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Background of Green ICT Project

Question:

Analyze the contents, utility and relevance of a project management plan.
 

This report is prepared to analyze the contents, utility and relevancy of a project management plan. A well-structured project management plan is expected to clearly define project goals, objectives and scope, it also needs to indicate how a project will be implemented, monitored, controlled and communicated (Springer 2016). Analysis of a project management plan provides a report on findings, experiences, lessons learnt and recommendations of intended planned project. It also provides a means of communicating to various audiences (project stakeholders) on project performance and contents of a project management plan.

The report will be analyzing specifically the ‘Green ICT project’ management plan. This is aiming at identifying ICT carbon footprint, and implementing methods of mitigating carbon footprint resulting from ICT emissions. The structure of the report will include; a coverage of the background of the project detailing the project owners, objectives and location of the ‘Green ICT project’. It will further focus on project deliverables, and how the project management plan is structured (Rapp, 2014). It also provides an analysis report of project audience, their needs, and how the needs will be met. In addition, the report will provide theories or opinions used in choosing, structuring and adoption the project management plan. The contents and theoretical framework of a project management will be discussed. Finally, the report will give conclusion and recommendations on findings derived from the assessments of ‘Green ICT project management planning.’   

The green ICT project is an initiative guided by the Australian National University (ANU) environmental management plan of 2009. The plan targets to reduce the % carbon dioxide emissions to a lower rate by 2015. The Green ICT project supports ANU strategies which focuses on increased energy consumption, demand of ICT, and contributions that energy usage/ICT have in carbon dioxide emissions.

The years 2008 to 2010 had seen the overall general carbon emissions for ANU increase from 72.73 (ktco2e) to 74.01(ktco2e), while that of ICT carbon emission increasing from 10.9 (ktco2e) to 11.1 (ktco2e). It is an emerging issue that relevant authorities need to address. The Green ICT project was instituted to identify precisely ICT carbon footprint emissions within ANU environs and seek remedies to mitigate it within certain constraints. The project owner/sponsor is energy and sustainability office under the ANU program, which is headed by a project manager.

The sponsoring organization focuses on employing strategies for sustainability in energy sector, and ensuring a safer cleaner environment. The project will be located within ANU environs, and its objectives; first, will be to investigate and record all carbon dioxide foot prints. Secondly, identify ways to mitigate carbon footprints. Thirdly, working with stakeholders in ensuring Green IT practices, creation of awareness about Green ICT, and lastly, working with external stakeholders on issues regarding energy and carbon dioxide print emissions. 

The project management included the following teams and persons as the first; the project steering committees, they are group that they need to know the major risk elements associated with the project. They need project management plan for formulating critical decisions regarding the initiation of the project idea, budgeting of resources, implementing, and project closure. The project steering planning committee they also need project management plan: first to ensure a regular review and assessment of critical project risks, secondly, assist in the project risks management, thirdly, they need to review and formulate decisions risk management advanced to them by the Project Management Group committee.

Structure of Green ICT Project Management Plan

The second type of audience in Green ICT project is the Project Management Group (PMG) who their meetings is on a daily basis, and their task is to know which decisions connected to the Green ICT project. They need the project plan to review and resolve decisions, processes made by the steering committees. Other reasons for having of having project management plan include; First progress reporting and change log management, Secondly, making recommendations to relevant authorities regarding project deliverables, thirdly, formulating policies on project deliverables, fourthly, help in formulation of project management work teams , Last function is to facilitate project communication throughout the project life cycle.

The next set of audiences of Green ICT project will be the project Focused Groups formulated based on PMG members advisory. They need project management plan to provide necessary expertise knowledge and project input. Focus Groupings are the best representation of the project activities and areas that are prone to be affected by introduction of project changes.    

Another type of project audiences will be ANU stakeholder groups; including students, faculty members, ANU community. They need to focus on issues raised by the focus groups providing necessary inputs and considerations. They will need project management plan for making Consultation with project team to be able to come up with best solutions to be implemented by the PMG and project teams, providing suggestions and advisory issues, help in implementation of changes in the project, assist in communication, and act as project peer advocates.

The other type of audience are the project team who are stationed on the project grounds. They need project management plan expected specifically to work on project activities, formalization and develop project implementation design. The project team is responsible for the project deliverables associated with university activity. Project team members need to report directly to the Project team leader who will give feedback on team leader on project performance for all project team members. Other responsibilities include; execution, project resolution mechanisms, provision of materials and ensuring project quality and standards. Table 1.1 shows summary of the main audience of the project, interest and how they will utilize the project management plan.

Table 1.1. Summary of Green ICT project audience analysis

Type of audiences

Who are they?

Their roles

Need for project management plan.

Project steering committee

Primary audiences of persons and teams.

Help in project initiation planning & risk management.

To facilitate them come up with ways of managing project risks

Project management group

A representative group still primary audiences

Meet and plan daily project activities & resolve project issues

For daily planning purposes

Review progress and reporting

Project focus groups

Members formed from consultation they form part of secondary audience.

