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    Your company, HLR Inc., is about to implement a major initiative that will impact many aspects of the organization and that will have a significant cost. This is the largest project ever undertaken by the company, and it must be completed within 18 months. It will involve the people at headquarters, as well as two remote sites, one of which is in a foreign country. It will be led by the information technology (IT) department. You have been assigned to lead the entire project.

    Until recently, HLR has not been very disciplined in its IT project management. In the past, IT projects have not been completed within budget or on time. Though you have the support of the CIO, who understands the value of project management, not all the business units that will be affected by this project share this understanding. For many of them, project management is viewed as limiting and unnecessary. You know that one of your first major battles will be to get the business units and IT managers to understand your role and the value that project management brings to the organization.

    Implementing this project "standard customer relationship management processes" involves business process reengineering and a large system implementation. Staff resources have been allocated for this project from IT and from the following major business units:

    Sales (Chicago Headquarters and Ottawa, Canada): Establishes and maintains the relationship with the lease customer and needs to be aware of the status of lease arrangements and customer problems
    Product fulfillment (Denver and Ottawa): Processes, evaluates, and approves development and leasing contracts; recommends change requests to customers, and updates project scope information if approved by change control board
    Customer service (Denver): Resolves problems for customers by implementing conflict management process to handle customer issues; updates approved changes to customer information
    Billing (Chicago): Deals with rental payments, invoice issues, and follow-ups; updates approved changes to customer information; provides financial information to sales and executive management
    Marketing (Chicago): Reviews sales and future development data and determines marketing opportunities
    Currently, each business unit uses a different information system and set of manual processes. Customer information is stored in several databases and is not consistent across systems. Marketing must gather information from multiple systems and does not feel that the data are very accurate. Significant business and future development opportunities are consistently lost because of these data problems.

    Within the organization, there is a lack of experienced and skilled human resources available to successfully complete this project. The software vendor to be selected will need to provide many of the technical staff because IT has focused solely on maintaining legacy systems in the past. The current business unit managers are primarily responsible for defining new processes and data requirements and are not very knowledgeable about the project groups. They do not realize that expert knowledge is possessed by the lower level staff members who execute the daily tasks.

    During annual strategic planning, senior management identified this project as critical for the entire organization. HLR has experienced a 25% growth in sales development over the past year. Growth for the next year is hoped to be over 35%. Growth will be achieved through targeting new markets, expansion, and the introduction of several mall and development plans. To achieve this growth, aggressive project forecasting will be needed to provide realistic, accurate project data to achieve these goals.

    Develop a 20-minute presentation that you will give to your manager and the project sponsors. The presentation should cover the following:

    the benefits of project planning
    project management within the various types of organizational systems
    how your approach to project management will affect the success of the project outcome.

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    Solution Preview

    For this project, you need 7+ slides and you have three areas for the slides.
    ?the benefits of project planning
    Slide #1:
    The Benefits of Project Planning
    1. Greater accountability through the project management team.

    2. Greater assurance of the delivery of needed services to a company.

    3. Adds to a company's competitive advantage due to increased efficiency.

    4. Ability to offer more services and goods to clients and other firms.

    Each bullet point needs approx. 62 words and you will have 250 words of notes. #1 - the focus is on how accountability shifts to the project management team. This allows the other employees in the firm to concentrate on other tasks. Because the project management team is accountable for the project, including the project plan, efficiency and set expectations are able to be established.

    #2 - there is a greater assurance that needed services and resources will be available to the company because the relationships and contacts have been established for proper project planning.

    #3 - The company is able to maintain a higher degree of efficiency because they are utilizing the proper structure of project planning. The firm therefore increases overall productivity, which adds to their competitive advantage.

    #4 - Due to a defined project planning structure, the firm is able to do two things: 1) take on a greater number of projects themselves, and 2) able to offer their project management services to other firms, thereby increasing their own profitability.

    Slide #2 The Benefits of Project Planning, cont'd ...

    5. The ability to follow a clear project plan in each major stage of project development.

    6. Communications between individuals and resources is better structured through project planning.

    7. Each part of the project will have a defined plan, including concerns that involve risks, budgets, and staffing.

    8. Clear objectives and goals are stated through project planning, leading to clear expectations from all individuals the project affects.

    Again, it would be simplest to divide each bullet point into around 62 words. 5 - The ability to follow a clear project plan leads to greater awareness and clarity throughout the project. This also prevents scope creep, which is a major concern with project management. 6 - When there is a project plan, communications are more defined and the lines of communication remain open between parties. This leads to a reduction in resource risk because the elements of the project are known to each party through an open communication pattern that remains open until the final project close.

    7 - Because the project plan has gone through the necessary steps, the risks and constraints have been properly identified. The project manager is therefore able to address such risks and constraints, and it leads to risk mitigation and possible elimination. 8 - Project planning leads to clear objectives and goals for the project. Because the appropriate objectives have ...

    Solution Summary

    Develop a 20-minute presentation that you will give to your manager and the project sponsors. The presentation should cover the following:

    the benefits of project planning
    project management within the various types of organizational systems
    how your approach to project management will affect the success of the project outcome.