While business processes change, there is a need for a well-defined process to initiate, plan, execute and monitor these processes (Schwalbe, 2005; Nicholas, 2000). This discipline is normally affected through project management. Stakes Incorporation is a fast-growing IT project management consulting firm established in the year 1998. The firm presently has a workforce of fifty-six people dispersed at the eight branches whose head office is in London. Stakes Incorporation has a chief executive officer at its helm, a project manager, financial manager and operations and human resources manager.
The staff at each of the branches consists of a project leader, IT support staff and several business information systems analysts. Stakes Incorporation bids for consultancy services from a variety of clients. This firm then offers advice on requirements for successful project management and derives project estimates based on clients’ scope statements. They are also able to directly offer their project management services using their in-house project team at a fee, though they are mainly a consultancy firm.
Stakes Incorporation management is considering running their business on an intranet though they currently have none. The intranet facility will be able to furnish them with the current financial status, the status of development projects at their various branches and the status of the network and server infrastructure for their intranet. The intranet is also likely to offer a shared workspace where Stakes can then bid for larger and more complex projects and work on them as a team with each branch having a portion of the complex project assigned while collaborating with other branches.
Statement of need
Stakes Incorporation is qualifying for a number of important consultancy bids. However, they are experiencing a hitch in the processing of these requests due to their current infrastructure. Stakes Incorporation is not able to effectively handle big and complex projects because their network status cannot be monitored to ensure timely transmission of critical data and information between various teams at different branches. This has resulted in delays causing a backlog in the handling of the clients’ requests eventually affecting Stakes’ reputation.
The management at Stakes Incorporation cannot have the current picture of the firms overall financial status as well. This continues to delay or affect decision making which in turn affects the performance of the company. The present market value of the firm stands at 3.5 million UK pounds. A large portion of this comprises the assets located at the head office and the eight branches dispersed across the country.
On successfully bidding, Stakes Incorporation receives consultancy fee depending on the magnitude of the project the client has presented. This is what comprises the firm’s income. Every year Stakes Incorporation handles an average of six to eight projects that bring in a collective income of 800,000 UK pounds.
The firm’s management has a need to adopt a proactive intranet strategy for the firm that identifies the processes like shared working, financial, project development and network statuses. These comprise some of the functions at Stakes Incorporation that bring value.
Stakes Incorporation’s management require an intranet dashboard from which they can place queries to the firm’s database and receive information such as the current financial status of the firm. The status of development projects at the various branches can also be monitored using the proposed dashboard that will also indicate the status of network and server infrastructure. The proposed dashboard is a network-based application that will link all branches to the head office server. Each branch however will have a copy of their local data with a mirror copy stored at the head office server. The firm’s branches will be connected through the intranet whose backbone will be high capacity high-speed optic fiber (Marchekwa, 2009).
The following steps will form part of the project management process.
- Definition of project scope
- Verification of the project scope by the management.
- Scope change control
During the initiation and planning process, the scope management plan will be produced (Marchewka, 2009). Generally, the extent of this project should cover the head office and the eight branches dispersed across the UK. This project will be financed internally and executed by an in house project team to a tune of 125,000 UK pounds. The project will commence in June 2010 and is expected to be complete by end of September 2010 in readiness for the high business season. The preparation of a scope statement is the immediate step and will enable the project manager and the team to produce a scope management plan (Rioux, 2008). This plan will conceptualize the project scope from which can be derived the deliverables.
Stakes Incorporation project plan
The project plan here will consist of:
The purpose of the intranet project is to provide a web-based interface also called a dashboard to enable the managers to monitor a number of issues such as the current financial status, the project development status and the network and server infrastructure through this dashboard.
Objectives of the project
The objectives of the intranet dashboard project will include the following:
- To improve Stakes managers’ monitoring process and improve decision-making.
- To centrally avail clients’ project management consultancy data and information to facilitate shared working on the projects thereby meeting the deadlines.
The scope of this project will cover the head office and the eight branches dispersed across the nation. It will also incorporate external stakeholders who will have a portal into the intranet.
The following are the likely constraints of this project:
- Lack of technical manpower to develop and optimize the web application
- Inadequate financial resources
The following are some assumptions for the project:
- That the funds allocated 125,000 UK pounds for this project will be enough.
- That the project will proceed and complete as scheduled with the team working 7 days a week.
Work breakdown structure for the intranet dashboard project
|Task number||Predecessor task||Activity definition||Duration (Days)|
|3||2||Statement of requirement for the intranet dashboard||5|
|4||3||Business system options||10|
|6||5||Build system/ testing ||70|
The project is expected to run from June 2010 to end of September 2010 for a total duration of 120 days.
The project deliverables will include:
- A statement of requirements for the proposed intranet dashboard project
- The intranet dashboard
Responsibilities and team structure
The team will be constituted internally based on a matrix structure approach with team members being drawn from the different branches based on their specialty. The project manager at the head office maintains that responsibility through this project.
The most feasible risk is project slip resulting from inadequate funds or unavailable technical skill. Outsourcing the system-building and testing task has been considered as a contingency strategy to take care of this risk. Quality assurance will be carried out during system building and testing.
Stakes Incorporation will derive a number of benefits in employing project management for this intranet dashboard project. This process will also help them assess their strengths and weaknesses as a team in project management consultancy industry. They can then be able to work on these findings so that they can be able to improve service provision to their clients.
Marchekwa, J.T. (2009). Information technology project management, 3rd ed. London: Wiley & sons.
Nicholas, J.M. (2000). Project management for business and technology: Principles and practice, 2nd ed. New Jersey: Upper Saddle River: Prentice Hall.
Rioux, M. (2008). A guide to the project management body of knowledge. Project management Institute, 40(1), 15-32.
Schwalbe, K. (2005). Information technology project management, 4th ed. Cambridge, Massachusetts: Course Technology.