Assignment brief project management


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Assignment brief project management

  1. 1. Task Contents 1 Analyze the factors that contribute to the process of project selection Develop outline project specifications for the implementation of a new product, service or process Produce a specification for an agreed project to implement a new product, service or process 2 Produce a project plan for an agreed project Match appropriate resources to a project Cost all resources required for implementing a project Agree timescales for the management and implementation of a project Plan an appropriate strategy for the implementation of a project 3 Implement a project in accordance with an agreed specification Develop appropriate measures to monitor and evaluate progress and outcomes Monitor the implementation of a project 4 Analyze the outcomes of a project in terms of the original project specification Evaluate the outcomes of a project Make justified recommendations for improvements to the project 5 Produce a report of all project procedures used Present the outcomes of the project to an audience using an greed format and appropriate media
  2. 2. Introduction„Project Management‟ is an important topic because all organisations, large and small, areinvolved in implementing new undertakings as diverse as the development of a new product orservice, or a public relations campaign. To keep ahead of their competitors, every organisation isfaced with development of complex services and processes. These need cross-functionalexpertise in a given organisation.The justification for undertaking project management in any organisation lies at two levels,namely, the macro and the micro levels. On the macro or broader level, an organisation ismotivated to implement project management techniques to ensure that what is undertaken, smallor major, is delivered on time, within budget and to specified standards. On the micro level,project management has the objectives of Making the project workplace conducive to teamwork Ensuring that deadlines are met Reducing cost; operating within real-time basis; and Ensuring that important documents and information is shared among members of the team.Task 1: Be able to develop a project specificationTask 1.1: Analyse the factors that contribute to the process of project selection(1) Mission Factor – Projects proposed for inclusion and support within the 4 C‟s Initiativeshould include or engage actions and activities consistent with the mission, goal and objectivesof the initiative and the leading purpose of advancing full community stewardship of publiclands; specifically: • Qualifying projects should be based on shared stewardship partnerships between BLM,citizens and communities that provide for broad and substantive public participation in theplanning, management, conservation, restoration and sustainable use of public lands, consistentwith federal statutes and regulations; • Qualifying projects should embrace or promote integrated, landscape-level approachesto public land management that are consistent with conservation, sustainable land use, andhealthy communities; • Qualifying projects should advance, enable or engage innovations in natural resourcemanagement and land governance, including the use of one or more 4 C‟s tools or thecontribution of new tools to the 4 C‟s inventory;
  3. 3. (2) Process Factor – Projects otherwise qualifying for support within the 4 C‟s Initiative mustexhibit the following process characteristics:  Qualifying projects can originate from the initiative of BLM, citizen groups, Resource Advisory Councils (RACS) or any combination of the three; projects eligible for initiative support must, however, be the shared product of a working partnership of equals between federal and public members place-based unless programmatic; and locally driven by partnered BLM field staff, citizens and communities of place and interest.  Qualifying projects must include or, at a minimum, be open to the relevant universe of interested parties demonstrate substantial community support engage a process of project planning and NEPA compliance that is fully collaborative at the outset; and establish, where appropriate to the NEPA process and project in question, the community- or consensus-based plan – the 4 C‟s partnership proposal – as the preferred alternative.(3) Implementation Factor – Projects supported by the 4 C‟s Initiative should share, to somemeasure, the following operational characteristics: Scope and purpose Contribution to the diversity of the 4 C’s(4) Outcome Factor – Projects supported within the 4 C‟s Initiative should contribute to thefollowing programmatic outcomes: Qualifying projects should advance or contribute to the extension of 4 C‟s innovation and the purpose of community stewardship of public lands. Qualifying projects should advance or contribute to landscape-level management. Qualifying projects should advance or contribute to sustaining working landscapes. Qualifying projects should contribute to the institutionalization of the 4 C‟s among BLM staff and the permanent inclusion of the 4 C‟s in the ways in which BLM does business.
