INF70005 Strategic Project Management

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INF70005 Strategic Project Management

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INF70005 Strategic Project Management

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Course Code: INF70005
University: Swinburne University Of Technology

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Country: Australia


We often hear or read about various success and failure stories of projects, but what is success or failure and what criteria should organisations use to identify success or failure? What factors lead to a successful or failure project? Cleland & Ireland [2004] argue that since each individual or group of people who are involved in a project have different needs and expectations, they likely interpret their project’s success in the context of their own way of understanding.
Thomsett [2002] provides as an example, the Sydney Opera House Project. The Sydney Opera House project went 16 times over budget and took 4 times as long to finish as had been originally planned. However, the final impact of the completed project was so big that no one remembers the original missed goals. The project was a big success for the people involved and at the same time a big failure from the project management perspective. While a project may go over budget and schedule [and deemed a failure], its success may be measured by the response to the actual use of the project over time.
On the other hand, the Millennium Dome in London was an example of a project that was completed on time and on budget, but in the eyes of the British people was considered a failure because it did not deliver the awe and glamour that it was supposed to generate. In the same way that quality requires both conformance to the specifications and fitness for use, project success requires a combination of product success [service, result, or outcome] and project management success [Duncan, 2004].
The difference between criteria and factors is fuzzy for many people. The Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary describes a criterion as “a standard by which you judge, decide about or deal with something” while a factor is explained as “a fact or situation which influences the result of something”. The success or failure of a project can be judged differently by people based on their purposes and criteria. It is clear now that critical factors can lead to a series of events that ultimately meet the overall success criteria of the project, so they should not be used as synonymous terms. Davis [2013], Atkinson [1999], and Mir & Pinnington [2013] provide other insights into this topic and suggest many other criteria for success.
This assignment requires you firstly to identify a real world case: either a successful project or a failed project, and then based on the criteria you identified [from the literature] explain why the project either succeeded or failed. There are many references on the theme of project success or failure, and hence you will need to do some research to set up your criteria. The following references will help you start the process.
You can select a case from secondary data available in the public domain or from within your own organisation. The report should include the following information:

Background of the company and the project case that you have selected.
Discussion of standard criteria, such as those emerging in the reference section.
Critical identification and justification of the criteria you think appropriate.
Critical analysis of the case based on the criteria chosen.
Presentation of appropriate conclusions.
Provision of suggestions or recommendations in the event that the project should be re-run in the future.


