Project Management Assignment: Implementation of IT System at PEH
Task: Prepare a detailed project management assignment considering the below case study: Lucky, EO, Adegoke, O & Nordin, N 2014, ‘Project management challenges and difficulties: A Case Study of Information System development’, IPBJ, vol 6, no 1, pp. 99-113, viewed 24 October 2020, Your Case Study document should contain the following information and answers to questions:
• Brief description of problem and the aim of the IT project
• The proposed IT infrastructure
• An importance of the Project Manager role in the project success
• The Triple Constraint (scope, time and cost) in the project and how changing the constraints of one led to suffering of other two.
• Description of the difficulties and issues the Project Manager faced.
Identify relations these problems to the Project Management Knowledge areas:
o Project Integration Management
o Project Scope Management
o Project Time Management
o Project Cost Management
o Project Quality Management
o Project Human Resource Management
o Project Communications Management
o Project Risk Management
o Project Stakeholder Management
o Project Procurement Management
• Recommendations, proposed solutions and required potential actions.
In this modern world, digital technology and IT system are very much essential for the success of an organization and for developing modern infrastructure. The articleanalyzed in the project management assignment provides an insight into the problems that are faced by an organization while implementing the latest IT system.
Problems and Aims of IT project
PEH was established as a training organization for the retiring army personnel. The purpose was to give them new skills that they could use to earn a living in civilian life. In the past, all of that information was kept at a specific place, and it wasn't possible to move it all around due to large bundles of data, as, at that time, all information was handwritten. The system was full of errors, had a low productivity level, and was highly inefficient. Only Microsoft excel was used at that time to keep a record and details of trainees.
PEH had five major challenges back then that were related to funding, infrastructure upgrading the previous system, skills, monitoring, and inspection. The PEH was aimed at providing validation and give some insight into the key challenges that they were facing. In 1996, the management proposed to have a proper IT project started with the aim of converting all the data into digital form. The modules covered in the project were the registration of trainees, the courses that would be offered, and the budget allocated to them.
Proposed IT infrastructure
The proposed IT infrastructure was to get a simple database that would keep records of the trainees. It was referred was Sistem Maklumat Peliath. It had only a few modules, registration of trainees, courses, and budget allocated to them and some basic reports.
Importance of project manager
The project manager is responsible for directing the whole project to success and how successful your project will highly depend on the project manager. The manager provides a vision and direction to the whole project and increases the efficiency of the whole project. The manager gives an insight into the project and looks an eye at the problems and decides what decisions need to be made to keep it on track. The project manager needs to be able to analyze the problems that the project or the organization is currently facing, and then be able to provide a solution to them; the success of the project is highly dependent on that (Kimmons & Kimmons, 2018).
It is also regarded as a project management triangle and is the most important concept in project management. The invention of the triple constraint is just as important as the invention of the wheel, as when these are used in a perfect combination, then it can lead to the success of the project. The three constraints are scope, time, and cost. The scope constraint covers the tasks that need to be completed to reach success; the time constraint is the schedule, and the cost is the financial constraint of the project. A manager can trade between these three constraints, but change to one means that the other two automatically suffer (Baratta, 2006).
These three constraints are interlinked and determine the success of the project. Before starting a project, the goals are decided as well as the budget and time duration of the project. In the future, if there is addition or change in the context of a goal, then it means that the project needs more time and budget and if additional resources can't be provided than it leads to the suffering of the whole project. The same goes for time and cost constraints. If a change is made to the time allocated to the project, then it means not enough time to achieve all the targets of the project.
Difficulties and issues
The main difficulties faced by the manager were not given enough resources to make the project successful. Only a little money was allocated to the IT department. This caused limitations for the department, and only a handful of the tasks could be done. The IT department was unable to upgrade to the latest technology due to this constraint.(Lucky et al., 2014) Another problem was the lack of infrastructure. The majority of board members were not allowing funds to upgrade the infrastructure of the IT system; they were of the idea that the IT system will consume a lot of resources and couldn't see the benefits resulting from an upgraded infrastructure. The management was not ready to listen to the problems and advice of the IT team, and it was very difficult to explain to them how an upgraded system will benefit the organization. The organization was run over by old staff that weren't interested in computer work and used to run away from computer-related staff; only the young members of the organization were interested in such tasks. The IT system has a relation with the following departments.
Project integration management
Integration management is about the various elements and tasks of the project and properly coordinating them to ensure that the project will be a success. Due to lack of funds and manpower, the IT team was unable to do a lot of the IT-related tasks; so, the project wasn't well-coordinated, which lead to many failures in the starting years of the IT project (Project Management Institute, 2008).
Project scope management
The scope of the project was to digitalize the whole organization and make the doing of tasks with great speed. This means that to make the project successful, a lot of tasks were to be done and that required funds. But the top management wasn't ready to give the necessary funds. This resulted in project failure (Khan, 2006).
Project time management
Managing time efficiently is highly essential for the success of the project. But doing the tasks on time requires the latest technology and manpower. But the problem was lack of funds and interest. The top management wasn't ready to give funds, and the workers weren't ready to adopt the latest IT system. Because of this, the IT team was lagging in time, they hadn't enough members to do all projects, and had very old technology that was too slow, this was leading to project failure (Project Management Institute, 2008).
