The Big Mall is one of the biggest shopping malls in Canberra and its operations have been very successful in the recent past. The management has always endeavored to offer maximum satisfaction at all the times. However, there is a massive competition in this industry within this region and The Big Mall must find a way of retaining its top position in this market.
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This means that the management has to find a way of offering continuous satisfaction to the customers through improved service delivery. To achieve this, the management must make an effort to ensure that the firm adopts emerging technologies, which can help improve its service delivery and customer experience.
One of the ways of ensuring that customers remain constantly satisfied is by ensuring that they are constantly informed over issues they consider relevant in their purchasing process and post purchase activities. Installing Information Kiosks around the mall can help in ensuring that this firm offers its customers relevant information at any time when they need it.
The focus of this project is to provide new Information Kiosks for the Big Mall in Canberra to help it meet the needs of its customers. To do this successfully, there is need to have the required technical resources, including human resource, which will help in ensuring that this project is a success. The Big Mall is the client in this project and the chief financier in this project.
This firm will also be responsible for provision of information on how they desire the system to look like, and the kind of information that should be available to the customers at the Kiosks on demand. Info Systems Limited, a local IT support company in Canberra, will undertake the projec
t. Employees of Info Systems Limited who will be assigned the task of undertaking various duties in this project will work directly under the chief executive officer and the manager of The Big Mall as a way of ensuring that the finally developed firm will be able to meet all the requirements of the firm.
The project deliverables and all the project-planning activities are clearly articulated in this report in order to enhance understanding of what is to be achieved upon completion of this project (Wysocki 2012, p. 78).
Justification of the project
According to Muriwani (2012, P. 74), the world of business has become so competitive that it forces relevant stakeholders to find ways of remaining competitive in their respective industries. This scholar further says that this competition has made it necessary for firms to come up with ways through which they can attract customers in order to remain sustainable in the market.
The Big Mall is currently one of the biggest shopping malls in Canberra. However, this may not remain so if the management fails to take measures that would help in propelling the firm to higher heights. The management of this firm must find ways through which it can continue offering maximum satisfaction to its customers.
The research and marketing team have come to realize that customers need to access information about the products they purchase or those that they intend to purchase at any time of the day.
The current structure of this firm does not allow it to provide this information at the rate at which customers would have desired. This may make it lose its customers to firms that will be able to respond to this new customer needs. For this reason, the management has considered this project justifiable as a way of retaining its customers. It is true that this firm will have to spend in this project.
However, the expenditure is worth making because the project will help ensure that there is a constant flow of customers into this firm. Undertaking this project will help improve profitability of The Big Mall.
Scope of the project
As Marchewka (2009, p. 57) advises, it is always important to define project scope before the onset of the actual project. When conducting a project, various stakeholders will have varying expectations of the project. There are those who will be optimistic of the project, while others may not understand what to expect from the particular project.
The aim of every project team members of to meet the expectations of the relevant stakeholders upon completion of the project. It may not be easy to satisfy every stakeholder because of the varying expectations. For this reason, it is important to define the scope of a project before it is officiated.
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This will help in ensuring that all the stakeholders will understand what to expect of the project, and what is beyond the scope of the project. In this project, the focus is to develop Information Kiosks for The Big Mall at eight different locations within Canberra. The Information Kiosks will be exclusively for provision of information to the customers from the database of this firm as desired by the management.
The management of The Big Mall will determine the kind of information that will reach customers. This project is limited to this, and any other task that stakeholders may have besides offering relevant information to customers is beyond the scope of this project.
