My Own Experience In Project Management
I have been employed as a senior project manager at Delphi Printers & Peripherals to design and create a consumer printer that is more innovative than my competitor can offer. Thus, I would need to create a product design team to stand against my competitor.
The purpose of this essay is to discover, describe and explain the three constraints of project management, scope, budget, and schedule. The scope will determine the successfulness of the project hence, I will be using relevant sources, tools, and techniques to prove that my decision-making will contribute to the project. Therefore, I can beat my competitor in terms of sales and profit.
Triple constraints are the constraint of project management, scope, cost and time. According to Atkinson, “the first definition success criteria was time, quality and money”. This was known as the iron triangle, in my case, I will be using scope, time, and budget. (Reference 1)
A project can be considered successful if it has achieved a long-term goal even though the project management side was unsuccessful. But excellent project management skills can help and boost up the project’s success. (Reference 2). Thus, it is important to have a project manager to plan, control, and think ahead of issues when they occur. Also, the project manager needs to set objectives and requirements to employees each day to succeed in the overall project. The project’s scope was controlled by me; thus, I’ve managed to complete the project in the set amount of time of 17 weeks. In the simulation, my goal was to create a level 3 high-speed printer to compete with our competitor. But I’ve decided to step things up and design a level 4 multi-functional printer. This means that my team would need to spend more time designing the level 4 printer, hence, the increase of cost but time remained the same as 17 weeks.
Budget is the second constraint in the iron triangle, this constraint is divided into several costs such as labour (salary), resources, and development of the prototype. In my case, my overall total cost was $59,340 which exceeded the target budget of $44,000 (exceeded $15,340). This was due to the high spec level 4 multi-functional printer, which required extra labour, time, development, and materials. From week 1, I was already behind schedule, this means that I won’t be able to bring out the level 4 multi-functional printer by week 17. To ensure that I finish on time, I’ve decided that from week 11 onwards, I hired medium-high workers so I can bring out my printer by the due week. Thus, this means that my budget will be over the limit but in return, I developed a higher spec printer than our competitor (level 3 high-speed printer). (Reference 3)
The schedule is the last constraint in the ‘Iron Triangle” which is also my last constraint for my project. I have successfully managed to bring out my level 4 multi-functional printer at the end of week 17 but my competitor brought their level 3 high-speed printer at week 12. Thus, I’ve decided to allow my workers to overtime to work on the project but after 2 weeks of overtime, problems occurred, I can see that my workers are feeling stressed therefore to prevent them from leaving I’ve changed the hours to encouraged. (Reference 4). This means that I’ve got limited each day to complete the task hence I’ve decided to cut down on stand-ups and status reports. This will give the workers more time to develop the multi-functional printer.
The project manager is not only responsible for the three constraints, scope, budget, and time. They are also responsible for quality assurance, communication between co-workers and risk management. In project management, the risk is uncertainty as it could happen at any stage. But there is also positive risk meaning something good could happen. According to “Murphy’s Law” “risk is viewed as a barrier to success”. (Reference 5). In the simulation, my competitor has announced that will be releasing their level 3 high-speed printer 5 weeks earlier than our level 4 multi-functional printer. Thus, I have decided to continue on our schedule and complete our project by week 17. I’ve kept to my schedule due to the fact that I know I won’t be able to release my printer any sooner than my competitor hence I will be continuing on the development of the level 4 multi-functional printer. By maintaining stress levels, risk levels, and team communication, I have minimised my risk to the lowest hence the completion time meet the management target time of 17 weeks. (Reference 6)
Until week 11 during the project, I realised that 4 medium workers will not help me complete the project by week 17, thus I’ve decided to change the workers and hire 4 medium-high workers at the end, this overall helped with the completion of the project. In the 17 weeks, I’ve only allowed them to work 4 weeks overtime and the rest of 13 weeks was encouraged. This was due to the stress levels being too high if they were to work overtime every week hence, I’ve allowed them to choose whether to work overtime or not.
Outsourcing risk was a benefit for my project, but it was also risk too. The benefit of outsourcing is a low-cost way to complete the project as it can assist our workers in completing their tasks. In weeks 1-3, I used outsourcing for the primary task with an average of 4 problems discovered each week. From weeks 4-17, I’ve used outsourcing as extensive which gradually increases problems from 5 all the way up to 9 problems each weak. I had no other option but to use them extensively as I was already over budget. From week 4 onwards, my project was slowing down due to the problems discovered. This will affect the overall quality of the project due to the outsourcing provider which created a risk to the project thus and it also added stress to my workers. (Reference 7)
Teamwork is where “3 or more people which collaborate with each other within the organization”. Teamwork in a project will be more successful than those who work alone in a project. (Reference 8). Information sharing between colleagues will aid in decision-making so errors can be reduced in a project and thus, a lower chance of project failure. As a project manager for project gamma, I have made plans for my workers such as one on one coaching, daily stand-ups and status report. This will allow my workers to know what to do each day, task and progress that needs to be met each day, and ensuring that all workers all informed on the stage of the project every 3 weeks. Therefore, increasing daily task completion, decrease problems and risk.
Overall this essay talks about the triple constraints (iron triangle), scope, budget, and schedule. Further, on the essay, I have talked about how my project has succeeded by completing it before week 17 but went over budget by $15,340 which was due to designing a level 4 multi-functional printer which required extra labour, time, development, and materials thus we were 5 weeks later than our competitors level 3 high-speed printer. The second point, I’ve talked about risk as not every project will come out successful. In my scenario, the project did have its downs as I had up to 9 problems each week due to the extensive outsourcing of allowing outsiders who know nothing about this project to work on the development of the level 4 multi-functional printer. Lastly, I talked about teamwork as without teamwork the project will occur problems like arguments between colleagues and I’ve also allowed my workers to know about the plans for this development as some other companies keep it confidential. Consequently, my project did come out successful as I manage to bring out my level 4 multi-function printer out into market within 17 weeks.
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