project management

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Examination Birmingham University

Project Management Promotion At Birmingham City University

Introduction

My client has given me a task to implement a website to aid in the development of increasing people's interest in the PRINCE2 courses that are currently available at Birmingham City University. The courses that will be provided at the University are the following:

  • Half Day PRINCE2 overview
  • Three Day Foundation Examination
  • Two Day Practitioner Examination (Follows immediately on from Three Day Foundation Examination)

My client requires an implemented website to demonstrate the benefits of PRINCE2 training. The website will present information about PRINCE2. My client wishes the website to be appealing to professional companies who wish to take part in the course and encourage there staff to take up the course to improve their employability within the company.

Aims

To implement a new website to promote PRINCE2 courses offered by the Department of Computing at Birmingham City University.

To produce a report detailing the conducted analysis that has been carried out as to how the completed website can improve the marketability of the courses offered at BCU. Research will be undertaken to identify what else can be done to improve the marketability of the PRINCE2 courses.

The completed website will contain multimedia components to efficiently deliver PRINCE2 training content.

Objectives

  • Developing a Website

I have developed a range of skills over the years studying the IT Management for Business Course. I will measure my performance by following the Gantt chart along with obtaining feedback from my client. I will achieve the completed website when the client is satisfied along with completing the website on time.

  • PRINCE2 Course available at Birmingham City University

I will be using verbal communication approach, which range from Oral (telephone, one 2 one) to E-mail to communicate with my client. I will approach my client and take data about the courses that are running at BCU. The course information will be visible on the website. The areas within the course will be listed to give a clearer picture to the end-user of what will be covered in the courses.

  • Web technologies in website

The website will have to utilise with web technologies as a standard so that end users will be able to access range of web browsers. I will identify different web technologies and allow my website to be accessed by all web browsers.

  • Accessing stakeholders interest

I will measure the progress by listing requirements that my stakeholders have set. I will analysis the requirements by listing them and looking through my Gantt chart.

  • Accessing clients interest

I will measure the progress by listing requirements that my client has set. I will analysis the requirements by listing them and looking through my Gantt chart. I will review the progress of my project with my client to make sure my client is aware of what is happening.

  • Documentation completed

Documentation will be provided, which will include details of the design process, final product, marketing analysis along with testing and evaluation of the final product. The documentation will be completed before the deadline in May.

Deliverables

  • Gantt chart using Microsoft Office 2003 - The main reason of using the Gantt chart is to give both me and the client a way of judging whether or not the project can be completed by the project deadline.
  • Gantt chart Deliverable: I will assign each deliverable to a separate phase of the project, and use a milestone that represents that both the deliverable and phase are completed.
  • Completed project a week before the deadline
  • A working prototype
  • A working website
  • Detailed design
  • Feasibility study
  • 2 Levels of Marketing
  • Marketing Mix
  • SWOT Analysis
  • Project report of around 8,000 to 10,000
  • Source code attached to appendix
  • Submit documentation on CD

Client

The client for this project is Andy Hollyhead who requires a website to promote PRINCE2 courses offered by the Department of Computing at Birmingham City University.

Hardware and Software Requirements

Hardware

A standard Desktop PC containing:

  • Motherboard (CPU, RAM)
  • Power Supply
  • USB Flash drive
  • CD/DVD-ROM Drive
  • CD/DVD Writer
  • Internal storage - Hard disk
  • Sound card
  • Peripherals
  • Input
  • Keyboard
  • Mouse
  • Image Scanner
  • Output
  • Monitor
  • Printer
  • Speakers
  • Network card - for DSL/Cable internet

Software

  • Operating System: Microsoft Windows XP
  • Microsoft Office XP
  • Antivirus - Norton Internet Security 2008
  • Nero (Burn CD/DVD)
  • Macromedia Dreamweaver MX to create HTML website
  • Macromedia Flash
  • Adobe Photoshop to modify pictures, which can be used in html pages.

Specialist Items:

  • Using my digital camera to take realistic pictures around Birmingham City University. Real pictures will be used in the website. I will be hoping to use my camera during November 2007.

Possible Risks

Analytical Skills

  • Researching into relevant market areas (research on papers, books, internet and journals).
  • Challenging old ideas with new ideas.
  • Being more organised (Using a Gantt chart)
  • Meeting planning (meetings with my client to make sure that my product will be implemented on schedule)
  • Evaluating a situation properly before making a conclusion
  • Making a discussion from facts
  • Interpersonal skills (negotiating, listening, empathising with client)
  • Reviewing the project Gantt chart at every stage to determine whether the project is progressing and keeping on track with the Gantt chart.

