Project Management Assignment: Portfolio On Digital Communities Wales
Provide a critical self reflection of the process of completing your
dissertation project through different phases
During the process of completing your dissertation, you have gone through different phases as an attempt to act as business consultants and assist the client to meet its requirements. In order to do this successfully you have gone through the identification of aims and objectives towards client’s requirements, located and discussed industry’s related information as supportive evidence for business position and your aims and objectives towards the suggestions you made, completed an A3 map including a Gantt Chart that comprised a concise summary of the problem and solution as well a communication tool for reporting problems and suggestions for improvement to management.
You can approach your Self Reflective writing as per the below:
1. Assumptions 25%
Why it is critical to identify clearly stated business’ requirements? If the clients’
requirements were not provided in a pre-determined view and you were
responsible to identify or assume what is required to improve a business, will you
be able to summarize all the information needed? You can rely your answers
based on the below:
Challenging assumptions ie double loop learning (Argyris and Schon,
Reflection, reflectivity and reflexivity
2. Ethics and values 25%
How did you come up with the specific aims and objectives? Did your ethical
principles and values play any role to your proposed intentions to come up with
certain aims and objectives to assist the Client to meet its requirements? Should
our aims and objectives reflect corporate social responsibility by avoiding
decisions that could possible harm organizations or society?? You can rely your
answers based on the below:
Understanding our personal values
Transactional Analysis Drivers (Kahler, 1975)
o Be perfect; Be strong; Try hard; Please people; Hurry up
The impact of values on professional work
(Anti) -discriminatory practices (Thompson, 2012)
3. Time Management 25%
Why it is important to create a Gantt chart that outlines the main tools and
timeframes of the completion of your suggestions? Do you believe that listing
down certain timeframes for future actions may impact the way of dealing with
4. Learning from Experience and Moving Forward 25%
In case you will identify similar requirements in your business environment,
will you do the same process again? I yes why, if not what would you do
differently going forwards? You can rely your answers based on the below:
Theoretical models of experiential
learning o Driscoll’s ‘What’ model
o Kolb’s Experiential Learning Cycle (1984)
Progression and Regression (Illeris, 2014)
Managing change as a way of moving forward
Managing stress as a way of moving forward
Moving from ‘doing reflection’ to ‘reflection as a way of being’ as a way of
Digital Communities Wales (DCW) is a project initiative taken up by the Welsh government for providing support to the firms that work for the groups of people that are digitally excluded. The project examined in the sections of project management assignment is delivered by the non-profit organization, Wales Co-operative Centre that aims to support the individuals of Wales for improving their livelihood and lives. The present project management assignment reflects on the project that was aimed at the evaluation of the DCW initiative to meet the different objectives and aims of the project. The reflective portfolio highlights the need for stating the business requirements in the business project management and the assumptions that are essentials to be made. The portfolio outlined in the project management assignment also includes the aspects of ethics, values, time management and the experiences learnt from the completion of the evaluation project.
According to Jhunjhunwala and Walker (2020), every business activity that is new such as the launch of new products, implementation of a new project is done in response to the specific needs and requirements of the business. I have personally come across in situations wherein despite spending a lot of resources and time, the outcome of some activities are not matched with the needs, Therefore, the identification of the requirements of the business prior to the implementation of a project is very essential. During the commencement of the project, I have ensured that the requirements of the business and the client are identified and clearly mentioned. I think that the requirements of the businesses must be identified and documented for ensuring that the agreement of the different parties are incorporated and the project deliverables can meet the requirements of the business. As stated by Thorsen and Pouliot, (2016), it is noted in the project management assignment that the comparison of the project deliverables to the business requirements can help organizations to deliver an improved, measurable and discernable project outcome. It has been also evidenced that every business project needs specifications regarding the business requirements and it serves as the formal agreement between the clients and the project manager. I believe that the documentation of the business requirements is essential prior to the commencement of a project as it guides what a project must include and exclude. Additionally, the business requirements also reflect what the clients can expect after the completion of the project.
In the case of the evaluation project on DCW examined in the project management assignment, the requirements of the clients and the business were clearly stated. The client required a report that includes an analysis of the DCW initiative. As per the requirement of the clients and the business of Wales Co-operative Centre, the report should have incorporated information on the establishment of the project, identification of digitally excluded people, the performance of the DCW programme and the effectiveness of the training and support provided to the DCW client organizations. These specifications regarding the project have enabled me to identify the key steps that I need to follow to develop the report. However, according to Loughran (2017), in some cases, there is a possibility that the requirements of the clients and the businesses are not documented or determined prior to the commencement of the project. In such cases, I think the process of summarizing the information needed to commence the project becomes difficult. In such a situation where in the requirements of the clients are the business is not provided, I can choose the approach to identify the requirements that are needed to be addressed to improve the functioning of the business. Simultaneously I can also use my assumptions to identify the requirements of the business and the clients.
