Management Area For Investigation Information Technology Essay

Publications presenting the project and describing its results are the most common method to disseminate project results. Projects often develop deliverables that are technically difficult and complex. By the end of this paper I will be able to identify and justify a management project, conduct research using sources and analyze data and options, conclusions and recommendations that achieve the project aim and also to show and review the results of the project. A project is a temporary endeavor with a defined beginning and end (usually time-constrained, and often constrained by funding or deliverables), undertaken to meet unique goals and objectives, typically to bring about beneficial change or added value. Regardless of the methodology employed, careful consideration must be given to the overall project objectives, timeline, and cost, as well as the roles and responsibilities of all participants and stakeholders.

TASK 1

Assess and determine a management area for investigation that has an implication for a work-related area

Project management is the science (and art) of organizing the components of a project, whether the project is development of a new product, the launch of a new service, a marketing campaign, or a wedding. A project isn’t something that’s part of normal business operations. It’s typically created once, it’s temporary, and it’s specific. As one expert notes, “It has a beginning and an end.” A project consumes resources (whether people, cash, materials, or time), and it has funding limits. There are two general directions you can take to establish a successful training program: you can establish and grow your in-house project management training, or hire a company that specializes in training project professionals. (What is Project Management? )

Identify and state concisely the aim, scope and objective of the project

Managing a project calls for clear objectives. After all, a project’s outcomes may be the products or services you develop or the results of using these products and services. The more clearly you define your project’s objectives, the more likely you are to achieve them. Include the following elements in your objectives: A brief narrative description of what you want to achieve. Measures: Indicators you’ll use to assess your achievement. The value(s) of each measure that define success. Sometimes people try to avoid setting a specific target by establishing a range of values that defines successful performance. The more specific your project objectives are, the greater your chances are of achieving them. If you take an entire page to describe a single objective, most people won’t read it. Even if they do read it, objective probably won’t be clear and may have multiple interpretations. Each industry (such as pharmaceuticals, telecommunications, finance, and insurance) has its own vocabulary, and so does each company within that industry. (Portny, 2010)

The Scope Statement is an essential element of any project. Project managers use a Scope Statement to outline the results their project will produce and the terms and conditions under which they will perform their work. The people who requested the project and the project team should agree to all terms in the Scope Statement before actual project work begins. Of course, predicting the future is impossible. In fact, the farther into the future you try to look, the less certain your predictions can be. However, your Scope Statement represents your project commitments based on what you know today and expect to be true in the future. If and when situations change, you have to assess the effect of the changes on all aspects of your project and propose the necessary changes to your Scope Statement. (Portny, 2010)

Justify the aim and objective of the project

Project Justifications an attempt to explain why an organization needs to implement a particular solution to a problem and how this solution can be implemented. It is a process that starts at the Project Initiation phase to confirm the need for launching a project that addresses the problem through implementing the solution. Justifying a project means providing the stakeholders with a comprehensive analysis of the environment to be changed by the project. The project is justified when the analysis gives an interpretation and evaluation of all the results to be delivered by the project. (Linman, 2011)

It is always a risk to run a project that does not have a sound purpose. The justification and validity of the project needs to be confirmed before the project proceeds, otherwise, the time, cost and quality of the project can be compromised. Clarification of the purpose and justification with your Sponsor is vitally important. Justification of the project in relation to strategic plans,Priority of the project in relation to other projects that might be competing for funds or resources this will indicate the level of importance of the project to the university and therefore the likelihood of other projects taking priority if resources become scarce.Line of authority regarding project expenditure,requirements for project reporting, escalation procedure if risks are triggered in relation to the project who will be prepared to manage organizational issues if they arise in relation to the project in order to make sure that the project is delivered on time and on budget. If there are other related projects or work being undertaken that might have an impact on your project and if any decisions have already been made or any work has already been done in relation to your project. (Project Purpose and Justification, 2006)

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TASK 2

Identify and list brief details of sources of data and information for the project

Data describes a real-world information resource that is important to your application. Data describes the things, people, products, items, customers, assets, records, and ultimately data structures that your application finds useful to categorize, organize, and maintain. Identifying data is an iterative process. At first you may just know some vague, high-level details about how the application must handle its information. As you keep expanding your knowledge of the application’s intended business processes, you continue filling in more details. The process of identifying data requires interviews, analysis of existing data structures, document preparation, and peer reviews. The eventual result is a documented, conceptual view of your application’s information that answers the data questions of “What, where, when, and why?” Generally, this is an early-stage exploration of how the various departments, organizations, and your application need to use data. (Microsoft)

Data are plain facts. When data are processed, organized, structured or presented in a given context so as to make them useful, they are called Information. It is not enough to have data (such as statistics on the economy). Data in themselves are fairly useless. But when these data are interpreted and processed to determine its true meaning, they become useful and can be called Information. Data is the computer’s language. Information is our translation of this language. We cannot consider the data rendered as information but only ‘informative’ because only procedural, algorithmic agency will be involved. Our present day computers can do this. In the example above they could be designed to recognize the above data string, instructed to recognize that it is a product of relative primes, and then to rearrange it into a quadrilateral. (Data vs Information)

