A major dream in every business venture is to expand its jurisdiction and customer base. This is no exception for Professional Hair Care (PHC), a leading business enterprise in Victoria, which markets and sells various hair care products. For a long time, the company has operated without a website, which is essentially a critical aspect of expansion of business.
In order to expand the business and realize a superior competitive advantage, the business had to come up with a means of establishing a company’s website. The main idea behind this project was to establish a marketing research analysis for clients to help the company build a website.
The creation of this website is very essential to the company since it would help to transform the marketing approach. With the website, the company can go global and operate beyond Victoria, consequently generating a wider customer base.
The project was also client-based, where the project team carried out various surveys to get valuable information from customers. This project would create a lasting visible change in the business, thereby transforming the entire marketing strategy of the company.
Goals and Objectives
Goals and objectives are declarations that depict what the project will achieve, or the organizational value the project will attain (1). Goals offer the overall purpose of the project while the objectives offer specific activities or outcomes that helps in attaining the overall purpose or goals of the project (Mochal, Para 3, 2011).
This implies that the realization of the main goals of a project highly depends on successful accomplishment of the set objectives. The objectives of a project therefore aim at accomplishing the goals.
In this project, the set goals and objectives entailed the specific endeavors of the project team. This means that the project team concentrated on achieving the goals and objectives of the project.
The team directed all its efforts in ensuring that the objectives and the overall goal of the project are attainable for the success of the project. In addition, the team ensured that the set goals and objectives were measurable, attainable and realistic.
Cross (Para 2, 2011) agrees that the project’s goals and objectives determine and define all the efforts concerted by the project team members. In addition, a successful project team is one that defines the goals and objectives of the project in a clear manner, which leads to positive outcomes.
If a project team embarks on implementing a project without clearly defining the goals and objectives of the project, their efforts might be unsuccessful or produce inappropriate results. The project team in this project clearly understood the required specifications of undertaking the project and therefore did not carry out a bogus exercise.
Page (Para 1, 2011) indicates that goals and objectives of a project determine the success or failure of the project. They help the team members to understand specifically what they should do to obtain the results the project is aiming to accomplish.
In many cases, there is often one major goal of a project and several objectives to realize this goal. For this project, the project team clearly defined the main goal of the project as expanding the business beyond Victoria to reach as many clients as possible.
This major goal however required various specific objectives, which would help in its realization. The project team members worked towards this ultimate bearing in mind that the success of the project depends highly on its accomplishment.
In project management, objectives have to be precise and specific for them attain their purpose. When objectives are precise and specific, there are increased possibilities of such objectives yielding specific and precise results. This means that project objectives should not be unclear, but should reveal the success of a project. (Miller, Para 1, 2011).
For objectives to be specific the project team defined them in terms of the actual outcomes that the project entails to fulfill. Originally, the objectives included maximization of sales, extending business beyond Victoria as well as reaching as many customers as possible.
In addition, another major objective of the project was to offer a platform through which the management can understand the needs of the clients. Understanding the specific needs of the customers and prospective customers is very essential since it helps the company to plan for the future.
The realization of these objectives depended highly on the collaboration of the team and the definition of the main goal of the project. The measurement of the overall success of the project highly depended on the successful accomplishment and realization of the set goals and objectives.
Project Problems and Risks
The successful completion of any project will have to incur some risks and problems. These problems and risks offer a challenge to the project team to realize effective mitigation strategies of handling such risks.
A project team that often ignores the possibilities of problems and risks will not offer a concise outcome of the project. Particularly, the project team should be in a position to determine the major and minor risks that the project will have to accrue. This determination is helpful for timely planning and decision making.
Realizing the weight and importance of determining the potential project risks, the project team developed a schedule indicating the potential risks of the project and their solutions.
The project team indicated that the main risks would be change of objectives from clients, project size and complexity, slow customer review and feedback as well as unclear roles and responsibilities. The team also drafted possible solutions to these risks including preparing contingency plans, effective communication with stakeholders, setting clear goals and having a back-up plan for solving any new issues.
