PROJ-6012 Managing Information Systems/Technology Sample
In this subject the students will understand the significance of project management and get introduced to the methods and tools available for managing projects, especially those related to Information Technology. They will recognise the importance of alignment of the projects with the goals and objectives of the organization and hence learn about the methods used to select the project. Throughout course delivery, students will be encouraged to present their opinions on the topics covered in each module by posting their messages on the discussion forum. Assessment 3 is intended to evaluate the responses of the students which will highlight their understanding about the topics. The discussion postings will be initiated by the facilitator as the topics are covered in each module and the students will be expected to reciprocate to the discussion questions. They will be required to present their views, either supportive (or contradicting) by considering their knowledge in the discipline, prior experience in the industry or existing published work.
These discussions will provide immense benefit to the students as they will get an opportunity to learn from the experience and knowledge of other students and the facilitator. They will get updated with the current issues in the industry. Further, the students will get an opportunity to present their own thoughts and knowledge in the discipline, which will enhance their confidence and skill. Discussions on professional forum will increase their communication skills and academic writing skill which will have far reaching benefits in their careers.
Besides that, the facilitator will get an opportunity to understand the background, knowledge and level of understanding of each student. This becomes more important for the online course as there is minimal face to face communication between the students and the facilitator. This will help the facilitator to evaluate the students better and provide the required support to the students.
Hence, the students are encouraged to actively participate on the discussion post, learn from the discussions and utilise the opportunity provided to showcase their skill and knowledge in the discipline.
Discussion Topic 1: Controversial Impact of IS/IT Projects
The Australian government is well-known for its focus on security and the implementation of modern technologies for controversial operations for maintaining security within the country. The implementation of drones in airports for passenger movement tracking processes, bomb detection and more contributed to an overall increase in security (Meares, 2018). However, the major information security project that led to controversies involved checking digital communications to provide security. For Assignment help, The project involves the collection of digital messaging data from various organisations such as Facebook, Apple and more to track possible terrorism, analysing behavioural patterns of suspected people and more. This process, however, can be stated as controversial as it requires these technological brands to make backdoor access within their secure messaging platforms such as WhatsApp and iMessage. Therefore, the security of the applications developed by Apple and Facebook may be affected negatively and could cause serious issues with hackers or unauthorised people targeting these backdoors for access within the social media networks.
The development of backdoor access and essential data collection by hackers or unauthorized people can lead to the exposure of essential details of a large number of people using these messaging services which can eventually lead to vulnerabilities and negative impacts on the lifestyle conditions of people (Hanna, 2018). The Australian Parliament was involved in passing the controversial legislation and developed a law that allows the Australian government to collect data. However, there has been significant criticism from the Australian population in regards to the fact that the government is involved in breaching the privacy of people. As a project manager, I would focus on improving technology implementations and invest in more modernised technologies rather than be involved in leading to possible security failures for major brands allowing communication facilities to people worldwide.
Discussion Topic 2: Managing Existing Architecture
In the case of an existing architecture being inefficient in contributing to project needs, the ideal solution involves upgrading the architecture by the use of newer ideas and concepts. However, as the company has made several high-value investments in technology, it may not be efficient to invest more to change the architecture. Investing more can lead to loss of finances and can lead to issues with long-term brand operations. Therefore, as a project manager, I feel that it can be much more efficient to integrate Agile project management processes. Agile involves the use of Scrum for testing the system while ensuring the use of Continuous Improvement processes for improved project operations (Paquette & Frankl, 2016). Continuous improvement is efficient in tracking various segments or components of the project that may be improved and these improvements can be made based on the lowest number of changes in financial requirements.
The project changes and improvements within the low number of financial requirements can lead to higher performances of the entire system without affecting budgets. It can ensure that the project operates to the best of its abilities based on the existing architecture and changes in operational processes for the highest gains in project goal achievement. Additionally, scrum-based testing can also be efficient in conducting reviews of the efficiency of the existing architecture and the changes in strategic operations. However, significant time is required for implementing these changes and in case of the need for project completion within a short time, investments in the architectural changes may be more efficient.
