Project management

6 June 2016

This assignment critiques the initiation and execution of the Bring your own device (BYOD) Project 2013 at Robot Eyes Ltd, an electronic component manufacturer for industrial robots. The BYOD program allows sales personnel to utilize their personal smart phones, notebooks and other mobile devices to conduct wireless sales transactions. Robot Eyes Ltd. experienced significant wireless confidential data leakage through the mobile devices, for three consecutive years at the same exhibition center in Singapore. The main data encryption unit’s security software was non- responsive as a result of a software malfunction after the mobile devices were upgraded by XXX Ltd. The mobile devices were then susceptible to wireless breaches.

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Considering the adverse effects that can possibly impact on an international scale, Robot Eye Ltd. decided to implement a mitigation action. This would include identifying and informing all employees with upgraded devices on the symptoms of the software malfunction. Also, procuring a supplemental Computing Center that will execute data encryption independently, and will be professionally monitored and maintained by data security experts and regional maintenance contractors.

No need to do a summary of the case. Introduction should have what is PM and what a project is. Introduce the paper itself. In Part A of this assignment, the overall approach of the BYOD project management styles, processes and techniques employed are discussed and correlated to recognized theorems. Shortcomings of the project management processes used are highlighted and recommendations are made to encourage a successful project. Parts B, C and D comprises of Gantt charts illustrating Project Planning, progress Management and Budget Creation respectively. Part E consists of a Microsoft Excel Spreadsheet illustrating budget management.
Limited project management techniques were utilized from the initiation of the BYOD project 2013. A more integrated approach towards the management of the project should have been undertaken and this would include considering the PMBoK 10 Knowledge Areas (PMI 2012), (primarily Project Integration Management), and the 4D Model (Harvey Maylor 4th Edition 2010). The PMBoK Knowledge areas can be extensively utilized in any project as it accounts for all processes that are required for an efficient project management program. The 4D Model manages the project process via 4 main progressive interconnected elements or “D’s”n (Define It, Design It, Do It and Develop it) consisting of individual corresponding tasks.


The PMBoK 10 knowledge areas will be used to guide the analysis, discussions and recommendations on the BYOD Project 2013. Remove this list.
These Knowledge Areas would include:
i) Project Integration Management
ii) Project Scope Management
iii) Project Time Management
iv) Project Cost Management
v) Project Quality Management
vi) Project Human Resource Management
vii) Project Communications Management
viii) Project Risk Management
ix) Project Procurement Management
x) Project Stakeholder Management

Project Integration Management
In this Knowledge Area a general overview of the project is integrated to develop an overall project management plan,that will initiate the reality of the project and allow allocation of resources to occur. Additionally, formal documents inclusive of an organizational structure, boundaries, inherent specific characteristics of the project, tracking and reporting documents, management of deviation guidelines (changes) and milestone/project completion sign off documents can all be developed to ensure that there is accountability throughout the project’s duration.

The BYOD Project 2013 was initiated without utilizing these tools of the Project Integration Management knowledge area. Failure to have a proper organizational structure by having two separate leads, Director of DPA and Director of Information Management, results in ambiguity in the upward reporting chain and a less conducive environment for definitive communication and progress reporting. The organizational structure implemented can be described as a “Lightweight Matrix” (Ulrich, K.T. and Eppinger, S.D. 2000) where an issue for the project manager is described as the “Two bosses problem”.

The structure that was employed was not carefully articulated for efficient project execution because there was no Responsibility Chart formulated to carefully integrate the list of tasks, designations together with milestone planning. Additionally, there was no formal specification of task details or progress reporting done with a paper trail as in the case with Taz who had a verbal briefing of his duties and was giving verbal reports at meetings. Re – designing the organizational structure with a single leader is recommended. Also, introducing official log forms that need to be filled and filed for reporting purposes.

