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Introduction to Software Development and its Challenges

Question:

What is a product Management Pan? Explain.

A project Management plan is meant to define the objective of a study and the scope that the study will cover; this includes how it is going to be executed, controlled and monitored. This study is a project management plan for improving software project through a case study of a software development team, so as to come with a quick model to be adopted by project team members. The paper is divided into two parts; part A which introduced the software development concept, the tools to be considered and other common uses of the PMP. The other section provides a literature review of the project management plan, including the common tools of the plan. It will end by providing a conclusion and recommendation for future development project like these. 

In the present global market, the task of managing service project is a very important and vital task because there are many entities that come with it. The dynamic changes in the way things are done is always very unpredictable due to the relationships that exist among them.  Even though most of these services have their problems identified they are usually little acknowledgement for such projects (Abdulmalek & Rajgopal, 2007).  The challenges that these projects face with their teams when dealing with the said projects like the software project, for example, will arise from the uncertainty that comes with planning, delivering and controlling the progress of the project delicate and clarity in requirements and dynamism characteristics that come with these types. When a group can be said to have had a successful needs in the project management, which balance between activities that add value and those that do not add more importance; they are also essential to eliminating activities which may not really add value or seriousness with regard to other processes (Achanga, et al., 2006).

The main reason for conducting this study was done by using software development project as a case to develop a quick model that is reasonable and can be used to plan and manage any kind of uncertainty which may occur in different phases of the project. The case study took different forms in improving software project management in literature like reusability of code, cost estimations, building of new programs etc. it is important to note that there was little attention paid to ways which may improve project management. The time factor was also an important aspect to observe in this study. 

The background of this research is concerned with improving the planning and control of software development project. This is because the existing software development model was taken into an analysis in order to identify some of the best practices which were used in coming up with a case study for this model. The study also made use of control and planning approaches that are well known through considering various uncertainty in the requirements of the customer, flexibility of resources and the variability of different risk levels. The approach that the study has used is the lean principles for planning and controlling of software development projects.

Literature Review of Project Management Plan and Common Tools

There was also a novel approach  introduced in the research by way of integration of simulation modelling technique through the Tanguchi analysis that is often used in investigating the what if project scenarios. These scenarios were important in the research as they reflected different combinations of factors that affect the completion of these projects in time including deliverables. The other area that the study looked at is the concept of quality function deployment in developing an automated operations project management deployment model(Ahuja & Thiruvengadam, 2006). The model was also introduced so as to act as the iterative manners uses of the ‘what if’ scenario of performance outputs in revealing some of the constraints that are likely to affect the completion of a particular task of phase. This means that the study has looked at ways that can provide a comprehensive and visual overview of important tasks and projects like the different resources available, scheduled work, completion of the project among other deliverables. One of the main tasks of this study is its emphasis on the involvement of customers and the top management including team members as part of project operational factors. 

The plan audience was the project management team and customers. It approach was through seeking to develop a planning a control model by the name Operations project management development or OPMD. The development method is also used as a quick responsiveness tool that will be used to visualise the different types of what if scenarios and ways in which project team members can approach to the uncertainty of these risks when they occur through different manners that can affect the deliverables of the project. In other ways, the study will identify different challenges, bottlenecks and move its resources with regard to the time and type of need (Alkaabi, et al., 2010). This research will thus seek to achieve this by capturing the demands of its customer as being the goals of the project. This will also be the success indicator of the project when it is achieved (Gandolf, 2008). The other way would be through understanding the process of software through identifying variables and factors that can affect the completion of the project in time.

The other way would be through analysing the existing models of software projects and adopting the best practices in the proposed model. The study will also adopt the quick response to the change or uncertainty through optimisation of the critical constraints to the outcomes of projects (Chege, 2007). This will be important as it will enable failure avoidance through raising the risk levels when there are no matching outcomes with regards to the demands of customers. Lastly, this can also be done when the project is able to achieve different situations through moving project team from the upstream to the downstream or the opposite with regard to where they will be of much importance (Ballard, 2009).

According to various literature, there is evidence that a good project management team will need to show the diversity of responsibilities, however, the most important tasks will involve estimating, planning, scheduling and the execution of that plan. These activities will also have to show consistency and iterations with regard to the course of the project instead of being seen as too rigid or just a pre-phase to the production.  This means that for a project to be considered a success it should show consideration of demands that customers make, high levels of uncertainty with regard to project phases, the setting up of different projects with regard to the complexity and needs of different customers (Atkinson, 2009). The scheduling of different projects will also involve tasks and duration of different resources and the risks management that will identify, mitigate and assess their factors. The development of project management team will also call for the adoption of different lifecycle and techniques derived from other fields of development that the service industry when it comes to an enhancement of operations management. With regard to this research, it should be seen that it adopts lean thinking that can be helpful when one wants to understand and highlight different problems that can come by and also be used to determine the added and non-added value of activities in this line.