They provide expert opinions where need arises

They need it to be aware of progress and provide expert opinions.

ANU stakeholder group

ANU community consisting of students, faculty members & administrative staff (primary audiences)

They provide necessary inputs considerations.

They need to have co-operation during implementation

The project management plan will create awareness to them and communicate progress.

Project team

Professionals stationed at project site. Are primary audiences

They expected to work on various project functional activities/implementation

To guide them when carrying out various activities.

State & other co-operations

Other external departments/corporations

Ministries. Are secondary audiences

To check compliance on project activities and help in consultations.

To check for any compliance and provide guidance where needed.

In order to identify how the various project audiences will be engaged in the project, an assessments of them is done to determine their interest, power, and influences through stakeholder analysis model (Bigelow 2016). We can use the stakeholder power/grid model to carry out stakeholder analysis. Figure 1.1 shows the power/grid model.

Figure 3.1. Shows power/grid model.         

Table 1.2. Shows summary of Green ICT project stakeholder analysis.

Project audiences

Power/interest grid

Project engagement with them

Project steering committee

Their power is high but interest is low

They need to be made satisfied by being engaged with project activities.

Project management group

Their power is high and interest high

They need to be managed closely involved in any project planning/decision making

Project focus group

Power in project is low and interest is low.

They need to be monitored with minimum efforts.

ANU stakeholder group

They possess high power and low interest.

They need to be made satisfied on the happening of project activities

Project team

They have high interest and low power.

They need to be informed on how the project need to be implemented.

According to PMBOK (2015) ‘project management plan is a detailed formal, approved document that provide guide to project implementation and controls.’ It is a document that enables smooth implementation of project phases (Meredith, 2014). Scholes (2013) defines it as a formal documentation to facilitate project life cycle implementation and monitoring of activities.  There are several theories and opinions from project experts and consultants of how a project plan should be structured. Table 3.3 shows types of project management plans approaches and how they need to be structured.

Type of project management plan approaches

Structural contents

Lean approach

The approach is based on specify value, identify value stream, indicate the flow of activities, pull and ensure perfection.  Guided by principle of eliminating wastes, empowerment, risk management and amplification learning.

Iterative

The approach is based on top management and external stakeholders interested on who is doing what and when. The approach include giving dates of major/minor milestones, and providing staffing needs

Incremental

It is a project management plan approach where project planning is divided into various builds. The processes must pass through requirements setting, design & development, testing and implementation process.

Phased approaches

The approach is based on the principle that a project can be broken into specific series of steps. In each case operative plans are created, scheduled, provided resources and responsibilities.

Theoretical Framework of Project Management

The Green ICT project adopted the phase approach in planning its activities. The project management plan approach is based on basic idea that project passes through phases characterized by set of activities and tasks. It involves breaking project phases and activities into smaller comprehensive individual plans for time, quality, scope, risk, resources, and costs.

The Green ICT project management plan is structured to include plans for: time, human resources, risks, scope, cost, quality, communication and procurement as summary.  Table 3.4 shows summary of contents of the plan

Table 3.4 Contents of Green ICT project management plan

Contents

Descriptions

Project descriptions

It outlines a complete definition of problem statement and objectives of the project. Showing the need to address issues of carbon emission and incidence levels. 

Scope plan

It covers a broad section of the plan it covers; outputs and outcomes of the project, geographical and content scope, relevant project deliverables, constraints of the project, assumptions of project implementation.

Time management

It indicated the main milestones of the project, specifying time periods to be achieved. It provided a detailed schedule of activities based on Gantt chart

Cost management

Not indicated and no attachment. But reported based on costs from the energy and sustainability office.

Quality management

The plan indicated the quality performance indicators based on specific objectives to be achieved.

Human resource management

It showed governance and engagement of the project activities based on structure, names, positions and responsibilities. Stakeholder model was used to show an assessment of the various audiences.

Communication

The plan outlines the communication locality, objectives, frequency and various meeting groups for the project.

Risk management

The plan showed a detail assessment of the high, medium and low risks of the project, and contingency and mitigation measures of the risks.

Procurement management

No detail procurement was indicated or attached. It was reported is per team approval.

The project management plan approach is structured to ensure each project activities of the project is done as per PMBOK (2015) project plan outline.

2.4.1. Project integration plan- this section needs to outlines project plan development, plan execution and project plan change management.  A well-defined, documented project management plan should contain certain features that would easily facilitate project scheduling, implementation and control (Kathy Schwalbe 2015). The project descriptions need to provide a project background that describes in full details the project type, location, nature and purpose (Mitchell 2016).

2.4.2. Project scope management- it should involve planning, defining, and initiating the scope and scope change control. The scope management plan that covers a large part of the plan, should provide a clear schedule development. The scope management plan should further outline formally specifications of project deliverables and how to obtain formal acceptance of project deliverables (Beecham, 2013).