Discussion Topic 3: Computing Models for Global Applications
The global IS (Information Security) or IT (Information Technology) projects operate in close relations with available infrastructure and a lack of infrastructural benefits can contribute to negative impacts on operations. Additionally, technology is constantly improving and growing at a fast scale and thus traditional forms of computing models may not be efficient in the application of modernised IS and IT projects. However, utility computing allows the personalisation of IS or IT operations due to the efficiency of manually managing various resources to be used. This can allow the implementation of these projects as per needs and ensure changes in processes such as storage, data transmission, service management and more as per requirements.
The geographic scope of a project also contributes to the selection of a specific model of operations of these IT and IS projects. The geographic scope refers to the availability of specific resources, services and products in a specific location. In case of the unavailability of a base architecture for the development of a project in the selected location, it is highly essential to implement changes in strategic action. The procurement of materials from other countries or regions for the development of a base architecture can contribute to higher costs and thus traditional models may be much more applicable for operations (Cook, 2018). The use of these traditional models may affect the project operational speed and efficiency negatively but can have serious positive impacts on the sustained operations of the project along with long-term growth and developments.
The IS/IT projects containing virtual team members can be managed efficiently with the implementation of the resource management tool. The resources include materials required for the development of a project, equipment required to utilise the selected materials and the human resources or people involved in the development processes. The project management applications such as MS Project allows tracking these resources along with the development of a schedule for project developments which can be used to achieve the goals in regards to the management of IS/IT projects. I believe that the use of a work breakdown structure can also be efficient in setting various tasks which includes tracking the human resources or team involved.
Discussion Topic 1: Business Process Reengineering
The visual stream mapping tool is very much helpful that providing stakeholders, leaders, team members, stakeholders focusing on the unified view. This fresh view makes them in stepping out of the data silos and gain a more holistic acknowledgement of the whole procedure and their correspondent contributions and roles ensuring the completion of the finished product. This further perspective helps each user to observe their more significant contributions, essentials and, values concerning the product delivery procedure. Without the support of a value team mapping tool, team members may lose their perspective, discount or distort the significant value of their role.
For example, using the VSM tools helps the team members to achieve understanding and clarity and understanding the value of their roles in the project and helps in improving the team and individual morale. Using the value stream mapping tool results in complexity in multi-operational processes confuses (Hari, n.d.). The limitation is the low variety manufacturing approaches, bias on high volume that generally favours the assembly line setups, geared for continual flow. Complying with the process workflow fails the consideration of allocations of activities. For example, for WIP storage, the utilization of shop floor space, production support and material handling result in confusion within the process and is unable inn show the influence on the WIP, operating expenditure and order throughput of ineffective material flows within the facility. The procedure of VSM helps employees in recognizing the areas of improvisation and function better towards the achievement of the goals and objectives.
Discussion Topic 2: Project Scope Creep
A perfect example of scope creep is altering the project's scope in meeting the customer's changing requirements. It results in appearing overwhelming at the present moment but serves a higher purpose. Hence, before the commencement of a project, the authority must be disclosed to the probability of scope creep and planning for it. For example, an effective example of project scope creep is a notable delay in accomplishing the project because of clients' continual change requests, as seen within the lawsuit in between the project manager responsible for the project.
Project scope creeps as the change is generally inevitable and may impact the project scope; it is at least required need to know how adequately the scope creep can be managed. There must be the implementation of ways to manage the scope creep to help the project in meeting objectives (Kerzner, 2017). Communication portrays a vital role within the project management that helps in dealing with the changes that help in accomplishing the project objectives. For the project manager, most communication is generally is passed through them. The primary thing is the project team and other stakeholders generally treat them as the chief communication point in the project responding to the changes. Organizations may incorporate transparency within the project and portray an essential role within the project management. Everybody must be aligned on the same page as by the progress of the project. This would support the teamwork collaboratively function by the faster delivery and meeting the different set of objectives.
