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Question:

Describe the following points..
 
1. Memo to Boss.
 
2. Memo to Upper Level Managers.
 
3. Agenda and Outline of Planned Activities and Desired Outcomes.
 
4. Problem regarding Technical Knowledge?
 
 

Answer:

1: Memo to Boss

In response to the first meeting regarding the project at the Midwest division of the company for upgrading the servers and database, initial findings from the project summary and planned next steps are provided in this memo. The company has a project that aims to upgrade the database and servers. In the present business environment database management and technological up gradation significantly contributes improving the efficiency of the organizational activities. Increased efficiency will assist in improving the organizational performance. Hence, it can be stated that this project will play a major role in achieving organizational goals and objectives (Bruce and Langdon, 2009). However, it has been found that the project has been encountering some major difficulties. After three months of the project, it has been found that deviation from the schedule and cost overrun are the significant issues. The director has provided me the project summary in order to take over the project.  My aim will be achieving the project goal within the budgeted cost and within time. The duration of the project is six months and it can be ensured that it will be completed on time (Mehta, 2007).

The initial findings from the project summary must be conveyed in order to outline the present scenario of the project. It has been already told that the project has been encountering some problems and cost overrun has been a major concern for the management (Carroll, 2009). Moreover, form the present status of the project; it can be found that it will be difficult to complete the project within the estimate time. Going through the project summary, it can be found that the budgeted cost for this six month project is $ 471,000. However, it has been estimated that the actual cost of project will be $530,750. From the budget spreadsheet it has been found that cost of purchasing hardware and software has been estimated to be higher (Heerkens, 2002). Moreover, the cost of maintaining the hardware and lease amount is significantly higher than the budgeted cost. Mark’s consulting company has been appointed for providing technical guidance and services. Initially, Mark Wimmer was the project manager and the budget was prepared accordingly. According to the divisional manager appointing new consulting company has led to increase in the cost of contract services.  In the projected actual expenditure, cost of software maintenance and other miscellaneous cost have been increased slightly (Deeprose, 2002). Hence, analyzing the project summary the major reasons behind cost overrun has been identified. As the cost of the project has been exceeding the budget, it is important to make effective changes in the project design will be helpful in cutting cost. It is very important to identify the non-value adding steps that can be eliminated from the process and the cost can be reduced. Moreover, the delay in completion of the project is not desired (Carroll, 2009). The present status of the project clearly indicates that it will be very difficult to complete the project within six months or in the next three months. Hence, now plan must be developed in order to accelerate the pace of the project though effective design (Clements and Gido, 2012). These are the major findings after reviewing the project summary.

In this memo, the next planned steps will be briefly outlined. It has been identified that the major problem of the project is cost and time. The senior management is concerned about the overrun of the cost. Additionally, the present status of the project clearly indicates that the progress of the project is slower than estimated. Hence, the next target is to reduce the project cost and enhance the pace of the project in order to complete within time. Therefore, it has been planned to conduct a meeting with the Joyce Cutler, acting project manager for discussing regarding how the project will be carried out. For the past three months, Joyce Cutler has been managing the project and he can helps in identification of the major problems with the project. In this meeting the technical aspect of the project will be in order to recognize the weakness of the project. After that, another meeting must be conducted with the Mark’s consulting company for making the final project plan. In this meeting the consulting company will provide technical assistance so that the efficiency of the project can be enhanced (Eric Kirkland, 2014). Moreover, the non-value adding steps will be eliminated and thus cost can be reduced. The major aim of the new project plan will be effective utilization of the resources so that the cost can be controlled (Gladden, 2013). Consulting with the experts, the final project plan will be developed for completing the activities within the estimated time and cost.