Objectives of the project
The project members, having understood the needs of the management of The Big Mall, came up with a number of objectives that this firm wishes to achieve when this project is completed. It is important to understand that these objectives are user-specific, meaning that they be meant to suit the client, which in this case is The Big Mall. The following are some of these objectives
- To complete this project for The Big Mall successfully and within the preset constrains of costs, scope, quality and time
- To work hand in hand with the client in managing this project in a skillful and professional manner
- To fulfill all the expectations of the stakeholders relevant in this project
- To provide a system which is accurate and efficient
- To demonstrate high levels of skills and capacity in this area of project management
- To maintain client’s high levels of satisfaction in the entire process of the project
- To be able to plan for mitigation measures for any unforeseen risks which may affect success of the project
- To demonstrate high level of various project management skills
Schedule of the project
In every project, it is important to have a clear schedule that should be followed to ensure that it achieves its objectives. This project should be completed within two months. 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
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 two months. The activities will start from October 1 2013, to November 31 2014.
As Levine (2002, p. 29) says, every project can only succeed if the needed resources are availed at the right time for the project members. In this project, the resources that are needed for successful development of eight information kiosks for The Big Mall are identified in the table below.
Resources necessary for the project
|People||Staff from Info System Limited |
The Big Mall staff
Desktop Engineer (Hardware engineer)
Network Engineer (Software engineer)
|Facilities||On site office |
|Finance||Any financial support the team may need to complete the project successfully|
|Other resources to be provided||Internet Connection |
Internal Software used by employees
The above table is a summary of all the resources that this project will need. It is important to note that both the staff of The Big Mall and the contracted specialists from Info System Company will carry out this project. It is in the knowledge of the planners of this project that employees of The Big Mall do not have the technical capacity to undertake this project.
Inclusion of a number of their employees in this project will help in confirming the costs of the project. They will also understand the system so that they can be involved in its maintenance once it is up and running.
Info System Company will provide the software and the hardware resources including internal software that will be used by employees. The Big Mall will only provide its employees, onsite office, and physical location of the eight Information Kiosks.
Basic assumptions of the project
Kerzner (2009, p. 69) says that it may be important to develop some assumption when developing a project proposal.
The main assumption that was used in this project is that by completion of this project, the current need for Information Kiosks will still be relevant. It is also assumed that this project offers this firm the best strategy through which it can meet the needs of the market in providing it with all the relevant information it needs.
The project also assumed that the induction that will be done by employees of Info System on the employees of The Big Mall would be enough to offer them proper guidance on how to run this system when it is finally put into use. These assumptions explain why various activities have been planned as given in this project proposal.
Project members and their roles
It is important to ensure that all the stakeholders within the project know their roles clearly. According to As Levine (2002, p. 78), defining project stakeholders is important to ensure that all members understand their role. This scholar further states that defining the stakeholders avoids cases of wrangling during project implementation stage.
Every member of the organization will know what he or she is expected of during the implementation stage. The following chart shows the proposed stakeholders that should be involved in this project, and how they should relate.
|Manager (PM)||(Kindly insert your name)||(include contacts)|
|Sponsor||The Big Mall||(include contacts)|
|Client (Owner)||The Big Mall||(include contacts)|
|Other||Info Service LTD (The contracted firm)||(include contacts)|
It is necessary to clarify ownership of various items within this project. According to Kerzner (2009, p. 74), defining ownership in a project where one firm contracts another firm always helps in avoiding possible litigation cases in future.
In this project, the planners were keen on identifying the ownership of various items used in this project. Info Service limited is the owner of the intellectual knowledge that has been employed to develop this project. The Big Mall has not bought this intellectual knowledge from Info Service.
It has only bought the service. This means that the intellectual property rights will remain with Info Service even after the project is completed. The individual employees of Info Service may not claim ownership of this intellectual property unless they registered it under their name.
On the other hand, the system that will be completed by the employees of Info Service will remain an exclusive property of The Big Mall once the project is completed. This company has duly paid for this service and its outcome remains under its ownership.
The management of the Big Mall has express authority to point out a number of issues in the project in cases they are not completed as per the original plan. This final product must meet the expectations of the Big Mall.
It is important to understand how stakeholders are related in this project. It is important to note that the project is under the management of the project manager who is an employee of Info Service. Most of the members who will participate in this project are also employees of Info Service limited.
