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Project management

How to Manage a Project in an Organization?

INTRODUCTION

Project management is a process which is used for planning, organizing, directing, controlling and monitoring an activity to achieve the goals and objectives of the company. The research is based on the development of a software fora newly established ABC University in UK. University wants to develop a software that can be used for the purpose of issuing and searching the books in the library (Martin, 2006). It hires Bright Interactive company who develops software for corporate world as well as various universities and schools. The purpose of this report is explaining the activities involved in the project, types of the stakeholders, skills required for developing the project and many other things.

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Question 1

ABC is a university which is currently opened in the UK and provides post graduation to engineering courses to students. The courses which are being offered by ABC University are M.Tech, MBA, MCA and M.Sc. (Hirschman, 2011). It wants to develop a software in which university can enter the details related to the available books, issue books by university and other things. So for this, university hires Bright Interactive company who develops the software and various other applications.

My role in this project is as a team leader of project development team. Our company is dealing in IT sector and provides various web development services such as applications, database management, software development and workflow management (Hixson, 2006). Company provides the services by understanding the organisation objectives and need of the service in firm.

The project is related to the software development and the scope of this project is large. This is used to enter every details related to the books in library (Dinsmore and Cabanis-Brewin, 2010). The purpose of this project is to manage the books in the library so, it becomes easy for the students to find the books from the collection. This is not a temporary software and with time, some modifications will be made according to the needs and requirements. The client for the project are professors of ABC University and the users are students of the university (Haynes, 2002).

So, to develop the project related to the  management of books in library, it requires a teamwork because without this, it is not possible to develop the software. The required team size is 15 people (Hobbs, 2009). Two team members will find the issues related to  managing books in library, one person will develop the report, five members will develop the software, three of them will be assigned the prototype testing, two people will be there for final checking of last stage of software and other two people will be  for quality checking of software.

BOOK MANAGEMENT software  project was started after knowing the need of ABC University  by Bright Interactive company. The driving force behind this project was issues of the university that they are not properly keeping the records of total books, issuing books, types and course of the books and other things (Kloppenborg, 2011). These types of problems are almost common for all universities and colleges.

The technique which was suitable for the project is PERT because it is used for defining and controlling of the task which are required to complete the project (Mahadevan, 2009). With the help of this, we can easily calculate the expected time of each activity at every level of the project. Another technique is Gantt chart that is used to show start and finish time of every task in day, weeks, months or in years. By using this, project development team tracks the progress of project and it can help in comparing with the estimated time of completion of project (Nagarajan, 2004).

ABC University was established in the  year 2008and it has enough working capital for various projects. By using the adequate money, university can pay the large amount for developing the new software (Walker, 2007). Another thing is university can take the loan or arrange the funds from various sponsors and stakeholders.

It is required to measure the risk in the project and risk can be identified by type of management, growth of the project, feasibility of the project, etc (Oberlender, 2008). Risk can be measured by standard deviation, chance and magnitude of loss, beta ratio and draw down loss in fund.

QUESTION 2

In the project development field, certain skills are required and each member having different roles. Every person is having the various skills and capabilities so it is the responsibility of top management of a company to assign the roles and authorities according to the person's strength (Berg and Karlsen, 2014). This thing is similarly applied in Bright Interactive company. For developing the software for ABC University, company prepares a team and imposes the roles and power according to their capabilities and strengths. In any team, there are seven types of person which makes a complete team. These includes: leader, team player, researcher, expert, planner, creative and communicator (Longman and Mullins, 2004).

In Bright Creative team, there were 15 team members in a team and their roles and responsibilities were assigned according to their skills and knowledge (Kanungo, 2008). Two members had found the issues regarding the management of books in library, four were developing the prototype of the software, one for preparing the report related to issues, three were for testing of prototype. Another two people for checking and testing of final products and other two people were for checking of quality and feasibility of software (Cervone, 2006). Remaining one member was for leading the team.

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Each team member has specific skills and in this way, management of the company assigns the above roles and work. Team leader has a great wisdom and ability to lead the team in effective manner (Paul and et.al., 2011). He can easily make the coordination in the team and maintain the discipline. The remaining 14 members are team players who work together for achieving the common goal of the team. These all are ready to help each other, willing to make compromise and behave diplomatically. But there are still some conflicts between them which will be solved by the team leader. Two members have good research skills so that they  easily identified the issues in ABC University (Clarke, 2010). One member was a communicator who prepares the reports and communicates to other team members. Four team members were very creative and were planners to develop the software. They were skilful in developing the codes for software.