The term strategic project management indicates the process for managing complex project that combine the project management techniques and business strategies (Harris 2017). It is important for implementing the effective business strategy in terms of delivering the organizational success. On the other hand, it is true that by adopting the effective strategic management initiatives, the goals and objectives of an organization can be achieved in better manner. The purpose of this study is to highlight the important strategic project initiative of “Flipkart”. Highlighting the “Big billion days” project of Flipkart, the study has shed light on the standard criteria of the company. At the end of the study, highlighting the issues, measurable recommendations have been provided. In this project the organization has tried to maintain its standard criteria for better implementation of the business plan. It has been identified that the major competitors of Flipkart such as Amazon, Snapdeal, Alibaba, myntra and Paytm have created tough situation for the company. In this situation, it has become important for the company to develop effective strategic plan so that the competitive advantage as well as the strong brand image can be gained.
Background of the company and the project case
In the current scenario, Flipkart has become one of the popular Electronic Commerce Companies in India. In the year2007, the company was founded by Sachin Bansal and Binny Bansal. In the initial stage, the company focused on selling the books. Within 11 years, it has gained 39.3% market shareinIndian e-commerce market (Economictimes.indiatimes.com 2018). In this study, the strategic project of Flipkart namely “Big billion days” has been highlighted. In order to grab the attention of the customers in the competitive market the company has taken this strategy. In this strategy, the company has decided to increase its workforce near about 100000 and store capacity of the company has been increased (Economictimes.indiatimes.com 2018). It is being considered as largest business opportunities for Indian customers. In the ‘Big billion days” project the company focuses on providing the exciting discount offers to the customers. The company aim is to increase its sales $17.6 billion within 2021 (Economictimes.indiatimes.com 2018). In order to deal with the competitive business industry, this initiative of the company has helped it to maintain its strong Brand image in the market. It is true that the company has reached at $15 billion in GMV during the last “Big billion Day” project (Economictimes.indiatimes.com 2018). In the year 2018, the company has also decided to organize the ‘Big billion days’ event in October. However, the financial data has not been published yet.
Discussion of standard criteria
Time, cost and quality and the essential factors towards project management. The time management executed for carrying out the project related activities is crucial in terms of allotting equal time for all of the activities. Taking guidance from the study materials proves beneficial towards executing the project related activities in an efficient and effective manner (Harris 2017). The study materials enhance the awareness regarding the critical success factors, which are essential for completing the activities properly.
Stakeholders are the persons, who are affected by the profit and loss of the companies and organizations like Flipkart. Their opinions are vital for enhancing the efficiency within the projects. Mapping the stakeholders is assistance in terms of gaining an insight into the personnel, whose needs are to be catered for expanding the scope and arena of the business. Surveys and feedback on the perception of the stakeholder’s acts as an agent towards upgrading the standards and quality of the projects. Consideration of six sigma theory in the projects is beneficial in terms of regulating the quality of the projects (Kerzner & Kerzner 2017).
Involving the partners proves helpful in terms of defining the success criteria of the project namely ‘Big Billion day’. Briefing the success criteria to the partners is fruitful in terms of acquiring quality support for completing the project related activities. Exploring the value of the project helps in assessing the extent to which it is relevant and reliable for the audiences. Herein lays the appropriateness of managing the activities. This management is crucial in terms of making estimates regarding the completion of the activities within the stipulated time. Exposing radical approach is one of the main components of the managers for dealing with the projects in a proper manner (Larson & Gary 2015).
Managing the Big Billion day’ project provides direction towards assessing the value, which has been added to the investments of the clients and the customers. Behavioural theory is crucial in terms of assessing the effectiveness of the behaviour, which the managers are exposing towards regulating the performance of the team members. Rationality in this approach includes proper allocation of the resources and the tasks to the team members. This equality is assistance in terms of averting the instances of misunderstandings and conflicts. This quality assurance is an initiative towards assessing the infrastructural condition, which further enables the personnel in terms of making plans for venturing into the external markets (Papke-Shields & Boyer-Wright 2017).
Planning is one of the important components in terms of systematizing the business activities according to their priorities. Development of flexible policies and strategies proves fruitful in terms of improving the focus towards the business activities. All these aspects prove true for brands like Flipkart. Projects like Big Billion Days are means for adding to the stock of customers and expanding the scope and arena of business (Andersson & Chapman 2017). 
Critical identification and justification of the criteria
Management is the most important criteria in terms of assessing the systematic progression towards completion of the project related activities. Systematic approach towards management includes organizing sessions for briefing the team members about the projects. Training sessions prove beneficial in terms of enhancing the preconceived skills, expertise and knowledge towards dealing with the business activities. Post training tests are one example of the management strategies. This is in terms of assessing the capability of the staffs towards making practical application of the learnt skills in executing the allocated duties and activities (Martinelli & Milosevic 2016).
Strategic approach towards management indicates adopting theoretical considerations for completing the projects. Mention can be made of the Tuckman’s stages of team development, which lays the foundation for initiating the project related activities. Management is needed in each of the stages for regulating the team performance. This management helps in making estimations regarding the position in future. One of the other examples, which can be cited is that of Belbin’s team roles. The managers need to take into consideration this theory prior to the allocation of roles to the team members. Management also relates to the control of instances like conflicts and misunderstandings. Rational approach towards handling the issues would help the managers to progress on the path of leadership (Too & Weaver 2014). It is at this time, when the managers need to motivate the team members, so that they get the proper guidance and support towards execution of the allocated activities and responsibilities. If one of the team members commit mistakes, it is the duty of the managers to correct them and make them aware of the mistakes. Making them aware reduces the chances of occurring the mistake a second time.
Preparing the budget is a vital component of management practices in every organization. It cannot be denied that this activity enhances the awareness about the expenditures into each item. Revisions need to be conducted within the budget, so that there is ample time for collecting the additional resources and man power. Maintaining consistency in the execution of revisions results in mitigation of the instances like inadequacy within the resources (Harrison & Lock 2017).
