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Background and Environment of the Project

Analyse the project management plan. What are its strengths and its weaknesses? 

The purpose of this report is to undertake a critical analysis and evaluation of a project based cast study in order to develop a thorough and detailed Project Management Plan (PMP) for the chosen project. For achieving this purpose, the report focuses on a specific project “Design and Development of a Website for A Company” and conducts a critical exploration for identifying the major aspects considered for successfully managing and accomplishing the particular project. To be more precise, the report aims to assess the chosen project case in order to identify key stakeholders associated with the project, how the PMP facilitates required information to the individual groups of stakeholders along with the method or medium adopted for making certain information available to the targeted audience (Murphy 2014). In addition to that, the report carries out a detailed study on the theoretical frameworks of PMP stated in the different project management methodologies such as Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBoK) and PRINCE 2 (PRoject IN Controlled Environments 2). Based on the major areas and aspects of the selected project i.e. “Design and Development of a Website for A Company”, the PMP plan is development keeping appropriate alignment with the needs, requirements, objectives, deliverables, outcomes as well as nature of the particular project. The project mainly deals with the purpose of increasing online sales capabilities as well as enhancing the marketing elements of the organization with increased efficiency and minimized efforts (Lock 2014). For this purpose, the report reflects on the major knowledge areas and components such as time, cost and effort management, budget estimation, project schedule plan, planning of required resources and so on. The systematic project management approach along with a software development life cycle (SDLC) method is to be adopted in order to implement the company’s website project in a successful manner.

The background and environment of the project essentially includes a detailed description of the project along with the scope of the project, which in turn consists of the major objectives of the project, key deliverables, technical requirements, estimated budget and cost plan, schedule plan and the roles and of the key stakeholders associated with the project.

The project “Design and Development of a Website for A Company” engages in planning and actualizing an entire website for a company, which facilitates an effective online presence with efficient information architecture in order to enhance the company’s online sales, increase customer base, improve accessibility and establish strong customer relationships for greater customer satisfaction (Pak, Carden and Kovach 2016). For this purpose, the project deals with a developing a website attractive visual designs and intuitive information architecture. The project necessarily considers appropriate project management tools, techniques and methods for the website development.

Audience and Structure of the PMP

The website development project is carried out following an agile development methodology where the user’s involvement is the most important principle. The basic principles of agile method are mainly involve focusing on the end deliverables by means of developing small and incremental releases and thereby iterate the entire process (Torrecilla-Salinas et al. 2015). The organization aims to adopt scrum agile method for managing the website development activities in a team based environment. For this purpose, the PMP plan includes developing the website structure focusing on software, hardware and technology requirements as well as marketing and administrative functionalities.

The objectives of the project are described below:

  1. To provide the project deliverables within the required budget and costs and efforts
  2. To deliver a fully functional website that essentially improves the accessibility of information, increasing customer base, and developing a medium to convey important information through the website medium
  3. To produce a detail budget and cost estimation in an initial PMP plan
  4. To produce a clear work breakdown structure (WBS) along with proper schedule and resource plan (including human resources) for all of the individual phases included in the project development phase
  5. To produce a detailed documentation plan and a user’s manual for implementing the website design for the company
  6. To form a project team including members: web developer, web designer, project manager, programmers/ coders, testers and end users 

The PMP (Project Management Plan) for the specific project involves a detailed description of the involvement audience and structure of the applicable

The audiences or key stakeholders of the project management plan (PMP) are as follows. The list includes the detail categories of information each of them needs to know:

Project manager: Needs to know the PMP details including project charter, scope statement, goals, budget, and cost and project schedule plan, resource allocation details and so on

Human resource: needs to know the detail information about the workers/ members, including their individual skill sets, competencies, availability, work periods/ hours/ shifts. Needs to know the schedule plan and budget of certain tasks (Schwalbe 2015)

PMO team: Needs to know the PMP details including project charter, mission, project agenda, objectives and goals, and budget, and cost and project schedule plan

