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Business Project Resources

Chapter 1 Setting the Context

1.1 Nature of Projects

This is a business-to-business web site project. When perform a work, this may include operations, projects or both. These might involve the performed people, limited resources, planned and controlled. Also, a project is temporary and unique. It can also involve one people or many people and need a lot of time. Bentley (2002, P.1) state that ‘Projects may involve a single unit of one organization or may cross organization boundaries as in joint ventures and partnering.’

The outcome is affected by the quality before the planning. First, we need to set the project quality level. Then, prove the product that it can meet the plans’ requires. After that, use the project quality plan and stage quality plans to state that are they and when they (whom) will be used.

Also, the project outcomes are impacted by the time and cost. It is because the project need development costs and running costs and it will affect the delivery date.

1.2 Costs and Benefits of a Project

The Business Case should document the reasons why doing a project and explain that. It might define in Feasibility Study and describe why the system is needed. It should explain and forecast what the benefits in the life of the project are. It should forecast the development costs and running costs and the delivery date. Investment appraisal is a common use method to forecast the benefits and balance the cost benefit by accountants. The benchmark is choosing do nothing option and measure the cost and benefit.

Cost benefit analysis can take place at any time in the development life cycle like feasibility study. It also included non-quantifiable or intangible costs and benefits. The purpose of the Cost benefit analysis is to increase the benefit. Usually use the graph and line to show the cost benefit analysis. At the initial of the project, the feasibility report is the output of the feasibility study. BSA (2008, P.75) stated that ‘The report will include outline business and technical systems options which will be developed further during analysis and design.’

For the e-commerce systems, tangible benefit may include reduction of costs and level of errors, improved processing speed, better planning and control and overall improved efficiency. That means better quality and quantity of production per member of staff.

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Also, the intangible benefit may include competitive advantage, better management information allowing quicker decisions and responsive planning, better staff morale.

1.3 Setting Business Objectives

When the project has objectives, the benefits will achieve. For the purpose of the objectives, exhaustive requirement must be identified and met. Solutions may try to meet the requirement. In fact, we need to achieve the objectives. The solution will start to realize the benefits in the implementation and operation.

1.4 Systems Development Lifecycle Models

The systems development life cycle has seven stages:

You can use these seven stages to development the system.

Feasibility study should be run as oneself. Because until the recommendation of the solution is approved. It is also important to make a project. The feasibility is one type of the project, it could simple control. Feasibility report is the final product, it will show the options of the activities and cost and it is easy to estimate them. Also, the time to compare the solution is short. Feasibility study is a stand-alone project. It is important and helpful in the development to meet the business plan.

Since feasibility study to requirements definition is extended into a complete set of the user requirements. An analysis is help to ensure the user requirements are completed. That don’t mean replace the system is duplicated. Because current system can satisfy the business, we need to analysis the system to meet by the new system.

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So, the requirements definition should be contain these information:

The system specification is to define the IS system to fully meet the user requirements. The system design is to produce a detail final system, so that the final system can be produce from this system design. The programs design and development is based on the system design to compose the system. In this stage, the specification can give to programming team.

The system test plan should be created before the system design and program development and design stage. All required data conversion activities must be carried out when start to test the system. It will provide a truly representative data environment. Everything should be in place to test of the new system. When all the stage has been completed, we can replacement the system, this implementation will simple and fast. Additionally, some training of users and operators is usually required.

In our environment, any enterprise functions do not remain static for a long time, so that mean why the company needs to keep changing by it. By this system, either manual or computer based, also need to change. Some change maybe fast and some maybe slow. Some changes can be expect and prevent. Also, change is the main reason why the system needs to have a system life cycle. The system will change follow the time and maybe need to replaced another system.

BSA (2008 P.65) state that ‘A system is first conceived, then developed and implemented, then operational until its demise.’ The system life cycle look like a simple model, but it should be repeat any stage until it is acceptable. However, the systems work needs the time, it is important to take into account during the development. If the environment does not change, then the people of the system maybe need to change.