It is clear in this project management assignment that for identifying or assuming the requirements with the clients and the business, I believe that the approach of challenging assumptions can be helpful. As stated by Abdullah et al., (2018), the challenging assumption is a strategy to solve problems that incorporate the activities to test ideas that are assumed to be true. I have identified that the assumptions in this se that are invalid can be costly in the context of project management as based on the assumptions decisions are made. Challenging Assumptions approach like Double-loop learning enables the business professionals to view the problems from a different perspective with new assumptions and therefore can result in creative solutions. Double-loop learning is a theory regarding the assumptions in organizational learning. Double-loop learning is an approach to modify the decision-making rules or goals based on experiences (Argyris and Schon, 1974). The first loop in this model enables the professionals to utilize the original decision-making rules and goals and after experiencing the results of the decision made, the second loop allows to change or modify the original rules or goals. Therefore, based on this theory, I can state that if the requirement of the clients in a project is not provided, the double loop learning approach would help me to assume the requirements. This approach will also help me to test whether my original assumptions regarding the business requirements and the clients’ requirements are true. Based on the ability of the assumptions on project management assignment, I can make modifications to my original assumptions and apply them in the project activities to meet the requirements of the clients and the business.
In situations wherein, the requirements of the clients are not predetermined, the reflective practice can be a useful approach. According to Bohanecet al. (2017), reflection can allow the project managers to learn from experiences. It can result in the development of strategies that can help in solving the problems associated with assumptions. I have understood that Reflection is an in-depth consideration of situations and events that help in learning and developing through examining past situations, perceptions of others in the situation. In a situation where assumptions are needed to be done, the reflective practice can help me to identify the events and perceptions expectations of others in that particular situation. Reflexivity is the identification of strategies that can help in questioning our own decisions, attitudes, and the process of thoughts assumptions, values, habitual actions, and prejudices for striving to understand our own complex roles. Reflexivity will allow me to think based on my past experiences and make changes to the approaches in order to meet the requirements of the clients. Therefore, I can conclude the above discussion provided in the project management assignment by saying that the knowledge I have gained during the course of making assumptions and identification of the business and client requirements, can help me in the future in business practices.
2. What are the ethics and values of the project examined in the project management assignment?
There are three different objectives illustrated in the project management assignment based on which I have evaluated the DCW initiative in the project. The first objective of the project was to recognize the functional requirements for the establishment of the DCW program and the approaches taken into account to identify the people who are digitally excluded. The second objective of the project was to observe the structural requirements of the implementation of the program to identify its performance against the goals and the ways in which the performance can be increased for the clients of DCW. The third objective of the project was to analyze the resource requirements associated with the initiative of DCW, delivery efficiency and support and training. The project management assignment considers the study of Silvius, (2017) that states that the creation of guidance and direction in business is dependent on the objectives. For the development of these specific objectives, I have explored the concept of the DCW initiative of the Welsh Government. The identification of the goal of the DCW program has helped me to identify the requirement of the Wales Co-operative Centre regarding the project and the requirements of its clients. Based on the requirements of the clients and the organization itself, I have developed the three objectives. During the development of the objectives, I have greatly focused on the requirement of the evaluation, the requirement of the clients from the consultant. Simultaneously I have also focused on the approach that I can use to reach the specific objectives.
I have summarized chosen specific approaches that would help me to achieve the three goals. Identification of the stakeholders of the project was another important aspect that I had to consider during the development of the objectives. In the process of developing the specific aims and objectives, my ethical principles and values have played an important role in my proposed intentions to apply specific objectives for assisting the clients in meeting their needs. I believe that ethical principles and personal values improve the relationships in business at various levels. According to Galvão et al., (2017), understanding personal values are very important in project management as the application of the personal values in project objectives can help to reduce the project risks. The client of this project explored in the context of project management assignment was Wales Co-operative Centre that required a detailed evaluation of the DCW program. The DCW program discussed in the project management assignment was developed for reducing the number of people in Wales who are digitally excluded. Therefore, equality was one of my personal values that I have ensured to link in the objectives that I have developed. As stated by Dalcher (2016), personal values are the general expressions that are the most important elements for an individual. I provide value to equality, security, and cooperation and therefore reflected these values in my attempt to meet the requirements of the clients in the DCW program evaluation project on project management assignment.
