XYZ Inc.: Description of an Information System

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Introduction

The horizontal construction industry has undergone remarkable transformations over the past decades. One of the factors that has promoted growth within this industry relates to adoption of new construction methods, for example the Accelerated Bridge Construction [ABC]. This method has enabled construction companies to compress their project schedules. Firms in the horizontal construction industry are mainly involved in the development of public utilities such as airfields, bridges and roads. Therefore, the firms have an obligation to ensure that the public funds allocated for a particular construction project are optimally utilized. This increases the level of public support towards the operation of the horizontal construction companies and hence the likelihood of future success. One of the ways through which horizontal construction companies can attain public support is by ensuring that the projects assigned are successfully completed. Thus, it is essential for the companies’ management teams to develop an effective working environment. One of the areas of focus relates to implementation of an effective communication system (Kusters & Versendaal, 2013).

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XYZ Inc.; Company background

XYZ Construction Inc., a horizontal construction company located in Denver, Colorado, intends to modernize its technology and information systems in order to improve its competitiveness in preparation for its Initial Public Offer [IPO]. The modernization process will entail implementing a number of technologies, which include Enterprise Resource Planning system (ERP), Human Resource Information System and Customer Relationship Management software. This will enable XYZ to measure the level of service quality and customer satisfaction and to successfully undertake new market evaluation. Furthermore, the technologies will improve the firm’s compliance with equal employment opportunity requirement in developing its workforce. This study evaluates the areas that the firm will focus on in order to successfully integrate the new technology.

Project planning

To successfully implement the new technology, the firm will be required to undertake a comprehensive project planning process. This will be attained by considering a number of project management knowledge areas, which are illustrated herein.

Project vision

The vision of the project is to improve XYZ internal and external information and communication capabilities.

Project objectives

To improve the level of synergy in the organization’s operation by improving the level of knowledge and information sharing amongst the project participants.

To enhance the firm’s human resource planning activities by improving employee recruitment and retention.

Project assumptions

The following propositions will be made in planning process.

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Sufficient funds will be available to support implementation of the new information and information system. The funds will be sourced internally.

The implementation process will be supported by all the stakeholders in the lower, middle and top management levels.

There will be no major economic changes that will affect the estimated project cost.

Project constraints

There are numerous challenges that affect implementation of a particular project. Thus, project managers should understand the possible constraints in order to formulate optimal strategies to deal with the constraints (Staliński, 2012). The following constraints are likely to be encountered in the process of implementing the new information and management system.

  • Time: The firm intends to change its ownership structure from a private to a public company within a few months time by participating in an IPO. This transformation is expected to take place in a few months time. The firm intends to attract a large number of investors during its IPO. However, the chances of attracting such investors will depend on the attractiveness of the firm’s shares as a potential investment vehicle. Implementation of the new technology is expected to promote the firm’s competitiveness. Therefore the project should be completed within the set time frame. Delays in the project implementation might hinder the transformation process.
  • Resources: the project implementation process may be affected by the scarce nature of resources. The new project will be implemented under a tight budget. Occurrence of budget loss because of shortage of funds might adversely affect the project implementation process (Rosacker & Rosacker, 2010).

Project scope

Adequate scope management will be integrated in order to order to ensure that the new technologies are effectively implemented. Bryde(2003) postulates that optimal scope management improves projects outcome. Implementation of the HRIS, CRM and ERP software will be undertaken in two phases. Below are some of the aspects that will be undertaken during the first and the two phases.

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Phase 1

Evaluation of the degree of fit of the new technology to the organization’s operation.

Communicating the need to change the organization’s technology and information system to all the internal stakeholders.

Constituting a multidimensional project team.

Phase 2

Procurement of the necessary technologies.

Implementation of the new technologies.

Project time management

The project is expected to be completed in three months. Therefore, the Project Manager has an obligation to successfully implement the project within the set time frame. Subsequently, a detailed project schedule will be designed. This will be attained by developing a work breakdown structure as illustrated below.

Project time management

Financial and cost planning

According to Atler (2005), projects involve a substantial amount of money. Despite this, most organizations are constrained by the high cost involved in implementing the project. Therefore, it is imperative for the project manager to ensure that the money allocated to a particular project is optimally utilized. The new project is estimated to cost $ 300,000. To successfully integrate the new technology, the project manager will adopt a comprehensive cost management strategy. Cost management will be undertaken by integrating the elements of budgeting, cost estimation and cost control.

The Project Manager will design a broad financial plan, which will aid in the identification of the various cost items. This will contribute towards the effectiveness with which XYZ deliver value to the taxpayers. A contingency fund will be developed in order to minimize the likelihood of the project failing because of funds shortage. Additionally, an effective resource planning system will be integrated in order to ensure that the right resources to aid in the implementation of the project are availed. This will be achieved by planning for the human resource, material, tools and equipment necessary to implement the project (Rosacker & Rosacker, 2010).

