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Project management refers to the organizing and securing resources in order to achieve the intended goals. A project is defined as a temporarily endeavor, which is undertaken to meet the required objectives or goals. It is time being constructed and frequently constrained through funding or deliverable ones to bring about the added value. In project management there is need for distinct technical skills and management strategies required in ensuring that the project has become successful. The major project management challenge is to achieve the project goals while taking into consideration the pre-convinced restraints. Typical restraints include the scope, budget and time. Another challenge is optimizing the allocation and integrating inputs being vital for meeting the pre-defined goals. A project takes varied stages in the project life cycle, which include initiation, planning, execution and closure.
The first stage of project life cycle is initiation. Initiation is the first project management phase, which involves instigating or planning the project. It involves defining the objectives of the project, scope, its purposes and the deliverable ones to be produced. One should hire the project team, set the project office and carry out project review in order to gain approval for continuing with the next phase. There are varied steps the project manager needs to take into consideration in order to initiate properly Chase Retail Complex project. One of the initiation processes is developing a business case. The project manager would begin by developing the project business case for the project. This is vital because it will help in identifying the detailed benefits and solution costs; thus providing the sponsor of the project with recommendable solutions for approving and funding the project. The project manager should identify the problem or opportunity, provide alterative solutions, quantify the cost of every solution and identify risks before presenting the project for approval.
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The second initiation process is undertaking the feasibility of study. Feasibility of study is the exercise that involves documenting each of the business potential solutions to business problem or opportunity. The purpose of carrying out the feasibility of study is to identify the problem that might arise in order to meet the stated project requirements. The feasibility of study will enable the project manager to gain and clarify the results if the solutions would deliver the required outcomes. Before carrying out the feasibility of study one would identify the business problem, provide alternative solution and provide recommendations for the implementations of the solutions. Carrying out review for each solution is another task that follows for determination of feasibility. The project manager then can choose the preferred solution being vital for implementation and the document the feasibility report results. The project charter comprises the detailed instructions that will help the project manager to complete each section of the project. It contains real-life examples.
Another initiation process is establishing the project charter. Project charter is crucial because it will help one to define the scope of the project. Writing the project charter is a challenging task of the project because it defines the parameters which the project must deliver. This charter will identify the vision and goals of the objectives. It would define the complete project scope. It will include a list of critical project deliverable ones and the risks or assumptions. It should document the overall plan implementation of the project.
Project team appointment and setting up the project office are the vital initiation process. The project manager would list responsibilities that are supposed to be covered in the project process. Completing the project description consumes a lot of time and it is a challenging task. This is because the project manager has to define the target role and measure the performance of the target. The job description should define the real purpose of the project, skills or required experience, relevant qualifications and working conditions for team members (Fleming and Koppelman, 1997). This is essential because it will help the project manager accomplish the project effectively. Additionally, setting up the project office is a vital task. One needs to set aside the fight project management office tools that would support the projects adequately. It is imperative to select better location for the project management office team and ensure that there are proper infrastructures.
The second stage of project life cycle is planning. It involves implementing the plan that would guide the team through project execution process. Planning would help one to manage time well and ensure that one delivers the project in time. One of the tasks being involved is the creating a project plan. This involves making a description of each step followed in a project. It involves identifying all the phases and required activities that should be carried out. Another activity is creating a resource management plan, and this will help in identifying labor quantity, equipment or required materials needed for delivering the project. The resource plan includes the required labor, required people to carry out each role, items and their purpose. Financial planning is another task that helps the project manager in determining the expenditure of the project. This helps in setting the budget for various materials and equipment needed to accomplish the task. Quality control planning is a vital one in project management. It identifies the needs of clients and defines quality standards for deliverable ones.
The third stage is project execution and controlling whereby the project activities are implemented and controlled. One of the activities being involved includes building the deliverable ones in order to meet the required project goals. The execution process describes the way of monitoring and controlling time spent in project. Project time helps in identifying the time being spent in monitoring, resolving management issues and keeping the project up-to-date. Another task is cost management whereby the process helps in identifying the costs, and they use the records to track them. The project manager should identify the cost in the project, keep the cost record of the project activities, reduce the overall cost of the project and record the cost incurred in the project. The quality management is the task that involves setting the target required to be achieved by the team. It should define the way measurements of quality targets, identifies quality issues and the overall quality level to be achieved.