  4. 4. Task 1.2: Develop outline for project specifications for the implementation ofa new product, service or processNew products and services are the lifeblood of all businesses. Investing in their development isntan optional extra - it is crucial to business growth and profitability. But embarking on thedevelopment process is risky. It needs considerable planning and organisation.Following points need to be kept in mind: 1. The lifecycle of products and services 2. Developing your ideas 3. Match products and services to market needs 4. Pricing your proposed service or product 5. The project development process 6. Creating a project team 7. Investment and cost control 8. Manage a development projectPricing your proposed service or productEstablishing a pricing strategy for a new product or service is an important part of thedevelopment process. You should consider pricing the moment you decide to take an ideaforward as it will determine how much you can afford to invest in the project.You will need to take the following factors into account: The benefits - or value - to the customer of your product or service compared with what the competition has to offer. Will the price be one that customers are prepared to pay? Whether or not youre first to market. Is your product or service revolutionary or are you following a market trend? The selling channels you want to use, which will affect your promotional spending and distribution costs. The speed with which you want to establish your product or service. The expected lifecycle of your product or service. Whether you are covering your costs.Strategic pricing can be used to drive sales and regulate demand.
  5. 5. Task 1.3: Produce a specification for an agreed project to implement a newproduct, service or processOn larger projects the specification process is likely to be complex, and requires positive andtimely management. Each of the design disciplines will wish to retain technical control of theirrespective specification sections, but this should not be confused with management control.A Specification Coordinator for the project as a whole should be appointed at an early date, byagreement between the various disciplines.The specification and drawings will be produced in parallel and are likely to involve the samepersonnel, so the Specification Coordinator and the Design Team Leader will need to collaborateclosely, and may well be one and the same person. The Specification Coordinator should begiven the power and responsibility to manage all stages of the specification process, including: Deciding who is to do what, and when; Monitoring progress and ensuring that target dates are met; Ensuring that technical and editorial checking of drafts is carried out; Ensuring that the whole specification document is consistent with the design aims and the drawings, and is appropriate to the nature of the project.
  6. 6. Task 2: Be able to plan for the launch of a project to implement a new product, service orprocessTask 2.1: Produce a project plan for an agreed projectFor producing a project plan for an agreed project, following points needs to be followed: 1. View and print "How to Scope a Project" 2. Scope and Plan your project in five steps: 3. Create a Project Plan from the results of the project scoping 4. Use the Plan to CommunicateTask 2.2: Match appropriate resources to a projectProject MATCH (Making Appropriate and Timely connections for Children) is aimed at findingpermanency for children in Kentucky‟s foster care system. The Kentucky Department forCommunity Based Services is targeting the service regions of Eastern Mountain, SouthernBluegrass, The Lakes and Two Rivers by partnering with the University of Louisville, Universityof Kentucky and Murray State University.Project MATCH has four overarching goals: Increase the pool of resource parents to more accurately reflect each region‟s out-of- home care population Increase the effectiveness in locating and using appropriate kinship care Fully integrate concurrent planning into permanency planning Increase inter- and intra-agency communication between public, private and community stakeholders.These goals are being achieved through: Targeted- and child-specific approach to recruitment Implementation of a customer service model of resource parent recruitment, selection, training and retention Quarterly regional peer consultation groups
  7. 7. Use of respite between completion of pre-service training, approval and placement Collaboratively review permanency data with the courts Fully integrate concurrent planning into permanency planningTask 2.3: Cost all resources required for implementing a projectCosts are an important aspect of project scheduling and control. Project 2007 provides forseveral types of costs. By using Project 2007, you can enter and track the following types ofcosts: Rate-based cost, a cost that is calculated based on the pay rates that are specified for a resource and the amount of work that is performed by that resource. Per-use, a cost that is incurred either once each time that a resource is used, or once for each complete task that the resource is assigned to. Fixed, a cost that is set for a task and not for a resource. A fixed cost does not change, regardless of task duration or the work performed on the task by a resource. Cost resource, a resource that allows you to accumulate one-time or periodic costs that belong to a task. Cost resources might include airfare and lodging. This is typically a one- time cost per task, but the cost resource assignment can be contoured across the duration of the task if you have installed the Budget resource, a resource that is applied toward the project as a whole. Budget resources represent the maximum capacity for a project to consume money, work, or material units. However, this doesnt mean that a project cant exceed its budget. Rather, a budget resource gives you a way to compare your planned numbers with your ongoing costs, to help you keep track of the fiscal health of your project.Task 2.4: Agree timescales for the management and implementation of aprojectPlanning is a critical part of your implementation project and devising a baseline plan that is bothrealistic and achievable is an essential part of managing expectations. If you are working with a
