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Sunday, December 8, 2013

Project Management Case # 3

Questions: Assuming you have read the entire PMBOK, please answer the questions below in no less than 2000 words per question... new cases will be uploaded ... MERRY CHRISTMAS .. 1. What do you think must be done to prevent failure of the implementation of this system? 2. As a project manager, how would you handle this type of project scenario?

1.    What do you think must be done to prevent failure of the implementation of this system?
In the fourth case given, after I’ve read it and analyze it, I came up with some thinkings of what I think that those who are involve in the project must have been done to prevent failure of the implementation of the system. In this scenario, there were some of factors to be considered. Budget and project management. Why budget? Because based on the case’s description or scenario given, it was stated that they were having issues on budgeting on costs for the implementation of the electronic medical record system in the hospital. This factor will affect to the the implementation of this system, and may cause this project to fail. Budget is one of the three main important factors in handling or managing a project. Second is project management, this was the important part of managing project. In this case, it was also said that based on the major investigation conducted, it was concluded that basic project management procedures were not followed.These two factors that I had observed after reading and analyzing the scenario of the given case will conclude to me ways or some steps which I think that should be done to prevent failure of the implementation of the system. And also, this way(s) will also rely or based on project management book of knowledge and other sources.
Failure is not new to the world of business, especially on IT projects. But, avoiding or minimizing failure or much better, preventing it will make a work for an IT to become more productive. To avoid failure of the project, the project team should have learned lessons from past mistakes. By implementing this, the project manager should accumulate first his or her team members of the past project team and then ask each of them to list down all the reasons and possible reasons why the project had failed. After this, the project manager should plan well the project with his or her team. And this planning should based on what they have learned on the mistakes learned. On this process, this will help the project team to recognize the reasons why the project had failed and also helps them to prepare the team to the execution of the project and formulate the steps that may help them to execute the project.
In a failed project, there were common causes why it fails. Deficient planning, lack of leadership, insufficient knowledge, people problems and lifecycle problems. One or more of these reasons was or were committed that is why a project fails. Deficient or poor planning, this reason includes the lack of communication within the team. This factor is important for a project team to function well. Another is, there is no process of breaking down the development into steps or phases. Did not prioritize operational activities and objectives. This component affects a project, because setting up priorities is important in executing a project. This will help the project team to analyze the priorities of the implementation of the project, setting up what certain activity or activities that should be prioritize more and must be done first before the other. And this will also motivate each member of the team to accomplished every certain task that was assigned to them. Another thing that includes in poor planning is that they did not obtain the stakeholder’s approval. Another also is, there was no business plan created or it could be an inadequate business plan. A business plan is much important in a project. It serves as a blueprint or layout of anything about the project. Without having a business plan will more likely ruin the whole process of executing the project because your team is not having a guidelines on what should be done and should be done first. Without having such, will also not lead each of the team to the same path that must be cross by your team. Inadequate or insufficient business plan might cause or may be one of the reasons or cause for a project to fail. It is like in cooking, lack of steps may cause the outcome of the work to taste bad. Another component that cause a project to fail and must be considered to prevent the failure of the implementation of the system is insufficient funding or capital. It might be not using the fund or capital of the project properly. There might also be a lack of time commitment. And an impractical scheduling. Lack of leadership includes not making decisions conclusively or timely, not defining the leadership or not identifying decision makers, there might also be a lack of management expertise in areas such as finance, production, hiring and managing employees and purchasing of resources.  Each member of a project team plays an important role on the team. They were there because the team needs them. They were placed there because that was aligned to their expertise. They were in the team because they have the abilities in working out things to accomplish the main goal of the created project team. These components should be considered by a project manager in setting up the project team and appointing tasks to each member. The possible reasons or issues also that may occur that may cause to the failure of the implementation of the project were, there might be a neglecting of leadership role, do not have a strategic vision for the project and keeping unrealistic expectations of others. It might also be lacking of skills within the team and an effective approach to project management. Another thing that I observed that must be done to prevent the implementation of the system is that, they did not or lack of monitoring, estimating and controlling their expenditures. This is one of the main cause why the project is a failure project. This might also includes not tracking of results and having the insufficient or incomplete business strategic plan. Staff or people problems might be lacking of communication or contact with the senior management.  