Project Management AIM Hypermarket

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Introduction

Following a successful entrance into the new Asian market, an AIM hypermarket is looking at ways of acquiring a new client base for its products and services. They however understand the importance of today’s business dynamics as far as customer relationship is concerned. This being the fact, AIM hypermarkets management has engaged Bluechips Consultancy and IT consultancy firm to undertake a thorough project management exercise and report on the same relating to the customer relationship management system (CRM). The following is a project management report of the customer relationship management system project to be undertaken by Bluechips consultancy. Various assumptions have been made as concerns this project especially as concerns the schedule. It is assumed that time being of great essence the project will commence at advance continuously regardless of the weekends or holidays within that period. It is expected that the final system should be up and running by June 2011 at the latest so that AIM hypermarkets can make a major entry into the high business season in Asia especially Singapore.

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The project schedule is expected to commence by the 6th of February 2011 if the resources and funds are availed as expected.

Project charter

This charter provides authorization for Bluechips Consultancy to implement a customer relationship management system for AIM hypermarkets. A project plan will then be developed after this and this will be presented to the sponsors for approval. The project activities commence after the approval of the plan. The project plan will include a scope statement the schedule, cost and estimates, project schedule, quality, stakeholder, risk and procurement management as well as project control (Project management plan 2010; Kim 2007). The main purpose of the AIM customer relationship management (CRM) system project is to assess the viability of the CRM system and its subsequent implementation aimed at proactively addressing AIM’s customer needs. The main deliverable of this project is expected to be a CRM system for AIM hypermarkets addressing customer inquiries through telephone call centers, customer service representatives, sales representatives, automated voice response systems, and in-store point of sales terminals.

Bluechips Consultancy has instituted a project team to handle this project, the project manager Bob Milenski has been authorized to liaise with AIM’s management to acquire the necessary resources for the project as well as assign the responsibilities within the project framework. The project manager’s responsibility is to monitor and maintain control of the project by determining project performance and initiating any corrective action that may be needed.

A complete project plan will be developed by the project manager and submitted to AIM’s management who are the sponsors for approval by 6th February 2011. Upon approval, the resources will be assigned within the next 14 days whereupon work will commence. The work is expected to run as scheduled and the project manager is mandated to obtain any schedule changes affecting the project progress. The CRM system project will cost $100,000 funded by AIM hypermarkets.

Scope statement

The purpose of the AIM CRM system project is to reach its customers in the most instantaneous and innovative manner. This project meets AIM hypermarkets for managing the customers by addressing the needs of each of them uniquely and differentiating the product and service based on every customer requirement.

Scope management plan

AIM hypermarkets have recently penetrated the Asian market with a focus on Singapore. In order to ensure competitive advantage, they are investing in the CRM system to be able to identify and uniquely identify their customer needs.

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Work breakdown structure (WBS).

The work breakdown structure shows the sequence of activities particulate to every work package (Billows 2010).

Table 1 below illustrates the work breakdown structure that the CRM system project will follow.

ID WBS TASK DURATION START FINISH
1 1 Completing the scope statement 2 days 06/02/2011 08/02/2011
2 2 Tentative project schedule 5 days 09/02/2011 14/02/2011
3 3 Approval of the project budget 4 day 15/02/2011 19/02/2011
4 4 Project initiation 1 day 20/02/2011 21/02/2011
5 5 Roles and responsibilities approval 3 days 22/02/2011 25/02/2011
6 6 Requirements definition
7 6.1 Facts finding 14 days 26/02/2011 11/03/2011
8 6.2 Facts recording 7 days 12/03/2011 19/03/2011
9 6.3 Requirement definition approval 3 days 20/03/2011 23/03/2011
10 7 Data conversion and mapping 14 days 24/03/2011 7/04/2011
11 7.1 Coding and testing 45 days 08/04/2011 23/05/2011
12 8 Project implementation
13 8.1 System integration 7 days 24/05/2011 31/05/2011
14 8.2 User acceptance 7 days 01/06/2011 08/06/2011

See appendix for the corresponding Gantt chart

Assumptions: The team will be working 7 days a week, no holidays

This project has foreseeable risks summarized and categorized as below:

Requirements change, which is a low probability risk. The likely contingency for this risk is:

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  • The requirements document will be constantly reviewed and carefully considered during the planning / initial working phase.

Personal motivation reduces / illness which is a medium probability risk. The probable contingency for this risk is:

  • That the project plan has buffer time.

