FANDOM


Assignment 1 Project Management 5N6Z0113:

A commercial training guide highlighting the most useful project management tools and techniques for new graduate trainees employed by ImtechICT.

Araceli Bueno 13159050

Laura Jimenez Utrera 13162836

Victor Ortiz 13158391

Peter John Holliday 10470690


905

TUTORS BRIEFEdit

Imtech ICT – Technical expertise / Project Management / Managed Services / Transforming Business Technology.

Description of the company and summary of projects it is involved with

Imtech ICT is a technical solutions provider, which uses its knowledge to implement and support its clients business transformation strategies and ambitions, this includes innovation of data centres, software, server and storage system and security as well as networking technologies, it also backs up the solutions through a complete range of services including business solutions as well as managed and professional services, examples include ICT asset management, project management, cloud, virtualisation and consultancy services.

As part of Imtechs Professional Services, ICT project management is offered, the company aims to shorten total lead-time from business planning to commercial launch, it manages quality and risks in multivendor environments, because of this the company has a very high emphasis on quality project management.

Imtech ICT has a wealth of experience when it comes to managing successful ICT related projects, the service provided is based on industry standard and best practise when it comes to its capabilities in planning, organising, managing quality and risks as well as monitoring and controlling the different phases of the project lifecycle, the company’s customers believe that both the projects and managers demonstrate the ability to consistently deliver and operate at the highest level which enables them to retain their customer base.

The company’s professional Project Management services provide businesses with peace of mind in the knowledge that it’s systems and data are in safe hands, even in more complex projects Imtechs ICT project management services can make a significant contribution to any project. 

Through structured processes and early engagement of project management Imtech is able to control, measure and deliver projects with success. 

Imtech ICT engages with customers right at the outset of their projects, the company consultants will assess, analyse and give advice on the existing infrastructure and tell the customer how to get the most out of it as well as explain ways to maximise the company’s ICT potential for the future, both risks and opportunities are identified and recommend approaches to reduce the costs and risks associated with large scale ICT projects.

Once a project has been defined Imtechs team of managers will ensure it’s delivered on time and within budget, following a highly disciplined approach Imtechs team can work with multiple technologies and in complex environments, reducing risks in a fast changing ICT environment. To ensure the projects complete success Imtechs ICT installation services are on call to provide resources that may be needed, this includes cost efficient installation of data storage and servers and network equipment in brand new, upgrade or change out installations, the engineers will ensure that all equipment is correctly installed , tested and functioning, precisely as defined, agreed and intended.

http://project-management.wikia.com/wiki/ImtechICT_commercial_training_guide_for_new_graduates.#Tutors_Brief

PROJECT SCOPEEdit

I. Description

When we talk about Project Scope, we mean what the project includes what we are going to do and what we are not going to do. It is what we are going to deliver, and specify what is not going to be included as well; both contents and boundaries of the project. When using this tool, all scoping effort involves an interaction and collaboration between the client who is requesting a service or product and the project manager who is providing that service or product.

II. Explanation of how to use the tool

In order to scope a project, we can use what we call the Project Scoping Meeting. This consist basically on having a meeting, project managers and clients, in which they discuss what the project will include, and how they are going to do it. This meeting can be either formal or informal and it has two main purposes: the first one is to draw the Project Overview Statement. POS is a document, usually one page long, that concisely states what has to be done in the project, why it has to be done, and what business value it will provide to the enterprise when completed. The second one is to draft the requirements documents, which will be used later on as a further input to the POS, and to help the team decide the best management approach that best fit each specific kind of project.

To this meeting, there are certain people who must attend. Besides the size of the project, a scoping meeting attended by between 15 and 20 people is large, but possible to work with. For small projects it can be much lower, and for big projects, it is better to consider even having more than one meeting, as it becomes much easier to work with.

In any case, the following groups have to be represented at the Scoping Meeting:

 The client group, especially decision makers and operations level staff should be represented. It is a good idea that the person who proposed the project goes to the Meeting too.

 The core manager and core members of the project team including, apart from the project manager, people who will be in the project from the beginning to the end, also scarce and skilled professionals whose role is important in the development of the project.

