The project planning process is a balancing act of project constraints by providing decision making tools in line with the stakeholder objectives, performance targets, business practices and project goals. For successful project delivery, an organization needs to implement management systems that will guide the project scope, budgetary allocations, and risk mitigation.
As business today become bigger and require more complex infrastructure requirements, management of copious amounts of data, employees and the day-to-day of business becomes a challenge to many companies. Moreover, in a tech savvy business environment, modern businesses have invested in network solutions to manage various departments sometimes spread out over different geographical locations (Project Management Institute, 2008).
Business Management Software is a set of tools aimed at streamlining strategic planning and tactical implementations of policies, practices, guidelines and procedures essential in the development, deployment and execution of business plans that supplement management. The functional groups of BMS is a goal-oriented hierarchy involving business management strategies, tactics and implementation guidelines.
Implementation of a given BMS software package for an organization will be determined by its functionality, data integrity, testability, flexibility, cost and its integration with other systems. Moreover, a BMS software that will have minimal changes to the organization’s current infrastructure setup will be a favorable option. This will be supported by a BMS maintenance crew and a project portfolio management service.
The Department of Industry-Lands with the foregoing in mind, needs a BMS software package that offers network resources and various access permissions within the department managed based on the type of users, and the office locations. Furthermore, the BMS package should offer content management, FTP uploads and downloads, billing support and remote login. Offices will need to be automated and networked to ease flow of information and save on time taken to perform tasks.
At the project pre-implementation stage, the project scope sets out clearly defined goals and needs of the project. In the case of The Department of Industry – Lands (NSW), the department is accountable for about 41% of New South Wales crown land covering 35,000 crown reserves and government infrastructure totaling valued at about AUS $12 billion. Also, these shall form the scope of the project plan for the BMS software to be implemented (Department of Industry - Lands, 2014).
Ideally, an assessment of the organization’s preparedness for the BMS roll out by distinguishing the inherent strengths and weaknesses. Here, technical preparation uncovers the adequacy of the servers and software and a review of the IT department skills. This is followed by functional readiness where personnel experience is taken into account and factors such as leadership, communication and resources are updated. Then, the BMS software package appropriate for the organization is selected for subsequent implementation.
The next stage involves finalizing the project scope, drafting the project organization structure and reporting guidelines are tabled. The realization phase the organization system is configured and developed and then tested or simulated to verify its functionality. Subsequently, a pre-go live audit is done to migrate all the organization’s data to the new system and ensure it is well reconciled and operational. After this, a support phase is initiated to tackle issues arising from the go-live phase and the migration is stabilized (DZEMYDIENÄ– & BALTRUŠAITIS, 2015).
The reason for a BMS software implementation is to ease an organization’s business dealings. The lands department will accrue a number of benefits from the use of BMS software in the following ways. Firstly, the department will in the long run cut on operating costs through the use of electronic transaction, reduce workload on the employees and use resources more efficiently. Secondly, clients and even employees seeking information will receive accurate data in a timely fashion.
Key milestones for procuring and implementing a BMS software package
For the lands department leadership, the BMS software solution will present better control and facilitate informed decision making prospects. Moreover, the business process of handling leases and deeds will be rationalized, enabling efficient business dealings with clients. Since BMS software today offer computerized accounting, financial records will be easily consolidated at a click of a button and financial errors will be minimized. Cash flow management will also be more transparent and lease payments and land sales can be tracked.
Furthermore, the quality of customer service will be enhanced as all client information and interactions with the department will be stored in a database. The department in this regard will provide customer specific products and services resulting in a higher customer satisfaction rate with the organization. Employee communication and dealings with business partners will be expedited further eliminating redundancies and miscommunication.
High level communication strategy across a geographically diverse business
The idea of a global village instigated by the internet and globalization have pushed businesses to operate on a global scale thus creating demand for Business Management Software capable of consolidating and managing business relations spread over large geographical locations. For a project manager, these dynamics make the implementation of a new project an involving and complex process (Chuang, Ph.D., 2013).
