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Project Management Assignment: Implementation of Decision Support System

Question

Task: You are required to prepare a report on project management assignment illustrating the project planning and implementation of Decision Support Systems.

Answer

1. Executive Summary
The context provided in the project management assignmentrevolves around the Decision Support Systems(DSS) which is an automated information system that enhances the decision-making activities conducted in the business organization. There is massive amount of data that is analyzed using the DSS and data-oriented decisions are then taken by the business firms. It leads to the effective use of the data sets in the business firm. The implementation of the DSS has to be conducted as part of the project activity.

2. Introduction
2.1. Purposeofdocument

The purpose of the project management assignmentis to cover the project management and planning aspects of the implementation of the Decision Support System (DSS).

2.2. Project background
There are several business decisions that are taken and each of these decisions has its own relevance. The business organizations now comprise of massive amounts of data sets. The manual handling of the data sets is still being done to recognize the associated patterns and information pieces. The business decisions taken with the use of such manual processes is exposed to the numerous errors [1]. The Decision Support Systems, DSS is an automated information system that enhances the decision-making activities conducted in the business organization. There is massive amount of data that is analyzed using the DSS and data-oriented decisions are then taken by the business firms. It leads to the effective use of the data sets in the business firm. The implementation of the DSS has to be conducted as part of the project activity.

2.3. Projectstakeholders
The business organization, that is, the project client is the primary stakeholder and the implementation of DSS has to be done in the client organization [2]. The customers of the business firm will be impacted with the DSS implementation. The supplier groups that will provide the tools and equipment for the project are the significant stakeholders.

2.4. Project Team
The Project Manager will be the head of the project. Data Analyst, Technical Analyst, Technical Associate, and Network Engineer will be involved in the implementation team. The Business Analyst will assist the PM in project planning and management [3].

3. ProjectScope
3.1. Projectobjective

  • To have zero variances in estimated and actual values of schedule and costs
  • To enhance the efficiency of decision-making activities by at least 65% with the implementation of DSS

3.2. Projectdeliverables

  • Project charter
  • Project Management Plan
  • Implementation Plan
  • Status Reports – Daily and Weekly
  • Implementation Report
  • Closure report

3.3. Project Scope
The project scope will cover the initiation and planning activities in which the analysis of feasibility, chartering, and estimations will be done. The assessment of the project requirements will be done along with the development of the implementation plan. The implementation of the DSS will be carried out in a phased manner. The secure migration of the data and services will be done from the existing system to DSS as part of the project scope. The testing processes and activities along with the closure processes will also be conducted [4].

3.4. What are the functional and non-functional requirements of a project examined in the project management assignment?
Functional Requirements

  • Secure login functionality
  • To configure the existing systems with the DSS
  • To configure the network setup and infrastructure with DSS
  • To have the data analytics tools implemented in DSS
  • To be able to feed the data in DSS
  • To conduct automated data analysis and retrieve the patterns and trends
  • To extract data review and performance reports from the system
  • To map the existing and future data with the business decisions
  • To view the graphical representation of the predictions made

Non-Functional Requirements

  • Security
  • Scalability
  • Performance
  • Reliability
  • Availability

3.5. Limitsand exclusions
The following aspects and activities will not be part of the project scope

  • Maintenance activities and the support processes for the DSS implemented
  • Launch of the updates for DSS
  • Implementation for the third-parties

3.6. Customerreview
The customer review will be taken during the implementation process. The customer will be the management and employees of the organization.

4. Timeframe and Milestones
4.1. Work BreakdownStructure (WBS)

The WBS for the project is developed as a hierarchical diagram and it illustrates the phases and activities that will be involved in the implementation of the DSS.
The WBS is included in the Appendix 2.

4.2. Project schedule(Gantt chart)
The use of MS project tool is done to develop the Gantt chart for the project. The total duration that the project will take is 132 days with the start and end dates as 16th September 2020 and 16th February 2021 respectively. The Gantt chart for the project is included in the Appendix 4 [5].

4.3. Network diagram(criticalpath)
The critical path and network diagram for the project has also been determined after the plotting of the project timeline and the Gantt chart. The same is illustrated in the Appendix 3.