The last one is the project closure whereby the project manager closes down the project and reports its overall performance to the sponsor. It involves handing the deliverable ones to the client informing the stakeholders about the project. One of the tasks to be carried out is the project closure report, which helps in taking the necessary steps needed in winding up the project. The project closure helps indentifying the completion criteria. One can perform the project closure through passing the deliverable one to customers, communicating about the project to clients and stakeholders or releasing project resources to the business. The project closure is unique because it includes pre-formatted sections and tables. It provides a list of activities necessary for the project closure. Another essential task is post implementation review that helps in identifying the success of the project to be deliverable and its achievements. This is the last critical process which allows independent party to authenticate the success of the project and provide confidence to stakeholders. Moreover, the post review helps in measuring the benefits and goals of the project and makes a decision in case if the project was within the scope. The assessment of the final deliverable ones, final project outcome and review of project schedule are done. The post review is crucial because it helps in identifying the project achievements and milestones. It communicates the success of the stakeholders and documents lessons learned for future projects.
The work breaking down structure (WBS) is a vital tool for management. It defines the discrete project work that helps the project manager in defining the total work scope in the project. From the Chase Retail Complex, the WBS is arranged depending on the activities of each team member who performs in this project. The WBS reveals the type of activities performed by each team member in different working days. The attached project reveals the WBS illustration of the project and it indicates different activities performed by team project members. (See the attached WBS in my project).
The Gantt chart is a bar chart which illustrates a project schedule. It reveals the day the project begins and the ending date of varied activities. It comprises the WBS from which the chart is constructed. The project managers use the WBS in constructing the Gantt chart. It presents a phase of activities that fit into a single sheet. They reveal the time cost and scope of project because they focus on schedule management. The Gantt chart indicates the activities and estimates the time expected in project accomplishment.
The attached document includes two attachments of fixed in the MS project. It has a combination of the WBS and Gantt chart. The WBS is has a hierarchical list of activities of the project and the Gantt chart reveals a schedule for different activities listed in the WBS. The standard working hours for the project is 8 hours per a day. The project will take 30 days in the month of March and each activity would be distributed to various team members. In total, the project will cover 240 hours to be accomplished in one month. This is because the work would be shared among the project team; thus making the work easier. Moreover, this would enable the project manager to achieve the common goals within a short period; hence achieving the needs of customers.
If the project manager is paid $ 30/ hour, primary worker - $25/hour and support work - $15/hour, then the total labor costs for all of them can be shown below;
The total labor costs = total amount of money multiplied by the number of hours being worked in a day.
The total labor costs= (30+25+15) x 8
Therefore, the total labor cost in a month, which the project would take is 560x30=$16,800.
Form the above results; the project manager would get $ 240, a primary worker $200 and a support worker $ 120 in a day. This is because the standard working hours in a workday is eight hours. Their total payment in a day can be multiplied by 30 days of the month and this would give the total labor costs. From the attached resource sheet, one can evaluate the total labor cost for each activities performed in the project (See the attached sheet).
There are varied things, which one should take into consideration when estimating the total project cost plan. One of them is the total number of people needed to accomplish the required task. This is vital because it will enable the project manager to include the amount of payment that should be paid to laborers. A project can not be accomplished by the project manager alone; thus he may need a certain number of people to help him or her for accomplishing the required goals. These people would be paid certain amount of money which will be included in the budget, thus while being able the project manager to plan for the project cost because the more the workers the more the cost is. Therefore, determining the number of project team needed for accomplishing the project is vital task.
Another thing that would be taken into consideration is time required to accomplish the project. Time is an important resource and time is considered as money. The amount of time required to complete the project is crucial. This is because it will help the project managers to determine the total project costs. This is because the more time is spent for a project, the higher the cost is; hence it will enable the project manager to estimate the cost using the time needed to finish the project. However, if the project would take shorter time, the cost is would be lower. Therefore, time is an impetrative resource when estimating the project cost plan.