Underestimated size of the project task, which is a medium probability risk. The probable contingency for this risk is:

  • Ensuring that the project plan has buffer time built in. Regular meetings with the supervisor should ensure progress is made.

Unrealistic project plan, which is a low probability risk. The likely contingency for this risk is:

  • That the project plan has buffer time built in.

Sections of the project are delayed/go over projected time Medium Probability

Contingency: Project plan has buffer time built in.

Hardware failure e.g. laptop crashes, floppy disk corrupted, is a low probability risk. The likely contingency for this risk is:

  • To have a number of copies of all documents and related work – stored on the laptop, portable drive space, a floppy disk, and a CD.

Software problems for example the required software is not available which is a low probability is a risk. The likely contingency for this risk is:

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  • Ensuring that the software can be accessed from more than one location

Schedule management plan

Project schedules will be created using a scheduling tool/ software such as MS Project. The basis of this schedule will be the deliverables as identified within this project’s work breakdown structure (WBS). The activity definitions will identify work packages particulate to the project whose completion account for a certain project deliverable (Schedule management plan template 2010). The project team reviews the resulting preliminary schedule. The team and resources should tally with the schedule. The sponsor will endorse and review the schedule.

The following are the milestones for the CRM system project schedule:

  • Completing the scope statement.
  • Tentative project schedule
  • Approved project budget
  • Project initiation
  • Roles and responsibilities approval
  • Requirements definition approval
  • Data conversion and mapping
  • Implementation of the project.
  • User acceptance

The following are the roles within the project:

The project managers manage all the work and resources of the project. The project manager develops and validates the project schedule in conjunction with the team and other stakeholders using tools or software such as MS Project. The project manager gets the scheduled approval from the sponsor.

The project team will take part in all the activities as assigned by the project manager.

The sponsor participates in proposed schedule reviews before the project kicks off.

Validation of the proposed schedule is carried out by the stakeholders.

The project manager will chair the bi-weekly schedule reviews and updates to determine the impact of schedule variations. The manager will also submit any schedule change requests and report schedule status according to the project’s communications plan.

The project team will be participants in these bi-weekly schedule updates and reviews.

Cost management plan

A control accounts (CA) function will be created and assigned to track the project costs. The earned value calculations from the CA function will measure and manage all the project’s financial performances (Cost management plan template 2010). Activity packages progress to get a 50% credit with the remainder being endorsed on completion of the work.

A cost variance in the range of +/- 0.1 for the indexes indicates a caution on the project cost status. A cost variance in the range of +/- 0.2 for both indexes alters the status of an alert.

When the schedule performance index achieves a variance from 0.1 to 0.2, the project manager reports the exception.

Reports for cost management will be prepared and included within monthly project status reports. AIM hypermarkets budget for the CRM system project is summarized below.

AIM hypermarkets budget for the CRM system project

Quality management plan

The purpose of managing quality within this project is to ensure that the project deliverables adhere to an acceptable level of quality (Lewis 2002; Rioux 2008). This also validates the processes used to get the deliverables. The deliverable therefore will be measured for completeness and correctness as well as for deliverable quality standards. The project processes must also be subjected to process quality standards as well. An astringent quality assurance process will be established to ensure that the final deliverable is of acceptable quality. The quality control process in this project identifies the CRM system as the deliverable that will be tested for satisfactory quality level against user requirements. Quality during reporting and documentation of the project progress as well as the use of quality-assured software and hardware components during the project progress will contribute to the quality control process. User acceptability derived from periodic user acceptance tests with documented test data both valid and invalid will also count towards quality control. Other tests will be carried out during project progression especially during the coding phase of the project. The intervals for these activities will vary ranging from weekly for the most critical to monthly for the less critical all depending on the importance and weight of the overall project quality. However, each of them will be considered to ensure quality control in all the areas.

This project will have a well-defined configuration management process to effectively track any changes and modifications to all the immediate project inputs to ensure standardization during reviews and updates as well as maintain an acceptable version control process to the final deliverable. Defects for any software solutions may not be eliminated 100%. However, iterative testing has proven to be the best way to minimize defects and provide repair during software development. The CRM system project will undergo stringent testing based on well-known testing strategies defined within a test plan. Defects located can be addressed early enough before they affect the final quality of the deliverable.

