Evaluating the Use and Application of Project Management Theory and Methodologies
- 1) Executive Summary – The Taunton Warehouse Project
- 2) Introduction-The Prince2 Project Management Method
- 3) The Adoption Of Prince2 Method For Taunton Warehouse Project
- 4) Anticipated Issues Where Pmbok And Agile Approach May Provide A Better Support
- 5) Conclusion
- 6) Recommendations
- 7) References
Executive Summary – The Taunton Warehouse Project
Supermarket X, a food retailer giant in the UK with over 400 stores, over 9 million customers per week, and employing about 32,000 staff is seeking to enhance the capacity of their supply chain while efficiently reducing costs to ensure the continued growth their retail business. Large Logistics Organization has won the five-year contract to operate an 860,000 sq ft composite warehouse in Taunton, Somerset, England, on behalf of Supermarket X. The estimated budget for the project is £ 3.5 million. In the initial phase, all Taunton building & property, IT, provision for delivery and trunking vehicles, manual handling equipment, transport and warehouse fixtures, and fitting fit-out will be the responsibility of Supermarket X. They will pay all the site running costs. The Taunton site represents the final link in Supermarket X’s infrastructure rationalization policy. In the longer run, a Large Logistics organization will be responsible for operating the warehouse, transportation, back-office functions, recruitment and training of employees, and vehicle maintenance unit.
The best project management method that can be adopted for managing the Taunton Warehouse Project is the PRINCE2 method, which helps divide the whole project into manageable and controllable stages. This claim can be substantiated by providing a description of the specific features and processes of the PRINCE2 project management method and how its adoption will enable the successful implementation of the Taunton Warehouse project while considering the anticipated issues.
Introduction – The Prince2 Project Management Method
Project management is the process of planning, organizing, monitoring, and controlling all the aspects of a project. It includes inspiring all those involved to achieve the project objectives of safety and completion within the stipulated time, cost, and performance. It should also include approaches for embracing uncertainties and emerging more efficiently out of it. (Prokof’eva, 2019). It relates to the management of the company as a whole. The industrial and academic communities have realized that projects must be linked tangibly to merge the company’s strategy and the whole management application of the corporation. (Vaníčková, 2017).”PRINCE” stands for Projects IN Controlled Environments. It is pronounced as a structured method for effective project management for all projects and not just in the information system industry. (Hooke, 2007). PRINCE2 started as PROMPT II developed by a private company about 30 years ago. (Rose and Cabanis-Brewin, 2011.). The significant elements of control of the PRINCE2 method are stages and tolerances. Steps are used to suitably supervise the project management and also monitor progress against a standard. This element also helps document those directly involved in the project, such as project manager and project board members and also outlines the products to be delivered and the resources and the activities required. It also allows a regular assessment of the last stage and proceeding to the next step. The size of the project and related risks largely influences the number of steps involved. (Xavier and Piurcosky, 2019). Tolerances allow for management by exception approach, which consists of the project board making decisions when the project tolerances have surpassed and include time, cost, scope, risk, quality, and benefits. Tolerance should always be set cautiously as over-concentration on just one feature will imbalance the overall project resulting in an unexpected time or budget slippage. (Walley, 1999). The various benefits of PRINCE2 project management method include:
- It applies to a wide variety of projects and is relatively simple than other ways as it ensures that the project goals are met systematically.
- It is a consistent approach as it manages the business focus of the project continuously, which ensures greater control and business justification.
- It associates meticulous competencies and thus prevents reinventing the wheel for project management.
- It enhances the decision-making rights of investors and improves the communication between project team members and investors.
The PRINCE2 method involves seven principles. Principles are characterized as universal, self-validating, and empowering. (Tomanek and Juricek, 2015). The principles are:
This principle ensures that the project remains allied to the business objectives and goals, appropriately documented, and initiatives the decision making process. It emphasizes that a project must be relevant and have sustained business justification; that is, it should be driven by a concrete business case that captures the reasoning for initiating a project or task. It is information-driven and develops business value in mind. (Bröchner, 2017) It is used in previously analyzing the opportunity and risk of a business (Maqsood, 2011)
Learn from Experience
This principle emphasizes that lessons are pursued, documented, and acted upon throughout the project. Learning requires higher-level processes than education. The application of PRINCE2 project management methodology is predominantly based on the professional experience of the project managers (Tachikawa, Maruyama and Nakamura, 2013). Time and moments need to be created for the acquirement, recording, and communication of experiences within a PRINCE2 Project. The distinctive features characterizing management of internal change projects include lack of previous experience from comparable projects and facing complications in defining resources and time required and sometimes even difficulties in determining the project results (Howard, 2010).