Another three persons were experts in testing of prototype and they have knowledge about various testing software (Ika and Macary, 2012.). The remaining four team members have skills and capabilities to find the faults and errors in the software at final stage.

If the structure of the existing team could be shuffle than the new structure will be different from the old structure.

In the new team structure, there are 15 team members but their roles are changed which are different from old team. In new team, there are two project coordinators, two project implementation leader and remaining members are divided into three sections. This structure is better than the old structure (Andersen, Dysvik and Vaagaasar, 2009). With the help of the new team, work regarding to development of software can easily complete. The roles and responsibilities are also divided according to the skills and past experience of employees. The proper monitoring and controlling can be easily done and the chance of the errors or delay will be reduce (Boer, 2003). The new structure helps in managing the work in a effective way and the respective managers can guide their followers.

QUESTION 3

Consultancy helps in giving the suggestions and ideas according to the situation of a person. Some time most of the companies takes the help of the consultant to bring their valuable ideas (Longman and Mullins, 2004). For the university project, software company hire the consultancy firm which helps in giving the information about those collages who are using the software related to the books management. This was the external services to solve the make the work more easier of the software development company (Harmsen, 2006). Consultancy company collect the information from the all the collages who used the software with complete details. This detail covered benefits from the existing software as well as issues of software.

The inputs which were given by a consultancy company was name of the collages of UK and US, name of the software, its features, benefits, issues regarding the existing system etc (Mind mapping for project planning, 2014). It gave the benefits to software company in several ways such as to add more features in new system, cost effective, easy ton use and facility to generate the report directly, mailing facility etc. The negative aspect of consultancy company was it has not been able to provide more valuable information. Because the information which was provided by company were in little bit less relative to software company.

Exactly consultant execute the market research according to the requirement of software company by using their techniques such as prepare the questionnaire, survey in collages, quantitative approach etc (Understanding operations management. 2013). They approached all types of collages, universities, local libraries etc and gather the information. The formate of the information was in the form of table and result were shown in the graph formate. Consultancy company tried to cover all the aspects which has been mentioned by the software company (Martin, 2006).

For more clarification, it was required to take the help from other project team members and client. They had been discussed every issues regarding the market research with them and take the help (Hirschman, 2011). Consultancy company performed the good job as per their side but from it was not satisfactory according to the Bright Interactive software company. They thought the information given by consultant was not too much important for them because some data were general in nature.

QUESTION 4

Project management is the management of all the activities related to the project. It is used to evaluate the feasibility of the project in various manners (Hixson, 2006). For management of project activities there are several techniques are available which helps in evaluation and growth of the project. The project was related to the software development for ABC university. There were several stages which had followed at the time of developing of software. The activities that were followed in the project development as follows:

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  • Identified the issues in ABC university
  • Analysis of the issues and prepare the report on it (Haynes, 2002).
  • Planning for software development
  • Testing of the prototype
  • Final product testing
  • Checking of quality and performance of the software (Mahadevan, 2009).

Project management is challenging task which contains the complex responsibilities. There are many tools and techniques that are used in completion of the project (Nagarajan, 2004.). The most important technique which was used in software development project was PERT technique. This tool was used in planning and controlling of the project. With the help of this, project development team had scheduled the task and allot the time slot to each task (Oberlender, 2008). This technique shows the relationship between the elements of the project and the activities that were performed. Another technique that was used in the project was Gantt chart. By using this technique the task or activities divided into the weeks or in days form. The outcomes of every step was compared with the set or planned time (Berg and Karlsen, 2014).

This can be understand with the help of example. The first step of the project was collection and research on the issues of the ABC university. The allotted time for collection of information was 1 month (Longman and Mullins, 2004). After the completion of the one month the next step shall be start but due to some reasons like holidays in university, improper information given by the university etc. So the schedule of the preparing the report on collected information was getting delayed by 15 days (Kanungo, 2008). With the help of Gantt chart, project team had easily measure the growth of every steps.

On the other hand, use of PERT technique can be understand by an example. Project team divide the task and their milestones and than find out the proper sequence of activities. From this, a network diagram was developed and than estimated time was calculated for each activity (Cervone, 2006). After this process, a critical path was found which defines the minimum optimum time for completion of the project. So when the project has been completed than project team was able to compare the actual time with estimated time. This showed the performance and efficiency of the team (Paul and et.al., 2011).

