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ITC505 ICT Project: Case study – Social Media Research Centre

Case study – Social Media Research Centre

During a meeting with his boss (David Wright), Bruce has been asked to establish a researcher centre. The research centre, which will commence operations in February 2018 first as an informal research group, should be established by June 2017. Alex’s decision to proceed with this major project is spurred by the fact that an associated organizational centre, which researches in a closely related area, has recently ceased operations. There is also a tremendous pressure from David’s senior executives to produce high quality research that is focused in nature. In fact one of David’s senior executives’ comments was that David’s Unit does not have a clear identity when it comes to its scholarly research output compared to the one in Australian National University. After several meetings with subject matter experts (consultants) and a rigorous analysis of the current trends in research in the area of information technology it has been decided that the most appropriate research area for the proposed research centre to focus on is social media. Fortunately several of David’s Unit staff are active researchers in this area. What made this direction even more attractive is that demand from Master and Doctoral students has been largely for programs in this area. David’s Unit also enjoys a very good relationship with an international expert Craig Bamworth in the social media area who has kindly agreed to offer his expertise to Bruce (the program manager).

One of the projects within the Social Media Research Centre larger project that Bruce has identified as important is the development of a web application for the proposed centre.

This application would include an internet website and section for members on the intranet. Bruce has appointed You as the manager of this project commencing work on 1 April 2017. Bruce’s team has conducted the feasibility study and financial analysis to confirm that project must go ahead and must commence as you join your role.

You must assist Bruce in preparing the project charter that need to be submitted within first week of May 2017 via a kick-off meeting to be held with all major stakeholders presenting and discussing the charter before they all signoff and approve charter.

This website should contain information about the major research projects, list of supervisors, Masters and PhD student projects, publications (conference and journal papers), and project reports. The application manager Sonia Reed should update all these details on the website using the intranet login. Members can also update their project details via their member account. It has also been identified by Bruce that displaying the information, program, recorded presentations and reports/publications of the events held in the area of social media research will help in promoting the centre. Sonia would collect this information from the events manager and update the information on the web application before, during and after the events as needed.

Your team must include appropriate experts to assess the application, network and database software and hardware needs to support this project.

Your manager, Bruce has given you guidance that the project needs to be completed within 8 months and that costs should be minimised wherever possible with given budget of AUD 50000.00

Task 1: Prepare Project Charter

Basic details Including: Title of the project, Name and email of the Project Manager (yourself), Duration of the project, and High level budget

Project Objectives

Clear, concise reasoning for why the project is being performed
Clear, concise definition of what the project activities will entail ( high level scope)
Brief description of primary deliverable(s)
Clear description of the project benefits to the organisation
Recognition and description of any limits that the project will not cover and address

MOV - Measurable Organisational Value

Identify the desired area of impact - Rank the following areas in terms of importance: Strategy / Customer / Financial / Operational / Social

Task 2- Communication Plan

Where, Why and How)

Not: Considered Defined but unclear. Defined Where and How communication will take place. Defined Where (location of the meeting or other interactions), Why and How (method) communication will take place.

Defined Where (clearly and appropriately states the location of the meeting or other interactions), Why(description), How (i.e. physical meeting, email, phone, message group, etc.) communication will take place. Forms / Templates are covered.

Answer:

Task 1: Prepare Project Charter

Basic details of the project

The title: Web application development for Social Media Research Centre

Name and email of the Project Manager: Details about yourself

Project duration: 8 months

Budget of the project: AUD 50,000

Objective of Project

During the research, it was observed that most of the students of master’s and PhD level are more concerned with the research output which is of scholar level. There is a need of development of new research centres as the ones which are available at present do not have a clear and a proper identity in scholarly terms. The development of the web applications that shall run over the internet is considered to be the primary deliverables of the project. Along with this web application the software, network, database, hardware, etc. will also be considered under the primary deliverables.

It is observed that the sections available of the social media centre shall also be included in the web application. During the research of the report if was also observed that the Australian National University is considered to be the most viable and authentic research centre for scholarly researches when it comes to social media. The study presented here depicts the advantages available for the organization. Also there is no other research centre available which will remit such vast information on the social media.

Benefits to others: the project report on research centres will be advantageous for many students as the discussion on the research centres of social media is made. The web application is very useful for various requirements. Thes


e requirements could be research journals, dissertations, thesis, research papers, articles, etc. The results of various works done on social media such as live events, presentations, programmes and projects are displayed for the advantage of the stakeholders only (Walker, 2015).

The reason for the accomplishment of the target i.e. completion of the project is because the said project is completed by achieving the defied advantaged and is done within the same time as allotted to it i.e. 8 months.

MOV - Measurable Organisational Value

Measurable Organisational Value can be understood as an alternative to the return of investment method which is used in evaluating the success of the project by comparing the profits of the project to the costs of the project. The success or failure of the project is measured by evaluating the impact of the project which can be in the financial terms or non-financial terms. The usage of MOV assures that the project maximises the usage of the resources of the company so that the benefits can be produced. The benefits can be in the form of Strategic, customer, operational, social or financial benefits. The success of the current project of web application development can be measured by going through the critical success factors. The benefits produced by the project in terms of different areas are explained below in terms of their importance:

  1. Customers: From this project, the customers will be affected the most. They will derive the benefit of getting the readily available information on social media. It will help in completing their projects and education easily from the given information.
  2. Operational: The social media research section will improve the operational efficiency of the research centre by developing the Readers lab. The capacity will be increased which will attract more students and more revenue can be generated.
  3. Financial: In terms of financial analysis, the revenue of the Social Media Research Centre will improve with the increase in the numbers of members in the library.
  4. Social: The society will receive a benefit of the web application. The students and other users will get access to the knowledge which will be provided by the web application of the research centre.
  5. Strategy:  The strategy of the social media research centre will be to increase the users and the revenue for the centre ultimately.

These values are identified for the Readers lab

Better: The Readers Lab will have to focus on regular growth and development because the improvement in the quality is important to the clients.

Faster: the clients need more material and data on the web application which can satisfy their research of data. The client wants to increase the efficiency of the Readers Lab.

Matrix for Measurable Organisational Value

  • The organisation plans for the increase in the number of customers for the Readers Lab so that the revenue generated through membership fee can be increased.
  • The centre plans to expand its market share from 8% to 20% after the execution of the project of web application.
  • Another MOV is to improve the quality of the data which is to be uploaded and provided to the population accessing the web application.
  • The target is to increase the selling of more scholarly articles than before once the application will be developed.
  • The target is to encourage the customers or members to upload more articles than ever before so that the huge pool of resources and knowledge can be created.

Criteria of acceptance

There are some specific factors which help in determining the success or failure of the project. The acceptance crieterias of the project are the deliverables of the project, the due dates of deliverables, milestones and budgets. The project success or failure can also be accepted by considering the time frame and the performance level of the project.

The project deliverables

Due date

Approval

Milestone

Web application

15 September 17

Approval is needed from the management.

Execution of web application

Internet website

30 September 17

Approval is taken from management

Running website for the users

Network and database software

15 November 17

Approval is taken from experts and the management

The development of database by verifying the data on it.

Hardware’s

01 December 17

Approval has to be taken from the project manager and finally from management.

Identificationand assessment of the hardware’s of the project

(Thi & Swierczek, 2010)

Assumptions and Constraints

There are some assumptions made while completing the project of web application development. The assumptions are that the proper approvals are taken from the government and all the laws have been complied. The next assumption is that the verification has been done on regular basis which helps in identifying the loopholes, if any. The next assumption is that the designs of the web application areapproved and it is the best deign. The employees have all the knowledge about the project and they are trained. The board of management is together in support of the development of the web application for providing benefits to the business as well as to the society.

There are certain limitations in the process of project management:

There may be conflicts and non-unanimity of thought between different stakeholders regarding the development of project. There may be shortage of time and budget which are given.

Stakeholders involved

The stakeholders are the individuals or groups who are affected by the actions of the business. In return, the business gets affected from the actions of the stakeholders (Elias, 2016).  The below given list includes all those stakeholders who are involved in theprojectmanagement of web application for Social Media Research centre:

Customers: the customers are the ones who purchase the articles and data from the web application. These may be the students or the professors.

Employees: The employees are those who are hired by the organisation for providing their knowledge and skills to the project organisation.  These employees are paid in the form of wages or salaries (Noro, 2012).

Government: The government is the body which regulates the activities of the project. It is government which allows the organisation to carry on the project. The organisation has to comply with all the legal requirements in order to ensure smooth operations of the business.

Sponsors: the sponsors provide funds to the organisation which helps in the completion of the project. In return, the sponsors get marketing through the project. Both are benefitted with each other.

Management: the management is the one which directs the project manager for the requirements of the project. The management discusses about the costs and benefits and communicates the same with the staff (Noro, 2012).

Vendors: the vendors are the suppliers who provide the necessary materials for the completion of the project.

Project manager: the project manager is the one who has all the responsibility to complete the project at the given guidelines and terms. The project manager guides, directs and manages the employees and ensures that the project is completed in the given budget i.e. AUD 50,000.00 and in the given time duration.

Lessons learned

There are some loopholes in the project process which are learned and these should be improved. Like the project process should have a process risk management policy which helps in managing the project at the time of emergencies. This helps in managing the complex situations where the project may fail.

The lessons learned that the contingency plans should also be made so that the project can be managed in the period of difficulties.

Task 2: Prepare communication Plan

Communication Plan can be understood as a roadmap for getting the message to the targeted audience. It helps in determining that what is to be communicated to the target audience and what is to be communicated.

The purpose of the communication plan

The plan of the project is to be communicated to all the stakeholders in order to make them aware of the social media research centre. Communicating the plan of work is an essential part of the undertaken project. There should be a proper planning of the process of communications. It gives us an advantage of reducing the duplication of time and clearing the doubts of the stakeholders if any, which leads to an efficient working strategy.

