Critical Analysis Of Project Management Plan

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Critical Analysis Of Project Management Plan

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Critical Analysis Of Project Management Plan

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Discuss about the Critical Analysis of Project Management Plan.
The project report is prepared to perform the critical analysis of the chosen project management plan, using an example of a case study. For the critical analysis, Green ICT Project has been selected for the critical analysis. The project management plan for the Green ICT Project includes a detailed plan that covers multiple tasks and elements of the investigation and record of the data on the CO2e or Carbon Dioxide Footprint, at specific location, Australian National University. The project plan also includes identification of the ways to reduce the footprints of the carbon of ICT in the ANU. It involves collaborative tasks with stakeholders or identification of the trends of the industry to adopt Green IT Practices and evaluation of efficient technologies towards reducing and minimizing the ICT impact on the environment.

The report is structured with a background of the project, where it has come from and what it comprises of. In the same section, the project context is also defined. The details of the sponsor or owner of the project are described in terms of what it does and many related things. Later, the audience of the project is explored and presented in the following section that include the details of what can they know, how they can use and what else information is needed for them. Alternatives to the structure of the PMP are then discussed. The context of the PMP is discussed. Finally, conclusion is added, followed by the references. Appendix is added at the end, for an actual project.
Project Background
In the project background section, the basic and primary details of the project are presented, such as the basis and motivation of the project and the objectives defined for the project. Every domestic and working place emits some part of the pollution or the greenhouse gases, in the form of CO2e or carbon dioxide footprint. The project is all about investing and exploring what is the greenhouse gas emitted by the Australia National University and also includes the solution to reduce the carbon emission. The sponsor organization is the Australia National University, which imparts knowledge to the aspiring students. The project is done to explore, how the educational institutions and workplaces share the part of the emission of the greenhouse gases. The university is located in Australia.
The project involves investigation of content of CO2e emission, identifying and exploring various ways to reduce the carbon footprint, especially from ICT (Information and Communication Technology) in the ANU. And industry trends are discussed to adopt the practices of the green IT to evaluate the efficient technology to reduce the impact of emission. The good initiative also explores the possible government incentives that are available to strengthen the green IT initiative. The initiative also includes bringing increasing awareness about the Green ICT among the stakeholders. The target and objective set is measurable to 10% reduction of emission by specific duration.
The overall project gives clear details of how the project of reducing the greenhouse gases can be initiated and implemented by the educational institutions and Universities sponsor the project and how it is made possible. The project also gives the details and statistics of the base and background details.
PMP Audience and Structure
This section is written for identifying and describing the audience for the project, like who get benefited from this project, by basic learning and the structure of the project is also detailed of how the structure of the Green ICT Project is discussed of how all the project management plan data is made available.
The project management plan is an approved and formal document that is developed and used for guiding the execution of the project and control. It includes the assumptions and decisions in the document planning. The plan facilitates formal communication established among the stakeholders of the project, cost, schedule baselines and scope. Usually, the plan includes all the elements of the project either briefly summarised or detailed. A complete project management plan can make the job of the project manager in executing the tasks related to the project, even though variations occur during the implementation. Eventually, the audience for this report of project management plan is the project managers. The project manager does not need to be confined to the projects related to the information technology or other industries. Even a new University student, who has the intention and objective of earning the Graduation certificate, can be a project manager, as the cortication involves many tasks, of taking the syllabus, gathering the resources, listening to the lectures, understanding and presenting the reports and finally giving the examinations or assessment can very well be a project manager. In a nutshell, any event that has multiple tasks come under the project management and the event manager becomes the project manager.
A project manager needs to know and explore many things associated with the project and relevant subject knowledge can always be an added advantage. They have the entire responsibility and accountability to the final objective of the project that includes majorly planning, procurement and execution of the project, especially, in the engineering domain. Since the project managers are SPOC (Single Point of Contact) or first point of contact, for the concerns, issues, complements or anything regarding to the project, they should be aware of the entire plan, the current tasks, future tasks, all discrepancies to the project, before the issues are escalated to the higher management or authorities. Since an individual cannot perform all the tasks, the project involves usually, multiple team members and the management of the tasks as well as the team members become the responsibility of the project managers. The manager should strive the best to directly participate in the tasks and activities, intensify with the mutual tasks and interaction with multiple parties, in the ways that reduce the overall failure risk, minimizing the costs and maximizing the benefits.
To perform all the tasks related to the project, the project manager has to have and make an effective project plan. The project plan is used by the day to day reference and logical sequence of the tasks of the project. The project management plan is well defined and built by the project manager, along with the organization of the project. The project management plan is well defined by the project manager and majorly done long before initiating the project, as it becomes the reference for getting the approval from the higher authorities or the sponsor of the project.
Elements of PMP
This section covers the basic elements of the general project management plan, by considering various project management methodologies, such as PMBOK and PRINCE2, Agile, etc. The general framework that includes all the elements is covered and the best alternatives in the industry. Project management plan is a macro level planning that includes all associated tasks, without leaving a single one task. Since, a project implementation is usually dependent on many of the disciplines and professions to complete and bring a shape to the objectives. For formal project management plan to be complete, an industry standard is to be followed, such as PRINCE 2, PMBOK, etc. At macro level, the plan should describe project execution, management & Control. This content is usually provided by other document reference, like, construction plan, procurement plan or it can be even a detailed project plan itself.
The project Management Plan usually includes the topics in the execution system of the project and that cover the main aspects, as the following.