 There might be a facilitator group, just one or two people who are experienced in conducting scoping and planning meeting, that intervene in the meeting. There will be a technographer, who will be recording all the meeting.

The agenda of the Scope Meeting usually includes:

 Introduction

 The purpose of the meeting

 Review of the conditions of satisfaction, if it has been done earlier

 A description of the current state, followed by a description of the problem or business opportunity that has arisen and a description of the end of the state

 A discussion of the gap between the current state and the end states

 A best-fit choice for the project (in order to approach and close the gap between those current situations)

 An approved draft for the POS, which will have to be done by the whole group

 An adjourn

Depending on how big or small projects are, this agenda can be accomplished in one day, or in a few weeks.

The deliverables needed for the Scoping method are four:

 COS (Conditions of satisfaction, a structured conversation between the client and the likely project management)

 Requirements documents

 Best-fit project management life cycle (PLMC)

 Project Overview Statement

III. Evaluation of benefits/limitations of using the tools

The main benefit that Scope Meeting has is that it puts project team and clients closer. Many projects failure come from a lack of direction and a misunderstanding of what needs to be done, and having a meeting in which parts involved decide what they are going to do is really helpful and make things clear. However, change in projects is constant, and scope creep might be a limitation at this point.

IV. Discussion of when it is applicable and justification

This is applicable at the beginning of the project, in the initiation process, and it can be used in any kind of project. It is also known that projects are very likely to change all over the process, from the beginning to the end. Bearing the scope of the project in mind can help us to keep the project on its path in spite of changes that can occur. Whenever we have to modify the project and adapt it to new circumstances, we can not forget what does our project include and what does not, and it has to be clear for the project team and for the client.

PROJECT FEASIBILITY STUDYEdit

I. Description

A feasibility study is a document that indicates whether we can do the project or not, if we have the technical skills needs for it.

II. Explanation of how to use the tool

The feasibility study starts with a description of the project, defining what the project is and what it is going to do. It then defines the project scope, what will the project include and what the project will not include, defining and setting quality standards and performance measures to control how it is being implemented. Once it all has been explained, the documents establishes different implementation process for the project, giving options and alternatives on how it is going to be done: which machinery we might use, which technology, which people, etc., can be included in this part. We also quantify the resources we are going to use to do the project, bearing in mind the available resources that our organization has. We may want to

compare them with our competitors, and see if we are more efficient than them, or we do things in a different way, which might be more valuable for our clients. There should be a timescale included in our feasibility study, to check the availability of resources and the results of our work as we are implementing our project and we are working on it. Other commitments should be considered in here, for example political issues, corporate social responsibility or where we want to be positioned in the market.

When looking at the feasibility study, sometimes it is easier to look at it in a negative way: instead of thinking which benefits would provide us doing this project, we should wonder: what could happen if we did not do it? This question will lead us to evaluate opportunity cost when rejecting the project and it will also make us think about other options for the project, or alternatives if we don’t undertake it.

After analyzing this part, it is very useful to consider which extra resources we may need for our project, and how we can obtain them: where can we acquire them, at which cost, or when.

Whenever we do a feasibility study, we have to bear in mind our stakeholders, specially our key stakeholders, either from inside or outside the organization, as they can really affect our resources, how the project has to be done and the outcomes provided once the project is completed.

III. Evaluation of benefits/limitations of using the tools

Feasibility Studies are crucial in those projects where they appear. There are many projects which have screwed up because they were not feasible. When studying feasibility, there are many intangible elements which we have to think about, like the perception of our company in the market or in the society if we implement the project. However, not all projects need to have a feasibility study because they are too small, and sometimes this feasibility study may be affected by changes in the project scope, which will affect the business case, and so the justification of why doing the project, and not just if it is feasible or it is not.

IV. Discussion of when it is applicable and justification

Not all projects need to have done a feasibility study before carrying it out because certain projects have no similar previous projects which we can look at as a reference if they worked or not. Some very innovative projects do not do a feasibility study simply because there is no way to do it. For example, when building the English Channel, it made no sense doing a feasibility study because it was something completely new and different from any engineering project done so far.

The reason why we should teach our graduates all these is in the first week of their programme is because it is the basis that make us decide to do a project, and how they are related to each other: if the scope changes, then we will have to go back to the business case, and rethink all this process again.