2.4.3. Project time management- it consists of activity management, actual project activity sequencing, duration estimation, schedule development and control. It needs to address on the following items; a clear item descriptions, priority of the work, expected and completed dates, and a schedule control system of managing time.

2.4.4. Project cost management- The cost management plan is a useful tool in planning, executing and control of project activities. A cost management plan should have a cost budget, cost estimating schedules as per project activities and ways to control costs (Ben-David & Raz 2015).

2.4.5. Quality management plan –the plan should include quality planning, assurance and control. Quality plan is a way of tracking project output against quantified objectives (Christopher & Bryan 2015). A project quality management plan should contain a quality assurance policy showing quality audits, analysis, implementation and controls to quality.

2.4.6. Human resource plan- the plan should have an organizational planning, staff acquisition and team development. Human resource planning is a way of documenting people, and providing funding. A human resource plan should indicate a description of required resources and assignments (Aune 2013).

2.4.7. Communication management plan- The plan should have plan for communicating, distribution and reporting of information. The plan ensures delivery and effective communication and supports perfect execution. A plan should determine communication requirements, provide procedures of meetings, reports on meetings and progress.

2.4.8. Risk management plan -which is important in documenting and diagnosing potential project problems (Chandler 2014). The plan should have a risk identification process, risk recovery procedure, stakeholder risk tolerance methodology, risk management process and ways of monitoring, responding and controlling risks (Whitaker Sean 2014).

2.4.9. Procurement management plan- It should have procurement plan, method of conducting procurement, administration and closure of procurement. A procurement plan need to define statement of work and decisions to be made. It should contain procurement strategies employed and approved (Nutt 2014). 

3.1. Conclusion

In conclusion, analysis of a Green ICT project management plan provided a report on findings, experiences, lessons learnt and recommendations of intended planned project. An initiative guided by the Australian National University (ANU) environmental management plan of 2009. The plan targeted to reduce the % carbon dioxide emissions to a lower rate by 2015, with specific objectives of mitigating carbon footprints emission, working with stakeholders in Green IT practices through awareness creation. To ensure that the project is accomplished with participation of stakeholders. The project focused on the following stakeholders; project steering committee, project management group, project focused groups, project teams, and ANU community, by outlining their roles and contributions to the project. Stakeholder analysis was done to establish their power, interest and ways to manage them.

The report outlined the type of project management plan approach adopted. The Green ICT project adopted the phase approach in planning its activities. The project management plan approach was based on basic idea that project passes through phases characterized by set of activities and tasks. Analysis was carried out based on PMBOK project management plan contents. The findings of the Green ICT management included; the project problem statement and objectives was stated clearly based on empirical data, showed a clear outputs and outcomes for the project. Other aspects of plan are constraints and assumptions of the project provided. Its main milestones and activities were well scheduled and described. Green ICT project provided key quality management indicators that were used to quality. Finally a risk management plan classification of risk was done well showing various mitigation and contingency plans.

Findings from analysis reported certain shortcomings which formed recommendations. The project descriptions need to provide a clear understanding of both long term and short term objectives. It important that change approval, acceptance and considerations are documented on the Green ICT project management plan. The plan needed to indicate how quality will be audited, analyzed, implemented and controlled according to the laid quality standards. Finally the report need to work on its risk management plan showing risk discovery processes, stakeholder risk tolerance, monitoring and controlling and risk response planning. 

Certain features of the Green ICT management plan can be reviewed, changed and corrected to conform to acceptable standards of writing project management plans. The following are the recommendations from the findings:

  • A full description of the project will enable other audiences interested with the project to understand the nature, purpose of the project. A clear understanding of both long term and short term objectives need to be clarified.
  • Changes in project are critical when scoping a project activity, it important that change approval, acceptance and considerations are documented on the project management plan. In addition a way of managing specification changes to project deliverables indicated.
  • A clear time management prioritization of project activities to be show, and control measures of time outlined.
  • A cost management plan need to be attached or documented to show estimates as per project activities, budgets and control measures.
  • Quality management assurance plan need to be show to indicate how quality will be audited, analyzed, implemented and controlled according to the laid quality standards
  • Progress and meetings need to be planned and documented, as well there should be a detailed plan to show whom to communicate to and when.
  • The project team need to come up with a risk management plan showing risk discovery processes, stakeholder risk tolerance, monitoring and controlling and risk response planning.
  • There is need to have a procurement plan documented to report decisions and strategies to be employed during sourcing of project resources. 

References lists

ANU Green 2009. ANU: Environmental Management Plan for 2015. Canberra, ACT, Australia: ANU.

ANU 2010.  NGERS Report for 2009-2010. Canberra, ACT, Australia: ANU green.

Aune, J. 2013. Logical framework approach and PRA: Mutually exclusive or complementary tools for project Planning? Development in Practice, 10(5), 

Beecham, R. 2013. Effective project planning in Project Governance: The Essentials (pp. 35-43). IT Governance Publishing. 

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