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A & D Products Company’s Online Sales Platform Development Report

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Executive summary

The purpose of the proposed project is to create an internet-based sales platform for the A & D products to enable the company to maintain its competitive advantage on the market against competitors. The proposal under the leadership of the project manager and other stakeholders identified in the document will direct the project by conducting a feasibility analysis of the project, schedule the resources, develop, test, and gradually implement the project.

Introduction

According to Ciliberti (2005, p. 34), the project proposal consists of the project portfolio management system for determining the return on investment (ROI) including the financial payback period, the net present value of the project, and the expected internal rate of return to determine if the project is economically viable. In addition, the project proposal consists of the project development plan which underpins a successful project.

That is because parts of the elements of the planning process of the previous project which made it a success are integrated into the current plan to make the current project a success. In that case, the project plan development consists of the project integration management strategy with the critical components of the project development plan, project execution plan, and the project integration and change control strategy (Holahan & Mooney, 2004).

According to Lewis (2006, p.34), it is at the project proposal stage that project inputs are identified which consist of planning outputs, historical information that provides a description of the project success factors and failures, the original policies that were created during the initial stage of the project development, the constraints that were identified with the old project, and the assumptions made during the project development lifecycle (Lewis 2006)

Project Integration Management

The proposed project will be directed by the project manager, Chris Johnson, who will be responsible for coordinating all the elements of the entire A & D High Tech project lifecycle. Chris’s approach includes identifying competing project alternatives which are critical in meeting user needs and project objectives by putting in place effective communication channels within the project teams and stakeholders and ensuring project costs are controlled and within the allocated budget (Brown & Hyer 2010).

According to the proposed project, the project manager will be expected to apply his previous project management skills and experience through the early involvement of stakeholders to create an environment with effective communication channels. The project manager will be required to establish a good relationship between the stakeholders and to effectively coordinate project tasks, project stakeholders, and the project sponsor. According to Brown and Hyer (2010, p.33), project integration management consists of the following elements.

Each component in the architecture of the proposed system and the tasks done for each task will be integrated to ensure effective integration and functioning of the project. Typically, the project has to be scheduled to ensure that each of the tasks goes according to the plan. The areas requiring oversight to ensure proper integration of all activities are done include the project schedule, project budget, the human resources, and the technical modules that have to be worked on. The technical components to be integrated to ensure the system works well includes the web server layer, application server layer, back end application layers, and the system application database (Lewis 2006).

Identification of Stakeholders

Identification of stakeholders is critical for this project because it underpins a successful proposal and development plan and the successful implementation of the project. According to the case study, a stakeholder analysis provides the best method of identifying the stakeholder’s names and the name of the current organization, the stakeholder’s roles and responsibilities in implementing the project, identifying facts about the stakeholder and associated responsibilities, the level of interest in the project, the extent to which the stakeholder influences the project, and the methods and suggestions for managing the relationship between the stakeholder and the organization.

According to Holahan and Mooney (2004, p.34), the most common project stakeholders include project team members, project managers, customers, central staff, and the project sponsor. Holahan and Mooney (2004, p.34) argue on the importance of considering other stakeholders in the project who positively contribute to the successful implementation and management of the project. Other stakeholders include the government and government agencies, functional managers, senior project managers, special interest groups, shareholders, and suppliers of hardware products (Holahan & Mooney 2004).

According to Holahan and Mooney (2004, p. 34), the first stakeholder in the project is J.D Edwards who provided the company with the ERP software product that was successfully implemented in 2001. Another stakeholder in the project wasted Walter and Jeff White the vice president of sales and CIO Webb responsible for creating an online store. Webb was responsible for initiating the project for the development of the online store by comparing the decisions to build or to buy off the shelf software. The next stakeholder was the cross-functional team of six people created by Webb. The purpose of the team was to define the business requirements of the project, process flows, identification and formulation of architectural and technical requirements, creation of a prototype of the project, and creating a work breakdown structure.

The team is responsible for the definition of available resources and to assign the resources, scheduling of tasks, and creating a WBS for all the required resources for the project. The next stakeholder in the project was the steering committee responsible for reviewing the project to determine project feasibility. Other stakeholders included senior managers led by When Johnson, Jeff White responsible for sales, Chuck Gagler the eCommerce vice president, Robertson, and Johnston the team leader.