Project Scope Management
Project Scope Management accounts for “all the work required, and only the work required, to complete the project successfully” (PMBoK Guide 5th Edition, pg 104). Fulfilling this Knowledge Area ensures that the project manager has an understanding of all the work or tasks the project entails. It can be further refined by having other opinions of the task lists from a quantifiable description of the project. Knowing most of the tasks at an early stage usually highlights and triggers changes that would need to be made before resources are wasted on them.

One of the downfalls of the project is the Top Down approach when considering workloads. The DPA’s IT Support Manager underestimated the tasks associated with developing the software systems. The two consultants were still reporting directly to him, even though he had no experience in this field and might not have been able to steer the project successfully. Taz and Jeremy should have been more instrumental together with the IT support manager in assessing the work loads.

There was no project plan or scope formulated by the project director or the IT consultants because the project director assumed that Jeremy formulated it and Jeremy was of the opinion that he did not need to have an official plan, but a plan in his mind was sufficient. Having taken this approach, Jeremy’s plan was not exposed to the team for constructive criticism and the element of human error was encouraged. Early formal definition of a project scope is a very effective technique of ensuring that projects run efficiently.

Project Time Management
Understanding the implication of time on each task is critical to the duration of any project. Sequencing tasks based on individual task duration, ability of tasks to run concurrent with other tasks, predecessors of tasks, strategic scheduling and controlling of tasks are all elements that need to be considered when managing time in any project. A Proactive approach for time allocation – “working on plans that are beyond the timeframe of ‘that which needs to be done immediately’ with the emphasis on ‘problem prevention’ ( Harvey Maylor 4th Edition pg 270).

This approach on time management is designed to save time in the initiating stages of any project. Without considering a task list or any form of initial planning the DPA and Regional Sales Centers deemed an arbitrary project duration of 3 to 4 months. Additionally the Project Director nominated by the head of the DPA only worked 2 days / week on the project and had a significant amount of persons reporting to him. This type of work schedule creates disconnects and loss of focus. Considering the criticality of the project, a fully committed Project Director may have been a wiser choice.

Breakdown structures should have been initially employed to allow for better control of tasks and containment of risk. Implementing Organization Breakdown Structure techniques coupled with Work Breakdown Structure “Chunking” (Lecturer’s Notes), would have highlighted possible continuity issues such as Jeremy and Taz not being able to meet the “go live” date due to the underestimation of the quantity of work to be done on the database.

Project Cost Management
“Top Down Costing – you are allocated a certain amount of money to complete the project activities and this has to be split between the sub-projects” (Harvey Maylor – Project Management, 4th Edition Pg 177). This approach was undertaken for the BYOD Project 2013. The upper management was inexperienced in the nature of the project and this approach proved to be very inaccurate. A “Ground up Approach” would have been more accurate considering more experienced parties (IT Consultants) would have been involved in the process.

Cost control is a critical part of Project Cost Management as it is required to track costing to identify any shortcomings and inefficiencies in the earlier stages of the project. Cost control was very poor in relation to the BYOD Project 2013 considering the fact that on Friday 6th August 2012 ( 3 weeks before the expected completion date) the Director of Information Management, the Data Protection Specialist and the Computing Center Supervisor acknowledged that their expenditures were very high and they were almost out of budget with a substantial amount of work to be done to complete the project.

This was reiterated by the Finance Department several times in the months before but it was never addressed. A formal Cost Management system would have mitigated expenditure overruns in an earlier stage of the project so that it can be addressed as a critical issue.

Project Quality Management
Quality management in this case study was heavily reliant on the accuracy and competence of the individual workers. A “Control Quality System” can be described as the “Process of monitoring and recording results of executing the quality activities to assess performance and recommend necessary changes” ( PMBoK Guide 5th Edition Pg226). In relation to this, the data collated and punched by the Project Administrator was overwhelming for one person and because of the fact that it was not verified by another worker, therefore, left room for error. Additional resources to assist in data collation would result in more accurate work being done. Because of a lack of quality assurance documentation Jeremy, The Bridge Model of Project Quality management (Harvey Maylor Ch9 Pg 202) suggests that Project Quality Management consists of Internal and External management areas that are correlated with a Bridge (the Stakeholder). A subset of the Internal areas mentioned in the model is “Quality is conformance to internal procedures”.

