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Reflecting on what you have learned from other posts on the forum in Phase 1 and your own past project experiences, write a report critically evaluating one of the following aspects of a project that you were involved in the past (or a project with which you are familiar). 

-Project Communication Management 
-Project Team Management 
-Project Scope Management

Organizational context

This report critically analysis a project that the researcher was a part of earlier with an aim to understand if there were drawback and if there are possibilities for making improvements in the way project was approached. An IT system integrator organization had received a project of delivering infrastructure components for a bank that was in the process of expansion. The project involved delivery of IT infrastructure to 20 new offices that were to set up for the bank. The scope of the project was manufacturing of computers and servers, procurement of printers, scanners, cables, routers, and software, delivery of hardware and software components, testing, and installation. The researcher was involved in the management of the team and was responsible for brining coordination among people from different departments to ensure that the project progressed smoothly.

The organization is an IT system integrator that has its operations across globe. The IT infrastructure implementation projects are the speciality of the company and the chosen project was important for the company. The project involved people from different departments as the expertise required was from the wide array of different categories. The people working on the project were located in different parts of the country and had different style of working.  Coordination between them was challenging as well as very learning rich. Because of the diverse team and involvement of almost all the departments working in the organisation, the project was very complicated and managing people to ensure coordination was difficult. The company did not have any standard practiced followed for managing projects but decisions were made on case to case basis. Lack of a standardized project management methodology could be felt by the researcher after learning about project management (Dell’Isola, 2015).

A project can be evaluated on the basis of certain criteria like ability to meet objectives, coherence between activities, scope management, time management, cost management, schedule management, resource management, quality management, and risk management.

Objectives: The objectives of the project were to deliver the hardware and software as per given specifications and ensure that they run perfect in the bank premises. The project was to be completed within the fixed budget and as per a given schedule. The deliveries were made correctly but there were major delays that also escalated the costs for the system integrator as the final deadline could not be changed for the new brands had to be opened as per specified plans. To make for the deliveries, the company had to make amends in routes, transportation services, and bargains with suppliers (Lopes, 2014).

Project Activities Coherence: Coherence can be brought about internally as well as externally. Internal coherence can be achieved when activities that are at the bottom of the hierarchy effectively contribute to the objectives on top. The project lacked clarity on this front as all the departments individually worked in different ways and there was no internal coherence between activities related to project. External coherence is achieved with external partners like suppliers and transporters are aligned with the objectives of the project. While SI company had objectives to make deliveries on time and within budget, the suppliers were more interested in  maximizing their profits and thus, the project lacked external coherence (Ponnappa, 2014).

Critical evaluation and analysis

Scope Management: The scope was modified in the middle of the project when the company was unable to produce sufficient computers while the delivery dates were close. To cope up, the company had to procure some items from nearest suppliers to speed up the process which was not the part of the scope initially and thus, additional permission was taken for that which consumed time (Baguley, 2008).

Time Management: There were major delays in the execution mainly because of reasons like lack of clarity of specifications with suppliers, delays in transportation, and problems in testing causing further delays. The project schedule had to be modified in the middle such that the final project was delivered 20 days after the initial delivery date. Branches that were to be opened early were supplied the material faster (Baguley, 2008).

Cost Management: Because of amendments made in the delivery schedules of the project, the delivery items had to be split between urgent branches and branches that could afford a delay. This separation of the order demanded early manufacturing of selected items and separate delivery costs were incurred to accommodate their deliveries. Also, additional work demanded more workforce time and with extension of the final delivery date, the temporary project staff had to be paid more (Dinsmore & Brewin, 2010).

Schedule Management: There was major deliveries in the schedule including delays in deliveries due to supplier delays and transportation delays we well as manufacturing issues for computers and servers. The schedule was monitored but only reported by the project manager to the project owner once in 15 days (Heerkens, 2015).

Resource Management: The company had some resources leaving the project but the replacements were always available to take over fast as it was the type of the project the company staff was used to dealing with. Thus, the resource management was effective.

Quality Management: To ensure quality of the goods produced, thorough testing procedures were implemented. TQM was practiced in the manufacturing department of the company and thus, the company had QA processes in place (Ponnappa, 2014).

