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You are required to complete a project portfolio containing the tasks outlined below. Please bear in mind that the tasks are generic for all projects types, but your learning contract will make the project particular to you and your programme. Therefore the area of the project will be agreed the module tutor/supervisor as per your programme in the Learning Contract (Task 1) according to your programme option. The Learning Contract, when complete, will be a form of written permission to undertake the project related tasks or research methods that you plan to undertake in order to carry out the project and compile the portfolio. The report (task 2) will normally focus on the experiences thrown up by the project, how you solved problems, improving practices over the period, or implemented a new process.

You are required to complete the learning contract , agreed with the module tutor/supervisor. For detailed guidelines on learning contract, please refer to the module handbook and GSM Learn.

After you have agreed and signed off your learning contract, you are to complete the project and write a project report which must focus on the following.

1. A brief background and context of the project being discussed and analysed.

2. To demonstrate trans-disciplinary models / theories to underpin your analysis.

3. To assess the project phases (preparation and implementation) andevaluate their effectiveness.

4. To discuss the skills that you developed to solve work based problems.

5. To analyse and evaluate the action you did / did not take and why.

6. What learning you took from the project by giving a portfolio of evidence.

Task 1

The discussed learning contract is aimed at negotiating a written contract between two parties namely the learner and trainer. Being a learner I will attain motivation towards adult learning as part of which I will take responsibility of my own learning.

To attain the objective discussed above I have assigned myself with the payment stream from the provided case. The reason for the selection of the discussed task could be supported by the fact that it is one of the most needed process of the project and also vulnerable to different threats (both internal and external) which will need the understanding of each and every aspect along with an efficient team management to cite a successful delivery of the assigned task.

The project in discussion is aimed at detailing the payment stream of the Cesim simulation project and hence, the focus of the learning contract is dedicated towards the payment stream. The project will entail the process and other requirements of the project’s payment process.

As a result of this project I am able:

  • Build a portfolio of evidence using a range of methodologies and activities (log books; critical incident diaries; employer or supervisor feedback).
  • Identify and articulate the development of work related skills mapped to evidence drawn from either the project or placement.
  • Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of the background and context relative to the chosen project or placement opportunity.
  • Evaluate the effectiveness of preparation and planning undertaken prior to the placement or project implementation.
  • It will enable the understanding of the complexity and approaches that needs to be adopted for the designing and implementation of an automated payment process.
  • Through the provided requirement and the available supportive sources develop a schedule that is suitable for the chosen project or placement opportunity.
  • The undertaking of the course will assist in development of credibility which will boost the confident and will define the perception that will be carried out by me in future assessments.

The discussed project will enable me to understand the concept of work based learning and I will gain the necessary skills to succeed in the organisation and in the process will develop my employability quality. The skills that are being discussed includes, creativity, leadership, communicative skills, multi-tasking and similar others. One of the most crucial skill that will be developed as part of the process is the planning and implementation skills. The discussed skill will not only assist me in the corporate environment but will also offer support and assistance in my personal life. Furthermore, the project has also motivated me to keep improving myself and as part of it I will continue to grow by learning new skills and gaining disruptive knowledge. The project is not just offering skill development benefit to me but will also add to my credibility because of the work based learning and in the process is developing me as a desirable candidate for employers.

The discussed task is the payment process of an insurance company which witnesses a major inflow as well as outflow of the capital. Hence, it is very crucial that the payment service is designed and implemented adequately so that no gap is left for any financial vulnerability. To attain the above discussed objective it is crucial that the assigned team puts in their full effort and accordingly produces a successful output. An effective and efficient team could be managed through proper leadership along with several other aspects that includes proper communication, multi-tasking and others.

I have chosen the project because of several reasons and the most prominent of them is that it will assist me in making myself aware about the field that is my filed off interest. The awareness and my passion about the field will help me to grow in the discussed field and when I will be offered with a major project to I will be ready for it. The project will also enable me to develop an understanding of different phases that are part of a project and will accordingly offer me the advantage of understanding the need to ensure the success of the phase. The phases in discussion will include the initiation phase, planning phase, execution phase and completion phase. The success of the phases will depend upon proper requirement collection, assessment of the risks, potential outcome detailing, budgeting & scheduling along with approach determination and decision making. The understanding of the above mentioned factors along with a personal dedication will assist me in development decision making and management capabilities.