RESPONSIBILITY ASSIGNMENT MATRIXEdit

I. Summary description of the tool/technique that indicates what the tool does

The Responsibility Assignment Matrix is used to typify the links between activities that needs to be done and project team members, in such manner the RAM shows who partake, and to what degree, when an activity is executed.

Typically, this tool is in the shape of a matrix with the project activities listed along the rows (work packages of the Work Breakdown Structure) and essential project members are listed in columns (Organizational Breakdown Structure). Roles are used to identify the degree of responsibility between a task and a staff.

 Responsible - this role’s charge is the actual work performance. It is possible to have more than one responsible role due to teamwork.

 Accountable - this role signs off on the accomplished work and is absolutely accountable for approving it. There should be only one accountable per task.

 Consulted - this role has necessary information to accomplish the work and whose opinions are taken into consideration. It implies two-way communication, generally between R and C.

 Informed - this role is to be informed about the performance of tasks, that is to say progression and results. It implies one-way communication, generally from R and A.

 Supportive - this role offers a supportive function in attaining the project activities done by providing additional resources and information.

 Verifier- this role makes sure that the completed activities matches the goals, so verifiers are responsible of checking the work done.

II. Explanation of how to use the tool/technique

In order to develop the Responsibility Assignment Matrix, we will devote an introduction section of brainstorming and dialogue in which graduate trainees can figure out most of the issues about RAM.

The aim is to give blank copies of the RAM and get graduate trainees together to discuss about the concept Work Breakdown Structure and the work packages, the concept of Organizational Breakdown Structure, that is to say flowchart of an organization to know the position of key members. Then, they will focus on how the RAM is developed and the way it is used. Finally, they will discuss about fitting the appropriate role to the right people and the right task.

After this introduction session, the Responsibility Assignment Matrix can become into a living document by following the steps listed above:

Step 1. Work Breakdown Structure

Make a list with the main tasks or activities which evolve the project, in other words divide the project into different work packages.

Step 2. Organizational Breakdown Structure

Identify key members of the organization required to undertake those activities.

Step 3. Set up the Responsible Assignment Matrix

Draw a table for the matrix, and then fill in project activities in rows and project members in columns (You can do it by hand or using and excel file).

Step 4. Roles of the Responsible Assignment Matrix

The intersection points of each row and column are used to state the roles of the projects members (responsible, accountable, consulted, informed, supportive, verifier). Also, include a legend at the bottom of the matrix to identify those roles. An example of responsibility assignment matrix is shown in Table 1.1.

Step 5. Revision of the Responsible Assignment Matrix

Once you have finished the RAM, check it by ensuring there are not overlaps and correct mistakes when it is necessary.

Step 6. Disclose the Responsible Assignment Matrix

Put the Responsibility Assignment Matrix up on the notice board in the office. So, everybody will know which project activity they should undertake as well as their degree of responsibility and accountability over the task.

Figure 1.1 Responsibility Assignment Matrix of Project Management Relationships *

Responsibility

* Legend: A: accountable; C: consulted; I: informed; R: responsible; S: supportive; V: verifier
















III. Evaluation of benefits/limitations of using the tools

The main advantages of the RAM are:

 The RAM outlines the project member directly responsible for each project activity. So, people know what is exactly expected of them which motivate them to attain the taks done.

 Project members can be chosen according to the needs of the project.

 Establish clearly roles regarding responsibility and accountability. In other words, RAM allows people to see the ‘big picture’ and how they fit into the large organization.

 Encourage coordination between different members of the organization and improve levels of communication (an example is the two way communication between responsible and consulted).

The main disadvantages of the RAM are:

 The RAM links activities to staff; however this tool does not cover time or cost issues.

 If there is a lack of trust, the coordination and communication between different project members will not work, as a consequence they will face a conflict of loyalty.

 If a member or a team has excessive independence, then it can be though to monitor.

 Not all project tasks are included.

IV. Discussion of when it is applicable and justification

Imtech ICT’s Project Management services make a substantial contribution to any project by using a wide range of tools and techniques. Thus, the Responsibility Assignment Matrix is an useful tool for new graduate trainees to teach them how to link project activities to project members by creating responsibility relationships because when they face a project, they must know what is expected of them.

