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Unit 6: Managing a Successful Business Project Assignment Sample

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Unit 6: Managing a Successful Business Project

1. Introduction: Successful Business project

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Efficient project management is the cornerstone of obtaining optimal project outcomes. A project requires considerable resources and the failure of a project has a direct effect on the operation of the organization (Shah, Gochtovtt and Baldini, 2019). The project manager thus must execute the project successfully to produce the intended result. The project manager successfully plans, organizes and oversees the operation to accomplish the objective desired for business growth. The purpose of this assignment is to make readers understand the skills required for managing a business project. Project management is a critical task that requires independent research and investigation to meet the appropriate business aims and objectives. All the characteristics and features of projects and its management are explained in this report. The principles of project, scope statement of a project, identification of critical path within Marks and Spencer (M&S) will be evaluated during the research. It will also describe the methods used in conducting the research properly. Control is essential to evaluate the performance in every field and there are described various quality methods to evaluate the performance.

2. Formulation of Aims, Objectives and Timeframe of the Project

2.1 Implementation of a Project Management Plan

Management of projects can be described as a holistic approach which involves the preparation, initiation, performance and control of unique works for each project. Generally, certain steps are made to accomplish those aims and targets. One of the key benefits of project management is that it lets people obtain an understanding of creating critical work phases (Rasnacis and Berzisa, 2017). One of the primary functions is to establish project goals and objectives and to design programs in compliance with these objectives. The planning of the project requires costs, timescales, efficiency, risks and improvements, while the structure for work-breakdown is principally built for the assessment of the project phases and their projected duration.

2.2 Project Aim and Objectives

For half of a decade, employees of Marks and Spencer are complaining about the treatment they are getting from the company. During 2016, a lot of employees reported being betrayed and forced to pay for the previous mistake of the managing directors (Hutchison, 2016). The bounce in base pay led a vast majority of the retail staff in M&S to leave the organisation, as the expected yearly income was far less than what was supposed to be during the end of compensation deal. Once again, in the time of COVID-19 pandemic, a huge number of staffs have been cut off after the government imposed social distancing and lockdown and the company ran into the loss.

As a result, the organisation's corporate activities are being hampered. The M&S leadership team has aimed to incorporate an important project management process, which is needed to improve employee knowledge and expertise effectively in their organizational practices. The goal of this project is generally to promote extensive growth in employee efficiency to make considerable creativity possible in its organisation, based on the opinion of Larsson and Larsson (2020). Consequently, a project that would improve corporate accomplishment has been created with the human resource management department, the leadership board and the organization's other management teams. Besides, this initiative would contribute greatly to the growth of employee productivity. For this respect, the initiative will also help the organisation, in the domestic and foreign sector; achieve its strategic priorities to increase operational productivity. As a result, the M&S management team has agreed to employ an efficient project manager and have begun building a team for project management that can make the management process of the project substantially cohesive.

2.3 Work-Breakdown Structure

Timeframe

08.01.2021-20.01.2021

21.01.2021-01.02.2021

02.02.2021-22.02.2021

23.02.2021-05.03.2021

06.03.2021-15.03.2021

Activities

Initiative for the Plan

Planning the Project

Project Execution

Delivery of the Project

Project Result

2.4 Milestone Schedule to Conduct Project and Accomplish Project Aims and Objectives

Project Resources

Human Resource

Financial Resource

Other Resources

Project Objectives

Preparing an initial plan

M&S needs to prepare a competent plan for the human resources required for formulating an efficient project management team.

M&S management team must develop a budget plan to generalise the knowledge regarding the requirement of the financial requirement for the project.

There are other physical resources such as equipment for each session of the project as well as technological resources required for the proper completion of the talent management of M&S (Winch, 2014).

Completing primary research

Once the team formation is done, the company must consider the procedure of interview and survey in gaining the assumption of required human resources (Dociu, 2018).

The primary research would help the management and leadership board of the company to understand the required budget for the project management process.

While conducting the primary research, the organisation will be able to understand what kind of physical and technological resources it needs for the project.

Generating the first draft of findings

This way, through primary research, M&S needs to successfully analyse the findings to get the proper prediction.

The interviews and survey with the managers and employees respectively will provide a clear conception to the company if the financial resources for the project are enough.

M&S can initially draft the collected and analysed data from primary research to properly comprehend the essential equipment and technical assistance that the project needs.

Recommendations

After the achievement of result from primary research, the company will be able to provide useful suggestion to hire an accurate amount of people in the project.

The project manager of the company would be able to recommend proper suggestion to the leaders and managers of the organisation on the financial resources needed for the project (Winch, 2014).