This kind of a detailed plan of potential risks and their mitigation strategies was very helpful to the project team. This is because every project must have a clear approach of dealing with risks since they are inevitable. Without a clear risk management and reduction strategy, the project team might incur overwhelming set-backs at various stages of the project.
Miller (Para 1, 2010) states that project teams and stakeholders should subject project decisions to a certain form of risk analysis and evaluation. He adds that such an analysis should not occur at every stage of the project cycle. There should be a planned strategy and an informal awareness concerning the potential risks surrounding the project
One of the main risks that the project incurred was the possibility of reduced work input from the project team. The project incurred this risk due to the departure of one of the members from the project team. I this case, the departure this team member caused laxity in the project completion.
This is because the remaining team had to re-design the already structured work plan to fill this vacuum. However, this vacuum left by the member was difficult to fill without a secondary strategy. Consequently, this forced the team members to construct a contingency plan.
Contingency planning is developing a back-up plan in case a risk occurs and undoes a presumption that founded the original plan. A good example is for a company which might prepare a contingency plan to avert unanticipated competition for its new product. This would occur is such a company anticipated that its new product will not face stiff competition in the near future (Richards, 3, 2011).
In most cases, a contingency plan offers new strategies to deal with an already occurred risk. For this departure by a team member, the contingency plan developed a new strategy of working with the remaining two team members.
The developed contingency plan mainly focused on the project schedule and the responsibility matrix. Since one of the team members had departed from the team, the responsibilities accorded to the member, fell on the other two team members.
Often, it is not possible to introduce a new team member in to the project team once the project has started. This is because a project needs commitment and collaboration as well as a clear understanding of the goals and objectives of the project.
Although there are various means of risk management and reduction, contingency planning was best suited for this kind of risk. This is because the risk had already occurred the project team did not anticipate the likelihood of such a risk.
The construction of a contingency plan occurs only in the event that a risk has already occurred and the project has to continue. Other means of reducing and managing risks include reduction and prevention of the risk from occurring.
For successful implementation of a project, the project team should adequately establish the scope and extent of the project. This will help I proper implementation as well as completion of the project. In addition, project scope helps the team members to successfully complete the project satisfactorily in every step (Shumba, p. 2, 2010).
Project scope determines the extent of output that the project will achieve. In addition the project scope specifies the exclusions from the project, responsibility matrix as well as the main project deliverables and project milestones. All these determine the final outcome of the project.
The project team clearly determined the scope and extent of the project for successful implementation. Originally, the scope of the project was very wide and comprehensive, covering two major project goals and several deliverables. The original scope covered extensive research in information technology and marketing plan. The deliverables were also very extensive and ranged from documentation to sales increase.
Deliverables are measurable goods or services that the project team aims to complete and deliver after the completion of the project. Before a deliverable reaches the client, it must meet certain specific conditions once completed. In addition, deliverables are the end-results of the successful implementation of a project (Manda, Para 1, 2011).
Some of the deliverables of the project included a clearly written report that could be used as a reference in future for instance in case of recommendations given. Another deliverable included establishing a rapport with clients to realize and understand their specific needs. Moreover, the project was able to generate a classic website, which customers will interact with the company on a daily basis regardless of their location.
These deliverables developed by the project team and in consultation with the stakeholders, were very specific than the original objectives. These project results clearly resembled their specifications and served to achieve the set objectives.
The results of the project represented the successful completion and implementation of the project. In addition, these deliverables were able to perform extraordinarily and in accordance to their specification in the scope.
As Redman (Para 3, 2011) indicates, “Project deliverables are more specific than project goals or objectives.” The deliverable section of a project outline comprises the precise specifications for a final good or a service. The deliverable explains the appearance and performance of the actual and exact final product.
Clearly outlining the various deliverables of a project is a vital aspect of the planning process in project management. Since the project plan is viable to various changes at different levels, it is vital for the project team to maintain a clear documentation of updated list of deliverables. (Burian, Para 2, 2011).
