This essay reflects to my experience about the application of project management theory in an information system project in which I was a project team member. The project is related to the development and deployment of the IT infrastructure for a business organization that intended to extend its business on the online platform. This essay reflects objectives of the project that are aligned with the business requirements of the organization, the scope of the project, different constraints in the different steps of the project (planning, execution, monitoring and controlling), the adopted strategies to deal with those issues and constraints.
The first part of this essay consists of the detailed description of the project. After that, the scenario of the project and at the end of this essay, I have analyzed that how the outcome of the projects can be modified when I will manage any project in future.
Description of the Project/Scenario
The main objective of this project is to implement a payroll system for an SME in Australia which was intended to replace the existing manual process for managing the payroll of the company. In this project, I was responsible for the long-term success of this undertaken project. This includes different aspects of knowledge management in the project.
With an end goal to reduce the costs and improve the efficiency, the business organization started a new information system implementation project in the year 2013. The program meant to unify, institutionalize and coordinate the administration of fundamental HR works of administrative divisions of the organization. Because of the critical need to supplant manual finance frameworks in the organization, frameworks utilized by the organization turned into the underlying concentration of the project. The project is meant to automate the whole process of payroll management that was previously done manually. The anticipated benefits from this project are listed below,
- The system will help the organization to make the HR processes more consistent and efficient.
- The processes will maintain a standard that will help in better management and integration with the other business processes.
- The use of the system will help the organization to have an electronic work flow that will require less amount of paper which consequently reduced the complexity in the whole payroll management system.
- In this way, the accounting department of the organization will be able to have more accurate and clear data for managing the accounts for the organization. Additionally, this, in turn, improve the quality of the financial reports generated by the accounts department.
At the planning phase of the project, the project team including me set the deadline for the system to go live was at the end of the year 2015. But even after, July 2016 the system was not functioning properly and was unable to perform the core functionalities determined for the system at the planning and designing phase. After the system had gone live, in most of the cases it was observed that the employees of the organization were unpaid, overpaid or underpaid at the end of the month.
Another important issue that was not addressed properly in this project was the lack of an effective communication plan so that all the important information related to the different phases of this project is defectively conveyed to the respective stakeholders. Using a proper communication plan the communication between the different stakeholders can be easily managed.
The main objective of the Communications Management is to guarantee the storage, generation and collections of the project related data. Correspondence is so vital on undertakings that it is considered as one of an integral part of any information system implementation project. The IS projects like this ought to incorporate a communication management plan - that aides the interactions between different stakeholders. This arrangement ought to be a piece of the general project plan. The kind of communication fluctuates with the information necessities of this project in the different phases of this project.
An effective communication management plan along these lines includes settling on earlier choices about who needs to get what kind of data. Data ought to be as clear and immediate as could be allowed, limiting the areas in which error could emerge due to the misinterpretation. A decent comprehension of the gathering of people utilizing terms and dialect they know about is fundamental. Hence the project manager of this project ought to be an effective communicator.
Keeping the different stakeholders frequently informed is a basic action for any project. Regardless of whether it is through project status reports, general gatherings or casual email, one can guarantee that the correct messages are circulated about the progress of the project.
The implementation of the payroll management system includes the outline, conveyance and utilization of the product frameworks in the organization. This ought to be a key choice made by the business organization administration and ought to fuse the view that the business practices will most likely be changed when the data framework is set up
Evaluation of the Scenario
Toward the start of this information system implementation project, we arranged meetings for the different stakeholders to talk about on the design and implementation of the payroll system for the organization and the approach to be used in the in the life cycle of the project. We had a few gatherings to this impact. At the point when then built up a schedule for this project–when we would discharge the primary adaptation for investigation and the evaluated time we thought we would use for refactoring of the system (Bajdor and Grabara 2014). The project was very complex in nature as we have to incorporate almost 4500 rules to manage and calculate the monthly payment of the employees working at the different levels of the organization. After several meetings and detailed discussion on the design and the architecture of the payroll system, the following structure is finalized for the system.