Aim/Problem Statement

To assess the project SWOT analysis will be done. The analysis will assist in understanding the strong genres, weak spots, determination of the threats as well as the opportunities (Bull et al. 2016). The discussed identification will enable me to plan my future actions accordingly. The threats will assist in development of strategies and approaches that will be adopted by me to cope up with similar situations while the opportunities. The identification of strength will motivate to put more effort towards it while the weakness could be mitigated.

The method that will be selected for the development of the payment stream will be agile project management. The discussed project management takes account of feedback from the end-users on each step of the project (Dybå, Dingsøyr and Moe 2014). The adoption of the discussed method will enable the team to identify the flaw and make improvements wherever necessary. It will also ensure that the project is delivered within the budget with a high quality of the final offering.

Task Name

Start

End

Duration (days)

Group Meeting             

23-10-2018

26-10-2018

3

Secondary Research

26-10-2018

29-10-2018

3

Planning Of Project

26-10-2018

19-11-2018

24

Allocation Of Task

19-10-2018

20-10-2018

1

Performance of Task

20-10-2018

28-11-2018

39

Group Meeting             

02-12-2018

05-12-2018

3

Report Writing

06-12-2018

30-12-2018

24

Evaluation            

30-12-2018

31-12-2018

1

Amendments

31-12-2018

04-01-2019

4

Group Meeting             

04-01-2019

05-01-2019

1

Final check

06-01-2019

07-01-2019

1

Publish

07-01-2019

08-01-2019

1

By the end of this project I will produce a portfolio containing:

The learning contract and associated appendices

Project report

Supporting evidence (log books, critical incident diaries, and employer and/or tutor feedback)

Communication

Communicating with a large audience

Group Activities,

Through the questioning and responding to questions.

Tutor and group discussion.

1. Presentation Slides

2. Handout Copy

3. Feedback notes

Printed portfolio and digital data.

Further improving my skills by emphasizing myself in position where I can gain more communicative skills.

Time management

Timely completion of assigned task.

When assigned with module assignment.

Through maintaining a time schedule.

On time submitted assignment.

On time delivery of the Project deliverables.  

Improvement of delivery timing.

Managing human resources

Efficient and effective use of the human resources.

During the project execution

By managing other project associate and assigning them their responsibilities.   

Project report.

The project report.

By developing a strategy to enhance human resource management.

Presentation skills

Presentation of information

During Course and Project work.  

While sharing information with the human resources.  

Within communication management plan.

The project report.

Improving my presentation skills.

Anderson, G., Boud, D. and Sampson, J., 2014. Learning contracts: a practical guide. Routledge.

Bull, J.W., Jobstvogt, N., Böhnke-Henrichs, A., Mascarenhas, A., Sitas, N., Baulcomb, C., Lambini, C.K., Rawlins, M., Baral, H., Zähringer, J. and Carter-Silk, E., 2016. Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats: A SWOT analysis of the ecosystem services framework. Ecosystem Services, 17, pp.99-111.

Chalkidis, I. and Androutsopoulos, I., 2017, December. A Deep Learning Approach to Contract Element Extraction. In JURIX (pp. 155-164).

Dybå, T., Dingsøyr, T. and Moe, N.B., 2014. Agile project management. In Software project management in a changing world (pp. 277-300). Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg.

Maneewan, K., Thinuan, P., Lorga, T. and Intharacha, W., 2017. CONTRACT INQUIRY-AND ACTIVITY-BASED LEARNING (CIA LEARNING) IN ACTIVITY-BASED LEARNING COURSE. In ANPOR Annual Conference Proceedings (pp. 127-127).

Mombaur, K. and Clever, D., 2015, March. Project Acronym: KoroiBot Project Type: STREP Project Title: Improving humanoid walking capabilities by human-inspired mathematical models, optimization and learning Contract No.: 611909. In International Conference on High Performance Scientific Computing.

O’Grady, C., 2016. MODULE SPECIFICATION FORM. Contract, 100, pp.4-000.

Powell, R. and Wells, P., 2015. Talent Match Evaluation and Learning Contract: Briefing Report. Sheffield: SHU.

Rudolph, J.W., Raemer, D.B. and Simon, R., 2014. Establishing a safe container for learning in simulation: the role of the presimulation briefing. Simulation in Healthcare, 9(6), pp.339-349.

