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Project management Case Study

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Project management Case Study

Introduction - Project Management

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The concept of project management refers to the process of leading ad directing the project work and project activities for the purpose of attaining the desired project goals and outcomes within the given project constraints. This process is very essential to be enhanced properly so that the entire project can be directed and produced suitably and appropriately in relation to the demands of customers and various stakeholders. The purpose of this project report is to critically study and review the provided case study of “Safeguarding Vulnerable Children Project” and identify a new base in the city centre so that project can be initiated and get completed. While reviewing the case study, some suitable tools of project management will be applied including the PESTEL analysis, RACI matrix and risk analysis or mitigation. In addition to this, some important stakeholders will be identified and stakeholders’ management strategies will be formulated to attain their needs and desires with the project. Each tool will be discussed and evaluated with the help of a diagram and a work breakdown structure will also be presented along with a Gantt chart.

Description of the Case Study

This project case study is about setting up a new Multi-Agency Safeguarding Hub (MASH) in the city and bringing together all the professionals from health, police, education and social departments to safeguard vulnerable children and young people (CYP) more effectively and efficiently. It has been researched by The Guardian (2020) that during the period of 2018-2019, there were 99,139 cases of physical abuse in England the rate of physical abuse offences was 197.4 % per 10,000 adolescents which was four times the rate of 48.7 % per 10,000 children aged less than 11 years. Therefore, to provide support and safeguard children and young people from all such kind of abuses, this hub has been created.

The case study requires the identification of a new base in the city so that the new office can be refurbished and newly recruited staff can be located to the new office. It must be ensured that the new office should be spacious where different teams can be located and work freely without feeling congested. Therefore, the building needs to be identified, refurbished and staff as well as the equipment should get transferred to the new site within the period of 6 months and within the budget of £75,000.

Application of the project management tools

PESTLE Analysis

This framework is highly beneficial in analyzing the key factors and their impacts that can be observed on the success/ failure of the project. It offers the professional insight regarding the external factors that have been discussed in relation to the case study as follows:

Political factors

Political stability is considered as the biggest strength of the UK, but Brexit has created some uncertainties and recent increase in violence and crimes have caused serious concerns. This can bring a maximum number of cases to the MASH as the rise in violence can physically abuse the children and young people and could make them depressed. The relations of the UK with the United States are good and hence MASH could expand its services to the United States also after leading towards sustainable development and growth in the coming years (Kerzner, 2015).

Economic factors

The UK is viewed as the 6th largest economy in the world in terms of its nominal GDP but high economic pressure has been found on the UK due to the global lockdowns as the businesses of many industries have got drastically impacted. This can affect the budget constraint of the project because due to the lack of business and profits among the industries, none of the business organizations will provide financial help for the execution of the MASH project. Also, the corporate tax rate in the UK for company profits is 19 % that reflects that MASH might be required to pay high amount of taxes out of its savings and earnings that could restrict its future growth and expansion.

Social factors

The current population in the UK is over 68 million and it is expected to get increased to 74 million by the end of 2039. The increase in population can eventually result into increase in the number of physical abuse and violence cases among children and young people and eventually MASH would need to offer services which would result into increased revenue and profits. Also, UK is considered as one of the top 10 countries that has the educated population in the world and this shows that MASH might has the opportunity of handling maximum cases of enhancing education of the children as the UK stands at Rank No. 3 among the best countries (Kerzner, 2015).

Technological factors

UK is technologically advanced country and London is viewed as the great hub for both technological as well as the financial institutions. The rapid advancements in technology can increase the overall budget of the project as MASH would need to install new and advanced technologies for rendering the services related to education, health and social care to the affected children and young people. On the same point, MASH can grab the favourable opportunities of rising profits and long-term sustainability as the use of technology for rendering services can attract maximum people towards the centre or hub for receiving better and quality treatment (Dasovi? et al., 2020).

Legal factors

All the rights and interests of employees working within the organizations of the UK are being protected by the legal acts such as The Employment Act 1996 which secures the maternity and paternity leaves of employees, holiday pay, sick pay and minimum wages. The employees are also provided with the legal protection from any kind of discrimination under the Equality Act 2010. In consideration to the legal factors, MASH would need to perform all the activities by complying with the legal laws and legislation. This could be a complex task for MASH because it would be engaging with different departments of health, social care, education and police and therefore, the staff of all the departments must be provided with the legal security.