As (Foong, 2014) stipulates, effective communication among stakeholders is a crucial factor to the success of any project management endeavor. Forty percent of projects fail to meet their objectives and half of these unsuccessful projects attribute their failure to ineffective communication. The communication strategy used should target the main players necessary for the realization of the BMS project scope and objectives.
Stakeholders in our case will include employees in the department, clients and the state. Employees will need to be aware of any issues which might arise during its implementation and be able to mitigate them early before they turn into crises. Clients on the other hand will need information on how the changes will affect them, available services during the transition period and the benefits they will enjoy from the system revamp.
Also, frequent management meetings, comprehensive management reports and organized project records go a long way in smoothing communication between stakeholders and project team members.
This constitutes a management framework adopted by the project management team to serve as a blueprint on which capital investment decisions are made. These decisions should be logical, robust and replicable structured approach in any project investment. For the lands department, the effective model will follow the four core principles of project governance (Müller, 2009).
The project management’s primary responsibility is to establish a central point of accountability for the BMS software roll out. This will guarantee a single person to solve the difficult decisions crucial at the initiation phase. This individual must hold significant authority and aptly empowered to carry the day’s decisions and position the project towards success. Secondly, project ownership is assigned to a specialist party to deter wasteful scope inclusions by the leadership.
The third principle advocates for the isolation of project decision making activities and the stakeholder management. Stakeholder management in government institutions is usually multifaceted and vast thus diminishing the understanding of critical project issues and consequently affecting quality decision making. Lastly, institutional governance structures should be distinguished from the project governance structures. This is because the bureaucratic mechanisms inherent in organizational structure will get in the way of flexible and swift decision making associated with projects (Association for Project Management, 2004).
In project management, it is the process of enhancing opportunities for the organization whilst reducing impending threats to project goals by developing viable options and suitable actions beforehand. Being an iterative process, it embarks on risk identification, assessment of the risk impact, risk prioritization analysis and finally risk mitigation (International Council on Systems Engineering (INCOSE), 2010).
In the lands department, the project management team collaborates with the operational users of the BMS software to form a common understanding of risks and their consequences. Mechanisms to avoid risks are also outlined to improve performance or efficiency. Mitigation plans will seek to understand the needs of BMS software users, seek experts to solve the risks, recognize recurrent risks and evaluate the impact of each action with respect to project objectives.
Approved by the Project Sponsor:
Association for Project Management. (2004). Directing Change - A guide to governance of project management.
Chuang, Ph.D., S.-F. (2013). essential skills for leadership effectiveness in diverse. Online Journal for Workforce Education and Development, 6(1). Retrieved from https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&edata-src=s&source=web&cd=10&cad=rja&uact=8&ved=0ahUKEwjQufHygL_OAhXLWRoKHbWxAEwQFghZMAk&url=http%3A%2F%2Fopensiuc.lib.siu.edu%2Fcgi%2Fviewcontent.cgi%3Farticle%3D1133%26context%3Dojwed&usg=AFQjCNFVJYp8PfCu8lSIFA7shUU00
Department of Industry - Lands. (2014). Comprehensive review of NSW Crown Land Management. Retrieved from www.crownland.nsw.gov.au: https://www.crownland.nsw.gov.au/crown_lands/comprehensive_review_of_nsw_crown_land_management
DzemydienÄ—, D., & Baltrušaitis, R. (2015). Evaluation of Functionality of Business Management Systems for Effective Implementation in Complex Business Processes. Baltic J. Modern Computing,, 179-192.
Foong, M. Y. (2014, April 9). Effective Communication: A Challenge To Project Managers. Retrieved from www.projecttimes.com: https://www.projecttimes.com/articles/effective-communication-a-challenge-to-project-managers.html
International Council on Systems Engineering (INCOSE). (2010). INCOSE Systems Engineering Handbook.
Lewinson, M. (2010). Business Management System (BMS) – Definition and Functional Groups. My Management Guide. Retrieved from www.mymanagementguide.com: <https://www.mymanagementguide.com/business-management-system-bms-definition-and-functional-groups/>.
Müller, R. (2009). Project Governance. Aldershot, UK: Gower Publishing.
Project Management Institute. (2008). A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge, (PMBOK Guide) (Fourth Edition ed.).
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