Zhang, C., Bai, X. and Gu, F.F., 2018. Contract learning in the aftermath of exchange disruptions: An empirical study of renewing interfirm relationships. Industrial Marketing Management, 71, pp.215-226.

The project that is being undertaken is the development of an automated process for handling paper insurance claim documents that are delivered in a standardized format for InsCorp as part of the Cesim Project Management simulation. The process of the simulation initiates post completion of the contracting phase where the contract had been signed and the preliminary specifications of the project had been defined. The project is then divided into sub-tasks and your different team are designated with completion of each sub-task. The sub-task that had been discussed in the discussed paper is the development of the payment stream and is the topic of discussion. Each team are autonomous however, they cannot work independently because the progress of each sub-task is dependent on other. Hence, it is crucial that there is a protocol for effective communication between the teams. The project is estimated to be completed in four months within the allowed budget, however, considering the difficulties additional month may be allowed which will be considered out of schedule.

Learning Outcomes

Each team of the project has four members that includes the project manager, two full time worker and an experienced expert. The project manager is provided with the responsibility of managing and leading the team while considering the need of activities, plan of action, progress, budgeting, scheduling, communication, negotiation and other managerial & project requirements. The full time workers devoted their time, effort and knowledge towards technological implementation while the expert will be a part-timer who will work as a full timer for the initial two months before moving on to other duties. The team members have to co-exist and develop a payment stream that will hold accountability and responsibility for InsCorp’s payment process.

The crucial skill requirements that is expected of the project manager to deliver a successful completion of the project are negotiation, communication, product knowledge, software development, system architecture, designing and planning along with customer, change and technical project management. The team members are expected to offer expertise towards the tasks that is designated to them. Each sub-task is divided into 40 tasks which the members carry out. Most of the tasks are prerequisites to other and each task is carried out by a single team member. The salary of the team members may differ based on their skills and in the process productivity. The project manager also need to act smartly and non-time critical tasks should be allowed to less productive member to save budget. The tasks also categorised based on their importance, the normal tasks are the tasks without which the project cannot be completed while there are tasks that decides the quality of the project and hence are crucial.

Project success depends on different aspects and one of the most prominent of them is the project management (Kerzner and Kerzner 2017). In other words, project management in the recent times have merged as one of the most prominent aspects for the success of the project delivery. It consists of different aspects that includes managing of the process, contract signing, scheduling, budgeting, planning activities, defining roles and regulations, negotiations, effective communication, change management and several other similar aspects (Harrison and Lock 2017). The projects that adopt an effective project management have witnessed major success rate. Furthermore, a proper project management ensures that the team acts as one and everyone has a role to play that they play effectively. The success of the project management depends mostly upon the project manager.

Project managers are one of the most crucial aspects for the success of a project management and eventually the project (Aga, Noorderhaven and Vallejo 2015). The reason for the above mentioned statement could be supported by the fact that the project management is the bridge between the project owners who define the project requirements based upon which the project is to be completed and the team that will perform the tasks. So, the project manager should consist of different set of skills that involves negotiation, communication, product knowledge, software development, system architecture, designing and planning along with customer, change, technical project management along with leadership, activeness and several others (Rezvani et al. 2016). So, it is crucial to have a skilled project manager that is able to control, guide and manage a project, project team and project owners effectively. So, different theories and models have been researched to support the project manager develop the skills.

Justification

One of the theories that support the development and smoothing of the skills discussed above in the project manager is the work based learning (Schuh et al. 2015). Different academic institutions are offering a work based learning environment to their students so that they can learn the basics of project management while learning. As part of the process the students are designated with completion of a project under the guidance of the tutors, instructors and other knowledgeable entities who are designated by the institution. The prominence of this method is very high as it enables the students to face real world situation that will assist them to counter the challenges that they will face in the future (Holzer and Lerman 2014). Furthermore, the discussed process also develops credibility for the student that will offer them an edge over other candidates in the professional world. The corporate world is also benefitted as they gain a knowledgeable employee that is ready for major responsibility with little or no training (Nikolova et al. 2014). It also saves the training cost of the organisation which is very beneficial for them. So, it would be justified to state that work based learning process is beneficial for both the employee and the employer which is a major opportunity.

Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs (MHN) is also a theory that is capable of assisting the project managers a high of level of skillset which will in the process benefit the projects that will be undertaken by him/her in long run. The MHN is a pyramid that represents the need of a human and accordingly some researches have revealed that it will be crucial in the development of a highly capable project manager.