I think that during the development of the objectives, I should have provided greater importance to address corporate social responsibility. In the second objective, I had decided to check the structural requirements of the program and its implementation for determining its performance. However, in the context of corporate social responsibility, the monitoring of the performance of the programs should have been measured both from the perspective of the organization as well as from the perspective of the clients. As the clients of the DCW programs are the public and the organizations that work with the public, discrimination is a major concern. The assessment of the outcome of the programs was needed to be done based on the perspective of the public. The perspective of the public and the other clients toward the implementation of the DCW program should be considered for reflecting corporate social responsibility. I believe that the incorporation of the principles of corporate social responsibilities in aims and objectives of the study developed within the project management assignment can help to avoid discrimination among the people in relation to the accessibility toward the digital world. The corporate social responsibility principles can also be addressed by evaluating if all the client organizations are provided with training and support through the DCW program.
According to Kahler (1975), transactional drivers can be considered as behaviours that last for a few seconds, although there are no feelings in relation to these drivers. Personal values are very important in the context of professional works. As opined by Biedenbach and Jacobsson (2016), values of people have a tremendous impact on their considerable roles and the manner in which they feel, think and act. I think that the different sources of values such as society, economy, politics, philosophy, culture, religion, faiths, principles, and beliefs impact the way in which we think, feel and act. These values thereby, are influenced by driving, shaping and forming our attitudes, behaviour, characteristics, and decision-making abilities. Finally, the impact of the value is prevalent on the preferences, judgements, choices and priorities. As stated by Eger et al. (2019), discrimination can be defined as a difference, however, unfair discrimination refers to the process through which a difference is utilized as the basis to treat people in a different way. The author has also described that anti-discriminatory practices are becoming well-established in social work. In the present scenario, the aim of the DCW program is to enhance the accessibility of the people to the digital world and therefore is based on social work. Therefore, I think that the implementation of anti-discrimination principles is very important for supporting the clients to meet the requirements
3. Time management
Gantt chart is a visual representation of the project schedule that illustrates the dependence among the various activities to be carried out in the particular project discussed in the contents o project management assignment. The Gantt chart also indicates the status of a project. According to Tonchia, (2018), the Gantt chart is a specific type of chart illustrating the schedule of the projects. The bar chart represents the tasks or activities performed against time. The Gantt chart effectively highlights the project resources, tasks, milestones and dependencies among various tasks. I have identified that the implementation of a Gantt chart is very popular in the context of project management. It generally highlights the activities that are needed to be completed within a fixed period and thereby, enables the project manager to effectively track the project schedules. The vertical axis in the Gantt chart represents the tasks needed to be completed and the horizontal axis represents the time spent. Therefore, every task in the gantt chart is represented by a separate bar. By analyzing the bar chart depicted in the study considered to prepare this project management assignment, a project manager gains knowledge regarding the extent to which the project related activities are completed. As opined by Ekambaram et al. (2017), understanding the dependencies among various activities are very important for monitoring the project performance and the Gantt chart assists the manager in this task. The author has added to the statement that a Gantt chart keeps the project management updated regarding the completion of the project.
By tracking the Gantt chart, the management remains informed regarding the resources that would be required for completing the project within the mentioned period and for managing the dependencies among the various activities within the project. As stated by Galli (2018), the Gantt chart is very useful for the projects as it enables the project managers and consultants to visualize different elements of a project in a single place. During the course of this project examined in the project management assignment, I have identified that Gantt chart functions as a great prioritization and visualization tool as it represents a total overview of the project providing crucial information. Information such as the order of the tasks to be completed, the duration of each task, the number of people associated with each task, start and end dates of each task, and progression of each task are effectively provided by the Gantt chart implemented in the DCW program evaluation project. I have also evidenced that the application of a Gantt chart has increased the level of communication among the members associated with the DCW project. Communication is an integral part of any project and in the context of business, greater communication is essential to ensure higher business performance (Robbins, 2019). Therefore, I believe that the application of a Gantt chart method can be useful in future projects in organizations.
Gantt chart allows the business professionals to list down future actions based on certain timeframes. I believe that such a practice could be helpful by improving the way in which different tasks are dealt with in a business. Listing down the activities based on the time frame can raise awareness regarding the progression of the tasks. I think that, based on the progression of the different tasks, I can make changes in my strategy so that the outcome of the projects can be improved. On the other hand, it is also clear in this project management assignment that listing the resources required for each task in the Gantt chart, possible resource overload can be avoided (Abramova et al., 2016). In this project, I have utilized the Gantt chart as well as a method naming Project time planning. Project time planning has enabled me to get an overview of the time the organization needs to spend on the project. I believe that time management is essential for organising and planning the time spent. The knowledge gained from the management of time in this particular project illustrated in the project management assignment would help me in shaping my activities in the future. I believe that the time management skills gained during the course of this project would allow me to estimate and track time easily being a business leader in the future. In the future, utilizing the Gantt chart and the project time planning tools I can effectively identify the overlapping activities and the tasks that are dependent on the other tasks.