  8. 8. software supplier and/or implementation partner they will develop their own project plan tomanage its tasks and resources, it will not include all of the additional tasks that the institutionwill have to incorporate relating to business changes. Therefore, the overall project plan shouldidentify all of the tasks that need to be completed together with timings, dependencies andresources and the project team should comprise both internal and external personnel and becharged with the responsibility of fully implementing the system.Setting a timescale for a system implementation project is a very difficult exercise and extremecaution should be used. The Risk Management infoKit includes a section on Planning in the RealWorld and some key issues are noted there. Even at the start of a project, mistakes can be made:"Just because a project has been approved, it does not mean that work can begin the next day.Institutions need time to adjust while priorities are changed and prior commitments discharged.One of the most common problems is that these activities are simply left out of the plan.Assumptions are made such as "in Week 2 the supplier will be on-site to install a test system",ignoring the reality that no internal staff are available to work with the consultants. Even moreextreme are cases where complicated contracts must be negotiated or staff or consultantsrecruited, each of which can take weeks. Ignoring these activities can lead to projects that areweeks behind before they even begin.The path to a successful implementation is littered with conflicting demands from many quarters.Several compromises must be made along the way and not everyone will be happy with thedecisions made. For example, testing, training and performance tuning are obvious areas where,with additional time, more can always be achieved to make going-live more acceptable.However, no matter how much testing is performed, some software bugs will remain in a largesystem when it goes-live. The only true test comes when hundreds, and perhaps thousands, ofusers begin using the system in production mode. The same holds true for training and tuningand there is no such thing as too much of either. However, it must be recognised when enoughhas been accomplished to make the decision to go-live.Task 2.5: Plan an appropriate strategy for the implementation of a projectEight steps for the implementation of a project are there: 1. Prepare the infrastructure. Many solutions are implemented into a production environment that is separate and distinct from where the solution was developed and tested. It is important that the characteristics of the production environment be accounted for. This strategy includes a review of hardware, software, communications, etc. In our example above, the potential desktop capacity problem would have been revealed if we
  9. 9. had done an evaluation of the production (or real-world) environment. When you are ready for implementation, the production infrastructure needs to be in place.2. Coordinate with the organizations involved in implementation. This may be as simple as communicating to your client community. However, few solutions today can be implemented without involving a number of organizations. For IT solutions, there are usually one or more operations and infrastructure groups that need to be communicated to ahead of time. Many of these groups might actually have a role in getting the solution successfully deployed. Part of the implementation work is to coordinate the work of any other groups that have a role to play. In some cases, developers simply failed to plan ahead and make sure the infrastructure groups were prepared to support the implementation. As a result, the infrastructure groups were forced to drop everything to make the implementation a success.3. Implement training. Many solutions require users to attend training or more informal coaching sessions. This type of training could be completed in advance, but the further out the training is held, the less information will be retained when implementation rolls around. Training that takes place close to the time of implementation should be made part of the actual implementation plan.4. Install the production solution. This is the piece everyone remembers. Your solution needs to be moved from development to test. If the solution is brand new, this might be finished in a leisurely and thoughtful manner over a period of time. If this project involves a major change to a current solution, you may have a lot less flexibility in terms of when the new solution moves to production, since the solution might need to be brought down for a period of time. You have to make sure all of your production components are implemented successfully, including new hardware, databases, and program code.5. Convert the data. Data conversion, changing data from one format to another, needs to take place once the infrastructure and the solution are implemented.6. Perform final verification in production. You should have prepared to test the production solution to ensure everything is working as you expect. This may involve a combination of development and client personnel. The first check is just to make sure everything is up and appears okay. The second check is to actually push data around in the solution, to make sure that the solution is operating as it should. Depending on the type of solution being implemented, this verification step could be extensive.7. Implement new processes and procedures. Many IT solutions require changes to be made to business processes as well. These changes should be implemented at the same time that the actual solution is deployed.
