Project Management Assignment on Improving Operational Management in the Markeaton Park Project
Case Study: The Markeaton Park Project
Markeaton Park (including the Mundy Play Centre) is Derby’s most visited and heavily used park and one of the most visited destinations in the East Midlands area, with a wide range of recreational and sporting facilities and attractions. In recent years, the Craft Village has gained a major uplift and all the units are occupied by different businesses. The Community Room is used as a base for a range of events and can be hired. Bookings have already been taken for two art exhibitions this year along with workshops and other public and private training and conferences. Park’s management has applied for Brown Signage at the road for the Craft Village, so more people driving nearby will know and could potentially visit.
The park retains a good reputation as a place to visit and attracts around 1.6 million visits annually while hosting over 100 different events throughout a year. Some of the key events are:
• One of the biggest Park-Run in all of the East-Midlands. It attracts over 600 participants weekly.
• An Outdoor Theatre & Cinema programme offers something for everyone and the 4 nights of cinema was a sell-out in 2019 after adding an extra night.
• Formerly known as “The Rose Garden” this area has been adopted by an organisation known as ‘Making Spaces’. They provide health and social care services. This is now called “Capability Garden”, created for people living with dementia, their families and carers. Operational Aspects/Challenges: Park’s operations management span from range of different processes/functions such as maintenance of grounds and facilities, ensuring the seasonality factor on available activities for people, managing the layout of the park, smooth flow, ensuring for the craft village space to be occupied in effective way, engaging with community, capacity management, events planning and management, etc.
Some of the key current and upcoming challenges for the park are, but are not limited to:
1. A-38 will be undergoing major improvements starting 2021 and is expected to complete in 4 years. Since the park has one of the major access points through A38, the management is concerned as to,
• How to keep the Park busy and accessible?
• How to ensure that Visitor’s number would not decline but rather increase?
• What will be the impact of this on the businesses in Craft Village and how to avoid/manage this impact?
2. Park has limited budget overall and thus limited budget for Marketing. What possible ways the management can increase the Park’s visibility and engage with people of all ages and abilities?
3. Park’s management would also like to expand their knowledge as to how people access the park (bike, cycle, walk, car) and what they think about the park, such as its accessibility, facilities, and how they can be improved.
4. Park wants to attract people of all ages and abilities, for this purpose are current facilities, and attractions good enough or do they need improvement? If so what and to what outcome?
5. The slow decline in horticulture standards and features such as loss of herbaceous borders and bedding, indicating a reduced level of care by the Council. Some of the continued challenges for Markeaton Park are:
• To increase visitor numbers throughout the year.
• To increase the income that can be used to reinvest in the park in improved maintenance and management and provision of a higher quality of facilities.
• To protect and improve the parks historic and natural fabric.
Please note that the above-mentioned challenges/issues are just a few to trigger your analytical thinking. You must not limit yourself to these only but utilise the knowledge gained through the course and apply different models (such as Value Chain analysis, ITO or IPO model, etc.)
A Way Forward? The Council submitted a successful bid to the Heritage Lottery Fund under the Parks for People programme http://www.hlf.org.uk/Pages/Home.aspx. The award was for a grant of around £2.4 million towards a project costing around £3.4 million and was confirmed in December 2012. The Council, therefore, spent the money on improving various aspects of the Park. Details of Markeaton Park and the improvements proposed can be found at http://www.derby.gov.uk/environment-and-planning/parks-and-open-spaces/markeatonpark/ Following this success, the Council will continue to look at other funding streams to finance future improvements.
The Council have done well to obtain past funding - only around 20% of applications for funding actually succeed. Thus, with future funding, it has to make sure that it creates a successful and sustainable leisure facility for the future. One of the key outcomes is to increase the amount of revenue funding generated by the park that can be used to support improvements to the park’s management, maintenance and infrastructure. There are three existing important sources of revenue: car parking, the craft village rents and income from the pay to use facilities in Mundy Play Centre.
