After a rigorous analysis of three projects, Golden Source International Ltd settled for the “Anti-Fungus” Silicone Sealant product launch. This paper looks at the project’s implementation, evaluation, and presentation. Lately, there has been little success of projects.
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Pundits believe that haphazard planning, inadequate implementation, relaxed control, and lack of project evaluation bring this about. This paper shows how the project manager that was assigned this task went about these procedures to record major success in major fronts.
Project management is quite a popular topic in the world of management today. This is occasioned by the fact that it is the center of growth in business. A company will have an ongoing project at any one time. Hence, the skills associated with this subject come in handy.
In this paper, we analyze the implementation and evaluation of Golden Source International Ltd’s launch of a new product. Borrowing from project management principles, the author outlines a number of procedures that may inform the success of the launch.
Project implementation has two stages: the project implementation planning and project implementation control. At the project implementation planning stage, the project manager will take steps to determine project requirements and plan how to go about meeting both budgetary and time constraints.
Additionally, the project manager will organize the project into identifiable units and establish mechanisms to monitor and control the project parameters. At the Project Implementation Control stage, the project manager will ensure proper measures are in place to meet the time, budgetary, quality, and scope constraints (Lowson, 2003).
The project manager will prepare a project brief that will act as a statement of work between him and management (Reiss, 2007). The following is a project brief for this project.
Statement of Work Launch of a new “Anti-Fungus” Silicone Sealant product For Golden Source International Ltd Company in Dubai, (U.A.E.)
This project seeks to launch a new “Anti-Fungus” Silicone Sealant product for Golden Source International Ltd Company starting in Dubai and then other stores.
The product is both a household & commercial consumer product designed to give customer an option during purchase.
The roll out will include market awareness campaigns. The base roll out period will be not more than (or approximately) 121 days. The base project cost should not exceed $175,000.
The board of directors of Golden Source International Ltd Company shall discuss any changes that may be proposed for this project after the project manager presents a detailed cost analysis of the proposed changes.
Work Breakdown Structure
The project manager will subdivide the project scope into manageable segments, assign them to the respective individuals, and document that information. The following will be the work breakdown structure for this project.
Figure 1 WBS for Anti-Fungus” Silicone Sealant Project
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The above structure represents all the stages that the product will go through before the final launch. This will be instrumental for the project manager, as he will know the sequence activities will take. Hence, it will be easy to assign tasks and to determine weak areas. This project does not have small work packages, as most work will be departmental (Pan American Health Organization 2012).
The project manager shall specify the specific requirements of each sub unit. This includes approximate budgetary allocation, performance standards, and durations. The project manager will aggregate this information into a clear format for ease of reference (CIPA Study Guide 2008).
Project Implementation Control
The project manager shall control the project constraints to ensure that everything goes as planned. These constraints include time, quality, cost, and scope. The manager will do this by checking project specifications, schedule, and the budget allocations (CIPA Study Guide 2008). The project manager will use the tools outlined below for that purpose.
Control Point Identification Chart
The chart below will be useful for tracking areas that may go wrong and anticipating ways in which the project manager will solve the problems to avoid nasty surprises (Kotler & Keller, 2009).
Table 1 Control Point Identification Chart
|Control Parameter||What is likely to go wrong?||How and when to indentify||The solution|
|Quality||There may be less qualified employees||Personal inspection of every stage||Substandard work to be redone|
|Cost/Budget||Cost of any sub-unit may exceed budget||When sale deals are sealed||Seek alternative partners, consider alternative materials’ input|
|Time/Schedule||Time to complete any sub unit may exceed schedule||Monitoring progress along critical path of network diagram||Improve efficiency, recoup time from other areas, consider overtime if within budget|
This powerful implementation tool clearly summarizes the status of a project by highlighting key events. Milestone charts state what events in the project’s life have been completed. In addition, the chart states the duration it took to complete the events, and, whether this is the duration, the project manager had scheduled for the event (Reiss, 2007).
Hence, the manager continually records the variance between the actual and scheduled times. In addition, it outlines the remaining events and the project manager’s anticipated completion time. The following may be the milestone chart for this project.
Table 2 Milestone Chart
|Milestone||Scheduled Completion||Actual Completion|
|Making a Test Run||4||4|
|Road Shows Completed||2||2|
Project and Budget Control Charts
Project and budget control charts records cost, schedule performances to ascertain actual and planned performances of the project. Normally these are based on the nature of the work breakdown structure. It makes use of the work packages. In this project, this may not be as applicable, but may be useful. The project manager may use the Project and Budget Control Chart below.