5. Cost Estimates (Budget)
5.1. Project Cost Summary

Project Benefits

Cost-Benefit Analysis

6. Risk Management Plan
6.1. Risk Matrix

There are various risks that the project is exposed to. The management of the risks will be necessary so that the goals and objectives of the project can be achieved. The risk matrix developed on the basis of case scenario explored in the project management assignmentincludes the scale that is used for the distribution of likelihood and impact scores for the project. The inclusion of the risk matrix is done in the Appendix 1.

6.2. Risk Register
The risk register is developed on the basis of the risks identified for the project and the use of the risk matrix is done. The risk register for the project is included in the Appendix 1 [6].

7. Communications Plan
7.1. Stakeholder analysis

Project Stakeholder

Type

Interest

Influence

Contribution

Project Client – Business Firm

External

High

High

Moderate

Customers

External

Moderate

Moderate

Low

Employees of the Business firm (end-users)

External

Moderate

Moderate

Moderate

Supplier Groups

External

High

Low

High

Project Team

Internal

High

Moderate

High

7.2. Project communication Plan
The communications with the project stakeholders and team members will be required to be conducted effectively. It will be essential that the project communication plan is developed so that the communications can be properly regulated and managed. The project communications will be done using a number of methods and channels. The details are included below within this project management assignment.

Project Stakeholder

Type

Communication Methods

Reports

Meetings

Project Client – Business Firm

External

Web conferencing using the Zoom app and Emails

Project plan, status reports, implementation report, completion report

The weekly meetings will be conducted to share the project updates

Customers

External

Social media channels and applications

Project summary reports

The weekly meetings will be conducted to share the project updates

Employees of the Business firm (end-users)

External

Web conferencing using the Zoom app and Emails

Project implementation report, completion report

The weekly meetings will be conducted to share the project updates

Supplier Groups

External

Web conferencing using the Zoom app and Emails

Project requirements

The weekly meetings will be conducted to share the project updates

Project Team

Internal

Web conferencing using the Zoom app, Emails, Instant Messengers

Project plan, status reports, implementation report, completion report

The daily meetings will be conducted to discuss the project updates and future project actions

8. References
[1] I. Benatia, M. R. Laouar, H. Bendjenna, and S. B. Eom, “Implementing a Cloud-Based Decision Support System in a Private Cloud,” International Journal of Decision Support System Technology, vol. 8, no. 1, pp. 25–42, Jan. 2016.

[2] C. Fredriksson, “Big data creating new knowledge as support in decision-making: practical examples of big data use and consequences of using big data as decision support,” Journal of Decision Systems, vol. 27, no. 1, pp. 1–18, Jan. 2018.

[3] D. Arnott, F. Lizama, and Y. Song, “Patterns of business intelligence systems use in organizations,” project management assignmentDecision Support Systems, vol. 97, pp. 58–68, May 2017.

[4] Project Management Institute, PMBOK guide + Agile practice guide?: Agile practice guide bundle. Newton Square, Pa, Usa: Project Management Institute, 2017.

[5] C. Snyder, A user’s manual to the PMBOK guide--fifth edition. Hoboken, N.J.: Wiley?; Chichester, 2015.

[6] C. Snyder, A project manager’s book of forms?: a companion to the PMBOK guide, sixth edition. Hoboken, New Jersey: John Wiley & Sons, Inc, 2017.

9. Reflection Journal
Contribution

I had an active contribution in the project as I was responsible for the management and documentation activities in the project. I made sure that the documentation of the project was done throughout the timeline. It also acted as a mechanism for project communications. I was actively engaged in the management planning and the technical planning associated with the project.

What worked well?
The management methodology used was PMBoK and it worked well for the project. It provided the mechanism to plan and manage all the project activities in an effective manner.

What didn't work well?
There were a few issues as discussed in this project management assignmentthat emerged in the project in terms of the project schedule. There were a few instances wherein the overrun of the project schedule was witnessed.

Lessons Learnt

  • Communications play a very important role in the project and its execution. It must be made sure that there are multiple modes of communications used and followed in the project. This provides the ability to make sure that the project communications and conducted at all times.
  • I could learn that the project vendors shall be properly managed and the terms & conditions with the vendors shall be effectively finalized and analyzed before the project activities begin.
  • There can be different forms of risks that can arise in the projects. The use of the phased and step by step methodology shall be done so that the management of the risks can be properly conducted. The risk assessments shall include a mixture of the qualitative as well as the quantitative mechanisms. The use of the risk matrix shall also be done to prepare the risk register for the project. The use of these plans provides the mechanism to manage the risks effectively.
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