Advanced Project Management

Advanced Project Management Assignment Sample

Introduction

Project management is the application of process, knowledge, skills, and experience to achieve organisational goals systematically. The present report describes project management and portfolio nuances with the example of Cambridge University (Kock et. al. 2020).http://Advanced Project Management Assignment Sample

It is one of the largest universities in the world who migrate their teaching process from physical or online due to global pandemic Covid-19. The report describes project selection and portfolio management and organisational structure of the company. Further, the project governance framework will also explain.

Project selection and portfolio management

Strategic goals of Cambridge University

It is one of the biggest universities in the world which offers a wide range of courses and research since the last eighty years. The university holds an important place in the education industry due to their high values, comprehensive research or academic subjects, equality, and freedom.

The main goal of this institution is to serve the community by pursuing research, learning, and education at excellence level (Barbosa and de Ávila Rodrigues, 2020).http://Advanced Project Management Assignment Sample

Along with providing academic services, the university focuses on overall development of their aspirants. The institute further aims to provide vast access to education and career opportunities for their students.

During Covid-19 the university faced several challenges to sustain and provide continued service to their students. Hence, they shift their teaching process from physical to virtual.

For that purpose, they train their staff and students, provide them adequate infrastructure, and handle additional administration tasks. Hence, it is a big project for them which they have to execute appropriately to achieve their goals.

Therefore, the management of the university explores various qualitative or quantitative project methods like: payback period, net present value, internal rate of return, scoring model, opportunity cost, analytical hierarchy process, simplified scoring methods, and more.

From them, they select a scoring model, where the project selection team addresses important areas to improve and list some criteria (Marchinares and Aguilar-Alonso, 2020). http://Advanced Project Management Assignment SampleThen they give weights of these criteria according to their preferences, then add the weighted score. After completing the process, they select the highest score criteria. The university management team first selects infrastructure and then training or syllabus criteria.

Recommendation for project management

The university management should use a project portfolio matrix where bread or butter represent high NPV, pearl refers to cash requirement, oyster represents high payoffs, and white elephant refers to low future potential (Alexandrova, 2021). http://Advanced Project Management Assignment Sample

Through these criteria the management should determine their strategy and select bread or butter which focuses on best service quality with highest profit.

The organisational context

Cambridge University has a functional organisational structure but after such chaotic situations, they change their structure. In order to understand the university structure, it is important to understand strengths and weaknesses through the TOWS matrix.

TOWS matrix

  Strength Weakness
Opportunities ●      Strong brand image

●      Emergence of advanced technology

 

●      Employee resistance

●      Employee training

 

Threat ●      Save cost and time

●      Short-term project needed more efforts

●      Uncertainty about the pandemic situation

●      Lack of control

 

The TOWS matrix explains that the project should be optimistically designed and implemented. In order to face threats or weaknesses, the manager should change their organisational structure (Zhurakovskaya and Olicheva, 2021).http://Advanced Project Management Assignment Sample

There are different types of structure like hierarchical, functional, horizontal, division, and matrix. From these structures, the university should select matrix organisation structure because it is best suited for the present project. It is a grid chart that presents cross-functional teams that build to fulfil specific goals.

Since it is a short-term project, they pick expert employees from different teams to execute this project and after its completion they return to their regular tasks. Hence, they get the advantage of expert services without hiring external resources.

Project governance

Project governance framework is the management framework where project related decisions are made.

Thus, the institute can take a structured approach to achieve their goals. There are several types of frameworks and from that two are described below along with its pros and cons.

Agile methods– It is a people centric and interactive approach to a project that addresses the required changes in the project. It decreases the complication of the project by distributing the project cycle in small segments which facilitate later changes (Peters, 2020). http://Advanced Project Management Assignment Sample

The advantage of this method is, it is easy to keep up the pace and allow changes. It is best suited for unique or new kinds of projects. It is a low-cost method and turnaround time is fast.

Disadvantages of this method is: marketing agencies do not accept it because it is a half-baked kind of method which is not adopted by customers. Hiring new employees to conduct projects from this method is very difficult.

