Introduction

Project managers are usually barraged with an array of options when selecting the various suppliers and vendors. Therefore, any sound decision will have to consider the finances, the time required, the level of need, the human resource available among others. These form the core of the project and it is in this that the bidding process becomes effective (Project management Institute, 2013). The upgrade of the system at IRTC enterprise is an example of a project management initiative that has to consider the variables involved in successful project management. The billing system was developed about 10 years ago and has continually needed an upgrade. Each upgrade is according to the vendor’s schedule and takes around 10-12 months.
Details of the project mainly focus on ensuring that the system is able to meet the system standards that are to be outlined in the shareholder’s expectation, focusing on the most feasible and sound project development platform, provide a work breakdown structure, work within the finances among other factors. However, the development is based on a single vendor who has various stipulations on the project development and the costs likely to accompany each option. Therefore, the management plan will involve a detailed level of scrutiny and analysis so that the amount used is within the allocated $100000 budget. If the funds are not adequate, the project manager will have to write a detailed analysis of the need for extra funds.

Factors to consider

There are a number of factors to consider before the implementation of the actual project plans However, this will be as per the preferences of the stakeholders, the product as well as the finances available (Hartney, 2016). To begin with, the upgrade will have to consider the system properties. System properties are determined by the stakeholders’ preferences as well as the finances available. Tin this, the decisions will be based on factors such as scalability of the upgrade, the simplicity, the flexibility, the security among other factors. A misfit of a single variable in the system properties is likely to lead to an inefficient upgrade. The add-on factor is the main consideration
The second decision mainly pertains time and its relation to the various factors. It is the responsibility of the project manager to develop a working schedule in order to ensure that the works are completed within the required timeline. The critical path, as well as the scrum tools, have been very useful in developing the paths required for project completion (Filwv, 2017). Therefore, depending on the time required, the project manager has to find out the best route for project completion.
The third factor to be taken into consideration are the financial situation as well as the limitations. The financing aspect of the project has to consider the routes to be followed, the viability, the system requirements among other factors.This is to prevent the lack of capital at the final stages of the project (Fryer, Egbu, Ellis, & gorse, 2004).Furthermore, the finances will determine the human resource used in the project. As with the vendor, there are different charges for the different consultants: $140/hr., $120/hr., $100/hr. and $90/hr. for the business analyst, technical architects, programmers and structural designers respectively.

Decisions and effect on project

All the factors to be considered in the upgrade have to be in line with the earned value management plan. The methodology works by comparison of the worked performance and work planned (lowe & Leiringer, 2008). Furthermore, it is very useful in ensuring that the project manager has detailed insight of the project progress.
Taking the duration of the work as 20 weeks, the amount of money to be used weekly is $5000.Therefore, assuming a 5-day working schedule, the daily expenditure is$1000.However, this is subject to the purchase of the add-on and the other materials which are $25000 and $6500 respectively. Assuming the purchase of additional materials and the system add-on, the weekly expenditure will be $3925 and assuming a 5-day working schedule, the daily expenditure will be $785.
Working using the $785 daily expenditure, the employment may consist of 2 technical architects, 2 structural designers, and 3 testers. Working from this, the daily expenditure will be $720. The variables to be calculated include budget at completion, budgeted cost for work scheduled, budgeted work for work performed and the actual cost of work performed (Jepsen & Eskerod, 2009).
Therefore, the decisions to be made will mainly affect the finances and duration. The efficiency of the system will be improved by the add-on but this purchase will increase the time to completion by 4 weeks. The 4 weeks additional time required is subject to the urgency of completion. Being offline for 16-20 weeks will result to huge losses but the long term goal will be achieved. Furthermore, the purchase of the add-on takes a huge percentage of the total capital and this may result in difficulties at the final stages of the upgrade. More to this is the fact that the purchase will require additional specialized consultants which may be unaccounted for in the budget. In a nutshell, the decision on the additional services will result in an increase in the duration and more to this, may lead to a shortage of capital in the final stages. Therefore, the use of the Earned Value management system may come into play in project forecasting.