Consider and analyze the data and information for options or alternatives that meet the project aim

Data analysis and interpretation is the process of assigning meaning to the collected information and determining the conclusions, significance, and implications of the findings. The steps involved in data analysis are a function of the type of information collected; however, returning to the purpose of the assessment and the assessment questions will provide a structure for the organization of the data and a focus for the analysis. The analysis of narrative (qualitative) data is conducted by organizing the data into common themes or categories. It is often more difficult to interpret narrative data since it lacks the built-in structure found in numerical data. Initially, the narrative data appears to be a collection of random, unconnected statements. The assessment purpose and questions can help direct the focus of the data organization. The following strategies may also be helpful when analyzing narrative data. (Office of Institutional Research and Assessment )

Data analysis techniques include univariate analysis (such as analysis of single-variable distributions), bivariate analysis, and more generally, multivariate analysis. Multivariate analysis, broadly speaking, refers to all statistical methods that simultaneously analyze multiple measurements on each individual or object under investigation; as such, many multivariate techniques are extensions of univariate and bivariate analysis.(Quantitative, Positivist Research Methods in Information Systems)

Present arguments and ideas in a logical sequence to support the chosen option or alternative

When trying to make a good decision, a person must weigh the positives and negatives of each option, and consider all the alternatives. For effective decision making, a person must be able to forecast the outcome of each option as well, and based on all these items, determine which option is the best for that particular situation. A major concern in management has been to understand and improve decision making. Decision making is the process of generating and evaluating alternatives and making choices among them. At this point in the decision-making process, however, it is important to consider all feasible ways by which the problem can be solved. Once the problem or opportunity has been recognized and analyzed, decision makers begin to consider taking action. The next stage is to generate possible alternative solutions that will respond to the needs of the situation and correct the underlying causes. One study found that limiting the search for alternatives is a primary cause of decision failure in organizations. (Armesh, 2009)

TASK 3

Produce an evaluation of the research to make conclusions

Analysis of methods for research evaluation shows that new methods are still being developed – more variants of peer review, new types of research indicators, methods for the assessment of relevance and societal quality and increasing numbers of integrated models. The international survey of evaluation practice reveals rich variety. Research evaluation takes place on many levels, from the level of systems to the level of programs or institutions to the level of basic units. Different countries have developed different systems for evaluation that serve different purposes. Some countries use research evaluation as a direct determinant for the distribution of resources. Other countries have developed systems for research evaluation that serve primarily for collecting experience and improving quality. In some systems, peer review is the fundamental method. In certain contexts, research evaluation is prospective (ex-ante), as, for example, when applications in the research council system are sent for peer review. In other contexts research evaluation is retrospective when, for example, an institute’s or programs previous results are assessed. (Hansen, 2009)

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Research evaluation can also be an ongoing process either in the form of the monitoring of activities in progress or as mid-term evaluation linked to fixed-term initiatives. Research evaluation can be organized in many ways. The differentiation between internal evaluations on the one hand, where the evaluator is placed internally in the organization responsible for the object of evaluation, and external evaluation on the other, where the evaluator is external in relation to the organization responsible, is a classic distinction in the evaluation literature. In practice, however, there are many ways to combine internal and external elements in an evaluation process that involves a number of phases, from initiation to establishment of purpose, delimitation of object of evaluation, design, and data collection, formulation of conclusion and possible recommendations and application of the evaluation results. (Hansen, 2009)

State a recommendation of a course of action to meet the project aim

The effective management of employees and the organisation as whole is increasingly being recognized as a major determinant of success or failure in different business (1993). In a business, the employees are considered as one of the important aspects which enable the company to achieve their organisational goal. The employees are the one who are considered as the valuable asset of an organisation. In return, the management of the organisation should be able to develop a management system that would help the company retain good staff and to encourage them to give of their best while at work requires attention to the financial and psychological and even physiological rewards offered by the organization. (The relationship investigation of employee, 2011)

Experience shows that when projects are being planned, the task of establishing a sound basis for goals and objectives, and defining them properly, is not given sufficient attention. Yet, these are the most fundamental elements of planning. A good plan alone is no guarantee for a good project. However, a plan which builds on a weak foundation can lead to a good project idea developing into a poor project. Project proposals and plans differ in style and in degree of detail on specific activities. The differences depend on the type of project, but many are also matters of choice. Some prefer a loose framework plan with details to be filled in along the way. Others prefer a more detailed master plan. When one considers applying for donor funding then certainly a well written, detailed project proposal has to be made. Regardless of what is chosen, the essential elements described below will make up the basis for the project document. (Touwen, 2001)

Evaluate the factors such as risk, cost, time and human resources which could impact upon the project recommendations

The factors that affect a project’s success are very consistent. They include knowledge, preparation, organization, leadership, teamwork, timeliness and effective conclusion. Each one of these factors is equally critical to the successful outcome of any worthy undertaking, and all should be taken very seriously. A project manager needs to be very careful that work in progress stays on course as the project nears its end. Some employees have a tendency to drop the ball or let things slide as the conclusion approaches. Costs may exceed budget. However, excellence must prevail all the way to the finish line. (Faber)