Environmental factors

Though the project of MASH would not get affected by the environmental factors but it would be highly responsible for performing its corporate social responsibility of creating environmental awareness to the children and eliminating the use of plastic so that each student could learn the right message while receiving the services from MASH. This can help the hub to attain the sustainable growth and success within the competitive market (Dasovi? et al., 2020).

Figure: PESTEL Analysis diagram

Source: By Author, 2021

Risk Analysis and Mitigation

This tool of project management can help the team members to identify risks associated with the project and evaluate their impacts on the project activities and success. The component of mitigation could further help the project team members to figure out the strategies that could minimize the negative effects of the determined risks (Eskerod and Vaagaasar, 2014). The project of MASH might face some risks that have been discussed and analyzed as below:

  • Limited budget (Risk 1): The standard amount of budget that has been fixed is 75000 Euros but this amount can be increased if any new technology arrives in the market or MASH may be required to adopt new trends or patterns in the market. Also, the rise in the prices for the purchase of equipment and making the payment to the staff members; all such expenses might result into increase in the amount of project budget (Marcella and Rowley, 2015). For example, when the number of physical violence or depression cases gets increased, then MASH would need to hire more professionals that will eventually lead the hub to this particular risk.
  • Limited time period (Risk 2): The time period that has been defined for the final execution of this project is only 6 months which is very limited because the refurbishment of the new office, locating the staff members and installation of the new technology can consume a lot of time and this defined period of 6 months can be increased. It is very important to develop strong plans and strong planning requires a lot of time as many aspects are being considered, researched, investigated and then some reliable strategies are made. The poor planning could create many hurdles during the project execution (Pereira et al., 2013).
  • Operational risk (Risk 3): This risk can be faced due to poor implementation and quality may get negatively influenced. MASH may not achieve the desired outcomes that have been planned or expected by the project managers. This risk can affect the long-term sustainable success of MASH as due to this kind of risks, the children and young people might not be able to trust on the services that are being offered by MASH (Marcella and Rowley, 2015).
  • Strategic risk (Risk 4): Some common mistakes during the planning and execution phases of project management can result into such kinds of risks. For example, the formulation of ineffective strategies or buying/ installing the wrong technological software that is not able to meet the project needs and requirements; then it could increase both the cost and time of the project (Mihalache, 2017).
  • Technological risk (Risk 5): This risk can have the big impact on the project because installation of the technical equipment is a big decision that involves high amount of investment and time for the development of strategic plans. The rapid advancements in technology might demand MASH to re-install the current software or buy the new one; therefore such kind of risk can increase the budget and schedule for the project (Pereira et al., 2013).

The assessment of all the above discussed risks has been made in terms of their likelihood and consequences with the help of using a risk assessment matrix as shown below:

Likelihood

Consequences

Insignificant

Minor

Moderate

Major

Catastrophic

Almost certain

-

-

Risk 1

Risk 2

Risk 1

Likely

-

-

Risk 3

Risk 2

-

Possible

-

-

-

Risk 4

Risk 4

Unlikely

-

-

Risk 3

-

Risk 5

Rare

-

-

-

Risk 5

Risk 5

  • Low – Green
  • Moderate – Yellow
  • High – Orange
  • Critical – Red

The identified and discussed risks can be mitigated with the help of adopting any of the following options/ strategies of risk mitigation:

  • Assuming/ Accepting: Without engaging in any kind of special efforts for controlling the likely or possible risks, it is better to accept the risk. Such strategy or option of risk mitigation can be taken only with the approval of project leaders. Risk 1 can fall under this category where the project managers of MASH could accept it as a deliberate decision.
  • Avoiding: This strategy can be adopted by adjusting some crucial constraints of project so that the risk can be eliminated. Some of the avoiding options for Risk 2 might include ensuring a slight increase in the project schedule or eliminating few project activities that could consume much time during the project execution (Mihalache, 2017).
  • Controlling: While adopting this risk mitigation strategy, some crucial actions are required to be implemented for minimizing the likelihood or impact of the risk. Risk 3 can be controlled or mitigated through this option such ensuring the strict control over the quality performance of MASH services and quality professionals can be hired (Dziadosz and Rejment, 2015).
  • Transferring: This strategy would require MASH to reassign organizational accountability, responsibility and authority related to the particular risk to any other stakeholder who might be willing to take that risk. In the case of MASH project, Risk 5 can be transferred to any IT professional company that could manage this risk and guide MASH for installing the right IT software according to its services and needs (Mir and Pinnington, 2014).
  • Watching/ Monitoring: Under this strategy, the environment needs to get monitored so that impact of risks can get reduced. While mitigating Risk 4, the project team members could ensure close monitoring on the implementation of adopted strategies so that they may not get failed in their final execution (Muriana and Vizzini, 2017).

