Project management has different processes and aspects. To carry out a project successfully, those are to be understood in details. For bigger projects like BEP, (BEP, 2006)collection, processing, sharing of project related information manually is not possible. It is time consuming and prone to errors. PMIS or Project Management Information Systems help in this context. Those works efficiently in managing projects coherently with the project life cycle. Project life cycle is asset of phases, the project development process goes through from the initiation to closure. It is needed to integrate different processes and aspects of project management. This integration is done and managed by project integration management process. Then there are change control and management. As it is almost impossible to carry out project management process without change control management, so this is carried out in parallel to the project execution process.
Project closure is also very important. It ‘wraps up’ the whole project into a single phase. Thus there are various checklists to be followed before delivering the final deliverables to the project owner.
BEP projects have undergone through these processes also. There are very little information about details of the BEP project life cycle, and managerial aspects. BEP project is analyzed to find out the roles of PMIS, stakeholder management, project life cycle, project integration management, project change control management and project closure in the context of BEP. (BEP, 2006)
Bendigo is the second largest municipality area in Victoria. The city has significant socio economic importance in Victoria and in Australia. There is a huge part of the total population of Australia and of Victoria that comes from Bendigo. Thus the lives of the people from the Bendigo Community is important for the government. Education in Bendigo is facing a few challenges for quiet sometime. The city has 1 primary, four secondary and 1 senior secondary schools other than several private school. The futue of the youth from Bendigo is largely dependent of these school. The Government had taken an initiative in 2005, to upgrade the educational infrastructure of the schools and blend technology, innovation and personalized learning processes with better student-teacher relationships. They want to bridge the gap between the expectations of the community and the current infrastructure of the schools, coping up with problems related to attendance and retention of the students.
Bendigo Education Plan had 39 recommendations. There were multiple projects under this plan. These projects had interdependencies, schedule, risks etc.
In this report the Bendigo Education Plan project will be analyzed. Focus will be given on the stakeholder communication management, use of PMIS or Project Management Information System in the project, project life cycle, critical success factors of the project, project monitoring and change control etc.
Stakeholders are the people whose lives are supposed to be affected by the outcome of the project. In the Bendigo Education Plan project, the project sponsor was the Government. Other stakeholders are the students, parents and teachers, the project management teams, core teams, etc. (Eskerod & Jepsen, 2013)
For any project there should be clear and adequate communication among the stakeholders of the project. Continuous involvement of the stakeholders bring s continuous improvement in the stakeholder communication management. The first step of stakeholder communication management is to carry out a stakeholder analysis, identification of the potential stakeholders, their roles and impact on the project. And then the second step in stakeholder communication management is to ensure effective engagement of the stakeholders in the project. (Roeder, 2013)
There are several factors behind a successful stakeholder communication management. Insufficient communication and involvement are the two critical issues behind the success of stakeholder communication management. Some important things are,
Some of the issues that may rise up due to poor stakeholder management may include,
So, a proper stakeholder communication management plan will have the following, (Kimmich, Janetschek, & Meyer-Ohlendorf, 2012)
PMIS or Project Management Information System organizes the information that are required by an organization to run some project properly. It is a collection of software, processes and methodologies that are required to collect and process data related to a project. The electronic PMIS system components helps in planning, execution and closing of project management and its goals. There are various types of PMISs that differs in the context of scopes, features, designs and the operational requirements of the organization.
Normalized methodologies like PRINCE2, PMP or Project Management Professional etc. can be used for collection and organization of project related data. Various project management knowledge like integration, scope, time, quality, human resource, risk, communication, stakeholders and procurement management, are supported by any PMIS software. A PMIS software is generally a multi user software. There are variety of such software for different platforms like on-premise solution, cloud based solution etc. (Heldman, 2011)
PMIS is usually used by project managers for collecting, processing, combining and distributing of the project related data. Other than project manager, managers from other levels can also use PMIS for communication, planning, execution and closing of project. (Forbes, 2000)
In case of project planning phase, a PMIS can help in preparing budget based on different frameworks, cost estimation, scheduling, defining baselines of project scopes etc.