Risk Management: Risks were poorly managed. Except for monitoring, no proactive actions were taken to reduce risks or mitigate their impacts. The company had faced a lot of challenges in the project because of risks such as delays in delivery, incorrect deliveries, cost overrun, and so on (GALWAY, 2004).

Considering the challenges faced by the company while management project, an alternative action plan can be recommended for the future so that the company can improve its project management practices and overcome the challenges present. The company needs to begin with a hiring of a project management for managing major projects of the company followed by implementation of the project management methodology that is most suitable for the kinds of projects company is handling. For this implementation, the company would provide training to its employees on the suitable methodology and then would introduce the practices for adoption gradually (Sabyasachi, 2018).

Certain recommendations can be made for the organization to improve its project management practices in future. These include:

  • The company can deploy risk management practice by identifying and planning mitigation for possible risks at the time of planning a project… at this point, steps must be taken to avoid risks that can be avoided and identify the action plan for risks that cannot be avoided. A person who would be responsible for managing resolution of such risks may also be identified in the process
  • A risk response team can be created from the project team members such that any time a risk is likely to occur or has occurred, the risk response team can take an immediate action for resolution and ensure that responsible person acts in reasonable time
  • Every activity happening on the project must be documented and the reporting can happen daily between project manager and team and bi-monthly between project manager and management of the organisation(C.R & Thomas, 2011)
  • The company should allow a change in the scope only if it would bring benefits to the project and would not cause any major damages. Changed scope must be approved by authority and distributed to everyone in the team
  • While gathering project requirements, instead of just the technical and delivery specifications registered, the company could also record all different types of expectations from the client
  • The project can have challenges and lessons are learned when taking actions to resolve them. Such lessons must be recorded at the completion stage of the project so that upcoming project that may be similar can get benefited from the lessons learned(C.R & Thomas, 2011).
  • The company could keep a contingency funds to deal with situations that may be unpredictable so that the amount could be utilized for manging additional scope or resource requirements in the cases of emergencies without it affecting the profits of the organization
  • The company must have good relationships with suppliers so that they remain flexible for accommodate any changes in the case of emergencies without major costs added(SAEO, 2015)
  • The company should hire an experienced project management who has worked on IT projects earlier and can add great value to the company in terms of jhow projects can be managed. With this person added, the company can create a project management office in the organization that would help the company manage all kinds of the project
  • The company must provide training to its staff on the project management practices and gradually implement the practices by introducing new processes and templates. Initially, the employees have to be pushed to follow the practices through positive engagement like training.
  • The company must have kick off meetings arranged between the project team members in which they can discuss course of action and problems which would help in early detection of issues and planning for immediate resolution so that the project deliverables do not get much affected in the long run

References

Baguley, P., 2008. Project management. London: Hodder Education.

Bruce, A. & Langdon, K., 2009. Project management. London: Dorling Kindersley..

C.R, K. & Thomas, S. M., 2011. Requirement Gathering for small Projects using Agile Methods. IJCA, pp. 122-128.

Dell’Isola, M. D., 2015. Strategies For Budgeting, Estimating and Managing Projects, s.l.: Faithful Gould.

Dinsmore, P. C. & Brewin, J. C., 2010. The AMA Handbook of Project management, s.l.: AMACOM.

GALWAY, L., 2004. Quantitative Risk Analysis for Project Management, s.l.: Rand Corporation.

Heerkens, G., 2015. Project management. USA: Mcgraw-Hill Education..

Lopes, A., 2014. CRITICAL ISSUES IN THE EVALUATION OF AN INTERNATIONAL PROJECT DEDICATED TO TECHNOLOGY-MEDIATED TBLT (PETALL). Teaching English with Technology, 15(2), pp. 4-18.

Ponnappa, G., 2014. Project Stakeholder Management.. Project Management Journal, pp. 1-3.

Sabyasachi, 2018. The Importance of Having Clearly Defined Acceptance Criteria in Your Projects, s.l.: Simplilearn.

SAEO, 2015. Cost Estimating Manual for Projects , s.l.: SAEO

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[Accessed 28 May 2024].

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