Project Management – Tourism Focus

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06/06/2012
The company wanted to develop a project, for which it contracted
an outside software developer. The software developer was to provide
software codes, which would be daily used by customers. The company,
during the process of development and implementation of the program, had
to face many problems. Fast moving schedules and
early misunderstanding were two main problems. Misunderstandings
occurred with respect to the requirement of the software. The software
requirements were confusing because during the time of development and
implementation the middle management of the company changed.
The team that was given the software code project
was unreliable and showed unsatisfactory performance during the
whole project.
When the project was finally developed, its functionality was not what
the company wanted. During the validation and testing step, which is
the most important step in any software, the team environment
became very tensed. Since, everything was mismanaged team members
became stressed, and started blaming each other for mistakes. Team
members were also seen scape gaoting, which means blaming each other
and picking on individuals for the tiniest things. Team members
became unpleasant to each other, and this led to more tension. When
the software was tested, it resulted in a software bug, which was a
serious threat. The bug was a threat to certain customer scenarios,
and this resulted in circulation of an internal memo. In the internal
memo, a message about the performance of the software was communicated.
There was tension in the information technology department. The problems
mentioned mainly resulted because the unorganized way through which
the software was developed. The project team did not know
the accurate requirements of the software, and when they did what was
mentioned, it resulted, in an error, in the software. The team members
were not happy with each other and were not ready to take
responsibility for their actions. Instead, the team members played the
blame game, picking on each other, blaming each other for small things
and avoiding accountability.
The team then got the task to make the software again in 12
days. In 12 days, they had to redesign the software, test it and
then implement it. 12 days were a less time for the team, and it was
a tough deadline.
Such issues can be avoided if the project manager organizes
the team and gives them the appropriate tasks on time. Also, the
project manager should make sure that they have the right requirements,
and the right concepts. The project manager should make sure that
the team members he has chosen, are well acquainted and do not have
nay problems with each other. This would give the project manager
a good head start. When the project team would know what to do, and
how to do it, the project manager should divide tasks amongst the team
members according to their specialization. When the tasks are divided,
then the team members would know what they have to do and what they
are accountable for. The action of dividing tasks, results in the
elimination of the blame game, and it also organizes
the whole project. When a project is well organized and timed, then
the team faces fewer problems in completing it and delivering it on
time (Namka, 2012).
The project managers should also focus on the motivation level of team
members. A team is made up of people who are specialized in an area.
They have different tasks, and they are accountable for their own
tasks. However, if one team member is not present, the work of every
team member will get effected. A team is dependent on each other, and
this is strength. Team members can seek help from each other and can
solve problems together, decreasing the time spent on solving a problem
by one. Team members can be motivated by incentives. A salary is what
an employee gets at the need of each month, but a bonus is something
that can be a source of motivation for the employee. The project
manager should tie down benefits and incentives for team members, on
task completion. This way employee would feel valued and
would realize that what they are doing is important, and it would
directly affect the success of the organization. Team members should
also put in extra efforts to complete their task. If the company,
benefits, so do the employees.
Before the start, of the project, the first thing that the project
manager should do I spick a team that would be needed in order to
complete the project, effectively and efficiently. The team members
should be selected according to their ability to complete as task on
time and their position in the organization. Team members should be
selected according to their knowledge skills and abilities.
After the team is selected, the second thing that the manager should do
is to explain the team what is the project and what benefits would
the project give to employees and the organization. In this step, the
project manager should tell employees about the nature of the project
and the requirements. As seen in the above scenario, the requirements of
the project were not clear to the project team, because of change in
the middle management. Such changes might affect the performance of a
team and their understanding of the project. The project manager
should give team members the opportunity to ask questions
and voice their queries regarding what should be done and how tasks
should be completed.
After the project manager has mentioned in detail, the responsibilities
and tasks to be carried out by an employee, the project manager should
then set deadline for each tasks. Deadlines should be set keeping
in nature of the task, and how much time should be allotted and would
be sufficient. Sometime, managers set realistic goals, but the deadlines
that are set, make the goals unrealistic. The objectives should be
SMART specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and timely.