GANTT CHARTEdit

I. Summary description of the tool/technique that indicates what the tool does

GANTT chart is one of the most useful graphical techniques to show the relationship between the activities and time. So, it allows project director to exhibit the project’s schedule in a facile to understand chart form.

The Gantt Chart lists activities (work packages of WBS) in the left hand column, against unit of time (in hours, days, weeks, months or years) shown in the top of the chart. The scheduling of each activity is represented by a horizontal line, from the activity’s start date to the activity’s finish date. In that way, the length of the line is proportional to its duration.

II. Explanation of how to use the tool/technique

In order to develop the Gantt chart, we will devote an introduction section of brainstorming and dialogue in which graduate trainees can figure out most of the issues about Gantt chart.

The aim is to give copies of a simple example of Gantt chart and get graduate trainees together to discuss about the activities involved in the project and how long each activity will take, that is to say duration. Then, they will focus on how the Gantt chart is developed and the way it is used. Finally, they will discuss about scheduling, in order to match activities with the duration required to accomplish it.

After this introduction session, the Gantt chart can become into a living document by following the steps listed above:

Step 1. Identify the main tasks

Make a list with the main tasks or activities which evolve the project, in other words divide the project into different work packages according to the Work Breakdown Structure.

Step 2. Determine activities sequence

Once all the activities are listed, the next step is identifying the relationship between project activities, because some activities have to be finished before starting the next one, or cannot be completed until the previous one have been completed.

Activities can be sequential (one after another) or parallel (same time).

Step 3. Estimate the time

Establish the duration of each project task, which involves thinking about the minimum time required to get done an activity, the earliest start date, which activities need to be accomplished before starting the following one, and so on.

Step 4. Draw the Gantt chart

Now it is time to draw the Gantt chart by hand or by using specific software, such as Microsoft Project or Microsoft Excel. An example of Gantt chart is shown in Table 2.1 and Table 2.2.

Table 2.1 Gantt chart of writing an essay (Microsoft Excel) *

Gantt










Table 2.2 Gantt chart of writing an essay (Microsoft Project)


Gantt2



















Step 5. Update the Gantt Chart

Keep the Gantt chart updated in order to display changes, in that way you will allow project team to be up to date.

Step 6. Disclose the Gantt chart

Put the Gantt chart up on the notice board in the office. So, everybody will know the time establish to accomplish project activities, as well as the order the project activities have to be completed.

III. Evaluation of benefits/limitations of using the tools

The main advantages of Gantt chart are:

 GANTT chart is easy to develop and understand tool to link activities to time.

 GANTT chart provides an overview of project activities.

 Gantt chart avoids completion confusion, because it provides a visual timeline for starting and finishing each activity. In other words, it is clearly established which activity needs to be done first before starting the next one.

The main disadvantages of Gantt chart are:

 GANTT chart does not indicate task dependencies. It does not indicate how the start of one task depends upon the completion of other tasks. It just says which activity follows the previous one.

 GANTT chart links activities to time; however this tool does not cover cost issues and association the task with staff.

 Gantt chart needs to be constantly updated, in order to display the last changes.

IV. Discussion of when it is applicable and justification One of the business benefit of Imtech ICT’s Project Management services is visibility of project plans, schedule and actual performance against the project objectives is enhanced, helping to increase customer confidence. Thus, the Gantt chart is a useful tool for new graduate trainees to teach them how to link project activities to time because when they face a project, they must know about planning and scheduling projects. Gantt chart is applicable in order to assess how long a project should necessitate and plan the order in which task will be completed.

CRITICAL PATH METHOD (CPM)Edit

I. SUMMARY DESCRIPTION OF THE TOOL

It is a scheduling tool that consists of identifying the critical path, which is the longest sequence of activities and tasks embedded in a project. The critical path is important because it has no float (leeway for starting and finishing the project). Therefore, a delay in the critical path will cause the whole project to be delayed.

II. EXPLANATION OF HOW TO USE THE TOOL

The first step is drawing the network diagram, having estimated the duration of each activity, the float permitted and, therefore, the expected duration of the entire project. In summary, we represent the task in a diagram using arrows and nodes. These are drawn following a logical dependence, normally an “end-to-start” dependence. The main premise is that no activity can start until all the activities leading into it are completed. Since most people would create the diagram using software, we are going to focus on explaining how to read the outcome.