The stakeholders

The stakeholders involved in decision-making are relative to the project (Boxall & Purcell, 2011).In this, the stakeholders have to be well conversant with the day to day running as well as the function of the project. The definition of a stakeholder is any person who may be affected by the decisions of any project (Aaltonen, 2011). However, the decisions of the individual may also affect the project and as such, there needs to be proper consultation prior to any decision associated with the project.
To begin with, the decisions to be made on the billing system are going to affect the customers.. End users keep the enterprise alive because the commodities produced are mainly used by this group (Carroll & Buchholtz, 2014). Therefore, any decision involving the operation is going to affect them. The case of the upgrade is going to affect them and as such, a representative opinion has to be considered prior to the actual implementation of the project.
Partners are stakeholders who mainly deal with the final working of the system. In this, the group ensures that the system is functional and as in the case of RTC involves the installers, operations and support staffs, legal experts among others. The vendor, as well as the project manager, have partners that may be employed in the working of the billing systems. However, in this case, the project manager is limited to 2 full-time employees while the vendor has a number of consultants to choose from.
The third group is the principals. Principals form the head of operations and make the decisions about the project (Reed, Graves, dandy, & Posthumus, 2009). Furthermore, they are involved in payment for the different components of the system and as such, their input to the development process is priceless (Eskerod & Huemann, 2013).In this, the group is to oversee the purchase of products and systems associated with the project. The project manager along with the general fall in this category and their input to the final decision is priceless.
The final stakeholder group involved in the development of the billing system is composed of insiders (Eskerod & Jepsen, 2013).Insiders are those individuals whose work is to team support. Their roles mainly fall in the technical and business categories and include enterprise architects, business analysts, structural designers, trainers and technical writers, marketing experts, and the administrators among others (Lowe & Leirringer, 2008).
In this analysis and decision-making process, the different types of stakeholders have to be represented. The two classes of stakeholders involved in this case-technology and nontechnology-has to be adequately represented across the board (Freeman, 2010). Adequate representation ensures that the final decision meets the requirements, interests and the needs of the various groups involved in the program.
 

stakeholder type roles Skills
Manager partner Ensuring finances ·         Good decision-making
·         Good communication skills.
·         Good judgement
·         Adequate management skills
·         Good technical skills
Project Manager principle Manage the whole upgrade ·         Good communication skills
·         Good decision making
·         Good team work.
·         Good technical skills
tester End user Make decision on the suitability of the end product.
Simulate the response of the end user
·         Good technological background
·         Good knowledge of the commodity.
·         Good decision-making
·         Good judgement.
·         Good communication skills.
Technical architect Insider Designing the software platform ·         Good programming knowledge
·         Good decision making
·         Good judgement
·         Team work
·         Logical thinking
·         Analysis in detail.
Structural designer Insider Defining the  system and integration of the parts ·         Good knowledge of programming
·         Logical and clear thinking
·         Good team work.
·         Problem solving.

Considerations

The main factors to be agreed upon between the various stakeholders mainly rest on the finances, the level of upgrade and the duration required for completion. The final decision is the main aim of the stakeholders meeting as this will affect the overall progress of the project (American Management Association, 2007).The IRCT system has deadlines and limited finances and as such, there are a number of factors that need to be agreed upon.
To begin with, the first factor to be agreed upon will be the duration. The time required for project completion is about 16-20 weeks. The duration is mainly affected by the human resource team available and an increase in the labor force reduces the duration. However, the additional labor force comes with a price which may be unaccounted for in the budget.Therefore,the decision to be made will pertain the duration required and the finances required.
Secondly, the financial aspect will need to be looked in detail. The aspect of financing the project falls on the partners but management of the finances falls on the project manager. Therefore, depending on the time required, the level of upgrade and the labor force, the project manager will determine the level of financing required.
The final aspect is on the system requirements. The level of upgrade and the efficiency of the system need to be discussed in detail. More so is the fact that the vendor is offering an additional add-on. The add-on mainly affects the integration of the customer database but comes with an additional $25000. Therefore, the stakeholders will have to come to a consensus on the viability of the add-on in relation to the duration and finances.

Conclusion

Project management is a very important aspect of project delivery. However, there are various factors that need to be considered by the project manager in line with delivering the project objectives. As can be observed from the upgrade of the billing system, the use of earned value management system in ensuring that all the constraints involved in project development are kept in check is priceless. The system is employed to control the performance as well as the cost and the project timeline. Therefore, the earned value management system works very effectively alongside the work breakdown structure since it provides the manager with an overview of the relation between the different tasks and the gravity.
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