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Sample Capstone Project Paper on Bullying
Chapter 3: Methods Throughout life, people will make you mad, disrespect you, and treat you bad. Let God deal with the things they do, cause hate in your heart will consume you too. -Will Smith This Capstone seeks to understand the threat of bullying by exploring the challenge of defining bullying while at the same time deal with bulling itself. furthermore it will identify the risk factors associated with bullying, and discuss potential responses to bullying. The paper also offers developmentally appropriate guidance for parents on how to monitor and address bullying-related behavior with their children. Specifically, I would like to develop a proactive approach for elementary and middle school students to deal with bullying they face on a daily basis. This paper will be constrained in giving power to students in a manner that is practical in order to help them learn strategies so that they can identify, resist, and address bullying among peers.
Therefore, this requires a research methodology that can assist in testing a number of these strategies, and be able to determine whether students are empowered by these strategies or not. In order to conduct an in-depth investigation on bullying among students, teachers will also be included in this research. Teachers will be invited to speak contextually and descriptively about the common motives and forms of bullying in schools, as well as strategies they have seen employed by schools to fight against bullying.
I would like to carry out a study that has as a feature the imperative aspects of several research designs. I will pursue a qualitative research design since I think that it is essential to examine and understand what students and teachers currently are aware of concerning strategies they can implement to empower themselves against this vise called bullying. I will also make use of some investigative design to entreat new approaches from students and teachers about strategies they may have come up with. Exploratory studies are a means of finding out what is happening, looking for new insights, inquiring, and assessing phenomena. The aim of this study is gaining insights on strategies that students use in coping with bullying, as well as the prevalence of bullying in schools.
Therefore, the study will be undertaken within an interpretative framework with emphasis on experience and interpretation. Interpretative studies are focused on meanings and seek to understand individuals’ definitions and of situations. Interpretive theory does not focus on the search for widely applicable rules and laws, but instead seeks to produce descriptive analysis, which emphasizes a deep interpretive comprehension of social phenomena.
The units of analysis for this study will be the students and teachers. Before getting in touch with the key informants of this study, there is a need for theoretical preference concerning who could be participants in this research. This is for the reason that Violent and aggressive conduct linked to bullying are likely to start at an earlier age, especially those early grades. Since this study is mainly concerned with investigating the phenomenon of bullying in schools, participants will be chosen from the class within the school. In addition, the inclusion of teachers is essential in order to give additional information about their judgment and perception of bullying, and ways of dealing with it. Since I teach students in a public charter school, access to students and teachers is not difficult.
Ethically, however, I need to make sure I have proper permission before seeking the information I need to move forward with this study. With the support of my administration that is also focused on bringing an end to bullying at our school, I plan to send letters of passive consent to students’ parents, stating that their children will be included in my survey, as well as interviewed. This depends on a number of factors such as questions, resources and the time available. Direct contacts with the schools’ principals to request whether it is possible to conduct the research without permission from the authorities cannot be an option since I have the school and parents goodwill of which I intend to utilize. My principal is focused on bringing an end to bullying at school. Therefore, I do not see obtaining her permission to acquire student samples to be a significant problem.
After obtaining samples of the study, letters of passive consent will be sent to students’ parents, stating that their children will be included in my survey, as well as being interviewed. Parents who protest can become an obstacle in the research thus the need for a proper and accommodating approach in requesting them for their much needed participation in the study. Participants will be students identified as bullies and victims, as well as teachers from their schools. Written consents will also be sent to teachers asking them whether they will participate in the interview session. Though to some Parents tagging their children as bullies might seem as cruel to their children, it will be important to state the reason as to why this research will act as a way of helping their children thus the need for counseling before and after the study.
There are relatively small classes at my school, which cannot be attributed to the complexity of the design since it will be important to include an all inclusive sample size. All participants will be drawn from the school. Although the number of students to be involved in the survey is small, it serves as a representative of all other schools in this area, as well as in other areas. However, generalization of this study cannot be made, as different types of bullying exist in different schools. The average class size is 22 students and there are generally about 2 classes within each grade. Now that I think about it, it will probably be more like 4 or 5 classrooms to get these students, ranging from third grade to middle school. The survey will involve interviewing sessions with both students and teachers. The reason why interviews are suitable is that students in the elementary level may not be able to fill questionnaires. On the other hand, for teachers who do not prefer to engage in interview sessions, questionnaires will be used.
The research will focus on my specific school partly because the socio-economical statuses of many of the families of my school. I teach third grade Woodson Institute for Student Excellence (WISE). The school has a K-8 elementary-middle charter school located in North Minneapolis, serving over 250 students from 16 metro area school districts. Most of the students are from a high needs population with approximately 16% qualifying for special education services as well as a high number of highly mobile students that do not meet the State criteria for learning disabilities, but who present significant learning gaps. I believe that each child is capable of achieving high academic and social standards thus becoming knowledgeable, skilled, and confident citizens.
The students I work with are a wonderful, diverse group. Unfortunately, they face more personal hardship on a daily basis than anything many of us have ever had to face. For example, one of my students lived in four different places last year, including a homeless shelter and a car. One student dealt with the anniversary of his mother’s death, while another faced the trauma of her sister being shot and killed. I had a student in foster care, several with little to no food at home, students with single or no-parent households, and many students who tucked themselves into bed each night and woke themselves up in the morning for the school bus. Despite these circumstances, they still came to school, wanting to learn, and want to do well. Unfortunately, because of the adversity they do face, and the few outlets they have for expressing their frustrations, there are often emotional meltdowns over something as small as a pencil being stolen.