The goal of this method is to identify the critical path. The critical path has no float (leeway) on it. Managers should make sure all of the activities embedded in the critical path are not delayed because that would delay the whole project. Figure 3 shows an example of critical path (in bold lines).

1

Figure 3. Critical Path on an AoA diagram




















The diagrams are classified in two different categories:

 Activity-on-arrow (AoA)

In this type of system, the activities are represented by arrows, using the arrow head to mark the task completion. The nodes represent events and are used to link activities to each other. We write the activity description above the arrow and its estimate duration below the arrow. As shown in Figure 4, the earliest possible time and the latest permissible event time can also be added to the diagram.

2

Figure 4. An activity-on-arrow notation













 Activity-on-node (AoN)

This notation may appear easier to read for people with no training in the use of this tool. The main difference with the previous method is that in AoN each box represents an activity. Also, this system allows a wider range of inter-activity relations (i.e. start-to-start or start-to-finish). In general, most scheduling software accepts this notation. Figure 5 shows the elements contained in the activity node.

3

Figure 5. An activity-on-node task box












We need to bear in mind two key concepts.

 Earliest start time (EST)- is not until this moment that we can start the activity.

 Latest start time (LST)- is the latest permissible time to start the activity to avoid delays.

By adding the duration to the EST we can obtain the EST of the subsequent activities (pass forward). From there we can work out the Earliest Finish Time (EST+Duration) and the Latest Finish Time (LST+Duration). By performing the backward pass we can obtain the latest start time of all the activities. However, as previously stated, most calculations can be done with computer-based tools like MS Project.

III. EVALUATION OF BENEFITS/LIMITATION OF USING THE TOOL

Although all activities required to achieve the project must be considered important, this method allows us to prioritize those along the critical path. It helps managers know where they must put attention and efforts to meet deadlines. However, other activities can be ranked to degree of criticality, which can be considered when allocating resources.

The main problem about this technique is that it can be complicated to use and read. Also, this tool can’t display tasks on a timescale. However, one of its benefits is that we can manage time and cost, for instance “crashing”. In other words, we can accelerate progress at an extra cost. It’s a good tool to help us find which activities could be performed in parallel and, therefore, shorten the schedule.

IV. DISCUSSION OF WHEN IT´S APPLICABLE AND JUSTIFIABLE

It´s a planning tool, so it´s meant to be done at an early stage of the project, complementing other techniques (i.e. Gannt Charts). Networks are especially useful when the project is too complex to be represented by WBSs or when we need to display a complex inter-task dependence. That´s why CPM would not be particularly useful if a project consisted of a number of tasks performed in parallel.

In the event of particular complexity, we can turn to the hierarchical network families, expanding the project by decomposing its activities in different levels.

Although both methods referred to in this paper have the same purpose and principles, AoA is more practical for freehand sketching. Therefore, some of the literature recommends it for

Figure 5. An activity-on-node task box

group work sessions, brainstorming, etc. On the other hand, AoN offers relatively more possibilities of network dependencies and is a good way of assembling all the information. On top of that, the wider availability of software for AoN makes it more suitable for the final illustration of the network.

EARNED- VALUE ANALYSISEdit

I. SUMMARY DESCRIPTION OF THE TOOL

Earned-Value Analysis is a method that allows us to monitor the progress of a given project in terms of time and cost and eventually forecast the probable outcome. In summary, this technique consists of comparing the actual expenditures of tasks in progress against the budgeted cost of those tasks.

II. EXPLANATION OF HOW TO USE THE TOOL

To carry out this analysis we need three elements of data:

 Actual Cost of the Work Performed (ACWP)- at the date of performance measurement

 Budgeted Cost for Work Performed (BCWP)- also called the earned value. It´s the expenditure that, according to the schedule, should have cost the percentage of the task completed at measurement date. To be able to apply this method much depends on an accurate estimation of the task progress.

 Budgeted Cost of Work Scheduled (BCWS)- total budgeted cost appointed to the amount of task that should be completed at measurement date. In other words, how much the job in progress should have cost if everything went as planned at measurement date.