 

2: Memo to Upper Level Managers

The company has decided to run a project at the Midwest division in order to upgrade the database and servers. The tenure of the project is six months which will start from January. Earlier, Mark Wimmer was appointed as the project manager, but he has resigned from this position and Mark’s consulting company has agreed to provide technical services and guidance in this project.  After three months of the project the management has identified some issues in the up gradation project running in the Midwest division. It has been found that the project has been encountering major difficulties regarding cost and time. The project summary has depicted that the total cost of the project will exceed the budgeted cost. Moreover, the progress of the project does not seem to be satisfactory and it has been anticipated that the project cannot be completed within the estimated time, i.e. six months. However, it can be stated that there is significant scope to complete the project within budgeted cost as well as time. In the following the major strengths of the project is outlined (Heagney, 2012).

Management has expressed their doubt regarding the completion of the project on time and within the budget. Additionally, the effectiveness of the project has been questioned. As the new project manager of this project, I would like to highlight the strengths and potential of this project (Lech, 2013). Earlier, it was estimated that the project will cost $ 471,000. However, the projected actual cost has been estimated to be $ 530,750 by the divisional manager. Some alteration has been done to the initial project plan by consulting with the assistant project manager and Mark’s consulting company. Discussion with the Mark’s consulting company will help in development of the new project plan in which the non-value adding services will be eliminated (Hobbs, 2009). Thus the unnecessary steps can be eliminated which will helps in accelerating the ace of the project. Moreover, it will also help in effective utilization of the resources. The new project plan ensures that the project can be successfully completed within six months. Mark’s consulting company has assured to provide all technical supports for the project and the consulting company has mailed a report in which it has been stated that the project can be completed by June. Moreover, the new project plan can be undertaken within the budgeted cost and the variance will not lead to exceed $ 500,000. This project will be significant for the users as it will upgrade the database and server. In the present dynamic business environment, database management plays a crucial role in success of the organizational activities. Up gradation of the servers and database will significantly contribute in improving the performance of the company. The company will have a sound technical system and managing data will be easier for the organization (Kerzner, 2001). Project aiming to upgrade the database and servers have significant implication for enhancing the efficiency of the company (Garton and McCulloch, 2012). It can be assured that the project will be completed within the budgeted cost and proposed time.  Therefore, it is important to undertake the project as it will contribute significantly in the improvement of the organizational performance and it can completed within time and budgeted cost (Laslo and Gurevich, 2014).

 

3: Agenda and Outline of Planned Activities and Desired Outcomes

In the next week I will travel to the site. It is important to prepare the agenda so that the site visiting can completed in a systematic manner. The major agendas of the visiting the project site has been listed below:

Agenda:

  • It is important to analyze the major objectives project before making any kind of alteration of the project plan. Hence, first agenda is to review the project goal and objectives by discussing with the acting project manager.

  • Each project has specific set of performance evaluation criteria and these are used for assessing the progress and performance of the project so that required action can be taken. Second agenda is to analyze the performance criteria of the project along with assessment of the progress of the ongoing project (Levin, 2012).

  • Next agenda is to review the existing project plan.

  • A meeting will be held with the acting project manager for discussing all the relevant issues (Berkun and Berkun, 2008).

  • The next agenda is to conduct a meeting with the representative of the Mark’s consulting firm.

  • Therefore, a meeting will be held with the supervisor and senior technical expert (Lock, 2004).

  • Review of the activities and identification of situation which may adversely impact the operations (Levin, 2012).

  • Fixing date for next project visit (Lawson, 2006).

  • Preparation of a report on the basis of the first site visit.
 

Outline of Planned Activities Expected Accomplishments

Visiting the site is one of the important activities for getting an overview of the actual situation of the project. The following activities will be carried out with specific expectations during the first site visit.

  • Visiting the site along with the assistant project manager. It will help in getting an idea regarding the environment of the project and how people are engaged in the project activities (Young, 2010). It is very important as it will provide an insight regarding the actual working condition, issues confronted by the people engaged in the project and progress of the project (Wateridge, 2001).