The focus on IS/IT in recent years has increased due to the need for modern technology implementations for continued operations. However, IS/IT should not be a strategic driver and rather focusing on proper planning processes can contribute to more significant positive impacts on the project. IS/IT and modern technologies should be implemented to support and work upon the plans developed, thereby leading to efficiencies in project completion. Based on my understanding as a project manager, I feel that the organisation is involved in the implementation of projects based on a plan of action that involves an assessment of the inputs required for the project, expected outputs, budget and time-frame required and more.
Discussion Topic 1: Schedule Management
Defining the project goals and writing down the key deliverables or milestones or deliverables for making the project ended successfully. Recognizing the stakeholders and making a list of every individual requires to be involved in the project, even with a simple role. Determining the final deadline and ultimately knowing when the project will be finished that will be entailing the requirements. It must be ensured for giving enough time in accounting for the conflicts that would come in the way of the project (Marion, 2018). Listing every task and considering such deliverables and milestones and deliverables designated in the step and bifurcating them into smaller components and subcomponents to be covered. Assigning a team member responsible for every activity and deciding the allocation of components and subcomponents, transparent to deadlines. Working backwards for setting dates for every task. It must be figured for every activity knowing delay is inevitable very well so that it does not disturb the project. Sequencing is a vital consideration as well as several activities will require to be completed. Then organizing the project schedule in one tool, and then share it with the team. At last, successful creating a project plan and is significant in the organization in such a way that every member involved may observe and work accordingly to it. By progressing through a project, it reflects on the project managers and how they use the schedule framework to complete the project. The framework is designated to share clear information for avoiding challenges.
Discussion Topic 2: Cost Management
IT professionals are much more focused on the completion of the project rather than on cost management. IT professionals are also very much concerned with the development of the project and very potential and probable issues that may result in happening. IT professionals may overlook their views on the project costs and concentrate upon the procedure, as managing the costs within the project is very much essential for the project success and also in avoiding the overruns for the expenditure (Kerzner, 2017). Many of the IT professionals are connected to a limited business atmosphere and that is the reason they do not know the importance of some accounting concepts or any different financial principles. This is considered as another vital reason IT professionals overlook the project cost. Cost management among the IT project is considered a difficult task for the organization that results in encountering varied issues and thus the cost estimation and is generally undefined sometimes. It results in beam difficulty and specific determinants required for assessing the successful accomplishment of the project. This process helps in under defining the cost management and results as one of the difficult activities for IT professionals. Sometimes the IT professionals are not able in getting an adequate need or eventually possess an undefined need in the initial stages of the project. It is required to have a specific but thorough need that should be evaluated for understanding and disclosing the budget. This makes IT professionals overlook the cost management and focus on somewhere else.
In a typical IT project, the first set of activities involve the development of a plan for changes and the implementation of changes based on the basic framework of the IT system. The cost and time implemented for planning out new developments in the project contribute to the sunk costs. These plans include the development of a foundation or base for the project. For example- In the case of the development of a product, the internal circuit board performs as the base of operations and once developments are initiated, the board cannot be reused for a different activity. This leads to sunk costs in case of improper development processes.
Discussion Topic 1: Quality Control in Projects
There are several types of quality control techniques used by the organizations such as histogram, control charts, six sigma, scatter diagram, etc. However, in the selected organization there will be the use of the six-sigma technique. It is one of the important methods used by organizations for the better functioning of business activities. As per Ottou, Baiden & Nani (2021), Six Sigma is a type of control or methodology that helps in improving the business procedure with the use of statistical analysis. It is mainly data enabled and highly disciplined approach and methodology that helps in ensuring the elimination of defects present within the business and in any type of organization or business procedure. The goal of the six-sigma method is for streamlining the quality control within the business or manufacturing procedure so that there is little to no variance within the procedure. The goal present in the concerned Six Sigma project is in identifying and eliminating any type of defects that cause variations within quality by explaining the sequence of stages across the focused target.