When the project was running and when it completed than their were several problems came. It requires to document all the issues so that it could be solve at the time of meeting and in group discussions (Clarke, 2010). After the completion of the project, it is also necessary to record the supportive parameter who helps in success. The elements related to the issues as well as success were maintained by making the documents as well as maintained the files in computer. The reports were made every week on the white sheets with proper description. This was send it to the senior and the problems were discussed (Cervone, 2006).

Question 5

In every project, there are always some pitfall and good practices which should be documented (Ika and Macary, 2012). The good practices should be used in the next project and pitfalls also be not repeated in the next project. It is project development team leader and team members responsibilities to learn from the mistakes and repeat the success in the future by overcoming the mistakes.

Bright Interactive company develop a BOOK BANK MANAGEMENT software for ABC university. My role in this project was project manager and lead the team to achieve the objective of the team (Andersen, Dysvik and Vaagaasar, 2009). There were several things went good and some were went bad which affect the performance and growth of the project. The things which were went good are as follows.

Management of work: This was the most important thing in developing the software. It was necessary to manage all the activities in a proper manner. All the work were complete as per the schedules and according to the top management instructions (Boer, 2003).

Team coordination: Every team member was cooperative and made the proper communication. They were ready to help each other and try to give their contribution in the completion of the project (Longman and Mullins, 2004).

Some things were went wrong and it affected the performance of the project team. The important thing which was not perform according to the plan was time management. The team members were not manage the time to complete the task in a given time (Harmsen, 2006). The information which was collected by the team in inappropriate manner so it take time to arrange in a correct formate. Some information were wrong and incomplete who provided by the university.

All the activities related to the project were planned and as per the instructions but due to lack in time management it was hard to complete each task with in the time duration (Dinsmore and Cabanis-Brewin, 2010). Every activity was monitor by a responsible person who examine every thing at every level of planned project. For monitoring the project, team used the various equipment so that they could measure the performance of the work and growth of the project at every level. The changes were made at some stage so that it would complete in fixed time span (Haynes, 2002).

The project got the succeeded because it solved many problem of ABC university. By using the new software, university easily managed its book bank and send the accurate report to the top management (Hobbs, 2009). But some problems are still remaining. The team efforts was appreciable because they used their knowledge very effectively to solve the issues.

There some things should be different means if the time duration could be increased by approximate about 25 days than their could be the possibilities to made the software more effective. We can also increase the number of team members in the team so that work can easily manage (Kloppenborg, 2011). It is required to divide the approximate time slot for each activity. It will helps in manage the work properly and team member gets the more time to do the task more accurately.

The person who is new and join in the team than there is more requirement to give the training to new hiring. It will be essential to explain all the aspects of the project management and its related technologies. Because without knowing it, it is impossible to execute the work (Mahadevan, 2009).

CONCLUSION

From the above report it has been concluded that project management is a complex task because it contains the various responsibilities. Bright Interactive company who provide the IT solutions, develop a software for ABC university. University faced the problem related to the management of books and they want that software in which they can insert all the details. The report describes the various project management techniques that help the software company to plan its project schedules. These techniques also helps in controlling and monitoring of every stage of plan. It also hires a consultant who provide the valuable information to the company that helps in development of the software for ABC university.

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REFERENCES

  • Dinsmore, P. C. and Cabanis-Brewin, J., 2010. The AMA Handbook of Project Management.
  • Haynes, E. M., 2002. Project Management: Practical Tools for Success. Cengage Learning.
  • Hirschman, A., 2011. Development Projects Observed. Brookings Institution Press.
  • Hixson, C., 2006. Visualization for Project Development. Transportation Research Board.
  • Hobbs, P., 2009. Project Management. Dorling Kindersley Limited.
  • Kloppenborg, T., 2011. Contemporary Project Management. Cengage Learning.
  • Mahadevan, B., 2009. Operation Management: Theory and Practice. Pearson Education India.
  • Nagarajan, K., 2004. Project Management. New Age International.
  • Oberlender, G. D., 2008. Project management for engineering and construction. 2nd ed. McGraw-Hill.
  • Walker, A., 2007. Project Management in Construction. Wiley.
  • Cervone, F. H., 2006. Project risk management. OCLC Systems & Services.
  • Cervone, F. H., 2006. Project risk management. OCLC Systems & Services.
  • Kanungo, S., 2008. Role of IT and KM in improving project management performance.
  • Longman, A. and Mullins, J., 2004. Project management: key tool for implementing strategy. Journal of Business Strategy.
 
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