Strategic Project Management
Different people and business across the world have benefitted from the use of Volvo Truck Corporation (VTC) and rely on its durability to achieve different goals. The VTC utilizes the concept of project management and its SAP model to achieve efficiency in meeting its consumer needs more effectively. Through the concept, the company has realized a greater market scope and control hence generating more revenue at a reduced cost which is beneficial to the business (Brathwaite, 2015). Furthermore, through the concept of project management, Volvo will experience increased innovation an aspect that will make the company meet the needs of the business more efficiently hence succeeding in its set goals. The necessity of project management is to help in the planning, coordination, and control of complicated and multi-project environmental setting that is faced with different challenges. The primary rationale for project management is to identify the various dangers or challenges that may hinder the successful accomplishment of scheme objectives.
A.C. 1.1 Asses the purpose of project planning and management
Project plan serves a significant role in the execution of a scheme as it provides a broad range of information that is required for the accomplishment of the various tasks of a project. The concept enables the scheme administrators to appreciate the valuable strategies to use in accomplishing the project objectives. In short, the notion of project plan acts as a roadmap/direction on how a set venture is implemented (Yang et al., 2015, pp 70).
The concept is used by the stakeholders to define the parameters and the role of a business scheme and justifies the rationale for the venture and how the same will be achieved. Furthermore, it helps in involving every stakeholder to be on track with the scheme as it provides detailed information on the venture. For our example of the Volvo Truck Corporation, some of the information that is offered by the project plan include the strategies used in the implementation of the business project, the concerned stakeholders, attached benefits and target market for the enterprise. Hence, the plan will further indicate the different resources that are required in the business, and this includes both people and equipment (Osei-Bryson & Barclay, 2016).
The plan helps in the recognition of staff, vendors, and stakeholders that are involved in a development while indicating their respective roles in the same. This will ensure that each employee included in the project is aware of their individual responsibility for the project and thus allocates their time more efficiently in realizing the set goals and objectives. Furthermore, the concept is used in the preparation of the project budget as it helps the stakeholders to understand each element that is incorporated and the anticipated costs of the same (Brathwaite, 2015). Hence, with the budget, the project managers can determine how to utilize the available resources more efficiently in achieving the set objectives.
Moreover, the concept of project plan helps in timeline consideration in that it establishes the amount of time that is consumed in accomplishing a set of objectives. With the above task, it can be used for scheduling purpose to identify different variables that are incorporated into a project and strategize on how the same can be achieved. Furthermore, the accomplishment of the same task enables the project managers to ensure that the venture meets the set budget without incurring extra costs. Project plan acts as a trouble shooter in that it helps the stakeholders identify a problem in case the investment experiences a challenge and identifies solution indicating how the same can be solved. For example, if the staffing cost for VTC is higher than the stipulated amount, the management can use the plan and identify the cause of over-run an aspect that will help in solving the issue (Yang et al., 2015, pp 71).
A.C. 1.2 Analyze how projects impact on the strategic objectives of an organization
The impact of project objective is essential to organizational success as particular purpose leads to an organizational chance to succeed in meeting the set goals. It is, therefore, important to appreciate the fact that corporate objective should not be vague and instead should determine how successful project is in reality. Project objectives as revealed in the above study helps organizations to realize its set goals more effectively as it is made to focus on the business outcomes and establish how the same can be achieved. Volvo Truck Corporative can, therefore, utilize its set objectives to enhance performance and quality in different ways. The goals help the development managers ensure end results of the scheme meet stakeholder expectations and that desired quality as per the specification is met. Moreover, it is also important to appreciate the fact that the objectives help ensure that the schemes are completed within the expected budget expenditure (Petrevska Nechkoska, 2015, pp 147).
The final rationale for the project objective is to ensure that progress of the scheme meets the planned time and that the set objectives are met before the set date is exceeded. Moreover, the time scale purpose plays a significant role in the project accomplishment as late submission of the venture benefits are not appreciated and in most cases lead to lose of project reputation by the public. Project management as will be revealed in the above study has evolved over the years and incorporates varied activities for a particular venture to be completed. Hence, for a project to be active in its definition, it has to have specific objectives which are measurable and achievable (Ba et al., 2016, pp 979).
A.C. 2.3 Discuss the phases necessary in the construction of a project plan
Project phases otherwise referred to as the scheme lifecycle indicate the different stages that are followed by the conduction of a project from start to the end. The initiation phase as the name suggests, is the first step in project management where the set objectives that indicate the need for carrying out the project are set out. The above needs can, therefore, be either a problem or opportunity that stakeholders are facing hence the set objectives act as a solution to the above issues. Hence, at initiation phase, the executive conducts a viability study to determine if the set goals are achievable and a justification to indicate rationale as to why the scheme should be approved. After a proper explanation of the project rationale is done, the scheme is initiated to help in identifying a solution to the problem study and appointing of the project manager is done at this stage. Furthermore, it is at this stage that the primary benefits of the scheme are identified among other important issues required to realize the project benefits.