Figure: Risk mitigation diagram

Source: By Author, 2021

RACI Matrix

This is another tool of project management that structures and clearly describes the roles and responsibilities of different stakeholders to be played by them during the execution of the project. Based on this tool, the stakeholders may need to perform the following crucial roles:

Responsible

These are those people who do the project work for ensuring its final execution and completion. These stakeholders are being assigned with some tasks and activities related to the project or making certain decisions for the project success. For instance, the project managers of MASH will need to monitor all the project activities and education department will need to provide education services to the children (Mir and Pinnington, 2014).

Accountable

They are the people who represent as the owner of particular project activity or task. On the completion of particular project tasks, they are required to approve or sign off the completed document. For example, the hired IT Company will be accountable for the final suggestion of technological software to MASH project and project managers will be accountable for ensuring the project success (Chadli et al., 2016).

Consulted

These stakeholders need to give their input before the work related to the project gets done and they are observed in the loop and are considered as the active participants. Some of the consulted stakeholders may include hired IT Company, shareholders who would be investing in the MASH project and project managers (Dziadosz and Rejment, 2015).

Informed

These people need to be kept within the entire picture of MASH project and regular updates would need to be send to them regarding the implemented decisions, adopted strategies and progress of the project (Chadli et al., 2016). They are not required to be formally consulted and also they do not directly contribute to the project tasks and decisions. Some of the informed stakeholders in the case of MASH project may include children, their parents, young people, government and the residents of the country.

Stakeholders/ Project phases

Initiation

Planning

Execution

Control

Closure

Project managers

R

R

C & I

A

R

Education staff

I

I

R

I

I

Health staff

I

I

R

I

I

Police department

I

I

R

I

I

Children and Young people (CYP)

-

-

I

-

I

Financial sponsors

I

I & C

C

I

I

Stakeholder Management Strategy

The strategy of managing stakeholders can work as a crucial approach of identifying stakeholders and documenting their roles or responsibilities by which their support or negative impacts can be ascertained throughout the project execution process. The plan of stakeholder’s management involves the adoption of favourable strategies by which right information can be communicated to all of them within the systematic format and proper frequency (Regano et al., 2016). For managing different stakeholders of the project, a stakeholders’ management plan can be developed by which MASH project can attain sustainable success and standard flow can be ensured (Verbeke and Tung, 2013).

Developing a suitable plan for managing stakeholders is the best way as it is a written document that helps in outlining the plans that can be adopted for managing expectations and goals of different stakeholders during the lifecycle of the project. It has been evaluated that is very important for the project managers of MASH project to ensure better management of stakeholders so that strong relationships among various project stakeholders can be developed and sustained, suitably and appropriately (Shreve and Kelman, 2014). The establishment of sound relationships and better understanding can contribute to sustainable project success. Further, the stakeholders’ management plan could help MASH project to properly understand various positive and negative constraints (Pedrini and Ferri, 2019).

Stakeholders

Roles and responsibilities

Stakeholders’ interests

Stakeholders’ influences

Stakeholders’ goals

Contribution of stakeholders

Communication method

Project managers

Planning for the project activities

Organizing project team work

Delegating roles to the team members

Managing project deliverables

Conducting regular meetings

Communicating project vision with team members

Monitoring project progress

Controlling time management

High

High

Attaining project success

Monitoring project activities daily and attaining smaller as well as longer success during the project

Face-to-face meetings, emails and calls

Education staff

Planning and teaching moral lessons to the children

Monitoring and reporting their learning needs

Participating in team meetings

High

High

Keeping CYP educated with moral values, beliefs and confidence

Providing quality education to CYP

Virtual meetings and calls

Health staff

Bring the children out of physical abuse and depression

Managing mental health of CYP

Making CYP aware about exercising regularly and having proper healthy diets

High

High

Keeping CYP healthy and fit (both mentally and physically)