Staff management plan

The AIM hypermarkets CRM system project is a medium-sized project that will require a project team of twenty persons. These will include the administrative manager and financial analysts who are both from AIM hypermarkets. A project manager, quality manager, three systems analysts, five application programmers, five data conversion staff, and three network support staff who are all from Bluechips consultancy. It is assumed that all the core project team staff excluding the administrative manager and financial analyst will be available full-time for the project. The core project team from Bluechips consultancy has been constituted based on proficiency and in the areas of selection and as such, there will be no external or very little external input in those specific areas.

Table 2 below indicates how these staff will be involved in each phase of the CRM system project.

Team/ Role Number required Planning Procurement System development System implementation
Administrative manager 1 Required Required Required Not required
Financial analyst 1 Required Required Not required Not required
Project manager 1 Required Required Required Required
System analyst 3 Not required Not required Required Required
Application programmer 5 Not required Not required Required Required
System architect 1 Not required Not required Required Required
Data conversion 5 Not required Not required Required Required
Network support 3 Not required Not required Required Required
TOTAL 20 3 3 19 18

Staff for the CRM system project has been selected through a competitive process with the exception of the administrative manager and financial analyst who hold executive positions representing the owner and sponsor of the project. Bluechips consultancy qualified for this project after successful bidding following AIM’s advertisement for qualified teams to apply. The selection of Bluechips consultancy by the AIM hypermarkets board was based on merit. This was after a series of interviews between the board and the respective team members.

The project team members will include:

Mr. Ralph Mancini – AIM manager (Administration)
Mr. Oscar Newton – Accounts executive (AIM)
Mr. Bob Milenski – Project manager (Bluechips consultants)
Miss. Julie Mathhews- System analyst (Bluechips consultants)
Mr. Craig Bowles – System analyst (Bluechips consultants)
Mr. Jonathan Avancini – System analyst (Bluechips consultants)
Mrs. Kathryn Moore – Application developer (Bluechips consultants)
Mrs. Joyce Keeps – Application developer (Bluechips consultants)
Miss. Judith Watson – Application developer (Bluechips consultants)
Mr. Gerry Lampard – Application developer (Bluechips consultants)
Mr. Smith Chart – Application developer (Bluechips consultants)
Mrs. Rose Woodfox – System architect (Bluechips consultants)
Mr. Michael Jones – Data clerk (Bluechips consultants)
Mr. Arnold Bets – Data clerk (Bluechips consultants)
Mr. John Orion – Data clerk (Bluechips consultants)
Mrs. Bertha Maxwell – Data clerk (Bluechips consultants)
Mr. Jonathan Maroon – Data clerk (Bluechips consultants)
Miss. Judy Collins – Network support specialist (Bluechips consultants)
Mr. Geoffrey Jones – Network support specialist (Bluechips consultants)
Mrs. Anita Wales – Network support specialist (Bluechips consultants)

This team has a defined salary scale depending on the role they play and each is entitled to a four-day paid leave within the project period.

Communication management plan

Table 3 below contains the names and contacts of the AIM hypermarkets CRM system project team.

Role Name Email Phone
Manager (Administration) Mr. Ralph Mancini [email protected] 12-12345
Financial analyst Mr. Oscar Newton [email protected] 12-12346
Project manager Mr. Bob Milenski [email protected] 889-1234
System analyst Miss. Julie Mathhews [email protected] bluechipsconsultants.com 889-1235
System analyst Mr. Craig Bowles [email protected] bluechipsconsultants.com 889-1236
System analyst Mr. Jonathan Avancini [email protected] bluechipsconsultants.com 889-1334
Application programmer Mrs. Joyce Keeps [email protected] bluechipsconsultants.com 889-1344
Miss. Judith Watson [email protected] bluechipsconsultants.com 889-1211
Mr. Gerry Lampard [email protected] bluechipsconsultants.com 889-1122
Mr. Smith Chart [email protected] bluechipsconsultants.com 889-3456
Mrs. Kathryn Moore [email protected] bluechipsconsultants.com 889-3444
System architect Mrs. Rose Woodfox [email protected] bluechipsconsultants.com 889-6777
Data conversion Mr. Michael Jones [email protected] bluechipsconsultants.com 889-5432
Mr. Arnold Bets [email protected] bluechipsconsultants.com 889-3214
Mr. John Orion [email protected] bluechipsconsultants.com 889-3344
Mrs. Bertha Maxwell [email protected] bluechipsconsultants.com 889-9876
Mr. Jonathan Maroon [email protected] bluechipsconsultants.com 889-0987
Network support Miss. Judy Collins [email protected] bluechipsconsultants.com 889-9087
Mr. Geoffrey Jones [email protected] bluechipsconsultants.com 889-4422
Mrs. Anita Wales [email protected] bluechipsconsultants.com 889-3366