However, in the planning phase, the solution to the study problem is further detailed as a way to help in meeting the set objectives of the scheme. At this stage, the different tasks of the project are further identified with an indication of the necessary resources that are required for the accomplishment of the project deliverables. Hence, it is at this juncture that activities of the project are outlined, various tasks, concerned stakeholders in the project management and precise timeframe that it will take to accomplish the project benefits. Moreover, a project budget is prepared at this stage indicating the various costs that will be incurred in the scheme to help manage the expected expenditure for the project. Hence, the critical issues that are considered in the planning phase include identification of the project deliverables, scheduling and finally budgeting to determine the project expense.
Another key step in project management is the implementation stage where the set plan is put into practice where control and communication become the most important tools of work. However, to guarantee the project success, progress is monitored continuously and proper adjustments made to maintain focus on the original plan. The different tasks that were scheduled for the project are therefore executed at this stage with the regular meeting to report on the progress of the scheme. With this kind of information, therefore, the project manager can take control of the plan and assess the performance of the same thus has a high chance of guiding on the progress of the same. It is, therefore, the role of the project manager to ensure that he keeps the stakeholders and sponsor abreast with project development or any form of variation from the initial plan as quick as possible. The progress report is essential to the project for it helps the concerned stakeholders to ensure that the project benefits meets the set standards, quality, are within the expected cost budget and that they are accomplished within the set time. Lastly, the closing stage is where the predictable benefits are released to consumers and documentation of the plan success, which is an indication of the development closure. Moreover, the development boss has the mandate to communicate on the closing of the venture as well as indicate different outcomes of the plan.
A.C. 2.2 Explain the need to scope and identify specification to develop a project plan
Project scope help explain the overall functions that are accomplished in a given project in that it suggests the objective of carrying out a given venture, the vision of the same and the expected activities or tasks. For effective project accomplishment, the scope should be well defined and approved to give a natural time to plan and execute the scheme as required. It is, therefore, important to appreciate the fact that the concept should be not only specific regarding definition but measurable and approved an indication that it will meet the stakeholders' needs more effectively (Ba et al., 2016, pp 980). Scholars have indicated their concerns in the past that scope is a fundamental element for the success of any project, and they asserted that the concept should clearly define what should be included or excluded in the project. The concept, therefore, should be realistic and actionable with a detailed framework on how the venture will be executed.
The following aspects help in the ensuring that a scope is actionable and will positively impact towards the project's success. Hence, any standardized scope should, at least, posses the above characteristics which meet the needs of any project irrespective of its nature. Any range intended to be used for a given project should be accurate in that it clearly defines the inclusions and exclusions. The above indication is a guarantee that the project is feasible and that the stakeholders have a comprehensive understanding of what they are approving. Moreover, scope ought to be significant and relevant to meet stakeholders' requirements more efficiently as required. The different aspects that are incorporated in the scope should be negotiated and approved to indicate an understanding between the various stakeholders who are involved in the project. It is, therefore, important to appreciate the above conclusion about scope which should be well understood by the project managers. A scope as previously discussed helps to ensure that a project is accomplished by the expected time frame and continuous management and control of the concept should be done.
A.C. 2.1 Discuss the roles of a project sponsor and other project stakeholders
The accountability of a sponsor in a scheme is determined by nature of a dealing and type of scheme that they venture into. Irrespective of the difference in definition of any single project, it is important to appreciate the fact that project sponsor has a significant influence on the success of a scheme. According to (Heravi, 2015, pp 990), he asserts that project sponsors have an important influence on resource use as they determine procurement and resource allocation. It is thus the mandate of the project sponsor to ensure that any single project is maintained within the set budget and is concerned with securing of any additional capital if need be. Moreover, it is the consent of the sponsor to conserve scheme resources from malfunctioning to foil it from being used for individual use.
A project sponsor key in support to a scheme in diverse ways as will be explained in the study. The first role of the sponsor is to represent the business support for the venture by standing as an advocate as well as the project contact person between the concerned stakeholders and the management (Brathwaite, 2015). He, therefore, has the responsibility of managing principal decisions regarding the scheme which may hinder the realization of the project goals like addressing the major issues regarding the plan.
Sponsors in project management have the responsibility of maintaining the vision of the scheme to the end and that the set objectives are in line with the corporate strategy. The sponsor guides the administrators about corporate policy and ought to meet authority of the guarantor. It is usually the role of the sponsor to set objectives for the scheme hence gives direction on the activities to be followed. Further, he has the overall responsibility for approving the project plans and guiding on the organization structure for the venture. To ensure that the project benefits are realized, the sponsor has the mandate of monitoring progress against set outcomes of the scheme besides approving necessary changes to the project (Heravi et al., 2015, pp 986).
At this point, it is paramount to appreciate that the role of a project sponsor should be recognized in any business as different challenges may be faced if the same is not observed. However, the sponsor should not be involved too much in the affairs of the project manager to prevent but focus on their respective responsibilities.
