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Project Management Assignment: Product Development & Launch Process by Company X

Question

Task: You are to develop a short business case in this project management assignment, identifying a need for change within a business, and develop the components required to “sell” the project, including any resources, (e.g. IT System), to deliver the proposed change, to senior management in your business. This can be based on a business that you currently work in, or a business that you used to work for. The business case can also focus on a hypothetical product or service that you wish to develop as a project.

Part of this assignment is to develop a business case format. The business case should contain details of the proposed project background, objectives, current situation, problem/opportunity statement, critical assumptions and constraints, analysis of options and recommendations, preliminary project requirements, budget estimate and financial analysis, schedule estimate, and potential risks.

Answer

Introduction
It is evident herein project management assignment that in the current market, careful planning for business and a good product plan is important to ensure the success of a brand or organisation in the market. Companies are competing for every day to develop a new and unique product line and service provision to gain a higher position in the cutthroat business environment. A company always has a target to develop a new set of products, but most of the product ranges fail to secure a competitive edge and end up by increase the cost burden for the company (Smolnik& Bergmann, 2020).

This proposed work is aiming to develop a new product line and launch it at business platform, by Company X. Company X is an organisation, and operates in the paper industry of Perth, Australia. Now the company is trying to be the supplier of roll handling equipment for the paper industry, across Australia, and at a global platform.

Company X is a new and young company, which is aiming to create innovative products for the paper industry. Developing a new and unique product line can provide several benefits to the customers, which should be one of the important mission and main strengths of a company. In this project, focus has to be given on current situation of the organisation along with the opportunity that the organisation may avail from developing new products for the paper industry of Australia.This project can also be used as a test case for measuring the success rate of the Paper industry and whether the innovation in the product line or new products like rolling equipment can be beneficial for a young company to set a strong position in Paper Industry of respective country.

Objectives
In this proposed work, concentration will be given on the last stage of product development, which is the launch process or launches the product onto the market.Therefore, the objectives of this proposed work will be:

  • To identify the most innovative product launch process for a new product line at the market by Company X
  • To identify the extent to which the new product line can help Company X to increase profitability and productivity
  • To examine the process by which Company X can increase the profitability of its new product line in the market
  • To investigate the strategy that Company X may adapt to modify its existing product development and launch process

Current situation
Problem statement

Company X is a new company and trying to develop a new product like rolling equipment for Paper Industry. As the company is a new one, therefore it will unknown to the customer and end-users. Moreover, in any business scenario to create trust with the consumers is considered to be an important aspect of any business organisation in terms of gaining market share, rapidly. In this respect, it could be considered as one of the potential challenges or problems for Company X to launch a new product line in the already established Paper industry of Australia, as a young and brand-new organisation (Munck et al., 2020). Apart from that, new product development and launch it in an already emerged market is considered as one of the riskiest processes, which needs proper focus and high investment. Therefore, lack of information about the effective method of product launch in the Australian market, lack of proper market research, and financial stability will create a challenge for Company X to include every success factor in the new product launches.

Opportunity statement
As the new product, development is considered a continuous process, similarly, Company X, being a young company is growing its product portfolio a continuous basis. Proper structuring in product development and launch process in a well-defined practice can provide scope to Company X to launch new product in the market with profitability. Additionally, despite being a young company, Company X used to focus on using a structured idea-to-launch process, which can provide the opportunity to Company X in managing the success drivers by reducing the risk or failure of launch a new product. The B2B business strategy, use of stage-gate as NPL process can provide an opportunity to Company X in terms of successfully launching new product line in paper industry of Australia (Jenkins et al., 2020).

Additionally, the company is comprised with skilled managers and workforces, whose extensive experiences towards product launch and promotional of a new product at the market can help the organisation to get maximum profit from its new product line.

Critical assumptions and Constraints
General assumption

1. All the employees associated with the project will get transparent information about the project aim and mission along with their roles and responsibilities in the project work. There will be no scope for interns or temporary employees to be part of this project work

2. Shift work might be required to increase the speed of the work along with the effectiveness and productivity as an end result (Haridas, 2020)

3. High investment and focus has to be given to the R&D department, the contribution from this department and employees will be important to ensure the success of the project

4. All the personals associated with this project are required to be trained and have the competencies to undertake the tasks associated with the project

“Competencies: the skill and knowledge about New product development and launch process, and the current status of the paper industry and market in Australia, collaborative working attributes, as this project is completely a team work” (Salmen, 2021)

5. Normal operational hours for the project is 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.

6. A separate team will be created whose sole responsibility will be to carry out thorough research about the industrial needs, current status of the Paper industry in Australia, needs for new and unique equipment for the industry to speed up the operational activities.