A Quick Model for Improving Software Project Management

It is also important to look at the orientation of different projects and how the project team will approach it. This is because projects are not always limited to a particular boundary in the organisation since they are considered to be a horizontal process that the vertical department. All time through history several project management improvements have been working with industrial organisations and activities which are mainly intense on an isolated, single functions, departments, tasks or what can be referred to as the vertical improvement. It is also important to note that less attention is usually paid to improving the horizontal stream which is the cross-functional process in the organisation that looks at the organisation not from the project team view but from the organisation as a whole(Bannerman, 2008). The study here is going to consider the former ideology as being the base to be used to manage, control and plan the service operations.

With regard to the above discussion on the process orientation, there is no boundary at all when it comes to the issue of responsibility. It is also important to realise the need to the process owner like the responsibility and leadership to always be adopted to have been suggested in a proposed plan and control model characteristics in the review. This looks that the individual dedicated to the development and management of the entire project management processes. Lastly, the project will also look at the lean management with regard to the project customers. Presently it is not the size of the company that can be credited for increased competitive advantage  nor the inflexible system of services and goods where the immediate response is considered in weeks or months by the days or even much less. These systems are usually looked at as being a liability than an asset (Barney, et al., 2008).

In the Toyota Company, for example, there has been a new philosophy that came in the 1980s which were named lean. This philosophy was important as it addressed the critical issue in this discuss. Lean management came to the field of management highly since it was promising businesses of cost reduction and quality improvement. To add to the above, when it comes to lean we find that it aims at matching the supply with the demands of different customers by ways of capturing the requirement and needs of customers and also stabilising operations which are aimed at achieving a continuous interactive improvement at the end of the day(Ben-Menachem, 2008). Also in a lean organisation, it will be the customer and not the team members that control the specific goods, space and services that are being produced. This will not look at historical data and follow the arbitrary targets (Cadwell, 2008).

The management of the project will always involve scheduling, planning and controlling of the activities of the project so as to achieve the laid down objectives. This means that project management plan will always involve the application of skills, knowledge, techniques and tools to the activities of the project so as to meet all the requirements of the project. Project management thus is the process that involves the initiation, execution, planning, controlling, monitoring and closing of project activities. According to (Brentani, 2001), the tasks that are involved in the management of projects are usually very limitless in operational practices but can also be summarised in several key roles. For example, an objective of any project should be established and communicated to all members of the team. These objectives must also be designed in a manner that makes it achievable and clear so that each member will be able to understand and implement efficiently. It is also important to understand the need for each project to be unique with regard to project purpose and its existence (Carbone & Tippett, 2004).

Integration of Simulation Modelling Technique and Quality Function Deployment

This means that requirement of the project should be identified and analysed with the most clarity. Lastly in any project management plan, three most important elements that play in mind will include the scope of the project, quality, and cost of the project. The usually referred to triple constraint is also one of the major factors that determine the success and quality of the project. This is because they will always constrain one another as the relationship between then is of mutual benefits in a way that a change from one will affect the other(Chow & Cao, 2008).

When it comes to the project management process contents there are four elements which were defined by (Cooper & Schindler, 2013).  And even though they may be represented as being discrete in themselves, they are usually performed in a very interactive manner. In most cases, and in practice, each of these processes will overlap and are also revised constantly with regard to each project despite being the differences of each project. Also, each project will be managed and administered on different occasions with regard to the diversity in each factor that can impact on the process and project outcomes at the end of the day. Such factors are vital and form an aspect that is related to the size of the project, experience, complexity level of the project, the professional level of each team, management team and organisational structure of the project, etc.

The project management process group’s dynamics is an improved version of the project management process by Deng, et al., (2003). This is because the dynamic appears to be a bit complex and makes use of interrelationship between the group processes (Deng, et al., 2003). As can be realised, it still remains to be among the four contents even when each of the elements is elaborated more with regard to their different functions. For example, the component of planning in this process looks at the ‘plan’ from a previous version, executing that corresponds to the do monitoring, component and controlling respectively which represents the act and check.  The act and check components will stay on the outer cycle of the whole process. It is important is this indicates there is a repetition of interaction and works with each aspect in the whole project management process.

The process of monitoring and controlling is also vital as it can be involved interactively with other processes in the project. each function in this line will be used to provide feedback so that the team is able to implement the preventive or corrective action that brings the whole project in compliance with the appropriate or project plan which modifies the management plan as well(Bangalore, 2006). The process of initiating and closing are also the other additional processes that can be created with regard to the determination of a finite characteristic of each project. 

