Touring Motorcycles Project Plan

Project management plan

Project planning divides activity into four key areas which are “setting objectives, identifying deliverables, planning the schedule and making supporting plans. Supporting plan may include communication methods, human resources, and risk management” (Drive Your Success, 2011, p. 21). There should be a proper time management framework for project activities. This will ensure success during execution. The project plan outlines activities that have to be carried out to ensure completion of the project. It also shows the other activities which need to be carried out alongside the main activities. The critical path is the path taken by the main activities in the chart. Activities which fall along the critical path must be executed within the allocated time. However, regardless of how well a projected is well managed or evaluated, delays are inevitable. Such delays may arise from a number of factors such as sudden snow fall and delays in delivery of suppliers among others. Causes of delays should be addressed as soon as possible. This will help in avoiding further delays.

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Scope of the project

Based on the market research conducted, it was found out that the current product line concentrate on production of middleweight motorcycles are limited to companies operating motorcycle touring businesses. The touring class motorcycles need a project-driven organizational structure that centers on the individual project and customer demands. This approach brings many benefits, including being responsive to the changing needs of the customers, effective at incorporating diverse skills in a team, and useful in project risk management (Gray & Larson, 2011).

Project Goals and Objectives

Goal Objective
This project aims at providing an improved, efficient, and cost effective heavyweight motorcycle for the touring companies.
  • To attain the total number of days of component at hand drastically to about 35%.
  • To attain a high standard heavyweight motorcycle within two months.
Shortening the product delivery times through the implementation of the new production system.
  • Through the implementation of the efficient production module, the time of transition from middleweight to heavyweight motorcycles will be made automatic; hence, there will be no need for manual updates on the production regarding the product outflow.
This project also seeks to develop a flexible and modularized system for increasing production period
  • The interface of the proposed production method shall be linked to the current production channel to duration of production.

Project Deliverables

This project shall be carried out in stages and shall involve various output deliverables. These shall include the use of Gantt charts, cash flows, and network diagrams to show the relationship between the various activities involved in the project and generation of resource sheets to display the utilization of the various resources at every stage of the project. In the context of this project, the Gantt chart shall be highly useful in displaying all the project activities and deliverables, their completion dates, and their progress. This is crucial, especially for managing the progress of the project and ensuring that everything is executed as per the plan (Microsoft Corporation, 2012).

Human resource requirement

Resource type Supplier Duration (hrs) Rate $/hr Estimated costs ($)
Architectural design External 216 220 47,520
Production engineer External 237 120 28,440
Project management Internal 161 120 19,320
Project coordination Internal 152 120 18,240
Trainer Internal 200 120 24,000
Supplier Internal 237 100 23,700
Production workers An external contractor 1200 1000 1,200,000
Total costs 1,361,220

Team-building strategies

Training approach

The training approach will be done through series of meeting between the internal and external suppliers of project requirements. Training will be continuous depending on the needs and dynamics of the project. Training has the advantage of improving the technical skills needed for the accomplishment of the project.

Rewards

There will be a reward to internal suppliers for a accomplishing each milestone within the set time. The reward will be in the form of monetary allowances and a certificate of competency. The reward strategy has the advantage of ensuring optimal performance and efficiency since it is a motivational factor.

Project Communication

The project directors hold the key to the future of the project. They have a mental picture and a vision of how they want the company to become after a given period of time. Members of the project workforce will be made to feel as being an integral aspect in the implementation of the proposed project. If properly communicated to, they are the strengths that ensure the success of the new procedures.

Technical support to team members

The plan will be communicated through face to face meetings and official emails. The progress will be communicated after every three days. The proposed technical support plan will be monitored every day during the first month to ensure that all the team members are comfortable and motivated. Technical support has the advantage of ensuring that the team members are well equipped and capable of delivering different elements of the heavyweight motorcycle project.

