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This report will be focusing on the nine knowledge areas of project management in which three of knowledge areas will looked into detail, to carefully analyse a business case study using CSR as its subject. Using different types of references; this report will be compromised of detailed definitions and examination into the Sainsbury's project case study where stakeholders were taken into consideration as important factors of the business. This type of business is in the retail industry and the project this report will be focusing on will be the CSR reporting process in Sainsbury's.
Who are stakeholders ?
There are two types of stakeholder, internal and external. Internal stakeholder are individuals within the organisation, like employees, managers, owner etc. external stakeholders are
stakeholder can be individuals or an organisation; who has an interest or concern on the operation of a business. They can either effect or be effected by the business, for example, employees, customers, supplier, banks/creditors, government, unions etc. All these stakeholders play a different part in the business and their impact in/over the organisation differs.
In today's competitive business environment retail industry must respond quickly to the stakeholders changing needs. Especially when it comes to supermarkets like Sainsbury need more attention to public. More challenges they are facing are the Healthier diets, increased corporate social responsibility (CSR), economic climate change and High staff turnover2 ; this is according to the Sainsbury's Annual Report and Financial Statement (2011).
The Nine Knowledge Areas of Project Management:
Project Integration Management: The processes and activities required to ensure that the all activities of the project are properly coordinated. It consists of:
Project Scope Management: A subset of project management that includes the processes required to ensure that the project includes all the work required, and only the work required, to complete the project successfully. It consists of:
Project Time Management: A subset of project management that includes the processes required to ensure timely completion of the project. It consists of:
Project Cost Management: The processes which are necessary to make sure that the project is concluded within the scope of the approved budget.
Project Quality Management: The processes which are necessary to make sure that the project fulfils the needs to which it was carried out.
Project Human Resource Management: The processes which are necessary to make the most efficient use of the involved persons for the project.
Project Communications Management: The processes which are necessary to ensure the timely and adequate, collection, spreading, storage and disposal of information about project.
Project Risk Management: Risk management the systematic process is to be identified to analyze and react to the risks of the project. In addition also belong the maximization of the likelyhood and the results of the positive developments and to the minimization of the likelyhood and the results of the undesirable events on the purposes of the project.
Project Procurement Management: the processes which are necessary which were also to be acquired and carry out services for the reaching the circumference of the project from outside of the organization.
What is project management?
A project is work undertaken for a desired purpose with a beginning and an end outcome, taking into account all the middle processes. According to D. Lock (2003),
Project management has been developed to plan, organize, and be in command of the multifarious and various activities of modern industrial, commercial change, including IT projects and management changes. It is to ensure the successful completion of projects by taking into account every part of the project with a set time in which it has to be completed, this would help access the finishing time and all issues that will be faced during the course of this time.
What is CSR?
As was said by Sinzig.C, (2010), CSR is defined as a concept in which companies bring together social and environmental issues in their business focused operations and in the way they are interact with their stakeholders on a voluntary basis in order to improve business relationship.
Project scope is the measurement of the projects depth and detail. It deals with the projects performance and the clients requirements, in terms of the intentions for the project, the capacity, and content. The scope is what defines the finished product; bringing to light what needs to be done to get there and what should not be done at all.
Project scope management processes are:
Initiation: to initiate a project or to continue to the following phase.
Scope planning: the document development to provide the base for future decisions of the project.
Scope definition: to subdivide the deliverables of the main project into smaller and more manageable components.
Scope verification: the formalization of the acceptance of the reach of the project.
Scope change control: to control the changes within reach of the project.
According to Francis, M and Webster,Jr, (1994) Failure to set clear definition of what is part of the project, as well as what is not, may cause unnecessary work to be undertaken when actually there was no need for. As a result of this, both time and money will be wasted.
Communication involves more than one party; it consists of both sending and receiving messages. Effective project communication involves timed and efficient disposal, and collection of project information. In simple terms this is a method where by data and other information is shared between different entities, this can be used for purely for the benefit of passing and updating information, delegating commands, taking and giving feedback, negotiating and confirming.
Communication is the key in any project, as this is the only way to manage the project from start to finish. By having good communication methods:
Expectations and standards can be portrayed to all the stakeholders. By painting a clear and coherent picture of the aims and objectives of the project to individuals will engage them more effectively in their job roles enabling them to be more focused on the targets.
Project progress can be monitored as this is important for any project manager in order to be in control of the tasks, enabling them to establish where the project is going well and where the issues are. This will give the ability to make the relevant changes and manage the resource available, effectively.
Through my experience as a Manager at Sainsbury's, Ramachandran.S(2007)5, I was taught the "leadership behaviours tool" which says;
Make time to communicate well, tailoring the key message for all types of audiences, using different types of communication methods.
Regular meetings, colleague briefings and 1-2-1 meetings, this keeps the team fixed on the desired end and up to date.
Constantly monitoring for comprehension through times of rapid change, this helps keep everyone up to date on where they are as a team.
Where ever a job has to be completed to a fixed time or deadline, the person managing it must have an idea of the needed time and the expected time. Time management in projects is concerned with:
The project has to be broken down into specific activities which the team members and stakeholders have to undertake for the end result.
