BUSINESS ANALYSIS A 1
Project Management Questions
Task 1. Task 1 Exploring the General System Development Approaches Based on Module 2
A “College Education Completion” Methodology
Sub-Task 1.1. What are the phases that your college education completion life cycle might have?
The first phase of my college education completion project is the project initiation phase. This phase involves recognizing the need to apply for higher education placement at a verified college. The next phase of the college education completion project is the planning phase for college. The planning phase is next and as an individual I have selected to advance my career in either commerce, finance, economics, business management and administration courses. These courses are offered by many universities and colleges throughout the states each with different learning programs, tuition requirements and different completion schedules. The next phase is the analysis phase where all the college options will be analyzed and the most ideal course and college selected (International Institute of Business Analysis, 2009, p. 110). The next phase is the design phase where one must decide the start date for college, acquiring the needed resources for tuition and finding accommodation close to college. The final phase is the implementation phase whereby I am required to apply to the college and launching the degree program after acceptance and following the course outline until graduation.
Sub-Task 1.2. What are some of the activities included with each phase?
The project initiation phase includes activities such as brainstorming the career path I want to take and identification of the need to enroll in a college to gain required educational certifications. The project planning phase one is required to narrow down the options and identification of a given field of study (Wysocki, 2013, p. 260). My career aspirations are to get a business related degree majoring in business management, business administration, economics, finance or commerce. The project analysis phase involves analyzing the various colleges offering business related courses. The tuition, the type of learning program, identifying colleges which are close or which offer ideal accommodation and the timeframe to complete the course will be evaluated and analyzed, and the best option selected. The design phase will involve application to the college and development of timetable for the college completion project. The implementation phase includes activities such as enrolling for college, receiving acceptance and joining the campus, attending classes, taking exams and tests, progressing to the next class and graduation which marks the end of the college education completion project.
Sub-Task 1.3. What are some of the techniques you might use to help complete those activities?
During the project initiation phase which requires me to brainstorm, I will examine my strengths and weaknesses in academics and other areas to identify ideal career path for my future. The brainstorming activity will also make use of intensive online research on available courses, colleges offering the degree of my choice and the requirements for the degree. In order to complete the activity of narrowing down the available higher education options, the technique of grouping options as per their attributes and choosing the option offering the best set of attributes will be used. The analysis of different options in the analysis phase will use the cost benefit analysis tool to identify the most suitable option offering maximum benefits. The development of project design and time schedule development will use a focused strategy tool to match the college objectives and appropriate project design. The college completion implementation activities will make use of the Plan Do Check Act PDCA cycle. Serra and Kunc (2014, p. 56) states that PDCA will enable me to evaluate progress and areas that need change to ensure continuous improvement until graduation.
Sub-Task 1.4. What models might you create? Differentiate the models you create to get you through college from those that help you plan and control the process of completing college.
The college education completion project is a large project requiring me to plan for educational tasks and activities appropriately, ensure the activities are completed in time since some are hierarchical and monitoring and evaluating the progress and my performance through the entire college project, while matching it to the planned time schedule. In order to achieve this, my college education completion project will make use of a Gantt chart model to help in the planning, control and implementation of the project. A Gantt chart is an effective project planning and controlling tool that will enable me to control a large number of activities that are required before the completion of college and graduation. The activities are outlined graphically in the Gantt chart and shown against the assigned timeframe for completion thus enabling me to complete all individual college activities on schedule (Satzinger et.al, 2009, p. 68). I will also make use of the organizational hierarchy chart to outline all activities and the sequence they follow, ticking off completed activities while moving towards college completion and graduation.
Sub-Task 1.5. What are some of the tools you might use to help you complete the models?
The tools to be utilized to complete the project models include visual modeling tools which perform specific tasks. The visual modeling tools will be stored in the repository or information database that will cover the entire college education project. The project repository will store all information on the project progress and the models utilized to plan and control of the college completion project. The repository tool ensures that the models are filled in correctly and it compares the two different models used for the project. In order to ensure the repository updates information in real time, I will be required to update the database manually every time I reach an educational milestone. I will also make use of the Microsoft Visio drawing tools when developing the Gantt chart for my project. This will enable me to fill in values and models used for the project real time, while at the same time providing flow chart diagrams, entity relationship diagrams and diagrams to present the data visually for easy understanding of the project progress or challenges (Hamilton, 2012. p. 312).