This documentation is very essential in keeping the affected groups informed of the changes. The project was able to maintain a record of the deliverables and their milestones. Documentation of the milestones helped the project team to evaluate the success of the project in terms of period and time of completion of the project.
After completion of the project, it was clear that the project team adhered to the project milestones and achieving of the deliverables.
Variation from the Scope
The project had to incur a variation from the original project scope that the team developed. First, the project scope was very wide making it somehow unrealistic and not clearly defined.
A well defined scope helps in attaining levels of Excellency in project development. After reviewing the scope, the project team re-defined it from marketing plan and website creation to a marketing research analysis for the clients to develop a website. This definition of the scope became much easier for the project team to work with and realize the project deliverables.
It is therefore evident that in most cases, variation of the project scope would occur. In case of any variation from the project scope, the project team should redefine the deliverables and manage the change in a way that the variation will produce positive rather than negative results.
Manello (Para 1, 2011) affirms that most project managers and project team members’ endeavor to reduce the extent and number of alterations to the project scope. However, project managers and project team members should realize that changes to the scope have to occur.
Variations of the project scope may occur due to various reasons. For instance, the scope might be very large such that the team members available cannot adequately implement it. In addition, changes might occur due to departure of one or more project team members.
Such a case, the defined scope might alter due to the responsibilities of such departed members. The variation of scope in this project occurred due to the complexity of the project as the team members deemed it was very large for implementation and development.
Appropriate management of scope variation entails proper verification of the project scope. The main aspect of verification of the project scope entails analyzing the set deliverables to ensure their successful completion. In the case of early termination of the project, the project team should clearly establish and document the level and extent of completion (Ritter, Para 2, 2009).
In the case of this project, the project team re-defined the deliverables and generated more defined and attainable deliverables. After re-defining them, the main deliverables included generation of a well written report of the surveys and customers’ response and the designing of a website as per the customers’ response.
Even though the project team re-defined the deliverables as well as the project scope, there was no much variation of the project milestones. This was because altering the project milestones could have altered the entire project plan.
As Symonds (Para 6, 2011) affirms, the project team should set the milestones at strategic points within the project. In case of variation of project scope, it is evident that many task estimates will also change. However, the project team should endeavor to maintain the milestones to prevent the original composition of the project plan from changing too frequently.
The major project stakeholders included the organization owner, Lutfi El-Hila, the operations manager Zahra El-Hila and the project supervisor Leon. There are various levels of relationships in a project. There are interactions that occur between the project manager of supervisor and the stakeholders.
Other interactions occur among the stakeholders themselves and between the project team and the stakeholders (Bourne, p. 3, 2006). In most cases, the stakeholders interaction is the most valuable and decisive form of interaction in project management. This is because stakeholders are the main movers of the project towards its implementation.
In this project, the main stakeholders interacted and cooperated in a sustainable manner, which led to the successful completion of the project.
The owner of the organization was very keen to follow the advice provided by the project supervisor since he had the expertise. In addition, the project stakeholders clearly agreed on the quality of the deliverables. Manda (Para 6, 2011) asserts that stakeholders must agree on the grade and quality to finalize a deliverable that meets its objectives.
To realize the objectives of the project, which was essential in attaining the overall goals, the project stakeholders agreed on the specifications of the required variations.
In addition, upon considerable considerations, the project supervisor consulted with the operations manager and the owner of the organization in relation to the milestones of the project. Together, the stakeholders agreed on the specific periods for the completion and attainment of various deliverables of the project.
Good stakeholders’ interaction is essential in establishing and ensuring the success of the project. These interactions make the stakeholders to trust each other, which helps in achieving the set goals and objectives (Young, Para 1, 2009).
In the case of this project, the owner of the organization trusted the project supervisor and the operations manager fully. Due to this, the project supervisor was able to deliver good results according to the needs of the owner. This means that good interaction is essential for the building of trust among various stakeholders of a project.