We may face projects relatively complex to assess, i.e. software meant to be designed in 50 days at a total cost of £50,000. If we assume that if everything goes well, we should measure the performance at the end of the day 25, then 50% of the project would be done. In this case BCWS is £25,000. However, if we concluded that only 40% of the task is actually achieved, BCWP goes down to £20,000 [(50x0.4) x £1,000 a day]. In cases like this, we must bear in mind the importance of an accurate estimation of the percentage of the task completed.

A basic approach to this method would consist simply of obtaining two elements of data:

 Cost Performance Index (CPI). It´s the result of dividing BCWP by ACWP. A result below 1 indicates that the earned value obtained so far compared against the amount of money spent is less than expected.

 Remaining estimated costs to completion (ETC)= (budget at completion – BCWP)/CPI

 Forecast final cost = ACWP+ETC

 Schedule Performance Index (SPI). It is obtained by dividing the BCWP by the BCWS. A result below 1 indicates that the progress achieved is behind planned.

 By dividing the original duration of the project by the SPI we will obtain a prediction of total duration of the project

Another approach implies obtaining variances instead of ratios:

 Cost variance= BCWP-ACWP. If positive, the project is under cost.

 % Cost Variance= Cost Variance/BCWP. If positive, we are under cost by the percent calculated.

 Schedule variance= BCWP-BCWS. If positive, the project is ahead of schedule.

 % Schedule Variance=Schedule Variance/BCWS. If positive, we are ahead schedule by the percent calculated.

III. EVALUATION OF BENEFITS/LIMITATION OF USING THE TOOL

When we consider the benefits of this method, the first thing we could say is that it is really easy to apply. We need to bear in mind that Earned-Value Analysis is intended to monitor progress and forecast outcome. Although this method does not correct performance, it potentially allows Project Managers to reallocate resources, taking them away from activities being well performed so far and reallocating those resources to behind schedule or over-cost tasks.

However, this method only focuses on issues concerned with time and cost. It does not contemplate if we are meeting quality standards. It does not take into account either that some activities may have to be taken back up once completed, for instance redesigning a defective product.

In conclusion, to some extent the effectiveness of this method depends on how accurate we can be in assessing the progress of the tasks. Some activities are less objective to evaluate and its progress estimation is the result of judgments. Therefore, there could be for instance a risk of being too optimistic.

IV. DISCUSSION OF WHEN IT´S APPLICABLE AND JUSTIFIABLE

To apply this technique, we assume that the Project Manager has at hand enough information about schedule and budget at the measurement time. We assume, too, that he is able to accurately estimate the task progress, as has been stated previously.

It´s important to bear in mind that this method cannot be expected to mechanically correct mal-performance. Also, given it´s a performance control tool, it´s advised not to use it either too early or too late. To summarize, during the earliest steps of the projects we may lack a sample long enough to detect deviations of the planning. In the later stages, it may be too late to correct the course of the project. On the other hand, since results can be expressed in ratios, we could use this method when we need to compare the progress of projects of different scale.

STAKEHOLDER ANALYSISEdit

I. What is stakeholder Analysis?

Stakeholder Analysis is a technique used to identify the key people who will be important to the success of the project and how to win them over, a stakeholder is a person or organisation who can be impacted by, or cause an impact on the actions of a company.

Stakeholder Analysis can be summarised as:

 Identifying the stakeholders likely to be affected or influenced by the project

 An assessment of the impact of Stakeholders upon an organisation

 Identifying stakeholders success criteria

 Assuring a successful outcome for the project and stakeholders involved through co-operation.

II. How to carry out Stakeholder Analysis

Firstly all stakeholders must be identified through brainstorming, think of people who are affected by the project who have power and an interest in its successful or unsuccessful conclusion.

Below is a table of people who might be stakeholders in future projects:

4








The stakeholders should then categorised into internal and external, i.e within the project managers organisation (such as employees) and outside of the organisation (like interest groups) and then into primary and secondary in terms of those directly affected such as shareholders and indirectly like the government and media, those most significantly affected and who have the most influence from either group should be in the centre of focus.