The tasks or activities that would be covered will help in estimating the total project costs. There are varied activities that would be covered when carrying out a project. For instance, in the Chase Retail complex, varied tasks which involve roofing, plumbing, electrical, interior and exterior structure may require different engineers who would carry out these various activities. This would enable the project manager to make a budget for various activities. This is because he or she would need different contractors or construction companies to come and help in accomplishing the project. Hence, the project manager would need to estimate the cost for various activities required in accomplishing the project.
The last thing taken into consideration is the scope or the extent at which one is capable working better in a particular field. So the experience or knowledge that an individual one possesses towards performing a certain task is taken into consideration. Many projects nowadays require experienced people; thus the total cost depends on the capability of the worker to perform it. For instance, an experienced engineer may earn more than the less experienced one. This is because the work of an experienced person who can perform cannot be equated with the work that an inexperienced person can perform. Although, this is rarely used in some instances, but it mostly applies in the contemporary society. This is whereby one earns depending on the qualifications and knowledge towards performing a particular task. This would determine the total cost of labor because knowledge is one of the vital resources in project management, hence it should be valued.
From part C of the project, it is seen that the WBS and Gantt charts being constructed reveal different activities performed in the construction of the building A, B, C and D. This building wastes a lot of resource including people and time consumed in accomplishing the constructions. Moreover, the amount of money spent for labor cost is high. The new resources as indicated in the attached sheet of my project reveals some changes made in the project. This changes were made in order to reduce the cost of labor and time consumed for the accomplishing the project. Some activities that would be performed simultaneously were removed from the resource sheet. This is because there are some activities that are not so important; hence they cannot be included in the resource sheet.
The new resource sheet being constructed is vital because it helps the project manager to reduce the costs spent in the project. The new resource sheet has some vital activities that should be accomplished in the project. Other activities from the original WBS and Gantt charts were left out because some of them such as landscaping and plumbing were removed out. This is because employing many people to perform even minor activities is wastage of resources. Other activities were combined such as interior and exterior structures because these activities can be done simultaneously.
The reasons for making some changes to the original WBS and Gantt charts are varied. One of them is the need to reduce the costs spent on labor. Assigning even minor activities to laborers and yet these activities being able to combine with other major activities is a wastage of resources. The adjustments to these activities are vital because it will enable the project manager to reduce the unnecessary expenses; thus the only way to reduce such a cost is to reduce assigning people unnecessary activities. Another reason is the need to reduce the time spent in performing activities which can be combined together and performed within the specified time period. For instance, the interior and exterior structures were combined together. This is because of the need to reduce the tie spent in dividing activities, which can be done simultaneously with others and accomplished in a specified time period.
Moreover, reducing some of these superfluous activities will enable the laborers to reduce the amount of the time spent in carrying out the construction work. For instance, when comparing the original WBS and Gantt charts and the adjusted one, (see the attached resource sheet) there is a big difference in the time spent for work. The original sheet indicates 30 days spent in performing various tasks and the new resource sheet indicates 17 days spent in performing the task. This is crucial because it enables the project manager to avoid wasting resources such as time and people in performing superfluous activities. Therefore, the project manager would be able to manage the project and, therefore achieve the project goals effectively.
The changes would affect the overall project in various ways. One of the effects is that there would be less cost spent in the project management. This is because of the reduced activities and this is vital because it will enable the project manager to invest in other activities vital in the project. Another change is that the project duration would be changed and it would be reduced. This is because of eliminating some activities, which were not vital. This is imperative because it enables the company to accomplish the project within the minimum time period. Eliminating some activities in the project makes the workers to become busy. This is because when assigning work to many people, some of them may not commit themselves and they may become idle. It may contribute to making decision difficult, and thus, few workers will work hard because it is easier for the project leader to supervise them. It will enable the workers to produce quality work and accomplish the project within the short period of time.
