- Researching and Applying Business Process Improvement (BPI)
- Research Matrix Management and How to Survive it.
- Critical Considerations for Managing Outsourced Projects in the fields of software and high technology
- Building relationship with the team and vendor will also contribute to the better project management.
Software Project Management Concepts
Researching and Applying Business Process Improvement (BPI)
Business Process Management helps in systematizing the workflow of the organization. It makes the activities more efficient and helps it to become adaptable according to the changing environment.
Through BPI, we will be implementing the business process management of IBM to improve procedures such as time savings, click savings, implementation costs, impact on students work flow, impact on the administration’s work flow and others.
To reinforce the notion to implement automated business process management in North-Western Polytechnic University, a real-life case study of Ball State University (Indiana) is presented here. IBM BPM was implemented in BSU and mentioned below are benefits the University has achieved (IBM, 2010):
Preserving existing changes: The new system was implemented without completely discarding the previous one. The changes took place behind the scenes, thus, none of the stakeholders felt the change and therefore, the implementation in the initial made smooth.
Master Data Base: All the data pockets were connected to create a central data base. This helped in the removal of repetitive data and also, helped the university get the clear picture of what data are available.
Smooth Student Registration Process: Smart SOA services of IMB-BPM gave students an end-to-end Web-based registration process. It also gave students the online access to course information and course availability, plus any prerequisites or permissions required, and they can complete the registration process online. If the student owes the University more than $50, the system will generate a notification to the student that the balance must be paid before registration is allowed.
Reuse of the SOA service: The service helps the University and the implementation team to reuse and repeat the service across different systems, thus saving time and money
Looking at the above benefits Ball State University garnered from the implementation of Business Process Management, it is advisable that NWP University should adopt the BPM to fast track its services and smoothen the processes.
Research Matrix Management and How to Survive it.
Research Matrix Management defines the structure of an organization in multiple command and control framework. In such structures, employees might have multiple responsibilities and multiple bosses.
According to Gill Corkindale (HBR, 2008), there are various challenges faced by organizations that follow matrix management. They are:
Multiple reporting can cause conflict among staffs
Lack of accountability can occur if management roles are not properly defined.
Transition to self-management is a necessary component in Matrix structure, which is not possible for most of the employees in the organization.
Parallel priorities in Matrix Management might not lead to an efficient result.
Constant reorganizations are required in Matrix management that may hamper the relationships between knowledge and know-how of organization.
Managers who are not attentive enough can cause stress and over-work.
Keeping track of project handlers can be difficult.
Above mentioned challenges can be handled in the matrix structure of an organization if proper guidelines are followed. For example, managers have to make sure that everything is in proper place from the beginning such as values, behavior, and culture. If the management team has better communication skill, then it will help them to network better with the various employees and help them learn new skills and get information that are important to them.
Developing well-defined goals and objectives can help the managers and staffs understand where they are and where they need to go. Giving empowerment to the teams can help resolve conflicts at various levels. Better management of priorities and understanding what can be traded off can be beneficial for the employees in such structure. A proper communication channel should be there, and staffs and managers should inform each crucial step.
Critical Considerations for Managing Outsourced Projects in the fields of software and high technology
Given below are the factors that should be considered while managing the outsourced projects in the field of software and high technology ():
Get involved: It might be possible that the vendor lacks enough information to perform his duty, and if the managers leaves the project completion entirely on the vendor, then most probably the product he will get will not suit the need of the organization. Therefoere, proper involvement and guidance to the vendors is necessary periodically.
Communicating project Goals: A proper communication and involvement of more people for the vendor, will result into better product completion. It will build a sense of teamwork between the organization and the vendor that will eventually lead to desired result.
Proper Project Estimation: Project estimation is done before every project development, but it is possible that the vendor might have its specific estimation team whose estimates do not align with the goals of the organization. Thus it is suggested that managers should personally involve in the estimation process and ensure that the project plan is based on actual facts and figures and not on certain assumptions.
Managing Project Actively: Mangers must always stay in know-how of the team. He should be aware about what progress has been made till date and things that are needed to be done to complete the project within stipulated time. Setting up an inspection process will be beneficial as it will not steal autonomous culture and also contribute to the product development.
Sharing information to the Management: Sharing will help the management understand how much effort the project manager is putting into the project resolve certain problems. This will work as a shield in case of any unexpected events, and also, management can take necessary steps well on time to resolve the problem.
Building relationship with the team and vendor will also contribute to the better project management.
Given below is the sample of a questionnaire that will be used for vendors (Inc.com):
Vendor Survey Form
Report by:_______ Date:________
Year in business:
Number of employees:
Q. C. Manager:
Annual sales in dollars:
Main product line:
Minor product line:
D & B requested:
How does vendor intend to meet our requirements?
Overall impression: (excellent/good/average/poor)
Should our company do business with this vendor?
Please circle one: (1-Should not do business with/2-caution rating/3-average/4-good rating/5-world class rating)
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Corkindale, Gill. "Surviving Matrix Management". Harvard Business Review. N.p., 2008. Web. 21 Dec. 2015.
IBM, IBM Business Process Management,. IBM Business Process Management Success Stories. IBM, 2010. Print.
Stellman, Andrew, and Jennifer Greene. Applied Software Project Management. Sebastopol, CA: O'Reilly, 2006. Print.