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Role of project manager

Role Responsibilities
Project manager
  • He shall be in charge of ensuring that the risk management plan is implemented as outlined in the document. He shall also monitor the status of all risks pertaining to the project and deliver regular reports regarding the same to the project sponsor for further action.
  • He shall also help in coordinating all the project team members to minimize risks and ensure maximum productivity.
  • He shall be the interface for linking the project team and ensure there is a harmonious relationship between the two groups. In this case, he will ensure that there is a balance between the risks that emanate from both parties during the project execution process.
  • He shall play a central and a major role of signing all the approvals regarding the project deliverables and activities.
  • He shall also be responsible for authorizing all the critical decisions regarding the occurrence of risks and the appropriate mitigation strategy to be adopted.

Characteristics of a project manager within the project

Visionary leadership

The project manager should have visionary leadership skills in order to be competent in planning and deliberation of duties. Besides, the project manager should be organized and goal oriented leader who is keen on transactional discourse of the project. Moreover, the project manager has to be an effective team player who can delegate duties to different parties in the project conceptualization. The visionary leadership will ensure that the project stages are proactively integrated for smooth transition from one stage to another (Wren, 2007).

Transformational management skills

The project manager should have transformational management characteristics such as diversity management and development of an insight that accommodates application of task oriented supervision in line with the project’s demands. Despite task orientation being rated as a high self leadership assessment strategy, action planning is of essence in creating solution oriented task and strategy implementation session for quantifying task orientation levels that are required in the success of this project (Wren, 2007).

Technical skills

The project manager should have technical skills, preferably in project execution to ensure that the balance between the technical and management needs are balanced in the project execution. In relation to the motorcycle project, the project manager will apply this skill in the execution and success evaluation stages in managing the motorcycle project (Wren, 2007).

Project Critical Path

The critical path is important in actualizing the project life and making projections in terms of time involved in each stage of the motorcycle project. From the high level activity precedence table created by the management of the project, the precedence network drawn below was derived.

Indication of time fir completion if the activity in weeks
Indication of time fir completion if the activity in weeks

In order to determine the critical path, calculations will be done for the duration of each stage of the project as indicated below.

  • Path 1: A → B → H → I = 3 + 4 + 2 + 4 = 13 weeks
  • Path 2: A → C → D → E → F → H → I = 3 + 2 + 3 + 6 + 2 + 2 + 4 = 22 weeks
  • Path 3: A → C → D → E → G → I = 3 + 2 + 3 + 6 + 3 + 4 = 21 weeks

Apparently, Path 2 becomes the critical path since it is the longest. Path 3’s float is 1 week while that of Path 1 is 9 weeks. This is presented in the diagram below where Path 2 (critical path) is highlighted.

Critical path indication
Critical path indication

In order to establish the late start-late finish, and early start-early finish, the network is subjected through a critical backward and forward pass as indicated in the diagram below.

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Network is subjected through a critical backward and forward pass
Network is subjected through a critical backward and forward pass

The diagram confirms Path 2 as was previously decided to be the critical path of the project.

Work Breakdown Structure, Pricing, and Costing

Project scheduling, estimating, and cost controls are the main factors of a project management system. For companies engaged in future construction, the right forecast of the future project cost is very significant. There are four criteria of scheduling and cost control, namely, directing progress, directing actions, controlling results, and conserving resources (Wren, 2007).

Project schedule and cost control procedures are very important for the motorcycle project. If one of them is changed, the other will automatically have to change. Even though while formulating the procedures great care is taken that all the related aspects are considered, it sometimes happens that some particular situation is not mentioned in the procedures. In such situations, the concerned engineers or contractors cannot change the procedure at their will. They have to make a formal written request to the concerned project manager, who in turn consults the management. Once the management approves the changes, the same are notified to the concerned parties (Snyder, 2009).

Work Breakdown Structure for the Motorcycle
1 Initiate Project
1.1 Develop Project Charter
1.1.1 Defining the project Scope
1.1.2 Defining the Requirements
1.1.3 Identifying the High-Level roles in the project
1.1.4 Developing the High-Level budget for the project
1.1.5 Identifying the High-Level strategies for control
1.1.6 Finalizing the charter and gaining the approvals
1.1.6.1 Consolidating and proactively publishing the Project Charter
1.1.6.2 Holding the first review meeting
1.1.6.3 Revising the project charter from the results of the first meeting
1.1.6.4 Gaining free approvals after revision
2 Plan Project
2.1 Develop Work Plan
2.1.1 Developing the Work Breakdown Structure
2.1.2 Developing the final staffing plan for the project
2.1.3 Developing the proactive project schedule
2.1.4 Developing the final project budget
2.2 Develop Project Control Plan
2.2.1 Developing a comprehensive communication plan
2.2.2 Developing a proactive quality management schedule
2.3 Finalize Project Plan and Gain Approvals
3 Execute and Control Project
3.1 Design Framework
3.1.1 Defining the stages and activities for each framework
3.1.2 Creating the framework for project content formats
3.1.3 Designing the production framework tool
3.2 Build the Framework
3.2.1 Creating the content for the production framework
3.2.2 Reviewing the created framework for quality purpose
3.2.3 Building a strategic production monitoring tool
3.3 Test the Framework
3.3.1 Testing the efficiency of the production process
3.3.2 Testing the usability of the new motorcycle
3.3.3 Adjust the production framework within the feedback from tests
3.4 Implement Framework
3.4.1 Moving the production methodology into mass production environment
3.4.2 Announce the new motorcycle product in the targeted market
4 Close the Project
4.1 Conducting a comprehensive review of post motorcycle production
4.2 Declaring the project as successful

Assigning resources

In the motorcycle project as earlier discussed in the project critical path, step B falls on the critical path while step C and D does not. All the three steps are at a risk of being delayed. As a priority, a project manager should first consider a possibility of continuing with other non critical path activities. This is possible when there are delays affecting critical path activities (Snyder, 2009). This will help reduce the overall impact of delay on the project. In this scenario, since the delay will affect both critical and non critical activities, the project manager should allocate available resources to the critical step, that is, step B (Drive Your Success, 2011). This is because delaying any activity along the critical path delays the whole project. Therefore, all critical path activities should be completed within the scheduled time. Thereafter, resources can be allocated to the non critical path activities. In this scenario, once the critical path activity has been completed, the project manager can then allocate resources to step C first then D because step C comes before step D.

The Gantt project chart

Reflectively, the Gantt project is a success measuring tool for cross platform review of the entire procedures and stages of project implementation. This tool has an application which monitors resources of the project, time allocation and completion tracking. Since it is flexible in creating project tracking charts, this tool is necessary in communication and promotion of the project deliverable variables since it classify each according to the stages, timeframe, and milestones (Snyder, 2009). In implementing this project effectiveness tracking tool, soft skills come in at the point of relevance and procedural adjustments that might be needed following the series of project management dynamics. Specifically, this tool is relevant in the motorcycle project environment in tracking and managing time frame allocated for each project milestone since it can be modified to address changes that might occur in each stage of project management (Wren, 2007). This is summarized in the appendix 1.

References

Drive Your Success (2011). PERT Project Management: Mid-Project PERT Correction. Web.

Gray, C.F., & Larson, E.W. (2011). Project management: The managerial process. New York, NY: McGraw-Hill.

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Microsoft Corporation (2012). Manage your project’s critical path. Web.

Snyder, C. (2009). A project manager’s book of forms: A companion to the PMBOK guide, fourth edition. Hoboken, ST: Wiley.

Wren, A. (2007). The project management A-Z: a compendium of project management techniques. USA: Gower Publishing Companies.

Appendix 1: Project Gantt Chart

PM for motorcycle
PM for motorcycle
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