Other stakeholders included Eric Johnson the project manager, Rick Burke the infrastructure lead, Vohra the database administrator, Sioski the project test lead, and TBD the system developer. All the stakeholders had a direct impact on the development of the project in the capacity of the job description specific to the area of specialization.

Detailed project description

According to the project under development, the project was required to fulfill be the business requirements by providing an online store to enable customers to place orders online, amend the status of the orders, add-on orders, and allow for order amendments. The online system had to allow for the owner to configure and price the products, enable real-time processing of payments, enable the validation of data, and enable the delivery of products on standard lead times.

The system provides the capability to handle different process flows, handle exceptions that could be due to system errors, and provide a platform to support different support activities such as internet sales. The standard operating system platform was windows XP based on the N-tier architecture, Microsoft Internet server (IIS), with server pages scripted in MS application Server Pages (ASP). The proposed system consisted of Microsoft Transaction Server (MTS) with Microsoft Site Server Commerce components.

The database component of the system could run on Microsoft SQL Server based on the middle Microsoft Messaging Queue. The desired impact of the proposed physical infrastructure of the system consists of firewalls, demilitarized zones, internal networks, and the intranet to ensure the entire system is secured from malware and other threats from the hostile internet. Each component serves specialized services to enable the entire system to function as required (Kerzner 2009).

Development of the Scope statement

In the case of this project, the scope statement can be developed by considering the activities to be done to successfully implement the project as required. The scope statement consists of a description of what should be done, the activities involved in creating the entire project, and the processes used to create the project. In addition, the scope statement provides a description of the entire project plan which describes the project planning processes, the approach used to manage the project scope, the project scope definition, the statement which provides a description of the changes that should be integrated into the project, and updates that the project manager makes to the original project to make the project scope a success.

It consists of initiating the current project by collecting the requirements which include the business requirements which are supposed to be fulfilled by the system to be set up. The business requirements include the ability of the system architecture to allow for the owners to configure and price the products as required, provide a platform for real-time processing, ensure that the orders are validated and correct, and ability to integrate with other systems.

In this case, the next step involves planning the project by the direct involvement of the steering committee based on the information provided by the project manager. The requirements provided include the project charter which consists of the members of the project team and stakeholders, the stakeholder register, which in this project does not appear (Lewis 2006).

Discussion on the scope

The scope of the proposed project includes identifying the business requirements to be fulfilled by using the proposed project. The project provides the capabilities for the system users to allow for the configuration of the pricing of its products, provide the capability to process the transactions in real-time. It is critical for the system to allow the management to collect data on prospective and available customers, which are integrated into the back end (ERP) for order management and manufacturing purposes. The project should enable the execution and support of internet sales. It is important to define a system architecture that enables different modules to be integrated to function appropriately and fulfill the business required activities. It is important for the managers, the steering committees, and the entire stakeholders to plan and execute the project according to the requirements.

Project scope management

A scope definition statement

The scope definition statement includes a description of the online activities and a clear description of the scope verification process, the importance of scope control, and provides details on how the scope can assist in the development of the project. It is important to provide the current scope definition to avoid the scope creep that affects most projects. Scope creep results from the tendency of the project to expand over time.

A correctly defined project scope enables the project manager and his team to avoid expanding the project as the project grows, adding new requirements, and changing project specifications. The project manager and his team work hard to ensure that the performance, cost, and schedule remain on course. In addition to that, the manager manages the project priorities right by fixing parameters that are according to the requirements to maintain the quality of the project.

Scope management

To ensure the project remains within the scope of its definition, it is important for the management and the project stakeholders to operate within the scope of the work and tasks defined within that scope (Heerkens 2002).

The scope of the work covers the development of the system that enables the user of the system and the organization to handle the supply chain appropriately, enable effective implementation of payment processes, establish good customer relationships, and enable effective order management to provide efficient and effective delivery of the business processes to increase the company’s revenue. The scope will be managed by the CEO and chairman Tedd Walter, the project managers Chris Johnson and Eric Robertson. All tasks should be managed to ensure that they remain within schedule and are executed as per the detailed description of each task.

