According to Quah and Dar (2012), properly managing and executing a business strategy is an important step in helping a business to achieve its goals. Project Management Processes (PMP) also helps businesses to meet their objectives by improving their performance and changing their organizational processes, positively. Within this framework, it is important to understand that project management involves several intertwined steps/phases (OSP International LLC, 2015). These steps should produce quality-approved deliverables because they use different types of resources to achieve their objectives (Quah & Dar, 2012). The focus on PMP effectiveness in today’s business environment stems from the increasing competitiveness of all industries in the global marketplace. From the development of effective project life cycles to the optimal use of project resources, the importance of project management plans cannot be overemphasized. Software use is at the center of these project management roles because significant technological developments have elevated the profile of project management tools to become effective instruments for creating efficient and productive organizations (Dinsmore & Cabanis-Brewin, 2011).
Analysis of PMP
The main objective of this PMP review is to analyze and evaluate the project management plan for the SPINGRID project. It shows that the PMP fails to follow a standard and repeatable project management process and lacks sufficient data to track the status of the project. Furthermore, although the project includes information about the sponsor, project manager, organizational teams and their respective contacts, it does not provide backup contacts for the professionals. These mistakes appear through an assessment of the project’s organization and budget plans. The PMP is a guideline for the project manager to undertake the project and to inform customers about what they should expect after completing the project. For example, the plan talks about issues to do with budgets and project schedules here. This way, it was easier to identify when the project should start and what completion periods align with when the project should end. Such information is also useful to plan and formulate team roles and to determine when they should complete them (OSP International LLC, 2015).
The case study provided important information about the project processes using different types of tables that showed different aspects of the project plan. For example, the tables and charts showed different project techniques and project activities. Although most of the tables are visible, it is difficult to understand the work package table because it contains many abbreviations, which are difficult to follow through an abstract view. In fact, besides the “hours estimated” column, it is difficult to understand what other items in the other two columns stand for. Although an explanatory key is in the PMP, there are no detailed explanations to outline the responsibility and duties of all the employees included in the work schedule. Moreover, there is a lack of explanation regarding the specific tasks and activities of the employees included in the work plan.
Management and Technical Approach
Details surrounding the management and technical approach of the SPINGGRID project plan emerge under the section titled “managerial processes.” The objective of the management plan is to deliver a high quality project within the specified time. The PMP outlines different ways for achieving this goal, such as monitoring the quality of project deliverables and constantly ensuring that progress is made throughout the project undertaking. For example, it states that “The PM and QAM work together to achieve this by respectively checking that progress is made as planned and monitoring the quality of the product at various stages.” It also outlines the assumptions dependencies and constrains of achieving this goal. For example, it shows which project processes will stall when there is insufficient time to complete all project phases. The management plan also outlines different types of risks that could impede the realization of the project goals, including customer risks, resource risks, management risks and risks that relate to the general project implementation process. The risk profile is holistic because it covers all the foreseeable areas of risk in the project. In this regard, the availability of timely information about these risks could help the project manager to integrate different components of the project management plan to realize project milestones. The elaborate risk management plan could also help in improving schemes of performance and the project implementation process. Coupled with the fact that the risk management plan outlines the potential causes of risk, their impact levels, and available risk prevention measures, it is plausible to believe that the risk management plan was properly prepared.
Although the risk management plan is elaborate and holistic, the PMO fails to rank them, according to the most probable risks to occur and the least likely risks to occur. Furthermore, while the PMP outlines different monitoring and control processes, the PMP fails to determine them, specifically. According to Pries and Quigley (2011), the failure to do so may lead to an ineffective monitoring process, which may lead to the deceleration of the overall project process. OSP International LLC (2015) adds that it may lead to slow decision-making processes.
The technical processes of the PMP subdivide into different categories that include software documentation, project support functions, and methods tools and techniques. Most of the information supporting this process is included in the SCMP. For example, the SCMP shows that the SPINGRID project has only five distinctive phases that include the user requirement phase, the software requirement phase, architectural design phase, detailed design phase, and the transfer design phase. The UR phase involves the creation of all the management documents. Comparatively, the software design phase involves availing all required software and hardware for the project. Although the PMP explains that these processes need to be of high quality, it fails to provide a criterion for understanding the quality standards expected of the technical processes. This area needs further development. Lastly, under the resource requirements section, the PMP outlines most types of software for use in the work plan. Similarly, it explains that human resource is the most important resource for this plan. However, there are no specifics to outline which role is more important in this segment because there are different employees working on different tasks within the human resource department. This area needs more emphasis to show where the project manager should focus the planning efforts.