The project management team can recommend further suggestions on the necessary resources needed for the organisational project.

Timeframe

10.01.2021-25.01.2021

26.01.2021- 09.02.2021

10.02.2021-25.02.2021

Milestone

In fulfilling the target of developing the talent and knowledge among employees about the activities and practices of their organisation, M&S can be capable of forming a productive team in the management of projects tasks through this process.

The main goal of this process in project planning is the appropriate assumption of the future expenses for the organisation for the productive operation of the business in the UK market.

The purpose of this step is to provide every equipment and assistance to the employees for the accurate and adequate fulfilment of the project which would be effectively useful for the system of talent management in M&S.

3. Conducting Small Scale Research

3.1 Interview with Managers

To attain the proper data regarding the employee management of M&S and how effectively their talent management strategies attract and retain their employees, interviews have been conducted with the finance manager (respondent 1), the human resource manager (respondent 2) and general manager (respondent 3), and summed up for properly assessed data required for the research, based on the opinion of Arantes do Amaral, dos Santos and Rodrigues (2018).

Q1. How do you provide motivation and reward to your team as a manager?

Respondent 1:An ideal candidate for M&S staff must have interpersonal skills and the capability for motivating other team members, and we conduct recruitment based on this capability. If the staffs do not feel appreciated, they can often become disgruntled, especially while working with numbers. When we recruit employees for the finance team, we observe if they answer his helpful for determining his or her techniques of motivation and reward systems. As a finance manager, I must be able to recognise what rewards my staffs are interested in and utilise that to their benefits when generating programmes. Apart from allocating budget for monthly bonuses, I allocate lunches at weekend for my team in the office.

Q2. What do you think are the qualities mandatory of preparation for a people-oriented and high-stress job in talent management?

Respondent 2: What you need to be a good manager are the key qualities such as leadership, time management and possession of comprehension of individuals. When I was recruited as a lead recruiter, I was responsible for the management of a team of recruiters from three other teams and during this time, I polished my capabilities of time-management to make it sure that there is no delay in any project or task and wastage of time and resource are avoided as far as possible. For this, I always select candidates whose skills allow the management to conduct the work in harmony and with effectiveness with the colleagues, subordinates, managers, clients and customers for superior output.

Q3. How do you retain talent in the organisation during a recession or when there is no dedicated budget?

Respondent 3:Even in times of recession, like what happened during the pandemic of COVID-19, and also in times of economic growth, we need to consider the proper way of compensation of candidates' talents and identification of the factors that motivate them. The differences lay in the type of answers the organisation's capability to provide during a recession and the alternatives available during growth. We think that financial compensation is not always the answer in such situations. Some staffs prefer enriching their professional skills while others look out for participating in a professional conference. The professional development within the organisation is what the solution for employee retention revolves around during the recession.

3.2 Survey with Employees

Figure 1: Age-Group

M&S has always given importance to talent, whatever the age of the candidate might be. It is clear from the survey that the candidates are almost evenly distributed among different age-groups and there is no discrimination seen based on age in the selection procedure of the company.

Figure 2: Gender

M&S is also flexible in terms of the gender of the employees. Though 36% of the staffs did not prefer to mention their gender, the male and female staff percentage is seen to be 32% and 36% respectively, while staffs from other gender contain 16% of the employee base. It proves that M&S prefers to receive the innovative and creative approach from the perspective of people from all genders.

Figure 3: Marital Status

Although staff-base in M&S consists more of married people with children 44%, there are even people working in the company who are single parent (8%). Besides, 24% of the staffs are single while 24% of them are married without children. M&S thus solely focus on the management of talent of candidates who can be productive for the company.

Figure 4: Academic Qualification

M&S employee base consists mostly of the post-graduates (36%) while the least percentage (16%) contains the people with diploma qualification. 28% of the employees have passed grad schools while 20% have a masters degree. This points to the fact that academic qualification is important for selecting the proper talent for the organisation.

Figure 5: Existing HRM System

M&S has a very effective HRM system which reflects in the survey where a total of 72% of employees have agreed to the effectiveness of the current management system of human resource.

Figure 6: Current Talent Management Techniques by M&S

Employees of M&S are mostly satisfied (total 64%) with the effectiveness of their talent management techniques that they employ in attracting and retaining skilled and efficient workers in the organisation.

Figure 7: Current Pay-scale, Incentive and Rewards

M&S focus on the satisfaction of the employees even financially. They provide a good pay-scale to their skilled workers along with incentives and other rewards; that is why 68% of the employees are satisfied with the financial aid of the company.