Sending reports to the directors seems helpful in informing them about the condition of the activities. Their approval indicates progression towards moving on with the constructed plans and strategies. This approval averts any illegal instances, enhancing the brand image of brands like Flipkart. In the words of Padhy & Mishra (2017), applying effective management techniques is beneficial in terms of regulating the performance of the employees. Within this, example can be cited of the performance appraisals, which lures the staffs towards the services of the brand (Martin Suo & Killen 2014). Revisions in the performance appraisals creates a positive image in the minds of the staffs regarding the prospective aspect, which brands like Flipkart possesses in terms of acquiring the trust, loyalty and dependence of the customers.
Evaluating the infrastructure is assistance in terms of planning for foreign market expansion. Strategic management proves beneficial in terms of achieving positive results. This assessment is an effective means for attracting the foreign clients. Along with this, it also enhances the standards and quality of business.
Critical analysis of the case based on the criteria chosen.
In the above it has been mentioned that the quality management initiative will be chosen by the company in order to implement this project. Meeting the quality needs of the customers is being considered as the essential factors in the case of developing a business project (Padhy & Mishra 2017). In order to active its target, the company needs to focus on improving the quality management practices. The managers of Filpkart need to be more active towards managing the performance related activities in the organization (Samanta et al. 2017). Cost is another important key driver in the case of improving the performance quality. Therefore, using the cost-effective techniques, the management practices needed to be improved. In the words of Sisodia and Reddy (2017), by introducing the effective negotiation practices, the company will be able to maintain god relationship with its partners. As the study has mentioned quality as the main criteria for the project, therefore, the company has introduced various initiatives in terms of bringing the changes in performance management. Different quality assurance policies have been introduced by the company so that the availability of the loyal customers can be maintained.
On the other hand, it has been identified that the company has introduced recruitment and selection practices for the better delivery management. The goals and objectives of the company have been clarified to the employees and using proper leadership practices in the organization, the performance standard has been mentioned (Gururaj, Praveen & Ramesh 2017). It is mentioned that the company has also taken the initiatives for website development. The promotional management of the company has introduced attracting banners as well as business campaigns. The company has also invested sufficient amount for the promotional activities. In order to maintain the uninterrupted delivery process, the company has tripled its employees (Gururaj, Praveen & Ramesh 2017). On the other hand, through different social media sites the promotional activities have been done so that the large number of customers will be aware regarding the project. In order to manage the cash flow, the company has appointed foreign experts in the finance department. In order to make the transaction process easier, the debit card EMI policies have been introduced by the company (Sisodia & Reddy2017). Due to such initiatives, the project has given tough competition to the competitors like Amazon, Snapdeal and others.  It can be said that the Big Billion days is being considered as the most successful initiatives taken by the company.
Conclusion and recommendation
In the above study it has been identified that company named Flipkart has introduced the strategic project namely Big billion day. In the project the company has taken the initiative to increase its employee number so that the delivery process can be done in an effective manner. On the other hand, in order to gain the competitive advantage of the company the company has decided to improve its quality of performance. After analysing the situation, it can be recommended that Flipkart needs to focus on maintaining its customer service department more efficiently. It will be beneficial for the company in the case of satisfying the customers’ need. Another way, it can be suggested that the company needs to focus on developing the strong relation with the foreign delegates. It will be helping in terms of bringing the product variety in the company. It is also true that the company needs to focus on introducing the customer relationship management policies. Hence, it can be said that if the strategies can be followed by the company, it will be helping it terms of bringing the organizational development.
Reference list
Andersson, T. & Chapman, R  2017. Project strategy for product innovation: the strategic project management framework. International Journal of Project Organisation and Management, 9(4), pp.328-349.
Arora, P., Srivastava, S. & Majumder, S 2017, October. Using Automation Technology and IOT Based Data Capturing to Ensure High Quality Last Mile Logistics. In Proceedings of the World Conference on Supply Chain Management (Vol. 2, No. 1, pp. 49-56).
Bhattacharya, S. & Pal, M 2015. Perceived Service Quality And Customer Loyalty Towards Flipkart. com–A Study On Young Adults Belonging To Kolkata City. INDIAN JOURNAL OF PSYCHOLOGICAL SCIENCE, 5(2), pp.36-41.
Economictimes.indiatimes.com 2018. Flipkart looks to triple its delivery and warehousing workforce ahead of its Big Billion Days sale. [online] The Economic Times. Available at: https://economictimes.indiatimes.com/small-biz/startups/newsbuzz/flipkart-looks-to-triple-its-delivery-and-warehousing-workforce-ahead-of-its-big-billion-days-sale/articleshow/65097736.cms [Accessed 11 Aug. 2018].
Gururaj, H.L., Praveen, K.S. & Ramesh, B 2017, January. Minimizing the impact of Flash Crowd Attack in online retail applications. In Intelligent Systems and Control (ISCO), 2017 11th International Conference on (pp. 229-234). IEEE.
Harris, E 2017. Strategic project risk appraisal and management. Routledge.
Harrison, F. & Lock, D 2017. Advanced project management: a structured approach. Routledge.
Jayakumar, T 2016. Behavioural lessons from Flipkart’s Big-Billion Day sale. Competitiveness Review, 26(4), 453-475.
Kerzner, H. & Kerzner, H.R  2017. Project management: a systems approach to planning, scheduling, and controlling. John Wiley & Sons.
Larson, E.W. & Gray, C.F 2015. A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge: PMBOK (®) Guide. Project Management Institute.
Martinelli, R.J. &Milosevic, D.Z 2016. Project management toolbox: tools and techniques for the practicing project manager. John Wiley & Sons.
MartinSuo, M. & Killen, C.P 2014. Value management in project portfolios: Identifying and assessing strategic value. Project Management Journal, 45(5), pp.56-70.
Papke-Shields, K.E. & Boyer-Wright, K.M  2017. Strategic planning characteristics applied to project management. International Journal of Project Management, 35(2), pp.169-179.
Pathania, A. & Rasool, G2017. Investigating E tailer’s perceived website quality using analytical hierarchy process technique. Procedia computer science, 122, pp.1016-1023.
Samanta, B., De, A., Chakraborty, A. & Ganguly, N 2017, August. Lmpp: a large margin point process combining reinforcement and competition for modeling hashtag popularity. In Proceedings of the 26th International Joint Conference on Artificial Intelligence (pp. 2679-2685). AAAI Press.
Sisodia, D.S. & Reddy, N.R 2017, September. Sentiment analysis of prospective buyers of mega online sale using tweets. In 2017 IEEE International Conference on Power, Control, Signals and Instrumentation Engineering (ICPCSI)(pp. 2734-2739). IEEE.
Too, E.G. & Weaver, P  2014. The management of project management: A conceptual framework for project governance. International Journal of Project Management, 32(8), pp.1382-1394.

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