This is where an individual can identify and document the relationship between the different activities involved. This gives the opportunity to work out which activities need to be prioritised and which activities need to be completed first for the project to continue.
Once the activities have been identified, an estimation can be made on how much resources are needed in order to completed, and using the project sequencing, it can be identified at what stages each resource will be needed.
The schedules of the sequencing activities, estimating the time which it will take and the use resources needed. The schedule that is created first is considered the baseline of the project; this schedule is constantly monitored and updated according to the project activities.
Scope Management of the Project
From looking at the CSR case study, (2004), it is understood that in 1990, the stakeholders put pressure on the CEO and demanded more information on what and how the company is doing. It became obvious that the company's activities were not transparent enough and all the hard work that had been done was not recognised by everyone.
Lack of knowledge about the CSR and pressure from investors caused for a project to commence in 2000 at Sainsbury's. The scope for this project was to ensure all stakeholders would know what CSR's were and the breakdown of the company's routines into CSR perspectives which would eventually show the amount of work done by Sainsbury's. This in turn would be used as a tool for the future to communicate all work done voluntarily in order to create better relationships with stakeholders.
Colleagues within the business were unaware of what CSR stood for and its involvement, so much that they were not even aware of how much the company had already done previously. The first requirement was to break down the definition of CSR to ensure all staff and shareholders could understand its concept within the business.
This was important to clarify the significance of cooperate social responsibility to involve the staff and shareholders further into the business and increase their knowledge in the actions taken by Sainsbury's.
Communication Management of the Project
To increase stakeholders' knowledge on CSR prior to the breakdown of CSR terms, communication management was constructed. This had to be done in order to enhance a further understanding of Sainsbury's status in terms of CSR. This was achieved by producing case studies on the website and placing some in an internal magazine which is given out to all staff within Sainsbury's. Awareness of this was raised during staff briefings and intranet in order to communicate across the necessity of CSR.
Time management of the project
This project was carefully planned and concurred over a 4 year period. The first step after the decision was made to have a formal reporting process for the environmental and social issues was to research and get feedback from the stakeholders. Once the depth of what needed to be done for this project was clear, the changes were made and engaged with the internal stakeholders. It would be fair to say that the aim was to start with the stakeholder closest to the business and obviously they are the ones who play a key part of the business. The CSR report was used on day to day basis, allowing the comfortable use of this tool to communicate and also see what the company was doing. Once that had been achieved and there was a clear understanding within the business, they then targeted the wider audience, this ranged from customers, suppliers and the general public. The CSR reporting finally reach the web in 2004, and is still being used today, but updating and changing where necessary.
Various management aspects have to be considered for a business to be successful; this includes integration, scope, time, cost, quality, human resources, communication, risk and procurement. These many factors must be taken into account and practiced to exceed the expectations of any business. In this report, scope management, communication management and time management have been further analysed using a case study in subject to CSR in Sainsbury's; a well known business.
CSR is defined as a model in which social and environmental issues are brought together to interact with stakeholders on a voluntary basis. Using this concept; scope management was undergone as the initial stage to help comprehend the classification of CSR so that all stakeholders understood its meaning. Further awareness was raised through briefings; this was the management of communication. Time management was the duration in which this whole process was undergone from idea to concept; this type of management was ongoing whilst the other two types were done at different stages.
As discussed in this report, the CSR project initiated because of the failure to communicate amongst the stakeholders. To avoid further misunderstandings, there should be a section within the CSR website for :
Feedback from the stakeholders on what their opinions are on the current work undertaken in terms of Sainsbury's social responsibilities.
Ideas on what else could be done in order to improve CSR.
To conclude this report; I have analysed the case study and have understood the concept of the nine knowledge areas in terms of CSR. It seems as stakeholders have an important role in acknowledging the undertaken tasks acquired by the business. To gain this information, certain management aspects must be taken into consideration to be able to communicate across the aims and results of the business.
To improve this relationship between the stakeholders, they must be given opportunity to express their views and ideas to one another so major improvements can be made throughout the company.
Dennis Lock (2003). Project Management. 8th ed. Hampshire: Gower Publishing Ltd. 3.
Sainsburys. (2011). Annual Report and Financial Statement. Available: http://www.j-sainsbury.co.uk/ar11/downloads/pdf/sainsburys_ar11_full.pdf. Last accessed 16 Oct 2011.
Sainsbury's. (2010). Sainsbury's Corporate Responsibility Report. Available: http://www.jsainsbury.com/cr/files/pdf/cr2010_report.pdf. Last accessed 17th Oct 2011.
Corinna Sinzig (2010). Corporate Social Responsibility- A Comparative Analysis of Germany and the USA. Germany: Druck and Bindung. 120.
Ramachandran.S, 2007, Leadership Behaviours (Personal Communication)
Sainsbury's. (2004). Sainsbury's CSR . CSR Case Studies Series.
Francis, M,Webster,Jr, 1994. PM101. 1st ed. Pennsylvannia: Project management institute plc..