Scope management
Schedule management
Quality management
Procurement management
Risk management
Project change management
Requirements management
Financial management
Resource management
Communication management
Stakeholders management

It is always a good practice to cover all the above management aspects, especially, for larger professional and consulting project management firms, as it becomes the basis or formally agreed version for the approval during earlier project stages and later applied during the throughout life of the project.
Project Management Plan – Alternatives
Project management plan is the plan that can be defined and built uniquely by the project managers, based on their expertise and experience. However, the experience and expertise of the specialized project management professionals and bodies have defined certain theories and models for the design and building the plan. There are many more theories and models built with the project management plan. One of the models that is almost universally accepted model is designed by the PMBOK (Project Manager Body Of Knowledge) and there are many other models existing are PRINCE, AGILE, Waterfall Model, etc.
As discussed above there are many bodies, which have designed and modelled many of the theories and structures for the project management plan. There are numerous alternate theories and models developed for the reference for the project managers. However, let us consider only the widely accepted and used models and theories.
Project Management Body of Knowledge is a widely and globally accepted standard guidance and terminology as a body of knowledge in the domain of project management, developed by PMI (Project Management Institute). It considers the works to be accomplished by means of processes. This approach is consistently used with CMMI of software engineering institute, ISO 9000 and other management standards. Processes interact and overlap in various phases and throughout the project.
Usually, the processes are detailed with three terms:

Techniques and tools

The PMBOK includes 47 processes and all of them are categorized and covered under basic five groups of processes and 10 knowledge areas.
Process Groups

Monitoring and Controlling

Knowledge Areas

Project Integration Management
Project Time Management
Project Scope Management
Project Cost Management
Project Human Resource Management
Project Procurement Management
Project Communications Management
Project Stakeholders Management
Project Risk Management
Project Quality Management

As each industry is unique in planning and implementing the projects, the PMBOK shows the extensions as the following.

Construction Extension
Software Extension
Government Extension

Another theory and model that is existing is the PRINCE (Projects in Controlled Environments) has the following structure of the project management plan.

SU – Starting up a Project
IP – Initiating a Project
DU – Directing a Project
CU – Controlling a Project
MP – Managing Product Delivery
SB – Managing Stage Boundaries
CP – Closing a Project

When the patterns of these models and theories are observed, it is evident that all the processes or diversified tasks are logically sequenced based on the pre-requisites.
Critical Analysis of PMP
This section presents the critical analysis of the project considered as an example, The ICT Green Project and later, the most widely used project management methodology is addressed along with all its PMP elements. Though there are numerous theoretical frameworks designed and developed by many of the organizations and bodies, let us consider the widely or universally accepted standard, PMBOK for the purpose of the critical analysis.
The ICT Green Project does address the basic plan elements in a very detailed ways along with the necessary tools, tables and figures needed. It does a very clear idea about what the project is about and what all the processes and tasks involved along with the associated elements in the project. The structure of the plan is crystal clear of what is done and how is done. As there is always scope and room for betterment and so this project management plan. As the project does not clearly specify the cost of the project and its necessary elements involved in it, financial or cost management is necessary. The report also does not include detailed change management and requirement management, unless some part of is covered in the procurement management plan. However, the overall structure is good enough to give close to complete understanding of the project and project elements.
PMBOK addresses all the sections involved in the project management plan, in basically ten knowledge areas.

Project Integration Management

It includes all the activities and processes required for defining, identifying, unifying, combining and coordinating several processes and activities related to the project management within the process groups of the project management.

Project Scope Management

The scope management includes all the processes required for ensuring of what the project includes for only the works required and all the work required for successful completion of the project.

Project Quality Management

The quality management is considerably a complex managerial task as it includes all the activities and processes to determine policies, based on the quality standards of the organizations and also to perform those pre-defined qualities, responsibilities and objectives. It is complex managerial task, however, it ensures not only achievement of the objects, in terms of quantity, but also achievements to be followed and fulfilled by the standards of the quality defined by the organization. So, it ensures quality product.

Project Time Management

It includes all the processes needed for managing and completing the tasks timely within the project. It is also termed as a schedule management, because schedule is developed and maintained from the schedule management. It is one of the key components of the project management as it becomes the reference to the success of the project, along with the budget and scope of the project. When the schedule is well managed, the project is expected to be completed and object is achieved within the time frame or time limit, specified for the project.

Project Human Resource Management

Human resource management is a key process and key knowledge area for any project to be implemented. in simple terms, when the human resources are managed effectively and potentially, all the tasks associated to them will be achieved within the time frame and satisfying all the standards set to them. Managing human resources is a key knowledge area, as it can define and determine the overall success and quality product of the project.