Customers/ end users: needs to know the end result of the project, the contents, purpose and experience of the website

Developers: Needs to know the details of client and end user requirements, expectations and needs, assumptions, constraints as well as the basic goal/ objective and purpose of the project and the website (Snyder 2013)

Testers: The objective, deliverables and expected outcomes of the project, constraints and assumptions, end user requirements, company goals

Designers: Needs to know the detail requirements, company objective, project objectives and requirements from end users

Analyst: Needs to know the details of client and end user requirements, expectations and needs, assumptions, constraints as well as the basic goal/ objective and purpose of the project and the website (Zhu 2014)

Marketing professionals and sales representatives: End user needs and preferences, company budget, and costs

Network administrators: Data flows and use cases, expected user traffics and available servers

Technicians and customer support representatives: end user confusions and ambiguities, requirements, and deliverables details

User experience engineers: Information flow, architectural details of information for users and requirements for user friendly functions and features

Business owners and investors: business goals, objectives and purpose, website constraints and assumptions, resource, time and budget requirements




Timing/ Frequency

Sender of Information


Human resource

skill sets, competencies, availability, work periods/ hours/ shifts  updates on project activities, work status  

Work plan, schedule and financial plan, resource availability

Weekly/ As required

Project Manager

Email, meetings, phone calls, conferences

Project Manager

Work requests, project status, documents (draft and approval), cost and budget estimates, project schedule plan, priority assignments, charter, scope statement, issue log, sponsorship information

Project deliverables, performance and progress of the project, objective and impact of the project 

Weekly/ As required/ On a periodic basis

PMO team

Kick off meetings, emails, discussions, bulletin boards, newsletters, conferences

PMO team

Project charter, mission, project agenda, objectives and goals, and budget, and cost and project schedule plan

Project outcomes, earnings, profits and business goal

Weekly, as required

Project manager, developers, designers, testers, end users

Meetings, group discussions, emails, phone calls and messages

End users

End result of the project, the contents, purpose and experience of the website

Accessibility, available information, satisfaction, performance and efficiency of the website

As required, regular basis

Project manager, customer support representatives

Meetings, discussion sessions, emails, invitations

Marketing professionals and sales representatives

Marketing campaign, End user needs and preferences, company budget, and costs, project agenda, scope of project, objectives, target audience

End user needs and preferences

Weekly/ Periodic basis

End users, manager, analyst

Email, meetings, phone calls, conferences


details of client and end user requirements, expectations and needs, assumptions, constraints as well as the basic goal/ objective and purpose of the project and the website

Project deliverables and end user expectations

As required, weekly

PMO, manager, analyst

Email, meetings, phone calls, conferences


The objective, deliverables and expected outcomes of the project, constraints and assumptions, end user requirements, company goals

Outcomes, company goal, end user expectation

As needed, weekly

Developers, end users, project manager

Email, meetings, phone calls, conferences

Network administrators

Data flows and use cases, expected user traffics and available servers

Company details, website purpose, project budget

As needed, weekly


Meetings, emails, video conference, team discussions

The structure of the PMP (project management plan) for the selected project “Design and Development of a Website for A Company” essentially requires following a particular theoretical framework provided by a project management methodologies such as PMBoK and Prince 2 (Hubbard and Bolles 2012). Developing the company website should incorporate the best practices of PMP for ensuring successful accomplishment of the project outcome. 

Figure 1: Website development process

As the website development for this company is based on Scrum Agile Method, therefore, the PMP plan should essentially incorporate the below mentioned approaches and components for web development (Zhu 2014). 

Figure 2: Agile (scrum) phases

The part of PMP plan describing the tasks details and schedule estimation is included in the Appendix 1.

The objectives set by the company for developing the website are the final goals that need to be considered (Team 2015). It involves selling services and products online, increasing customer base by providing better customer support as well as promote investor relations.