In the project execution phase, all information collected by the project management team is stored into a single database. Then the database is connected to the PMIS. The baselines are compared with the accomplishment of those activities in reality, materials, financial data, record keeping process, reporting processes. (Sanghera, 2007)
While closing a project, a PMIS needs to review whether the goals of the project have been successfully accomplished or not. Then the final report on closure of the project is created.
There is a lot of scopes of use a suitable PMIS in the Bendigo Education Plan project. There are 39 recommendations, and a number of projects under this plan. Each of these projects has different sets of input and deliverables.
So, there is a huge volume of project related information to be shared with a number of stakeholders like the school managements, teachers, students, community parents, government offices etc. A well set up and managed PMIS will help to collect different types of information about the stakeholders, their requirements, project planning etc. During the project Execution Phase, it will help in to store and manage all information into a database. This will integrate the schools and the project into a single place. The integration will help to reduce redundancy, provide higher level of availability of information etc. (Heldman, 2011)
The PMIS diagram is,
PMIS diagram Source: (Raymond, 1987)
At any time instance the information of the PMIS used in the project will provide accurate, timely, integrated, precise, reliable and accountable. (Cleland, 2004)
Project life cycle is the detailed process including all phases of the project, from inception to completion. Any project will have project initiation, planning, execution and evaluation as different phases of the project life cycle. The execution phase includes monitoring and controlling.
Bendigo Education Plan also has different phases in the project life cycle. The initial phase in project planning. Then it has execution, evaluation, monitoring and controlling.
The initiation phase of the project will start right from the identification of the scopes, objectives, purposes, resources, required timeframes, structure and different sets of deliverables from the different projects under BEP. (BEP, 2006) Then it will build different solution approaches and will check cost and benefits for each of those. To decide the risks associated with a project, it needs to have a feasibility study of the project. It will ensure that the approach taken for the solution of the project is feasible and the level of risks associated with the solution are under acceptable level.
Before appointment of the project team, the terms of references of the project should be defined.
Next comes the planning phase in the project life cycle. During this phase, a detailed project plan is created. This project plan is an important document for the rest of the project, this will be used as a reference documentation for the project. It may be referred frequently during the execution and evaluation of the project. Three important factors of project management, cost, quality and control, are defined clearly in the project plan. Based on the project plan, further plans for resources, quality, financial information, risks and acceptance may be developed. (Westland, 2007)
The assessment of the deliverables produced so far, can be done at any point of the execution phase. During this phase, the project team delivers different types of deliverables and the project manager will be responsible for monitoring and controlling the delivery details and delivery of the entire project. During this phase, different management processes like time management, cost management, quality management, risk management, human resource management, risk management, communication management, procurement management, change control management etc. start falling into pieces, if the project is moving to the right direction. (PMBOK, 2013)
When the deliverables are accepted by the intended clients of users and the phase review process is completed successfully, then the project goes to project closure phase.
In the project closure document every actions related to the project are documented. After approval of the same, the resources acquired for the project are released, the project deliverables are submitted to the higher authority.
Just after the closure of the project, the evaluation or post implementation review of the project is started. It determines the overall success of the project. It is checked that whether the project has met all benefits as expected in the project initiation.
According to PMBOK, the project life cycle diagram is,
The critical success factors of the project are,
Project integration management is a set of process and activities that helps in identifying, defining, combining, unifying and coordinating the activities within the process group of the project management. For successful completion of the project, unifying, consolidation, articulation and integration are needed for very much. It also needs to manage the expectations of the stakeholders, requirements of the project etc. Project integration management is involved in deciding a tradeoff among the competitive project objectives, interdependencies among the project objectives and different knowledge areas. (PMBOK, 2013)
As already said, there are different types of processes in project integration management. There are inputs to the processes. In most of the cases, assets of the organizational processes are the input to the processes of project integration management. Other than that there are other types of inputs like environmental factors. In the closing phase of the project, the inputs differ than the environmental factors.