5











After having identified all stakeholders, their needs and interests should be analysed, this can be done by getting to know more about your key stakeholders as there is need to know how they feel about your project and what their stake is, a good way to do this is through creating a Stakeholder Analysis Matrix. (see example below).

Stakeholder Stakeholder interests Assessment of impact Potential strategies

Once the stakeholders have been identified, categorised and have had their needs and interests analysed they should also be prioritised according to the power of influence they have over project, this is known as stakeholder mapping, the power matrix is a good way to classify stakeholders in relation to the power they hold this enables decision makers to prioritise more effectively which aspects of the project are going to be more important (the picture below shows the power/dynamism Matrix).

6











Stakeholders in group A only need minimal monitoring, those in group B should be informed as they could influence major stakeholders, group C are powerful but their interest is low and are expected to be passive (like Unions) but if there was a strike for example they would go into group D for being a major danger at risk of halting the project.

Areas of conflict should then be looked at such as organisation versus stakeholder and stakeholder versus stakeholder, in addition stakeholders need to be prioritised, balanced and reconciled as well as their needs being aligned with the project’s strategies and actions.

As a final measure access their importance, decide how important each one is, how much you need their support, how you will go about winning the support and what are the consequences should it not be obtained?

III. Evaluation of the benefits and limitations of Stakeholder Analysis

Stakeholder analysis allows for getting to know stakeholders better and to get a good understanding of their importance, power and interests, this in turn leads to better managed relationships between project and external stakeholders, the Stakeholder Analysis can also

help to better identify risks especially those associated with key individuals and how these could derail a project. More importantly, Stakeholder Analysis allows the project manager and the team to create better strategies and better decisions as well as helping the project by giving it a greater acceptance amongst stakeholders.

The drawbacks of stakeholder analysis are that it is best done on a continuous basis so it is both time consuming and can be costly, there is also the risk of bias when performing the analysis and it can be difficult to be objective which would possibility lead to complications, it is also unlikely that all stakeholders needs can be met so focus is usually put on the more important stakeholders, similarly the projects interests in line with the stakeholders are constantly balanced and reconciled according to importance and urgency.

IV. When is the Stakeholder Analysis applicable and its justification

Project Managers need to work with a range of stakeholders, analysis of stakeholders is applicable and justified because stakeholder’s values, concerns and influence of management overshadow the technical viewpoint of any project, in addition the decision-making process is more credible when stakeholders have participated, this allows for greater ease of justifying the project as well as any actions carried out or to be taken throughout a project.

THE PROJECT CONTINGENCY PLANEdit

I. Description

Contingency plans outline procedures to follow in case of unexpected events or situations. They ensure project continuity; helping to minimize disruption to expected operation, and to safeguard against what may be negative impact to business. Emerging from a thorough analysis of what risks a company may face, contingency plans are created to cover many possible situations. Crisis management and major risks such as fires and asset security, re-organization and mismanagement are some usual threats covered.

II. Risk Assessment

Should an unexpected incident occur, it is the responsibility of management to plan for how a business will resume normal operations. A Contingency Plan, or ‘Plan B,’ therefore requires careful preparation and planning.

The first step to contingency planning is risk identification. A good plan should include a comprehensive list of potential business threats and rated for severity of impact. As safeguard, all possible threats, no matter how remote, should be analyzed for risk and likely consequences.

While larger businesses may plan for both short and longer-term contingencies, project back-up plans tend to address only lower level risks over the short term. Subsequently, level of detail in continuity plans will vary according to business priorities, services provided and cost liability.

III. Plan B

Project contingency plans may focus on more controllable key failure points, like systems and software. Knowing how to back-up and recover critical data, for example, is essential to contingency planning. Cross-training, to avoid reliance on any one person for key skills, is another. When creating a contingency plan, the project must be evaluated in terms of delivery timeframes and acceptability to customer.

IV. Risk Management

Consideration must be given to triggers and point at which an alternative course of action may need to be taken. It should be clear who is responsible for decision making and the Contingency Plan simple enough for all to understand. Any changes should be communicated to keep everyone up to date. Given project management resources, a plan must also be realistic and measurable to further mitigate risk. Success criteria may need to be redefined. To help improve project success, every opportunity must be taken to reduce risk and enhance operational efficiency.

