Sample Management Paper on Project Planning, Control, and Analysis

The current dynamic changes in complexity of projects have greatly influenced how managers and project teams develops, control and analyze projects. The Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK) contains the various methods used to manage projects on any complexity and provides a better understanding of implementing project activities in line with scope, time and performance. The methodological approach to managing projects has specific criteria that must be followed for successful completion of the projects (Cardona-Meza and Olivar-Tost, 2017. p. 17). Project management requires the application of these fundamental procedures of initiation, planning, execution, control, monitoring and evaluation to manage each activity with the constrained resources while focusing on the overall scope of the project.

Section 1

The proposed project in this case is the installation of an IT project at the new Lifestyle Centre (LSC). The project will commence on Monday 11th January 2021 and its expected date of completion is June 11th 2021. The projected period of completion will be six months. The above project will involve 10 team members who will collaborate to execute the 40 activities from inception to completion. The project will involve both the project board, project team and all other interested parties within the LSC. The project manager has developed the project plan in the following manner.

Business Case

The IT project will greatly impact LSC by providing a platform to address key technological challenges in communication and access to services in the center.  The above project aims to utilize the available resources in the center to establish a well-equipped IT system that will facilitate the running of the LSC. Upon completion, the center will benefit from reduced costs used in implementing IT solutions and increase the productivity of the system in the whole LSC area. Meeting the demands of customers who utilizes the facility, this project will provide a lasting solution for the quest for better information flow within the facility and the external users of the center. Additionally, the above project will address employment challenges as many of the 10,000 inhabitants will obtain employment opportunities in the center. The project’s objectives are as follows:

  1. To establish a competent fully functional IT infrastructure at LSC within six months.
  2. To transform the operations of the center to focus on IT related solutions.
  3. To address the challenges of social distancing resulting from the prevalence of the current Corona virus pandemic by digitally transforming services at LSC.

Scope of the Project

The above project has a detailed scope that informs how activities will be accomplished in the whole project’s life cycle and their dependencies on each other. The project will utilize $ 200 billion for the entire process. The budgeted amount will be allocated in ratios depending on the specific budget needs of individual tasks. In the plan, there will be 40 activities broken down and assigned to specific team members. The activities will be tracked after the first three months to ascertain if they correspond to the schedule and respective costs.

Project Activity List

The following table outlines the major activities of the project:

Task Name Duration Planned Start Date Planned Finish Date
1.     Analysis 20 days 11/ 01/ 2021 01/02/2021
On-site meetings 4 days 11/01/2021 15/01/2021
Discussion with stakeholders 4 days 15/01/2021 19/01/2021
Stakeholder initial requirements 3 days 19/01/2021 22/01/2021
Stakeholder final requirements 3 days 22/01/2021 25/01/2021
Customer requirements 2 days 25/01/2021 27/01/2021
Document current system 4 days 27/01/2021 01/ 02/2021
Analysis complete 0 days 01/02/2021 01/02/2021
2.     Design 14 days 01/02/2021 15/02/2021
Design database 4 days 01/02/2021 05/02/2021
Software design 3 days 05/02/2021 08/02/2021
Interface design 3 days 08/02/2021 11/02/2021
Create design specifications 4 days 11/02/2021 15/02/2021
Design complete 0 days 15/02/2021 15/02/2021
3.     Development 22 days 15/02/2021 08/03/2021
Deploy development site 2 days 15/02/2021 17/02/2021
Develop system modules 10 days 17/02/2021 27/02/2021
Integrating system modules 7 days 27/02/2021 05/03/2021
Performing initial testing 3 days 05/03/2021 08/03/2021
Development complete 0 days 08/03/2021 08/03/2021
4.     Testing 18 days 08/03/2021 26/03/2021
Deploy testing site 4 days 08/03/2021 12/03/2021
Testing the system 3 days 12/03/2021 15/03/2021
Running unit tests 4 days 15/03/2021 19/03/2021
Running system test cycle 7 days 19/03/2021 26/03/2021
Testing complete 0 days 26/03/2021 26/03/2021
5.     Implementing system 25 days 26/03/2021 20/04/2021
On-site installation 4 days 26/03/2021 30/03/2021
Setup database 5 days 30/03/2021 02/04/2021
Importing live data 4 days 02/04/2021 06/04/2021
Integrating backup  14 days 06/04/2021 20/04/2021
Implementation complete 0 days 20/04/2021 20/04/2021
6.     Training 15 days 20/04/2021 05/05/ 2021
Performing system testing 5 days 20/04/2021 25/04/2021
Documenting issues found 5 days 25/04/2021 30/04/2021
Correcting issues found 5 days 30/04/2021 05/05/2021
Training complete 0 days 05/05/2021 05/05/2021
7.     Documentation 20 days 05/05/2021 25/05/2021
Technical document 4 days 05/05/2021 09/05/2021
Functional document 4 days 09/05/2021 13/05/2021
User manual 3 days 13/05/2021 16/05/2021
Transition plan 4 days 16/05/2021 20/05/2021
Handover document 5 days 20/05/2021 25/05/2021
Contract closure 0 days 25/05/2021 25/05/2021
8.     Software upgrade 17 days 25/05/2021 11/06/2021
Software installation 10 days 25/05/2021 04/06/2021
Software upgrade 7 days 04/06/2021 11/06/2021