Scope Control

Scope control is the process of monitoring the progress and status attained as the project progresses and ensuring that the product and project scope are within the limits of the scope baseline to avoid scope creep (Lewis 2006). The inputs to the scope control include the scope management plan. The entire plan will constitute a strategic approach to ensure the performance of the project is monitored in terms of the inputs, the time required to complete project-related activities such as activity scheduling and cost schedule. In addition, the project manager will ensure the project develops a requirements traceability matrix which is not mentioned in the case study (Lewis 2006). There is also a need to develop the organizational process assets to ensure successful implementation of the project (Lewis 2006).

A clear understanding of the overall cost of the project, the tie required to complete the project, the complete and detailed project plan, and earlier identification of the scope of the project will provide the project manager with the ability to effectively manage the scope.

Work Break Down Structure (WBS)

The Work Breakdown Structure is a hierarchical map that defines each work element and the products or deliverables at the end of each phase. It is important that the work break down structure shows the relationships between the deliverables and the work packages produced at the end of each phase. Typically, the WBS provides a structured approach to managing the project deliverables.

  • WBS Item number 1: WBS Item name: Completion of the plan of the entire project
  • WBS Item number 2: WBS Item name: Developing the projected register
  • WBS Item number 3: WBS Item name: Discussing the feasibility of the project
  • WBS Item number 4: WBS Item name: Evaluation of project costs
  • WBS Item number 5: WBS Item name:
Work Break Down Structure (WBS)

Network diagrams

In the above case, it is assumed that the activities are done in days. That enables the project team to determine the critical path for the development and implementation of the project. The network diagram will provide the project manager with the ability to define the tasks and the interdependence of the tasks with each other.

Gantt Charts

The Gantt Charts will be developed to show the activities required to be completed by a given time and according to the anticipated project schedule.

Project budget

The proposed budget is detailed in the table below.

Component description Unit cost ($) Cost US $
12 windows XP workstations 5,000 60,000
5 Windows XP servers 15,000 75,000
Human resources 17 27,000
Prototype 50000 50000
Firewall software 50000 10000

Suggested solutions to the case study

This case study requires that some innovative suggestions on making the project a success. One of the suggestions is for the manager to ensure that feasibility analysis including technical, economic, operational, and management feasibility study with appropriate deliverables and documentation are done to make the project a success. A critical evaluation of the proposal shows a lack of a test model and test data to enable accurate decision making.

Different approaches to task scheduling have to be done to ensure efficient allocation of resources. It is important for the developers of the system to study similar cases that have been developed using the resources that have been allocated and available to avoid scope creep and the project becoming a failure in the ultimate end.

References

Brown, K. A & Hyer, N. L 2010, Managing projects: A team-based approach, McGraw-Hill/Irwin, New York, NY

Ciliberti, R 2005, . Web.

Heerkens, G 2002 Project Management, McGraw-Hill, New York.

Holahan, P & Mooney, A 2004, Conflict In Project Teams: Gaining The Benefits, Avoiding The Costs. Web.

Kerzner, H 2009, Project Management: Project Management: A Systems Approach to Planning, Scheduling, and Controlling, Wiley, Washington.

Lewis, J 2006, The Project Manager’s Desk Reference, 3rd edition, McGraw-Hill, Washington.

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IvyPanda. (2021, February 28). A & D Products Company's Online Sales Platform Development. Retrieved from https://ivypanda.com/essays/a-amp-d-products-companys-online-sales-platform-development/

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"A & D Products Company's Online Sales Platform Development." IvyPanda, 28 Feb. 2021, ivypanda.com/essays/a-amp-d-products-companys-online-sales-platform-development/.

1. IvyPanda. "A & D Products Company's Online Sales Platform Development." February 28, 2021. https://ivypanda.com/essays/a-amp-d-products-companys-online-sales-platform-development/.


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IvyPanda. "A & D Products Company's Online Sales Platform Development." February 28, 2021. https://ivypanda.com/essays/a-amp-d-products-companys-online-sales-platform-development/.

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IvyPanda. 2021. "A & D Products Company's Online Sales Platform Development." February 28, 2021. https://ivypanda.com/essays/a-amp-d-products-companys-online-sales-platform-development/.

References

IvyPanda. (2021) 'A & D Products Company's Online Sales Platform Development'. 28 February.

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