Project cost management
Financial resources are required to start a project, to do tasks related to the project, and to reach success. Having a shortage of funds and resources was a problem for the IT team from the very beginning. The IT team was supposed to revolutionize the whole department and make the doing of all tasks fast, but at the same time, they weren’t given resources to buy new technology and fulfill all of their tasks (Albrecht, 2017).
Project quality management
The work can be done in two ways, either just do the work or do the quality work. Doing the work brings you success, but doing quality work brings even more success. But to ensure the quality of the project, it requires the latest technology and trained personnel. The PEH was overrun by old employees who didn't know anything about the latest technology. Neither they were ready to get training for it. It increased the problems for the IT team, as they were already facing a shortage of funds, and now other employees were not interested in the project (Gilbert Silvius et al., 2017).
Project human resource management
The human resource department is tasked with recruiting new employees or training the old ones. The recruiting is expected to be done on merits and regularly. The human resource department at PEH failed to do both of these(Lucky et al., 2014). They couldn’t recruit quality employees who had the skills to run the IT department, neither they were able to train the old ones.
Project communication management
Project communication management involves the tasks that ensure the planning, collection, creation, storage, retrieval, and management of all tasks promptly. Efficiently doing these tasks requires proper infrastructure and manpower. PEH lacked both of these, and these tasks weren't done in time (Meng & Boyd, 2017).
Project risk management
Risk management involves seeing the whole project and look out for any problems that would hinder the success of the project. This task has to be done over the life cycle of the project to ensure that it remains on its track and meets its goals. But doing so, require proper communication among departments and proper infrastructure to cope with any apparent risks or threats. Having a proper infrastructure enables the organization to keep an eye on all its projects and tasks, and lacking means that the processes are running in the dark, and if a problem occurs, then it means destruction (Anantatmula, 2010).
Project stakeholder management
Stakeholder involves the identification of stakeholders and an analysis of their interests. Every stakeholder has a specific interest in the project, and his decision impacts the overall project. In the case of IT departments, the stakeholders were its members and the general manager. Both of these weren’t in favor of the IT department(Lucky et al., 2014). The general manager wasn’t ready to show any interest in the project and wasn’t giving funds to upgrade the infrastructure. On the other hand, the team lacked skilled members. This lack of funds and skill was resulting in project failure (Freeman, 2015).
Project procurement management
Project procurement management deals with relations of the organization or a project with vendors and suppliers. The vendors provide the goods and services that ensure the success of the project. The procurement management has five steps, the first being the initiating of the partnership, next comes the selection of service, contracting, monitoring, and then completion of the contract. The IT team at PEH had decided on the projects and selected the vendors and suppliers for the required goods and services. But they were not able to build any relation with those outside suppliers, as they lacked the resources to pay for those services and goods (Bienhaus & Haddud, 2018).
The installation of a central database at PEH will help it straighten its infrastructure, plus PEH requires the integration of new technologies and applications to be successful in the modern world. So, what the top management needs to do at PEH is to allocate sufficient funds to the IT team. The PEH requires new infrastructure and integration of the central database, and the IT team will not be able to do so without sufficient funds. Allocation of funds is the first and foremost criteria to make any project successful, so, PEH should approve funds for the purchase of hardware and software as a startup. This will improve the speed of the process and ensure a better result.
The next thing they need to do is bring in more competent employees or at least train the present employees to give them the required skill to run an IT-based infrastructure i.e., making them more competent. They also need to implement a proper monitoring and control system to oversee the process and activities of the whole organization. This will help them look for any potential risks or threats and solve them even before they appear. The staff at PEH needs to start adopting the latest IT-based infrastructure and use it for daily activities if they want to compete with the modern world.(Lucky et al., 2014)
To make the project a real success, it needs attention from the top management. If the top management is not interested in a project, it will never be a success, as ultimately top management is responsible for making all the decisions and for allocation of resources, its top management is not interested, the project will never get the resources required for success. So, a change of mindset is required at the top, and the top management needs to buy into the project purpose. If the management fails to do so, then PEH as a whole needs to be re-organized and re-shaped to make it successful. Similarly, there are certain potential actions which should be done to implement all the suggested changes and to improve the IT infrastructure of the organization. The first thing to do would be to analyze your asset base and aim for agility in the system. The next recommendation would be to undergo partnership which would allow the company to use their resources to their best advantage. This would allow to increase the efficiency of the organization. Lastly, the organization would need to rethink or reinforce their infrastructure management strategies. This would allow the organization to future proof their systems and improve their overall performance management system by using a number of related applications.
Developing and implementing an IT system means success and reward for both the parties i.e., IT team and organizational management. But the implementation of that system also comes with huge risks. So, it is a must to see the project management guidelines to make it successful. It is because the implementation of a weak IT system has various consequences, and the consequences of such a failed system exceed the benefits. Additionally, the implementation of such a system questions the credibility of the management. So, the top organization needs to work on the development and implementation of a good IT system and modern infrastructure to make the organization successful.
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