Chapter 2 Managers in projects

For each project, it can decide:

That mean all responsibilities are taken by a suitable person, but the large management team is not needed by the smaller projects.

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2.1 Manager of the Project

This part is talking about the manager of the project. They are Project Board Members, Project Manager and Team Leaders.

2.1.1 Project Board Members

Corporate management

This is the head of the management group. It in-charge by steering committee and their job is passed the message to fund provider.

Steering Committee

The other name of steering committee is project board. It usually used within commercial and public sector organizations.

Steering Committee represents of the profit of senior management. It is the key decision-making body to make the project successful. In the large projects, it will be appointed by the programmed management. The member must have the decisions for the project and the resources can be committed. At the outset, we should authority the limit of them.

The members will not work in full-time for the project, but they will still have the minimum time to make their key-decision. They should make decisions on any change requests. If the requests more than the members to assess, the job will pass to change control board. So that, they will consider all change requests and content the project managers to conjoin them.

The project board members are corporate the project to give the right direction and manage the project. They also are the project spokesman to the outside world.

Their specific responsibilities are accepts all major plans and authorizes any major deviation. They can sign off the stage when it was finished. They also need to sing off any resources and the problems. Moreover, they can accept the appointment and responsibilities of the project manager.

2.1.2 Project Manager

Project Manager

The project manager should be customer’s staff. This should not be the external supplier. In some case, project manager may be stand-alone.

Independent observers

The independent observers will report to a management team that is outside the project. They like an internal audit. When they need to report about the project, they should report to the steering committee.

Support

The support is the person who support to the project manager. The project manager should define the support should be part-time or full-time. This support also be decided by the company that provide these require.

The project manager authority the project is running every day. They basis on the steering committee constraints conclude by the committee.

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Their main responsibilities need to ensure the project met the requirement and the quality with in the time and cost. They also respond the benefit defined in the business case.

2.1.3 Team Leaders

Team Manager

In standard project, team manager is the helpful role. The relationship was private the project manager and the internal manager. They need to link to any formal contracts. Also, they need to report and quality the responsibilities.

Team Members

Please note that the team members should report to the project managers when the projects are small and there is only one team.

The team manger role is optional. The project manager will delegate the authority and responsibility to them for the project. That is the reason why we need to hire these team managers.

They need to ensure the requirement, like the time and cost, for the project manager to the steering committee. They just need to report to the project manager.

2.1.4 Planning, Monitoring and Controlling Project

In the project, there are many plans. The highest level is the Project Plan. It is created at the start of the project.

The steering committee will use the project plan to control the project. They agree the major hand-over from each stage. It is very important. The major produce is defined the quality level. This is the point need to remember at the business case. The business case will detail the cost and action for the end product. The project plan will estimate the development cost.

After that is the stage plan. The project manager will use this plan to monitor the process every week. Next, the customer project manager will use the team plan to relate the project and state plan. This plan is optional.

Finally, there is the exception plan. It contains the informant of the exception, when the project did nothing. The steering committee and project manager will give the opinion for the reason.

The steering committee need to the terms of reference. When they dissatisfied, the project can not start. The steering committee will see the stage plan to discuss the work need for the project. This is a part of overall program and this will also affect the previous work done.

The project contract likes an internal contract. It contain what, who, when, where and how for the project. The people who involved the project should agree. After that the project manager will send the progress report to them to make sure the plan is met the requirement. The progress report usually produced monthly and it should be recapitulated. From the report, we can early protect the project before the problems occurs.

The mid stage assessment should be conduct to mark sure that the requirement are meet. Then the project manager should present the next stage for the project. Please note that, we can not go next stage when the steering committee is not accepted the assessment. The end report will show the requirement for change. The steering committee will find our some customer to accept the product before the project closed.

The project manager will add missing information into the terms of reference. Also, they need to know the customers requirements before start the project. They need to provide the solution. They must be careful on the project plan when the change or planning new stage coming. The customer should accept the criteria that mean the produce met their requirements. Then, they need to monitor the quality file.