 

The above activity list entails all the possible activities to be done by the project team in the above project. The Work Breakdown Structure for the above project will list key members of the tea required to carry out the specifies tasks.  The assumptions made for this project includes the following:

  1. The project will complete in the stated time and allocated budget.
  2. All the project team members will act collaboratively to facilitate the success of the project.
  • The project sponsor will provide all the financial resources required for the above project.
  1. Risks such as the Pandemic Corona virus, inflation rates and system fails will affect the deliverables of the project.
  2. The resulting project deliverables will correspond to the project plan.
  3. All stakeholders have different interests in the project outcomes and will work collaboratively to achieve the project goals.
  • The senior project management team will continually assess the progress of activities and make proper adjustments on those activities that do not reflect productivity.
  • The project sponsor will provide all the resources required for successful completion of the project since the initial stages towards the finish time.
  1. The UK government comprises people who have a shared vision, and work collaboratively to improve its environment.
  2. The risks associated with the project will have a minimal effect on its performance and thus will not affect the expected outcomes.
  3. The project will benefit every stakeholder residing in and out of the LSC.

Project Constrains

The above project has some constrains that impact its completion. Firstly, the project is constrained on its budget of 200, 000 million dollars. The budgeted cost of the project is static and the project board does not expect it to change throughout the project’s life cycle. Every activity outlined in the activity list should use the specified budget allocation contained in the project’s budget. As the project continues, the project manager will be tasked to calculate the earned value, planned value, actual cost of the project and confirm if these figures reflect a positive direction in the project’s vision.

Time is also a constrain in the above project. The project has been scheduled to complete in 6 months beginning the 11th January 2021 to 9th June 2021. The specified time for the project means that all the project activities must take place progressively within the set deadlines. Each activity has been allocated a specific time to complete. The time management plan will be used to check if some activities have exceeded time or not (Giran, Temur and Bekdaş, 2017 p. 484). Thus, the project team must adhere to the planned time when accomplishing tasks to prevent delays in delivering on the overall project.

The scope of the project is another constrain. The project team expects to establish a competent IT system in LSC. The system will impact the overall fraternity of LSC and the UK government at large. Hence, the above project must deliver on its scope and the business case.

Project Dependencies

The project above depends on the accomplishment of specific tasks before it becomes a success. First, the project depends on the project sponsors aid in financing its activities. Additionally, the project depends on the overall support of the LSC fraternity to implement its functions on the site.

Each activity in the plan will be dependent on the other and thus the project team must work collaboratively to ensure all the activities are done completely for a successful project (Sepasgozar, 2019 p. 191). The following represents the specific project budget breakdown of the major project activities.

Task Assigned cost (millions in dollars ($) Assigned time (days)
Analysis 30,000 20
Design 25,000 14
Development 20,000 22
Testing 35,000 18
Implementation 20,000 25
Training 20,000 15
Documentation 25,000 20
Software upgrade 25,000 17

 

Section 2

            The project manager appraised the above project on Friday the 9th of April 2021 and made several calculations regarding the progress and performance of the project. Due to the rising inflation rates, the current impact of COVID- 19 and environmental uncertainties in the region, the cost of the project activities increased by 10% in the initial stages. The effects of uncertainty also caused the project time to increase in the first three months. Thus the following calculations were carried out on the project.

  1. Percentage of wok completed in the first phase

Percentage of work completed = actual work/ work

= 74/150

PWC =50%

  1. The actual costs incurred in the project as at 9th April 2021 will be computed basing on the costs consumed against the budgeted cost

Cost incurred till 9th April 2021 as estimated in the budget = 120, 000 million dollars

Additional costs as a result of uncertainties = 10% of the projected total budget

Hence, additional costs= 10 % x 200,000 million dollars = 20,000 dollars

Thus, the Actual Cost of Work Performed (ACWP)= 120,000+ 20,000= 140,000 Million dollars.