Task 2 Understanding Project-Oriented Approach in Business Analysis Based on Module 3
Custom Load Trucking
Sub-Task 2.1. Do you think the decision by CLT to build project managers from its existing employee base is a good one? What advice would you give CLT to make sure it has strong project management skills in the company?
The decision by CLT to hire the project manager for the Custom Load Trucking System is the right and appropriate decision for the company. Stewart is a current employee at CLT and has a good past record for the last year on all the assignments assigned to him. Stewart has also proven himself an able project manager by his last project which was a success. His last project required a four person team and Stewart proved resourceful by managing the team effectively and ensuring project success. Stewart is also an expert system analysts in terms of educational and technical qualifications. In house hiring of Stewart will be a wise move since he knows and understands the company and its culture (Radack, 2013, p. 109). As a person who works at CLT, Stewart is known by other team members hence minimal conflicts. Stewart is also well versed in all the operations and processes of the firm and thus can develop the trucking system as per the functional requirements of the company.
Sub-Task 2.2. What kind of criteria would you develop for Monica to use to measure whether Stewart (or any other potential project manager) is ready for project management responsibility?
Monica is still doubtful of whether Stewart has the capacity for the project management responsibility for the CLT’s trucking system. The CLT trucking system marks a major move by the company to digitize its processes and functions for easier management and control of the business processes. The first criteria is for Monica to examine Stewart’s qualifications and certifications to establish their capacity. Monica should then review Stewart’s past performance records and the success levels of projects he has been involved in. Monica should also read reports of project managers who have worked with Stewart before and check their reviews on his capabilities. The next step is giving Stewart an interview with focus on project management scope, time, cost, quality, risk, communication among other areas. According to Post (2011, p. 121), the last exercise would be for Monica to test Stewart’s abilities by giving him resources and a small team to create a prototype for the proposed trucking system to measure his abilities.
Sub-Task 2.3. How would you structure the job for new project managers to ensure or at least increase the possibility of a high level of success?
The CLT system project will be structured in the form of a projectized organizational structure. This structure involves structuring the job around the project instead of focusing the organization resources on functional breakdown by project deliverables. The projectized organizational structure places all responsibilities and the task of management entirely in the hands of the project manager. The individual project team members are assigned project tasks and responsibilities based on their qualifications and level of expertise. The project team members are required to report directly to the project manager. A projectized structure means that the project team members will be required to work full time for the entirety of the project. This enables project managers to effectively manage the project and ensure there is enough human resources to finish the project successfully and on time. The benefits of a projectized organization structure is that the PM will be given enough authority to source for project resources, control and manage the project on time without interference from the company management (Beynon, 2009, p. 124). It also allows for easier communication among team members since they interact with each other frequently during the project implementation process.
Sub-Task 2.4. If you were Monica, what kind of advice would you give Stewart about managing his career and attaining his immediate goal of becoming a project manager?
In order for Stewart to fast track his career path to become a fully- fledged project manager, there is need for him to be more proactive and develop a good relationship with CLT management. Stewart will then use this relationship to request his inclusion to as many CLT projects as he can effectively handle. During this process, Stewart will be assigned different roles which upon completion he will progress into bigger responsibilities such as managing a team of developers at the firm, moving over to project assistant, project coordinator to project management support before he is ready for the huge role of project manager. This projects will enable Stewart to gain the much required experience in project management, gaining technical and leadership knowledge in the process, qualifications which will be included in his resume (Curlee, 2011, p. 234). Monica should also advise Stewart to enroll in a project management course which is offered by verified online institutions and get certification. This will introduce Stewart to current project management technologies and tools, increase his skills and knowledge in project management.
Task 3 Investigating System Requirements Based on Module 4
John and Jacob, Inc.: Online Trading System
Sub-Task 3.1. What is the best method for Edward to involve the brokers (users) in the development of the updated online trading system? Should he use a questionnaire? Should he interview the brokers in each of the company’s 30 offices or would one or two brokers representing the entire group be better? How can Edward ensure that the information about requirements is complete, yet not lose too much time doing so?