  10. 10. 8. Monitor the solution. Usually the project team will spend some period of time monitoring the implemented solution. If there are problems that come up immediately after implementation, the project team should address and fix them.
  11. 11. Task 3: Be able to implement a projectTask 3.1 Implement a project in accordance with an agreed specificationSuccessful project implementation requires that managers assume the following responsibilities: • Manage all the resources. • Produce outputs (the expected results) of the project. • Perform technical as well as financial monitoring. • Alert top management when - The achievement of expected results is uncertain. - Problems within the project appear to threaten achievement of the project purpose. - Changes in the project environment have a negative impact on the project. • Recommend adjustments and corrective action.The project manager should familiarize him/herself with that agreement in order to ensurecompliance with all its specifications, which have been approved and signed by PAHO‟sDirector or his designate. Project agreements have specific clauses regarding transfers of funds,structures for project implementation, project personnel, procurement issues, relations withnational counterparts, involvement of the donor at different stages, reporting requirements, etc.These are all crucial elements to be considered by the project manager when defining plans ofaction and when monitoring execution.Task 3.2: Develop appropriate measures to monitor and evaluate progressand outcomesMonitoringMonitoring and evaluation are critical for taking stock of progress and for helping to learn as wego. Monitoring and evaluation can help groups to identify issues, measure success and learnfrom any mistakes. This notion is closely linked to the learning principle of successfulcommunity conservation projects.
  12. 12. You can use this worksheet for step-by-step guidance on how to plan your evaluation. Workthrough the questions, fill in the worksheet as you go and refer back to these sections for ideas.Monitoring is the systematic gathering and analysing of information that will help measureprogress on an aspect of your project. Ongoing checks against progress over time may includemonitoring water quality in a catchment or monetary expenditure against the project budget.Monitoring is not evaluation as such but is usually a critical part of your evaluation process andshould therefore be included at your project planning stage.EvaluationEvaluation provides an opportunity to reflect and learn from what youve done, assess theoutcomes and effectiveness of a project and think about new ways of doing things. In otherwords, it informs your future actions.Evaluation should ideally be factored into your initial project planning (see setting yourdirection). When you are setting your vision, goals and actions, you need to be considering howand when youll check your progress against them. You may decide that you will: Refine your project as you go, so that evaluation is part of your regular project activities. Evaluate the project at agreed milestones e.g. on a yearly basis or after major activities. Carry out an initial baseline exercise against which you compare progress at the end of the project.Task 3.3: Monitor the implementation of a projectMonitoring is an integral part of every project, from start to finish. Monitoring should beexecuted by all individuals and institutions which have an interest (stake holders) in the project.To efficiently implement a project, the people planning and implementing it should plan for allthe interrelated stages from the beginning.In the "Handbook for Mobilizers," we said the key questions of planning and management was: What do we want? What do we have? How do we use what we have to get what we want? And What will happen when we do?Task 4: Be able to evaluate the outcomes of a project
  13. 13. Task 4.1: Analyse the outcomes of a project in terms of the original projectspecificationAny task that requires some preparation to achieve a successful outcome, will probably be donebetter by using a few project management methods somewhere in the process. Projectmanagement methods can help in the planning and managing of all sorts of tasks, especiallycomplex activities.Project management is chiefly associated with planning and managing change in an organization,but a project can also be something unrelated to business - even a domestic situation, such asmoving house, or planning a wedding.Project management techniques and project planning tools are useful for any tasks in whichdifferent outcomes are possible - where risks of problems and failures exist - and so requireplanning and assessing options, and organizing activities and resources to deliver a successfulresult.Task 4.2: Evaluate the outcomes of a projectThe evaluation of the outcome of construction projects has been