After the project starts, the project manager should keep in check of
activities. The project manager should take daily progress report on
tasks from team members, to make sure that they are able
to complete in time. The manager should not be a micro manager. A
micro manager is someone who delegates tasks but keeps
a strict check on supervisors and interferes in the process of each
and every task. Project manager should guide team members and help
them when team members get stuck in any activity. A project manager is
also responsible for allocating resources. Every team needs certain
resources to complete a task. Similarly in this situation, the team may
have been unable to meet the tasks because they were not
given sufficient resources on time.
The project manager needs to set standards for the team members
to meet. The standards would be the basis on which the performance of
the team as a whole would be measured. Project manager should make
it clear for team members, the quality of the tasks that they are
going to perform.
For future projects, a project manager should strive to be a project
champion. A project manager is different from a project champion. A
project manager prefers to work in groups. Project manager is
committed to managerial and technical responsibilities assigned, and
the manager is committed to the Corporation.
A project manager seeks to achieve organizational objectives, is willing
to take risks and seeks what can be done. A project manager thinks for
short term growth and ignores the long term period. Project
manager is committed to managing people and
to pursue material values.
A project champion, on the other hand, prefers to
work individually and is committed to learning about technology.
Project champion is committed to his profession and seeks
to exceed his objectives. Project champion takes risks and wants to
try everything. Project champion is an innovator.
Project champion wants everything to be perfect, and he thinks about
the long term growth of the company. He manages things and pursues
Intellectual values (Kerzner, 2009).
For future projects, following are the recommendations:
Project manager should follow the necessary steps to get the project
done in time. There are five processes that the project manager should
follow. The five processes are project initiation, project planning,
project execution, and project monitoring and control and project
closure.
The first step of the project is project initiation. In this step, the
selection of the best project takes place. The selection is
done with respect to available resources. Then the company recognizes
the benefits that the company and the team would derive from the
project. Then official documents would be made by the company to mark
the start of the project. Then the company decides on who is going
to be the project manager.
The second step is project planning. In this step, the project is
defined by first stating the work requirements. Then the project
manager sets standards by defining the quality and quantity of the
work. Then the resources needed in order to complete the task are
defined. The resources could be finance, land, labor
or machinery like computers. Resources for the software project would
be good speedy operating system and skilled information
technological work force.
Then activities are scheduled and organized in order, to
prioritize. Then the various risks associated with the project are
analyzed, in order to take steps to minimize losses.
The third step is project execution. In this step, negotiations are
held for the project team
Members. Then the directing and managing of the work takes place. This
step is about developing the project by completing tasks. The project
manager has to guide the work force and manage the work being done.
Then the project manager helps the team accomplish objectives by working
with them.
The fourth step is project monitoring and control. In this step, the
project manager tracks the progress of the team members. The progress
can be tracked daily, depending on time and significance of the
project. Then the project manager compares the actual outcome of the
project with the potential outcome. Project manager also measures the
performance of team members on the basis of set standards. Then the
project manager analyzes the variances and impact of the activities.
Project manager also makes necessary adjustments. Project manager can
change the process of an activity or make necessary changes.
The last step of project management is project closure. In this step,
the project manager evaluates all the work that has been completed.
Project manager makes sure that the completed work matches with
the set standards and fulfills all the requirements. Then the project
manager sees through the contractual closure of the contract and
financial closure of the charged numbers. After the work has been
thoroughly checked, the project manager officially closes the project
by administrative closure of the paper work (Kerzner, 2009).
A successful project can be defined as one which is done before the
deadline, within the budget, according to the set standards and
technological level. A successful project is also one in which
resources are utilized effectively and efficiently and finally the
project should be accepted by the customer or the end user (Kerzner,
2009).
In the given scenario, activities were carried out in an unorganized
way. Team members got stressed and tensed because they were not
successful in fulfilling the requirements set by the customer. In the
end, the whole software had to be developed in 12 days time. The
project manager failed to guide the team, and this is the reason the
company had to face so many problems. The software faced a threat of
bugs which might have failed in certain customer scenarios. The vendor
was at the verge of losing the contract and failing to deliver a
quality and problem solving software on time (Kerzner, 2009).