A.C. 3.1 Explain the process of gaining project implementation agreement
It is imperative to appreciate the fact that before to any single scheme is assigned an execution agreement it has to be adequately evaluated and approved by the sponsors to be implemented. Hence, the evaluation process includes conducting practices like assessing needs of the venture, architecture review, among other issues like vendor contracting. Hence, through the process, stakeholders are given a given a go ahead as to either implement a project a project or not while minimizing the number of risks that are experienced while at the same time managing the scope and resources of the project.
The Volvo group has ventured into the SWIFT project to enhance its competitive advantage in the global transit business as being the leading not only in the manufacturing of trucks but buses among other services as well. The project is meant to benefit the company with lots of benefits like standardization and automation of most of its services an aspect that will enhance efficiency.
Hence, VTC will gains an agreement by ensuring that the project deliverables that are achieved from a given scheme meet the stakeholders' specifications. Some of the fundamentals used in the analysis of benefits include eminence and costs of the same as well as the quantity of time consumed. Hence, for the agreement to be offered a list of the project should be clearly outlined indicating the project milestone. Moreover, the stakeholder should be given a set of standards that should be met and an efficient plan on how the same is out to be achieved (Heravi, 2015, pp 990). Volvo Company is dedicated to improving the quality of services and efficiency with which they are offered so as to gain more consumer loyalty. Project implementation agreement is an important tool for the accomplishment of any single project and it utilized during the execution stage to ensure that each product meets the consumer expectation and that it can be accepted.
A.C. 3.2 Asses the methods of securing stakeholder support for project implementation and operations
Stakeholder involvement in programs plays a significant role in contributing enormously to a project success, and there are following six strategies are used by VTC to secure such partners. Stakeholders' in project management can be categorized into three main classes with the first one involving the people who experience an individual problem that is faced. For example, the SWIFT program implemented by the VTC that is meant to enhance on efficiency level of service delivery, the first class of the stakeholders include the people who rely on the company for the delivery services. The second class of people is the people that are involved in solving the challenge while the last category includes the ones involved but are not aware of their roles.
The idea of securing a project stakeholder is because they are involved in decision-making at different levels of the project as they are affected by the same in one way or another. VTC, therefore, secures its project stakeholders by identifying a group of stakeholders and engaging them in discussing the magnitude of the problem so as to understand it. The second method is to weigh options as to which approach should be used in solving the problem under study based on the stakeholder ideas. The third step includes prioritizing of the ideas to remain with the most optimal approaches that have a significant impact on the venture. Furthermore, the stakeholders can be secured by involving them in the implementation of the indifferent scheme ways so as to benefit from their support. Another approach that is used in the securing stakeholder is cheerleading an aspect that means that stakeholders are engaged throughout the project life cycle. This action, therefore, means that that they are aware of the project progress and are involved in the decision making an aspect that wins their confidence in the project significantly (Yun et al., 2016, pp 391). The final method that is used by the Volvo Truck Corporation in the engagement of stakeholders is making them as evaluators in their projects to help the management to identify areas which have been excelled in and areas that have not been adequately met.
A.C. 3.3 Explain the evaluation process to measure project performance to meet strategic objectives
VTC has embraced a practical approach to the assessment of its project performance in meeting the stakeholder needs more efficiently. The organization utilizes the project objective measurement model (POMM) that embraces two particular concepts that make the task to be achieved more efficiently. The first concept that is employed in the above approach by the company is the Value Focused Thinking an approach that assesses the values and objectives achieved as specified by the stakeholder. Another concept that is employed in the above approach is the Goal Question Method (GQM) that gives more insight into the project deliverables (Shanmugapriya & Subramanian, 2015).
As mentioned earlier, the VFT strategy understands the significant elements in a scheme and how it can impact positively on a project as far as decision making is concerned. One of the substantial benefits that are played by the above approach is that it identifies the hidden agenda of the management and outlines a clear direction on evaluating the project value. The first step that is followed by the application of the above technique is listing of the different project benefits while at the same time pinpointing the project value and translating the same into objectives (Ba et al., 980). Another concept that is embraced in the above task is the structuring of the respective projects to be either means or fundamental a contribution that impacts well in the project management process.
Project management as aforestated includes the proper planning of a given project, an organization of a given objective to achieve the project deliverables in the most efficient manner possible. In the project plan, the set goals and objectives are clearly outlined with price identification of the various tasks and activities that will be carried out. It is at this point that financial plan is made to indicate probable costs for the different actions and time during which the plan is likely to be over. Moreover, the project manager at this point has the mandate of managing the implementation process of the scheme, monitor progress to ensure that objective is attained as planned while at the same assessing for deviation from the set plan. Projects irrespective of their size and nature have to follow four key phases for it to be effectively accomplished which include the following stages. The initiation stage as the name suggest is the first stage of a scheme where the project goals and objectives are clearly specified, planning g phase to set strategies through which the project benefits are achieved. The third stage as discussed in the above study is the implementation and evaluation phase of a project where the plan is executed to run the stated activities as required and progress evaluated as per the scheme. Closure is the final stage of a project, and refers to the formal communication to the concerned stakeholders on the close of the scheme and is essential as it indicates the outcomes from the venture, challenges experienced to point out areas to be improved on future projects among other issues.
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