Another significant aspect of stakeholders’ interactions was effective communication. There was good interpersonal communication among all the stakeholders, which further accelerated good interaction. All the stakeholders were very open to each other and this helped to strengthen their relationship.
This also ensured that there are no conflicting opinions and interests, which ensured a high level of commitment among all the stakeholders. Bourne (p. 3, 2006) agrees that efficient communication is an important component in the process of establishing and maintaining stakeholder interactions. In addition, such effective communication is vital in maintaining the support and commitment of all stakeholders.
Evaluating the Success of the Project
The wish of every project manager and project teams is for the project to be successful. The main indicators of the success of a project include the realization of deliverables, realization of measurable organizational value of the project, proper management and leadership of the project manager or supervisor and team ethics.
For this project, these indicators revealed that the project as a success and that it met the required objectives thereby realizing the main goals of the project.
Measurable Organizational value
The main goal of the project management should be to create customer value hence helping the company obtain, sustain and grow, long term, profitable relationships with its intended customers. Consequently, the company will gain by getting increased asset utilization, improved cost structure, expanded revenue opportunities and ultimately long-term shareholder value (Ainsworth, p. 3, 2009).
The project was able to add measurable value to the organization. In this case, the successful completion of the project ensured the generation more clients and maintenance of the existing customers. This is because the project made the clients trust the organization thereby adding value to the business.
Effective Project Management
The management of the project offered good leadership in managing the project from its inception to its completion. The project manager ensured adequate and timely planning, which helped in the overall success of the project. As Mehta (p. 3, 2005) asserts, it is true that not all managers are good planners.
In addition, there is a difference between planning and executing. It is important to involve the project’s executers during planning in addition to crosschecking of facts and calculation using a spice of practicality. It is necessary to consider availability of good resources during planning.
A project cannot run effectively without the right team not only in experience but also in personality and attitude. This is necessary because the team will work like a team but not as individuals leading to competition within an organization. (Symonds, Para 5, 2011).
The project team offered showed much concerted efforts towards the management of the project. In this case, every team member involved in the completion of the project worked hard for the success of the project.
It is always a challenge for a project manager to communicate honestly with the stakeholders about risks, costs and status. However, the ethical principles require the project manager to be truthful but also use a comprehensive language by all stakeholders groups (Brown, Para 5, 2011).
The interaction between the project management and the stakeholders ensured that there are no loopholes in the project. The management of the project used effective communication strategies when reaching the project stakeholders for any information.
Team Dynamic and ethics
The relationship and interaction of the project team is another essential way of measuring the success of a project. Members of the team agreed on the means of evaluating the success of the final product. In this way, there were no conflicts of interests when the project finally came to completion.
This shows that the project was very successful. Anderson (Para 7, 2011) argues that before onset of any task, the team should agree on the way of judging the final product. Since there will be unison agreement about the standards, the standards will help encourage the group to carry out their duties at its highest level.
In ethical relationships, there should be absolute respect for individual abilities and cultural differences (Brown, Para 4, 2011). In this regard, the individual project team members conducted themselves in ethical and professional manner. The team members brought in different expertise to the management of the project, and each member respected the opinions, beliefs and perspective of the other members.
Litsikakis (Para 11, 2006) adds that during project execution, it is necessary to have in place a good project team. The core skills of the team should easily transform to core competences and capabilities for the whole organization. In addition, the team members should concert their efforts to the success of the project and the general mission of the company.
Conclusion and recommendations
The project was actually a success and it delivered the intended goals and objectives. The management of the project was very effective, which ensured the completion of every task within the set time. In addition, the stakeholders’ interactions helped to propel the project forward.
There was also effective cooperation in the project team but the only set back was the departure of one of the team members. In the end, the project was able to successfully achieve the set objectives and deliverables, which ensured the attainment of the overall goal of the project.
Due to the vast variation in the project scope, future project team members should clearly define the project scope and avoid a very wide and unachievable scope.
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