Table 3 Project and Budget Control Chart
|VIP product launch||50||56||6||15||10||-5|
|Road show promotion||15||2||2||0|
The project manager will obtain cumulative amounts for the actual and scheduled performances and draw bar graphs for comparison. The above analysis may act as an early indicator as to whether the project manager will meet the parameters of the project.
Hence, it may be used as an effective tool to source for additional time or resources from management. If it is a strict-schedule project, this parameter may offer a way for the manager to organize for overtime and to crash the network diagram for a scheduled finish.
There are two types of network diagrams. These are very useful tools in project control. There are two types of network diagrams: Project Evaluation and Review Technique (PERT) and Critical Path Analysis (CPM). They are complex decision-making tools that enable project managers to organize work and plan work flows (Bulbul, 2010). They provide necessary information that is vital in scheduling and budgeting.
This information includes the earliest start times of a project, latest completion times, time floats, and the critical path. The critical path is the longest route in a network diagram that indicates the time the project will take.
It is hard to construct a network diagram for a project with complex times and huge budgets but the availability of software for that purpose makes it easy. In this project, the techniques may be useful to the project manager in evaluating the progress of the project (UWSA 2005).
Use of a Gantt Chart
This project’s project manager may find it quite useful to engage the use of a Gantt chart in managing complexity in cost and time. A Gantt chart is an intricate tool used for the management of interrelated tasks with different durations. When using a Gantt chart, the project manager assumes that the tasks are linear and their durations can be determined beforehand with a high degree of precision.
However, it is advisable for management to have duration estimates with the relevant possible contingencies. This project has eight major events. They include planning, product design, packaging, online marketing, TV marketing, road shows, product launch/selling, and promotions. They start at different stages in the project and have varying durations as shown below in the Gantt chart (Koelmans, 2004).
Table 4 Activity Durations and Start Times
|Promotions and selling||81||40|
Figure 2 Gantt chart for this Project
As the above figure indicates, a Gantt chart has a number of benefits to the project manager. First, it diagrammatically represents the whole project. This makes it easy for the project manager to indentify the activities to complete first and clearly shows the relationships between tasks. Second, it shows the duration of a project. This project is likely to take 121 days as shown in the Gantt chart.
However, in as much as it may show the tasks clearly, it does not indicate dependencies among tasks and the project manager may not know from the Gantt chart how the delay of one task may affect another. For this purpose, the project manager will have to use the network diagrams (Rad & Ginger, 2002).
Since this project started, planning has been completed. Both online and TV marketing are already been carried out announcing the upcoming product. The product is in its formative stages in the laboratories and it is anticipated that the packaging design is the activity likely to take most of the work.
This is because the company already had a similar product from which to improve and come up with the current one. Activities such as road shows, product launch, and promotions are yet to commence. It is also crucial to note that only 12 days have elapsed since the commencement of this project (Koelmans, 2004).
Project Evaluation Techniques
Success of a project may mean different things to different people. All projects have a number of stakeholders whose expectations must be met to consider a project successful. Even various employees of Golden Tools Ltd may consider the success of the launch of this new product in different ways.
For example, the CEO may consider the success of the product in the market as a measure. An accountant in the same organization may look at it from the budgetary point of view. Additionally, a laboratory technician may consider this a success from the ‘breakthrough’ point of view. Hence, a central ground must be reached to ascertain the success of a project clearly (Maylor, 2003).
A project has to be evaluated before, during and after its implementation. This will paint a better picture of its performance as opposed to the last evaluation.
Majority of projects’ performance may not be clearly measured because organizations do not put an emphasis on the post-implementation evaluation. However, it is imperative to do that. A look at the following stakeholders may paint a picture of how well to undertake an evaluation (Rad & Ginger, 2002).
This is one of the measures of success. A project’s constraints include time, quality, scope, and cost. A project manager should strive to meet the agreed upon constraints’ parameters. This is because most managers want to complete a project fast, qualitatively, with minimal costs, and least time (Maylor, 2003).
These people have a share in the success of a project. They include employees, management, outside community, customers, and environmental conservationists, among others. All these people have stakes in the success of this product and satisfying a majority should be the goal (Maylor, 2003).