Synthesis Skills

  • Keeping contact with my client will ensure that all requirements are met and fulfilled accurately.
  • Creative skills such as problem solving and ‘thinking beyond the square'
  • Planning skills
  • Tools will be analysed to find the best tool I can apply to the project.
  • Design, test and implement a working website.

Critical Appraisal Skills

When I have completed my research I will then look at its strengths and relevance to the project requirements. I will look at the pros and cons of the website and rectify possible amendments for future updates for the website, after running the system.

I will test the system to make sure that it meets the criteria and draw up inferences based on his appraisal. I will go through the testing phase to ensure that all of the system has been tested and look at areas I may have left out.

When my system is implemented and the client and stakeholders are satisfied, it will give me time and reflect on my performance and skills and examine how successes in particular areas can be transferred to other areas of my work, such as new projects in the future. I know it will be very important for me to remember my skills which have been learnt for the future to improve myself.

I will develop a personal development plan, which is an opportunity to register a desire to participate in development. End of this project I will hope to have adopted new skills that I can use again in the future.

Feasibility Study

Literature Review

  • Introduction

The purpose of this literature review is to discover how advertising/promoting PRINCE2 Project Management course on the Internet will encourage stake holders to take up the course at Birmingham City University (BCU). It is important to have a better understanding of what motivates stake holders to take up courses in a leaning environment. The understanding behind people starting up the course is interesting, one can study from home in a form of online learning, but surely interacting with a lecturer will be more effective.

This literature review aims to give an overview of the background to Project Management and promoting the courses offered at BCU online. The course is intended to give stake holders the chance to develop their project management skills.

A PRINC2 Project management website will be implemented to aid in the development of increasing stake holder's interest in the PRINCE2 courses that are currently available at Birmingham City University. The courses that will be provided at the University are the following:

  • Half Day PRINCE2 overview
  • Three Day Foundation Examination
  • Two Day Practitioner Examination (Follows immediately on from Three Day Foundation Examination)

The website will present the benefits of taking up the PRINCE2 training along with clearly displaying information about the course run at BCU. The outcome of the website will be very appealing and the use of HCI will be taken into consideration to improve stake holder's interest in taking up the course. The course will be targeted towards professional companies who wish to take part in the course and encourage their staff to take up the course to improve their employability within the company.

1.1 Aims

A new website needs to be implemented to promote PRINCE2 courses offered by the Department of Computing at Birmingham City University.

To produce a report detailing the conducted analysis that has been carried out as to how the completed website can improve the marketability of the courses offered at BCU. Research will be undertaken to identify what else can be done to improve the marketability of the PRINCE2 courses.

The completed website will contain multimedia components to efficiently deliver PRINCE2 training content.

1.2 Objectives

  • Developing a Website

The website will be visible for stake holders to browse and take information about when courses are run along with other relevant information. The website will use good HCI to attract the stake holder's attention about the course. The courses run at BCU will have to be mentioned in the report and also the benefits of taking up the course.

  • PRINCE2 Course available at Birmingham City University

Having direct contact with client and lecturers at the university will be important, because they will be more knowledgeable in the area. The approaches to take when keeping in touch with the client will be to use verbal communication approach, which range from Oral (telephone, one 2 one) to E-mail to communicate with my client.

The course information will be visible on the website. The areas within the course will be listed to give a clearer picture to the end-user of what will be covered in the courses.

  • Web technologies in website

The website will have to utilise with web technologies as a standard so that end users will be able to access range of web browsers. It will be very important to identify different web technologies and allow the final website to be accessed by all web browsers.

  • Accessing stakeholders interest

When implementing a website it will be important to identify what the course will teach and how the stakeholders will benefit from the course. All the possible requirements will have to be considered and also promote sufficiently and effectively to bring in the right type of stakeholders who will benefit from taking up the course at BCU.

2.0 Background and Relevant Projects

Firstly PRINCE2 stands for Projects in Controlled Environment. The methods used in PRINCE2 are an effective method for project management. The course is currently run at Birmingham City University. The government owns the PRINCE2 method.

Information being available to stake holders who intend to take up the course will require more knowledge about the course and also the benefits the course will provide to people taking up the course in the future. There are numerous of Project Management courses that dominate the World. The importance of highlighting the importance of doing the PRINCE2 management course other than the others will have to be taken into consideration while marketing and promoting the course to stake holders.

Definition of project management is:

“A project is a temporary endeavour undertaken to achieve a particular aim and to which project management can be applied, regardless of the projects size, budget, or timeline.” -Project management institution.

There are three recognised project management courses that are run all over the World; they are PRINCE2, PCM and also PMBOK.