Analysis of option andRecommendation
As the proposed work is based on the launch of a new product or equipment (rolling equipment for the paper industry) in the market and Company X is a young company, therefore, the organisation can be recommended to follow B2b business approach. Additionally, B2C approach along with the use of e-commerce can help Company X to get maximum and relevant information about the market trend and consumer needs (Jenkins et al., 2020). Additionally, the use of social media platforms for promotional purpose can help the young company to extend market reach and to develop a presence in the market. This can help Company X to get a customer segment, which in turn can help organisation to launch the new product by avoiding the risk of product failure.

Preliminary Project Requirement
Fortnight Status Report

The project blueprint will be completed by the project manager, and that to be submitted to the higher authority of respective organisation for final approval within a two-week basis. As a minimum, the report will include a summary of the work, forecasted budget, scheduled time, and targeted milestone.

The major objective of this project is to successfully launch new equipment in paper industry of Australia with gaining maximum profit. The personal or the project manager will consider to be responsible to ensure that every stage of the product development process and launch process will meet the targeted milestone and can maintain alignment with organisational core objective.

The KPI for this project:
1. KPI1: to successfully develop the rolling equipment for the paper industry of Australia

2. KPI2: to successfully launch the product in market (Setijono& Dahlgaard, 2007)
3. KPI3: to get maximum profit from the product
4. KPI4: to strengthen organisational market share

“KPI: Key Performance Indicator- it is a tool to measure the success in reaching the targeted goal” (Marr, 2012)

Budget estimate and financial analysis
A budget is a financial plan in which the financial resources are allocated considering the requirement of the project(Heagney.,2016). (The budget for Company X new product line launch is shown in Appendix-1)

  • The major cost factors for the project are the cost of raw materials, equipment and machinery, labour and so on.
  • The difference between actual project cost and the estimated project cost must not vary more than 5% to 7%
  • All the cost associated with the new product line launch project by company X will be undertaken from the Company X- New Product Line launch budget (Account code ****)
  • Any additional costs, not included in the budget allocation, must be carried by the Company-X budget consolidated code (****)
  • The budget only contains the expenditure past, no revenue prediction associated with product life-cycle has been shown in the budget

Schedule estimate
The activity of scheduling is one of the most crucial tools for determining the integration of the project resources and directing the project towards successful competition in a systematic and synchronized way. The proposed project is scheduled to start on the date xx/xx/xxxx and will be closed on the date xx/xx/xxxx. So the estimated project duration is 3 months. The scheduled project duration can change due to external factors like pandemic and other natural events, strikes and so on. It is expected that in case of delay the budget of the project will be unaffected get slightly affected.

Activities

WEEKS

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

9

10

11

12

Conduction of the market research

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Conduction of demand analysis

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Determining targeted market

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Designing the new product line

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Budget estimation

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

creating the supply chain

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

manufacturing of the products

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

marketing

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Launch

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Potential risks
A number of potential risk factors are associated with the project which needs to effectively identify for taking the necessary precautions and minimize the intensity and impact of the risk factors in case of occurrence(Gidoand Clements., 2014). The identified risk factors for the project are discussed as follows:

  • Budget failure: As the prices of the raw material is fluctuating in the present market, so in case of increases in the prices of the raw materials, the estimated budget for the project can exceed. Too many increases in the budget can hamper project planning.
  • Labour strike: the events like labour strike are a considerable risk factor with respect to the running of production activities. The management needs to ensure all the labour needs so that, such events do not arise.
  • Lockdown due to Covid-19: this one of the most prominent risk factor in the present time. The pandemic creates an uncertain situation globally, already due to the second wave of the virus lockdown actions are implemented in various countries across the world. So in case of the entry of the second wave in Australia, the government might call lockdown which the situational close down of the entire project.
  • Quality risk: the risk is quality is about if the manufactured product does not fulfil the quality standard for the designed product. To minimize the risk, good quality raw materials need to be used and also proper training should be provided to the production workers.

