The focus of this project is time-to-market and quality over cost, so while we want to keep an eye on the budget, we need to have a quality system in place to gain a competitive edge on our competition. The scope of the project has been completed, the budget and timeline are in place, we have planned costs and controls, and we completed a quality plan to measure and define the quality objectives. Part of planning scope relates to managing and planning the risks of a project before they occur. "No amount of planning can overcome risk, or the inability to control chance events. In the context of projects, risk is an uncertain event or condition that, if it occurs, has a positive or negative effect on project objectives. (Larsen, 2013)"
The business requirements are clear, which are to gain a competitive advantage with a quality system that quickly receives information from vendors, collects it in a database, and informs customers about changes to their plan. There are often changes to plans that need to be tracked and sent to each member. Part of the system requirements will involve creating a list of members that are affected by changes, so the vendors and members need to be connected in the database in order to determine who will be notified. Here is a list of requirements involved in the project along with the person(s) responsible for completing it:
The Project Manager essentially manages the cost by controlling the hours and days spent on each task. Since 95% of the project is labor based it's imperative that I control the amount of hours each resource spends on a task and move on to the next task immediately. "Prior to erecting a new plant or taking on a new project, prudent managers will conduct a cost-benefit analysis as a means of evaluating all of the potential costs and revenues that may be generated if the project is completed. (Investopedia, n.d.)" The cost of the project is current estimated at $230,000 and it wasn't a major concern as mentioned in the Medical Informatics case study. Quality and competitive edge were both mentioned as top priorities.
Even though cost isn't a major concern, is the result worth the investment? The initial idea of having a database collect vendor information and automatically associate the information to plan members is most definitely worth it. It will save the employees the time of gathering the changes to policies, finding the appropriate plan members, and notifying them manually. The amount of time it takes to complete those tasks is further multiplied by the amount of growth in future years.
The Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) involves the costs of support and maintenance after spending $230,000 to plan and create the system. A car, for example, might have the same price tag as a truck, but the truck will pay more money for gas over the next 5 years creating a higher TCO. General maintenance will need to be done on a monthly basis, updates will need to be made, and as the company grows and technology advances, more updates and requests for changes will undoubtedly come up. Therefore, the estimated TCO of the project is double, $460,000, including 5 years of additional server space, labor, and updates to adhere to new company processes and procedures.
Our budgeted costs are $230,000, or $460,000 TCO, including wiggle room in many areas of the project. Putting less than tight tolerances allows for some areas of the project to take extra time because all projects have those situations. If everything goes exactly as planned the actual cost will be far less than budgeted.
The earned value of the project can be estimated based on the time saved by reviewing changes from vendors and finding the appropriate members to alert. Since the company is growing we can also calculate the amount of money we would have spent hiring new employees to handle the additional work load for the manual process that needs to be completed. The TCO costs will be recouped in 5 years and the employees will be happier at work when they realize that their jobs just got a little bit easier.
It's popular to say "quality before quantity" while managers whip employees like a horse to move faster. As the new project manager I can assure you I put quality before quantity, especially when the project memo states that quality comes before cost. I need to learn more about each staff member included in the project so I plan to use key performance indicators (KPI). The results will be twofold because I get more acquainted with the staff and use the information to continue managing the project timeline. "Since KPI is also a metric, we can have KPIs in the form of numbers and ratios. So we can have number KPIs and we can have ratio KPIs. (Sharma, n. d.)"
I want to measure how each employee pays attention to detail, finishes their task in the time allotted, and completes the task with the upmost quality. If these criteria turn out to have negative reviews by me then I will take action quickly, so that the project doesn't suffer for it. These are important aspects of defining quality. Sometimes you might hear, "It's worth the wait because of the high quality," but it's not worth the wait when we have a specific budget in place. If, however, a piece of quality can be added to the task for additional time as an expense, then we'll have a meeting about it and discuss the addition to the project with the stakeholders. They will determine if it's worth it or not.
Larson, Erik, Clifford Gray. Project Management: The Managerial Process, 6th Edition. McGraw-Hill Learning Solutions, 10/2013. VitalBook file. Page 205.
Investopedia.com (n.d.). BREAKING DOWN: Cost Benefit Analysis. Retrieved from:
Sharma, H. (n. d.). Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) - Complete Guide. Retrieved from: