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DATA4600 Business Analytics Project Management Assignment Sample

Word Count: 2000 Words (+/-10%)
Weighting: 40 %
Total Marks: 40

Report Structure:

Introduction: Introduce your two projects, identify similarities and differences.

Operational Project (700 words) based on operational case study:

Outline the scope of the project

Evaluate your natural leadership style and how you will use it to lead the project
Suggest a project management methodology and integrate it with the leadership style
Estimate the budget of project
Evaluate possible human resources involved, and associated factors, e.g. workstyles, training & cultural fit

• Discovery Project (700 words) based on an innovation case study of your choice:

Describe how you will assess the risk of the project using predictive project analytics (PPA)
Justify why this project should be undertaken given the PPA relating to its impact
Choose an optimal leadership style for the project
Suggest a project management methodology and integrate it with the leadership style
Estimate the budget of project, and why such an estimation may be difficult given the nature of innovation
Describe the team undertaking the project, or if not mentioned in the case study, suggest one that might be suitable and diverse
Explain how you would democratise the project across the business

• Reflection:

Write a short 200-word reflection of issues you may encounter when managing these projects.
Conclusion: (400 words max)

• Compare the two projects in terms of:

Project methodologies
Human resource requirements
Optimal leadership styles for both

Draw conclusions about how running these two projects would differ.


1. Introduction

There are two projects in consideration in this report – one operational project and another discovery project. The operational project in consideration is the implementation of location based analytics by Wendy’s. John Crouse of Wendy's has been working on developing this new system over the years that integrates geographic location mapping with demographic analytics (Burns 2014). The combination of the two helps Wendy’s to identify sites that are more likely to be successful for business. On the other hand, the discovery project being considered is the development of fully autonomous cars (Marr 2019). One of the largest business spearheads in the world, Elon Musk has already stated that Tesla will develop fully autonomous cars by the end of this year.

This report analyses these two projects from different perspectives and will compare the two using specific parameters for online assignments.

2. Operational Project

2.1 Project Scope

The scope of the project involves development of a fully working system that uses location based demographic analysis as a part of the business analytics process. The system integrates location intelligence tool with demographic analytics to determine specific new locations that are most likely favourable for business for Wendy’s food chain (Bartoletti et al. 2021). Despite the project being going on for several years, there are still lots of work to be done to perfect the system such that it can be used efficiently and effectively.

2.2 Natural Leadership Style

My natural leadership style is democratic leadership and I always believe that the opinions and ideas of all team members should always be considered with importance. If I am being assigned to lead this project, I will apply democratic leadership style in it as well. This will allow my fellow team members to apply and discuss their own ideas and inputs that I will consider before making final decisions on the project. I will conduct regular team meetings to listen to the team members’ ideas so that different perspectives can be considered while moving forward in the project.

2.3 Project Management Methodology

The most appropriate methodology for the project is Agile method. This project involves a new type of technology that combines two other different technologies to create a system that will perform different functions for the business. As such, using Waterfall method will not be suitable as the focus on quality will not be sufficient. The iterative approach in Agile means constant improvement will be made while the system is being developed throughout the project lifecycle (Huang et al. 2021). Moreover, democratic leadership style will also be suitable for this project management methodology as inputs from the team members will be utilised constantly for continuous improvement during the iterations of the project. Running multiple iterations with continuous improvements will ensure the quality aspect of the system is not compromised with.

2.4 Budget of the Project

Development of a totally accurate budget is significantly difficult in Agile projects and even more in this project that has been going on for years. The long drawn continuation of the project also means that the estimated budget amount will be significantly high and the company should be ready to invest accordingly for the project (Xanthopoulos and Xinogalos 2018). However, at the same time, the company can also expect that the project will save them millions in expenses and will increase the profit margin significantly that will also help them invest further in the project. An estimated budget for the overall project is shown in the following table.

Table 1: Budget Estimation for the Operational Project

2.5 Human Resources Involved

There are a significant number of human resources involved in the project while different types of roles and responsibilities. Each human resource will have specific roles that they must perform throughout the course of the project (Uphaus et al. 2021). The human resources in the project include the primary stakeholders who are directly involved in the project as well as the regular team members who will be involved in the execution of the project. The main human resources involved in this project are listed as follows.

Table 2: Human Resource Requirements for the Operational Project

3. Discovery Project

3.1 Predictive Project Analysis and Risk Assessment

Predictive project analysis is a relatively new tool that is very useful in assessing risks in a project, especially the large scale projects with multi-million dollar budgets. Predictive Project Analysis or PPA is a statistical analysis based tool that uses years of data from past projects to forecast possible risks for a particular project (Ondruš et al. 2020). Thus it is a very helpful tool for the project managers to assess possible risks and take early actions so that the risks do not cause the project to move towards failure.