An effective and stable communication with the team and with the senior management should also be perceive. Not keeping in touch with your head, or senior management may cause or produce issues while in the process of implementing the project. That is why an effective communication with your senior management must be observe. People’s problems could also be the lack of leadership, lack of effective project team integration between clients,the supplier team, and the supply chain.  Lack of leadership may lead the project to end up like a mess. Uniting clients, the supplier team and the team must also be done in order for each group to keep in touch with the project and its progress. People’s problems, which is one of the reason why a project fails could also include, does not have an enough resources because of over or under estimation of work and being unable to settle conflicts. Life cycle problems includes failing to clearly and completely define the requirements of the project, resulting in building the wrong features or gaps in the features needed, using new or state of the art technology that cause unprepared problems, late changing of requirements in the project and continuing change requests which cause the progress of the project to become slow. To prevent project failure, the project manager should have required weekly status reports. A status report of the start of the project and its completion dates of each activities or phases of the project. Each project has a target mission. In monitoring the progress of a project, there must be a record of which milestones have passed by the project team. How many percent or progress of the project that is completed. Any accomplishments worth mentioning. Important meetings attended. Any threats or potential risks to the projected timeline. Description of any problems the project team had encountered and resolved. Personnel or equipment limitations and budget status. Prevention of project failure must also observe on building an effective team by the project manager to consider the employee’s skill, experience, ability, the project ther are already working on and morale. The project team must also set a realistic schedule and stick with it. And Establish concrete, clear goal planning in project management.
                What I think that must be done to prevent failure of implementation of the system? As what I have stated above, there were these two factors which I think that will affect the implementation of the project. First is the budget. Budget or costing means a lot in implementing a project. It plays a big role in executing a project. Without a budget, how could a project be implemented? In the given scenario of the fourth case given, it was clearly stated that they were having issues or problems in the budgeting of costing for the Electronic Medical Record System in Hospitals’ Deliverables. It was just shown that this factor was really one of the main reasons that affects the said project. Proper budgeting or costing of resources needed for the execution of such project will give more probability for the project to be accomplished. If proper project planning have been done in the first place, they must not be having trouble or problems on budgeting. Another aspect which I have considered which will also affect more the implementation of the system is the proper project management or simply, project management. Why I considered this factor? Because this component is the main or top of all the important features of handling a project or of a project management. Proper managing of a project and following each phases or steps will more likely achieving the main and important objectives of the project. If every detail of project management steps is observed, the target deliverables will accomplished. Every single phase of project management life cycle is important. Missing one of its phases and components might give a chance for the project to end up like a mess. Each phase of the project management life cycle is dependent to each other that is why each step on the life cycle is very much vital to complete. In the given scenario, the project manager of the project team must followed the basic project management procedures. This procedures or processes is a very much required to a project to deliver effectively the target outcome of the deliverables. Following the project management life cycle’s steps will contribute a big help in minimizing the possibility of the project to fail.
                The project team, in the first place, ensure the leadership and ownership of the senior management and require effective engagement with the stakeholders of the project. The assurance that there is a sufficient skills and a proven approach in managing the project and risk. The project manager must be able to break down implementation into steps wherein it can be manageable enough. In additional, to prevent failure of the implementation of a project, the project team must maintain connectivity with its senior management. It is necessary for a project team to maintain an effective and working communication within the team, as well as with their higher positions, the senior management. They take orders from the senior management that helps their work be better, helps them to achieve what should be achieve and guide them to deliver the what needs to be deliver and produce a better outcome of the project. They must consider all the possible issues that may occur and prepared a necessary solution to it. In these basic steps, this will help to avoid failure of the project.
To sum up, the project team should  be prepared enough in the first place for the implementation of the project. They have should follow the basic processes of the project management life cycle. Because in the first place, this is the main key for a project to be a successful.In order to avoid failure of the project, they have should plan properly, hired the right members for the project team and have linked the project to the organization’s strategic priorities.

