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Managing Projects to Achieve Results

University: University of Oxford

  • Unit No: 14
  • Level: High school
  • Pages: 15 / Words 3866
  • Paper Type: Assignment
  • Course Code: N/A
  • Downloads: 487
Question :

This sample will let you know about:

  • Discuss about the analyse the role of organisational strategy.
  • Discuss about the use of tools and techniques to manage projects.
  • Discuss about the problem solving and decision making techniques.
Answer :
Organization Selected : Unilever

INTRODUCTION

Projects are planned activities or work which is to be undertaken by the organisation with the aim of achieving some specific objectives within a time frame. For the projects the managers need to conduct the research with the help of various tools and techniques, approaches and methodology. The organisations plans for the projects on the basis of strategies and goals of the organisation that they wants to achieve. Projects are to be managed by initiating, planning, executing, controlling the activities that are to be undertaken. For this report the project which is taken into consideration is Project Sunlight which was launched by Unilever. The aim of the project is to motivate people for a sustainable lifestyle. In this report the role of projects in achieving the organisational objectives, impact of various legal, organisational and ethical factors are taken into consideration. Along with this various tools and techniques that were used while undertaking the project are discussed.

TASK 1

1.1) Analyse the role of projects in delivering organisational strategy

Project can be defined as an activity that is temporary and unique which aims to achieve specific objectives. In a project various interrelated tasks are planned that has to be executed within a determined time limit with limited resources. The projects ensure the delivery of the required outcome of the organisation as various tools and techniques are used by the project managers for effective utilisation of the resources (Silvius and et.al., 2017).

Project is different from business-as-usual as project is related with specific objectives that have to be achieved within the time limit and specific budget while the business-as-usual are ongoing routine activities of the organisation that uses a budget which is prepared for managing the operations. Projects offers long term benefits to the organisation as with this they can introduce changes whereas business-as-usual aims to achieve consistency in the operations by implementing changes in the organisation.

The project plays crucial role in delivering the organisational strategy as the objectives of the projects are identified on the basis of the vision and mission of the organisation. Alignment of the project with the strategies facilitates the organisation to serve the customers better. Various roles that are played by the project in delivering the organisational strategy include:

  • Innovation: With the help of project the organisation can undertake research with which they can introduce innovation that enable them in accomplishing the strategic intend. Project management facilitate innovation which makes the operations simpler that further makes the implementation of the strategy effective (Martínez-Rojas, Marín and Vila, 2016).
  • Enable change: Successful projects facilitate an organisation in implementing changes that are required in the organisation. It generates more of corporate value which provides them competitive advantage to the organisation which the strategies of the organisation aim.
  • Support decision making: The projects facilitate decision making as for them various researches need to be conducted and processes are analysed. On the basis of such analysis during the project the management of the organisation can take effective decisions that can facilitate in achieving the organisation goals. Need Assignment Samples.Talk to our Experts!

TASK 2

2.1) Analyse the process for initiating projects

Overview of the project: The project so launched by the Unilever aims to make the living of the people sustainable, desirable and achievable that will enable them to look at the possibilities for everyone. With this project Unilever encourages the parents to see the growing community so that they can make the world a better place for the children and generations to come.

For initiation of the project it is important to create various documents such as project charter etc. in which the objectives, purpose etc. can be defined. While undertaking this Project Sunlight various documents were prepared that includes:

  • Key Performance Indicator: KPI is an instrument with which the company can identify the effectiveness of the objectives of the project (Jin and et.al., 2018). With this the project manager can determine those indicators that are crucial for the project and on the basis of which they can analyse the performance of the project such as the awareness among the customers of the project etc.
  • Resource Requirement: While initiating it is important to determine the resources which they will require at the time of undertaking the project such as people, finance, equipments, time etc. For this project the estimated cost which they expected to incur is around 90000 Pounds which they procured from various sources such as bank loan, retained earnings of the organisation etc. Further they used their existing employees for this project, along with this students from various universities participated an voluntary basis for creating awareness (Hillson, 2017).
  • Project Team Roles: In project initiation, role of the project team are also identified which facilitates easy allocation of the roles and responsibility along with various resources. For this Project various skills are identified that will required by the team such as communication skills, convincing skills etc.