  • A meeting will be conducted with the assistant project manager and representative of the consulting firm. In these meetings, the aims and objectives of the project will be reviewed. Project plan must align with the aims and objectives of the project. Hence, it is very important analyze each objective (Maylor, 2010). Moreover, the progress of the project and the performance criteria will be discussed. Thus, the project manager as well as concerned people will get an insight regarding actual position as well as problems in the activities. It will help in identification of the issues and need for alteration. The representative of the consulting firm can propose some solutions and offer technical assistance for resolving the identified problems (Ahern, Leavy and Byrne, 2014). In this meeting the date for next site visit will be fixed.

  • A meeting will be held with the supervisor to get a feedback regarding the performance of the people engaged in the project. It is very important to evaluate the performance of individuals and take necessary action for the people who do not meet the performance standard (Bedner and MacLennan, 2004).

  • Therefore, a meeting will be held with the senior technical expert. In this meeting the technical progress of the project will be discussed. The reason behind delay in the project and cost overrunning will be analyzed (Wysocki, 2009). Moreover, in this meeting, any difficulty encountered by the people will be discussed (Young, 2010).

  • Therefore, report must be prepared which will include the findings of the first site visit (Niebecker, Eager and Moulton, 2010). This document will include the findings and result of the site visit.
 

4: Problem regarding Technical Knowledge

A meeting was held with Mark Wimmer and Joyce Cutler for discussing various problems encountered by the ongoing project for upgrading the database and servers. Meeting with Mark and Joyce has helped in identification of the major problems regarding the lack of technical knowledge by the business personnel. This problem has significant potential to affect the progress and effectiveness of the project (Wright, 2002). It is evident that the project is focused on up gradation of database and servers which requires significant technical knowledge (Tonnquist, 2008).  It has been found that the technical people also require help from the business personnel for completing the project activities successfully. However, the business personnel do not have technical knowledge which creates a barrier in communication. Consequently, it affects the activity of the project and hinders the progress (Wateridge, 2001). In the meeting Mark and Joyce have emphasized on this issue as it has significant impact on the success of the ongoing project. Assessing the problem it has been found that the technical people are not getting adequate assistance from the business personnel who will be using the upgraded database and servers. The major reason is, business personnel do not have the relevant technical knowledge (Kliem, 2008). Hence, there is a communication problem among the technical experts and business personnel involved in this project (Levin, 2012).

This problem must be resolved as it has a negative impact on the project. One of the easiest solutions is to provide training to the business personnel so that the communication problem can be mitigated. The business personnel can be trained in order to understand the basic technical knowledge so that they can support the technical people for making the project success (Weinstein and Jaques, 2010). However, it must be noted that conducting a training program for the business personnel involved in the project will require time as well as capital resources. Hence, it can be stated that the cost of the project will be enhanced (Patel, 2008). In order to solve the problem, the company can conduct an internal training program which will help in lowering the cost (Smith, 2008). Effective communication must be facilitated among the business personnel and technical experts (Wateridge, 2001). Two way communications is important for the success of the project (Rai and Rai, 2009). Once the business personnel get relevant technical knowledge they can provide significant assistance to the technical experts. These strategies will be helpful in managing the current issues in the project (George Ana, 2010).

 

References

1. Ahern, T., Leavy, B. and Byrne, P. (2014). Complex project management as complex problem solving: A distributed knowledge management perspective. International Journal of Project Management, 32(8), pp.1371-1381.

2. Bedner, N. and MacLennan, J. (2004). Problem-possibility-pursuit- presentation portfolio project.Communication Teacher, 18(3), pp.102-105.

3. Berkun, S. and Berkun, S. (2008). Making things happen. Beijing: O'Reilly.

4. Bruce, A. and Langdon, K. (2009). Project management. London: Dorling Kindersley.

5. Carroll, J. (2009). Project management. Southam, Warwickshire, England: Easy Steps Ltd.

6. Clements, J. and Gido, J. (2012). Effective project management. Mason, Ohio: South-Western Cengage Learning.

7. Crick, J. (2014). Effective team communication. In Practice, 36(2), pp.96-98.

8. Deeprose, D. (2002). Project management. Oxford, U.K.: Capstone Pub.

9. Eric Kirkland, C. (2014). Project Management: A Problem-Based Approach. Project Management Journal, 45(1), pp.e3-e3.

10. Garton, C. and McCulloch, E. (2012). Fundamentals of Technology Project Management. Chicago: MC Press.

11. Garton, C. and McCulloch, E. (2012). Fundamentals of Technology Project Management. Chicago: MC Press.

12. George Ana, S. (2010). Managing Organizational Culture for Effective Communication. The Social Sciences, 5(2), pp.70-75.

