Project Planning Execution and Closure

Project Planning Execution and Closure

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Introduction

The core aim of any project is to accomplish the intended goals and objectives within the strictly allocated deadline and budget. However, the project manager must be determined and focused in strategizing project activities, identifying the relevant project stakeholders, planning for the roles and responsibilities of these stakeholders, monitoring the implementation of the project activities,  identifying and providing solutions to the unexpected issues or constraints that may hinder the project from achieving the set goals, among others.  Moreover, the implementation of some activities requires constant coordination between two or more stakeholders so as to be completed within the set duration. Apparently, the project manager cannot manage to achieve these roles without designing an effective communication plan that should be used to communicate with different project stakeholders (Kerzner, 2013). This paper pays high attention to the identification of various stakeholders who would be involved in the legacy billing system upgrade project of the IRTC Manufacturing Enterprises. Moreover, the paper also describes the required communication, frequency, format, and the responsibilities of both the initiator and the recipient in communication between the management and stakeholders.

Identifying Stakeholders

For the legacy billing system upgrade of the IRTC manufacturing company, there a number of stakeholders who would be involved. Apparently, the selection of these stakeholders is based on the project required goals and objectives, and the company`s rules and standards (Ten Step Incl. 2015). Among the stakeholders who would be involved in the upgrading project include, customers, sponsors, business analysts and end users (technical experts) among others.

Project Customers and users

Project customers or users of the upgraded legacy billing system that the project seeks to produce encompass the various business or departmental units that identified the need for the development of the software. Apparently, these stakeholders can be from the any level of the organization, such as the entry clerk level or the executive director (Ruhe & Wohlin, 2014).

Communication Mechanism

The project manager needs to develop a communication mechanism with project customers. The project manager needs to provide a brief description of the purpose of the project to this group of stakeholder, and its involvement to the system. In addition, the project manager needs to inform customers concerning the benefits that the legacy billing upgrade system project would have to them. For example, for the case of legacy billing upgrade project, customers will be accessing a billing customer service agent at will, as well as viewing and paying their bills online.

Frequency of communication

However, managers need to communicate with customers at the initial stages of the project, in order to gain customer or user support (it should be done on weekly basis). This would enable these stakeholders to gain adequate knowledge concerning legacy billing system upgrade project.

Communication format

The communication with these stakeholders should be preferably face to face in order to allow for an opportunity for answering questions and presenting demonstrations (Oideachais & Scileanna, 2014).

Secondary stakeholders to be involved

The communication process with the project`s customers and users may involve other stakeholders such as the end users. The end users will be required to explain the functioning of the upgraded billing system to those who will be assigned the responsibility of operating it.

Responsibility of the initiator and the recipient

The project manager and the end users have the responsibility of planning for this communication earlier in advance, in order to ensure that they will be precise and clear to the main ideas that they would present to the customers. On the other hand, project customers and users need to listen, decode the message, and respond by asking relevant questions relating to the project.

Project sponsors

Project sponsors are the core stakeholders of any project since they provides project funding, approves major deliverables, scope changes, resolves most project issues, as well as providing high level project direction.

Communication mechanism

The project manager needs to develop an effective communication mechanism that would ease the communication process with these stakeholders (Ten Step Incl. 2015). This is due to the fact that project managers need to inform and secure commitment with project sponsors, in order for the latter to continue funding the project and participating in various project processes.

Communication format

Project managers can communicate with project sponsors in numerous ways. For example, since sponsors need to be update in every decision or activity that takes place within the project, communication channels that ensures fast access of the message sent is required. The use of emails, phone calls, periodic face to face meetings, among others should be used. The format of the communication needs to be concise and straight forward in order to ease decoding of the contents of the message sent (Kerzner, 2013).

Frequency of communication

The frequency of communication with these stakeholders should be high, such as on daily basis. This is due to the fact that these stakeholders needs to be consulted and updated in every decision or activity that takes place within the project implementation process.

Secondary stakeholders to be involved

In order to adequately win the commitment of project sponsors, the project manager should involved other stakeholders such as business analysts and other technical experts. This will provide an opportunity for them to convince the sponsors concerning the effectiveness of the project.

Responsibilities of the initiator and recipient

The project manager has the responsibility of preparing the message earlier in advance in order to ensure that it reaches to the sponsors in a timely manner. On the other hand, sponsors should decode the message as soon as possible and provide their response on time in order to facilitate the implementation of activities within the allocated duration.

Technical experts

These are stakeholders who are involved in dealing with various hard wares and other technical machineries. These stakeholders are the corner stone of this project since the purpose and effectiveness of the billing system rests on their knowledge and skills.

Communication mechanism

Project managers need to communicate with these stakeholders in order to ensure timely completion of the project. The two parties need to ensure availability of these hard wares, the installation process, challenges encountered, among others (Ruhe & Wohlin, 2014).

Communication format

The communication vehicles can be face to face conversations, emails, reports, among others. Nevertheless, face to face communication should be highly embraced when immediate feedback is being required between the two parties, such as when solving some of the challenges that may emerge.

Frequency of Communication

The frequency of communication should be on hourly or daily basis, depending on the activity or activities being implemented.

Secondary stakeholders to be involved

The communication process with these stakeholders may involve other stakeholders such as the quality control, end users, sponsors, and even vendors. These stakeholders need to update project managers on frequent basis.

Role of the initiator and the recipient

The project manager has the responsibility of inquiring on periodic instances concerning the when and how the hardwares will be installed. On the other hand, these stakeholders need to update the project managers concerning their routine operations.

Summary

The development of this communication plan between the project manager and the key stakeholders of the legacy billing system upgrade project will ensure continuous funding of the project, and creating an environment that supports the implementation of the project activities. Communication is core contributing factor to the success of any project since it embraces collaboration stakeholders as well as solving challenges that are deemed to arise earlier in advance.

Conclusion

It is, therefore, evident that an effective communication plan is needed in order to facilitate the achievement of the project goals and objectives with the allocated time and budget. This communication plan would enable the legacy billing upgrading system project to be completed within the 9-12 weeks duration, and contribute to the enhancement of the company`s intended operations.

References

Kerzner, H., R., (2013). A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK® Guide)—Fifth Edition: Project Management Institute, USA.

Oideachais, A., and Scileanna, A., (2014). Effective communication plan. ETB/SOLAS PMO project office, department of education and skills. Retrieved from, https://www.education.ie/en/The-Department/Management-Organisation/ETB-SOLAS-Project-Management-Office/ETB_SOLAS_PMO_Newsletters/ETB-SOLAS-Project-Management-Office-Communications-Management-Plan-February-2014-.pdf

Ruhe, G., & Wohlin, C. (2014). Software project management in a changing world.

TenStep Incl. (2015). Stakeholder roles and responsibilities. Retrived from, http://www.lifecyclestep.com/open/408.0LifecycleRoles.htm

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