This same tool can be used in this project as well since it will help to identify possible risks in the project. Considering the final output of the project, it can be easily seen that the overall nature of the project is significantly complex and full of various risks that may or may be not very much visible initially. Hence, PPA tool can help to identify those risks that are not well visible and early mitigation actions will be undertaken accordingly.

3.2 Justification of the Project

Analysis of the project risks using PPA may lead to the development of a long list of risks that may occur during the entire project and beyond. Moreover, the complexity of the project means there might not be any straightforward way to resolve these risks and go ahead with the project (Schneble and Shaw 2021). Additionally, the final product of the project involves transportation of human beings and even minor errors in the product may lead to severe damage or loss of lives, which is not desirable. Overall, the risk landscape generated from PPA tool suggests the project is very risky to conduct and even there is no 100% assurance that the final outcome will be flawless.

However, considering the rapid evolution of technology in the entire world and increasing demand for efficiency, this project should go ahead. Development of fully autonomous cars will reduce the need for manual drivers and at the same time, it can help in reduction of accidents through human errors like over-speeding, drink and drive, breaking signals and others (Hussain and Zeadally 2018). Hence, these autonomous cars can be a major breakthrough in transportation technology and the project should proceed but with caution.

3.3 Optimal Leadership Style

The optimal leadership style for the project is Transformational Leadership. The leader should be able to motivate the team members to constantly push their boundaries beyond their capabilities and constantly improve the product in terms of the features and performance. The complexity of the project means the leader should also be a visionary with ideas that will be beneficial for the project. Elon Musk has already set a great example of transformational leadership in his field of business and the same model needs to be followed in the project.

3.4 Project Management Methodology

The most appropriate methodology for this type of project aligned with the leadership style is Waterfall Method. Unlike the previous project, the final outcome of the project is well defined and hence, multiple iterations are not necessary. On the other hand, the most important requirements of the project include proper planning and risk analysis without which the project cannot proceed. Additionally, transformational leadership can also be aligned with this methodology as the team members can be motivated to expand their boundaries while planning and executing the project.

3.5 Budget of the Project

The development of budget for the project is relatively easier than the previous one owing the well defined final output and availability of a project roadmap. However, there are high chances of significant extra costs due to possibilities of unforeseen expenses (Yaqoob et al. 2019). An approximate budget for the project is shown in the following table.

Table 3: Budget Estimation for the Discovery Project

3.6 Team Undertaking the Project

There are a large number of teams that will be responsible for undertaking the overall project. These teams are listed in the following table.

Table 4: Human Resource Requirements for the Discovery Project

3.7 Democratising the Project

The one problem with regards to the project is that the developing company i.e. Tesla cannot keep hold of the sole development rights to itself once the project product becomes reality. Since the product has global usage value and has potential to become a standardised usage product, it will not be possible for Tesla to fulfill global commercial demands at the same time (Rajabli et al. 2020). Hence, after a certain point, the project will have to be democratised for other companies to use and develop their own autonomous cars and vehicles. However, once the project is successful, Tesla can commercialise the overall project and sell usage rights to other companies at a particular rate.

4. Reflection

If I am given to manage either of these projects, based on my understanding and knowledge, I can say that I will face many issues and problems that can arise from the project. Both the projects are significantly complex and long drawn as well as requiring constant research and development. As a result, there are number of issues expected to arise as well. Issues may be related to technical, budget, time, team conflicts and others. However, the most important challenge that I will face is creating a suitable and realistic vision that the projects will follow. Both the projects have potential to transform different types of technology and without a long term vision, it is impossible to manage and run the project till the end. If I was the manager, I would have required applying my skills, knowledge and experience to generate a realistic and sustainable vision aligned with the overall scope of the project.

5. Conclusion

Overall in this report, two different projects have been analysed and studied. The first project selected is an operational project that has involved development of a new technical system for business analytics. On the other hand, the second project is a discovery project that involves development of completely autonomous cars. The first project is recommended to follow agile methodology due to lack of clear definition of final output and the need for continuous improvement whereas the second project is recommended to follow waterfall methodology due to the presence of a clearly defined output and the need for in-depth risk analysis. The first project also requires limited number of human resources working as one team under a leader whereas for the second project, there are multiple teams involved and assigned with different responsibilities. For the first project, democratic leadership style is most optimal as it will allow the team members to apply and discuss their own ideas and inputs that will be considered before making final decisions on the project. The second project will require transformational leadership style (a model similar to Elon Musk’s style) to motivate the team members to constantly push their boundaries beyond their capabilities and constantly improve the product in terms of the features and performance. Overall, it can be seen that the projects are completely different in terms of characteristics, methodology, leadership style and resource requirements and it proves that each type of project requires different types of approach and analysis.


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