Ensuring health and safety of CYP and other professionals working for MASH

Calls and virtual meetings

Police department

Catching up the criminals who have caused physical abuse or mental abuse to CYP

Arresting the criminals based on legal charges

High

High

Catching criminals aiming to reduce violence cases

Protecting CYP and office of MASH

Face-to-face meetings

Children and Young people (CYP)

Sharing the complete information about their problems or issues to the respective department

Trusting and having faith in MASH

Keeping patience during the phase of their treatments

Moderate

Low

Getting recovered at MASH

Providing reliable feedback for the services of MASH

Emails and calls

Financial sponsors

Providing the required funds to MASH for expanding operations and further development

Helping out MASH with shortage of funds

High

High

Providing funds to MASH, whenever required

Contributing standard amount of funds

Emails and face-to-face meeting

Work Breakdown Structure 

Figure: Work break down structure diagram

Source: By Author, 2021

The above structure has demonstrated five phases of project management including project initiation, planning, execution, control and closure. Each phase include certain set of activities to be performed for better understanding and systematic execution of the MASH project.

Gantt chart

It is another effective tool of project management that helps in planning and scheduling each project activity that has been given in the work break down structure as shown in the previous section. This particular tool can greatly help in managing complex projects, like MASH. The identified project activities have been scheduled to get completed within the period of 6 months. Its diagrammatic presentation is shown below:

Figure: Gantt chart

Source: By Author, 2021

Conclusion

It can be concluded project management is a crucial process that requires continuous monitoring and reviewing for leading towards sustainable project success. This individual project report involved the detailed discussion of project management tools such as PESTEL analysis, RACI matrix and stakeholder management strategy along with their application within the context of case study. A stakeholder management plan and work break down structure was developed.

References

Chadli, S.Y., Idri, A., Ros, J.N., Fernández-Alemán, J.L., de Gea, J.M.C. and Toval, A., 2016. Software project management tools in global software development: a systematic mapping study. SpringerPlus5(1), pp.1-38.

Dasovi?, B., Gali?, M. and Klanšek, U., 2020. A survey on integration of optimization and project management tools for sustainable construction scheduling. Sustainability12(8), p.3405.

Dziadosz, A. and Rejment, M., 2015. Risk analysis in construction project-chosen methods. Procedia Engineering122, pp.258-265.

Eskerod, P. and Vaagaasar, A.L., 2014. Stakeholder management strategies and practices during a project course. Project Management Journal45(5), pp.71-85.

Kerzner, H., 2015. Project management 2.0: leveraging tools, distributed collaboration, and metrics for project success. John Wiley & Sons.

Marcella, M. and Rowley, S., 2015. An exploration of the extent to which project management tools and techniques can be applied across creative industries through a study of their application in the fashion industry in the North East of Scotland. International Journal of Project Management33(4), pp.735-746.

Mihalache, A., 2017. Project management tools for agile teams. Informatica Economica21(4), pp.85-93.

Mir, F.A. and Pinnington, A.H., 2014. Exploring the value of project management: linking project management performance and project success. International journal of project management32(2), pp.202-217.

Muriana, C. and Vizzini, G., 2017. Project risk management: A deterministic quantitative technique for assessment and mitigation. International Journal of Project Management35(3), pp.320-340.

Pedrini, M. and Ferri, L.M., 2019. Stakeholder management: a systematic literature review. Corporate Governance: The International Journal of Business in Society.

Pereira, A.M., Gonçalves, R.Q., Von Wangenheim, C.G. and Buglione, L., 2013. Comparison of open source tools for project management. International Journal of Software Engineering and Knowledge Engineering23(02), pp.189-209.

Regano, L., Canavese, D., Basile, C., Viticchié, A. and Lioy, A., 2016, September. Towards automatic risk analysis and mitigation of software applications. In IFIP International Conference on Information Security Theory and Practice (pp. 120-135). Springer, Cham.

Shreve, C.M. and Kelman, I., 2014. Does mitigation save? Reviewing cost-benefit analyses of disaster risk reduction. International journal of disaster risk reduction10, pp.213-235.

Verbeke, A. and Tung, V., 2013. The future of stakeholder management theory: A temporal perspective. Journal of business ethics112(3), pp.529-543.

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