Communication plan for the development of web application in Social Media Research centre:

Parties of communication

Main purpose of communication

Management and project manager

The main purpose of communication is to discuss the feasibility of the project with the management. The management gives the budget of the project and communicates the requirements of the project to the manager of the project(Ziek & Anderson, 2015).

Project manager and the employees (project team)

The main purpose of the communication is to manage the project by guiding the project team and to communicate the design of the project with them.

Project team members

The project team members communicate with each other to discuss the ideas or solutions to the problems.

Project manager and vendor

The project manager communicates to the vendor to discuss the rates and quality of the materials.

Management and government

The management and government communicate with the purpose of taking approvals or to know about the legal requirements.

(Ziek & Anderson, 2015).

The communication for the project management has different aspects. These aspects includes Who?, What?, When?, Where? and How?

Who?- This refers to the parties who are involved in the communication. It includes the project manager, team mates, sponsors, government and vendors.

What?- this refers to the information which is to be shared with the parties of communication. The information could be about the project plan, project requirements, project design, billing, legal requirements, roles and responsibilities, progress of report, budgets or payments to the employees of the project.

When?- This refers to the frequency of information shared in the project. The information shared on the basis of need and requirements which can be monthly, weekly or daily.

Where?- It depicts the location where the communication could take place. The location can bethe project site, office of the organisation, vendor’s office government office or any other location decided mutually.

How?- This refers to the medium through which communication could take place. The communication in the project could take place with the help of face to face meetings, telephones, emails, video calls or messages. 

Change management

It is the term which defines the broad concept of change within the organisation which may vary differently from organisation to organisation. It I a structured approach which helps in implementing the changes in the organisation or in project smoothly without hassles between the team members and the management. It aims at deriving the benefits of change to all the stakeholders of the project (Levasseur, 2010).  Change cannot be managed without team efforts. When all the parties of the project of web application development at Social Media Research centre are ready to provide cooperation, the changes can be implemented and managed properly. For meeting the changes required, the deadlines will have to be revised as per the requirements and the budgets will also have to be recalculated.  The required changes are explained to the project manager and then to the team because they are ultimate workers. If good and open communication is maintained between the stakeholders, there will be no gaps in managing the changes (Hornstein, 2015).

The project manager is required to motivate the employees for implementing changes. It requires the empowerment of the employees so that the employees can be ready for achieving the new and changed targets. The main focus of the change management is on people that how they move from the current state to the desired state. It requires proper planning and assessment of the changes needed. Once, the requirements are met, change management will be achieved successfully (Hayes, 2014). 

Meeting agenda

There are many meetings held during the process of project and every meeting is held with an agenda. Agenda of the meeting can also be referred to the main objective or aim of the meetings (Burke, 2013).  Following are the agendas of different types of meetings between the parties of project management:

Meeting between

Agenda of meeting

Project manager and management

The main agenda of meeting is to ask for the progress of the project. It is also to communicate the prime deliverables of the project (Young, 2013). 

Project manager and team members of project

The meeting agenda is to discuss how the project will be carried on and to allocate tasks to every members of the project team.

Project team members

The main agenda of the meeting is to discuss the ideas and opinions on the process of project management. They discuss their problems and try to arrive at a solution.

Government and management

The main agenda of meeting is to discuss about all the legal requirements and to take all the required permissions from the government (Kerzner, Ebooks Corporation, & EBook Library, 2013). 

Sponsors and management

The main agenda of meeting is to discuss the amount of sponsorship from the sponsors and how it isgoing to be used in the project. It will also be discussed how the sponsors are going to receive the benefit of the same.

Vendors and project manager

The agenda of meeting is to discuss the rate and quality of the supplies and to discuss about the discounts, if provided any.

References

Burke, R. (2013). Project management: planning and control techniques. New Jersey, USA.

Elias, A. (2016). Analysing the stakes of stakeholders in research and development project management: A systems approach. R&D Management, 46(4), 749-760.

Hayes, J. (2014). The theory and practice of change management. Palgrave Macmillan.

Hornstein, H. A. (2015). The integration of project management and organizational change management is now a necessity. International Journal of Project Management, 33(2), 291-298.

Kerzner, H., Ebooks Corporation, & EBook Library. (2013). Project Management A Systems Approach to Planning, Scheduling, and Controlling (11th ed.). New York: Wiley.

Levasseur, R. E. (2010). People skills: Ensuring project success—A change management perspective. Interfaces, 40(2), 159-162.

Thi, C., & Swierczek, F. (2010). Critical success factors in project management: Implication from Vietnam. Asia Pacific Business Review, 16(4), 567-589.

Walker, A. (2015). Project management in construction. John Wiley & Sons.

Young, T. L. (2013). Successful project management (Vol. 52). Kogan Page Publishers.

Ziek, P., & Anderson, J. (2015). Communication, dialogue and project management. International Journal of Managing Projects in Business, 8(4), 788-803.

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