Detailed Information about Markeaton Park and the Mundy Play Centre can be found on http://www.derby.gov.uk/environment-and-planning/parks-and-openspaces/markeaton-park/
Derby City Council website: http://www.derby.gov.uk/environment-and-planning/parksand-open-spaces/markeaton-park/ Google Map: http://maps.google.com/maps/ms?msid=211224912365347794408.00047c6d7cb6aaad270
Mundy Play Centre: http://www.derby.gov.uk/environment-and-planning/parks-and-openspaces/markeaton-park/mundy-play-centre/
You will produce an Individual Management Report for the Managers of Markeaton Park about certain key operational aspects of the park and project. Your focus must be on providing knowledge about the current operations of the park and suggestions to improve some of these. In particular, Section 1 (see below) is designed for you to provide the Managers of the park with knowledge about how the park currently operates and its analysis. On the other hand, in Section 2 you will provide suggestions regarding how various aspects of the park can be improved and to what outcome. Your analysis and plans need to be underpinned by relevant ‘operations theory’ to support your arguments.
1. As an initial step, you are required to investigate and discuss various operational aspects of Markeaton Park. To do this, you will:
a) Identify and discuss what you may consider the most important:
• Inputs (including the transforming and transformed resources),
• Transformational operation/process,
• Outputs (pure products, a mixture of products and services, pure services) of the park’s operations
b) Conduct the value chain analysis and define the importance/impact of different stakeholders.
c) Identify and briefly discuss the effectiveness of the capacity planning strategy that you consider Managers of the Markeaton Park may be following
d) Identify and briefly discuss the effectiveness of the Markeaton Park layout.
2. You are required to make recommendations to improve the operations of Mundy Play Centre, Craft Village, and Markeaton Park. These recommendations could include, but are not limited to, improvements and addition of facilities, activities, and attractions. Your proposals must generate positive income for the Park. (Do not spend time writing about the things that are being done. Explore new attraction and approaches, which are not covered in their existing plans.) Your recommendations should also address the challenges mentioned in the case study description.
3. Professional presentation and format – appropriate academic citations, references, etc.
4. Provide a 250 words description about your Skills Development during this module and specifically by undertaking the Course Work 2.
The current discussion aims to discuss the different key aspects to improve the project management in theMarkeaton Park, Mundy play center and Craft village. Improving every aspects of operation management in the organizations are very crucial nowadays. The project management cycle contains this part of the project. There are four categories of the key aspects of developing the management of the projects. Initiation, planning, execution and closure are those four classifications of project management. In order to run a hassle-free project, planning is very necessary. It is also necessary to deliver the project on time and within the determined budget. Then it is to be ensured that everyone involved in the project has a mutual understanding regarding the project objectives and their roles in it. The managers have to be able to manage time, costs and risks. Implementation of an early warning system in the organization is very essential otherwise the factors that may cause harm to the project cannot be identified.This portion of the current research paper contains a brief discussion on implementation of different methods to improve the operational management in the mentioned companies. It gives an insight regarding the planning of the project. Then it moves to the implementation of different technologies in order to successfully manage the projects. The advantages and benefits of those implementation have been explained in details. The previous portion of the assignment discussed different management methods overall. This part recommends the methods to be implemented in the companies to achieve the targeted goals.
The study is focused on the case study of the operational processes going on in the project of the “Markeaton Park”. It also discusses about the systems and ways through which the process of operationalization of the project of the park can be improved or developed. The “Markeaton Park” is the most visited place of the “East Midlands” in Derby. It has got a great range of sporting and recreational facilities. In modern times, the “Craft Village” gained essential upliftment through the occupation of all their units by various businesses. The room of their community is based upon the hiring and the different range of events. The management of the park has implemented the “Brown Signage” attracting more visitors (Agbonyin & Zoras, 2020). The park attracts over 600 visitors per week. It has got an outdoor programmer of theatre and cinema. The park was formerly known as the “Rose garden” and was adopted later by the organization of the “Making Spaces” providing services related to the health and social care.
2. To investigate and discuss various operational aspects of Markeaton Park
2.1 identification and discussion of important aspects of Markeaton Park
a. Inputs (including the transforming and transformed resources)
The Markeaton Park’s inputs include processes adopted by the management of the park in order to improve or transform their services. The council have undergone submission of a successful bidding towards the fund of the Heritage Lottery for people’s programming within the park. The award consisted of a grant of 2.4 million ponds that was accepted in the year 2012 (Bawa, et al., 2017). The council spent that money on the improvement of the operations going on within the park. One of the major outcomes of the park policies is to rise the revenue funding that is generated through the park for supporting its improvements in terms of infrastructure and maintenance. The important sources are parking of cars, rents of the craft villages, and income from the “Mundy Play Centre”.
