[BMT 7073] Fundamentals of Project Management, Level 5

Introduction

Project management is a combination of various activities such as planning, organizing, implementing, controlling and monitoring. It allows the companies to plan their works by using limited resources. In this, it is project manager responsibilities to clearly state objectives and deliverables of the work so that a project plan can be developed in right manner. The present report is based on Fundamental of Project Management and to understand this, a case of ProjectPlus is taking into the consideration. Company delivers several project management services to its business clients such as Project Planning, Project Reporting, Risk Management, Benefits Realisation, providing teams of professionals to manage projects on behalf of clients etc. In the current time, there are three companies who comes contact with ProjectPlus in order to getting the help in launching of new products in UK by organizing an event on 2nd January 2017 (Kerzner, 2013).

Section I: Project Management Consultancy Report

1. Defining the project in terms of outcomes and purpose

On the basis of the given case scenario, it has evidence that Tesla Motors, GE Healthcare and DropBox are the three companies which has contacted to ProjectPlus to launch their new products and services in the marketplace. These business clients have deal in various industries and they have healthcare, automotive and cloud computing technology.

ProjectPlus Company has chosen the product launch event of DropBox where the business client wants to introduce a new encryption functionality service to their enterprise plan customers. With the help of this, it will become easy for DropBox service users to store highly sensitive data files, their sharing and transfer. The purpose and outcomes for business client of ProjectPlus by organizing the lunching event of a product in the UK are as follow:

  • Lunching of DropBox new cloud based service in a London venue in afternoon and evening on 2ndJanuary 2017, Monday.
  • Event will be attended by at least 500 audiences where entire show will be broadcasted lively over the internet (Burke, 2013).
  • Dropbox will get the exposure by different recognized media outlets.
  • During the launch, some kinds of entertainment and programs will organize that will suitable for product launch program.
  • Arranging catering facility for the audiences who will attend the product launch event of DropBox in London.
  • Make a separate area for VIP persons
  • Establish coordination between different event execution activities such as logistic requirements, including registration, crowd control and health & safety (Meredith and Mantel Jr, 2011).
  • Promoting product launch event of DropBox with suitable media and gathering of interested audiences.
  • Carry out whole product launch event of business client under £150,000 budget by clarifying different expenditures.

2. Project SMART objectives

Project objectives define as the outcomes of the project which are long, medium or short team. It should be related to scope of project plan because it directly affects deliverables of work. By considering the major outcomes of the project, the project manager develops some project objectives. In the context of launching of new product of Dropbox, few SMART objectives have prepared. The reason of stating some SMART objectives because it will set few limitations in front of the project manager that will help in attaining the major deliverables of project work in a right manner. Along with this, this will help in comparing actual results with the expected outcomes where monitoring process of project plan becomes easier. By this, project manager will determine some unmet objectives and the reasons behind not completion of SMART objectives so that in the future such kinds of mistakes cannot be carried out. Hence, SMART objectives in the context of launch event project of Dropbox are as follows:

For Project Plus

  • To raise customer satisfaction level of business client to 35% after the launch of new product of DropBox in January 2017.
  • To enhance marker share of project consultancy services in the UK by 20% at the end of first quarter of 2017.
  • To make increment in sales of project consultancy services from 14% to 24% after the end of first quarter of 2017 (Schwalbe, 2015).

For Project Manager of Project Plus

  • By staying on budget, the project should be completed within £150,000 by the end of product launch event in January 2017.
  • Project should be finished within the 1 month by attaining the major project deliverables at the end of 2ndJanuary, 2017.

For Drop Box

  • To get the more significant exposure from recognized media sources after ending of product launch on 2ndJanuary, 2017.
  • To increase the sales of cloud services by 22% to 25% after launching a new service in the UK with the end of January, 2017 (Wysocki, 2011).

