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Embracing Customer Relationship Management

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Question:

Discuss about the Embracing Customer Relationship Management.
 
 

Answer:

Introduction

ABC is an Australian based private tourist network that attracts more than 200,000 families in a span on one year. The business includes the primary tourist attractions that can be visited along one of major Australian highways. The business serves the customers that are from Australian and also from other international locations. There are many loopholes present in the current system that is followed for the management and execution of the business activities. This leads to the inability to meet the customer expectations. One of the major drawbacks of the current system is the inability to be accessed on the mobile platforms.

In order to overcome such issues, it has been proposed that an automated system shall be developed with many new functions and features. The four primary areas that will be targeted in this task would be finance management, scheduling activities, human resource management and the customer relationship and interface management. The document is a report for the project that covers the planning and management details around the project.

Assumptions & Limitations

  • The skill set of the project human resources are adequate and as per the business specifications and their fulfillment for the project.
  • There will be a lot of planning necessary for the project as it is huge and also belongs to the category of critical projects.
  • The funds and expenses necessary for the execution and fulfillment of the project activities will be arranged by the Project Sponsor.
  • The budget along with the schedule that is determined for the project is fixed and it would not be possible to make any enhancements in these two areas associated with the project.
  • The work environment and the set of tools necessary for the execution of the project activities will be provided and arranged in advance for the project resources (Peslak, 2012).

The project will be managed by using and applying the project management methodology as Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK). The project will be completed in a series of phases as initiation, planning, development, testing, documentation and closure.

PMBOK methodology has five phases as initiation, planning, execution, control and closure. The activities that come under PMBOK will be applied and synced with the project phases. There will be many estimates that will be set and decided for the project in the planning phase. These would primarily include schedule, budget, scope and resources.

The initiation stage must cover the feasibility analysis and chartering processes followed by estimation of schedule, budget, scope and resources in the planning phase. The execution must focus upon the management of design, development and integration activities. The control phase must include the review and monitoring along with the implementation and testing processes. The final closure phase must involve the acceptance and sign offs along with the submission of closure report. 

 

Project Scope Management

  • The project shall be designed and developed with five modules as finance management, HR management, schedule management, customer relationship management and facility management.
  • The automated system would be made accessible on web and mobile platforms.
  • The project resources will integrate and test the five modules and will release a single eunit (Mirza, Pourzolfaghar and Shahnazari, 2013).
  • The automated system will be deployed at the client side and will be made available to the end users with the desired design and functionalities implemented in it.
  • The information associated with the requirements will be collected and analyzed and accordingly the planning will be carried out.
  • The system will also be designed with the qualities like reliability, availability, security and good performance.

Out-of-Scope

  • Third-party delays and cancellations will not be handled by the project team.
  • The changes requests not approved by the sponsor will not be handled (Randolph, 2013).
  • Any negotiations with the third-parties will not be covered

Time Estimates & Schedule Management

Apart from the time estimations, budget estimations and scope management, the following groups or modules will be used and implemented in the project as the modules and the management activities will also be based on the same.

  • Finance Management System: Additional costs present in the current system in terms of the cost of brochures and printing costs will be eliminated and budget will be managed with ease (O'Leary, 2009). The project management must carry out and apply the management activities such as planning, monitoring and control to understand the progress and adherence to the best practices.
  • Human Resource Management System: The management activities such as increase discussions and interactions with the human resources along with resource tracking shall be implemented and the same shall be applied in the project activities as well for efficient management of the human resources (Gagnon, 2006).
  • Scheduling Tasks: The system shall make sure that the customer bookings are analyzed and the resources are accordingly provided. The safety measures, upgrading of the database and tracking of the customers shall be performed. The management must make sure that verification and validation techniques are applied in this area to track the progress.
  • Customer Relationship Management System: The customer management and interface requirements will be met by making the information available on the mobile as well as web platforms. Social media groups and networks will be used to provide the customers with the required details. Also, the assistance will be provided in terms of support and query areas (Ayiri and Kudzanayi, 2017).
  • Facility Management System: This module will be managed by implementing the advanced incident recording and response facilities in the system. The same controls will be used for project management as well.
 

