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    Communication Plan for Rick Auto Enterprise

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    Your company, Rick Auto Enterprises (RAE), is upgrading its legacy billing system. The system was installed originally over ten years ago, and has been upgraded according to the vendor's schedule, each one taking 9-12 weeks in duration with a team of 2 full time employees (FTE's).

    RAE will be doing a major upgrade now for the new web-based version of the system, in addition to the mainframe legacy system update. It is anticipated that this upgrade will take 16-20 weeks in duration; however, everyone has agreed that a more formal scheduling process should be completed which may change the duration estimate. The project will involve significant changes to existing business processes, changes to existing jobs, as well as the creation of several new positions. Customers as well as auto brokers will be able to view and pay their bills on-line, accessing a billing customer service agent when needed. This change, which will affect the billing, sales, and customer service departments, is expected to reduce costs, improve customer satisfaction, and reduce the number of days for outstanding accounts receivable. The existing customer service staff has some proficiency with web applications, but the billing and sales staff does not.

    To date, the Billing Department has owned the applications, and the director of the department has been the sponsor for all upgrade projects. For this upgrade, however, the chief operations officer has indicated that the Customer Service Department also needs to play a major role. It will be up to you to determine the project sponsor and steering committee structure and participants. You will do this during the initiation phase.

    Congratulations, you have been chosen to be the project manager; you will be on the project 30 hours a week and your rate is $150 per hour. You have significant experience with the system and have managed previous upgrade projects. You have acted as a business analyst, developer, and tester for projects on this package in the past. You will select your team, which will consist of several IT staff, supplemented by staff from the vendor. You have been told you can have up to 2.5 RAE FTEs, in addition to yourself, for the duration of the project. (The list of available people is described in the Phase Two task.)

    The vendor's role is to be determined by you; their consultants cost $165 an hour for business analysts, $135 an hour for technical architects, $110 an hour for programmers or testers, and $100 an hour for instructional designers, trainers, or technical writers. You have a budget of $125000.00 for vendor resources. You may supplement your team with vendors based on the holes in your RAE team. For example, you may choose to have the vendor provide programmers if you choose not to have any of the internal staff provide programming resources, if your budget permits.

    You will follow your organization's standard methodology for a package upgrade. Part of that process includes the development and delivery of documentation and training materials--a responsibility generally filled by the RAE IT training group. You have access to .5 FTE for the duration of the project to develop and deliver the materials. The person with the most experience on the package and current training/documentation will be unavailable to the project due to other projects; however, the vendor has adequate materials that can be purchased for an additional $8,500. You will need to determine the training needs, analyze the costs associated with each option, and determine the project's scope.

    With this version, the vendor also has another software add-on that supports the integration of your existing customer service system with the billing system's customer service functions. There is not a decision yet as to which customer service system will be used, whether or not they will be integrated, and the extent to which customer databases will be integrated (if at all). According to the vendor, the installation of the add-on will cost $45,000 and take an additional four weeks.


    Deliverable Length: 3000-3500 words
    Details: Develop a communications plan for the project. This should identify the audiences that must be reached. For each audience, describe the communication mechanism, the frequency of communication, the format, other parties involved, the initiator's responsibilities, and the recipients' responsibilities. Explain your rationale for your plan. Be as clear and concise as possible in your response.

    Objective: Reinforce PMI's project life-cycle project phases and process groups.
    Explain the need for effective project communications systems able to keep stakeholders informed of project status
    Apply the nine project management knowledge areas.

    Develop a Communications Plan. Don't write a paper about a communications plan; develop one That represents the project in the scenario. Use the PMBOK for a resource for the contents of the plan. Remember that a table should be used to really get information across to your audience. Don't forget that you can insert a section within a word document that changes the format of that page to landscape from portrait. That can give you additional space for your table. You can then insert another section following that one and set it up as portrait once again.

    Please Give References:

    Since this is a Communications Plan it should have sections for each of the areas. Do not double space this assignment. You wouldn't double space a real plan.