The stakeholders are to be clearly identified and listed along with their individual interests, roles and responsibilities associated with the project (Richter 2015). In addition, it is important that the stakeholders are prioritized according to their level of influence in the project, based on which the strategies to deal with the individual groups of stakeholders are formulated.

The deliverables of the project need to be clearly documented and defined that includes detail descriptions of the nature and type of website, its design layouts, sitemaps to be utilized by the programming team and the important contents and information the website is intended to carry (Quadri, Komal and Khalil 2015).

The detail project plan is to be drawn that takes care of how the resources are efficiently utilized, how the people are managed and budget plan is built (Morris 2013). This process should incorporate a clear and precise estimation of the actual time and effort that is needed for each activity, and thereby develop realistic budget and schedules by reviewing with stakeholders.

The website development work requires proper engagement and communication facilitation among the project management departments. A kick off meeting is necessary for defining the communication requirements and details of communication methods and medium each of the individuals are expected to follow (Larson and Gray 2014). For this purpose, a communication matrix is develop that explains methods of reporting performances, status checks, resolution of conflicts and other relevant communication issues.

A continuous approach to monitoring and planning the actual schedule and cost plan I required (Heldman 2013). For this purpose, stakeholder’s engagement is necessary to incorporate necessary changes to project scope in convenient phases of the development life cycle.

Change should be efficiently handled from earliest stage of project development. For this purpose, it is important to assess the impact of change on project scope, schedule and cost. Accordingly, appropriate change management strategies should be adopted (Gonçalves, de Freitas Kühlkamp and von Wangenheim 2015).

A thorough risk management plan is required for the project. According to PMBoK, firstly, a risk identification process is performed to identify potential risks in order to address them with appropriate risk response strategies (Gido and Clements 2014). Risk analysis should be carried out to prioritize risks and accordingly carry out risk treatment plans to mitigate and reduce impacts on the deliverables and project objectives. 

4.1 Project integration management

The website development project should incorporate appropriate integration management activities (Torrecilla-Salinas et al. 2015). The integration management deals with ensuring that all of the major elements of the project follow appropriate coordination and coherence among each other. The process of integration management consists of three basic components:

Project plan development: Project plan development deals with properly integrating and coordinating the interdependent work plans. It is done by processing the constraints, deliverables and assumptions using planning tools and thereby producing the initial plan (Murphy 2014). By accurately carrying out the Project Plan Development process, the outputs produced include the detailed project charter, WBS levels, baseline scope of the project, basic cost estimates, schedule plan (including start and finish dates), major milestones, and completion targets for each of the activities/ tasks.

Project plan execution: The project plan is then carried out considering the budge, organizational policies and other relevant inputs to the execution process. The common tools and techniques such as general management skills, website design and development knowledge, authorization of work and status review meetings are applied in order to successfully execute the project plan (major input) (Heldman 2013). Usually, the common outputs from the execution of project plan include change requests and work results detail.

Integrated change control: It deals with coordinating the required changes across the individual sections/ departments of the entire project. It incorporates change control system that takes the initial project plan as input and produces the updated project plan.

Project scope management handles the primary deliverables, determining the scope statement including the overview of the basic objectives and development process. The basic elements include a detail description and evaluation of the work required (Binder, Aillaud and Schilli 2014). It involves the following components:

Initiation: The requirements for making the website are gathered and are authorized. The scope of the project is developed against the project plan and company/ client requirements.

Scope planning: Planning of scope deals with developing a detailed statement defining the scope based on the major decisions. For planning the scope in a proper manner, the project charter, deliverables list, constraints and assumptions (Carstens, Richardson and Smith 2013). The tools and techniques for planning include cost and effort analysis, expert judgments and so on. 

Scope definition: The scope is then defined by creating the work breakdown structure (WBS) and resource allocation details. Furthermore, it involves decomposing or subdividing the major project deliverables in an attempt to improve the accuracy of time duration, cost, as well as effort and resource estimates (Bhattacharya 2013). To be more precise, an accurate baseline for executing the individual tasks/ activities for the project is developed in order to measure the progress and performance and apply control mechanisms accordingly.