Scheduling tasks in your project plan to reflect the reality of your situation, as well as your customer requirements, can be a challenge. The six key factors that drive the calculation of time that is, of dates and duration in Project are: Project start date, task durations, task dependencies, project calendars, task constraints and deadlines, resource assignments and task types. When you understand how these six aspects of scheduling affect your project plan, you will have the necessary framework to develop and maintain your project plans. You will also know how to troubleshoot and eliminate any problems that occur when you optimize your plan for time, which is one side of the project triangle. This article gives tips and techniques for using the six key factors that affect the calculation of a task’s start date, finish date, and duration. (Microsoft, 2003)

TASK 4

Consider the best medium to be used to show the results of the project

One of the most important parts of the report is the presentation of results. However, do not simply include massive printouts of raw data. That will be virtually unintelligible to a reader. Instead, organize and present your data in a way that focuses on and highlights the important ideas. It may be a table, chart, or graph, but be sure to spend adequate time preparing high-quality visualization aids that enhance your final report. All tables, charts, figures, and graphs should be numbered and have titles. Both the number and the title should be centered either directly above or directly below the table. Here are some other things to remember when presenting your results: All rows and columns should have an appropriate title; All units should be clearly indicated; Tables should be referred to in the text by their figure number; The analysis and meaning of the values contained in the table should be fully elaborated in the body of the text. Make the visual large enough that all the text and data values can be easily read. Where appropriate, use color to highlight your chart and make it easier to understand and interpret. (Tips on presenting the results of your project in project report)

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Produce the results of the project in a logical concise and structured way

Dissemination is the process of making the results and deliverables of a project available to the stakeholders and to the wider audience. Dissemination is essential for take-up, and take-up is crucial for the success of the project and for the sustainability of outputs in the long term. Each project must develop a dissemination strategy, as part of the overall project plan. The dissemination strategy needs to explain how the visibility of the project outputs and outcomes will be maximized, and how the project outcomes will be shared with stakeholders, relevant institutions, organizations, and individuals. In addition to a dissemination strategy, projects must also develop an exit/sustainability strategy outlining what should happen to the project outputs at the end of the project, and to explore how they can be sustained. (European Commission, 2012)

Like the dissemination strategy, it will consider the processes necessary for embedding, and take-up by the community. However, where dissemination tends to focus on activities to inform, educate, and engage, sustainability tends to focus on models and scenarios. rojects often develop deliverables that are technically difficult and complex. This is fine for internal discussions, but not for dissemination. A good starting point is to revisit the stated project outcomes, and consider the changes the project will stimulate or enable. The outcomes may relate to what people will be able to do better, faster, or more efficiently because of what the project has achieved. (European Commission, 2012)

Produce an executive summary (for stakeholders)

The dissemination and sustainability strategy should be based on a stakeholder analysis. A stakeholder is anyone who has a vested interest in the project or will be affected by its outcomes. A stakeholder analysis is an exercise in which stakeholders are identified, listed, and assessed in term of their interest in the project and importance for the its success, dissemination and sustainability. When they use a language that is appropriate for the target audience, publications can add to the visibility of the project. Conferences, workshops, or case studies based on the project can ensure that the project has a high profile, that the community learns from its achievements, and that the outputs are embedded and taken up. They also offer the advantage that communication can go in both directions: members of the target community can be invited to contribute ideas and brainstorm about ways to make use of the project results. Thinking early in the project about the use of results will maximize the impact of dissemination and the sustainability of its outputs. (European Commission, 2012)

Discuss the impact of the project on the work-related area

An impact analysis is an early-phase assessment to identify all stakeholders, their needs, their awareness, and their insight into the project – you want to invite people into the change.  Inviting people in develops deeper commitment, understanding, and ownership to the change they will work and live within. Participation is the difference between getting a project done and getting a project accomplished.  This is the beginning of risk management:  managing the scope is managing the risk. An organization is inter-related and change to one unit causes bigger ripple effect. The identification of who is impacted will guide how to manage stakeholders, scope, training, communication. (Elwin, 2012)

To understand impact you need to include every conceivable point of contact: customer, audience, influencer, competitor; and time invested on impact directly improves scope planning. Managers need to think broader and they should have the courage to convert impossible to possible. When management does not think of their role in the organization system it is leadership’s fault for letting the organization grow too fast, promoting individual contributors into management without clear preparation, and a broken culture. Managers, and others, focus on what makes their life easiest to accomplish tasks. In absence of guidance, direction, and consistency, they, like most, take care of themselves. (Elwin, 2012)

Conclusion:

A ‘task’ does not necessarily have to be called a ‘project’ in order for project management methods to be very useful in its planning and implementation. Even the smallest task can benefit from the use of a well-chosen project management technique or tool, especially in the planning stage. The project plan should typically undergo resource leveling, and the longest sequence of resource-constrained tasks should be identified as the critical chain. In some cases, such as managing contracted sub-projects, it is advisable to use a simplified approach without resource leveling. The knowledge that I have gathered while doing this paper will help me in the future when I will enter the corporate world or have a business of my own. Project management methods and tools can therefore be useful far more widely than people assume.

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