As a team member of the project team, I identified that the most imperative modules of the proposed payroll system are the employee information, payroll records and rates for the employees (Lipi, Rama and Agaraj 2015). For the employee information module of the payroll system, we needed to monitor the distinguishing employee number, name, enrollment status of the employee, payroll and pension plan agreement details the employees. In addition to that, the developed system was intended to be a centralized system that enables the company to have control over the different processes at the different branches of the organization.
The new proposed payroll processing system actualized in accordance with the new finance framework unified finance handling, in this way separating the linkage between the different branches of the organization in different cities and their suppliers (Bajdor and Grabara 2014). These implied finance officers were to be in charge of managing the employee payment related data without the advantage of local information of the branches and connections with staff that have already helped with the translation procedure for the development and implementation of the system (Kloppenborg 2014).
Analysis of the scenario
Throughout the life cycle of the project, I was responsible for managing the execution of the activities that are required to achieve the predetermined goals for the project. At different execution phases of the project, I maintained a checklist about confirming the activities that had been accomplished Additionally, what had to be done in arrange to wrap up the project in time so that the system can go live as per the proposed schedule of the project. In the project execution phase different issues were notified in the project, but due to the time limitations, planning issues it is hard to resolve the issues. Moreover, no reflection was made to manage these issues. Despite the fact that I had sorted out audits at the end of each project stages, I still could feel these acts were inadequate to ensure the success of the project.
In addition to that, the most prominent trouble in managing the information system projects like the payroll system implementation is the management of the significant project management knowledge related to the development and the implementation of the information system (in this case it is the payroll management system). From another point of view, this can be considered as the trigger for the higher level of risks, which raises instability inside project group.
The success of the project required a suitable scope management process to ensure the performance of the different activates so that all the requirements of the project can be fulfilled. In this particular project, the scope of the project was not managed properly. This happened due to the lack of the end users participation in the different phases (development and design phases) of the project. Therefore it is important to manage the scope of the project effectively. In order to do that, when the project team have a comprehensive list of the requirements for the project, then the project manager should conceptualize with the group (Project team) and afterwards with the client of the of the project to sort out and poetize the requirements for the project. If there are 15 deliverables for the project, then it is impossible to convey each of the 20 in the meantime, and prioritization gets to be distinctly key. As a rule, clients tend to need everything. Therefore it is important to sort and figure out the requirements that will profit them while meeting most of their business requirements.
In addition to that, inability to set up a robust tendering process and the lack of proper risk management plans in the project increased the chances of the failure of the project. Inability to connect with the different stakeholders viably, issues and conflicts between different stakeholders act as the factors that increased the chance of the failure of this information system implementation project. Inability re- engineer the complex business processes before the implementation of the new payroll system, lack of alignment of the business objectives and requirements of the project also contributed to the failure of the implementation of the project. The wring structure of the project team, lack of the skilful team members in the team and in addition to that the loopholes in the planning and execution of this project lead to the failure of the project when it first went live and was used by the end users of the organization. In addition to that, the lack of the requirements engineering at the planning phase also contributed to the failure of the project.
After working in this project of implementation of the payroll management system, I found that in this specific project I was unable to reflect my project management knowledge related to the risk management in the project that resulted in the errors in the different phases of project. In future, I have decided to utilize the procured information in the future. The project management course along with the experience in this project helped me to learn and apply the project management knowledge in an unverifiable condition where quality had to be conveyed. In future whenever I will manage any project, I will endeavor to make information related to the quality management and planning for the project.
Throughout the project, the lack of a clear and simple project knowledge management plan affected the course of actions to complete the project. I misinterpreted the time required and the complexity of the project. In in this manner, I learnt how essential it was to convey clear direction to the team members by using an appropriate project plan.
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