The Table 4 below represents the communication matrix for this project

Type of communication Objective Interval Medium Owner Audience Deliverable
Project kick off meeting Project team induction, review of project activities Once Face to face Project manager Project sponsor and team and other stakeholders Minutes and agenda
Subsequent team meetings Project status review After a week Conference call or face to face Project manager Project team Minutes and agenda
Monthly project status reports Report of project status to the management After a month Email Project manager Project management office (PMO) Monthly project status report
Project status review meetings Report of project status to the management After a month Face to face or conference call Project manager Project sponsor and team and other stakeholders Minutes and agenda

Risk management plan

When organizations like AIM hypermarkets begin new projects these are areas of uncertainty especially when developing unique and new services or products. The main purpose of a risk management plan is to set up a framework from where the project team can identify typical project risks (Wheelwright & Clark 1992). This will help them to derive strategies to avoid the risks or mitigate.

The Table 5 below highlights the likely risks within the CRM system project

Risk Probability Severity Person responsible Control & mitigation
Requirements change Low Very high Project manger Requirements document will be constantly reviewed and carefully considered during the planning / initial working phase
Personal motivation reduces / illness Medium High Project manager Project plan has buffer time
Unrealistic project plan Low Very high Project manager Project plan has buffer time built in
Hardware failure e.g. laptop crashes, floppy disk corrupted Low High Project manager and team Have a number of copies of all documents and related work –
stored on laptop, portable drive space, a floppy disk and a CD.
Software problems e.g. required software is not available Low High Project manager and team Ensure software can be accessed from more than one location
Natural disaster Medium to low Very high Offsite back up of both software and hardware if possible
Cost escalations Medium to low High Project sponsor A dedicated financial reserve for the project

Procurement management plan

The procurement management plan will set the framework for the customer relationship management system project. This plan guides in matters of procurement for the whole project. It may require updates when acquisitions needs change. The project manager will closely liaise with the sponsor in all procurement activities for this project.

The Table 6 below shows the items needed for this project, the justification and timeline when used.

Item Justification Period when needed
180 Pentium V desktop computers, 17 inch screen and a local disk capacity of at least 160 gigabytes. Twenty high power servers each with a storage capacity of 200 gigabytes. Needed to implement the customer relationship management system throughout AIM hypermarket branches within Singapore. At the beginning of the data conversion and mapping phase

24/03/2011

A network operating system such as server 2008 or Linux with a true RDBMS such as Oracle for database support. The environment needed to optimally run the CRM system after development. At the beginning of the system implementation phase

24/05/2011

Cabling basically Cat5 wire approximately 2500smetres long. Fiber optic cable 1000 metres long for the backbone connections. Twelve high capacity Cisco routers, sixty switches and nay other cabling and connectivity requirements. The cabling is necessary to interconnect the various branches having been opened. This will also be used to establish a VPN for AIM through the internet. At the beginning of the system implementation phase

24/05/2011

Conclusion

Project management is an essential discipline for any project undertaken by any organization. However, careful consideration must be taken to ensure that the process cover all the pertinent areas of the project toe ensure its effectiveness. A project management report serves as a vital reference point to ensure that the entire areas essential to a project like the customer relationship management system are well covered. It is highly likely that without such a framework, a number of essential aspects of project management may be overlooked during the process thereby defeating the success of the project. The project manager while leading the team must work towards achieving the project objective that is a clear definition from the project management report.

References

Billows, D., 2010.Work breakdown structure. Web.

Cost management plan template, 2010. Web.

Kim, D., 2007. PMP study notes. Web.

Lewis, P. J., 2002. Fundamentals of project management. New York, NY: McGraw Hill.

Project management plan, 2010. Web.

Rioux, M., 2008. A guide to the project management body of knowledge. Project management institute, 40 (1), 15-32.

Schedule management plan template, 2010. Web.

Wheelwright, S.C. & Clark, K.B., 1992. Creating project plans to focus development. Harvard Business Review, 199. Web.

Appendix

A Gantt chart showing the implementation of the customer relationship management system (CRM) for AIM hypermarkets in Singapore.

A Gantt Chart for the Aim Hypermarkets Customer Relationship Management System Implementation
A Gantt Chart for the Aim Hypermarkets Customer Relationship Management System Implementation

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