plan on time.Coming up with a poor quality project.|
|Inability to complete the project on time||Taking too much time on a single task.Under-qualified project team.Inadequate resources.||Inability to complete the project on time.Creating a substandard project.|
|Insufficient budget||Poorly drafted budget.More deliverables being added to the project.Fewer funds being allocated.||Creating a poor quality plan. Inability to complete the project.|
Figure 5: possible problems, causes, and effects
Assignment 8: Using EVM to Evaluate Project Progress
One major way of ascertaining the progress of the project is to the use the Earned Value Management (EVM). The EVM is a common method of performance measurement which integrates project scope, schedule measures, and costs to assist the project manager and the management team in assessing and measuring the project’s progress and performance. The measurement of the progress of the TechMart Portal project encompasses three basic elements, and these are Planned Value (PV), Earned Value (EV). And Actual Cost (AC). The earned value of the project shows that it is operating within planned cost of work. As such, the project is being implemented within the budget constraints. However, the project does not entail an earned value because the portal being developed will only be able to earn the company revenue after its completion. Lastly, the actual cost, which is the actual funds spend to date,e is two-thirds of the total budget.
Concerning the above explanation, the project is desirable. The three elements of the EVM tool show that the project is being implemented within its budget’s cost constraints. Additionally, it is within its scope. As such, it can be projected that it will be completed on time and within the set budget if the trend of positive management being experienced continues (Engwall & Jerbrant, 2003). However, the evaluation takes into consideration the present condition of the project. Since future tasks might encompass more challenges, it is imperative to conduct more EVM evaluations as the project progresses until its completion. This approach will ensure effective management of the TechMart Portal Project.
Assignment 9: Report progress
Name of project: TechMart Stores Portal Project
Start date: November 1, 2017
Dates covered by report: November 1, 2017, up to November 15, 2017
Project Manager: Charles
Project Sponsor: Mr. Harley
The project’s progress is within its scope. As such, the project is anticipated to be completed on time and within the set budget if the trend of positive management being experienced continues (Forsberg & Cotterman, 2000). Additionally, the comparison of the current with the original completion date shows that the project is being implemented ahead of its schedule.
Tasks and Work Completed During Period
- Formation of the project management team.
- Documentation of the different aspects of the project.
- Being given the go-ahead by the project sponsor to continue with the project.
- Completion of the initial phase of the project which entails planning and coming up with a framework to be followed in the implementation of the project.
- Formation of the technical team to develop the portal.
- Completion of prototype development.
Tasks to be Completed during the Next Period
- Development of the portal
- Hosting of the portal on cloud-based services.
Risks that Might Affect the Project
The allocated budget for the next tasks might be insufficient. As such, the project sponsor has been notified of the issue and is expected to permit the withdrawing of some of the reserve funds. The next task encompasses a lot of technical expertise. The project team should be ready to outsource technical knowhow if the situation demands it.
Actions to be taken by Sponsor
- Permitting the use of reserve funds.
- Meeting with the project manager to ensure that every risk is well managed.
Assignment 10: Lesson Learned Document
Undoubtedly, different projects encompass distinct approaches to their execution. However, lessons learned in the management of a project can be helpful in subsequent projects. for example, they can aid in preventing the repetition of mistakes (Cleland & Ireland, 2006). Additionally, the lessons can help the project team advantage of opportunities when they execute projects. The lessons learned to include the following:
- It is important to have a proactive risk management – Risks are parts of projects. As such, during their implementation, the project teams must think ahead and brainstorms on risks that can affect the project. The risks can then be mitigated even before they take place.
- Conflicts should be managed carefully. Due to the interaction of different members who comprise the project team, there might be friction between different individuals. Failure to handle such frictions can lead to the project team being unproductive, hence a poor quality project.
- Having reserve funds is prudent. This is a factor which is often overlooked. However, in the implementation of the TechMart project, more funds were needed than those allocated to the budget. Failure to have reserve funds would mean that if unanticipated costs arise midway, the project will be stuck due to the lack of fund to cater for the new costs.
- Effective quality monitoring should be effected from the start of the project to its completion. Indeed, the project team may veer off the required direction when managing a project. As such, the project team ought to implement a quality monitoring process to notify the team whenever it does not perform as expected.
|PURPOSE OF THE REPORT|
|The report’s purpose is to assist in the assessment of the project’s success, show best practices used, resolve existing issues and hence close the project formally.|
|PROJECT CLOSURE REPORT GOALS|
|The goals of the project closure report include: Review and validate the project’s milestones/success. Confirm on outstanding issues. Analyze risks and review recommendations. Identify best practices for future use.|
|PROJECT BACKGROUND OVERVIEW|
|The original goal of the project was to come up with an online portal for TechMart stores, aimed at expanding the store’s activities to include internet-based activities. The success criteria were thus a fully functioning portal.|
|PROJECT BEST PRACTICES AND HIGHLIGHTS|
|Project Highlights: Completion of the project on time. Completion of the project within the allocated budget. Best Practices: Keeping time during project meetings. Handling or risks before they take place.|
|PROJECT CLOSURE SYNOPSIS|
|This project is being closed because all project objectives and deliverables have been met.|
|PROJECT METRICS PERFORMANCE|
|The project’s objectives were met and surpassed. In addition to meeting the requirements, the project team made sure that the portal was fully functioning by monitoring its use for two weeks.|
|The project was implemented within the budget stipulations. However, there were periods within which the reserve funds in the budget were used. As such, it is recommended that more funds be allocated for projects of this caliber.|
|It is recommended that a comprehensive monitoring system is implemented when implementing a project such as the completed TechMart Store portal project.|
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