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Question:

Discuss about the Case Study Social Media Research Centre.
 
 

Answer:

Project Charter

Social Media Research

Many conventional academicians and higher education stakeholders are of the opinion that social Media is deteriorating the quality of the education. It should be noted that social media has a place in every student’s or researcher’s life (Kushin & Yamamoto, 2010). The students and researchers make sense of social world, connect and interact with others through social media facilities such as Facebook, LinkedIn, WhatsApp, etc. and they have become primary platforms for collaborating, creating and sharing knowledge and networking for academic alliances.  Social media helps the professors, students and industry partners to connect, interact and collaborate with each other.  Not having a presence in the social media is a handicap for a higher education institution such as ANU. A research unit that focuses on the possibilities of Social Media and its positive and negative impacts will help the institution to establish a strong identity for itself and contribute to the society with cutting edge information regarding Social Media. Also, the research will help to remove the wrong notions regarding social media among the professors, students and others.

 

Introduction

Research center is the real value addition by a university (Etzkowitz, 2004). The steps to establish a Social Media Research Center is provided in this project plan. In eight months, beginning from June 2017, the project has to be completed within the allocated budget of AUD 50000. The first goal of the project plan is to establish a web portal that would enable the professors and students to search, display and combine information regarding their social media research. The hardware, software and   web tools required for the portal need to be identified and installed. Along with the list hardware components needed for the project, the intangible aspects of the project for research center are also provided. One of the key aspects of the project is to identify the needs of the stakeholders who would be using the facilities at the social media research center and decide about the architecture of the portal such as user interfaces, backend database, real time data processing, etc.   

Project Objectives

Objectives of a project are critical for its success and evaluation (De Wit, 1988). Objectives of this project are:

  • Identification and analysis of the user’s needs with respect to the website for social media research center.
  • Finalizing the architecture of the website based on the needs of the users.
  • Identification of the hardware and software needed for establishing the website.
  • Procurement of the necessary hardware, software and other resources to create the website and to contain costs within the budgets.
  • Developing web application needed for the center
  • Implementation and installation of the procured systems with installation of developed web application
  • Testing and debugging the application and confirm the system is robust for the intended function.
  • Proving training to the users about utilizing the facilities in the web portal.

Measurable Organizational Value

The role of the Research Center’s web page is to support each researcher, student and outside user to identify information, place comments, and interact with the researchers. The web portal should be of high value to the users and must have diverse options for use.  The following could be the value propositions of the web portal with significance of importance. The measureable organizational value (MOV) is a set of measures of impacts of project on variables such as the strategy, customer, revenues, operations, social media identity, etc. (Asosheh, Nalchigar, & Jamporazmey, 2010). The ranking provided in the rightmost column may be used for reflecting upon the importance of the project with respect to these areas as follows:

Value statement

Area of Impact

Ranking

(1 low to 5 high)

Updating of current information

Customer, operations

3

Highlight of the research of students and professors and list of publications and research in progress

Customer, Strategic goals

4

List of Faculty and students, and description of facility for collaborative research

Strategic goals, marketing and customer service

3

Internal messaging, online conversations and sharing of ideas/information

Operations, and strategy

5

Maintaining statistics of performance indicators

Strategy, operations and Publicity

3

Access to current and specialized research

Strategy, and Marketing

4

The proposed web portal will enable the primary stakeholders with easy access to research tools related to social media and provide platform for relevant social interactions. The users will be able to interact and share meaningful content and ideas, and resources associated with social media research will be accessible instantly.  

The online web portal will have the following benefits.

  • The students and faculty will have frequent and easy online communications.
  • Quicker access to research tools and resources
  • A comprehensive list of publications, faculty and researchers will be available to the outside users and a strong identity will emerge in the process.
  • The individual faculty and researchers will have facility to login in their private spaces and showcase their intellectual contributions
  • The faculty will be able to administer various courses they offer with ease and provide feedback to the students
  • Statistics about the research work will be available to the relevant users

Criteria for Project Success

Various factors determine success and impact of the project (Agarwal & Rathod, 2006). Some of the measures that would determine the efficiency and effectiveness of the project is given below.

  • Clear identification of the needs and expectations of the users (Smith, 2000).
  • The web portable must be useful for the primary stakeholders i.e. students and faculty, and they must assign higher ratings to the attributes of the website.
  • The cost of robust website and the creation of associated policies must be within the allocated budgets.
  • The individual and unbundled project deliverables must be completed within the allocated time and budgets.
  • The website contents must be rated high by the users
  • The training offered to the users after the installation of website must be effective and easy to comprehend (Benbunan-Fich, 2001).

Assumptions and Constraints

Assumptions and constraint s have tremendous influence on the outcomes of a project (Kerzner, 2013). The project assumes the following points.