Employees of The Big Mall will be present during project implementation process just to understand the system so that they may know how it is operated once its installation is complete. The chief executive of The Big Mall will act as the chief advisor in this project.
The chart above demonstrates that in this project, the project manager will be responsible for every activity that will be taking place within the firm. He or she will be responsible for managing all the project members and ensuring that they undertake activities that are expected of them. Under project manager will be various managers in charge of various sections of the project.
They are technocrats who will be involved in coming up with the appropriate system prototype that will be appropriate for this Information Kiosk. These officers will be working hand in hand with project manager to ensure that the project runs according to the plan. Then the finance representative, who will be an employee of The Big Mall, will be there to represent the interests of the project in the finance department.
Within the project, this officer will ensure that the finances of the project are spent wisely. Within the finance department of the firm, the officer will ensure that sufficient funds are allocated to the firm. Although a group of software and hardware engineers will do the project, commerce specialists will do its management (Phillips 2004, p. 47).
The project manager will be at the helm of all the activities talking place in this project. The system developers will have a special niche in this project where they will be allowed to give their views on this project, while directly taking part in the activities of the project.
All the project members selected for this project should have basic knowledge about issues regarding the Information system development. This way, they will be in a position to act as members of monitoring and evaluation team. This will also allow them easier time when they get to various other tasks within the project.
They will be in a position to explain to other stakeholders the importance of the new system in meeting their objectives. This will help ensure that the outcome of the project is easily understood and appreciated by all the relevant stakeholders in this project.
Communication is one of the most important ingredients towards successful completion of a project. It is important to spell out the communication channel within the project in order to allow all the responsible stakeholders understand the project’s progress.
In this project, there are senior officers from Info Service and The Big Mall who will need to have clear knowledge of the activities of the project, but may not participate in the project directly.
According to Marchewka (2009, p. 97), involving all stakeholders in the process of rolling out a project is important because it helps in avoiding cases where a project is rejected upon its completion for failure to comply with the needs of the client.
It is important to maintain a constant information flow so that other stakeholders who are not taking part in the project directly can put in their inputs and enhance quality of the project. The top management of Info Service will receive regular updates of the progress of the project. The project manager will do this on a weekly basis. When necessary, the management of Info Service can receive the updates on a daily basis.
The project manager will always update the chief executive of The Big Mall on the project’s progress after every two days. The quality assurance team from the Big Mall will also issue updates to the stakeholders of the Big Mall on a weekly basis on the project’s progress.
The project’s information officer will be releasing weekly reviews of the progress of the project to all other stakeholders who may not have express authority to access information of this project. This officer will also receive any comments from the stakeholders and communicate it to the project manager who will then act upon it.
According to Fioravanti (2006, p. 71), it is always important to identify any possible challenges that a project may face during its implementation process. Identifying the anticipated problems helps in creating measures that can be used to mitigate them. In this project, the main problem that is anticipated is the ability of the employees of The Big Mall to manage this new system once it is installed.
This system can only be useful if the employees of Big Mall can run it as expected. The project management will try to train these employees on how to manage this system in order to eliminate this challenge. The project management team will also help these employees understand how to maintain the system as would be appropriate when the system is officially handed over to the Big Mall.
This very ambitious project will help The Big Mall to not only satisfy customers’ need for knowledge, but also improve efficiency of its workforce by eliminating the need for the employees to explain various issues to customers when they visit.
However, this project must be undertaken at a given cost that must be met by relevant authorities within this firm. This project lays down some of the expected costs that would be needed in order to make this project a reality within the specified time. The tables below specify these costs in their relevant categories.