2.2) Impact of legal, organisational and ethical factors on projects

The project can get influenced from various legal, organisational and ethical factors as the organisations have to meet up with various implications which are imposed on them by various laws etc. Some of such factors that have impact on project Sunlight are given below:

  • Equality Act, 2010: The equality act ensures that all the employees at the workplace are treated equal and fair in all terms. The act enacts various laws in regards to discrimination in pay, harassment of the employees on the basis of their personal characteristics, to prohibit victimisation etc. While this project was undertaken all the implications of the act was taken into consideration by the project managers. This ensures that all the people associated with the project are treated equal so that discrimination is eliminated. It motivated the employee to perform better (Harth, Hose and Schenkel, 2016).
  • Communication factors: The organisational factors such as communication have major impact on the performance of the project. The efficiency in the communication ensures timely competition of the project. Lack of communication can bring redundancy in the activities which are to be undertaken and it can lead to wastage of various resources.
  • Corporate Social Responsibility: The ethical factors also have impact on the project as the project managers need to consider the impact of their operation on the society. Project Sunlight is also a CSR activity of Unilever which aims to provide sustainable place for living. With this project they provided scholarships to the children, basic education facility etc.

2.3) Use of tools and techniques to plan and manage projects in different context

For managing the project it is important for the project managers to use various tools and techniques which can facilitate completion of the tasks on time with the limited resources (Hillson and Murray-Webster, 2017). Some of such tools and techniques that were used are:

  • Gantt chart: Gantt chart is a tool which is used by the project managers to schedule the activities of the project. In this chart the activities which are to be performed are taken on vertical axis while the time intervals in which they have to be completed are taken on horizontal axis. With this start date and finish date of the project can be determined. This tool enables the project mangers of Project Sunlight in determining the time limit within which the activities must get completed.
  • Work breakdown structure: Work breakdown structure is a tool which divides the tasks into small manageable sections or activities. This makes the execution of the project simple as the activities can easily be estimated and supervised. The project managers of Project Sunlight prepared WBS as it facilitated them assignment of the responsibilities as per the capabilities of the employees which are part of the project. Also it facilitated them with the estimation of the cost, time and risk (Han, Diekmann and Ock, 2015).
  • Project Methodologies: In addition to this various project methodologies are used by the project managers which includes six sigma, lean manufacturing, just-in-time, total quality management etc. can be used. The methodologies which were used by the project managers of Project Sunlight include Total quality management which ensures the quality of the products such as Dove, Knorr, Lipton etc. This makes them confident about the value that they offer to their customers as with the quality of the products that they offer is improved. In addition to this the Waterfall methodology of project management was also used by them. This Tool ensures the performance in top down flow which ensures completion of each and every activity before the other starts. For this they developed software with which analysis was done. With the help of designing, coding, testing etc. they measured the performances. On the basis of which they introduced required changes in the project. Want to get Assignment help? Talk Our Expert Now!

2.4) Techniques for working collaboratively with stakeholders

For the organisations it is important to take into consideration the interest of the stakeholders while undertaking any project as with this they can be satisfied. It can be done by way of identifying their needs, expectations from the organisations etc. For making the project successful it is important for the organisation to work collaboratively with the stakeholders that can be both inside and outside. Project managers of Sunlight project identified their both internal and external stakeholders. Their internal stakeholders includes the top management of the Unilever, team members of the project, employees etc. while the external stakeholders includes the contractors, suppliers, government, customers etc.

For the project managers it is important to maintain the relations with all the stakeholders for this the managers of Sunlight project considered the interest of all the stakeholders such as they identified the requirement of the reporting needs regarding the progress and potential risk associated with the project. Among the employees and the project team clears and frequent communication was established that enabled them in taking guidance and providing suggestions to the project managers (Gidel, Gautier and Duchamp, 2015).