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    Solution Preview

    The response addresses the queries posted in 3547 words with references.

    //Before writing about the development of a communication plan, firstly we have to understand the importance of communication plan. We should know that what role a communication plan plays in the growth of the organization. So we will write about the role of communication plan and business organization under the heading of communication plan for Rick Auto Enterprises, for example: //

    Communication Plan for Rick Auto Enterprise


    As blood streams throughout the human body it provides oxygen to the body so that a human being can sustain his life similarly, a well designed communication plan is the lifeblood of various projects undertaken by different organizations. The importance of communication can be compared by the importance of a heart in the human body. As heart in the human body plays an important role of distributing oxygen throughout the body the project manager of a project constantly circulates project information from the external stakeholders to the project plan certification, to the internal stakeholders and to the project arrangement.

    The cycle of communication and information flow in every project is reiterative and continues all the way through the life of the project. Without proper information about a project, stakeholders and the project team can be left speculative about where the various things stand and what decisions have been made in regard to the project accomplishment. A well developed communication plan-like the project plan-is an essential part of the project. Project manager plays an important role in the development of communication plan as he knows each and every aspect of a project he is dealing with (Drinkwater, 2008).

    He knows about the important phases of a project and after identifying all the things he can establish the frequency, roles, responsibilities, addressee, and channel through which communication will be detached during a project. As a project manager is required to understand who is involved in the project, similarly it is important to comprehend what information is needed and the level at which they need to take delivery of it. Rick Auto Enterprise also needs to develop an effective communication plan for the up gradation of their legacy billing system.

    //Above, we have talked about the role of communication plan in the success of the organization. Now, as per the directions, we will discuss about the need of an effective plan in the company by analyzing the situation given in the scenario. This will guide us to understand its essentiality in the firm, for example: //

    Need for Effective Communication Plan

    Rick Auto Enterprises (RAE) is taking a project to upgrade its legacy billing system which was installed originally over ten years ago and now it has been planned to upgrade according to the vendor's schedule. RAE is upgrading a new web-based version of the system, in addition to its mainframe legacy system update. The project undertaken by company if achieves success, will engross significant changes to the existing business processes of company, changes to existing jobs and as well as the creation of several new positions.

    This change will have a number of positive effects for company. Customers as well as auto brokers related with company will be able to view and pay their bills on-line, accessing a billing customer service agent when needed. This change in company's legacy billing system will affect the billing, sales, and customer service departments and it is expected to decrease costs, improve customer satisfaction and reduce the number of days for outstanding accounts receivable. A well designed communication plan is necessary for company as it will have following benefits when it is applied to its knowledge areas:

    ? Project Integration Management: A well designed communication plan will help the company in integrating their different project activities by making an effective supply of information to various departments related with project of up gradation.

    ? Project Scope Management: An effective communication plan will provide a lot of scope for project as it will help the project manager in completing various activities by passing information to every one who is related to project.

    ? Project Time Management: Communication plan will prepare an outlay of information passing procedure which will reduce the time taken by various activities as after this communication plan everything will become clear to team members about from whom they can collect information and whom they need to report.

    ? Project Cost Management: Communication plan will save the cost of company as its plans and roles and responsibility of every member will become clear.

    ? Project Quality Management: Effective communication will maintain the quality of project undertaken by company as this will make every thing apparent to every member. Team members will be encouraged by getting information and this will result an increase in their productivity.

    ? Project Human Resource Management: With proficient communication plan team members included in the project can be managed efficiently by project manager because they all are clear about their duties and reporting pattern.

    ? Project Communications Management: This area of project is very important which can be successfully completed by project manager by making an effective plan.

    ? Project Risk Management: Effective communication plan can minimize the risk involved in the project of legacy billing up gradation.

    ? Project Procurement Management: Clear communication pattern helps the company in procuring various materials required for project (The Project Management Body of Knowledge, 2008).

    //Moving to the next direction, I am discussing about the process of developing a communication plan. I am not only ...

    Solution Summary

    The response addresses the queries posted in 3177 Words, APA References.