Kanban framework– The method enables the institute to plan and manage project activities visually by prioritising tasks on boards. It is simple, effective, and clearest tools as it is easy to manage, documents, lists, and files the task (Schultheiss, 2018). http://Advanced Project Management Assignment SampleIt enhances the project’s efficiency without massive changes. However, the structure of this method is not proper.

 

Advanced Project Management

Figure 1: Kanban project management framework

(Source- Schultheiss, 2018)

From these two methods, Kanban framework is best suited for Cambridge University’s online teaching project because it is simple to execute and enables the management of all tasks systematically.

In contrast, the agile framework is also useful for long-term projects but it is short-term as physical teaching will start after reduction in Covid-19 cases. However, the university management authority should focus on the structure because this method has no proper structure (Killen et. al. 2020).http://Advanced Project Management Assignment Sample Hence, it can recommend that university management should use Kanban framework for their project governance.

In order to implement the task successfully the university should develop a governance institution to execute and manage the project.

Hence, they should create a committee where all faculty department heads should be included and they are responsible to handle project related tasks and syllabus, class timing, assign professors, arrange staff or student training, ensure adequate infrastructure, and more (Salehizadeh and Mahmudi, 2020).http://Advanced Project Management Assignment Sample However, it can be overburdened for them as they have to manage additional tasks which can affect their productivity.

Conclusion

The present report concluded that Cambridge University digitally transformed their learning style from physical to virtual. For that purpose, they explore project management and portfolio requirements to achieve their goals successfully.

The university follows a functional organisational structure but for this project they should use matrix structure. Further, Kanban project governance framework is suggested along with governance institutions to ensure successful completion of the project.

References

Books and Journals

Alexandrova, M., (2021). Evaluation of Project Portfolio Management Performance: Long and Short Term Perspective.

Barbosa, M.W. and de Ávila Rodrigues, C., (2020). Project Portfolio Management teaching: Contributions of a gamified approach. The International Journal of Management Education18(2), p.100388.

Killen, C.P., Geraldi, J. and Kock, A., (2020). The role of decision makers’ use of visualizations in project portfolio decision making. International Journal of Project Management38(5), pp.267-277.

Kock, A., Schulz, B., Kopmann, J. and Gemünden, H.G., (2020). Project portfolio management information systems’ positive influence on performance–the importance of process maturity. International journal of project management38(4), pp.229-241.

Marchinares, A.H. and Aguilar-Alonso, I., (2020), December. Project Portfolio Management Studies Based on Machine Learning and Critical Success Factors. In 2020 IEEE International Conference on Progress in Informatics and Computing (PIC) (pp. 369-374). IEEE.

Peters, I., (2020). Innovation project portfolio management, the growth accelerator for high-tech start-up organisations. A diagnostic study within Urban Mobility Systems.\

Salehizadeh, A. and Mahmudi, J., (2020). Foresight of R&D Project portfolio management Result in defense project-oriented organization using System Dynamics approach. Defensive Future Study Researches Journal4(15), pp.35-59.

Zhurakovskaya, V.M. and Olicheva, O.A., (2021). Project portfolio management in an educational organization. Vestnik of Samara State Technical University Psychological and Pedagogical Sciences18(2), pp.87-100.

Online

Schultheiss, F., (2018).  The Agile Innovation Framework combines Kanban and the FUGLE Model. [Online] [Available Through]: <https://www.researchgate.net/figure/The-Agile-Innovation-Framework-combines-Kanban-and-the-FUGLE-Model_fig2_323110631>

 

 

Appendix

Self-Evaluation

 

Project selection and portfolio management I address all requirements of the module as I describe strategic goals of the university, describe project selection methods, and suggest project management techniques.
The organisational context I describe the organisational structure of the university and suggest the best suited structure for a digital transformation project. I also conduct TOWS matrix analysis for better understanding of structure.
Project governance I fulfil all requirement of this section as I recommend one method from two project governance framework along with its advantage or disadvantages. Recommend governance institutions to ensure successful completion of the project.

 

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