V. Contingency Plan Benefits and Limitations

Planning ahead for adverse or crisis scenarios allows for positive reaction and damage limitation. A sound Contingency Plan may assist in stimulating stakeholder interest and increase project funding. However, the reverse could also apply. Potential investors may perceive too much risk involved, opting out of financial commitment to a project that may be considered in jeopardy before it has even begun.

A Contingency Plan may not fully list possible threats, nor sufficiently detail actions that could perhaps alleviate disaster. It may not be updated to reflect changes or weaknesses that have emerged. Knowing business systems and having measures in place to mitigate risks and liabilities may increase Contingency Plan effectiveness.

VI. Contingency Plan Application and Justification

Contingency plans are universally applicable and not restricted to business alone. They exist to minimise negative impact and help prepare for recovery from a possible destructive event. In business terms, Contingency Plans are justified usually as form of insurance should anything go wrong. They can provide potential cost avoidance benefits, often helping to save a project from becoming delayed, over-budget, or failing.

REFERENCESEdit

Burke, Rory (2013) Project Management: planning and control techniques (John Wiley & Sons Inc 2013) Pages 215-226. Cleland, David I. and Ireland, Lewis R. (2006) Project Management: Strategic Design and Implementation (McGraw-Hill) Pages 234-237. Gray, Clifford F and Larson, Erik W (2008) Project Management: the managerial process (McGraw-Hill/Irwin) Pages 107-108.

Harrison, Frederick and Dennis Lock (2004), Advanced Project Management: a structured approach (Gower Publishing) Pgs. 216-228.

http://imtech.com/EN/ICTUK/About-Us

Imtech ICT (2013) About us [Online] Accessed 1 st December 2013]

Karkanis, S (2013) Advantages and disadvantages of Stakeholder Analysis. karkhanisgroup.com [Online] [Accessed 1 st December 2013] http://www.karkhanisgroup.com/consulting/management/project-management/stakeholder-management/163-advantages-and-disadvantages-of-stakeholder-analysis.html Kerzner, Harold (2009) Project Management: a systems approach to planning, scheduling, and controlling (John Wiley & Sons Inc 2009) Pages 201-203.

Lewis, James P (2001), Project planning, scheduling, and control (McGraw-Hill). Pgs. 251-260 and 489-498. Lock, Dennis (2007) Project Management (Gower Publishing) Pages 197 and 320-321.

Lock, Dennis (2007), Project Management (Gower Publishing) Pgs. 450-456 and 188-203;

Lockyer, Keith and James Gordon (1996, 2005), Project Management and Project Network Techniques (FT Prentice Hall) Pgs. 122-146 Maylor, Harvey (2005) Project Management (Financial Times Prentice Hall) Pages 106-108.

Meredith, Jack R. and Samuel J. Mantel Jr. (2006), Project Management: a managerial approach (John Wiley & Sons, Inc.) Pgs. 510-513. 435-442

Mindtools (2013) Contingency Planning. Mindtools.com. [Online] [Accessed 1st December 2013] [Online]http://www.mindtools.com/pages/article/newLDR_51.htm

Mindtools (2013) Stakeholder Analysis. Mindtools.com. [Online] [Accessed 1st December 2013] http://www.mindtools.com/pages/article/newPPM_07.htm

Project Management Consulting (2013) Contingency Planning. Proj-mgt.com. [Online] [Accessed 1st December] http://www.proj-mgt.com/PMC_Contingency_Planning.htm

Steve, R (2013) Stakeholder Analysis. Slideshare.net. [Online] [Accessed 1 st December 2013] http://www.slideshare.net/SteveRaybould/stakeholder-analysis

Turner, Rodney J. (1999), The handbook of project-based management (McGraw-Hill) Pgs. 211-222 and 192-194

Whatls.com (2013) Contingency Plan. Techtarget.com. [Online] [Accessed 1st December 2013] http://whatis.techtarget.com/definition/contingency-plan

Wysocki, Robert (2009) The effective project management: traditional, agile, extreme (Wiley, 5th Edition)

Ad blocker interference detected!


Wikia is a free-to-use site that makes money from advertising. We have a modified experience for viewers using ad blockers

Wikia is not accessible if you’ve made further modifications. Remove the custom ad blocker rule(s) and the page will load as expected.