3. Specifying the project scope

On the basis of the given case scenario, it has clearly identified that Dropbox has needed the help of ProjectPlus in launching of new product in the UK. To create a project plan, project manager has required developing a project scope including project boundaries, deliverables and requirements. This can be considered as the first section of project planning which has developed on the basis of objectives and major deliverables. For new product launch event, the project scope is as follows:

Project scope:

The new service of Dropbox will facilitate service users to store highly sensitive data files, their sharing and transfer. The new encryption functionality service will keep secure the information of its business clients from any kind of cyber crime. The following event will explain various benefits of new services of Dropbox to the audience so that they can influence the customer to buy new cloud computing services.

Rather than this, project boundaries are a part of project scope where different characteristics of project plan can be measured and evaluated. Along with this, it states various things such as what areas should be included and what elements should not be included in plan. It helps the project manager to stated main deliverables and objectives of plan in clear words. In the support of new product launch event, project boundaries are as follows:

Project Includes: 

On the basis of SMART objectives, project goals, milestones and its related sub activities, features of new service of Dropbox, interest of stakeholders, roles and responsibilities, major deliverables, client satisfaction level and project scope.

Project Excludes:

There will some project exclusion criteria will consider at the time of launching of new product of Dropbox in the UK which are as follows:

  • The following event will not promote any other old or upcoming product of Dropbox or other companies at the launching day.
  • There will be no employees of business client include in any decision making process at the launching day.

4. Cost estimation for the project budget

Project budget is an authorized financial amount that is used to carry out activities of project plan by the project manager. It is a detailed estimation of all kind of costing that needed to complete project plan (Walker, 2015). This prepares at the initial stage of project planning phase by project manager. The given case study evidence that DropBox has approved £150,000 to ProjectPlus for new product launch event which is ,going to be happen on 2nd January 2017 in London. For launching of DropBox new product event, Project Manager of ProjectPlus has estimated a budget which is as follows:

Elements

Cost in £

Human resources

 

Consultant 1 (C1)

2400

Consultant 2 (C2)

2400

Consultant 3 (C3)

2400

Consultant 4 (C4)

2400

Consultant 5 (C5)

2400

Consultant 6 (C6)

2400

Searching and booking venue in Auditorium at The Crystal, London for product launch

7500

Placing ads in different kinds of media information sources  

3000

Live Broadcasting of entire product launch event on Internet

50000

Arrangement and selection of catering services

3500

Event execution logistic requirements such as registration, crowd control, health and safety etc.

5500

Promoting event by various sources

3000

Make arrangements of sound and lighting facilities

5700

Transportation of staff

2800

Preparing and sending invitations to the VIP guests

750

Some other Miscellaneous expenses

9500

ProjectPlus service fee

25000

Other Overhead costs

19350

Total

130,650

5. Clarifying project scheduling

Project scheduling is one of the most essential aspects of the project management. It helps the project manager to arrange the activities of a project plan according to priorities so that wok can complete within the assign and available resources. If activities not arrange in a right manner or not scheduled as per the requirements than it may be possible that it can create hamper in the success of project (De Bakker, Boonstra and Wortmann, 2010). By considering the case of new product launch event of Dropbox which is conducting by ProjectPlus in London, it becomes important for the project manager to make a right scheduling of project. In this, a particular time frame allocate to each activity so that progress of plan can be tracked. In order to carry out new product launch event, a systematic project scheduling is giving in below table.