2. As a project manager, how would you handle this type of project scenario?
A project is simply defined as, it has a beginning and an ending. A business project is not simple as the project in schools. It is a business. A business project should be carefully planned and analyzed. Each decision that may affect in building the project, as long as possible, must be calculate. All things must be organized. Implementing of rules and procedures must be observed especially when it comes to big projects such as in the given scenario, electronic medical record system in a hospital. This system has a large scope  which is given the fact that it is covering the whole hospital’s medical record. Proper project management planning should be observed since the scope of the project is very big. And because of this, the bigger the project, the bigger the cost for its implementation. Budgeting of costs of resources needed should be analyze well. To attain the main goal and objectives of a certain project, the project team must identify first what needs to be identify, such as the scope of the project. How wide is its scope. In the given scenario, given the fact that it is a large hospital, it has a wide scope or coverage for the project. Considering the hospital’s numbeer of patients because the larger the hospital, the more number of patients to be consider. To identify the scope of the project is also identifying what are the limitations of the project. One thing that must be identify during the execution of the life cycle of project management is identifying and analyzing the possible alternatives which they can be use if error or issue would happen along the way. As part of planning, they must know the possible problems that may occur during the process of making the project and identify the risks that may affect the implementation of the project. Decisions and changes must be approved by the stakeholders of the project because approval is one of the steps that a project must be undergo.  
Managing a project is not an easy thing to do. It requires set of components that must be possess for a project manager to do. It needs a lot of preparation to be a project manager.  To be able to manage a certain thing, one must be able to know what he or she will going to do all about. What are the knowledge or information that he or she must learn in order to know and be prepared on any ups and downs that he or she may encounter along the way. He or she must be having the skills that will suffice the position that he or she is going to take. One who are going to manage a particular thing must be able to allocate enough time to be prepared on what he or she will going to do. It all starts in proper and effective preparaton and proper planning. In this question, let us redefine first what is a project manager all about and what are the roles that a project manager should be able to portray. Let us begin with the question, what is a project manager? Based on what I had understand in the book, Project Management Book of Knowledge, 5th edition, a project manager is someone who is responsible to lead a team which is also responsible for attaining the goal or objectives of a certain project. Being a project manager, he or she must lead her or his team, guide the progress of the project to produce deliverables and direct his or her team to what tasks of each of the member should do. From the words project manager, this kind of manager is someone who is capable enough to manage a project.Managing a project, managing means governing or leading a project, based on these two words does not means that it was only something that has a start and has an end. It also includes the project team that will pursue to achieve a particular goal and objectives of a given project. So, a project manager will just only means, governing a project and leading the project team to the success of the making of the project. As part of any position, there were roles or responsibilities a project manager needs to be done. The role of a project manager is not an easy thing also. Being one has lots of responsibilities attached to it. Being a project manager should be able to portray what a good leader must become and be a good model to his or her team. He or she should lead his or her team to achieve the main purpose of making the project, to complete its mission and attain its objectives and deliver the expected outcome or the deliverables to the stakeholders. He or she must identify and develop methodologies which may use in the making of the project. He or she, together with his or project team must set standards for the project and as a project manager, should also set standards for hiring the members of the project team to handle the project. To manage a project, he or she must direct his or her team to ensure that the project management plan is being followed and all its decisions must be aligned to the business plan of the project. In general, being a project manager is also accountable for fulfill the needs of his team as well as of the project.The needs of the task or activities within the making of the project, the needs of the project team and also, the needs of each individual. The project manager is someone who will be the bridge or the link between the strategy for the project and the team will make this project to become a successful one and will make this project’s strategy to be possible. The project manager leads his or her project team to produce deliverables of the project and this successful outcome is the main key for an organization to survive. Being a project manager, as what I have stated above, a project manager must be having the skills that will make him or her to be capable enough of being such.Knowledge, performance and personal. These were the abilities that a project manager should possessed to be an effective project manager. Knowledge is something that what the project manager knows about what is project management and its scope. Performance is applying the knowledge about project management of the project manager to be able to accomplish what must be achieve. And personal, it refers to how the project manager acts or perform his duties. Attitudes, characteristics and leadership, these helps guiding the project team while achieving the goals and the objectives of the project.
