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Being a cost conscious company, Manco Company, has established a plan to implement the shared services project that will replace the paper-based system that is termed time-consuming and inefficient. This project is anticipated to reduce costs through streamlining the finance, payroll and the human resource functions across the firm. This report aims at establishing the principles of project management that the project manager will apply, the cost and time analysis of the project and the various risks to emerge in the course of the implementation.
Principles of Project Management
According to Mauk (2013) there should be continuous review and improvement of the approach that is used to run the project. Most of the successful projects are run by leaders who are optimistic about the project. The project is usually run in phases. When these phases are reviewed regularly, it gives the project manager the opportunity to improve the errors made in previously. This is because reviewing the project helps to identify the phases that worked well and those that failed. This will then provide a basis for correcting what had gone wrong. Reviewing the project entails looking at the techniques, tools and the processes that were employed in the final phase and how they integrated with each other. Reviewing also entails making an analysis of the budget and time to identify whether the project is been implemented within the budget and whether it is on time.
After completion of each phase, an evaluation is essential to determine whether the product quality is as it was expected. Improving the approach entails providing an environment in which all members who are a part of the team have the opportunity to express their views on how the project is being run honestly and without fear of any consequences. The project manager is supposed to listen to the views and opinions passed on by other team members without feeling intimidated or limited or challenged. Feedback should also be sought from other team members who are not part of the development. These include the shareholders, sponsors and the end users (Croxall, 2011).
The project manager is also expected to formalize and determine the roles of everyone involved and communicate them in a way that is effective. In other words, the project should be well organized, and all the information needed be communicated to all. This means clearly explaining what is expected of all the team members and the shareholders who are the sponsors of the project. This principle is meant to ensure that the roles of the committees, for instance, the steering committee that pushes for funding are aware of their responsibility to ensure the project is not stopped for lack of resources. In order to make sure this goes as planned, a communication plan is established. This plan will cover different information needed to pursue the project. The plan should be formulated after having consulted the sponsors, stakeholders and the team members to ensure that their needs are addressed in the plan (Croxall, 2011).
Change control and monitoring are also essential. Change can be brought or triggered by both external and internal factors. For instance, the team members may shift jobs or some of the sponsors may opt to withdrawal from sponsoring the project or the needs of the users change. Mauk (2013) recommends the cause of action whenever such a change occurs. He stresses on analyzing the cause of change and the impact that change will have on the quality of the project, cost and the scheduled time. The entire request for change should be handed over to the steering committee that will approve of it or request revision. It is recommended that no new job be started unless the approval of the steering committee is done.
Focusing on the quality of the product is a key principle that will facilitate success of the project. Quality entails that end product is perfectly matching the expected or projected plan. This can only be achieved if there is constant liaising with the end users and consistent reviewing of the products that have been produced to determine whether they have matched the criteria put in place. The definition of the project should be clear and not vague. Everybody should be in a position to agree with what has been described. Comprehensive tests should be carried out to aid in testing the functionality of each product. These are usually done after everybody has been made aware of how the end product will appear like.
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Croxall (2011) recommends nurturing of the team to ensure a successful project. It is essential to hire the most experienced and self motivated people who will be focused on the objective ahead of them. Those people should be protected against any organizational politic that may exist. Employees should also be trained.
Cost, Time, Scope and Quality Analysis
The quality of the product is the main objective when it comes to project management. The quality of the project is defined by how well it has met the needs and specifications of the end users. The quality of the project is arrived at in stages starting from the commencement of the project. There is a need to have a well detailed plan that defines the scope of the project, requirements and the criteria through which the project will be developed. The criterion can be well developed by the end users who have a picture of what they expect. In an effort to ensure the project is matching these criteria, there is a need for the continued and consistent check to find out whether the phases being accomplished are matching the criteria. The manager should also define what he believes to be a comprehensive picture of the attained project to ensure that everyone is in agreement and is headed the same direction. Involving the clients and the users also helps to prevent deviation from the plan (Spinner, 2007).
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The cost of the project goes hand in hand with the quality. The steering committee, which is set to oversee the completion of a project, should ensure that there is a well articulated budget that defines all the costs that will be incurred to develop the project. To develop a shared services project will involve the use of resources. The project manager, therefore, has to ensure that the project is within the stipulated budget, and if there are additional costs, there arises the need to consult the steering committee. All cost effective measures should be undertaken. As a part of the controls, the manager should ensure that the invoices are signed off and the cost incurred adequately tracked. This should also include the timesheets (Spinner, 2007).
The success of a project is measured by how well the completion has fit the deadline. Once a project is proposed, for instance, the shared services project, the commencement time and the completion time have to be well articulated. The manager should use some of the estimation techniques to anticipate how much the project is going to cost and how long it is going to take. All measures to ensure the project does not delay should be put in place. It is essential for the manager to anticipate certain factors that may lead to delay. In cases where changes of the plan occur, the manager should improvise measures to take to ensure the project is still on time. There should be clear starting and ending pints whenever an agile project is being run (Spinner, 2007).
Approaches to Leadership, People Management and Team Work
According to Juli (2010) a successful team is what constitutes a successful project. How to acquire a successful team is wholly dependent on the manager. The manager is advised to acquire the most experienced and qualified people. The manager has the responsibility to train them and provide a working condition that will facilitate them to expose and utilize their talents fully. In line with people management, the manger has to view each individual independently and analyze their individual motivating power and finding means of getting into their hidden potential. Cross training of the staff is also recommended to enhance sharing of ideas and knowledge. In case the team members are working on other different projects the project priorities should be actively set as a way to avoid conflicting in the undertakings.
This will ensure each individual has his or her own time to manage all the projects. As a leader, the manager should involve the junior employees in the running of the project. This entails giving them the opportunities of airing their views whenever there is a meeting. The staffs should be encouraged to give honest feedbacks relating to their treatment and the running of the project. They should also be involved in problem solving (Juli, 2010).
The initial phase of the project will revolve around making final adjustment to the plan made. This will also entail holding meetings with the team to ensure that they are aware of their roles and purposes in the course of the project. All the risks that may be faced are anticipated at this stage to enable developing measures to mitigate them when they arise.
The current status of the firm is that there is no detailed planning and costing that has been done. There is the risk of not having a complete plan of the project. For one to be able to meet the milestones of the firm, they should have a well detailed plan that includes the cost and the time and the criteria to follow. There are also instances where the project manager will be required to make decisions regarding the running of the project. Putting this in mind, there is the risk that the stakeholders or the senior managers may not approve of what the manager has proposed. This will lead to slowing the pace of the project implementation (Ferris, 2013).
There is also the risk of employing a team that is not qualified in the individual skills that are essential for carrying out specific tasks. This could slow the starting phase of the project since much of the time will be spent training and coaching and making follow ups of the team (Ferris, 2013).
Mitigating the Risk
A detailed plan should be developed as soon as possible. The manager can push for faster decision making from the stake holders and the senior management. The technology to be used needs to be tested before the project begins to certify that it works. The use of a spreadsheet or other project management software will aid in tracking the issue and risks that may befall the project. Once the issues are known, it will be easy to mitigate them (Pacelli, 2004).
The report has summarized the various principles that the project manager will apply while running the project. Also contained in the report is the basis for the cost and time with reference to the project. The report has also outlined some of the major risks that the manager is likely to face in the course of running the project. From the report compiled, once the detailed plan of the project has been completed, the manager will have a good basis for preparing for the commencement.