PROJECT MANAGEMENT AND INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY

Project management and information technology

Introduction

The current section presents and reviews the current planning methodology and techniques of John Wiley Information Technology Infrastructure Company. Being an IT consultant, the current study aims to avail different planning methodologies that will enhance the efficiency of operations of the case organisation for future projects as the current PMIS is ineffective.

In addition to reviewing alternative methodology of project management, the study will also recommend as to which planning method must be chosen and why.

Alternative planning methods and techniques

According to Phillips, Brantley and Phillips, (2011) every project cycle comprises of initiation, planning, executing, monitoring and valuation and closing or delivery.

For this process there are different forms of project management and planning processes and each methodology is different from each other. Choosing a methodology needs to be done on the basis of project constraints and objectives, time period, availability of tools and others to name.

The most common method is Adaptive life cycle or agile methods that comprises of iterations whereby overall project is segmented into different sub-projects that is to be undertaken individually. The project itself is divided with different set of requirements and work to be performed.

This method is however, applicable for industries that have a rapidly changing environment such as electronics manufacturing and IT industry (Rahimian and Ramsin, 2008).

In other words, this methodology is suitable for projects that has variable goals with the prospects of flexibility and can be modified during the project cycle. However, one challenge of agile method is that of fixed time and cost even if changes appear during the project cycle.

Another form or more advanced for of agile technique is scrum method that comprises of short iterative in the complete project cycle just like agile method but allows to deliver projects more frequently than in agile method (Cervone, 2011).

Unlike the conventional agile method it comprises of frequent planning meeting, where the team members share their work progress daily and get daily feedback from the product client. Scrum is all about collaborating and communicating between the service provider and the client on a daily and frequent basis.

One challenge of scrum method is that it is highly volatile and highly dependent on the members working on the project.

Another type of project management cycle defined by Rose, (2013) was iterative and incremental life cycles where the project phases are termed as iterations and each iterations develop the product using a set of repeated cycles.

On the other hand, the increments progressively add to the functionality of the product. In this method, the project is concluded in a sequential or overlapping manner whereby end of iteration a set of deliverables are provided. Each of the iteration incrementally builds the deliverables until the quality and objectives are met, allowing incorporation of feedback.

Another method that can be used in the current case organisation is Critical Path Method (CPM) which is mainly used for network scheduling, project evaluation and feedback system (Kaur and Kumar, 2014).

It is used as a resource-utilization for scheduling project activities or project iterations. It mainly involves statistical techniques that allow identification of least project completion timeline and estimation of scheduling flexibility of network paths within the project model.

This method allows estimations as to ‘what should be taking place and what is going on’ in the project completion cycle. However, one challenge of using the CPM is that it doesn’t consider resource availability while planning scheduling of the project.

An advanced for of CPM is the critical chain method (CCM) that allows the team members to place supports on any task plan way to represent restricted assets and undertaking vulnerabilities (Rose, 2013).

Critical chain utilizes and exercises with terms that do exclude security margins, relationships and asset accessibility and availability with factually decided supports made out of the amassed wellbeing edges of exercises at indicated focuses on the project member’s way to represent limited resources.

The resource-constrained critical path is known as the critical chain. Therefore, instead of managing the total network, this method manages project durations against the remaining durations of chains of activities.

Another commonly used method is the lean method, whereby the principle is based in the reduction of reducing waste from all business processes (Tenera and Pinto, 2014). It was initially developed to reduce the energy crisis but later developed to be used for finding the path of least resistance and maximize organisational operations and project delivery value.

One type of lean method is Lean Six Sigma that involves six sigma methods of define, measure, analyse, improve and control for problem-solving of project cycle and business processes by defect detection and their reduction.

Another method is Deming Cycle or PDCA Cycle that involves plan, do, check, and act steps for quality improvement of the project or the service by continuous improvement and learning (Chiarini, 2011).

One last method of the lean method according to Chiarini, (2011) is Kanban, a scheduling system that focuses to eliminate backlogs of an ongoing projects and maintenance of smooth flow of the project completion. It involves three segments, ‘to do’, ‘doing’ and ‘done’ and helps in the managing the flow of the project cycle.

New age methods like PRINCE2 (PRojects IN Controlled Environments) and Waterfall method uses mixed methods in efficient project completion (Balaji and Murugaiyan, 2012; Matos and Lopes, 2013).

PRINCE2 allows step-by-step methods to manage any project using flexible method and tailored techniques to match diverse organization and any type of project. On the other hand, waterfall uses a more simplified method with clearly objectives of the project cycle and deliverables with give timeline, teams and their specific in iterations, completing one iteration or project phase then evaluation and feedback and moving on to the next.

Recommendation

Since the case organisation has decided to scrap off the entire system and implement and new system for the delivery projects from inception to the completion it is suggested that the case organisation adopt the Scrum method of agile project management.

The reason for suggesting the scrum method is that the organisation has a small team of 60 people with multiple ongoing projects at a time. Thus, using the scrum method small teams can be developed by removal of all the barriers to progress using one-week sprints for constant communication between within the team and the client as well.

Using an end of the day daily scrum meetings everyday completion and milestone is tracked and will help the case organisation to become more efficient in its project delivery and quality assurance.

References

Balaji, S. and Murugaiyan, M. S. (2012) ‘Waterfall Model Vs Agile: A Comparative Study On SDLC’, International Journal of Information Technology and Business Management, 2(1), pp. 26–30.

Cervone, H. F. (2011) ‘Understanding agile project management methods using Scrum’, OCLC Systems and Services, 27(1), pp. 18–22. doi: 10.1108/10650751111106528.

Chiarini, A. (2011) ‘Japanese total quality control, TQM, deming’s system of profound knowledge, BPR, lean and six sigma: Comparison and discussion’, International Journal of Lean Six Sigma, 2(4), pp. 332–355. doi: 10.1108/20401461111189425.

Kaur, P. and Kumar, A. (2014) ‘Linear programming approach for solving fuzzy critical path problems with fuzzy parameters’, Applied Soft Computing Journal, 21, pp. 309–319. doi: 10.1016/j.asoc.2014.03.017.

Matos, S. and Lopes, E. (2013) ‘Prince2 or PMBOK – A Question of Choice’, Procedia Technology, 9, pp. 787–794. doi: 10.1016/j.protcy.2013.12.087.

Phillips, J. J., Brantley, W. and Phillips, P. P. (2011) ‘The Project Management Lifecycle’, in 1 (ed.) Project Management ROI. John Wiley & Sons. doi: 10.1002/9781118122587.ch2.

Rahimian, V. and Ramsin, R. (2008) ‘Designing an agile methodology for mobile software development: A hybrid method engineering approach’, in Proceedings of the 2nd International Conference on Research Challenges in Information Science, RCIS 2008. IEEE, pp. 337–342. doi: 10.1109/RCIS.2008.4632123.

Rose, K. H. (2013) A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK® Guide)-Fifth Edition. 5th edn. Pennsylvania: Project Management Journal. doi: 10.1002/pmj.21345.

Tenera, A. and Pinto, L. C. (2014) ‘A Lean Six Sigma (LSS) Project Management Improvement Model’, Procedia – Social and Behavioral Sciences, 13(5), pp. 912–920. doi: 10.1016/j.sbspro.2014.03.102.

 

 

 

 

 

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