Scope verification: A thorough inspection of the project scope is carried out with adequate involvement of the individual groups of stakeholders such as project sponsor, end users/ customers, client.

Scope change control: It includes the process for incorporating necessary changes by accepting change requests and reviewing performance and status report.

The project for developing the company website should incorporate a separate knowledge area considering time management (Heagney 2012). The job of managing time for executing this particular project should include the following components:

Activity definition: The major tasks and activities associated with the basic project deliverables are identified in order to produce the list of activities and a revised work breakdown structure using decomposition technique

Activity sequencing: It deals with maintaining the interdependencies among the concerned activities by applying precedence and arrow diagram/ conditional diagram method.

Activity duration estimating: For the individual activities, the required number of work periods is estimated for producing thee activity duration estimation and update of activity list.

Schedule development: In order to develop the project schedule different tools and techniques such as critical path method, PERT, project management software (e.g. Microsoft Project) are applied and ultimately the final project schedule is developed.

Schedule control: It is essential to control the changes in the schedule as and when change is necessary (Bolles and Hubbard 2015). For this purpose, a regular performance measurement is to be carried out in order to make the changes and produce a correct and updated project schedule.

The processes in cost management essentially involves planning, controlling, budgeting and estimating costs required for undertaking the website development project so as to ensure that it is within the estimated/ approved budget.

Resource planning: The resource planning involves determination of required resources such as equipment, people and materials along with the accurate number/ quantities of each of them.

Cost estimating: It concerns with development of an estimation plan based on the costs for availing the demanded resources for performing the project activities.

Cost budgeting: This particular process concerns with the allocation of costs into individual tasks/ activities. It takes into consideration the cumulative values in the cost baseline display.

Cost control: Cost control refers to the job of monitoring the cost performance for detecting the individual variances from the project plan (Crawford and Cabanis-Brewin 2014). In addition to that, controlling costs also involves providing timely updates to the stakeholders about necessary changes in order to keep the costs within acceptable limits.

The quality management process is another important aspect that needs to be considered for the present project of designing and developing a website for a company. It is mainly for ensuring that the outcomes/ deliverables of the project successfully meet the needs and requirements for the client company (Burke 2013). The ultimate purpose of incorporating this knowledge area into the selected project is to ensure standard and improved quality of the company website to be developed and delivered.

Quality planning: Quality-planning deals with identifying the required quality standards that are relevant to the execution of the project and determining methods for satisfying the quality needs.

Quality assurance: Evaluating the project plan is essential to perform in a regular basis, which in turn provides a satisfactory quality standard to the project outcomes/ deliverables (Gomes 2013).

Quality control: The project management plan needs to incorporate appropriate control techniques and methods for efficiently evaluating the desired outcomes and results.

The stakeholders are the human resource including all project sponsors, partners, client, customers, team members, and individual contributors (Heldman 2013). The project needs to concentrate on the three major components for human resource management. These are as follows:

Organizational planning: This process deals with performing identification, documentation and assignment of individual roles and responsibilities as well as defining the relationships relevant to executing the project (Karaman and Kurt 2015).

Staff acquisition: deals with acquiring human resources based on departmental project management expertise to work on the website development job.

Team development: it is important to develop the PM team based on team member competencies for enhancing overall performance.

Kick of meetings are essential for establishing project mission, vision and goal. Moreover, the communication plan tells how the project team will communicate among themselves (Hubbard and Bolles 2012).

Information distribution: It concerns with making the required information available to certain groups of stakeholders by conveying appropriate messages following a specific approach.

Performance reporting: It incorporates project status reports, performance measurement reports, progress tracking information, updates on individual works/ tasks and so on.

The company website development project essentially involves certain events that might potentially affect the level of success for the project. For this purpose, having a risk management plan is essential.

Risk identification: The potential risks are identified that are likely to occur and cause some kind of adverse effect on the life of the project (Kirmani and Wahid 2015). The identified risks are documented with detail characteristics.