According to an article by Michael Krigsman, there are five reasons why
37% of the projects fail. The five top reasons of why projects fail
are requirements, resources, schedules, planning and risks. Projects
fail because of requirements as some company’s are not clear about
what they want, and they do not agree on anything with what
the second party suggests. Requirements should be the top priority of
a company which they are not, and some requirements might even
contradict with each other because they are not fully thought.
Requirements may also be vague,
unclear, ambiguous or imprecise (Krigsman, 2011).
Resources are the second cause as a project manager may not always be
able to provide team members with sufficient resources, and there
could also be a conflict in resource allocation. Another problem in
resources could be poor planning.
The third cause is schedules. The project manager
might set deadlines that are either too tight or unrealistic. This
could be because the project manager has set high expectations. The
fourth problem is planning. The project manager may spend too much time
on planning, leaving little time for development and implementation. The
project manager may also have insufficient data to plan properly, or
the data might be missing some items. The last cause of failure is
risks. Risks are unavoidable and often, they can not be identified or
assumed. When risks are recognized, the
relevant department may go under pressure and would fail to manage
the risks properly (Krigsman, 2011).
There are many reasons because of which projects fail in the information
technology industry. There are ten main reasons, as mentioned by
Michael Krigsman poor communication, underestimating or ignoring the
change that impact brings, lack of leadership, lack of strong executive
sponsorship, poor project management, poor planning, keeping the budget
down, lack of technical knowledge and sound business case
and lastly poor vendor management (Krigsman, 2008).
Project failures cost billions of rupees. According to the Standish
Chaos Report, 2004, successful projects are 29 percent, cancelled
projects cost 55 billion dollars annually, challenged projects are 53
percent and failed projects are 18 percent (Galorath, 2008). According
to Mercer Consulting, costs of projects, mostly, are more than their
returns.
The success of IT projects is measured by Oxford University in 2003.
The statistics showed that 16 percent were successful 74 percent were
challenged, and 10 percent were abandoned. The British Computer Society
stated that 16 percent of the information technology projects were
successful, and the failure of the rest of the projects caused
the industry tens of billions of British Pounds (Galorath, 2008). IT
projects, in this case scenario, faced problems because the team members
did not understand the requirements of the project
and communication within the team were poor. Problems also happened
because of mismanagement and poor analysis of the task at hand. The
study of Dynamic Markets was conducted in 2007, covering 800 IT
managers. The study showed that 62 percent of projects failed because
organizations faced time and scheduling difficulties. 49 percent
projects failed because of budget and 25 percent projects were
cancelled before completion (Galorath, 2008).
References
Galorath, D. (2008) Software Project Failure Costs Billions.. Better
Estimation & Planning Can Help : Project Planning & Estimation.
Available at:
http://www.galorath.com/wp/software-project-failure-costs-billions-bette
r-estimation-planning-can-help.php [Accessed: 6 Jun 2012].
Kerzner, H. (2009) Project Management: A Systems Approach to Planning,
Scheduling and Controlling. John Wiley & Sons.
http://media.wiley.com/product_data/excerpt/59/EHEP0023/EHEP002359.pdf
[Accessed: 6th June 2012].
Krigsman, M. (2011) CIO analysis: Why 37 percent of projects fail |
ZDNet. Available at:
http://www.zdnet.com/blog/projectfailures/cio-analysis-why-37-percent-of
-projects-fail/12565 [Accessed: 6 Jun 2012].
Krigsman, M. (2008) Bad leadership causes failed IT | ZDNet. Available
at:
http://www.zdnet.com/blog/projectfailures/bad-leadership-causes-failed-i
t/868 [Accessed: 6 Jun 2012].
Namka, . (2012) Scapegoating. Available at:
http://www.byregion.net/articles-healers/Scapegoating.html [Accessed:
6th June 2012].
Project Management – Tourism Focus
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