Conflicts are likely to arise in any project and it emerges from various situations. They are unavoidable and the project team should expect different opinions to arise that may cause conflicts. They are not suppressed but rather seen as normal and the opportunity for project growth. Conflicts can be beneficial because they may help the project manager to identify the problem, but they may cause severe damage and hinder the project from becoming successful. There are varied conflicts that may arise when carrying out the project management. These include unclear roles and responsibilities that may arise among the project team. This will hinder the project from achieving the required goals. Another conflict is unclear goals, especially when they do not define clear goals necessary for achieving the requirement of the project. The last conflict is poor communication and this may hinder the project from achieving its goals.
One of the conflicts that may arise is unclear identification of roles and responsibilities. Individuals assigned to different roes may feel that their responsibilities are ambiguous overlap with the roles of other individuals. The solution for this problem is defining clear roles and responsibilities to every individual. In the beginning of the project, it is essential to meet with each team member individually and inform each of them the reasons that someone has been selected to perform a particular activity. The project manager should describe the expected roles to each individual in order to avoid conflicts. The project team should feel free to enquire from their project manager to clarify them the ambiguity tasks. It is vital for project managers to clarify the task each individual should perform during the planning process. The project manager should use the work breaking down structure tool or a Gantt chart for assigning each member the roles.
Another conflict that might arise is unclear project goals. This project may fail to accomplish their objectives because of unclear goals. However, the solution of solving this problem is through defining clear objectives that should guide the project team. Clear projects goals should be communicated at the initial stage of the project. It is vital to identify the project scope, quality level and indicate the budget as well as create visions of the project. This should be communicated at the first place of the meeting before continuing with other activities. The project manager should enquire from the team members and take them to understand the aim of the objectives at the first meeting of the project. The project manager should discuss the project goals periodically and make some reviews to the project goals. The information should be presented in written form and with clarification to each member in order for every individual to read and understand the project goals. Revealing and discussing the project goals once in the meeting is not sufficient; thus frequent reviewing of goals is crucial.
Additionally, developing a clear statement of the problem is one of the vital steps towards problem solving. This is vital because it will help members to come up with clear objectives that would guide them towards achieving their endeavors. The problem statement is a vehicle to coming up with the conclusions and this will enable individuals to achieve better objective goals. Gido and Clements (2006) point out that it is vital for project manager to gather data and verify the potential causes of the problem at the early stage of the project. It is vital for project team to deal with problem solving process and define those objectives that may cause problems. There are goals that might lead to conflicts in project, especially when they are ambiguous. The project team should help the project manager to identify clearly those objectives that would enable them to accomplish their mission effectively without causing any chaos during the project process.
Communication problem may arise because the team members may lack skills and knowledge about what is happening in the project .It is vital for project manager to participate in all the project documents including planning process, schedules and report writing of the project. The project manager should communicate effectively and encourage team members to share information together, collaborate and solve problems together as a team. According to Gido and Clements (2006), identifying the potential causes for the problem is vital. Problems arise due to varied reasons. Sometimes it may be due to technical problems or poor work done by some members and this might lead to problems in the project management. It is vital for project managers to identify the problems once their conflicts have risen and this will help them to know the ways of dealing with such problems.
Moreover, identifying the possible solutions and providing alternative solutions would help to reduce problems (Gido and Clements, 2006). Communication problems may hinder the performance of the project; thus it is vital for managers to identify better solutions for problem solving process. Identifying possible problems is a critical step in problem solving; thus team members should be careful not to jump into matters that may trigger conflicts. Disappointments may result in case if the first solution may not work. Communicating effectively will enable the project and team members to reach the possible solutions. Solutions would backfire due to poor communication whereby members would not agree together to solutions. It is vital for each member to brainstorm and discuss together until they reach the agreeable possible solutions of the problems. Additionally, it is crucial for project managers to provide alternative solutions of the problems, proving alterative ways to the problem will help in reducing conflicts. There is need for identifying various alternative solutions identified in the fourth step of providing possible solutions. This will help the team members to evaluate the alternatives effectively and better criteria establishment would help in problem solving. This would help members to move to another step of determining the best solution through proper decision-making process.