b. Transformational operation/process
The transformational processes or the areas where the management of the park can include their operationalization in terms of improvement or development within the park include proper maintenance of ground facilities, making sure of the available activities issued, management of the layout ensuring smooth flow, proper utilization of the space of the “Craft Village” along with the engagement of communities, proper management of capacity in planning of events and so on (Davison, 2019). The upcoming challenges of the park that are required to transform although are not limited include the improvement of the A-38 to be completed in the upcoming 4 years. It also is concerned with major access points to increase the number of visitors, proper management of the craft village, engagement of all sorts of people, and the visitor’s access to the walk, cycle, car, and bike. It has been observed that there is a major decline in the standards of horticulture through loss of bedding and borders reducing the council care. This needs to be resolved in order to improve the transformational management (Ikedi, et al., 2016).
The outputs of the Markeaton Park include various kinds of pure products and services offered by the management of the park. It includes sporting and recreational activities. It is a great spot for making picnic plans and for cycling. It has got a putt and pitch course and includes boating, fishing, and playing of tennis (Kay, 2016). The children are also enticed to the park in various ways concerning with the presence of playgrounds, paddling pools, donkey ridings, golfing, light railway, and high ropes of skyline. The park management also provides charity in terms of education, managing events and so on. It also hosts various events with regard to the athletics. The historical features of the park include old patterns of fields that are arable, lost roads, and buildings from the remains of the second world war.
The challenges of the Markeaton Park that are to be alleviated include increasing their number of visitors, increasing their income flow for reinvesting into the improvement factors of the park, and protecting and improving the existing historical infrastructure of the park to maintain the natural fabric of the park (Liyanage, 2019).
2.2 Value chain analysis
The value chain analysis of the “Markeaton Park” is directly related to its services for their visitors. It includes primarily the inbound logistics and operations along with the outbound logistics, marketing sales and services (Oates & Yates, 2016). Secondarily it includes firm infrastructure, human resources, technological improvement, and procurement.
Figure 1: Porter’s value chain analysis
According to the primary activities,
the inbound logistics include development of a sound relationship of the park with their suppliers focusing on the raw materials till the finished products. It is concerned with storage of inputs, retrieving of the raw materials, and proper distribution (Randall, 2017).
The operations include processing of the management before launching the system into the industry. It is concerned with maximization of efficiency in order to ensure the success in terms of competency aided by the development of productivity along with the operations of service.
The outbound logistics include the delivering of services through various incorporation of stakeholders in order to attract more visitors. The activities are concerned with warehousing, handling of materials, proper growth opportunities aided by processing and scheduling of services and so on. They are incorporated to maximize the visitor’s satisfaction.
The marketing and sales
The marketing and sales structure include persuading of visitors by offering benefits of high-quality services at reasonable costs for attracting more visitors. The agents of sales and marketers must build a good relation with their visitors through various channels of marketing policies including digital media intervention and promotional advertisements.
The services as an outcome are targeted to develop the visitor’s loyalty by analyzing reputation of their image and efficient support activities (Ryan, 2016).
According to the secondary activities,
the firm infrastructure is consisted of quality managing, handling of legal factors, financing, and accounting for planning a strategical management process. It is targeted to optimize the value of the whole chain.
The human resources include proper management and scheduling of jobs among the “Markeaton Park’s” employees aided by an HR. they are concerned with motivating, training, and improving the commitment and skills of their employees (Saturday, 2018).
The technological improvement is concerned with the incorporation of technological advancements within their management criterion. It includes processing of services through automation software, designing and analyzing further research, and visitor services supported by the aid of technology.
Lastly, the procurement is concerned with the processes in terms of purchase of the inputs like machinery, equipment, and supplies by linking the inbound logistics and outbound logistics.
The survey results from the year 2009 depending on the value chain analysis shows some graphical representations given below.
Figure 2: survey results (Derby City council, 2020)
2.3 Capacity planning strategy of the managers
The capacity planning strategies of the managers of the “Markeaton Park” involves understanding of the preferences of their visitors, and implementing evaluating models for implicating the changes in the transformation system. The visitor’s preferences must be understood in order to develop the functioning of the park. The major role played in their business is by the visitors. Their liking, disliking, convictions, feedback, and preferences must be incorporated into the system of management by the managers and they must plan the strategic planning of improvement according to those reports (Tracada, 2017). The evaluating models include processing and analyzing of business models in order to improve the operationalization condition of the theme park. The data gathered from their visitors must help the managers to implement developing schemes for managing the regular operations going on in the park in terms of the services offered by them.