Goals, Objectives, and Project Requirements
Before the start of a project, the project manager and the management set out to achieve certain objectives. After implementation, it is the duty of a project manager to look into these targets and ascertain to what level they have been achieved. Additionally, a project is like an input-output model; hence, commissioners of the project will expect tangible products with relevant features as envisioned (Chase & Aquilano, 2006).
Evaluation of This Project
This project was commissioned to develop and launch a new product (Anti-Fungus” Silicone Sealant product). The product, meant to give customers options and to expand the product portfolio of Golden Source International Ltd Company was to roll out in cities in United Arab Emirates before spreading in other countries.
Other objectives were to expand the company’s bottom line by at least 50% and improve the customers’ satisfaction by an acceptable level of at least 50%. The following is a critical look at the project and its achievements.
The stakeholders in this project were happy with the outcome. Customers appreciated the introduction of a new product that would increase their options in the market place. The management of Golden Source International Ltd Company was elated by the design, efficiency, aesthetics, and performance of the product in the first three months.
The company staffs that were involved in the process of the making, advertising, launching, and promoting the product, prior and after the launch, were happy with the experience. They were also happy with the performance of the product and the mood was positive.
Indications were that customers will shift massively towards this product and plans were already underway to see that the product is launched in other cities in Middle East and then Asia.
The product did not violate any environmental laws and in fact was been touted as ‘green’ product with a vision for solving 21st century problems. Every procedure laid out by the government was followed to ensure that there were no disappointments (Aranda, 2003).
Goals and Objectives
The goals and objectives of this project as outlined before were clearly on course. The customers had already demonstrated happiness. This shows that they would rate the product positively. The performance of the product in the few months after launch indicated that the company was on course towards achieving profit objectives set out.
All the project constraints were adequately satisfied. The project was completed in 110 days against a target of 121 days. Additionally, a budget of $175000 had been set aside and the project exceeded this figure by only $1500. This was adequately within the margin of error. Many pundits were happy with the product and the whole launch and performance of the product indicated positive results.
Recommendations for Improvement
The project did not experience notable setbacks. However, areas of weaknesses were indentified in the departmental contacts. For example, the project manager and sales manager differed about the time when the promotional campaign should start. The project manager felt the timing of the campaign was poor because the product was a long way from been launched and customers were likely to forget about it.
This would lead to wastage of resources. However, the sales manager was of the opinion that it was meant to prepare the customers fully. Additionally, after the budget exceeded by $1500, the project manager wrote an explanatory proposal to management and some managers felt he should have anticipated this instead of bringing it up after it had happened.
However, the project manager explained it was because of the early campaign by the sales manager. Hence, he was feeling under pressure to launch the product fast. Lastly, sometimes the road shows would report poor reception and hence it came out as a poor method of advertising. In future, it would be imperative to iron out those little setbacks but they had no major effect on the launch.
Project Implementation Procedure
Establish Project Objectives– This is the first step. It involves the setting out of succinct and realizable goals. The project manager outlines the scope of the project and prepares a project brief. In this project, the aim was to launch a product that will lead to customer satisfaction and increase profits for the company.
Work Break Down– each activity is divided into manageable sub units for ease of resource allocation and monitoring.
Sub Units– at this stage, the project manager clearly outlines the sequence of the sub units, stipulates their durations, and performance expectations. The project manager aggregates the information in this section into the whole project.
Budget Preparation– at this stage the project manager prepares a budget informed by the resource requirements of each sub unit (Chase & Aquilano, 2006).
Arrange Staff– the project manager prepares a staff org-gram, which details the duties and responsibilities of each person and creates positions. This eases the need to indentify whom to report to and assigns responsibilities to the most capable individuals (Chase & Aquilano, 2006).
Training– the project manager determines if there is a personnel training and undertakes it, if needed.
Policies and Procedures– lastly, the project manager develops policies and procedures to be followed by each participant in the project. This ensures that there is a sense of sanity while performing tasks and establishes ground for punishment and rewards (Chase & Aquilano, 2006).
Implementation is the most vital stage in a project. Any implementation follows a certain procedure, but the above parameters are recommended. As noted from the paper, project evaluation is equally important as is project preparation and preliminary analysis.
Any aspect about a project contributes towards a good result, including relationships of implementers. The project manager in this project realizes this and successfully launches a new product for Golden Source International Ltd Company. The results are tremendous and the management and stakeholders are happy.
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