  • Projects in Controlled Environment (PRINCE2) is commonly used in the UK, India and Africa
  • Project Cycle Management (PCM) is commonly used throughout Europe.
  • Project Management Body of Knowledge Guide (PMBOK) is commonly used in North America and Eastern Asia

3.0 Courses run for the first time

Before going into an area it is very important to identify what other short courses have been ran out there within the past five years. John Paxton developed a web design course, which was piloted during the summer of 2003. Paxton (2004) piloted a training course, which lasted 6 weeks. The PRINCE2 management course will continue for a maximum of a week. The course piloted by Paxton (2004) identifies that the course is aimed to develop stake holder's interest in the web development market. PRINCE2 project management course already exists at the university, but it has been difficult in bringing in people that will be interested in taking up the PRINCE2 project management course.

Paxton's (2004) study identifies that there were 18 students who enrolled onto the course, when first started. The focus of the course was to go through the summer to make the stakeholders more knowledgeable about web development.

In John W.Stamey and W. Scott Speights (2005), in their book titled: Website localisation, defines that there will be increasing number of documents presented on the WWW. It will be important to note that it will be very important for Paxton (2004) to develop clear and precise information, so that the students implement websites that have good HCI and is very aesthetically pleasing to the end user. As mentioned from John W.Stamey and W. Scott Speights (2005) the websites will rapidly be developed and uploaded onto the Internet.

Paxton's (2004) study defines that the course could not have been quite successful without having few other supervisors to assist him with teaching the students. The feedback was promising and the students rated the course very good and when an opportunity of an ‘advanced' course being presented majority of the students were interested in taking part. Paxton's (2004) journal identifies that it is important to keep the student's interest high so that they look forward to learning about what they enjoy. The is a strong possibility that the project management course offered at BCU may lack the enjoyment and motivational factors, which encourage people to take up the course within the university and outside of the university.

John C. Trice (1981) identified that there will always be many short courses for people to go into. Trice (1981) identifies that there will be flaws in short courses such as:

  • Some people who would have liked to come to the course may have never seen the leaflet/posters advertised to promote costs, times and location.
  • Instructors were never aware of how many students to expect to arrive to a short course, because of lack of information
  • Some people who planned to come to the short course would forget when the course was run.

The points highlighted by Trice (1981) may be outdated, but it was still relevant and important to take across these points as it can help the course offered at BCU identify problems from other cases and make changes to attract stake holders interest in the courses offered at BCU. The course Trice (1981) offered was obviously not promoted well as the flaws could be identified. Promoting the course at BCU will take some planning and thought. It will be very important to take different approaches to ensure that the promotion of the PRINCE2 course will highlight all the benefits for stake holders who opt to take up the course.

Paxton's (2004) study defines that the course content was academically challenging and fun for both the student and lecturer alike. Paxton (2004) mentioned that web design requires both the left side of the brain (logic) and the right side of the brain (creativity). All the students who take up short courses are there to learn and the job of the lecturer is to teach the relevant information.

Web based training courses

In Edgar Weippl (2001) study it was identified that having teaching facilities online will have some flaws. The phenomenon of the Internet has also hit the education sector, by encouraging more online learning courses. The Internet has become very popular and the popularity will continue to grow. Weippl (2001) has identified that security in often regarded as bothersome and tends to be neglected in for a more feasible and effective application.

Cliff Layton (2005) identifies in his studies that online computer science courses will continue to become popular due to the students not being able to conveniently fit traditionally offered courses into their schedules.

Weippl (2001) identifies that the Internet can be useful as a source of information collecting, because a person can prepare a course at short notice. Weippl (2001) mentions that security is a big thing on the Internet as data on the Internet is not protected and this leads to illegal copies of information can be spread through the web, this improves the chance of illegal reuse.

Fenhe Zhi and Yingxia Li (2005) study defines how they managed to implement a project management application, which was used for e-business course.

4.0 Reasons for Project Management

Project management courses around the World have been organised and implemented into the education system to improve and help organisations to become more efficient on a project by planning out the project properly and locating all the factors. Project management is important as it has fundamental steps before heading towards the goal.

Research has proven that gaining knowledge in project management helps aid the development of a project. The reason why project management qualification will be critical is because the qualification will save time and money

Inside journal ‘A spiral Approach to software engineering project management education' written by Joseph C. Spicer it was identified that

“ the course was 13 weeks long with three contact hours per week.”

All the people had different levels of skills. The PRINCE2 course offered at BCU lasted the length of a week, which I found interesting as many courses tend to be longer then a week. PRINCE2 courses are much focused and within the week the lecturers will cover a range of information about project management approaches.

Many people who may be interested in the course come from industry. The people that will want to take up the course will already have experience about industry, but who want to take the role of project management. Project management is run to help individuals to develop new skills in order for them to excel in their organisation.