Considering this approach the BYOD Project did not have any “internal procedures” setup to guide the overall quality of the project formally. An external management area recognizez that “ Quality costs and must be part of the Business Case”. Substandard PC hardware for the Project was bought by the IT Support Manager that could not be used in the project. Higher quality PC systems will need to be purchased at an additional cost. If a quality management system was employed during the project initiation, specifying the technical requirements and features of the PC Systems required, there would not have been financial wastage on substandard equipment.

Project Human Resource Management
Human resource planning is one of the key areas of Human Resource Management. “Human resource planning is used to determine and identify human resources with the necessary skills required for project success” (PMBoK Guide 5th Edition Pg 258). The IT Support Manager, although having no system development experience, was responsible for the system development work to be done on the project. Clearly he did not have the necessary skills required for project success.

He even went on to describe this part of the project as a “Piece of cake”. A non- scientific, egotistic approach was observed and eventually lead to the project running behind time and over budget due to poor management. Taz was a Visual basic programmer and while he accepted the job, he was not experienced enough and was misaligned to the job we was hired to perform.

The Computing center staff were left at their regular salaries and this would have led to a disconnect and some level of alienation among the staff. Team development and motivation would have been hindered. The computer canter staff would have been existing at the “ Need to Belong and Need for self esteem and respect” (Maslow’s hierarchy of needs taken from Harvey Maylor Project management, 4th edition Pg 276) instead of at a Self Actualization level on the model.

Project Communications Management
Communication management is very critical in any project. A communication plan, indicating the different stakeholders, frequency, format, method and person responsible, is a very effective tool in ensuring proper communication during a project.” Inadequate communications planning may lead to problems such as delay in message delivery, communication of information to the wrong audience, or insufficient communication to the stakeholders and misunderstanding or misinterpretation of the message communicated” (PMBoK 5th Edition Pg 289).

The BYOD Project 2013 suffered tremendously from lack of communication and communication strategies. Informal verbal communication was the most common form adopted for the project. This type of communication limits and even totally disregards important benefits of communications including information distribution, performance reporting and administrative closure. There was no consensus with regard to the frequency of meetings to be held and therefore the formal communication system initially proposed was irregular and not as functional as it should be. Taz, Jeremy, Basil and Sandy were isolated geographically from the rest of the team and this also contributed to communication breakdown.

Harvey Maylor Project management 2010, 4th Edition Pg 258 suggests that “All the above good ideas about working with teams are fine where everyone is drinking from the same water cooler and coffee machine”. Typically, for most effective communication, a common geographic location is one of the easiest catalysts to implement. While technology has advanced to adding a digital dimension of communication methods inclusive of conference calls, video conferences and many others, the common human interface and body language leaves the least room for error.

Project Risk Management

“The objectives of project risk management are to increase the likelihood and impact of positive events, and decrease the likelihood and impact of negative events in the project” (PMBoK Guide Fifth Edition Pg 309). Identifying and assessing risks is the first step to mitigating undesirable project occurrences. Maylor 2010 Fourth EditionPg220 categorizes risk management into 3 main areas, Identification, quantification and Mitigation. A risk register or risk log that accounts for the 3 main areas identified by Maylor is very effective in risk management. Upon identification of significant risks, advanced contingency planning is required and this contingency plan may become a task in the project schedule.

Tools and models that can be used to assist in risk management would include the Probability impact chart and the Failure Mode Effect Analysis (FEMA) (Harvey Maylor, Project Management Fourth Edition Pg 223,224. Considering that the “Top Down” approach was employed for the project, little thought was given to Risk Management and Contingency planning hence the project suffered tremendously due to this oversight. The “Design it” area of the “4- D Model” (Maylor 2010) includes risk management and could have also been used in the project’s planning. A cost overrun contingency allowance should have been considered given the lack of project planning input and criticality.

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