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Project Management Assignment: Q&A Based on Fundamental Practices

Question

Task: Provide a well-research report on project management assignment answering the following questions:
Q1. You have been hired by lnnovative Solutions to plan the development of a web site for Sydney Flowers (SF). They have decided to set it up on a local server and some of the test team need operational training. You have identified the major task headings, durations and dependencies as shown in the table below. Everyone will be working 5-day weeks.

Draw a network diagram showing all the tasks and their dependencies (abbreviate their names if necessary). Arrange the tasks to achieve the shortest time to complete the project and determine the number of weeks it will take to complete the project.

Calculate the slack or float time for each activity, on the understanding that many tasks can be run in parallel if dependencies permit.

c. Finally, list the task numbers that form the critical path.
Q2. Given the following information for a one-year project, answer the following questions. Recall that PV is the planned value, EV is the earned value, AC is the actual cost, and BAC is the budget at completion.

PV = $73,000 EV = $70,000 AC = $75,000 BAC = $170,000
a. What is the cost variance, schedule variance, cost performance index (CPI), and schedule performance index (SPI) for the project?
b. How is the project doing? Is it ahead of schedule or behind schedule? Is it under budget or over budget? (6 marks)
c. Use the CPI to calculate the estimate at completion (EAC) for this project. Is the project performing better or worse than planned?
d. Use the SPI to estimate how long it will take to finish this project. Is the project performing better or worse than planned?

Q3. Instructions: Read the following Case Study carefully, then answer all the questions:

Background
You have been asked to prepare a Project Proposal for a restaurant, who wishes to extend their current operation by adding a page to their existing web site. They wish to set up an online ordering system for Takeaway Orders, which will be a scrolling menu and a “Chat” window on the same screen. They will also require a new PC at the shop’s takeaway counter with a new broadband link to the internet.

The idea is that the customer will send their requests via the chat window. The shop’s counter person will respond with any required requests for extra information and agree a pick-up time. From then on, the order will follow the normal process for takeaway orders.

In addition, the broadband link will be used by the Waiters in the main Restaurant reception (on an existing PC), to receive emails from that existing feature on the web page. These emails are mostly requests for Table Bookings, which can then be confirmed by return email.

Create a table listing at least five Objectives (in business terms) for this project as you would word them in the Project Proposal/Charter.
Develop work breakdown structure (WBS) of the case project featuring 3-5 levels and 10-20 boxes. Create a Chart or Table, listing all of the major tasks, in sequence, and show all dependencies.

Answer

Q 1: Development plan for the website at Sydney Flowers (SF) from Innovative Solutions
Innovative Solutions plans to develop the website for Sydney flowers. It will set up on a local server also operational training will be provided to some of the test team. An important task of project management is the scheduling of the project which includes monitor of the project duration, utilization of resources, calculate the benefit of the project (Soe and Htike, 2018).Members of Innovative Solutions prepared a network diagram to implement the project within the stipulated time.

As per the network diagram the project was signed off on 4th December 2020. Detailed Requirement analysis takes 3 days. It will start on 4th December 2020 and will complete on 8th December 2020. Detailed Requirement analysis has three parts. They are –

  • Hardware and software analysis – It will require 1 day. The tentative date is 9th December 2020. The next part of it is the Acquire and setup of hardware and software. The total duration of this work is 5 days. It will start on 10th December and will end on 16th December 2020.
  • Website Development – The duration to complete this task is 10 days. It is the most vital part of the task. Development of the website for Sydney flower is the main task. Works will start on 9th December 2020 and will complete on 22nd December 2020. It will be divided into more small tasks such as –
    1. Load of web system into the server, which requires 3 days to perform the tasks. It will start on 23rd December and will end on 25th December 2020.
    2. Website testing will be done on 28th December 2020.
    3. Evaluation of the training requirements which will require 4 days. It will start on 29th December 2020 and will end on 1st January 2021.
    4. Development of the training documents will require 3 days, and will start from 4th January 2021 and will end on 6th January 2021.

Training of Server Administrator - Server administrators are part of the test team. They should need proper training. Their training will start on 9th December 2020 and will end on 11th December 2020. The training duration is 3 days.
The database will be created on the server on 29th December 2020 and will end on 4th December 2021. The duration will be 5 days. Database testing will be on 5th January 2021. KF employees training will be from 7th to 12th January 2021 for 4 days. Data migration will be for 5 days from 13tho 19th January 2021. User acceptance testing will be for 2 days, 20th and 21st January. The final day for approval will be 22nd January 2021.

Gantt Chart and Critical Path in project management assignment

Gantt Chart and Critical Path

Implementation of the whole task is a part of the Critical management system. With critical path analysis perceived benefits can be implemented (Olivieri et al., 2019). If we make a critical path analysis of the current situation, we will see detailed requirement analysis overlaps with other tasks.