One of the vital reasons for implementing Six Sigma is considered important is it helps in decreasing the defects. By utilizing the Six Sigma method, employees get capable of recognizing the problem spheres alongside recurring challenges that impact the full quality expectation for the product or service concerning the consumer's viewpoint. The technique of the six Sigma procedure possesses the necessary skills and tools for identifying the challenges or bottleneck spheres that may camp down the performance or production.
Discussion Topic 2: Managing Human Resources
Paying individuals their worth by setting the salaries of employees must be ensured that the pay should be consistent with other organizations within the industry and geographic location. Providing a pleasant environment to work as Everyone needs to work in an atmosphere that is stimulating and clean and should make them feel good rather than bad. Offering opportunities for self-development as members within the team are valuable to the companies, and for themselves, when there are opportunities for them to learn fresh skills (Word & Sowa, 2017). By providing the team with the training required to advance and get knowledge will help to remain in touch with the latest news.
Foster collaboration in the team and encourage the team members to wholly participate through inviting the input and suggestions to do things adequately. By asking a question and getting the responses will help in implementing the solution to change.
Encouraging happiness to employees tend to be positive and enthusiastic members of the team, and it should be checked continuously if individuals are happy with it or not and then take necessary steps. Setting clear goals is the job of leaders and team members to work collaboratively in the team for setting clear goals. As it is done, the goals should be ensured, their concerned priority and role to meet them. Avoiding useless meetings as Meetings may be a wastage of unproductive meetings continually. By preparing an agenda for the meetings and distributing it in advance and inviting, initiate meeting and finish it quickly.
Discussion Topic 3: Conflict Management
Common experiences of conflict happening within the team is a misunderstanding or mistaken perception. This arises between the employees, leaders and employees etc. by failing the communication between them. The information passed about something is either misrepresented as information or is interpreted in the wrong way. This in turn results in the way towards discomfort resentment or prevention. This need directly to be solved by clearing the misinterpreted possibilities arising between the individuals. Compromising is considered the most popular technique for solving conflicts in projects (Posthuma, 2019). All party’s interests are satisfied to an extent where their compromise is successful. Professionals are the ones who ask for help when needed if they truly understand that the conflict is not in their capacity to solve, then they call in the sponsor or ask the project sponsor to help.
Appeasement is mostly effective in circumstances when admitting a point is inexpensive for one but beneficial to the other individual or team. By delegating process project managers need a great deal of work as well as responsibility for managing as delegating conflict resolution to the concerned individual, the individual is offered a chance to develop themselves. Another best way to resolve conflict is by brainstorming sessions to be used within the organizational project. By identifying the situations and or locating the problems before creating damage, there should be brainstorming sessions held to develop a powerful interaction between them. This would enable understanding each other and develop strong communication in addressing the problems of conflicts.
Recruitment and team retention are achieved via the use of proper HR management procedures. The HR management processes have limited impacts on the projects as a whole but contribute to the availability of skilled personnel for the development of the projects. These HR processes involve a focus on providing better rewards for employee performances. Financial rewards such as grants, bonuses and more for high-value performances within the project can be highly efficient in achieving retention of employees. Similarly, skilled employees can be recruited by ensuring quality financial provisions based on their abilities. Furthermore, the use of non-financial rewards such as feedbacks can also lead to positive mindsets and ensure retention of employees.