This will come in when initiating the process group which is the first step that is involved whenever a team begins on a new project. It will take care of the formal authorization process that can be useful in the launching of a new project. Before initiating the process, the team will have to do some documentation where the research process will be useful even much before the projects finally carries on. These initial steps will involve some basic description of the scope of the project, the anticipated outcomes, project duration and the predicted resources for the basic purpose of investment analysis and more(Ahlstrom & Bruton, 2001). An initiating process of a group is also important in dividing the large and complex project into different phases and must be reviewed whenever a new step or phase of the project is initiated. Once the review is done, it is then upon the team to decide if the project can be taken to the next phase or if it still needs to be delayed, revised or stopped. These brief reviews and processes are repetitive when it comes to the sequences in the project phases.

The Operations Project Management Development (OPMD) Model

When the team considers improving the shared ownership, deliverable acceptance and satisfaction, stakeholders and other clients will be the most important people to be considered during the initial process of implementation. The project outputs during the initial process groups are the objectives, purposes, and authorisation that are geared towards the beginning of the project phases. With regard to this, there are two main processes of project management that should be considered in the initial processes (Blyth, 2006).  There is need of the project team to develop a project scope statement; this is will be done through following the developing project charter process(Bryant & Kazan, 2012). By developing the preliminary scope of the project statement process the team is also able to address and document the project, the project result requirements, service and product requirements, project boundaries, and methods in which the customers will accept the project including its scope.

When it comes to project management planning, it is the planning process that will develop the management planning. In this regard, the group will thus focus on the defining, identity and the growth of the scope of the project, the cost and will also help in the scheduling of each activity that can occur when the project is being implemented. This shows that the project planning process does not only take place at the beginning of the project but will be revised and reviewed with regard to the time and place that the project is directed(Butler, 2012).

Due to the changes that take place in this course, if the team wants to provide an accurate and effective information with regard to the project they will need to come up with effective information that discusses cost, schedule, risks, resource availability, technology etc. it shows that the planning process can be updated with regard to changes and approvals on changing. The patterns of interaction during the project planning process group will be different with regard to the nature of the project. When it comes to the level of influences the customers and other shareholders are bound to influence the direction of the project, this is because it is required that they are informed and involved in each step of the project (Carter & Little, 2015).

Conclusion

In conclusion, projects are very important in with regard to their high levels of uncertainty throughout the different phases of the project management process. It is even more of a challenge when the process lacks enough data to support it. Lack of data will consider the need schedule and planned outcomes of the project. Other factors will be the time required to finish the task, not being able to meet the demands of project customers and the unforeseen risk factors that are bound to push the project into failure. When the team has a unified and standard model or process can be able to enhance the effort of reducing to achieve the project goals and enhance the process of activities. This paper thus attempts to map down the software project process through various techniques like literature reviews and analysis where each stage is taken to be as discrete and single process on its own.  

Success Factors and Challenges

The model that is used in this study is a vehicle to test other level types and their relationship or variability which may, in the end, affect the performance of the project. This paper thus underwrites to the different knowledge of identifying the critical factors that affect the management of software project to its completion and during the implementation. The paper that is optimised as being a critical factor where a positive effect will look at the block, waiting, stoppage, increasing or working on the project. The study analysis that has been able to build and the automated planning model of the operations project management deployment.

With regard to other studies, there are three recommendations that are made in this line.

First of all, it will be important for any project management plan to consider the cost of running the project. This is the main element of time, quality and cost. The cost of the project plays a very important role in the decision making of the top management and the team members in either adding more resources or living with the project success. The other areas are on human resources management which is an automated control and planning tool that insists not only in the fulfilling of the needs of the customer but will also look at improving the efficiency of the project team members. OPMD will look at the different variables that are considered on team members efforts and understand what is needed so as to meet the demands of the customer and the needs of the team members.

Lastly, it will be vital to look at the culture of the project. As with the introduction of change in the processes of the project management plan, it will be important to improve productivity and the quality of the project management. The implementation of the lean philosophy, for example, faces huge obstacles and difficulties like refusing to accept to change through high management and individual. This may not be enough to support the key responsible people and temporary acceptance for the lean practice which then abandons them. It is, therefore, important to overcome the organisational culture, previous obstacles and the management may also be in need of further research.

References

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Achanga, P., Shehab, E., Roy, R. & Nelder, G., 2006. Critical success factors for lean implementation within SMEs. Journal of Manufacturing Technology Management, 17(4), pp. 460-471.

Ahlstrom, D. & Bruton, G., 2001. Learning from such. Successful local private firms in China: Establishing legitimacy Academy of Management Executive, 15(4), p. 72–84.

Ahuja, V. & Thiruvengadam, V., 2006. Project scheduling and monitoring: current research status. Construction Innovation: Information, Process, Management, 4(1), p. 19 – 31.

Alkaabi, M., Khalil, R. & Stockton, D., 2010. Improving Operations Management Planning and Control of a Service Project with Lean Principles. Proceedings of the Junior Scientist Conference, 4th-7th April 2010, Vienna, Austria, 23(2), pp. 61-62.

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