Network diagram,

Gantt Chart and Critical Path in project management assignment

Stage 1

Gantt Chart and Critical Path in project management assignment

Stage 2

Gantt Chart and Critical Path in project management assignment

Stage 3

Q 2. The evaluation of the ‘Cost variance,’‘Schedule variance,’ CPI and SPI
a. Cost variance or CV is the budget variance that indicates the differentiation between actual cost and budgeted cost. It generated an idea of how the project ran within or exceeding the projected budget. The CV of the current project is,

CV = EV – AC
=$70,000 - $75,000
= - $5,000

The schedule value for the project is,
SV = EV – PV
= $70,000 - $73,000
= - $3,000

CPI = EV/ AC
= $70,000/ $75,000
= 0.93

So, the CPI is less than 1, which indicates that the project is exceeding its budget.

SPI = EV/ PV
= $70,000/ $73,000
=0.958

So, the SPI is less than 1. It indicated that the project is behind its schedule. In the construction process, both the management and risk enforcement teams are planning according to their projected schedule. SPI calculation helps in evaluating risks and completion time (Santos and Jungles, 2016). In the current project, the SPI calculation generates the result of being less than 1, which is the sign of project delay.

b. The project has already increased its budget by $5,000. The project is also behind its schedule as the result showcased negative SV and SPI <1. The budget has also exceeded as the CPI is <1. The project delay analysis is based on the application method of different calculations related to schedule management and its performance (Kim and Kwon, 2019). The current project needs to re-arrange its planning process according to the newly achieved information to identify the problematic areas and resolve them effectively.

c. EAC = BAC/CPI
= $170,000/ 0.93
= $182,795

So, the budget for completion would be $182,795 which is exceeding the calculated budget at completion. It indicates that the project is performing worse than its planned during the initial stage. In a construction project, the challenges associated with budget and schedule overrun can be reduced by conducting appropriate pre-construction planning (Akhund et al., 2019). Every project process needs additional planning for assessing the accurate result.

d. The estimated time for completion would be, 365/SPI
= 365/ 0.958
= 381.002 = 381

The project was calculated to complete in one year. After calculating the cost performance index (CPI) and schedule performance index (SPI), it indicates that the project is performing behind the schedule and exceeded the cost. The new estimated completion time is one year and 16 days, which is almost two more weeks than its estimated time.

Q 3: Project Proposal for the Restaurant’s New Page for their Website
1. Overview of the Scenario

The company is going to introduce a new page on their website as they want to extend their business. In order to develop the plan, they want to open a new online ordering system for takeaway orders. A scrolling menu will be there in the website as well as a chatbox on the same window. The customer will place their order request through the chat window and the person at the shop counter will reply with the schedule the pickup time for the order. Besides this, the waiters will use the broadband link in restaurant reception and receive mails for table booking and others

2. Current Problem
Presently, the restaurant authorities are facing some problems regarding the orders placed by the customers. The customers cannot place their orders online as there is no chat window on the restaurant website. The customers are having a problem with the menu selection. Security is one of the main factors when people order something online and they want to be specific about the payment gateway. The food ordering process is also not clear enough on the restaurant website. The schedule for order delivery or pick up is also very late for the customers. The restaurant is also very crowded most of the time.

3. Solution for the Problem
To manage all the problems and make the customers happy, the restaurant is introducing a new online ordering system for takeaway. It will help the customers to pick up their favorite food from the counter. The restaurant is going to engage a team for website development. A new scrolling menu selection will be there and a chat window on the same screen to communicate with the customer about their order and pick up timing.Level of communication formed a relationship and the effect of building relationships can be understood as outcome of the restaurant website experience.

4. Defining the Project Deliverables and Success Factors
The restaurant has taken several steps to extend its current operation by adding a page on their website. It is now more convenient to place the scrolling menu on the same screen along with that chatbox. The communication system is now better and customers can schedule their pick up time. The person at the restaurant’s shop counter can share extra information about the order. Then, the order is following the normal process for takeaway orders.

The customers are also very relaxed now because they do not have to wait for a table after coming to the restaurant as they can book their table by e-mail and also get confirmation about the booking. Service quality has significant effects on customer satisfaction (Mensah and Mensah, 2018). Customers are looking for great service quality at any restaurant. Customer satisfaction and service quality both are the main success factors of the project.

5. Project Objectives
The project proposal has been prepared for a restaurant who wants to extend their business by opening a new page in their website. A scrolling menu and a chat window will be updated on the same screen on their website. Not only that, they also require a new PC with a broadband link at the takeaway counter.The objectives of the above-mentioned project are described below,

  • The demands of customers have been increasing as they want to order more as the quality of the food is good in the restaurant.
  • The design of the page in the existing website should look attractive and most importantly easy and user-friendly for the customer.
  • The customer will send his or her request through the chat window of the website. The person at takeaway counters will respond accordingly and schedule a pick-up time for the order.
  • A new broadband link will also be used by the waiter to receive information mostly about table bookings.
  • The bookings and orders should be confirmed within a short time because sometimes the availability of customers is high enough to maintain the things.