Reporting Requirements

Report Name

Report Frequency

Submitted to

Mode of Reporting

Daily Status Report

Daily

Project Manager

E-mails

Weekly Status Report

Weekly

Project Sponsor

SharePoint

Change Requests Report

Bi-Monthly

Project Manager

SharePoint

Defect Report

Monthly

Project Manager and Sponsor

SharePoint

Closure Report

Once – At Project Completion

Project Sponsor

SharePoint

Project Risk Management

There may be many risks that may emerge during the project. An approach will be necessary for the management of the risks and this approach will have numerous phases as graphically represented below.

The above diagram represents the process that shall be used for the management of the risks in this case. The information system that will be developed for ABC Company may have many risks due to the industry type and nature of the project.

The first step in the risk management process shall be the identification of the risks. In this phase or sub-process, all forms of risks irrespective of their nature, type, priority and severity shall be identified and listed. This information and identification shall be performed on the basis of the information that shall be collected from various sources. These sources shall include the project stakeholders, market information, legacy systems etc.

The next sub-process shall be the analysis of the risks. In this sub-process, the risks that are identified shall be analyzed in terms of the project specifications, stages and accomplishment in terms of the likelihood, impact and rank. The risks shall then be evaluated in the third stage in which the risks that may be accepted shall be identified. The ones that cannot be accepted shall be moved to the fourth sub-process as risk treatment.

Risk treatment is a sub-process in which various treatment policies and mechanisms shall be identified and applied. There can be various treatment processes that can be applied in the form of mitigation, avoidance or transfer. The strategy applicable to every risk shall be decided and implemented.

The monitoring and control activities associated with the risks shall be carried out in the last stage with the submission of a closure report.

Risk Register

Risk Name

Risk Likelihood (1-5, 5 is highest)

Risk Impact (1-5, 5 is highest)

Risk Rank (Likelihood * Impact)

Risk Treatment Strategy

Security Risks and Attacks

4

4

16

Risk Avoidance – Use of technical , physical and administrative security controls

Quality Issues

2

5

10

Risk Avoidance – Training on quality standards and monitoring of adherence to the standards

Operational Errors

5

3

15

Risk Avoidance – Training on operational processes and monitoring of adherence to the standards

Schedule Overrun

2

5

10

Risk Avoidance – Tracking of the project activities against the estimated schedule

Technical Faults

4

3

12

Risk Mitigation – Use of alternative tools

Legal/Political Risks

1

5

5

Risk Avoidance – Training on legal policies and monitoring of adherence to the standards

Budget Overrun

4

5

20

Risk Avoidance – Tracking of the project activities against the estimated budget

Monitoring, Review & Evaluation

The monitoring and review processes shall be carried out by the Project Manager and the senior leadership. These processes must include the execution of the verification and validation techniques to understand the progress of the project, adherence to the best practices along with conflicts, disputes, risks and problems.

These processes must include a review plan prepared in the beginning and the same shall be followed. The results of these processes shall be discussed internally and shall also be informed to the project sponsor.

The success of the project shall be evaluated by using the following methods and techniques:

  • The actual schedule of the project shall be matched with the estimated schedule and the gap in the two values shall be nil or minimal for considering the project a success.
  • The actual budget of the project shall be matched with the estimated budget and the gap in the two values shall be nil or minimal for considering the project a success.
  • The feedback shall be acquired from the project sponsor, end-users and other stakeholders and it must be analyzed. The feedback shall be positive to ensure success.
  • The actual features and specifications of the project shall be matched with the estimated requirements and specifications and the gap in the two values shall be nil or minimal for considering the project a success.
  • The number of defects in the final defect report shall be zero or low and there shall be no major or critical defects present.
 

Resource Management

There will be internal and external resources that will be involved with the project that must be managed correctly. There must be specific approach and steps used for the management of the internal and external resources associated with the project.

  • There shall be a daily team meeting organized and facilitated by the Project Manager and all the internal resources must attend the meeting (Muller and Turner, 2007).
  • The project activities, issues, risks and conflicts shall be discussed and resolved in the meeting (Kock, Heising and Gemunden, 2016).
  • The meeting notes shall be circulated at the end of the meeting to all the internal resources.
  • The Project Manager must carry out one-on-one discussions with the project resources to understand their ideas and problems.
  • An internal tool and server shall be set up for exchange of mails, documents, messages and information.
  • The performance of the resources shall be measured at the end and the associated rewards shall be provided.