  1. Planned Value (BCWS) will simply be computed as the budgeted amount through the current period of reporting.

Hence PV = 30,000+ 25,000+ 20,000+ 35,000

PV= 120,000 Million dollars

  1. Earned value (EV) for the above projected will be the total projected budget multiplied by the percentage of work done (Mahmoudi, Bagherpour and Javed, 2019 p. 54).

Total projected budget = 200,000 million dollars

Percentage of work done as at 9th April,2021= 50%

Thus, EV= 200,000x 50/100

EV= 100,000 million dollars.

  1. Schedule Variance will be obtained by subtracting the Planned Value from the Earned Value

Planned value= 120,000

Earned value= 100,000

Thus SV= 100000- 120000

SV= -20,000 million dollars

  1. Cost variance involves a subtraction between the earned value(EV) and the actual cost (AC)

EV= 100,000

AC= 140,000

CV= 100,000- 140,000

CV= -40,000

Section Three: Reflection

The above project has a critical path that requires the project team to address for successful completion. The project commenced well as indicated in its plan and all the resources needed for its completion were available. The project plan outlined each activity needed and assigned specific roles to individual team members. During the analysis stage, the stakeholders and the project board brainstormed on the project’s benefits and formulated the business case. Work began as planned and the system was designed. The preceding activities occurred in conjunction with the outlined procedures. The project’s initial stages were accomplished as per the plan.

The subsequent project stages involved a number of constrains and hence impacted the productivity of the entire project. For instance, the outbreak and prevalence of the novel COVID-19 impacted how the activities of the project were done. Due to the need to maintain social distance and lockdown effects, some team members did not turn on the site. The delay and absence at the site resulted to increase in time needed to accomplish tasks by 15 %. The increase in time resulted into delays and generally affected the time for completing the project activities. Additionally, the rising inflation rates in the UK government caused prices of items to rise. The rise in prices impacted the project purchasing power hence resulted to a 10 % rise in the project cost. The costs increased hence affecting the budget. The increase in budget has a causal effect on the overall delivery of the project. Huge costs cause some of the activities to slow down as there need to source for more finance to ensure continuity in the project work.

Projects of this time usually require close monitoring to evaluate their performance and align them with the project scope. For the above project, appraisal has been scheduled to occur in the middle of the project as at 9th April 2021. The evaluation report will be presented to the project board for insights and decision making. If the project board approves the recommendations indicated in the status report, then the project manager will revisit the project plan to make adjustments on costs and time. When revising the plan, the manager will prioritize activities that need to complete and reschedule those activities that have not completed according to the plan. Timely, the project manager will track the progress of these activities to confirm whether they intend to produce the planned deliverables.

Risks and issues are also part of the project life cycle and thus must be addressed as the project progresses. Some possible risks related to the above project may include system failure, faulty installations and cyber-attacks. The project manager will have to update the risk register and calculate the value of risks to determine the potential risks that can result in project failure. Timely, the project manager will develop a risk management plan to enable the project team perform tasks while reducing the impact of risks on the deliverables. Thus, after establishing a risk management plan, the project manager will communicate the plan to every project member and mitigate ways to reduce the risks as the project progresses.

Lastly given the current state of the project after the status report, the project manager will need to crush some activities in the remaining phases. Crushing will ensure that time has been recovered and the project delivers on its scope without compromising its expected performance. For this reason, the project manager will crush those activities to save on cost and time to gap the increased 15% time and 10% cost of the project.

Key project management expertise is crucial in managing a complex project like the one above. As a result, project managers and teams need up-to-date knowledge to accomplish specific tasks and address project risks in a timely manner. Thus project management involves critical approaches that require a deep understanding of the project scope, time and cost.

 

References

Cardona-Meza, L.S. and Olivar-Tost, G., 2017. Modeling and simulation of project management through the PMBOK® standard using complex networks. Complexity2017.

Giran, O., Temur, R. and Bekdaş, G., 2017. Resource constrained project scheduling by harmony search algorithm. KSCE Journal of Civil Engineering21(2), pp.479-487.

Mahmoudi, A., Bagherpour, M. and Javed, S.A., 2019. Grey earned value management: theory and applications. IEEE Transactions on Engineering Management.

Sepasgozar, S.M., Karimi, R., Shirowzhan, S., Mojtahedi, M., Ebrahimzadeh, S. and McCarthy, D., 2019. Delay causes and emerging digital tools: A novel model of delay analysis, including integrated project delivery and PMBOK. Buildings9(9), p.191.