Defined Roles and Responsibilities
This principle emphasizes the recognition of the project management team structures. It ensures that the right people are involved in the process and that all parties are well aware of what is expected of them. Roles are usually assumed to be comparatively stable. (Cagliesi, 2017). A PRINCE2 project has defined and agreed roles and responsibilities with an organization structure that considers the business, users, supplier stakeholders, and investors’ interests and objectives.
Manage by Stages
The possibility to break the project up into manageable chunks is the advantage of such an approach. (Guide, 2008). A PRINCE2 project must be planned, monitored, and controlled for each stage, providing control points at chief intervals throughout the project. It gives control points to appraise progress to evaluate justification. (Fernández-Parra et al., 2016)
Manage by Exception
A PRINCE2 project has demarcated tolerances for each project objective and has recognized ground rules on delegated authority. Manage by exception means that the upper-level management gives the lower level management to manage on their behalf. (Hinde, D., 2018). The lower management levels need not refer to the higher levels of management as each management level is allocated separate tolerances. (Ranjan, 2008).
Focus on Products
A PRINCE2 project is product-oriented as it addresses proper definition and delivery of products at high quality, and thus product-based planning is a crucial feature of PRINCE2. (Raz and Michael, 2001).
Tailor to Suit the Project Environment
The PRINCE2 methodology should be tailored to suit the project environment and gives due importance to the project’s size, background, complexity, importance, capability, and risks. This principle recognizes that projects cannot be managed to rigid formulas, and it should reflect the particular circumstances of each case. (Mihajlović Milićević et al., 2019)
The Adoption of Prince2 Method For Taunton Warehouse Project
The PRINCE2 method has a distinct process that is intended to cater to the need of any type of project and provides a systematic approach from planning a project to delivering the products and divides project processes into ‘process groups’ (Matos and Lopes, 2013). It involves starting up a project, initiating a project, controlling a stage, managing product delivery, managing stage boundaries, and closing a project. PRINCE2 provides greater control over project resources and surpasses at managing business and project risk more commendably. It can be rightly said that risk management in one of the critical processes of project management. (Lianying, Jing and Xinxing, 2012).
The PRINCE2 process can be divided into phase I, Phase II, and Phase III in the Taunton Warehouse Project marking the start, middle, and end of the project.
Phase I – The Commencement Phase
The initial stage of any project management and its implementation involves understanding the project’s background and requirements. It consists of the scanning of the environment for the identification of business/investment opportunities. The inception of the Taunton Warehouse project is to improve the warehouse facility of Supermarket X to expand its supply chain capacity, facilitate company growth, and promote faster delivery of goods to outlets. Adopting the PRINCE2 method will help create a project mandate that will aid in a controlled start. It involves groundwork and viability evaluation. It is evident that the market opportunities are massive as Supermarket X is well established in their industry, and the selection of Large Logistic organization is a practical option for expanding their supply chain system. Initially, a team is assigned, and they are equipped with all the information needed for the next process to make efficient use of money and time. In Taunton Warehouse Project, the initial costs of building and property fit-out, site running cost, management of IT, delivery vehicles, manual handling equipment, transport, and warehouse fixtures and fittings will be provided by Supermarket X.
In this phase, when PRINCE2 methodology is adopted, the second stage is to understand the work to be done in the project and initiate the project considering time, cost, quality, scope, benefits, and risk. The Taunton Warehouse project is aimed to be completed by the end of April 2021 with all operations in and old sites exited and closed with an estimated budget of £3.5 million for client cost. The activities related to this process also comprise constructing risk, configuration, quality, and communications management strategies. A proper communication plan should be developed between the Project manager, Human resource manager and project team including communication to existing employees regarding job offer to the Taunton site, prospective employees about the venture, warehouse construction plan to construction supervisor and crew, closure of old sites to site manager and onsite employees. This stage also helps address and resolve risks and enhance benefits by setting up project control and project initiation documentation.
