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MGT8022 Project-Based Management: Sharing Better Practice

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Topic: "Sharing Better Practice Project Business Plan"

Write a case study report on this topic.

Answer:

Introduction:

The given case study mentions the project is initiated to facilitate good practice and development of proper methodology in order to support the significant Government information management and systems activities. The business plan of Inter Agency Policy and Projects Unit (IAPPU) is to identify, capture, add value and marketize the good practices within the State Government in order to support the e-Government agenda. The major purpose of the Project Business Plan is to establish structures and business processes within IAPPU and across agencies for supporting the delivery of sharing better practice functions.

The Government of Tasmania is planning to develop its capability by felicitating good practices and developing appropriate methodologies for supporting the government information management and system activities. Therefore, its agency namely IAPPU has already set up the phase 1 and is working on implementing the phase 2. Phase 2 has been developed in the form of a business case. The business case includes the tools that project manager will require in order to guide the management, design, and evaluate the project. The business case in question is “Sharing Better Practice Project Business Phase 2” developed by Department of Premier and Cabinet. The importance of the project pan will be critically analysed in this essay and the entire report shall be summarized in the conclusion.

Project management refers to the initiation, planning, executing, controlling and closing of a work initiated by a group of members in order to achieve certain goals and to meet certain criteria of success. Project is a temporary task that is designed in order to produce unique goods and services. The projects are different from the usual business operations and both demand different management strategies and technical skills. There are several approaches for the management of the project activities. The major steps involved in project management are initiation, planning, production or execution, monitoring and controlling and closing (Rose 2013).

Project background:

The given case study mentions the project that is initiated to facilitate good practice and development of proper methodology in order to support the significant Government information management and systems activities. The business plan of Inter Agency Policy and Projects Unit (IAPPU) is to identify, capture, add value and marketize the good practices within the State Government in order to support the e-Government agenda. The major purpose of the Project Business Plan is to establish structures and business processes within IAPPU and across agencies for supporting the delivery of sharing better practice functions. IAPPU has already set up the phase 1 and is working on implementing the phase 2. 

The project outcome measures the impact of the project activities by comparing the outcomes of the project with the anticipated outcomes. Analyzing the outcomes of the project, it can be stated that the project has been successful in obtaining the objectives and goals of the business plan.

Structure of the Project management plan:

Critical analysis of project management plan:

The plan clearly states its corporate clients, steering committee members, project sponsors, business owners, project managers, project officers, reference groups and working groups. The plan also clearly states the reporting requirements and the associated details. This shows the clarity of the business plan. The project clearly mentions the project managers who shall have knowledge of project integration management, project scope management, project cost management, project time management, project HR management, project risk management, project quality management, project communication management and project procurement management.


Project management plan is a formal document that is approved. The project management plan is used to manage the execution of the project. The project management plan documents the several actions that are essential to define, prepare, integrate and coordinate the various planning activities involved in the project. The project management plan defines the way the project is planned, executed, monitored, controlled and closed (Bryde, Broquetas and Volm 2013).

Firstly, initiation in project management involves proper analysis of the needs and requirements of the business, reviewing of the present business activities, financial analysis, stakeholder analysis, project charter and analysis of the strengths, weaknesses, threats and opportunities of the project. Secondly, the project management plan involves deciding how to plan, determining the scope, selecting the planning team, identifying the deliverables, sequencing and networking the activities, estimating the requirement of resources, developing schedule, developing budget, planning the risk, developing measures related to the quality assurance and obtaining approval from the related authorities in order to begin the work (Martinelli and Milosevic 2016).

Post planning, the final plan is executed according to the deliverables. Proper management of the related resources (materials and finance) and the human resources leads to successful execution of the project plan. Proper monitoring and controlling during the execution process helps in the identification of issues that arise during the process. Therefore, it enables the management to take corrective actions in order to ensure the effectiveness of the project. Finally, the project is closed when it achieves its objectives or goals and gains formal acceptance (Braglia and Frosolini 2014).

Alternatives for the structure of project management plan:

Stakeholder management theory:

The stakeholder theory states that the stakeholders comprise of employees, customers, shareholders, suppliers, financers, trade unions, government, political groups and the trade associations. The stakeholder theory integrates the resource and market based view with the social and political conditions. The stakeholder theory considers morals and values while managing the organizations (Harrison and Wicks 2013).