the subject of unresolved debatefor many years. This paper argues that previous views have tried to find a simple solution to acomplex problem. The complexities of the issues which underlie the evaluation of projectoutcomes are derived from project goals, participants behaviour and the performance of projectorganizations. Earlier studies did not recognize the manner by which individuals perceptions ofproject outcomes were influenced by the range of factors in each persons perception. A model isconstructed with two levels of outcome developed from the fundamental behaviour-to-performance-to-outcome (B-P-O) cycle in industrial/organizational psychology. It is postulatedthat the valence of the first-level outcome (project success) is dependent on the instrumentalityrelating to the second-level outcome (participant satisfaction). The identification of factors ofinfluence, such as self-efficacy, project complexity, commitment, expectancy, rewards, goals andenvironmental variables, are shown to be fundamental in understanding an individualsperception of the merit of the outcome of a project.Task 4.3: Make justified recommendations for improvements to the projectFollowing table shows some recommendations for improvement to the project:
  14. 14. Task 5: Be able to present the outcomes of a projectTask 5.1: Produce a report of all project procedures used1. Create a title or cover page, followed by a table of contents and an abstract (see Step 9). The project reports title should convey the area and scope of the project.2. Consider your reader, his or her knowledge of your project and its subject. If your project was, for example, scientific but your reader is not a scientist, consider using less technical language than if he were.3. Describe the projects scope, its objective and the main result(s) in the Introduction. You may include what you personally contributed to the project as well.4. Tell the reader about the research behind the project in a Background section, if too expensive to include in the Introduction.5. Describe the methods you used during the project to accomplish the stated objectives in a Methods/Procedures section.6. Present the results of the project, which may not be the intended results.7. Conclude by summarizing, once again, the project reports content and by suggesting the implications of the projects results.8. Propose, under a Recommendations heading, suggestions based on the conclusions outlined earlier.Task 5.2: Present the outcomes of the project to an audience using an agreedformat and appropriate mediaOutcomes are the changes that happen as a direct result of your project. These changes couldmake a difference to the environment, to the community or to the peoplewho benefit from theproject. For example your project may be to create a community garden. From this youroutcomes might include increased gardening skills, community cohesion and improvement of thelocal environment as a result of people putting their skills into practice.We may find it useful to answer the following questions when identifying your outcomes:• Who will benefit from the project?• How will the project benefit your target group?• What is the change your project will make?It may be presented as given below in the diagram:
  15. 15. References 1. 2. Andersen, E.S., Grude, K.V., and Hang, T. 1995. Goal Directed Project Management: Effective techniques and strategies (trans. From Norwegian by Roberta Wiig), 2nd edn. London: Kogan Page. 3. Appelo, J. 2009. What is the Mission of Your Project? Retrieved May 12, 2009, from 4. Azzopardi, S. 2009. The Evolution of Project Management. Retrieved May 26, 2009, from 5. Mathis, M. 2009. Work Breakdown Structure: Purpose, Process and Pitfalls. Retrieved June 18, 2009 from 6. Heneman, R., Waldeck, N. & Cushnie, M. (1996). Diversity considerations in staffing decisionmaking. In E. Kossek & S. Lobel (eds) Managing Diversity: Human Resource Strategies for Transforming the Workplace. Oxford: Blackwell. 7. Johnson, L. & Johnstone, S. (2000). The legislative framework. In G. Kirton & A. Greene (eds) The Dynamics of Managing Diversity. Oxford: Butterworth Heinemann. 8. Rees, T. (1998). Mainstreaming Equality in the European Union. London: Routledge. Richards, W. (2000). Evaluating equal opportunities initiatives: the case for a „transformative‟ agenda. In M. Noon&E. Ogbonna (eds) Equality, Diversity and Disadvantage in Employment. Basingstoke: Palgrave. 9. Matsuno, K., & Mentzer, J. T. (2000), “The effects of strategy type on the market orientation– performance relationship”, Journal of Marketing, Vol.64, pp.1 –16. 10. Gonzalez- Benito Oscar & Gonzalez- Benito Javier (2005), “Cultural vs. operational market orientation and objective vs. subjective performance: perspective of production and operation”, Journal of Industrial Marketing Management, Vol. 34, No. 8, pp.797-829. 11.,39024195,39158410,00.htm 12.