Task Name

Duration

Start

Finish

DropBox product launch project

24 days

Wed 11/30/16

Mon 1/2/17

   Planning

9 days

Wed 11/30/16

Mon 12/12/16

      Market assessment

3 days

Wed 11/30/16

Fri 12/2/16

      Identification of DropBox needs related to new product launch event

2 days

Mon 12/5/16

Tue 12/6/16

      Looking for vendor for catering facility

2 days

Wed 12/7/16

Thu 12/8/16

      Preparing project team

2 days

Fri 12/9/16

Mon 12/12/16

   Executing

6 days

Fri 12/9/16

Fri 12/16/16

      Scheduling activities for project plan

3 days

Fri 12/9/16

Tue 12/13/16

      Booking venue in London as per the number of expected guests

1 day

Tue 12/13/16

Tue 12/13/16

      Selecting catering vendor

2 days

Wed 12/14/16

Thu 12/15/16

      Inform Dropbox about the project plan progress

3 days

Wed 12/14/16

Fri 12/16/16

   Monitoring

6 days

Mon 12/19/16

Mon 12/26/16

      Establishing and maintaining contractual relationship with suppliers

3 days

Mon 12/19/16

Wed 12/21/16

      Project plan review

2 days

Thu 12/22/16

Fri 12/23/16

      Implement correcting activities

1 day

Mon 12/26/16

Mon 12/26/16

   Project closure

5 days

Tue 12/27/16

Mon 1/2/17

      Obtaining feedback from business client

2 days

Tue 12/27/16

Wed 12/28/16

      Closing of contracts

2 days

Thu 12/29/16

Fri 12/30/16

      Project sign off

1 day

Mon 1/2/17

Mon 1/2/17

6. Gantt chart, breakdown of all activities, network diagram with critical path and key milestones

Task Name

Duration

Start

Finish

Predecessors

DropBox product launch project

24 days

Wed 11/30/16

Mon 1/2/17

 

   Planning

9 days

Wed 11/30/16

Mon 12/12/16

 

      Market assessment

3 days

Wed 11/30/16

Fri 12/2/16

 

      Identification of DropBox needs related to new product launch event

2 days

Mon 12/5/16

Tue 12/6/16

3

      Looking for vendor for catering facility

2 days

Wed 12/7/16

Thu 12/8/16

4

      Preparing project team

2 days

Fri 12/9/16

Mon 12/12/16

5

   Executing

6 days

Fri 12/9/16

Fri 12/16/16

 

      Scheduling activities for project plan

3 days

Fri 12/9/16

Tue 12/13/16

5

      Booking venue in London as per the number of expected guests

1 day

Tue 12/13/16

Tue 12/13/16

6

      Selecting catering vendor

2 days

Wed 12/14/16

Thu 12/15/16

8

      Inform Dropbox about the project plan progress

3 days

Wed 12/14/16

Fri 12/16/16

9

   Monitoring

6 days

Mon 12/19/16

Mon 12/26/16

 

      Establishing and maintaining contractual relationship with suppliers

3 days

Mon 12/19/16

Wed 12/21/16

10,11

      Project plan review

2 days

Thu 12/22/16

Fri 12/23/16

13

      Implement correcting activities

1 day

Mon 12/26/16

Mon 12/26/16

14

   Project closure

5 days

Tue 12/27/16

Mon 1/2/17

 

      Obtaining feedback from business client

2 days

Tue 12/27/16

Wed 12/28/16

15

      Closing of contracts

2 days

Thu 12/29/16

Fri 12/30/16

17

      Project sign off

1 day

Mon 1/2/17

Mon 1/2/17

18

Gantt Chart:

Network Diagram:

Key milestones

Key milestones

Expected date of start and completion

DropBox product launch project

Wed 11/30/16

Mon 1/2/17

   Planning

Wed 11/30/16

Mon 12/12/16

   Executing

Fri 12/9/16

Fri 12/16/16

   Monitoring

Mon 12/19/16

Mon 12/26/16

   Project closure

Tue 12/27/16

Mon 1/2/17

 

Work Breakdown Structure:

 

7. Critical analysis of the project stakeholders i.e. Project Stakeholder Analysis

In Dropbox new product launch, it has included various project stakeholders. These have contained different interest and perceptions and it has varied as per their expectations and needs. With the aim of analyzing the role of project stakeholders in the following project, Project Stakeholder Analysis is taking into the consideration by using RACI matrix (Jun, Qiuzhen and Qingguo, 2011). On the basis this, responsibility, accountability, consulted and informed of six different stakeholders is as follows:

Task

Project Manager i.e. C1

C2

C3

C4

C5

C6

Market assessment

A, R

I

I

I

 

 

Identification of DropBox needs related to new product launch event

A, R

 

 

 

 R

 

Looking for vendor for catering facility

A,R

C

C

C

 

 

Preparing project team

I

I

C

A,R

 

 

Scheduling activities for project plan

A, C

R

C

I

 

 C

Booking venue in London as per the number of expected guests

A, R

C

C

I

 

 

Selecting catering vendor

I

C

A

 

 

R

 Inform Dropbox about the project plan progress

I

A,R

 

 

 

 

Establishing and maintaining contractual relationship with suppliers

A, I

 

R

 

C

 

Project plan review

I

 

A

 

R

 R

Implement correcting activities

A

 

 

R

I

 I

Obtaining feedback from business client

A, R

 

 

 

 

 

Closing of contracts

A,C

C

C

C

 

 

Project sign off

A

R

R

R

R

I

8. Assessment of project procurement strategies

Project procurement is a process which is using by the organizations in the present time to attain business objectives. It is completely different from the other kinds of procurement methods. This depends over goals and objectives of the project which is important for the success of the plan. So, it becomes essential that procurement activities should be planned and implemented in systematic manner because it ensures that whether the proposed project deliver the expected outcomes or not after the completion (Caniëls and Bakens, 2012). In the case of Dropbox new service launch event, it has determined from the case study that there are some activities which has not handled by ProjectPlus. For this, company has decided to outsource it so that it becomes easy for project manager to focus over main aim. The related outsourced tasks have lightning, sounds, catering, decoration, booking of place in London etc. In order effectively complete all these activities, ProjectPlus has to look toward vendors or suppliers that can able to carry out outsourcing activities. For this, the cited firm has to considered project procurement strategy i.e. Vendor Rating Technique. First stage of this method is determining those works in the project plan which actually needed to be outsourced. This is called plan procurement phase of suggested technique. In second phase, conduct procurement process carries out where ProjectPlus has put the ads in various sources to invite the vendors for the bid. Next step is Administer Procurements where organization has established the short term relationship with the suppliers so that a right vendor can be selected which should be under the budget of ProjectPlus. Last stage of Vendor Rating Technique has Close Procurements where firm has closed contracts with the suppliers after completion of Dropbox new product launch event. From the above assessment process of project procurement strategy, it has found that Vendor Rating Technique has effectively helped ProjectPlus to select the right vendor for outsourcing activities.

9. Critical analysis the uncertainties that may affect the project objectives by creating a risk register

The last but most important thing in a project is occurring of different types of risks. A project is carrying out within the limited resources and takes the advantages of opportunities. With the help of Project Risk Management plan, an effective and appropriate risk management can be carried out by the project manager (Artto, Kulvik, Poskela and Turkulainen, 2011). In the context of DropBox new service launch event, probability of occurrence of uncertainties that may impact over the project objectives have high. For this, a complete and systematic risk assessment process with the help of risk resister can be carried out.

Attached in Excel sheet

Conclusion

From the above study, it can be concluded that project management ha s widely used by many of the organizations to carry out their various business projects in effective manner. It has assisted in prepared the project plan with the help of different sets of activities such as planning, organizing, implementing, monitoring etc. In the present study, ProjectPlus has developed project plan for Dropbox because business client want to launch its new service in the UK market. There have various project SMART objectives developed to attain the major deliverables of the plan. Along with this, project scope with excluding and including criteria has defined. The entire launching event has completed within the given budget and time limitations. On the other hand, stakeholder analysis process has carried out to determine their different roles in Dropbox new product launch event.