                                             

The image attached above shows the MHN that is divided in different layers which reveals the basic needs of a human. According to Joslin and Müller (2016), the theory in discussion can be considered as the layers of project manager who can use the theory in effectively carrying out the project management. The lowest layer can be considered as the negotiation, contracting and gathering project requirement. The layer above can be converted to the risk assessing, risk management, budgeting, scheduling and others crucial aspects. The next layer can be dedicated to the team building and defining of roles and responsibilities which is succeeded by the execution phase where the project is developed, designed. The final layer can represent that project completion, quality check, testing and implementation. The MHN is mostly used for the development of project managers and motivating them but some of them have effectively implemented in real world project scenarios which have proved to be quiet effective and efficient (Kim et al. 2015). Hence, it would be justified to state that the MHN is vital for motivation and skill development of a project manager as well as can play a vital role in project management.

Thomas and Kilmann’s Conflict Resolution Model states that the difference in the desires and expectations of two different individuals, is the primary catalyst that leads to conflict. According to Riasi and Asadzadeh (2015), the model in discussion offers conflict handling approaches and most importantly it needs no special qualification from the managerial entities. Discussion, interaction, compromising and others are the primary source of conflict management as per the model. The modes proposed by the model includes competing, accommodating, avoiding, collaborating and compromising.

Methods

According to Lacity and Willcocks (2017), competing mode is uncooperative and assertive and aims at winning while the opponent lose. It is dedicated with competing with external forces and not with each other. Compromising strategy is dedicated at the conflict resolution where all of the individuals associated with the conflict gains something. In the discussed method the relationship and task shares equal value. Both of the parties win something as well as loses something. Avoiding strategy is used when the conflict is avoided and all of the conflict associates withdraw and do their jobs. Accommodating strategy involves the conflict resolution when one of the party concept the demands of the other so that the other may win. Collaborating is the best strategy which is a win-win situation where both the sides win. However, it takes time and effort along with a high level of expertise (Riasi and Asadzadeh 2015). So, to summarise it would be adequate to state that the model has offered different modes which are adopted for conflict resolution however, collaboration is the best way for resolving the conflict.

                         

Expectancy Theory is also one of the crucial approach that can offer a high level of success for the project manager and the project as well (Purvis, Zagenczyk and McCray 2015). The approach is derived by three variables that expectancy, instrumentality and valence. The expectancy states that expectation is one of the key leader for performance while instrumentality states performance leads to favourable outcome and finally, valence supports the idea of felicitation. All of three together ensures that a team is well managed.

The discussions above could be summarised to state that a project manager for the successful delivery of project should consider different aspects for which he/she had to keep themselves open for new ideas and understanding of the project team, requirement and owner as well. Adopting the discussed ideology will enable the project manager in development of different skills which will assist them to attain a high level of success and skill set.

The first step of being prepared for the project included self-motivation and understanding the needs of the project for the discussed purpose different sources assisted the author (Hoda and Murugesan 2016). The most prominent assistance came from the guidelines and instructions from the instructor which was supported by the internet resources that assisted in understanding the crucial importance of how the objectives needs to be attained with effectiveness and efficiently. One of the most crucial steps of the preparation was to understand the needs of the project that was done through thoroughly reading the details of the client to understand its needs and working environment (Kerzner and Kerzner 2017). Post that an idea over the most suitable payment streams was obtained so that the project has no technical error and is also effective and efficient in its work. An understanding of the team management was also gained to process the knowledge more effectively (Omotayo 2015). Finally, a project plan was developed that included budgeting, task and resource scheduling and other crucial aspects to complete the preparation process. In the discussed process more assessment was cited on the skills so that proper productivity is obtained from the involved humans and the resources are adequately utilised.

The skills identified and developed during the course were effectively implemented and utilised through practical implementation. The team were designated with the task and the requirements of the projects were defined. Furthermore, the emphasises was also given at team work so effective communication protocols were developed with proper consideration of needs. The distribution of the task was also done based on the skills of the team members and the requirements of the task accordingly. The project manager also took responsibility of contributing in the successful delivery of the task but not just guiding the tasks completion but by being part of it.

The tasks had been successful with the adopted approach but at times there were troubles which were mitigated with effective and viable communication. The communication and the leadership along with the approaches adopted by the project manager lead to the success of the project.