13. Gladden, R. (2013). Project Management for Flat Organizations: Cost Effective Steps to Achieving Successful Results. Project Management Journal, 44(6), pp.e4-e4.

14. Heagney, J. (2012). Fundamentals of project management. New York: American Management Association.

15. Heerkens, G. (2002). Project management. New York: McGraw-Hill.

16. Hobbs, P. (2009). Project management. London: Dorling Kindersley.

17. Hunt, G. (1985). Effective communication. Englewood Cliffs, N.J.: Prentice-Hall.

18. Kerzner, H. (2001). Project management. New York: John Wiley.

19. Kliem, R. (2008). Effective communications for project management. Boca Raton: Auerbach Publications.

20. Laslo, Z. and Gurevich, G. (2014). ENHANCING PROJECT ON TIME WITHIN BUDGET PERFORMANCE BY IMPLEMENTING PROPER CONTROL ROUTINES. ManageFon, 19(72), pp.53-69.

21. Lawson, K. (2006). Successful project management. Hauppauge, N.Y.: Barron's Educational Series, Inc.

22. Lech, P. (2013). Time, Budget, And Functionality?—IT Project Success Criteria Revised. Information Systems Management, 30(3), pp.263-275.

23. Levin, G. (2012). Enterprise Project Governance: A Guide to the Successful Management of Projects Across the Organization. Project Management Journal, 44(1), pp.107-107.

24. Levin, G. (2012). Enterprise Project Governance: A Guide to the Successful Management of Projects Across the Organization. Project Management Journal, 44(1), pp.107-107.

25. Lock, D. (2004). Project management in construction. Aldershot: Gower.

26. Lockwood, J. (2014). Virtual team management: what is causing communication breakdown?.Language and Intercultural Communication, 15(1), pp.125-140.

27. Maier, E. and Branzei, O. (2014). “On time and on budget”: Harnessing creativity in large scale projects. International Journal of Project Management, 32(7), pp.1123-1133.

28. Maylor, H. (2010). Project management. Harlow, England: Financial Times Prentice Hall.

29. Mehta, R. (2007). Project management. Jaipur: Aavishkar Publishers.

30. Niebecker, K., Eager, D. and Moulton, B. (2010). Collaborative and cross‐company project management within the automotive industry using the Balanced Scorecard. International Journal of Managing Projects in Business, 3(2), pp.328-337.

31. Patel, V. (2008). Project management. Jaipur, India: Oxford Book Co.

32. Rai, U. and Rai, S. (2009). Effective communication. Mumbai [India]: Himalaya Pub. House.

33. Richman, L. and Richman, L. (2011). Successful project management. New York: American Management Association.

34. Smith, N. 2008). Engineering project management. Oxford: Blackwell.

35. Tonnquist, B. (2008). Project management. Stockholm: Bonnier Utbildning.

36. Wateridge, J. (2001). Successful Project Management. International Journal of Project Management, 19(3), p.191.

37. Wateridge, J. (2001). Successful Project Management. International Journal of Project Management, 19(3), p.191.

38. Weinstein, J. and Jaques, T. (2010). Achieving project management success in the federal government. Vienna, Va.: Mangement Concepts.

39. Wright, J. (2002). Effective Project Management. International Journal of Project Management, 20(8), p.633.

40. Wysocki, R. (2009). Effective project management. Indianapolis, IN: Wiley Pub.

41. Young, T. (2010). Successful project management. London: Kogan Page.

42. Young, T. (2010). Successful project management. London: Kogan Page.
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