A project is an endeavor that primarily seeks to bring about a unique product or service different from the existing ones. According to Rosenau and Githens (2011, p30), Project management involves the initiation, planning, execution, control, testing and installation of a particular project with the aim of achieving specific goals and objectives. The proper performance of projects is determined with how those particular projects are managed. As such, the success of any business is dependent on the viability and workability of its project management. Before a business introduces a new project into its existing operations, it must consult with all stakeholders so that the new project will be beneficial to the business rather than an impediment to its smooth running. Several businesses require different project management systems depending on their size, sophistication, level of privacy and the needs of the organization. In this regard, organizations use different software in their recording of the income, expenses and bills. Any application that is employed by an organization should be SMART, i.e. Specific, Measureable, Achievable, Realistic, and Timely (Rosenau and Githens 2011, 32).
In my organization, we deal with retail services of items ranging from food-items to clothing. In this business, we supply our commodities to the final consumer. As such, we have a personal touch with the customers who happen to be the last people in the supply chain. In this regard, we make orders of items from different vendors who supply them to us at a discounted wholesale prize. After that, we reconstruct the prices and sell the commodities to the consumers. On many occasions, we pay for the commodities depending on the availability of funds. As such, we can pay upfront, either on delivery or even at a later date. The modes of payments that we have are either in cash or in cheques. Every expense that is incidental to the delivery of the goods is borne by the company. However, we do not offer goods on credit to the customers. Most importantly, we get many customers daily and indeed, make many sales. In this regard, the vendors keep on supplying as the demand for the commodities increases. In the accounts department, different employees do the calculations concurrently, as there are several cashiers.
The project that my organization should undertake is the installation of QuickBooks. This software will help the organization in the proper management of its accounts. Specifically, according to Collins (2011, p24), it will provide features for the recording and retrieval of the expenses, incomes and other monies of the company. This project should however, be within a variety of frameworks. In this regard, the project needs to be viable for the company. Specifically, it should be within the cost limit of the company. Additionally, the project must be compatible with the operations of the company. This compatibility must be measured against the impact that it will have on the operations and employees in general. More importantly, the project must be an improvement to the current existing situation. As such, it must result from a new idea that was not in use before. Generally, the project must ease the operations of the company and ensure better service to the customers. Moreover, the project must be beneficial to the company. Undoubtedly, this project is the installation of QuickBooks that will ensure that every accounting record well kept (Collins, 2011, p24).
The various levels of this project as well as its management will be requiring the participation of several stakeholders. Every party will have a critical role as the project is not a one-man affair. All the stakeholders will need to work as a team for the proper management of the project. Specifically, the following stakeholders will have a stake in the project;
A team of experts will be tasked with looking into the best way that the project can be managed. This team is composed of the management of the organization as well as the technocrats in the computer software sector. Additionally, the team will have the visionary members of the organization who will provide the direction of the initiation up to the closure of the project. The steering committee will provide insights and strategies that will govern the implementation of the said project. Specifically, according to Wysocki (2011, p56), the committee will consider the long-term strategies of the organization and factor them in the project evaluation. Furthermore, the business objectives and interests of the organization will be represented by the steering committee.
This project will undoubtedly require a substantial amount of financial resources from the initiation stage to the closure stage. As such, there must be an established sponsor who is ready and willing to foot the bills involved in the process of the project management. The sponsor must provide the official backing of the project, financial resources, strategic direction and finally, the approval of the project. It is only after the approval by the official sponsor and the commitment that the project will kick off. Other than that, the sponsor will also be responsible for any political requirements that need to be fulfilled before the launch of the project. All permissions and approvals are bequeathed on the sponsor (Wysocki, 2011, p57). In the present case, the sponsor will be the owner of the organization.
This project must always be kept on tract so that every specific task is completed within the time that it is assigned. As such, there must be an individual who is tasked with the responsibility of ensuring that the project steps goes on as planned. The owner of the project will have regular meetings with the manager so that they could have various discussions on the direction that the project should take. The responsibility of the planning and execution of the project lies squarely on the shoulders of the project owner. Further, the associated documentations, project tracts and monitors are functions that are in the hands of the project owner. Finally, the project owner is the only individual who is allowed to officially close the project. However, it must be noted that the project owner must always maintain an objective point of view throughout the entire project.
There are several activities that will happen between the times that this project will be initiated up to when it will be closed. These activities have an order of precedence as some are more important than others are. There are several steps that will make up the critical path of the project. Notably, the critical path consists of the most important activities that ought to be performed for the success of the project. From the diagram, the project must first be initiated by the company and all the stakeholders informed. Thereafter, the contract for the implementation of the project must be tendered for the qualified candidates to apply. After the application and award of the contract, there will be a meeting between the contactor and the stakeholders so that they could chat the way forward. In this meeting, the owner of the project will state the expectations that exist in terms of performance and tome schedule. After the contractor has been briefed, the actual installation of the software will be begin with the contactor assembling material., installing the software and ascertaining if the installation is successful. After that, the stakeholders will test whether the software installation is successful and whether there are any adjustments that need to be made. If the stakeholders are satisfied with the project, then the actual closure of the project is made.
Project Closure Procedure
After the project is done, there will be a need to bring the process to an end. However, this will be another procedure as the necessary steps must be followed in the closure. In this regard, the following procedure will be employed in the closure of the project;
Collection of contract documentation- in this step, the manager of the project will initiate the first step in closing out the contract. The importance of collecting the contract documentation is for purposes of review. As such, all documentation contains pertinent information such as the schedules, changes in contract and performance reports will be collected (Levin, 2013, pe2).
Final review of the contract- after collecting the documentation, the contractor will make the last and final review of the contract to ascertain that any changes in requirements, deliverables and orders are noted. Further, it will be for the purpose of ensuring that all the requirements enumerated in the contract are met fully. Additionally, at this stage, it is ascertained that any change to the specifications of the project are documented approved and completed.
Formal acceptance- one the review has been done, the project manager, acting on behalf of the sponsor will then verify whether all the contractual conditions have been met. If satisfied, he/she will write an acceptance letter stating that the contract is complete.
Administrative closure- in this step, the project is handed over to the administration for their consumption. In the current scenario, the computes that have been installed with the QuickBooks software will now be handed over to the cashiers for their use.
Financial closure and audit- after everything has been inspected, the financial expenses of the project are audited. Specifically, the financial procedures, budgets and records of the organizations will be conducted so as to ascertain the correct or incorrect use of finances.
Celebration of the success after all is said and done, it will now be the time for all the stakeholders to celebrate the success that arise out of the completion of the project. In this regard, the organization will celebrate the installation of the QuickBooks software, which will ease the accounting part of the company.
List of References
Collins, J.C., 2011. A Quick Guide to QuickBooks These 15 tips will boost your proficiency on the world's most popular accounting system. Journal of Accountancy, 212(6), p.24.
Levin, G. (2013). Project Management for Non-Project Managers. Proj Mgmt Jrnl, 44(5), pp.e2-e2.
Rosenau, M.D. and Githens, G.D., 2011. Successful project management: a step-by-step approach with practical examples. John Wiley & Sons. p.30-45
Wysocki, R.K., 2011. Effective project management: traditional, agile, extreme. John Wiley & Sons.pp. 56-80.
Young, T., 2007. The Handbook of Project Management: A Practical Guide to Effective Policies and Proced. Kogan Page Publishers.pp78.
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