Project Procurement Management

Procurement management includes all the processes and tasks that are necessary to acquire the services, products, purchases or results expected from the team external to the project. This knowledge area includes many processes like, procurement planning, solicitation, solicitation, contact administration, source selection and contract closeout. It is a critical knowledge area for the project manager, as the manager has to deal with many of the stakeholders, external to the organization, but play a fair role in the success of the project.

Project Communications Management

Communication is the blood of any relationship and the relationships are quite important and significant to be maintained as the human sources play the roles to perform the tasks and activities. In order to perform these tasks and activities communication becomes a vital tool and process. so, the communication management in the project management plan includes various processes that are performed to ensure appropriate and timely planning collection distribution, creation, retrieval, storage, control, monitoring, management and ultimately, information disposition for the project. Without the communication, there are not tasks and activities do not move even an inch. At the same time, an effective communication can enable to deliver quality outputs or products at the end of each and every task.

Project Stakeholders Management

Though stakeholder management looks to be similar to the human resource management, it is different in many aspects. For example, human resources have common objective, similar to the objective of the organization. However it may not be with the stakeholders, as the stakeholders are from both internal and external to the organization and each of the stakeholder has certain needs, values and expectations from the project. Bringing all the stakeholders at a common ground, neutralizing all their needs and values, would need enormous and potential people management skills to the project manager. Once the stakeholder management is performed successfully and potentially, there would be lesser number of risks and issues associated with the project.
Stakeholder management includes the processes that are needed to identify all the stakeholders within or external to the organizations, which get impact by the project and also the processes that analyse the expectations of the stakeholders, project impact, developing the appropriate strategies of management to engage the stakeholders effectively in the project towards making decisions and execution of the project.

Project Risk Management

Risk management is recently developed managerial task that included in the project management plan. Risk management plan is necessary for all kinds of projects, starting from the small scale to large scale. Though the risk management does not prevent the risks to the project, they make the project manager and project team to be prepared with all the mitigation plans and contingency plans to apply immediately, without any delays. It includes various processes, like conducting risk identification, risk response planning, risk management planning and controlling on risks possibly occurred for the project.

Project Cost Management

It is another key management aspect for the project management plan, apart from the scope and time of the project, which determine the success of the project. Usually, it is less focussed and considered as a secondary managerial aspect by the project manager, it is not the situation or condition as such. Cost management is vital to keep the project and complete within the budget set before the initiation of the project, without deviation of the quality.
All these ten knowledge areas consist of the processes that have to be achieved and accomplished within the standard disciplines to achieve the final product of the project management. All the processes covered in these knowledge areas become the part of the PMBOK’s five process groups. All these processes can create a structure of the matrix relating one process group and one knowledge area.
From the project management plan theories and models, it can be perceived that the project management plan becomes complete, only when all the aspects and all the key disciplines associated with the project are well covered. The plan ideally, should be performed both in macro level and micro level. And the plan should be developed with the begin with the end in mind as well as the journey and requisites for the tasks. A complete template has to be considered and each of the elements in the template has to be taken and should be customized to develop the project management plan. Customization is to be done effectively, as it would be close to impossible to develop a project management plan that would be compatible for all sized and all industries in all the disciplines. The way the project is customized depends on the primary objective and final product of the project.
The Green ICT project is considered as an example for reference that gives basic understanding of what is the domain and what is the industry that the project sponsors and the project objective belongs to. The theory and model observed and discussed in the topic is the PMBOK and its knowledge areas and processes. The PMBOK project management plan model includes all the processes necessary to develop the project management plan. The model is strengthen in terms of inclusion of all the areas of knowledge and processes, however suffers from the weakness that the project time management is ineffective compared to the other models.
This section covers the basic elements covered in The ICT Green Project and elements that have missed are addressed and recommended to add.
The ICT Green Project has been reported with wider project management elements covered. It covers project integration management, where the idea conception and motivation are addressed. Schedule management is also clearly presented with the tool, Gantt chart. It included scope management, human resource management, communication management and procurement management widely. However, the plan needs to include stakeholder management, detailed financial management and change management majorly, which are also important parts of the analysis.
The project management plan developed and proposed by the PMBOK is quite compatible for many of the diverse projects globally, as it includes wider and most of the knowledge areas and also relative processes that can be applicable to wide range of unique projects. The model can be effective and more scientific and when adapted, it is expected to make the plan close to complete. However, considering all the areas of knowledge and all the processes would be a lengthier and a bit tedious process. However, it is still easier than exploring all the tasks and knowledge areas from scratch and it is considered as a professional and scientific approach that can be best utilized by the project managers.
There is a weakness associated with the time management knowledge area of PMBOK and it is recommended to consider another project management plan approach, by either PRINCE or Agile to make it completely effective, as time management or schedule management is a key factor in the success of the project, in terms of optimizing the time, which is a very important resource that can minimize the expenditure of the other resources. The project sequence of the Green ICT Project is good enough, covering most of the knowledge areas, except the cost management as it is completed in a very simple manner, without getting into details of the costs, budgets and analysis of the same. The overall project plan is good enough and it is obvious that there is always a room for an improvement for any event or project.
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