Chase will know that the project has become successful when it has achieved the stated goals. A project may become successful if only it meets the objectives defined during the planning process. This is because as successful projects relies upon the clear objectives set before starting the project. The goals should be clearly defined and project team should guide project team towards achieving those goals. A successful project is the one that has accomplished the defined goals and it should be able to achieve the mission a vision of the organization. Additionally, it should meet the needs or the requirements of the customers; thus it is considered to be successful. The aim of a project is to meet the needs of customers; thus a successful project should satisfy their needs. Once the customer’s needs have been achieved, it easier for the project manager to determine if the common goal was achieved or not.
Chase Retail Complex will know if they have achieved the common goal of the project through carrying out testing project performance. This is through employing some metrics in testing the project performance and tracking the way the project performs. There are varied metric employed in measuring the project performance. Independent testing teams use varied metrics in measuring the effectiveness of the project. This testing metrics are essential because they reveal the way that a project is working and it enables one to analyze the effectiveness of the project. Moreover, the project manager can carry out evaluation program of the project. This is crucial because project assessment would enable the project teams to determine if the project has achieved the intended goals. The project manager and team members would carry out monitoring of the projects. This would enable them to know if the project achieved their intended goals. Monitoring is crucial because it would enable the project manager not only to determine the goals that were achieved but also help them make changes where necessary.
One of the measures or metric used in the project life cycle is the test execution and tracking. A number of metrics have been formulated in tracking and testing the performance of the project in the project life cycle. There are varied metric numbers for checking the performance of the project and most of them provide an insight into the way the test project teams are doing. Executing and tracking is one of the metric employed in test the performance of the Chase Retail Complex. Schedule and effort variance work in relation to execution and tracking testing. Effort variance measures show that planned effort for system testing varies from the actual effort being needed. It results due to poor understanding of the system. Schedule variance is the actual versus planned testing schedule. It would be due to various reasons such as delayed testing errors made in the planning testing phase. This is because execution and tracking test helps the project or independent team for testing the project to make evaluations or determine the performance of the project. This metric is related to the Chase Retail Complex project because the project has to be tested in order to evaluate if it as achieved the common goal. Moreover, the metric is linked with the Chase Complex project because the project manager would need to carry out execution testing during the execution process in the project management.
The second metric is defect related measurement and it has related measurements. One involves defect leakage, which is used in measuring the defects leaked to environmental production. It measures test team efficiency and identifies all the problems in production process. It is vital for project team to consider those production bugs being produced and that they were part of the test team. This metric can provide skewed results and the project team should consider this factors before any production defect. All production issues can be recorded in the excel sheet and the project manager can select all the production issues which would be marked as a leakage. Another one is defect efficiency identification whereby the team identifies the building bug being introduced and a variety of testing on the functionality in the question is vital in this case. This is similar to the Chase Complex project because problems may arise and the project manager is required to identify the problems that would affect the project. This is through use of metrics for testing and measuring the performance of the project in order to evaluate the potential problems that might arise. Another classification is defect closure rate which identifies the closed defects. In this case, a combination of defect charts and closure produces a clear picture of the way that products are stabilized while under testing. The last classification is defect reassigned to testers’ clarifications, which measures the way the team understands the products and their communication skill.
The third metric is test related to coverage, which measures the coverage test provided by the project team. This metric falls under different categories including test case mapping. All the requirements should map at least one of the test cases. This requires mapping of the project and it is related to Chase project because it requires mapping in order to determine a better area for allocating the project. The Chase can employ this metric in order to determine if the project has achieved the required goals of the project. The metric test is vital because it will enable the team project to monitor the project through carrying out the project measurements. Another category is execution of test cases in each test cycle. This will enable the project manager to track various test cases being written. The test case is another efficiency that measures the efficiency measure in order to identify the problems arising in the project. The project manager performs the mapping test in order to determine the problem that may impact on the project. This type of metric relates to the Chase Retail Complex because it is one of vital metrics that can enable the project to succeed. It is used to test the validity and performance of the project if it can meet the required standards.
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