Qualitative risk analysis: Risks that are identified are then analyzed based on their individual priority set for their impacts and probability of occurrence.

Quantitative risk analysis: It deals with performing measurements of the risks based on their probability and consequences and severity of impact on the outcomes of the particular project undertaken (Morris 2013).

Risk response planning: tools, techniques, procedures and methods are adopted for treating and mitigating the risks in order to reduce their impacts.

Risk monitoring and control: Monitoring the identified potential risk events is significantly important for the project. Additionally, identifying new risks and residual risks are important.

For the present company website development project, procurement management plan is to be incorporated in order to acquire the desired end result i.e. a fully functional web-based platform for online information access and sales (Larson and Gray 2014). Furthermore, procurement management helps attaining the project scope by performing the following:

Procurement planning: The scope statement, deliverables are processed using certain tools and methods for producing a final procurement management plan (Kerzner 2013). The plan helps determining the suitable way to manage solicitation planning as well as contracts closeouts, manage multiple providers and establishing coordination with schedule and performance reporting.  

Solicitation planning: deals with documenting the major requirements along with an identification of the potential resources.

Solicitation: deals with actually obtaining bids, offers, quotations, and proposals.

Source selection: Concerns with the process of selecting from a number of potential sellers.

Contract administration: deals with management of the relationship among the company/ project authority and seller.

Contract closeout: deals with completing and settling the contract.

5. Conclusion

The report includes a detailed study on the fundamental aspects of project-based management by means of selecting a particular project “Design and Development of a Website for A Company”. The report sufficiently performs a critical analysis and evaluation of the selected case in order to develop a PMP plan; which clearly and accurately documents all the major requirements for the executing the project, the key stakeholders associated with the project, the information required to be made available based on the individual groups/ categories of stakeholders. In addition to that, the PMP plan incorporates the basic knowledge areas to be considered for the successful accomplishment of the website development project.

The report describes the PMP for developing the website focusing on the major project management knowledge areas as stated in the PMBoK (Project Management Body of Knowledge) guide. The time, cost and budget estimation, required quality management and quality standard assurance plans are accordingly carried out in order to ensure desired end result. Moreover, the PMP focuses on each if the detailed stages and components that the major knowledge sections contain. Therefore, the PMP for developing a company website should follow the systematic plan as stated in this report for producing deliverables that adequately meets the requirements and objectives of the project. The audience and structure of the project case study based PMP additionally describes the potential stakeholders associated with the project along with the accurate categories of information provided to them using a specific method/ medium.

This section presents a series of suggestions and recommendations based on the analysis carried out on the selected project case. The PMP plan developed according to the identified requirements and deliverables of the project

Continuous assessment of risks throughout the project development phase: After the initiation of the project, a detail execution of the risk management plan is performed (Quadri, Komal and Khalil 2015). However, in order to make sure that the project successfully reaches to its closure phase, it is important to periodically update the risk assessment and risk treatment plan for determining the potential risks that can surface at any time and thereby required to be managed.

Monitoring the work plan, budget and schedule: It is essential to appropriately plan the work packages associated with executing the project (Richter 2015). A thorough planning and documentation of the systematic and methodical phases of the entire work is to be planned in order to follow a specific procedure for performing the task in a sequential and efficient manner.

Clear segmentation of the knowledge areas of the project: Establishing a departmental project management organization by keeping focus on appropriate skills and human resource staffing (Stackpole 2013). In addition to that, it is essential to establish clear roles and responsibilities for individual groups of team members.

Adopt efficient communication tools and techniques: The website development project essentially requires adequately investing on and incorporating suitable and efficient communication tools and processes in order to effectively get the important information and messages across (Team 2015). To be more precise, the project should categorize the types of different communication to send and receive information among the key stakeholders and client/ end users. For example, based on the purpose and nature of the message, the types can be written, electronic, verbal or even visual.  


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