Quality planning

The new project is expected to improve the effectiveness with which XYZ delivers value to customers by ensuring that the projects are successfully implemented. First, the project will enhance communication amongst the project participants. However, in order to attain this goal, the new project should be effectively implemented. Quality is one of the aspects that the Project Manager should focus on. The Manager will design a quality assurance and control program.

The program will outline the standards, procedures and policies to be followed in the project implementation process. Some of the policies which will be ensured include ensuring that the new project satisfies the company’s information needs. This will be attained by procuring the systems from renowned information system vendors. Secondly, the Project Manager will ensure that the systems are optimally configured before implementing them in order to eliminate gaps which might hinder utilization of the new systems. The likelihood of the project deviating from the intended quality cannot be ignored (Staliński, 2012). Therefore, the Project Manager will institute a quality control plan, which will outline the required project deliverables.

Risk, communication and procurement planning

Risk planning

XYZ will experience a number of risks in the process of implementing the new technologies. One of the risks that the firm will face relates to employee resistance. The firm’s employees might develop the perception that that the new HRIS, CRM and ERP technologies will threaten their job. For example, the new HRIS will improve the effectiveness with which the firm recruits its workforce. Thus, the duties of employees within the Human Resource Department might be affected. This may lead to a high level of resistance to change. To eliminate this risk, the project manager will create awareness on the contribution of the new technology to the organization’s future competitiveness.

Time conflict: failure to complete the project within the expected duration might complicate the planned IPO. Thus, the project manager will adopt the Microsoft Project Server to aid in the effective management of time.

Procurement planning

The organization will ensure that the appropriate information management systems and technologies are procured from vendors. A comprehensive market research will be conducted to identify the supplier base. Selection of the suppliers will be based on the level of suppliers’ expertise in developing the various technologies and their reputation.

Project communication

An effective communication system is vital in the project implementation process. The communication system adopted will determine the degree to which necessary to successfully implement project is shared. Annamalai and Jain (2013) propose that “communication management plans are used to determine not only who needs what information but also how that information is collected and transmitted” (p. 254). XYZ will utilize the structural approach of communication in order to manage the complexity associated with the project implementation.

Human resource planning and project implementation

The project will be implemented by both internal and external stakeholders. The project team will be comprised of members from different departments such as the Information Technology, Human Resource, Finance and Marketing departments. This approach will aid in establishment of a strong project team. Furthermore, the Project Manager will ensure that the project roles and responsibilities are clearly defined. The project team will also be comprised of experts on technology and information management. This will aid in increasing the likelihood of success. The project team members will be trained on the basics involved in the project.

Evaluation and control

XYZ’s management team is committed towards steering the firm in developing a high competitive advantage within the horizontal construction industry. It is expected that the modernizing the firm’s technology and information management system will improve the firm’s competitiveness with regard to delivering high quality projects and developing a strong human capital base. This will foster a high level of customer satisfaction. However, this will only be achieved if there are no deviations in the implementation of the HRIS, CRM and ERP systems. Continuous evaluation of the project will be undertaken by evaluating the set project deliverables. Moreover, the Project Manager will assess whether the set deliverables are completed within the set time period. This will aid in eliminating the likelihood of project failure as a result of budget loss. Furthermore, the project will be controlled by ensuring that all the project participants are adequately informed on the project progress. The project manager will also conduct a team evaluation in order to determine the team members’ commitment in the projects’ implementation process. A report will be developed in order to help the project team members understand the project progress.

It is anticipated that implementation of this project will improve the attractiveness of the company as a potential investment destination. The project will improve the company’s rating with regard to level of employee retention and high public support because of the high quality of projects. Subsequently, the likelihood of XYZ attaining its goal by launching the IPO will be increased.

Reference List

Annamalai, R., & Jain, N. (2013). Project finance and investments in risky environments: evidence from the infrastructure sector. Journal of Financial Management of Property and Construction, 18(3), 251 – 267.

Atler, S. (2005). A broad view of systems analysis and design: implications for research. Communications of the Association for Information Systems, 15, 981-999.

Bryde, J. (2003). Project management concepts, methods and application. International Journal of Operations & Production Management, 23(7), 775 – 793.

Kusters, J., & Versendaal, J. (2013). Horizontal collaborative e-purchasing for hospitals: IT for addressing collaborative purchasing impediments. Journal of International Technology and Information Management, 22(1), 361-372.

Rosacker, K., & Rosacker, E. (2010). Information technology project management within public sector organizations. Journal of Enterprise Information Management, 23(5), 587 – 594.

Staliński, P. (2012). Contemporary management concepts. Journal of Entrepreneurship, Management, and Innovation, 8(2), 78-95.

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