When progress the project, the work package is an agreement between project manager and team manager. The project manager can use the team plan to confirm the involved product. The checkpoint will check the project is not deviated the arm. They need to keep the work on time. The project manager will use the active network to show the critical path to check that the time is not delays.

The project also needs to accept the criteria. The configuration management can confirm the produce was satisfied. At last, the project manager must check all the request for change has been done before closing the project.

2.2 Risks Management

In normally, the project manager needs to do the risk analysis and the steering committee needs to manage the risk. The project manager may take the decision

The project manager may require the solution of the potential risk for the project. Actually, the steering committee have the finally decision. Also, we need to find the people for each risk. This may be a member of the steering committee, project manager, team manager or a team member.

For the risks, it base on the information from the analysis method. The correct plan will give steering committee to accept. The project manager will discuss the risk with the steering committee informally. Then the plan should be quickly accepted.

Every risk should be checked it. This should be created a report a week or monthly. The steering committee and project manager should agree these report which base on monitoring risk.

2.3 Contingency Plans

The steering committee can require the project manager to provide a contingency plan. They can add the other budget for the contingency plan when the risk occurs.

The contingency can reduce the direct consequences of the risk and mitigate the ultimate consequences to the business when problems do arise. It spends very little money. It is not enforce and base on the situation.

Chapter 3 Planning, monitoring and control

3.1 Benefits of Planning

The managerial benefits of planning and plans are too many, now the major benefits are listed below.

1. Pre-think future action

Pre-think future action can help project management to know what had been done. It also can help them to know the estimating processes.

2. Verify target achievability

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We can not accept the work without knowing the success process. So, we need to ask some questions. Base on this information, we can plan and decide the time in the whole project. It is important that we can finish the project in the deadline.

3. Identify problems and risks

Project manager may not find the project and risk when the project without a plan. That mean they can not actually fix the problems. In this processes they can find out the risks and reduce the risks.

4. Resource planning

The steering committee is responsible for resource planning. They need to know the right thing like who required and when. This plan will proved this information.

5. Communication to others

The project manager will use this plan to know who involve and their requirement in the project. If the plan is not appear, they may not know until it is too late. They may have no time to finish the work.

6. Gaining commitment

When the people involved the project, this plan will remind them.

7. Providing people with objectives

To set a target can motivate the staff. The target will be define, agree, understand in the plan.

8. Basis for control

These benefits are base on the planning. The project control is compare what had been planned. That mean, the control is the first one need to need consider.

There are some inputs and outputs need to considered in the planning process.

In this step, they need to know their quality requirement and fully understand and agree.

Simply identify the product may not enough to control the product.

The people need to find out all possible activities with the product, prove the interdependencies between activities.

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This is an educated guess. This identify the activities and before the scheduling. It identifies the resources and time to complete every activity. It includes all resources required.

Scheduling can help to estimates the time of each activity. It also can estimate the risks in the project. The scheduling can help the risk management.

Analyzing risk and planning work are running on the same time. It is important that the results of analyzing risk can help the planning assume the result in previous steps and we should repeat this process.

When complete the schedule and analyzing the risk, the plan and the document need give to project manager to presentation to steering committee. This process is the formal in the plan. The material will evolve in the planning cycle. In the planning, some of the steps will be know, because it is the local standards.

3.2 Monitor the Project

When the project started, the project plan should be created. It is the highest level in the project, the master is steering committee. Then the stage plan can break down the detail for the produce. After that, team plan show more detail, when the work is done by sub-contract specialist teams. Finally, the exception plan will show what happen when nothing is done. The project manger needs to give the recommendation to the steering committee.

Tolerance will give a positive and negative allowance on time and cost for a project. If the tolerance is out of predicted, the project manager must report to the steering committee. Also, the steering committee need to report upward to corporate management.

There are 2 allowances for the project.

1) Change Plan

2) Contingency

They are optional and the finally responsibility in the steering committee.