The Big Mall Information Kiosk Project Costs
|One-off costs||8 Kiosks (UAD)||Circle Soft (UAD)||ESSN Co. (UAD)|
The above table shows some of the one-off costs that will be incurred in this project. The recurring costs, especially the cost of maintenance are specified in the table below.
|Repeating Costs||8 Kiosks (UAD)||Circle Soft (UAD)||ESSN Co. (UAD)|
|Maintenance contracts for software|
|Maintenance contract for hardware|
|Consumables (Paper, ink, etc)||$800||$750||$800|
|Totals per month|
|Total||$ 5429.6||$ 5505.6||$ 4453.5|
|Grand Total||$24,104.6||$ 21,880.6||$ 22878.5|
|Total one-off & maintenance costs||$ 68863.7|
|Miscellaneous costs (the unexpected occurrences)||$ 31136.3|
|Total amount available for the project||$ 100,000|
Above tables shows a detailed costing of this project from the time of implementation to the time of maintenance follow-ups to the third year. Info System Limited offers The Big Mall three-year maintenance upon the completion of this project. The technicians of Info System Limited will do this. The budget has also set aside an amount that would cover Info System during project implementation process.
The two firms may not control such occurrences as inflation. To avoid cases where Info System is forced to ask for more funding from The Big Mall due to such eventualities, this amount is set aside to carter for such additional costs. This will ensure that the project remains viable in the entire process of its implementation.
Quality management plan
Principles guiding the project
The project manager and all the stakeholders involved in undertaking this project are concerned with quality of the outcome of this project. For this reason, care was taken by these stakeholders to develop principles that would guide the entire research process to ensure that quality is delivered when the project is finally delivered. One of the principles that would be used in this project is based on Total Quality Management principles.
This means that quality of this project will be a priority to all the involved stakeholders at every stage of their involvement in this project (Schwalbe 2010, p. 86). The project manager will be directly responsible for value chain management in the entire process of project implementation. Quality will be assessed from the planning stage.
This means that before the project can be initiated, the entire plan will be assessed to determine its viability and desirability. The process of analyzing the plan before its implementation will take place in the office of the chief executive of The Big Mall.
The chief executive and the Manager will be expected to give their input into the plan by either proposing any possible amendments into the project or just giving a nod when the presented plan is within their quality demands.
Another important principle that will guide this project is that of separation of powers. In order to achieve the desired results at the expected rates and within the given deadlines, it will be necessary to define the role of every stakeholder in this project. This will avoid cases of duplication of assignments or other assignments missing participants. These principles will help guide every step taken to make the entire process a reality.
When developing a project, one of the main important factors that a client would always be interested in is its quality. According to Fioravanti (2006, p. 38), the client would want the outcome of a project to be something of high value. This is because such projects are always very costly, and the only way of ensuring that clients find it worth spending in such projects is to offer them quality.
In this project, project manager and other project members were very concerned of how to ensure that final products that will be delivered in this project is of very high quality. The following quality metrics was developing to help define the expected quality in this project.
|ITEM||QUALITY REQUIREMENT||QUALITY METRICS||DESCRIPTION|
|PROCESS||It will be necessary for the client to provide all the deliverables based on the agreed criteria to make the project a success.||1. All the activities and the deliverables must match with dates provided |
2. It is important to ensure that the deliverables are complete.
3. Check-list should be used to track the progress of activities.
4. All the deliverables must meet the acceptance criteria.
|1. The deliverables and activities must be aligned to stated dates in the Gantt chart. |
2. The client and the contractor must provide all the needed variables.
3. It is necessary to follow project process using checklist.
4. Proposed criteria must be met.
|PRODUCT||It should improve efficiency, accurate data retrieval and offer maximum customer satisfaction.||1. The production should be done with high efficiency |
2. The product should be at least 98% efficient.
3. The product should wastage and improve saving.
4. The product should be customer-friendly
|1. Increase productivity while reducing labor |
1. Improve data accuracy and speed of data retrieval.
3. Help in cost cutting such as reduction of staff.
4. customer should find the product efficient and able to meet their demands
|PROJECT||Control of the progress of the project||1. Identification and elimination of high risks |
2. Any issue identified should be resolved as soon as possible
3. Project must be accomplished as per the budget
4. Project progress must be submitted on a weekly basis
|1. All risks that may have massive impact on the project be mitigated |
2. Any issues raised must not take 2 days before they are resolved
3. All the costs of the project must be within the assigned budget
4. A report of the project’s status must be delivered regularly
Verification and validation activities
According to Porter-Roth (2002, p. 89), it is always important to ensure that there is a follow-up of a project to determine the extent to which it is within the original expectations as stated in the plan. This does not mean that some failures are obvious and are expected making it necessary to have follow-ups. Verification and validation activities are always carried out to help in the accountability of the project (Thomsett 2002, p. 71).