The stakeholder management plan of this business plan includes not only the shareholders but also the other parties that are a part of the stakeholders group. The project considers the employees, customers, shareholders, suppliers, financers, trade unions, government, political groups and the trade associations as members of the stakeholder group. It also involves the various communication tools and mechanisms. The project identifies the coordinators of the marketing and communication strategies. It also schedules meetings with the related management groups. The project also considers the related projects on which it is dependent.

Financial theory:

Financial theory emphasizes on the decisions related to the capital investment. It also focuses on the cash flows and expected returns from a project. The given business plan states the sources of finance. It states the internal investors who shall fund the project. It also states that the major costs incurred in the project shall be the salary of the employees. However, the plan does not state amount of investments that shall be invested by the mentioned financers. Therefore, it is necessary to mention the amount of investments and the costs incurred in the execution of the project. The financial theory also states that it is essential to mention the cash flows and the expected profits from the project (Brigham and Ehrhardt 2013).

Project risk management theory:

Project risk management refers to the management of any uncertain event that arises during the planning and execution of the project. These uncertain events might have positive or negative impacts on the project activities (Phillips 2013). Risks in project management might cause failure of the projects. The risks involved in the projects often results in the failure of the project in meeting the objectives. Project risk management begins with the recognition of the threats or by recognizing the opportunities. The risk management approach is used in order to find possible solutions. The risk management process involves the following steps:

  • Risk management planning  
  • Identification of risks and the monetary identification
  • Qualitative risk management
  • Informing the stakeholders about the risks involved in the project
  • Refining the risks involved in the project on the basis of research and information
  • Monitoring risks
  • Controlling risks

The given business plan clearly states the risks involved in the project as well as the mitigation strategies. The basic risks involved are as follows:

  • The dependency of the project on the others for obtaining the related information
  • The presence of barriers that prevent the sharing of information regarding good practices within and across the agencies
  • The unwillingness to implement good practices within certain agencies
  • The assumptions of the stakeholders that the project aims at identifying poor practices within the agencies

The various mitigation strategies have also been stated in the project plan that makes the plan more reliable and effective. The project plan states that regular meetings with the project managers shall help in mitigating the risks. The mitigation strategies also mention the project to be an enabler rather than a policy for sharing better practice information across the government. The mitigation strategies also involve the use of intranet to to promote the value of sharing better practice information across the government and shall also support the current practices.

Quality management plan:

Project quality management refers to the activities that determine the quality of the project. Quality basically means satisfying the needs and requirements of the customers. The project is required to meet the expectations of the customers (Goetsch and Davis 2014). A high quality project involves the following three characteristics:

  • Customer satisfaction: The level of customer satisfaction determines the success or failure of a project. The project quality management is concerned with both the quality of the products as well as the management of the project. The project quality is deemed to be poor when the customer is not satisfied with the outcomes of the project. Therefore, managing the expectations of the customers is also considered a critical aspect of project management.
  • Preventing over inspection: The amount of money spent in order to avoid failure of the project is known as cost of quality. This involves cost of conformance and the cost of nonconformance. The conformance costs include the costs related to training, equipments, document processes, testing and inspections. Whereas, the non conformance costs include costs related to rework, scrap, liabilities, warranty work and lost business. It has been observed that the costs involved in the prevention of mistakes are generally lower than the costs involved in correcting the mistakes.
  • Continuous improvements: The continuous improvements involve application of six sigma and total quality management. It is the continuous effort that  is put to improve the goods and services and the associated processes. These improvements vary in their intensity.

The plan quality involves identification of the quality requirements of the goods and services as well as the overall project. It also involves documenting of the ways the project shall meet the quality requirements. This involves quality metrics, process improvement plan and quality management plan. In order to verify the sufficiency of the project processes, the project managers use quality assurance. The project quality is assured using the methods of project audits and project checklists. The quality control assures that the quality requirements are met by the goods and services. In case of some deviations, the project managers are required to take corrective actions.

Contents of project management plan:

The given case study clearly specifies the methodology of the project management as well as the output development. The project uses the methods of peer review and focus groups in order to assure the output quality. The outcome realization plan shall measure the performance of the project. The standards to be used are also clearly mentioned in the project plan. The project manager and the project sponsor shall be responsible for monitoring the progress of the plan. The team meetings shall be held on a regular basis in order to examine the risks and manage the risks.