If I were going to be the project manager of this project, how will I handle this scenario? To be able to handle this scenario of this given case effectively, being a project manager should be prepared enough most of the time to any case that will happen along the way. Being prepared to be a project manager, must know what are the responsibilities attached in being a project manager. Being prepared with the set of plans for the project. Based on the given scenario, it was stated that they did not follow the basic project management processes. So, this is the main reason why the project fails. Because lack of proper management and not following the basic project management steps will more likely cause the project to fail. With no proper management simply means not having a commitment or communication with the individuals involved within the project. This simply means that in order to achieve success in making the project, they must first follow the basic project management processes of the project management life cycle. If I were going to be the project manager, first of all, I would analyze the project very carefully before accepting it. Considering all the staffs of the organization if I have capable enough and well skilled professionals that are able to handle this type of project. Consider also the resources or the budget allotted for the project if it is enough for the implementation of the system. Initiate, Plan, Execute and closure, these were the project management phases that a project must undergo. The Electronic Medical Record System in a hospital is a big project, given the fact that it must be implemented in a large hospital. Considering that it involves very important records for patients. And this is a large number of patients since the size of the hospital is stated as a large hospital. This is a big project that is why it needs proper planning and enough resources to be accomplish.
As part of the project management phases, planning will create or make the big part of the project to be a successful. If I will going to be the project manager, I would create a business plan that is aligned to the given project Another thing is the execution of the business plan. Planning without executing each of the plans is useless.Without executing, it will surely fail the project. One of the important thing that much affect the implementation of the system is the project’s budget. If planning is successful, there should not be a failure in regards to the budget of the project. But unfortunately, as what it is stated in the scenario, they did not even follow the basic project management procedures. That is why, there was no planning happened or it was just lack of planning.
Along the making of this project, as being the project manager, I will monitor the progress of the project. Keeping tracks of what the team is doing and making follow up to each of the member of my team. Checking out all of the progress of their assigned tasks. This will help the project team to monitor the progress of the project and be able to help each member of the team to know the details about the percentage of the work done by the team. Jotting down each of the milestones achieved by the project team. This will help analyzing which tasks were left that needs to be accomplished. Another thing is, the communication within the team and as well as the stakeholders. It is one of the very important things in order to achieve success. Cooperation within the project team helps them to ease the work for the implementation of the project. Another thing is, gather informations of the past project that may help to improve or to the implementation of this system. List down all the past mistakes that have been committed. By doing this, the project team will analyze and learn what should be do and what should not. This will help my project team to prepare for the implementation of the system. Identify the possible issues that may occur along the way and so that we can be able to prepare alternatives to it. By minimizing the occurrence of issues, this will save time for the project and can be able to avoid delays in implementing it..
Overall, being the project manager, all it need is an enough preparation, having enough skills, learning all the things that should be learned as a project manager and proper executing of tasks of a project manager. Following these will give the project team a high chance of achieving the main goal of the project and the delivering what must be delivered, the deliverables.
In all of what is stated above, the components mentioned must be put into consideration to prevent the failure of the implementation of the system. If the system will be implemented, if the project team will successfully deliver the deliverables on time, this Electronic Medical Record System is surely a big help to the patients of the hospital. With this, it will help the patients as well as the hospital’s staff, the doctors and nurses. This will ease them on tracking down and getting the medical record of a certain patient. If and only if, the project manager and the project team would successfully implement the project.

References:
-          www.fdic.gov/about/diversity/sbrp/310.ppt

-          Project Management Book Of Knowledge (PMBOK), 5th Edition

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