Section II: Reflective Essay

The present study has a management consultancy report where statement has prepared on DropBox Company which has contacted to ProjectPlus for its new product launch. From this work, I have learned various things which have helped me in the future. In this context, first thing which I have understood is defining project scope. Under this, I have gained knowledge about who to define a project scope, what things should be considered or excluded in this process etc. Before doing this project, I had not enough knowledge about project scope but after completion of this work, I have learned several things regarding this. It will help me in future to define a scope of any type of project. Along with this, I will state major deliverables with including and excluding criteria. On the other hand, I have increased my knowledge regarding SMART objectives in which I have learned that how to define objectives of a plan in logical manner.  In the near future, the same knowledge will apply by me to develop SMART objectives for project plan so that it can be used as key performance indicators to compare expected and real outcomes and find the issues of deviations.

Beside this, from the following study, I have learned about various stages of project management. It has contained some steps such as initial, planning, organizing, implementing. Monitoring and controlling as well as closing. With the help of these phases, a project plan can be easily developed which has helped in effective execution of work. On the basis of this, the progress of plan has monitored and managed with the time. This knowledge has allowed me in the future to develop a project plan on any topic so that I can manage whole project in an appropriate manner. Along with this, it will assist me to complete the assign activities as per the planned activities. While, the current research has helped me to gain the knowledge about Work Breakdown Structure. From this, I have learnt that how to divide a whole work into small manageable sections so that within the assign specific timeframes, entire plan can be completed. In the near future, I can utilize the following information and divided the long and complex projects in various small manageable sections and carry out plan steps by steps.  

From the current research, I have gained the knowledge about what is the project budget and how it creates to effective utilization of available funds. In the study, I have determined that how a project manager considers present costs of activities and developed a budget for the project plan. The information gain from this will assist me in the future to prepare and allocate budge to various activities of project plan. With the application of different budget allocation techniques, I will optimally utilize available funds and keep control over the expenses so that plan can be run within the budget not on over budget. On the other side, I have learned the knowledge regarding stakeholder analysis to determine their interest in a project plan. With the help of this, I have gained the information that how one stakeholder interest and power has different from the other ones. In addition to this, I have understood about the application of RACI matrix in stakeholder analysis within the context of planned project. This gain knowledge will help in future regarding analysis of stakeholders’ interest in the projects in effective manner by using RACI matrix.

Apart from this, the following research has assisted me to gain the understanding regarding scheduling of a project and development of plan. It has also helped me to know what the milestones are in project plan and how it has created or set during planning. This information will lead my career in future in new direction where I will able to develop a project plan for any project and assign milestones with right scheduling. Further, I will able to allocate the resources as well as budget for planned activities so that work can be carried as per the set action plan and complete it within in given constraints. On the other hand, last but not least which I have learned from the present study is how to use MS project for various activities of project plan. With the help of this, I have learned how to schedule activities, preparing Gantt Chart and network diagram etc. In the upcoming future, I will use this skill to develop various project plans with the application of MS Project software. Hence, from the overall study, it has reflected that I have learned several things that will help me in future to move my career in Project Management and Operation area.

References

  • Artto, K., Kulvik, I., Poskela, J. and Turkulainen, V., 2011. The integrative role of the project management office in the front end of innovation. International Journal of Project Management, 29(4), pp.408-421.
  • Burke, R., 2013. Project management: planning and control techniques. New Jersey, USA.
  • Caniëls, M.C. and Bakens, R.J., 2012. The effects of Project Management Information Systems on decision making in a multi project environment.International Journal of Project Management, 30(2), pp.162-175.
  • De Bakker, K., Boonstra, A. and Wortmann, H., 2010. Does risk management contribute to IT project success? A meta-analysis of empirical evidence. International Journal of Project Management, 28(5), pp.493-503.
  • Jun, L., Qiuzhen, W. and Qingguo, M., 2011. The effects of project uncertainty and risk management on IS development project performance: A vendor perspective. International Journal of Project Management, 29(7), pp.923-933.
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