The John and Jacob Brokerage Firm has extensive operations supported by 30 offices spread throughout the United States. Such a large population can be difficult to reach and collect views and suggestions required to be integrated into the new online trading system. The best method available for Edward to collect ideas on the system requirements is through the use of the research survey method. This involves establishing a relevant sample required for the study and collecting views by the use of interviews or questionnaires. Edward should use a questionnaire to collect views and ideas for the new online trading system. The survey questions will cover all identified areas that need improvement or are working inefficiently. The questions will be open ended and closed to ensure data is measurable and participants provide their ideas in their own words for given problem areas. Edward should use a sample of two workers per office since views from 60 participants will be sufficient. Edward should use online surveys tools to collect complete system requirements at the shortest timeframe (McConnell, 2013, p. 202).
Sub-Task 3.2. Concerning customer input for the new system, how can Edward involve customers in the process? How can he interest them in participating? What methods can Edward use to ensure that the customers he involves are representative of John and Jacob’s entire customer group?
In order for John and Job Inc. to develop an effective online trading system platform that will be accepted by the targeted market, there is need for Edward to involve customers when developing requirements for the new system. The first way to engage with customers is to analyze the many customer complaints that have been posted on the company’s current website. The current trading system used by the firm ranks poorly when compared with other online trade platforms operated by bigger brokerage firms due to their expansive financial capacity to hire the best talents and developers. Customers who have worked with other firms usually compare the John and Jacob Inc. trading website and other ivy -league platforms. Customers having a problem with the current platform continue to voice their complaints on the website information which can be used in the systems requirement development. The company can offer prizes or cash to entice customers to participate. Edward should use cluster sampling method to cluster the northeastern US region that has the bulk of customers as supported by Cummings (2012, p. 201)
Sub-Task 3.3. As Edward considers what other stakeholders he should include, what are some criteria he should use? Develop some guidelines to help him build a list of people to include.
It is critical for Edward to identify all relevant stakeholders of the new online trading platform at John and Jacob Inc. to ensure the requirements and needs of all stakeholders are fulfilled. This will require Edward to identify all project stakeholders, find these stakeholders, and involve them in the entire project implementation process while actively engaging them in the process. Elliott (2014. p. 122) states that Edward should develop strategies to identify anyone who has any form of interest in the project, identify people who will be affected by the outcome of the project and people who might affect the project.
- Develop a project charter naming the sponsor and top managers who are major stakeholders
- Reviewing contract documents to identify stakeholders included in the contract document
- Reviewing of organizational process assets and enterprise environmental factors
- Interview project experts on the potential stakeholders
- Brainstorm with experts to identify stakeholders
- Name all stakeholders from bullet 1 and develop strategies to involve and engage them
Beynon, D. P., 2009. Business Information Systems. Basingstoke: Palgrave.
Curlee, W., 2011. The Virtual Project Management Office: Best Practices, Proven Methods. New York: Wiley Press.
Cummings, H. 2012. Management Information Systems for the Information Age. Toronto: McGraw-Hill Ryerson.
Elliott, G., 2014. Global Business Information Technology: an integrated systems approach. Boston: Pearson Education.
Hamilton, A., 2012. Handbook of Project Management Procedures. New York: TTL Publishing, Ltd.
International Institute of Business Analysis. 2009. A Guide to the Business Analysis Body of Knowledge BABOK Guide. Ontario: International Institute of Business Analysis.
McConnell, S., 2013. “7: Lifecycle Planning”. Rapid development. Redmond, Washington: Microsoft Press.
Post, G., 2011. Management information systems: Solving business problems with information technology. 4th Ed. New York: McGraw-Hill Irwin.
Radack, S., 2013. The system development life cycle. New Jersey: Prentice hall.
Satzinger, J., Jackson, R. and Burd, D., 2009. System Analysis Design in a Changing World. Boston: Cengage Learning.
Serra, C. and Kunc, M., 2014. “Benefits Realization Management and its influence on project success and on the execution of business strategies”. International Journal of Project Management. 33 (1): 53–66.
Wysocki, K., 2013. Effective Project Management: Traditional, Adaptive, and Extreme. New York: John Wiley & Sons.