The layout effectiveness of the “Markeaton Park” includes the study of the park’s feasibility for providing guidance to their developers and assistants in the management team of operationalization. They include protection and improvement of their existing historical layouts along with some aided features. Firstly, it must involve development of the concept of their services offered in studying the feasibility criterion. Secondly, they must involve a particular design charrette of their operational programming of services according to their visitor’s preferences. Thirdly, they must use their land plan properly incorporating proper utilization of the space of the craft village. Fourthly, they must consider the illustration of a proper master plan before implementing it strategically. Fifthly, they must develop an aerial perspective involving functional aspects of operating for success aided by showcasing of new strategies. Lastly, they must incorporate strategies in order to attract more visitors.
2.4 Impact of different stakeholders
The Markeaton Park” is required to incorporate a number of stakeholders for improving and developing their operational processes within the park for attracting more visitors. The stakeholders influence the management team at a great extent in order to incorporate policies related to the improvement. The CSR group as the primary stakeholder addresses their concerns in terms of the entertainment media of the park with regard to the impact on the environment and community (Selin, 2017). They are concerned with the targeting of more visitors through stewardship of environment, fund of conservation, charity, and volunteering. The marketers and agents of sales as the secondary group of stakeholders manages the financial department through profit maximization and internal improvement of delivering the services aided by marketing campaign and promotional activities.
3. Recommendation for the other key aspects to improve the operation of Mundy Play Centre, Craft Village, and Markeaton Park.
Improving every aspects of operation management in the organizations are very crucial nowadays. The project management cycle contains this part of the project. There are four categories of the key aspects of developing the management of the projects. Initiation, planning, execution and closure are those four classifications of project management. In order to run a hassle free project, planning is very necessary (Beloiu & Szekely, 2018). The upcoming challenges of the park that are needed to transform are concerned with major points of access for increasing the number of visitors, proper management of the craft village, engagement of all sorts of people, and the visitor’s access to the walk, cycle, car, and bike. The major fall in the horticulture ranges through bedding and border losses must be reduced by the council for improving the management of transformation. It is also necessary to deliver the project on time and within the determined budget. Then it is to be ensured that everyone involved in the project has a mutual understanding regarding the project objectives and their roles in it. The managers have to be able to manage time, costs and risks. Implementation of an early warning system in the organization is very essential otherwise the factors that may cause harm to the project cannot be identified. Then it is also very important to make a work breakdown structure which will make the project procedure easier to handle. Majority of the success of the projects depend upon how they are planned (Cheng, et al., 2016). Project planning is not easy, so it is necessary to involve some key elements to lighten the process. The previous portion of the current research paper contained the discussion regarding various operational aspects. It mentions inputs, transformational operation and outputs. The value chain system of project management and etcetera. This part of the assignment aims to recommend some key aspects to improve the operations of the mentioned companies.
The prior research for any project is very important. Besides, pinning down all the details is quite a tough job to do while starting the project. Focusing on the basic goals and objectives of the project helps getting with it easily. There are some very essential; elements that should be incorporated in the mentioned companies’ project management procedure to reach out to their targeted goals.
The identification of the stakeholders is very essential on the first place. The stakeholders indicate the end to end users, project sponsors, clients and the employees within the organization. Considering all their needs and necessities is a part of project management (Fotiadis & Vassiliadis, 2016). It is important to identify the stakeholders and meeting them. In the meeting, the project objectives and the scopes are to be explained to them and the next job is to understand what they expect from the project and what profits might develop for them. In order to make it possible, using the Eisenhower’s Decision Matrix is helpful. It can help in prioritizing the primary needs of the project. A structured conversation needs to be presented while meeting the stakeholders like clients and the project owners. It is important to point out the essentials of the project and acknowledging their demands at the same time (Song, 2018). After the meeting, explaining and understanding their demands are done, the project managers are required to create objectives in accordance of their needs. The specific, attainable, timely, realistic and measurable objectives are needed to be evaluated. For example, increasing the website traffic could be helpful. Using a benchmark to measure the increased traffic could be helpful as well.
