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Sample Research Paper on Project Management: Project Motorcycles

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Sample Research Paper on Project Management: Project Motorcycles

Introduction

According to Training (2010), “project management refers to a series of methods and tools that are used to plan and implement a change or project from inception to its completion”. Project management makes it possible to undertake what can be considered to be very complex tasks and break them down into manageable simple processes. If at any time there is the likelihood of achieving several results or where there are risks of troubles happening, project management aids to direct the project’s momentum and outcomes (Training, 2010). To manage a project effectively one can adopt a range of project management methods and tools, all of which help in a project’s planning, assessing of options, risk management, and organization of resources and actions.

As the project manager, I will need a secretariat comprised of a secretary, an assistant with a technical background, an accountant, a touring motorcycle engineering expert and an internet research expert. I will also need representatives from each of the company’s respective departments. The secretariat will be working fully on the project while representatives from the departments will give in at least 20 hours every week for the entire time of the project. The representatives will give their requests in writing detailing what their departments will need for the project. My assistant will come up with all the technical portions of all reports. As the project manager, I will undertake to coordinate the activities of all the others and integrate their contributions into a unified sum total. In addition, I will deal with all communications throughout the structure of the project. There will also be representatives from the project users, who are the executive and suppliers as they are key to the project in delivering authority and decision-making, and materials to be used respectively. All the representatives will comprise of what will be the project board that will oversee and be responsible for the project to ensure the project is aligned to their respective areas of concern and being managed effectively (Tudor, 2010).

Project Management Method

I will need to define the project and understand the scope that it will cover to identify the project Management method. The project that we want to undertake is the creation and launching of a new product – the touring motorcycles. It qualifies as a project as it has several identifiable characteristics namely; it is a onetime event or piece of work that will be finite in time (five years) requiring to be accomplished by a certain deadline, operating on a fixed budget, will require to have coordination of different people, resources, and processes, will be made up of multiple phases or stages and finally there will be a level of risk should the project not become successful (Training, 2010).

Having defined the project as above and its scope highlighted, the Project manager settled on the PRINCE2 project management method. The name PRINC2 is an acronym for PRojects IN Controlled Environments and as a method, PRINCE2 does identify projects as activities which may happen in a variety of environments, technical and non-technical (Roberts, 2011). Our project is being undertaken within the framework of an ongoing manufacturing effort from which we want to take over eventually – that is our controlled environment.

According to Tudor (2010), “PRINCE2 is an integrated framework of principles, processes and key themes, with guidance on planning, delegation, monitoring and control of the six key aspects of project performance: cost, timescale, quality, scope, risk and benefit”.

Figure 1: The Structure of PRINCE2 (Source: Tudor, 2010)

The seven Themes of PRINCE2

Tudor (2010) identifies the seven themes that describe key aspects of project management that must be addressed throughput the project as business case, organization, quality, plans, risk, change and progress.

            Figure 2: The Seven PRINCE2 Themes (Source: Tudor, 2010)

 

 

The Seven Principles of PRINCE2

According to Tudor (2010), the guiding seven principles are as a result of experience from prior projects over time that provides a frame work of good practice. They are continued business justification, learn from experience, defined roles and responsibilities, manage by stages, manage by exception, focus on products and tailor to suit the project environment as shown in the figure below (Tudor, 2010).

                                    Figure 3: The Seven PRINCE2 Principles

 

The Seven Processes of PRINCE2

Tudor (2010) identifies seven processes and relationships that will be a key feature of the project management as shown in Figure 4 below. These are starting up a project, direct a project, initiating a project, controlling a stage, managing product delivery, managing a stage boundary and finally, closing a project (Tudor, 2010).

 

 

Directing

 

 

 

 

 

Managing

 

 

     

Delivering

 

 

 

 

 

Note

·         Starting a project is used by both the directing and managing levels.

·         There should be at least two management stages, the first of which is the initiation stage.

·         Managing a Stage Boundary is first used at the end of the initiation stage and repeated at the end of each subsequent stage except the final stage. It is also used to prepare exception plans, which can be done at any time including in the final stage.

·         For complex or lengthy initiations, Controlling a Stage and Managing Product Delivery can optionally be used to manage the initiation stage.