With the increasing number of the stakeholders it becomes important for the organisation to manage them effectively. This project aims to serve 120 countries for various issues. Due to this the number of stakeholders increased. For analysing their influence the stakeholder's analysis was taken into consideration that helped them to understand the potential threat and cooperation of the stakeholders.

 

Low threat potential

High threat potential

Low potential for cooperation

The stakeholders who fall in this category need to be monitored effectively so that their influence can be analysed on time.

The stakeholders who fall in this category are generally non-supportive and they need to be defended with various strategy.

High potential for cooperation

The stakeholders in this category are highly supportive and are engaged in the activities of the project such as in providing guidance etc.

The most collaborative and mixed blessing stakeholders fall in this category who contributes in the goals and objectives of the project.

2.5) Methods used for monitoring project progress

The projects need to be monitored on time to time basis which enables the project managers to manage various resources which are related with the project. For this they need to consider the cost, quality of the products etc. Project monitoring and evaluation is important with the help of various techniques as it enables the project managers to supervise, evaluate and appraise the performances of the project team. On the basis such monitoring and evaluation it can be analysed that how effectively the inputs are converted into outputs (Vuorinen and Martinsuo, 2019). For Sunlight project of Unilever the techniques which were used for evaluation and monitoring includes:

Project Plan: Project plans are prepared before the project starts in which various components such as the estimated cost of the project, quality of the output, risk associated with the project are identified. In case of the Project Sunlight of Unilever the project managers also formulated such plan which was used by them for monitoring the performances by comparing the planned actions and actual actions. The risk which was associated with the project was that it is difficult to develop understanding for the issue, to convince the stakeholders of the organisation etc.

Formal Surveys: In addition to this for monitoring the performances the project managers conducted various surveys in which they observed the awareness among the people about the campaign and the actions of the partners who were engaged with them such as various schools, NGO's etc.

Project evaluation is also important to keep the activities on track and for this they considered the technique of Critical path method and PERT that helped them to organise and schedule the activities in a network whereas the critical path approach defines the critical path that can be adopted between the initiation and the termination of the project so that the goals can be achieved efficiently (Folch and et. al., 2019).

2.6) Methods for reporting on project outcomes

The outcomes of the projects need to be communicated to the people who are interested in the project. Such people are the people are the stakeholders of the organisation which can be internal and external both. The project report is a critical report that has to be communicated and on the basis of which changes in the strategy of the project need to be introduced. The reports can be prepared and made available through various ways as changes in technology has provided various ways such as newsletter, notice boards, letters, emails, blogs, podcasts etc. The project managers of Unilever used various such ways which includes:

  • Newsletter: They published newsletter which included the new related to the activities of providing sustainable place for living to the customers, providing basic education to the children and many more. Such letter was sent to the members, employees and all other stakeholders (Enshassi and et. al., 2020). This newsletter included the aims of the project, various outcomes and the benefits of the project etc.
  • Emails: The performance reports and the report of the outcomes were made available through emails to the board members and the top management. Such report includes the project summary, issues and risks associated with the project, review of the milestone of the project, various project metrics etc.
  • Notice Boards: The progress of the project and the outcomes of projects were shared with the employees of the organisation by way of the notice board. Various pictures and the reports used to be displayed on the board which is easily accessible to the employees.

2.7) Approaches for project closure

Project closure is the last phase of the project life cycle in which the deliverables are handed over and the documentation is done. Along with this all the contracts gets cancelled with this releasing all the resources and the staff engaged with the project etc. On the completion of the project various approaches need to be adopted that can facilitate the closure. Some of such approach which was adopted by Unilever in their project are:

  • Post implementation Review: This is the techniques which are conducted after the completion of the project with the aim of evaluation the effectiveness of the project outcomes. With the help of this technique they could identify the lessons for the future etc.
  • Feedbacks from the stakeholders: In addition to this the project managers took feedbacks from the stakeholders about the outcomes of the projects. On the basis of which they determine the changes which they need to implement in the strategies so that they can improve the strategies of engaging people and creating awareness about the sustainability in the living standard of the people (De Marco and et. al., 2016).