External Resource Management

  • The Project Manager must have a weekly meeting with the external stakeholders and sponsor of the project.
  • The project progress shall be informed and the suggestions must be taken for improvement.
  • The change requests shall be acquired from the sponsor with the approvals and additional enhancements.

The total cost of the project has been estimated to be AUD 75,000. It has been done using bottom up estimation technique and the costs that are allocated are justified because of the analysis involved in the project activities, project resources involved and the time required to complete the project. Per unit cost has been estimated and the assignment has been carefully done so as to meet the project requirements.

For the development of the information system for the private tourist business, the development methodology that shall be used in this case shall be agile methodology for product development. This methodology has been recommended due to the nature of the project and the requirements that need to be accomplished in the project. There are possibilities wherein the project requirements may change or get altered in the advanced stages of the project. With the use of agile methodology, it would be easy to incorporate the changes without any major impacts on the other modules or the overall project progress.

There will be many other advantages that will be offered by the agile methodology to the project. It would make sure that the system that is designed is flexible and scalable in nature. Technology is witnessing many changes and these changes are extremely rapid. It is necessary for the present day systems and applications to be designed and developed in such a manner that the changes can be easily made in future as well. Agile methodology will provide this ability to the system and the incorporation of future scaling will be smooth and hassle free. The transparency and communication with the end users and the project sponsor will also be maintained all throughout the project. This will not be restricted to the final stages of the project only. However, the recommendations and feedback will be collected during every stage and at the end of iteration. This will ensure that the areas of improvement are highlighted and the actions are taken to meet the customer expectations.

The product development will be carried out in the form of iterations which will be referred as sprints. All the project requirements will be broken down in many different sub-requirements and functions and each of these sets will be allocated to the iterations. The requirements of a particular iteration will be met and completed and the final requirement set will be created.

 

Conclusion

The project has been analyzed in terms of the resources involved, project requirements, nature of the project, project dependencies etc. The management methodology that has been selected for the project as PMBOK will be apt for this case on the basis of these different factors (Greenberger, 2016). There shall also be different trainings that shall be set up and arranged for the project resources. These trainings shall be in association with the new system that will be developed. Also, the trainings on the quality and ethical standards and practices that must be followed shall also be informed and made aware to the project resources.

There will be many changes in the business operations and the way they will be executed. These changes must also be considered and managed using the PMBOK guidelines. The changes must be listed and the corresponding change management approach must be applied for better handling and management. The security issues associated with the project shall be managed by using the various basic and advanced security concepts and tools. These shall include the use of access control mechanisms, intrusion detection systems, authentication systems, firewalls, proxy servers, network monitoring systems, anti-malware tools and many more such controls and measures.

 

References

Ayiri, G. and Kudzanayi, G. (2017). Embracing Customer Relationship Management (CRM) to Improve Organisational Viability by Small Businesses in Chinhoyi, Zimbabwe. IOSR Journal of Business and Management, 19(01), pp.50-54.

Gagnon, S. (2006). Globalizing Human Resource Management - Paul Sparrow, Chris Brewster and Hilary Harris. Human Resource Management Journal, 16(3), pp.331-332.

Greenberger, L. (2016). Effective Communications for Project Success. Remediation Journal, 26(2), pp.121-128.

Kock, A., Heising, W. and Gemunden, H. (2016). A Contingency Approach on the Impact of Front-End Success on Project Portfolio Success. Project Management Journal, 47(2), pp.115-129.

Mirza, M., Pourzolfaghar, Z. and Shahnazari, M. (2013). Significance of Scope in Project Success. Procedia Technology, 9, pp.722-729.

Muller, R. and Turner, R. (2007). The Influence of Project Managers on Project Success Criteria and Project Success by Type of Project. European Management Journal, 25(4), pp.298-309.

O'Leary, D. (2009). Downloads and citations inIntelligent Systems in Accounting, Finance and Management. Intelligent Systems in Accounting, Finance & Management, 16(1-2), pp.21-31.

Peslak, A. (2012). Information Technology Project Management and Project Success. International Journal of Information Technology Project Management, 3(3), pp.31-44.

Randolph, S. (2013). Projects and Complexity. Project Management Journal, 44(3), pp.e2-e2.

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