 

Key

SU = Starting up a Project

IP = Initiating a Project

SB = Managing a Stage Boundary

CP = Closing a Project

 

 

 

 

 

 

Figure 4: The Seven PRINCE2 Processes (Source: Tudor, 2010)

 

 Project Management Steps

There are several process steps that the company will likely use to build up the touring motorcycle. These will be what are considered to be the traditional/normal project management steps of initiation, planning and design, execution, monitoring and controlling and finally completion (Training, 2010). For the method of choice for this project, PRINCE2 has the processes cut out as illustrated above.

Since in the past, our company has dealt with motorcycles that are fuel-efficient cruisers and occupy the middleweight class, we already have the technical knowhow to design and make those that are of a higher capacity in every way; power, speed and luxury. From this, based on the principles articulated in PRINCE2, the company has identified that we need to move to the higher capacity (1100 cc) touring motorcycles.

As already indicated, we have a wealth of experience in manufacturing and selling motorcycles from which we can learn. There are defined roles and responsibilities for governance and day-to-day management of the project as already identified is the project sponsor, the project manager, and the business user and supplier interests. The management by stages will be needed to overlook the sequential phases of the project making decisions after evaluations. Freedom will be allowed for respective team players in the project during its implementation as management by exception takes place. Set out rules and procedure will dictate the activities of every stage and management comes in to offer guidance if an incidence only occurs. Also of importance is that the focus will be on the products as opposed to the activities, in this case the motorcycles, with emphasis being laid on delivering products that satisfy preapproved defined and documented quality criteria and progress will be deemed achieved on the basis of completed approved products. Lastly, the entire PRINCE2 methodology is supposed to be suited to the project by factoring in the environment under which the project will be being undertaken, putting in consideration the five years time frame, management support and, the scale and complexity of the project.

Strategy to balance Short- and Long-term needs

The one (1) strategy that the organization might use to balance short- and long-term needs will be the identification that it is the very nature of  project requirements that all resources whether material or human are usually borrowed with realization that they will revert to the general organization after the end of the project life (Frame, 2003). This usually informs managers and such like authorities to limit control over these resources. Our project is supposed to take over from the manufacture of small motorcycles and this will dictate that resources that are directed towards the project be taken as investments in themselves rather than shared resources ensuring that in the short-term need for the small motorcycles are taken care of even as the touring ones have their fair share in being developed, long term needs being met.

Crucial Resources

The required resources will be both the human resources from the research and development department and the accounting department. This will enable me to monitor all resources allocated and the returns on investments, thereby being able to undertake evaluations and promptly adjust as appropriate.

Project Management Leadership Style

The project management leadership style most appropriate during transition will be the one headed by the business owners overseeing the whole organization the executive overseeing the various departments, followed by the project management board under myself overseeing the project implementation and then the rest fall beneath under their representatives in the project board and authorities.

            Figure 5: Organization leadership during project implementation

Risk Mitigation Strategies

Based on Thamhain ‘s (2013) work on risks in complex projects are highlighted below will be three risk mitigation strategies. These will be:

Proper communication: Thamhain (2013) postulates that most problems and risk factors emanate outside of the project organization, being found in the broader organization and its environment. The best way to address the thus becomes nurturing cross-functional communications and collaboration among all stakeholders that is supported by the executive.

Simplified work process: the project will seek to organize work processes whose outcomes will be disseminated or transferred. If it is too complex and complicated, there lies a risk of the project becoming a failure. Therefore, such risks will be addressed by the work and its transfer processes, shortening development cycles, and testing project feasibility early.

Identify and understand people in the project: crucial to the success of any process is the human resource that works on the project. Risk will be avoided and success assured when not only the best are working but identify a team that will be dedicated in overseeing what others are doing and scan across the project team and its environment to detect early any risk arising.

 

 

 

 

 

 

References

Frame, J. D. (2003). Managing Projects in Organizations: How to Make the Best Use of Time, Techniques, and People. Hoboken: John Wiley & Sons.

Roberts, P. (2011). Effective project management. London, UK: Kogan Page.

Thamhain, H. (2013). Managing Risks in Complex Projects. Project Management Journal, 44(2), 20-35. doi:10.1002/pmj.21325

Training, M. T. D. (2010). Managing Projects. Bookboon.

Tudor, D. J. (2010). Agile Project and Service Management: Delivering IT Services Using ITIL, PRINCE2 and DSDM Atern. London:

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