Project strategy refers to the direction in a project that results in the success of the project in its environment. This direction describes the elements involved in the project strategy. These involve the goals, objectives, tools, methods, guidelines and governance systems that directly or indirectly affect the project. Project strategy refers to the competitive advantage of the organization (Heagney 2016).

In the given case study, a specific project development schedule is included that includes information regarding the time frame and the allocation of resources. The project management schedule identifies the project tasks and organizes the tasks into a sequence of events that help in the creation of the project management plan. Several tools and inputs are used in the process of scheduling that are designed to assist in understanding the resources along with the several constraints and risks. Schedule is an essential part of all projects irrespective of their sizes. The schedule helps the project managers to decide when a task is to be done and the sequence in which the tasks are to be done. Due to the involvement of uncertainty in the project management, it becomes necessary to review the schedule on a regular basis. The schedule also develops along with the project. The schedule converts a project plan from a vision to a plan based on time.

The following are the advantages of schedules:

  • Schedules provide base for  monitoring and controlling the activities involved in the project
  • The schedules help in determining the best possible methods to allocate the resources such that the project goals can be achieved
  • The schedules also help in assessing the delays in the time that shall have negative impact on the project
  • It also helps in figuring out the availability of the excess resources that can be allocated to the other projects.
  • The schedules help in tracking the progress of the project

The several schedule inputs include the personal and project calendars, the description of the scope of the project, the risks involved and the activities and resources required. It is necessary for a project manager to consider the deadlines and the availability of the resources that reduce the flexibility of the schedule. There are several scheduling tools involved in project management that must be included in the given project plan. Some of them are as follows:

  • Schedule network analysis: This involves the graphic presentation of the activities of the project that shows the time required to compete the tasks and the sequence in which the tasks must be done. Therefore, Gnatt charts and PERT charts are used to show the sequence of the activities. The case study did not include the graphical presentation of the project activities.
  • Critical path analysis: The critical path analysis involves the calculation of the best suitable path or the critical path that shall take the least time to complete the activities involves in the project. This method calculates the earliest and the least possible time to start and finish the activities. The given project management plan did not mention the critical path analysis.
  • Schedule compression: This tool helps in shortening the total time duration of the projects by decreasing the time allotted to the specific activities. This involves use of crashing and fast tracking methods. The project plan did not include schedule compression in its plan.

Conclusion:

Therefore, it can be concluded that the project considers the employees, customers, shareholders, suppliers, financers, trade unions, government, political groups and the trade associations as members of the stakeholder group. It also involves the various communication tools and mechanisms. The given business plan states the sources of finance. It states the internal investors who shall fund the project. It also states that the major costs incurred in the project shall be the salary of the employees. However, the plan does not state amount of investments that shall be invested by the mentioned financers. The project plan clearly states the risks involved and also the various mitigation strategies have also been stated in the project plan that makes the plan more reliable and effective. The given case study clearly specifies the methodology of the project management as well as the output development. The project uses the methods of peer review and focus groups in order to assure the output quality.

References:

Braglia, M. and Frosolini, M., 2014. An integrated approach to implement project management information systems within the extended enterprise. International Journal of Project Management, 32(1), pp.18-29.

Brigham, E.F. and Ehrhardt, M.C., 2013. Financial management: Theory & practice. Cengage Learning.

Bryde, D., Broquetas, M. and Volm, J.M., 2013. The project benefits of building information modelling (BIM). International journal of project management, 31(7), pp.971-980.

Goetsch, D.L. and Davis, S.B., 2014. Quality management for organizational excellence. Upper Saddle River, NJ: pearson.

Harrison, J.S. and Wicks, A.C., 2013. Stakeholder theory, value, and firm performance. Business ethics quarterly, 23(01), pp.97-124.

Heagney, J., 2016. Fundamentals of project management. AMACOM Div American Mgmt Assn.

Kerzner, H., 2013. Project management: a systems approach to planning, scheduling, and controlling. John Wiley & Sons.

Martinelli, R.J. and Milosevic, D.Z., 2016. Project management toolbox: tools and techniques for the practicing project manager. John Wiley & Sons.

Phillips, J., 2013. PMP, Project Management Professional (Certification Study Guides). McGraw-Hill Osborne Media.

Rose, K.H., 2013. A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK® Guide)—Fifth Edition. Project management journal, 44(3), pp.e1-e1.

Snyder, C.S., 2014. A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge: PMBOK (®) Guide. Project Management Institute.

Turner, R., 2016. Gower handbook of project management. Routledge.

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