6. Presentation of Project Plan/ Approach
Some plans or steps are to be followed to present a plan to make it successful. More particularly, a method and system are related to creating and activating a project plan. The goal has to be identified for the project plan. A newly redesigned website is introduced with a scrolling menu and chat window. The restaurant targets its customers and tries to do various things to satisfy them. The table booking procedure is also going to be easier as the bookings are confirmed through e-mails. Customer satisfaction is very important because it can lead the business in profit side or loss side (Jawabreh et al., 2018). Not only that, but a new set of developers has to be hired for this and the plan is successfully figured out. As the restaurant focuses on the takeaway orders, so they are developing their counters and food quality to satisfy its customers. It should include in the project plan.

Work breakdown Structure

Gantt Chart and Critical Path in project management assignment

7. Outline of Project Schedule, Budget and Dependency

Sequence

Major tasks

Start date

End date

Dependency Task

A

Planning for new website page

1/12/20

15/12/20

D

B

Engagement of website developers

15/12/20

20/12/20

A

c

Training for selected software developers

17/12/20

26/12/20

B

D

Analyzing the current restaurant scenario

1/12/20

20/12/20

A

E

Improving customer handling ability of counter person

10/12/20

26/12/20

C

F

Engagement in online order taking process

10/12/20

26/12/20

A

G

Training waiters to handle website

16/12/20

27/12/20

A

H

Handling online booking procedure

11/12/20

27/12/20

A

Website page is used to extend business marketing. Business marketing can improve by developing service quality(Savi?, Vasiljevi? and Popovi?, 2016) .Training procedure is needed to improve customer handling ability of the customer staff. Developing a website is depending on various factors which include analyzing restaurant scenario, involvement of software developers etc. Developing website page is an important initiative to improve marketing because of the availability of customer review. The time period for each step should be limited in developing website otherwise it will affect budget. Evaluation is necessary for every new initiative which is taken for business profit. Only planning website does not help in extending business adaptation of the staff is needed to make it more effective.

Activities

Duration

Budget

Involvement of website developers for planning and developing new website to extend business

20days

$6000

Involvement of managing team

·         Analyze the scenario

·         Guide the developers to develop their plan to making website

9days

$8000

Training for handling website

·         Improve the ability of the counter person

·         Trained the waiter to use website

·         Trained about handling online procedure

16days

$10000

Budgeting is important in every step of developing business strategy. Developing website is a profitable initiative but the application of it should have a specific budget.Otherwise it will not be profitable for business. Website planning is a step that need team work to improve the outcome .Budgeting is an important factor in planning a business profit(Yi, Zhao and Joung, 2018) .First step of making a plan for web site is need a designer to improve a website in such a way that attracts customer but if it takes more than expected time it will effects budget. The effectiveness of website will high when the worker will adopt it. Training is needed to make the plan more effective for business profit. Online marketing will affect business profit more if the training process will work properly. After processing the website, the effectiveness of it on business growth should evaluate properly.

8. Recommendations
The potential recommendations for the current project are,

  • The restaurant should focus on its target audience. They can target the office goers for the takeaway orders.
  • It can give some offers on the foods to attract the customers for more takeaway orders.
  • The restaurant is making the table booking procedure easy. So, they can manage the crowd at the restaurant and confirm order according to it.
  • Management should be more participative and there should be a winning attitude to manage things properly.

References
Akhund, M.A., Khoso, A.R., Khan, J.S., Imad, H.U. and Memon, K.M., 2019. Prompting cost overrun factors during PCP in construction projects. Indian Journal of Science and Technology, 12(4), pp.1-7.

Jawabreh, O., Al Jaffal, T., Abdelrazaq, H. and Mahmoud, R., 2018. The impact of menus on the customer satisfaction in restaurants classified in Aqaba special economic zone authority (ASEZA). Journal of Tourism, Hospitality and Sports, 33, pp.29-39. Kim, S.-G. and Kwon, S., 2019. ‘Case Analysis on Application of Project Delay Analysis Method in Domestic Construction Project’, Korean Journal of Construction Engineering and Management, 20(6), pp. 98–106.

Mensah, I. and Mensah, R. D., 2018. ‘Effects of Service Quality and Customer Satisfaction on Repurchase Intention in Restaurants on University of Cape Coast Campus’, Journal of Tourism, Heritage & Services Marketing, 4(2), pp. 27–36.

Olivieri, H., Seppänen, O., Alves, T.D.C., Scala, N.M., Schiavone, V., Liu, M. and Granja, A.D., 2019. Survey Comparing Critical Path Method, Last Planner System, and Location-Based Techniques. Journal of Construction Engineering and Management, 145(12), p.04019077.

S

antos, R. B. dos and Jungles, A. E., 2016. ‘Risk level assessment in construction projects using the schedule performance index’, Journal of Construction Engineering, 2016.

Savi?, B., Vasiljevi?, Z. and Popovi?, N., 2016. ‘The role and importance of strategic budgeting for competitiveness of the agribusiness supply chain’, Economics of Agriculture, 63(1), pp. 295–312.

Soe, P. H. and Htike, T. M., 2018. ‘Critical path analysis programming method without network diagram’, in MATEC Web of Conferences. EDP Sciences, p. 1027.

Yi, S., Zhao, J. and Joung, H.-W., 2018. ‘Influence of price and brand image on restaurant customers’ restaurant selection attribute’, Journal of foodservice business research, 21(2), pp. 200–217.

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