Eventually, the projects proceed to clear the deliverables and meet the given deadline. The certain products that are needed to be delivered to the clients are called the deliverables of the project. It is important to set a date for every deliverable. In the cases of Mundy Play Center, Craft Village and Markeaton Park, the managers should fix a monthly deliverable like constructing some of the portions and finishing them within the given deadline and send it to the clients. Choosing the right technology for the project method is very necessary. It helps improving the alternative designs, choices and methods for the construction of the project. The cost management is very important. In the case of Markeaton Park, the decision regarding whether to transport the concretes or maintain the lawn affect the cost and the time span of the project.
The scheduling of the construction activities is a parallel task along with the planning and implementation of new technologies. The resource estimation is necessary for scheduling the task. Each deliverables of the project should contain an assigned task. If the deliverables are broken into different manageable tasks, it becomes easier for the employees to meet the objectives. For example, the concretization of the park is the deliverable, getting the concretes, managing the concretes in the location and building the constructions are the deliverables of the task. If they are divided into parts and different teams are assigned to do all these parts, the time consumption is reduced as well the cost could be easily estimated. Brainstorming the team members and explaining them the scheduled and the assigned works are the foremost job of the project managers of the organizations. Defining the roles and responsibilities to all the team members is very crucial for the project managers. In this part, the project managers also have to mention who is responsible for which task and how they are to be performed. For example, a group of people will manage the site, a group will bring the concrete materials, a group will sort out the materials and another group will start building the bricks (Tsai, et al., 2017). For each of these deliverables, the team members need to report to the project managers. If the job roles are defined, responsibilities are explained and the reporting structure is done, all the team members will understand the exact requirements and goals of the project. After explaining the roles and procedures, it is essential for the managers to keep track of each and every activity that is taking place in the entire process. It is also important to get in touch with the client and get updates regarding changes that are needed to be included in the process.
Identifying the project costs helps cutting off the extra expenses. The regulating and controlling the costs are very important for the project managers of the company. This will help the projects to remain within the budget and not exceed the cost limit. If the continuous communication with the clients are on, it is sometimes easy to convince them regarding the budget exceed in case. Another very important element to improve project management is to implement a proper communication plan for the stakeholders. Effective and transparent communication helps doing the half of the work and makes it easier to deliver. In the communication plan, certain factors need to be involved. The time frequency of communicating the stakeholders, it could be daily basis or weekly basis or monthly basis. If the project is taking the agile methodology, it will enable the managers to have a face to face interaction with the clients regarding their expectations out of the project (Yen, et al., 2017). A face to face interaction helps maintaining the clarity and the transparency of the project procedure. In the meetings with the clients, the factor of how frequently they want the updates are fixed and it has to be maintained properly by the managers. Then the procedures of communicating to the team members are needed to be fixed. Along with that, the systems which will help tracking the project, if the managers would be allowing the clients to visit the ongoing project and give the access of planning tool and ensuring that the project has been made in accordance of the clients are very necessary in improving the operational management.
The current research paper discusses different methods and techniques for the betterment of the operational management of the mentioned companies. This part of the assignment has recommended some key aspects of project management so that the mentioned companies reach their targeted goals.
Through the undertaking of the course work, skills are developed in doing specific research in the project. The skills of reading and writing, thinking critically, analyzing skills, skills on research and presentation, along with creative cultural aspects are developed through the research. it includes effectively tailored messages for various audiences from differentiated cultural backgrounds. It also includes construction of well-developed innovation in thinking process along with the understanding of complicated ways.The ability for connecting differentiated levels of ideas are also developed. The skills and their development are concerned with a broadening of the perspective of the world by the multiple exposure of ideas and opinions. The research encompasses several learning outcomes including the art enhancement in fields of learning data analysis. The skills are developed through the research procedure and methodology by acquiring ability for working in a competent way, and for organizing and reporting the entire project of the research. in doing the particular research, the researcher developed various skills regarding the analysis of data, presentation, and research processes. It includes understanding of the various knowledge fields, organizing historical data that is important for the research topic, and surveying of the basic information from literature review. It is mainly concerned with improvement of oral and written skills of communication along with the understanding of the capabilities. It includes formulation, documentation, and analyzation of the reporting factors used in the research procedures. It emphasizes conveying of ideas through fostering engagement in terms of media art displaying sensibilities of cross-disciplines. ?
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