I have recognized that there are some tasks that cannot be started before the completion of other tasks. Thus, tracking the completion of the other tasks before starting a particular task is indispensable. As explained by Robles (2018), accurate estimation of time is a critical activity in the management of projects. As per the research on project management assignment, it is stated that without accurate time estimation, the project manager cannot have an idea regarding the time that the project will take and thereby would not be able to fulfil the commitments made to the clients as well as the stakeholders of the project. I think that in the future, using the knowledge gained I can implement a time management plan in a better way. However, I believe that understanding the requirements is important for ordering the activities to be performed. Simultaneously while planning for time management, the decision should be taken regarding the involvement of people in various activities. The preparation of the project schedule also depends on the estimations regarding the time that can be spent on each task.
4. Learning from Experience and Moving forward
Based on the experience from the dissertation, it has been identified that I have learnt the project management process successfully, since I have done the entire work considering aims and objectives of the study. Considering Driscoll’s model of self-reflection in this context of project management assignment, I can say that the current research study has helped me to learn how to lead the project. In future, I would apply this experience to make further research study. I have developed A3 map along with a Gantt chart, which has helped to me to summarize the problem successfully. Hence, I have tried to make the study in a systematic manner and it has helped me to enhance learn how to complete a broad project effectively considering aims and objectives. Based on Kolb’s learning style, it might be stated that Diverging, Assimilating, Converging and Accommodating are four steps in case of enhancing learning process (Sudria et al., 2018). The assimilating style emphasizes the analytical part, which is important to learn each areas of the project study. I have utilized this technique to enhance my learning process regarding management of a research project and it has helped to enhance my analytical skill. It has added advantage in case of future career growth and I can manage large business projects successfully.
Based on the analysis of the approach progression and regression illustrated in the project management assignment, it has been found that the project management of Digital communities in Wales has helped me to develop my growth. It has enhances progression as a leader and in future it would help me manage large and important projects. Based on the view of Illeris, (2014), the application of the approach of regression and progression helps to enhance personal leadership skills of an individual. The development of digital inclusion has been considered in the project analysis and how different communities can be included in the development of digital world that has been identified in the research project. Engagement and cooperation of different organizations can help to implement the program of digital inclusion successfully and that has been identified in the entire project. The implementation of changes for enhancing digital inclusion program would help to ensure digital growth of Wales. The project detailed analysis has helped me to learn stress management process and it is important to enhance leadership.
I have identified that the utilization of own experience in future helps to enhance accuracy in the project management activity and performance can be easily developed. The experimental learning cycle of Kolb depicts that consideration of appropriate learning style can help to enhance personal growth (Kolb, 2014). The effective learning style helps to manage stress successfully. Hence, I have learnt that stress management is important to work smoothly in the competitive environment and it has helped me how to compete in the market. I have prepared Gantt chart for making a concise summary of the problem and solution regarding the topic and it has helped to get a clear picture of the project problems. Hence, considering the application of Driscoll’s model within this project management assignment, it might be stated that analysis of project problems has enhanced my leadership knowledge, which is important for developing my performance in future (Driscoll, 2007). As mentioned by Illeris, (2014), moving forward is the common characteristics of the constructive leader and it can be made based on experience. This is because experience enhances self-confidence of a leader and it ensures development of leadership ability. Continuing along the same line Sudria et al., (2018), have stated that future development thinking is essential strategy of a leader for ensuring growth of an organisation or teamwork. I have successfully discharged my responsibilities of project management and in future, I can apply my leanings in the development of the project.
Based on the entire project performance depicted in the project management assignment I can say that resource allocation is crucial part to manage entire project activity successfully. This is because it helps to estimate budget of the project and I have mentioned all areas in the Gantt chart. Hence, the preparation of Gantt chart enhances my problem solving skills and overall estimation of the project. This systematic approach to tackle a project would help me to adopt appropriate steps in future comprehensive project management process. The positive thinking regarding the future would help me to enhance my personal leadership growth. Hence, I will apply same experience if I have to manage any business project in future, as I have obtained the success in the current research work. The application of same practice would help to enhance my performance and my leadership performance would be easily developed. Hence, I can encourage my team members based on my strategies to enhance teamwork in the business project management.
Conclusion of the Study
The reflective portfolio outlined in the project management assignment has helped in identifying the advantages of the process of the project regarding the evaluation of the DCW program. By reflecting on the process of the project, I have identified the knowledge that I have gained and can apply them in the future operations of the business. Additionally, I believe that the knowledge regarding the importance of personal value in decision making would help me in expanding my thinking and develop my skills as a future business leader. I have identified the importance of identifying the requirements of the business and clients prior to the commencement of a particular project. It has been also identified in the above context of project management assignment that the experience gained from the project can help me in moving forward by managing the stress.
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