Figure 8: Adverse Organisational Culture

There is always some kind of organisational culture that seems to be damaging to the staff-improvement for some employees. 36% of the employees have agreed to this query while 44% have disagreed on the existence of any harmful culture in the organisation.

Figure 9: Need for Change in Talent Management System

Modification or changes are always a matter of improvement in the organisational strategies for the talent management system of any company. While 28% of the M&S employees are not sure if any modification is needed, the rest of the staff-base is equally divided into the agreement and disagreement of any changes and modification in the talent management strategies of the company.

Figure 10: Recommendation for Change in Training and Development Programme

M&S is flexible towards accepting suggestion and feedback from employees, which is very crucial for the retention of required talent. 44% of the M&S staffs want to recommend strategies based on their opinion of attraction and retention of talent management in an organisation.

3.3 Arguments and Analysis of Qualitative Research Methods

It may also look like a juggling act to run multiple HR processes. There is a lot to handle between recruiting the best candidate, enrolling them, and preparing for succession. With the proper talent management system, all HR processes can be simplified. The talent management system in M&S helps it in achieving a bunch of advantages in attracting and retaining the required talent in the organisation. In this process, the HR team in M&S use some oldest strategic methods for the advancement of employee workability in the organisation (Burt et al., 2002). However, the company must improve its inner practices and the efficiency of workers during its work practice in the UK market. Therefore, the organization must follow more efficient and resilient methods during its organizational activity to implement this vision. The company wants to provide productive preparation for its staff to improve their expertise, abilities and understanding of the corporate business practice and potential conditions to incorporate successful strategic methods prominently during the organizational operating activity of M&S. The workers can assess and improve their workability efficiently.

3.4 Assessment of Accuracy and Reliability of Various Research Methods

Concepts for assessing the consistency of studies are the reliability and accuracy of the research. They demonstrate how well a technique, procedure or evaluation tests something during research. The coherence of a measure is reliability and the precision of a measure is authenticity. If researchers develop their research design, prepare their methodology, and write their findings, particularly in quantitative research, it is important to remember reliability and validity. In this respect, the most powerful evidence and knowledge on the M&S talent management method have been identified and analyzed during the use of two separate techniques, for example, quantitative and qualitative methods, as opined by Tracy (2019). The use of the quantitative approach leads to the provision of more authentic and specific knowledge about the current situation to handle employee talent by interviews and surveying procedures. Besides, the report also investigated secondary references through compilation and verification of peer reviews, current research paper, academic journals, etc. M&S has developed an effective understanding of the talent management process for the growth of the organizational sector on the market.

3.5 Critical Assessment of Project Management Cycle and Appropriate Utilisation of Research Methods

The management team of M&S agreed to incorporate the project management process by using various procedures and methods and different strategic approaches during the operational activity of M&S. This helps the corporation to better handle its workforce talents in its organizational operation. Besides, the best available insight and important facts about the efficacy and necessity of a proper talent acquisition method in the business culture will be accessed Dhanabhakyam and Kokilambal, 2014). In that regard, M&S has entered the stage of embracing the resilient talent acquisition method in its corporate culture through the effective study of the peer-reviewed publications, academic articles, current research papers, etc. Nevertheless, the leadership and management committee agreed to follow the most important and future talent management approach to improve the workers' and their skills and expertise during their organizational working processes, using the interview and survey process of the primary study, involving three M&S managers and 25 employees from the organisation.

4. Presentation of the Project and Communication for the Recommendations Based on Findings

4.1 Data Analysis with Appropriate Technique and Tool

The management team of M&S has decided to use and apply both the quantitative and qualitative methods to collect and analyse both primary and secondary data while collecting and evaluating the accurate and relevant data and information about the talent management (Klein and Müller, 2019). During the collection and analysis of primary data, both the processes of interview and survey have been conducted. The interview session was conducted with three managers from different units of the organisation such as human resource manager, financial manager and general manager. This way, the perspectives of managers from three different departments have been expressed regarding the workability of the staffs and their job practices. This way, the thorough analysis of their perspectives and opinions allows the project manager in gaining the sufficient knowledge about the actual necessities and requirements of the organisation once the project is accomplished to efficiently meet with the goals and objectives of the organisation while operating business in the UK market.