Project integration management is needed to deliver seven key knowledge areas in the project. Those are,
Project integration management helps in coordinating resources across the project activities, ensuring right selections of tradeoffs made during the project life cycle. It helps in directing the project towards successful completion.
The project integration management diagram is,
Source: (Schwalbe, 2004)
The project plan for BEP contains details of the project initiation, execution, risk management and governance. In a standard project plan, there should be details about the project integration management, scope management, time management, quality management, human resource management, risk management, communication management, and procurement management. Every details of the project like project charter, schedule, stake holder details, and risk analysis details, etc. should be a part of the project plan. According to PMBOK, a project plan is “a formal, approved document used to guide both project execution and project control. The primary uses of the project plan are to document planning assumptions and decisions, facilitate communication among stakeholders, and document approved scope, cost, and schedule baselines. A project plan may be summarized or detailed.”. (PMBOK, 2013)
In project management, change control is an important part. It is highly likely that during the project life cycle, there will be requests for changes in the activities of the project. The requested changes may range from smaller changes to significant changes. Thus it is needed to manage those changes so that those are aligned with the project management process and the project.
Change control is needed in project management as it ensures that each and every proposed change will be defined, evaluated and approved/ denied during the project life cycle and all these will be done before the implementation process. Change control also ensures that there will be no unwanted or unnecessary change, there will be no disruption in the services and all resources will be utilized efficiently. (Gudda, 2011)
There are five components in the monitoring and change control management system of the project. Those are,
Usually there are two types of documentation in the change control and monitoring process. Those are the,
In the summary of the impact of a change, a number of factors to be considered. Those are, the cost savings and benefits that are quantifiable, estimated cost for implementation of the change, impact of other projects, resources required for implementation of the change, impact of the schedule, if there is new risks from the change. (PMBOK, 2013)
A decision on a change can be either of, an acceptance, an acceptance with conditions, deferral or rejection.
According to PMBOK, “the Monitoring and Control Process Group consists of those processes performed to observe project execution so that potential problems can be identified in a timely manner and corrective action can be taken, when necessary, to control the execution of the project.” (PMBOK, 2013)
During the life cycle of the project management, monitoring and controlling changes in the project runs in parallel to the project execution process. The reason is, if there is a change request during the execution of the project, then that will be monitored, evaluated and controlled as soon as possible.
There are a number of processes under monitoring and change control. Those are, (PMBOK, 2013)
Project closure is the final stage of the project life cycle. During this phase the deliverables are delivered to the project owner and the post implementation review phase starts. Project closure process should ensure that the objectives of the project are met in the final deliverables, the deliverables are within the scopes of the project, and all documentation of the project are available and reviewed. All activities in the project are stopped during project closure. These are archived for auditing then. Project manager should take care of the project closure phase. The stakeholders are to be informed and ensured about the operational and maintenance details of the project deliverables. (Westland, 2007)
In this report, the analysis of the stakeholders, use of PMIS, project life cycle, project integration management, project monitoring and change control, project closure have been discussed from literature and in the context of BEP. There is very little information available on the BEP projects. So, critical analysis of the project was difficult. Details of PMIS, like what is PMIS, role of PMIS, diagram etc. are discussed in details. Then there is discussions on project integration management. Project integration management is important for any project. There is information about project integration management, its roles etc. Changes are inevitable. So, change control is necessary for any project. The role of the change control in the project has been discussed in details. Finally there is a discussion on project closure. Project closure includes a lots of ‘checklist’ activities to ensure right set of deliverables are being delivered to the project owner and those meet the objectives and scopes of the project.
The case study lacks information about use of PMIS, change control, integration management, project closure etc. In spite of that, different aspects of project management like stakeholder analysis, details of PMIS, project integration management, project life cycle, change control etc. have been learned from the report. PMIS plays an important role behind any project. Details of PMIS and how it is connected to the life cycle of the project that is an important lesson. Other than that details of change control, project closure etc. are also learnt from this report.
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