  • An established website with timely content will leverage the research center
  • The communication among the faculty and students will improve and the quality of research will be higher
  • Within eight months the cost escalations of the hardware, software and services will be negligible
  • The project time allocated to complete the website is adequate
  • The scope of the project will not change and the mandate from the top management is firm
  • Resources for updating the content is available with the institution

Constraint

  • The project manager needs to complete the website development and installation within the budget of AUD 50000.
  • The time available to complete the development, installation and training regarding the website must be finished in eight months.
  • The project manager has to complete the project using internal resources and AUD 50000 is available to purchase equipments and services needed for website installation.

Stakeholder List

The key stakeholders of the project include the following.

Faculty: Faculty will provide information regarding their researches and publications in the field of Social Media, and administer their respective courses. They may also interact with the individuals outside of the institution.

 


Students: Students will use the site to submit their assignments, store key course information, manage their learning, publish their researches, and interact with the faculty would be the users who would be searching for research papers on the website and thus, their needs as users or members of the portal have to be taken care of. Thus, they can be involved in requirement gathering while planning the project (Time is Ltd, 2015)

Support Employees: Employees who are connected with the maintenance and updating of the site

Website developers: Website developers who would understand the needs of the users and the project manager to develop a suitable web portal.

Project Manager: Project manager is responsible for understanding the need for the project, initiating, planning, executing and controlling it. Project manager has the responsibility and authority to carry out and alter the plans. 

 


Project Sponsor: As provider of fund to the project, project sponsors are interested in achieving the project goals so that it becomes a component for the success of their overall strategy for the educational institution i.e. effective research in the field of social media and building competitive advantage for the institution.

Lessons Learned

The probable learning points from this project are the following.

  • The needs of the users and business are crucial for planning the project.
  • The goals and scope of the project has influence on the execution and outcomes of the project.
  • Sufficient resources contribute to the success of the project (Herroelen, De Reyck, & Demeulemeester, 1998).
  • There are multiple stakeholders to a project and everyone’s concerns must be addressed through the project.

Charter Sign Off

Sign off is the final step in the project management process, and an effective one is an indicator of project success and the appropriate method to end the process (Thamhain, & Wilemon, 1986).  The sign off process here will include the following.

After testing the web site, it will be handed over to the Institutional person who will be responsible for the maintenance of the internet resources. Soon after handing over the website, training to the users will be provided. After completion of the installation and training, a report to the project sponsor will be presented regarding the planning, execution and outcomes of the project.  

 

Communication plan

Plan purpose – The key purpose is to interact among the members of the team. For downward communication:

  • Communication goals are identified
  • Instructions are imparted to staff.

Upward communication includes:

  • Performance reporting
  • Horizontal coordination
  • Staffing

Lateral communication includes:

  • Coordination among departments

Change management – Change management will be performed by Agile method. It includes taking feedback and incorporating them in further iterations.

Meeting agenda – Both internal and external meetings will be performed in the project. A project management plan will also be prepared to store project-processing related information.

Stakeholder

Information to be shared

Frequency of information exchange

Location of information exchange

Purpose of communication

Mechanism for communication

Who

What

When

Where

Why

How

Project Manager

Goals, milestones

Everyday

Internal meeting

Improvements

Call/Meeting

Developer

Designs and code

Weekly reporting

 

Internal meeting

Feedback

Call/Meeting

Researcher

Requirements

Everyday

Internal meeting

Improvements

Call/Meeting

Employee

Feedback from partner

Fortnightly

External meeting

Feedback

Meeting

Students

Final feedback

Fortnightly

Internal meeting

Feedback

Meeting

 

References

Asosheh, A., Nalchigar, S., & Jamporazmey, M. (2010). Information technology project evaluation: An integrated data envelopment analysis and balanced scorecard approach. Expert Systems with Applications, 37(8), 5931-5938.

Agarwal, N., & Rathod, U. (2006). Defining “success” for software projects: An exploratory revelation. International Journal of Project Management, Vol. 24, pp. 358-370. BIS, 2010. How to organise, plan and control Projects, s.l.: BIS.

Benbunan-Fich, R. (2001). Using protocol analysis to evaluate the usability of a commercial web site. Information & management, 39(2), 151-163.

De Wit, A. (1988). Measurement of project success. International journal of project management, 6(3), 164-170.

Etzkowitz, H. (2004). The evolution of the entrepreneurial university. International Journal of Technology and Globalisation, 1(1), 64-77.

Herroelen, W., De Reyck, B., & Demeulemeester, E. (1998). Resource-constrained project scheduling: a survey of recent developments. Computers & Operations Research, 25(4), 279-302.

Kerzner, H. (2013). Project management: a systems approach to planning, scheduling, and controlling. John Wiley & Sons

Kushin, M. J., & Yamamoto, M. (2010). Did social media really matter? College students' use of online media and political decision making in the 2008 election. Mass Communication and Society, 13(5), 608-630.

Smith, L. (2000) "Project Clarity Through Stakeholder Analysis." Crosstalk: the Journal of Defense Software Engineering.

Thamhain, H. J., & Wilemon, D. L. (1986). Criteria for controlling projects according to plan. Project Management Journal, 17(2), 75-81.

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