Apart from the interview with three managers, a survey has been conducted among 25 employees as survey-respondent for achieving more and sufficient knowledge regarding the needs for the development of the job practices and workability of employees. This action is important to fetch additional growth and efficiency in managing any type of situation in the organisation. This survey provided the project manager with enough knowledge about their perspective of the talent management system of M&S. enough knowledge for operation of the project within the organisation has been attained by the project manager through this survey. Thus, the project manager could appropriately offer direction to the team of project management on how to perform the specified job with efficiency in the process of adopting crucial innovation and various types of resilient tools and techniques for talent management within the process of developing the job practices. Furthermore, based on the opinion of Tracy (2019), various literary articles from expert scholars of related topics as well as peer-reviews journals etc. have been analysed and verified by the project manager in gaining powerful knowledge regarding the way of implementation of the talent management procedure within M&S organisational culture.

4.2 Proper Recommendation Based on Meaningful Outcome

In this way, after proficiently collecting and analysing all the data and information about the topic of employee talent management, the project manager will be able to provide appropriate recommendation for adopting, implementing and utilising the best approaches regarding the development of the talent management system. Generally, there are different kinds of techniques, tools and various strategic approaches for talent management. According to the business researchers, they suggest that to develop the employee talent the organisations need to firstly prepare planning, then they have to attract more or more employees within the planning, after attracting them, the organisations need to specifically select some of them for the talent management practices (Claussen et al., 2014). Then the leadership and the human resource management team of the organisations need to provide efficient training for developing their skills and also have to retain them for the organisational work. Through which, the organisations will be able to transit all the advantages within their organisational business. Also, M&S needs to pursue Hudson's integrated talent management theory to develop their organisational talent management practices, as per Meredith (1998). With this, the organisation can fetch extensive innovation to maintain its organisational culture and employee behaviour.

Following the method of utilising proper tools and techniques of the research for project management, the manager will be capable of the provision of proper recommendation for adoption, implementation and utilisation of the most effective approaches about the growth and improvement of the talent management system. In general, there are various tools and strategies used for talent management approaches. Several researchers in business and management field have proclaimed that the for the development of talent within employees, the company must prepare a plan at the first step, followed by attracting more employees for the proper fulfilment of the planning. As Claussen et al., (2014) have opined, once sufficient candidates are attracted towards the plan, M&S must go for a particular selection of some best candidates for the talent management practices of the organisation. After that, the management team of every department must provide proper training for the development of each candidate following the project. Efficient training will improve the skills of the employees and retain them in the organisational operation. This way, the organisation can convert the employee skills and capability into advantages for the growth and sustainability of the company. Besides, M&S can implement a particular theory for talent management, such as Hudson's, to improve their talent management system and practices. The employee behaviour and organisational culture can be maintained by fetching additional innovation through this process.

4.3 Implementation and Evaluation of Appropriate Tools and Techniques

The project management team has used two types of methods and strategies for both primary and secondary analysis to analyze all the data and knowledge with effectiveness. Throughout this process, the management board must implement more feasible strategies and approaches to successfully handle employee talent during the implementation of the interview process after obtaining the most reliable and authentic knowledge from three of the managers of M&S. Also, the senior management team of the company was able to obtain appropriate awareness of the company's workforce expectations by surveying the corporate personnel of M&S. In particular, the organization's senior management team will be able to get sufficient information about the kinds of planning activities and implementations needed to promote extensive growth during their work practices within the organisation (Vanhoucke, 2014). By incorporating the most effective and appropriate practices in their corporate practice, the senior management team of M&S will encourage extensive development within the organizational culture and work practices. In this way, the organisation, during its operations on the market, will increase its business performance through the achievement of high-profit margins.

5. Reflective Practices

5.1 Critical Reflection on the Evaluation of the Entire Activities of the Project

From the data collected and analysed during the research of the report, it has been learnt that because of the absence of a talent management framework within the corporate culture, M&S has suddenly begun to confront various types of obstacles throughout their organisational structure. Therefore, it can be assumed that the company's decision to undertake a powerful initiative to improve workers talents and skills is most prevalent in their function. With this, the organisation's corporate talent acquisition method will promote substantial growth and improvement. Furthermore, it is a matter to be agreeing that the company must employ an appropriate project manager to establish business practices in a project and the project manager hired for this job has proficiently performed assigned tasks effectively by keeping the project on schedule (Alvarenga et al., 2018). By the time this project has been accomplished, the company has been able to produce adequate and anticipated results. Alongside, the project manager has been able to successfully enable the company to plan and to establish a milestone timetable. Also, the execution of the policy and procedures by the coordinating project manager during the project management cycle is most sufficient and acceptable to accomplish the objectives and goals of the project.