Conclusion
In conclusion, it can be said that the new product line launch product by Company-X has been carried forward considering the issues existing in the Paper industry of Australia. Through the project, the company aims to launch an innovative product range, which allows the company to main its position in the industry and able to capture a considerable market share.

References
Gido, J. and Clements, J., 2014. Successful project management. Cengage Learning.http://testbankcart.eu/sample/Solution-Manual-for-Successful-Project-Management-5th-Edition-by-Gido.doc Haridas, R. P. (2020). Paper trails: History of the first Australian paper on ether anaesthesia. Anaesthesia and Intensive Care, 0310057X20977497.https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/0310057X20977497

Heagney, J. (2016). Fundamentals of project management. Amacom.https://www.etonline-digitallibrary.com/bitstream/123456789/64/1/4.pdf Jenkins, M. T., Craighead, C. W., Holcomb, M. C., Munyon, T. P., Ketchen Jr, D. J., & Eckerd, S. (2020). Emerging market footholds and knowledge: An examination of new product launch performance. Journal of Business Logistics, 41(1), 31-53.https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/jbl.12229

Marr, B. (2012). Key Performance Indicators (KPI): The 75 measures every manager needs to know. Pearson UK.https://books.google.com/books?hl=en&lr=&id=WleQ-F6WC3sC&oi=fnd&pg=PT24&dq=KPI&ots=3wFBf93MY5&sig=OXdSST5fZzLqpUXIt5lzZmv9ur0

Munck, J. C., Tkotz, A., Heidenreich, S., & Wald, A. (2020). The performance effects of management control instruments in different stages of new product development. Journal of Accounting & Organizational Change.https://www.emerald.com/insight/content/doi/10.1108/JAOC-09-2019-0101/full/html Salmen, A. (2021). New Product Launch Success: A Literature Review. Acta Universitatis Agriculturae et Silviculturae Mendelianae Brunensis, 69, 14.http://actavia.mendelu.cz/pdfs/acu/2021/01/14.pdf

Setijono, D., & Dahlgaard, J. J. (2007). Customer value as a key performance indicator (KPI) and a key improvement indicator (KII). Measuring Business Excellence.https://www.emerald.com/insight/content/doi/10.1108/13683040710752733/full/html

Smolnik, T., & Bergmann, T. (2020). Structuring and managing the new product development process-review on the evolution of the Stage-Gate® process. Journal of Business Chemistry, (2).https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Thorsten_Bergmann3/publication/340280308_Structuring_ and_managing_the_new_product_development_process_-_review_on_the_evolution_of_the_Stage- GateR_process/links/5e821a2892851caef4afe44e/Structuring-and-managing-the-new-product- development-process-review-on-the-evolution-of-the-Stage-GateR-process.pdf

Appendices

Appendix 1: Growth rate of Paper industry in Australia (Source: Haridas, 2020)

Growth rate of Paper industry in Australia

Appendix-2 Estimated Project Budget

Company X: Project Cost Budgeting

FY x Month

Inputs

 

 

 

 

Raw-materials

AU$6000

AU$6000

AU$6000

AU$6000

machineries

AU$7500

 

 

 

Equipments

AU$5500

 

 

 

Miscellaneous

AU$2500

AU$2500

AU$2500

AU$2500

Subtotal

AU$21,500

AU$8500

AU$8500

AU$8500

 

 

 

 

 

Variable

 

 

 

 

Labor

AU$6500

AU$6500

AU$6500

AU$6500

Electricity

AU$1300

AU$1300

AU$1300

AU$1300

Marketing

AU$2500

AU$2500

AU$2500

AU$2500

Sub-total

AU$10,300

AU$10,300

AU$10,300

AU$10,300

 

 

 

 

 

Total Projected Expenditure

AU$31,800

AU$18,800

AU$18,800

AU$18,800

 

 

It is expected that, after 12 months of investment the project shows positive returns

Projected Revenue

FY-1

FY-2

FY-3

FY-4

 

$0

$17,500

AU$45,00

AU$100,00

Appendix-3 Risk Matrix

Growth rate of Paper industry in Australia

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