The project that were developed as part of the project have been listed as follows:

  • Build a portfolio of evidence using a range of methodologies and activities (log books; critical incident diaries; employer or supervisor feedback).
  • Identify and articulate the development of work related skills mapped to evidence drawn from either the project or placement.
  • Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of the background and context relative to the chosen project or placement opportunity.
  • Evaluate the effectiveness of preparation and planning undertaken prior to the placement or project implementation.
  • It will enable the understanding of the complexity and approaches that needs to be adopted for the designing and implementation of an automated payment process.
  • Through the provided requirement and the available supportive sources develop a schedule that is suitable for the chosen project or placement opportunity.
  • The undertaking of the course will assist in development of credibility which will boost the confident and will define the perception that will be carried out by me in future assessments.

Communicating with a large audience. The communication enabled understanding of the needs and also assisted in making decisions.  Group Activities were also part of the same agenda.

No individual decision was taken.

Timely completion of assigned task. Different activities where assigned with different time and timely completion of the same was the aim which was attained.

No additional details were added within the processing of a task to mitigate chaos.

Efficient and effective use of the human resources.

Presentation of information

Communicating with a large audience

Group Activities,

Through the questioning and responding to questions.

Tutor and group discussion.

1. Presentation Slides

2. Handout Copy

3. Feedback notes

Printed portfolio and digital data.

Further improving my skills by emphasizing myself in position where I can gain more communicative skills.

Timely completion of assigned task.

When assigned with module assignment.

Through maintaining a time schedule.

On time submitted assignment.

On time delivery of the Project deliverables.  

Improvement of delivery timing.

Efficient and effective use of the human resources.

During the project execution

By managing other project associate and assigning them their responsibilities.   

Project report.

The project report.

By developing a strategy to enhance human resource management.

Presentation of information

During Course and Project work.  

While sharing information with the human resources.  

Within communication management plan.

The project report.

Improving my presentation skills.

References

Aga, D.A., Noorderhaven, N. and Vallejo, B., 2016. Transformational leadership and project success: The mediating role of team-building. International Journal of Project Management, 34(5), pp.806-818.

Harrison, F. and Lock, D., 2017. Advanced project management: a structured approach. Routledge.

Hoda, R. and Murugesan, L.K., 2016. Multi-level agile project management challenges: A self-organizing team perspective. Journal of Systems and Software, 117, pp.245-257.

Holzer, H.J. and Lerman, R.I., 2014. Work-based learning to expand opportunities for youth. Challenge, 57(4), pp.18-31.

Joslin, R. and Müller, R., 2016. The relationship between project governance and project success. International journal of project management, 34(4), pp.613-626.

Kerzner, H. and Kerzner, H.R., 2017. Project management: a systems approach to planning, scheduling, and controlling. John Wiley & Sons.

Kim, S., Kim, J.D., Shin, Y. and Kim, G.H., 2015. Cultural differences in motivation factors influencing the management of foreign laborers in the Korean construction industry. International Journal of Project Management, 33(7), pp.1534-1547.

Lacity, M. and Willcocks, L., 2017. Conflict resolution in business services outsourcing relationships. The Journal of Strategic Information Systems, 26(2), pp.80-100.

Nikolova, I., Van Ruysseveldt, J., De Witte, H. and Syroit, J., 2014. Work-based learning: Development and validation of a scale measuring the learning potential of the workplace (LPW). Journal of Vocational Behavior, 84(1), pp.1-10.

Omotayo, F.O., 2015. Knowledge Management as an important tool in Organisational Management: A Review of Literature.

Purvis, R.L., Zagenczyk, T.J. and McCray, G.E., 2015. What's in it for me? Using expectancy theory and climate to explain stakeholder participation, its direction and intensity. International Journal of Project Management, 33(1), pp.3-14.

Rezvani, A., Chang, A., Wiewiora, A., Ashkanasy, N.M., Jordan, P.J. and Zolin, R., 2016. Manager emotional intelligence and project success: The mediating role of job satisfaction and trust. International Journal of Project Management, 34(7), pp.1112-1122.

Riasi, A. and Asadzadeh, N., 2015. The relationship between principals’ reward power and their conflict management styles based on Thomas–Kilmann conflict mode instrument. Management Science Letters, 5(6), pp.611-618.

Schuh, G., Gartzen, T., Rodenhauser, T. and Marks, A., 2015. Promoting work-based learning through industry 4.0. Procedia CIRP, 32, pp.82-87.

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