3.3 Monitor by Configuration management

The configuration management may be auto or manual. It should cover all technical products. Deciding the level to control is an important part of the configuration management. The configuration management plan forms the part of project quality plan. From this plan, it will identify the product’s level and class.

When the product passes the configuration library after a successful test, the baseline is there in this moment. After that is configuration control. It relate to the physically controlling receipt to the product. It includes produce submission and product issue.

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Change control is also like a close relation with configuration management. The finally step is providing the project support office.

3.4 The Process and Benefits of the Configuration Management

The configuration is the final step can do for a project of its products. Configuration Management is to identify the products. Configuration Management is not optional.

If the product created more than one version, then the configuration management will need perform. Configuration management will more important when the project is included the programmed.

The configuration management can identify the individual sub-product of the final product, establishment of baselines, audit the configuration performance. Besides, the project type and size will affect the amount and formality of the configuration management. In addition, a project can break down to many level, it will affect the cost and effort. The configuration management can control the lowest level. It can stop the breaking products at the best control, the best cost and effort.

Configuration management plan can explain the purpose. It also is a plan includes the document and files can use in hold products. The baseline can change it stages and stop the content. It can be used for the development of any product. The baseline document can consider the material value, it show each item version number and the date.

When any part of the project submitted to the librarian, he should identify this information. Any holders should receive the copies of the new version when the status is change. The log should be keep. The librarian should make the version updated. He should delete any copies of the outdated version

Please note that, any people in the project can take the copy only. Finally, the configuration management can expertise all projects from the project support office. A project always has a long life, and there are many changes during this life. Configuration management must keep the change. If the item of the project is outsourced, the configuration management method should be same with the customer.

Charter 4 E-commerce systems

4.1 An example of project plan

This is a draft of an example for an e-commerce system.

4.1.1 Ordered stages

We need to plan the project life cycle when the project before start. In here, we use the seven stages which we had talked about in charter 1.

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For the new system, we need to plan the feasibility study. In Hong Kong, we can build the business to business e-commerce web site to allow the company to show off the product and let the customer buy on-line. It is easy and convenient. Also, we need to enable the steering committee to select the technical option. The business case will be established and the steering committee can decide the resource with the development.

In our case, we have not any current system using in the company. There may be some requirement for the new user.

IV) Accept the lager loading.

We can use the data flow diagram to show the requirements. Also, we need to establish the next stage, system specification.

In this stage, we will have the result from the requirement. Also, the general database requirement will identify in here. From the second stage, the result will listed below,

II) Use simple button

III) Use higher tools

The developers will start to define the system requirements in to data dictionary. Finally, the system test plan also prepare in this stage.

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The following are the deliverables from this stage (MBP P.135):

The program and diagram should be detailed design in here. Logic descriptions, operator guide, user guide, data and results of unit tests for each program, data and results of integration tests, user training program and manuals; operator training program and manuals, system user guide, system operator guide, system test plan and index to related material should also be designed. (MBP P.135)

Finally, the system should be test and implementation. There are 3 tests in here. The system should pass these tests by user. First, the system should be test by developers. Second, the system should test by the customer. After that, it may need comes training. For the new system, it should install in the right position. Also, it can help to reduce the problems.

4.1.2 Project participants

The project may include users, analysts, designers, programmers and managers. Also, quality manager and user manager maybe occur. Different people need to do different to finish the project.

4.1.3 Timescales

In this plan, we can use the Gantt charts in the relate activities. We can use this charts to achieve the result like planning the stage. Please note that, the environment will change the system life with time. The change likes the customer request, new product design and reorganization etc.

4.1.4 Resources

The steering committee will provide the resources. This resource planning will give the information who request and when they need. It is important that, the steering committee needs to give the resources to right people and right time.

4.2 Gantt Chart of the Project

Reference

BSA (2008, P.75)

BSA (2008 P.65)

Bentley P.35 Figure 3.2

Bentley (2002, P.1)

Bibliography

BAS 2007 (Business Systems Analysis - Second Edition)

BSD 2007 (Business Systems Design - Second Edition)

MBP 2002 (Managing Business Projects)

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