Discussion Topic 1: Project Communication Methods
The benefits comprise participation, as the most important benefit of interactive whiteboards is that it enables higher participation compared to whiteboards. Preserving Data, as Every data by interactive whiteboard results by the connected system and straight projected into the whiteboard and depicts do the recording directly to a hard drive and also transporting on portable storage (Heldman, 2018). Several visuals may be utilized in interactive whiteboards and videos may be uploaded by websites or prior saved files. The disadvantages include the fact that misunderstandings or inadequate communication may result in misunderstanding that in turn results in mistakes, missing deadlines and changing project directions. Miscommunication results when the individuals share information without precisely understanding each other (Gronwald, 2017). This results in misinterpretation of details and facts prompting team members for working for perceived data and facts. Performance reporting entails dissemination and collecting the project information, communicating project development, utilizing the resources, and gathering future insights and status to several stakeholders. There are Status Reports that provide the present state of a project in the mentioned time. Such a report explains the place project stands at the moment concerning the performance measurement baseline. Forecasting report depicts what is been expected to happen on a project, predicting the expected status and future performance of the project in different parameters and helping in allocating and tracking resources for optimum utilization. Trend report presents a comparison within the present performance of the project as well as past performance of the project within the same duration.
Discussion Topic 2: Stakeholder Engagement
Stakeholder engagement is revered as the method by which stakeholders engaged in the project collaboratively work together. There are several methods by which the participation of stakeholders is done to ensure the sharing of information and, messages effectively to accomplish the objectives of the project. Delegation is one of the most important methods for stakeholder engagement that results in effective communication and executing the tasks effectively.
Delegation can be referred to as entrusting the part of activity or responsibility and authority to others and holding them accountable for the performance. Delegation is when authority assigns work to subordinates for which they are liable. Delegation is very significant in effectively executing the tasks as it ensures the completion of work done in time (Seiffert-Brockmann, Weitzl & Henriks, 2018). It is seen as highly important and ensures the decision is taken collaboratively agreeing on the decision. This method helps in determining the requirements of stakeholders are being determined from the onset of the stakeholders themselves and by the authorities as well as the communities by their representatives deciding the medium to intervene and act together. This approach provides the existence of stakeholder participation and also continues beyond the establishment stage. This method also includes the monitoring and evaluation practices for helping pinpoint the shortcomings of the plan eyeing the probable future improvements.
Discussion Topic 3: Conducting Procurements
Competitive negotiation is a source selection approach that is also known as positional bargaining. In this parties consider holding to their positions and are inflexible to the interests of a different party. Competitive bidding is used in public projects that are generally stipulated by the law. This source section approach is assumed when two or more contractors are willing to compete in the work. It needs time for creating plans and specifications, preparing a bid, assessing submitted bids, and awarding the contract. It provides adequate detail concerning the specifications, performance duration, and workmanship quality expected for the project.
Non-competitive negotiation is another source selection process that is used for rewarding contracts. Non-competitive negotiation is revered as the establishment of contractual conditions and terms that includes but is not restricted to contract price, by discussing to a single vendor, with external procedures incorporated for the competitive bidding that will entail the contract terms or technical particulars not defined specifically (Bhargove, 2018). In this method, the developer and contractor would assess the pricing information and technical proposals collaboratively for reaching the costs for the work as well as the agreed scope.
Competitive negotiations are another process that provides proposals solicited by selected offerors, by whom the developer consequently negotiates for achieving the best value. It also provides the developer to refine their requirements as well as the scope of work by preliminary negotiations by chosen offerors, and those offerors would then submit competitive bids formed on the agreed-upon needs and scope of work.
In case of the need for outsourcing of human resources, it is highly essential to focus on recruiting skilled employees or project team members at the location of operations. The development of positive relations with vendor brands that may be able to handle the outsourced operations can be efficient. This can allow the brand to ensure some of its operations are outsourced to other countries while the other activities are conducted within the organisation itself, leading to high-value brand performances and achievement of necessary goals. Negotiation processes with the local team can also help to ease the severity of the issues faced due to a lack of human resource outsourcing processes.
