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IT Project Management – PMP Critique Report

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Updated: Jul 4th, 2019

Executive Summary

Project management planning is always very important in ensuring that a given project is successful. When developing a project, it is important to have a detailed plan on how each activity will be carried out, the people who will be assigned various tasks, and the resources that will be needed. In this case, a small firm was planning for an information technology project that would enhance communication within the organization.

When critically analyzed, this project has been planned for in a detailed manner with all relevant information clearly given. The organization carrying out the project has been defined, all the stakeholders involved stated, the timeline given and the needed budget drawn.

Introduction

Information technology has become very important for organizations in the current competitive world. According to Schwalbe (2010), firms have come to realize that the only way through which they can manage competition is to develop their information technology system.

Communication is a key component in the business world. Success of a business unit will always be dependent on how well the management has established its communication system. There is always a need to communicate with customers, amongst employees, with the government, with the shareholders and other stakeholders within the firm.

Each stakeholder needs specific information from the firm. The firm also needs information from these stakeholders. The only sure way of ensuring that this information flows freely is to develop information technology system within a firm.

Technology has come out as a solution to many problems that firms are facing in their normal operations. It has proven to be the solution to the need to have proper communication. In this report, the researcher intends to give a detailed discussion of the activities that would take place in ensuring that the project is a success.

When developing a plan for implementing a project involving information technology, care should always be taken to ensure that the plan is practically viable. It is not financially wise to commit financial resources to a project that is not viable. Levine (2002) also says that when developing such a project plan, care should be taken to ensure that it is easy to execute.

When making a critique of a project management plan, it is important to have a detailed knowledge of the project management plan, and have knowledge of other similar projects that can facilitate making of comparisons. This report will focus on detailed critique of a project management plan of a specific firm within the city of Sydney.

Analysis of PMP

Project management plan is very important in coming up with an appropriate project that would enable the project manager understand all the items that would be needed for the project to be successful in its execution.

As the name suggests, a project management plan is actually a blueprint of the activities that should be carried out, the financing of the project and any other relevant information that would enable a project manager know all the steps and activities that should be carried out to make the project a success. The project management plans would detail all the requirements that would make this project a success.

It would stipulate all the activities that would be carried out in this project to ensure that it achieves its intended objectives. This project management plan will clearly stipulate the entire schedule and the possible budget that would be needed to execute the project.

Fioravanti (2006) says, “Project management plan is the document that describes how a project will be executed, monitored, and controlled by integrating and consolidating all the subsidiary plans and baselines from the planning process.”

According to this definition, project management plan gives a detailed description of what should be carried out, how this should be carried out, when the project should be executed, the people responsible for the execution and the finance needed for the execution.

When all these details are given, then executing a project is made simpler. As was mentioned before, this project involves developing an information technology system within a small business unit that would enable the firm communicate easily with the customers and enhance internal communication.

This system will help in eliminating the current communication problem within this organization. In order to make a critique of this project, the researcher will first analyze the project itself and all the plans that were made.

Organization

The firm under which this project will be carried out is Sydney Souls Restaurant. This is an upcoming restaurant within the city of Sidney. It has been in existence for the last three years and has experienced massive growth over these years. The firm has seen a rise in its customer base and the management was concerned with the communication system.

For some time now, Sidney Souls Restaurant has been using traditional business communication methods both in its internal communication and to reach its customers and suppliers. Using such documents as letters to communicate with the suppliers has been good in facilitating documentation for future reference.

Memos that are pinned on the notice board have been the major internal communication tool, especially when the management wants to pass a communication to the employees in general. However, the current world needs speed and efficiency. Letters delivered through the mails can take several days before it can reach the desired destination. There is also a possibility that the letter may get lost along the channels of delivery.

Memos are also not instant in delivering messages to employees. It is not a guarantee that all of them will read it within the required time. It is for this reason that this restaurant has decided to automate its system in order to have most of these documents submitted or received electronically.

This is because of the speed and assurance that the message will reach the desired destination. It also helps in ensuring that any classified message is delivered only to the intended person. This would enable this firm increase its productivity in the market.

Management and technical approach

According to Kerzner (2009), a project will only be a success when there is a clear management structure and a definition of how every activity will be carried out and the individuals who will be responsible. This scholar further says that a project manager should be someone with detailed information of project management techniques, and the specific knowledge about the firm that carrying out the project.

The project manager should know the current situation of the firm, and some of the challenges that the project comes to solve. The project manager should then be able to determine how best all these factors should be put together in order to realize the desired result in the project.

The owner of the restaurant will carry out management of this project given his knowledge of the firm and his understanding of project management. This manager understands this firm perfectly well, and knows why it is important to come up with this project. This manager also knows how this new system will benefit the entire firm, and specific areas that this project should address in order to achieve this result.

This project is technical in nature. It involves developing a system within the firm that would enable the management communicates with employees, with customers and other relevant stakeholders through a digital platform. It will also help in enhancing communication amongst employees.

This is a new system is not in existence in the firm currently. This means that the project involves a new creation that would bring a complete change in the operational activities of the firm. The project manager does not have the technical knowledge to implement this project. The current employees also lack enough technical expertise that can enable them offer leadership in this project.