Phase II – The Middle Phase
Phase two involves mainly two processes in PRINCE2 methodology, which comprises directing the project and the control stages. The middle step is a continuing process from the commencement to the culmination of a project in which the project manager assigns tasks, monitor the work, and take remedial actions when required while reporting its progress. Site clearance by initiating pre-construction cleanup and closure of old sites can be appropriately done with the help of the PRINCE2 method. It authorizes a work package, review status, and progress and helps in quality checks. The start-up of the vehicle maintenance unit and resource recovery unit can be done in this stage by focusing on its designing and implementation while recruiting the necessary employees to complete this task. This stage involves coordinating daily work and communication between team members and the project manager, which provides proper control over the project. The recruitment of new and migration of existing employees and management, migration of ambient, chill and frozen from 4 sites to Taunton all come under this phase.
Phase III- The End Phase
This phase involves managing the product delivery, managing stage boundaries, and closing the project. This process of PRINCE2 helps in the efficient delivery of the project product, and setting stage boundaries help to review and update the project plan in respect of the current stage and helps in shifting to the next step. This helps in making critical decisions by the Project Board and ensures proper control over the project. Further recruitment of the employees and the TUPE transfer of 100 employees from Yeovil can be done in this stage by reviewing the requirements of the project plan’s stages. The business case maintained in the PRINCE2 method is updated on a stage-by-stage basis as revised forecasts for the project become known. The last process involves the closure of the project and the final review of the project regarding the achievement of its goals and objectives within the time frame. It also involves identifying follow up actions and free up leftover resources.
Anticipated Issues Where Pmbok and Agile Approach May Provide A Better Support
The PRINCE2 project management method’s biggest weakness is the lack of tools and techniques, whereas the PMBOK guide has over 100 tools and techniques. This also implies that PRINCE2 requires sufficient experience for its successful adoption. There are many who believe that the PRINCE2 method of project management does not require an emphasis on soft skills essential for a competent Project Manager. In contrast, PMbok places much more focus on softs skills such as leadership capability and business skills, rather than stressing exceedingly on technical project management skills. This may pose a significant problem in the Taunton Warehouse Project as the involvement and quality of a Project Manager is vital in its implementation. It involves crucial steps such as the closure of old sites, preparation of design for vehicle maintenance and resource recovery unit and other miscellaneous pre-construction activities, recruitment of new employees, and migration of old employees. It also involves identifying delays and significant flaws in the project implementation to coordinate the activities of the employees and objectives of the project accordingly. A large number of employees for the Taunton Warehouse Project will be chosen from existing senior employees, and thus a high proportion of management staff may transfer to Taunton. These matters significantly question the qualitative skills of leadership and collaboration of the Project Manager in handling the situation with poise without creating communication clashes and disputes by interacting effectively and harmoniously, which is not given due importance in the PRINCE2 method. PRINCE2 has been designed to be easily tailored, but this can prove to be a lengthy and challenging solution for organizations without the essential project management proficiency(Rose, 2010).
PRINCE2 requires that the project manager report an exception to the project board when expected to exceed an agreed tolerance. However, it is often too late to mitigate the impacts of the issue as project managers wait to respond to their Exception report. The Agile method requires daily conversations involving the whole team regarding the project’s progress, ensuring proper control. It practices helping the entire organization and not just the project team (Davidson Frame, 2014). This may pose issues in the Taunton Warehouse project as the various stages of execution of the project require quick decision making and steady execution of operations without exceeding the tolerances.
The method of project management must be wisely chosen for the successful implementation of any project. PRINCE2 is one of the most leading and most practiced project management frameworks and has all the essentials for running a successful project. It claims to be highly adaptable and flexible, but ultimately the methodology we choose will depend on the needs of the project. It can be concluded that the PRINCE2 method of project management is an excellent option for the Taunton warehouse project keeping aside the few concerns.
The project manager may thoughtfully adopt a hybrid project management method if the firm intends to make effective use of various methods of project management. PRINCE2 is not an exclusive method of project management, and thus it can be efficiently used with PMBOK guide or Agile approach in such a way that it complements each other. However, this calls for sound knowledge in both the methods and requirements of mandates and resources. Project managers may cautiously consider their expertise and the applicability of the methods without complicating the process. Nevertheless, the PRINCE2 way, in its glory, is an excellent project management method.
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