Discussion Topic 1: Risk Management
Project risks are common and every single project has the possibility of experiencing a certain number of risks. Several risks arise in the project that may result in distorting the project or business failure and Project risk analysis is done for monitoring projects' performance through start to end eliminate the loss or business failure. Types of risk present are: Cost risk is mismanagement and shortage of project funds through an inflated budget or other constraints depicted as the risk to the project accomplishment. Scope creep risk is an unauthorized or uncontrolled change in the initial intended project scope that can result in the extra cost of further products, features, and functions (Wolke, 2017).
Operational risk can terminate or stall in case there is a weak implementation of crucial operations and core procedures like procurement. The risks can lead to indirect or direct loss concerning the failed or inadequate strategies such as IT risk, human and procedure direct implementation risk etc. Skills resource risk helps capitalize the internal staff is potentially a high project risk as sometimes the project operations get staggered in distinctive waves at different locations, needing the required team members alongside technical risk.
The risk register is eyed as a strategic tool for controlling risk within the project. The risk register identifies and describes the risk list. It provides space in explaining the probable impact on the project and the response planned to tackle the risk that occurs. The risk register also enables the project manager in prioritizing the risk.
Discussion Topic 2: Portfolio Risk Management
Portfolio risk management refers to the idea of identifying, assessing, measuring and managing various risks within a portfolio. The project portfolio mainly includes insights on the operations of the project taken into account, resources used for project completion, strategic goals of the brand and more. Therefore, the proper assessment of these processes is highly essential to ensure the tracking of portfolio risks and the mitigation of these risks.
As a project manager involved in the development of a cloud computing system project, the project plans are first assessed to track their efficiencies in the application. This involves ensuring that capitalisation on the plans is possible and the execution of operations can be achieved in an efficient matter by following the plans (Stewart, Piros & Heisler, 2019). The viability of the project can also be assessed which involves tracking the efficiency of the product to be developed and its expected market growth. A large number of cloud computing services are easily available in the market and this operational process can help to track the efficiency of this specific service in gaining market advantage. High possible market advantage can lead to increased opportunities for product sales and profitability of the cloud system.
The efficiency of the cloud system in contributing to returns on investments are also taken into account. The ROI is dependent on the price at which the cloud systems are provided and the time by which there was a return in finances for these investments. The cloud systems are being provided at significantly low costs and thus it is expected that the return on investments will be high. These high ROIs can contribute to increased utilisation of the cloud system within the market, thereby achieving market growth.
Discussion Topic 3: Process-Based Measurements
The success of an IT/IS project can be evaluated via the use of key performance indicators. The main key performance indicators of these projects include the number of customers or organisations utilising the IT/IS project services, positive views of customers or brands towards these project services, return on investments, impact on efficiency and more. Based on the number of customers, a project can be stated as successful if a high number of customers are involved in utilising the product or service. A large customer group utilising the services indicate high-value service provisions and the success of the project being developed (Project Management Institute, 2017). In regards to the Australian government project concerning the collection of data from Apple and Facebook, the customers using the services include the government officials and these processes contribute to them being able to collect data efficiently, thereby indicating project success.
The positive views of customers towards the project are a significant indicator of project success. IT projects such as new cloud computing systems and more experiencing positive reviews from customers indicate that the project is efficient, well-defined and successful. Similarly, various organisations also use IS and IT-based services and their positive views towards these services along with the long-term collaboration of operation requests can indicate that the project is successful (Project Management Institute, 2021). The return on investment refers to financial returns gained in comparison to the investments. In the case of companies experiencing higher financial gains than the return on investments, the project may also be stated as successful. The efficiency of the project in achieving brand and individual goals can also indicate efficiency in operational processes.
In regards to IS/IT projects, the two most critical success factors that I take into account are the demand of customers or organisations involved in procuring these IS/IT services and the speed and efficiency of project operations. In case of high demands for the product or service developed by the project development process, it can be stated that the project is efficient and provides value to customers. Similarly, the speed of operations is essential in the modern world to achieve a large amount of work within a short time. Therefore, an increase in the levels of customer satisfaction due to the speed of operations can ensure that the IS/IT projects are efficient.