TASK 3

3.1) Methods of managing data and information in a project environment

Management of the data and the information includes formulation of various policies, procedures and practices that makes the data safe and secure. It also ensures that the data is understandable, trusted, visible, accessible etc. For this various strategies need to be formulated and planning need to be done. This leads to improved quality of the outcomes and the increased customers satisfaction. The project Sunlight is directly related with the customers in which their data was gathered by the Unilever so that they can serve them well. For this it was important for them to manage the data efficiently. The methods that were used by them includes:

  • Data security and management: Data security and management is the techniques which helps in maintaining the integrity of the data and ensures that the data is not accessed by any unauthorised user. Data security is implemented in that place where crucial and confidential data is stored which can cause harm to the customers. The project managers of the Sunlight gathered the data about their target market with the data security in an encrypted manner which ensured the safety of the data.
  • Collation, analysis and interpretation of data: With the help of this technique the raw data was gathered by the project managers and then it was processed as per the need of the project. For enduring the integrity the methods and the sources of the data were documented and the processed data was then analysed with the help of test hypothesis. This ensures the quality of the data and analysis of the statistical data. On the basis of this various results were drawn by the project managers of Unilever (Cleden, 2017).

3.2) Use of problem solving and decision making techniques when managing projects

Management of the project requires various decisions making for which various techniques need to be adopted by the project managers so that they can analyse the root cause of any issue and the impact of various actions. The technique which was used by the project managers of Unilever was PDCA cycle which is given below:

  • PLAN: In this stage of the cycle the problems and opportunity were identified. This is a ongoing process in a project with this continuous assessment can be done. For this the project managers developed the hypothesis about the problem of better and sustainable living.
  • DO: Once the problem was identified then various possible solutions were identified that could be undertaken. For this they tested various potential solutions such as they organised various programs and campaigns which can create awareness on a small scale. On the basis of such tests the results were measured and evaluated.
  • CHECK: The results so identified in the earlier stage must be checked in terms of their effectiveness for the objectives of the project. The project managers identified that the hypothesis so formulated had positive results i.e., it can contribute in implementing change (Zeng and Smith, 2017).
  • ACT: Further such identified solutions were then implemented successfully and similarly they project managers of Unilever acted. They determined the campaigned effectively so by entering into partnership with various schools and NGOs they implemented the solution to the problem so identified. Get Management Assignment Help from our management experts!

3.3) Approaches to identify, manage and mitigate project risks

For ensuring the success of the project it is important to consider the risk which is associated with the project. This enables them in identifying the risk and possible solution of meeting up with such risk. Various risks which is related with the project includes the risks of increasing the total cost of the project, delay in the activities of the project which can increase the time frame within which the project must be completed. To overcome with all such issues various approaches were implemented by the project managers of the Unilever to identify and manage the risk, which includes: up-skilling staff, with which they made their project team capable enough of analysing the potential risk which can lead to wastage of the resources such as negligence of the other staff member, overutilization of the resources etc. The other techniques was senior management involvement, Involving senior management is another better approaches as they have the experience and the ability to determine the risk and its impact on the project.

For mitigating with risk various techniques were implemented by the project managers which include:

Use of insurance policies: With the help of insurance policy the risk can be manages as with this the loss can be covered. For the project Sunlight this was important as the product such as Dove, Lipton etc. needed cover as the customers may not have responded to the way and the cause as expected by the Unilever (Bartlett, 2017).

  • Contingency planning: Contingency planning need to be done with the aim of mitigating the risks so associated with any project. In this various course of actions are planned that can be taken by the project managers in adverse situation. The project managers of Unilever have planned various such actions that help them in dealing with the resistance for the project.

CONCLUSION

It is concluded from the above report that the project managers need to manage the project effectively so that the outcomes can be achieved. For this they need to undertake the planning of the resources which they required and various techniques, methods, approaches etc. that can be used by them to undertake the project effectively. Various project methodologies such as six sigma, waterfall etc. can be used which can ensure the quality of the project, optimum utilisation of the resources and many more. Also it is concluded that it is important to identify the risk associated with the business and the approaches of mitigating such risk so that its influence can be managed on the project.

Read Also :- Marketing and Management

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