Therefore, we need to fully endorse the project manager's use of both primary and secondary evaluation techniques to gain effective awareness of the operational dynamics, customer desires and the efficacy of the talent acquisition procedure. It can be still assumed that it will take this path to put adequacy into the project management cycle in the event of any potential opportunities. Furthermore, the company can evaluate the criteria for implementation of various approaches during its corporate activities efficiently after considering the primary and secondary analysis methods (Beer and Faulkner, 2014). In the course of improving the corporate working practices, the senior management team of M&S would be in a position to collect ample information about employee needs. Senior managers must take on the introduction and execution, for example to assess the operational future of their business activities on the domestic and foreign markets, of various kinds of techniques and theoretical models. To grow their employee skills during organisational work practices, M&S should incorporate these appropriate methods.

6. Conclusion

A project manager's primary aim is to accomplish all project targets within the allocated resources. The manager handles the risk involved with the project efficiently and helps to avoid those threats promptly. To obtain the intended effect of the project within M&S, the project manager has divided the project into separate tasks. The manger has provided good synergy between the different project tasks and promoted effective cooperation among those candidates participating in the project. The highly qualified and skilled workers are the most valuable asset to any large company. The most critical task for any company is to identify and place the right employees in the right position, which has been established throughout the report.

References

Alvarenga, J.C., Branco, R.R., do Valle, A.B., Soares, C.A.P. and e Silva, W.D.S., 2018. A revaluation of the criticality of the project manager to the project's success. Business management dynamics, 8(2), p.1.

Arantes do Amaral, J.A., dos Santos, L. and Rodrigues, R.J., 2018. Combining Project-Based Learning and Community-Based Research in a Research Methodology Course: The Lessons Learned. International Journal of Instruction, 11(1), pp.47-60.

Beer, A. and Faulkner, D., 2014. How to use primary and secondary data. In Handbook of Research Methods and Applications in Spatially Integrated Social Science. Edward Elgar Publishing.

Burt, S.L., Mellahi, K., Jackson, T.P. and Sparks, L., 2002. Retail internationalization and retail failure: issues from the case of Marks and Spencer. The International Review of Retail, Distribution and Consumer Research, 12(2), pp.191-219.

Claussen, J., Grohsjean, T., Luger, J. and Probst, G., 2014. Talent management and career development: What it takes to get promoted. Journal of World Business, 49(2), pp.236-244.

Dhanabhakyam, M. and Kokilambal, K., 2014. A study on existing talent management practice and its benefits across industries. International Journal of Research in Business Management, 2(7), pp.23-36.

Dociu, M.M., 2018. The importance of human resources in project management. Knowledge Horizons. Economics, 10(3), pp.8-14.

Hutchison, C. 2016. M&S workers up in arms over pay deal that leaves thousands out of pocket. [online] Available at: https://www.standard.co.uk/business/m-s-workers-up-in-arms-over-pay-deal-that-leaves-thousands-out-of-pocket-a3300371.html [Accessed on: 30.12.2020]

Klein, G. and Müller, R., 2019. Quantitative Research Submissions to Project Management Journal®.

Larsson, J. and Larsson, L., 2020. Integration, application and importance of collaboration in sustainable project management. Sustainability, 12(2), p.585.

Meredith, J., 1998. Building operations management theory through case and field research. Journal of operations management, 16(4), pp.441-454.

Rasnacis, A. and Berzisa, S., 2017. Method for adaptation and implementation of agile project management methodology. Procedia Computer Science, 104, pp.43-50.

Shah, S., Gochtovtt, A. and Baldini, G., 2019. Importance of Project Management in Business Analytics: Academia and Real World. In Aligning Business Strategies and Analytics (pp. 81-94). Springer, Cham.

Tracy, S.J., 2019. Qualitative research methods: Collecting evidence, crafting analysis, communicating impact. John Wiley & Sons.

Vanhoucke, M., 2014. Integrated Project Management and Control. Springer. doi, 10, pp.978-3.

Winch, G.M., 2014. Three domains of project organising. International journal of project management, 32(5), pp.721-731.

Appendix

Appendix 1: Questionnaire for Survey

  1. What is your age-group?
  2. What is your gender?
  3. What is your marital status?
  4. What is your academic qualification?
  5. Do you agree that the existing human resource management system of your organisation is effective?
  6. Do you think the talent management techniques applied by your company is appropriate for every employee?
  7. Are you satisfied with the pay-scale, incentives and other rewards provided by your company?
  8. Are there any actions taken by your organisation that somehow harm the improvement of employees?
  9. Should there be any modification or changes in the strategies for the overall talent management system?
  10. Would you like to recommend any change in the training and development programmes conducted by the organisation?
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