For this reason, the project manager will be forced to outsource the technical workforce that would carry out the project. According to Thomsett (2002), it is always advisable to use the internal workforce when coming up with a new project within a firm. This is because it would be easier for the employees to own the project when they are given the opportunity to work on it.

It would also make it easier for other employees who never participated directly in the project to understand it because they will be interacting with the employees who participated in the project. However, there are times when the management is forced to look for alternative ways of selecting project members, especially when the project is technical in nature.

To this extend, the project manager will be forced to outsource the service in order to accomplish this project. The outsourced firm will come with its own employees who will carry out the project, making them the project members. However, it is important to internalize the process in order to ensure that after the departure of these outsourced officers, the employees of the firm can run the new system.

The project manager will therefore select a few employees who are working (or expected to work) in this department to be members of this project.

These employees will be involved in the process of developing this new system, and they will be expected to understand all the technical issues of the system by the time it becomes operational. The outsourced firm will have the responsibility of explaining all the technical details about this system, including operational and troubleshooting tasks.

Work to perform

The project will involve a number of activities. The management of this restaurant did the first and most important activity needed in this project, which is the identification of the need. According to Phillips (2004), the first stage of a project that is very important in the identification of the problem that exists in a firm.

Identification of this problem will need a keen analysis of the current manner in which the firm runs, and how this current approach limits the potential of the firm. This problem identification would then lead to the process of specifying what is needed to optimize operations. This way, it becomes possible to know what should be carried out in order to ensure that the current operations are enhanced through improved systems.

This would help define the project that should be undertaken to achieve what is needed. It was the role of the management to do this initial task. The management came with the resolution that there was a need to introduce new information technology system into this firm to improve its communication.

Upon reaching this resolution, the management realized that its existing workforce do not have the necessary qualifications that would make them undertake various tasks needed in this new project.

In developing a plan for this project, the management made the decision that there would be a need to hire technocrats to undertake these duties. These technocrats would work hand in hand with other members of the firm in order to ensure that these employees would be able to run this project upon its completion.

A critical analysis of this approach reveals a firm that is keen on ensuring smooth project implementation (Marchewka, 2012). By including employees of the firm as project members, the project manager has ensured that there will be competent employees able to run the system when the outsourced officers leave when their contract expires.

Schedule

In every project, there must be a clear schedule to be followed to ensure that it achieves its objectives. This project should be completed within four months. Marchewka (2009) notes that having a clear timeline for the activities helps in determining how well a specific project is running in an effort to achieve its objectives.

The schedule will also be a constant reminder to all the parties involved of what they are expected to achieve within specific timelines. The system should be up and running within the four months from the day it is officially set operational. The Gantt chart below specifies the activities that will be carried out in this project

Gantt chart

Gantt chart

The above Gantt chart demonstrates all the activities that should be accomplished within a specified duration. The activities should be accomplished within a time span of four months. The activities will start from September 2013, to December the same year.

Budget

The following is a comprehensive budget of this project. The budget also covers the cost of maintaining this system for the next two years when it starts its operations. The compensation for the additional employees into this project is also included.

$ $
(sub-total) Grand Total Note
Advertising the Tender 1
The Australian 940.6
The Australian Financial Review 357.5
Green Left Weekly 100
The Weekly Times 78
Total 1476.1
Selection Awarding and Maintenance 2
The Cost of the Project 11,567
Supervisory cost 1212.25
Yearly maintenance cost 712.25
Miscellaneous costs 875
Total 13276.5
Compensation for Internal Employees 3
Base wage inc. loading (p/h) 26.05
Superannuation 9% (p/h) 2.34
Payroll tax 5.5% (p/h) 1.43
Workers compensation (p/h) 0.46
Total (p/h) 30.28
Total (each employee – 9 days) 1 hour per day(272.52)
Total for 3 employees 817.56
Total 15570.16

The above are the budget estimates that this project may cost in order to achieve the expectations.

Conclusion

It is clear that the above project has met the requirements of what a project plan should have. When giving a critique of project plan, it is always necessary to look at the components of the project plan.

This project has identified the problem that this project seeks to solve, the workforce that will be responsible in undertaking the project, the timeline, and the associated costs for the project. This means that this project management planning has successfully specified what is needed to make this project take off and to be completed successfully.

References

Fioravanti, F. (2006). Skills for managing rapidly changing IT projects. Hershey: IRM.

Kerzner, H. (2009). Project management – A systems approach to planning, scheduling and controlling. Hoboken: Wiley.

Levine, H. (2002). Practical project management: Tips tactics and tools. New York: Cengage.

Marchewka, J. (2009). Information technology project management. Hoboken: Wiley and Sons.

Marchewka, J. T. (2012). Information technology project management: Providing measurable organizational value. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons.

Phillips, J. (2004). IT project management: On track from start to finish. Sydney: McGraw Hill.

Schwalbe, K. (2010). Information technology Project Management. Boston, MA: Cengage Learning.

Thomsett, R. (2002). Radical project management. Upper Saddle River: Prentice Hall.

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