The definition of project management identified by Fenhe Zhi and Yingxia Li (2005) is: ‘the application of knowledge, skills, tools and techniques to project activities to meet or exceed the stakeholder's needs and requirements.'

The aim of the project management course identified in one of the journals is to help the student to develop better understanding in PRINCE2 techniques and going back to the organisation and implementing successful projects.

The course offers objectives

Using the internet as a form of promotion

Challenges faced by demand of online teaching

Requirements Analysis and Specification

Requirements analysis and specification

  • This should detail how the specification for the final product was agreed with the client out of possible options, giving a rationale for choices made. The requirements specification should formally set this out it is useful to set out here the criteria against which the final product will be evaluated.

Design

Design

  • this chapter should describe how the product was designed, including the design method, design process and final outcome. This should include the rationale for design decisions and trade-offs made, such as selection of algorithms, data structures and implementation environments, as appropriate.

Implementation

Implementation

  • this chapter should describe how the product was produced, including choices of language, packages, tools and development environments and a recognition of the importance of relevant documentation. If the final implementation differs from what could be discussed. it is useful to include screen shots or photos of the product to illustrate this section.

Testing

Testing

  • this chapter should describe how the product was tested and the appropriateness of the methods used, in order to ensure that it is both fully specified and meets the original requirements.

Critical Appraisal

Critical appraisal

  • this section should review both the product and the project management process. The review of the product should compare it with the formal criteria identified in the feasibility study chapter. Other areas to consider include an analysis of the major design, implementation and testing decisions, lessons learnt during the course of the project, and an analysis of the strengths and weaknesses of the product and the process.

Conclusion

Conclusion

  • The conclusions should summarise the overall project. It is useful to have some general comments reserved for this section that have not been introduced earlier in your text. The text should refer back to the original aims, objectives and requirements.

Summary

Evaluation

Future Work

References

References

- these give the full references for all materials cited in the main text. Ensure that these are ordered in a correct manner.

Journals

Brock, S. Hendricks, D. Linnell, S & Smith, D (2003). An Balanced Approach to IT Project Management, South Africa. University of Cape Town Journal.

Fenhe Zhi and Yingxia Li (2005). Project Management Application to E-business Major Courses Teaching, China. Beijing Union University Journal.

Layton, C (2005). Online Course Computer Science Student Presentation Online, United States. Rogers State University Journal.

Paxton, J. (2004). Web Design, United States. Montana State University Journal.

Schell, G (2004). Universities Marginalize Online Courses, United States. Journal.

Spicer, J (1984). A Spiral Approach to Software Engineering Project Management Education, United Kingdom. Raytheon Company Journal.

Stamney, J & Speights, S (1999). Website Localization, United States, Click Com Inc & Website Translations Inc Journal.

Sullivan, Dr S (1993) A software Project Management Course Role-Play Team-Project Approach Emphasizing Written and Oral Communication Skills, United States. Indiana University Journal.

Trice, J (1981). Keeping up with Short Course Enrolment Using Database Technology, United States. Clemson University Computer Center Journal.

Wasileski, J.(2005) Learning Organization Principles & Project Management, United States. University of Memphis Journal.

Weippl, E (2001). An Approach to Secure Distribution of Web-Based Training Courses, Austria. Software Competence Center Hagenberg Journal.

Websites

The University of Edinburgh School of Informatics (2007) (Project Management Workshop). [Online]

Available from: http://www.inf.ed.ac.uk/teaching/courses/sdp/cg/slides.ppt [Accessed 22nd November 2007]

Appendix 1 - Project Plan

Appendix 2 - Questionnaire

Appendix 2 - User Manual

Appendix 3 - Installation Guide

Appendix 4 - Website Comparison

Notes

  • send email to marketing
  • look into HCI
  • Marketing for web
  • SWOT
  • Marketing and Sales
  • Look at who is the users
  • Who wants off site courses
  • ‘Clean design'
  • Simple to use
  • Requirements
  • Business site
  • Change logo
  • Look into eye tracking
  • Style sheets
  • Contact Jon about ‘style sheets'
  • Smaller title page
  • Evaluation of websites
  • Pictures showing whats offered at BCU.
  • In report talk about client

Audience Definition

Intended Audience/Define User Experience (Who am I trying to reach)

  • users who have an interest in project management courses
  • First time users seeking information about courses run at Birmingham City University and also the services provided.
  • Project management enthusiasts
  • Users might want to require research and identify which project management course will benefit them in the long run.
  • Users might want to change their occupation and go into project management. (user will have to take courses)

Audience Type based on Intended Audience

Fanatics

First Time Buyers

Movie Enthusiasts

Competitors

Researchers

General Users


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