The analysis will help determine if the project was conducted within the initial costs as specified during the planning stage. The verification also helps in determining if the project has succeeded in achieving the set objectives. In this project, the internal auditors of The Big Mall, which is the client in this project, and auditors from Info Service limited will conduct the verification and validation activities.
The two groups of auditors will then share their findings in order to determine if the project has achieved the intended objectives at the pre-set cost. This should be done in a clear manner. The two firms must clearly state the names of the auditors who will be responsible for the task of auditing. The date, time of audit and the time the audit results will be given should also be stated.
Risk control plan
The process of installing this new system is generally safe and the project management team does not expect any serious risks associated with safety of the individuals who will be taking part in this project. However, measures have been put in place to ensure that any possible eventuality that may pose any risk to the participants is well taken care of in the entire project implementation process.
Minor injuries that may be caused by the instruments used in this project will be treated the first aiders. First aid kit will be part of the items needed in this project because some of the instruments to be used are sharp and can cause harm. The quality assurance team will address the risks associated with the quality of the system under construction. This has been defined in the sections above.
The project manager will play a pivotal role in identifying and these risks and addressing them with the relevant departments. Quality metrics defined above will be helpful in identifying and addressing possible risks within the project itself. The risk of possible inflation during project implementation has been addressed in the budget.
The budgeting team has set aside some funds for miscellaneous expenses that may arise during the process of implementing the project. According to Marchewka (2009, p. 98), some projects have failed during the process of their implementation because the planned budget did not consider possible risk of inflation.
They realize that the project is not viable under new economic environment and therefore, abandon the project a lot the way. This project took measures that would mitigate such eventualities.
The purpose of this project is to come up with an Information Kiosk that will enable customers of The Big Mall access information they need with a lot of ease. The Big Mall is one of the largest shopping malls in Canberra. However, this prestigious position cannot be retained forever if measures are not taken to ensure that their customers are fully satisfied with their work.
This firm has come to realize that its employees are in need of information on various issues about the products they purchase and about the firm. However, these customers are unable to get this information as needed because of the limited number of employees who can respond to their question. The only way they can satisfy this information need without having to higher more employees is to set up the Information Kiosks.
This project will develop eight Information Kiosks within Canberra where customers can walk in any time and access any information they need. To make this possible, the client must fund this project appropriately.
The project members must also have the competence needed to undertake various activities that will be assigned to them. The process of monitoring this project will be done by officers from The Big Mall, which is the client, and Info Service, which is the contracted firm.
List of References
Fioravanti, F 2006, Skills for managing rapidly changing IT projects, IRM, Hershey.
Kerzner, H 2009, Project management – A systems approach to planning, scheduling and controlling, Wiley, Hoboken.
Levine, H 2002, Practical project management: Tips tactics and tools. Cengage, New York.
Marchewka, J 2009, Information technology project management, Wiley and Sons, Hoboken.
Muriwani, J 2012, IT project management: Providing measurable organizational value, John Wiley & Sons, Hoboken.
Phillips, J 2004, IT project management: On track from start to finish, McGraw Hill, Sydney.
Porter-Roth, B 2002, Request for proposal: A guide to effective RFP development, Addison-Wesley, Boston.
Schwalbe, K 2010, Information technology Project Management, Cengage Learning, Boston.
Thomsett, R 2002, Radical project management, Prentice Hall, Upper Saddle River.
Wysocki, R 2012, Effective project management: Traditional, agile, extremeis, Wiley, Indianapolis.