Work to Perform
The case study shows the different types of work packages in the project plan and the project manager’s role in making sure they are actualized. One of its inherent weaknesses is the failure to show the role of other project members’ roles in completing the work packages. Indeed, besides showing the hours estimated for completing each work package, the case study only shows the work packages assigned to the project manager, quality assurance manager, and configuration manager. It leaves other work packages without an assigned project member. Therefore, readers can only guess who should be responsible for the unassigned work packages. This is an inherent role of the project manager because according to Morris (2008), one critical role of a project management plan is to articulate clear roles for each member of the project team so that everybody in the project management plan understands what they are supposed to do with the project. Based on the weaknesses highlighted in the work packages table, there is little information to make out what happens to the work packages. There needs to be more information included in this section to explain important details about the work plan, such as the deadline for each step (to make sure the project plan follows the schedule). Furthermore, there needs to be more information explaining who is responsible for other steps in the work package because only some steps have specific professionals assigned to them. By doing so, the project manager could have a coherent grasp of all work steps.
A project schedule defines the amount of time required to complete different phases of a project. An analysis of the project schedule is important because different tasks require different completion times. Indeed, as Moore (2010) observes, some projects are more urgent than others are. Furthermore, failing to meet the project deadline is unprofessional (Morris, 2008). Indeed, as Kendrick (2011) says the project schedule is instrumental in helping project managers to meet their objectives because they need it to coordinate different aspects of their project management plan. The case study has only five different project phases within its project plan. The PMP categorizes them as UR, SR, AD, DD and TR. Each project phase has its milestone. For example, the user requirements (UR) phase is the first milestone (M1). Similarly, the second milestone (M2) is characterized by the system requirements phase. Appendices B, C, and D outline different phases that the project manager needs to complete within the wider schedule timeline. Moreover, each appendix shows the specific phase that the project needs to cover within the project schedule. The tables presented in the appendix also go into specifics to show the steps that the project manager should take to complete different steps in each phase. These plans show that the project manager developed the schedule plan well.
Budgets refer to cost estimates allowed by a company’s management for resource allocation purposes (Quah & Dar, 2012). Dinsmore and Cabanis-Brewin (2011) add that such budgets are instrumental for controlling project costs. The PMP allocates different costs for each phase of the project. However, it does not show how much money each phase will take. Furthermore, there is no clear estimate of the total cost of the entire project. This way, it is difficult to know how much money each phase of the project would consume (Quah & Dar, 2012). Nonetheless, the PMP outlines the considerations for developing each phase of the budget. The considerations are the availability of furnished workrooms, availability of printers, efficiency of servers, and availability of white board markers. These measures appear to be the main cost drivers of the project. However, there is no more information provided in the PMP to show the contribution of these cost drivers to the overall cost of the project. Overall, although the PMP strives to show different cost drivers, the lack of sufficient data to complement the budget process makes it difficult to follow the overall budget plan of the PMP. Comprehensively, the PMP has made most of the project plan components of the SPINGRID project plan according to the standard guidelines for developing project plans (OSP International LLC, 2015). However, considering the developments outlined in this report, this paper recommends further improvements in the following important areas:
|Project Area||An improvement to be made|
|Budget||Provide figures for the budget plan|
|Contact availability||Provide backup contacts|
|Risk Management||Risks should be prioritized|
|Monitoring and Control||Monitoring and control processes should be determined|
Overall, the PMP is well developed because it correctly shows the fundamentals of the project plan. Its weaknesses lie in providing sufficient details surrounding its implementation plans. In this regard, the PMP fails to follow a standard and repeatable project management process and lacks sufficient data to track the status of the project. According to the table above, these weaknesses appear in the risk management plan, monitoring and control processes and the budgeting schedule. Similarly, they appeared through an assessment of the project’s organization, management and budget plans.
Dinsmore, P., & Cabanis-Brewin, J. (2011). The AMA handbook of project management. New York, NY: Amacom Books.
Kendrick, T. (2011). 101 project management problems and how to solve them. New York, NY: Amacom Books.
Moore, S. (2010). Strategic project portfolio management: enabling a productive organization. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
Morris, R. (2008). Project management that works: real-world advice on communicating, problem solving, and everything else you need to know to get the job done. New York, NY: AMACOM.
OSP International LLC. (2015). Work Packages: PMP & PMI-ACP Exam Training. Web.
Pries, K. H., & Quigley, J. M. (2011). Scrum project management. Boca Raton, FL: CRC Press.
Quah, C., & Dar, O. (2012). Business dynamics in the 21st century. Rijeka: InTech.