As their teacher, I feel strongly that the backgrounds of these students already proved a struggle against serious academic focus thus the need to reduce bullying to the minimal level if not entirely. If I can do something to help these students avoid bullying, which is becoming rampant in our schools today, I will and I do so with every opportunity. My opinion on this matter is shared by many teachers and there is need to come up with a proper plan to reduce the vice. As a whole, we teachers really just want what is best for the students. I am not the sole hero to these students; it requires the indulgence of the whole community and every stakeholder in the education sector. I just cannot continue to do this for these wonderful students alone, so I am asking you for assistance from every quarter.
Before the initial procedure of collecting data, the research will require students to get approval from the Human Subjects Research Committee before beginning to conduct any human subjects’ research for the Capstone. The purpose of the human subjects’ process is to protect both Hamline graduate students and those who participate in their studies. Thus, I may not collect any data before I receive approval from the committee. Detailed and complete information about the process can be found under Program Forms and Resources at the School of Education website.
Exploring the existence of deviant behaviors such as bullying among students is a sensitive matter. This will necessitate me to be careful, respectful, and familiar with every ethical consideration applied within the school. In line with this, I will meet my principal and my immediate director. In addition, I will need to get in touch with teachers who are in charge of the student affairs. I will hold meetings with my principal and my immediate director also with the teachers to familiarize them with the questionnaires’ and interview schedule content, as they will be responsible for administering the survey. Enduring these meetings, I will also address and rely on my colleagues to help foresee technical problems that students may encounter during the survey process. This will be essential since it will ensure a stress free process. I have a wonderful staff that is extremely supportive in proactively seeking solutions before problems arise.
Data will be collected separately among students and teachers in the school. Students and teachers will be informed that, for purposes of research, all information would remain confidential. Since the interviews for students will be based on data gathered, the sessions will be carried out after tabulation of data and both teachers and students will participate.
Much of the data I found during my research was based on information that was gathered through questionnaires. Because other researchers found such informative information through these means, I would like to replicate and discover my own information in much the same way. My questionnaire will be comprised of two sections. The first section will cover open-ended questions, while the second section will consist of multiple-choice questions. The open-ended questions will help me explore what students are and there is little definition of the problem solution, while the closed ended questions will inform me as to what the students are already doing or exposed to on a daily basis. The closed ended questions will also help me gather information in a quantitative way that I can use visually in the future. Some of the questions to be addressed will be the following.
What do you understand by the word bulling? Have you ever seen somebody being bullied in your school or even at home? Is bulling appropriate and what do you think is the cause of such vices in the school? What are the reasons for bulling an individual from your school and yet you school together What does bullying makes you feel? Do you believe there is a solution to bullying? What have you done towards this vice? What would you want to see being done to bullies and their associates? What should the school and the community do to eliminate bullying behavior?
The issue of anonymity in questionnaires is faced with so many debates. The application of anonymous questionnaires in research on bullying and victimization is due to the widespread and influence use of the Bully/Victim Questionnaires. The application of this instrument is due to lack of validity and reliability by stating that it can open a way to irresponsible responses from the participants. Despite these critiques, the majority of researchers still rely on and use anonymous questionnaires on their studies concerning bullying. These researchers state that lack of giving an identity yields information that is more truthful from the respondents. Additionally, ethical consideration is a part of anonymity issue, and, therefore, guarantees the confidentiality of students in case they are asked to answer uncomfortable and sensitive questions related to their personal deviant behavior. In this study, interview sessions will be carried out with students in the class because questionnaires may be complicated for them to comprehend. However, questionnaires will also be applied for teachers offer additional information concerning bullying in the school.
Many other researchers use a single instrument in the survey (questionnaires) rather than both interviews and questionnaires in bullying studies. The reason why most studies do not include interviews is due to issues concerning confidentiality and anonymity. In this case, confidentiality has a higher priority than anonymity since I will have to know the bullies before carrying out the interview sessions. As a result, knowing who the bullies are will be based on the respondents’ identity. This will enable me to identify the bullies who will be used in the interview sessions.
In these interview sessions, I will use identified respondents and those who had met some certain criteria of being a bully. The respondents will be asked about personal experiences, justification, and perceptions regarding their behavior against their victims. In doing this, however, I will have to be aware of personal adaptability and sensitivity, such as being alert for any indications and signs that respondents might feel uncomfortable with questions. It is also essential for me to note that students might prefer group interviews to individual interviews. I remember being interviewed in elementary and middle school, and feeling like I was put on the spot for something that I was not sure about.
Therefore, from this experience it is to my intention the students are not exposed to the same treatment and feelings. Consequently, I would like to give them the option to involve myself in a group interview, which should be supposed to appear as less intimidating. As a teacher with experience in dealing with both elementary and middle school students, I remember many of my lessons not producing the required result since I was counting on one or two students to shine, but it turned it acted negatively since they quickly shied away to the much given attention due to their performance. The same students, on the other hand, gave me the impression that they perform better in groups setting where they could voice their feelings and opinions within a small group they could relate to and were focused on the same task. They seem to feel more relaxed and less tense even to the point where they would confess to their deviant attitudes The interview sessions will be carried out to identify a number of issues such as:
Children’s definition of bullying Students’ perceptions regarding the prevalence of bullying How students try to deal with bullying by themselves, as well as, the support of friends Students’ perceptions of how good the school is at dealing with the issue of bullying The benefits and challenges of asking for support from parents, teachers, siblings, and external agencies such as the police Children’s participation in decision making process Teachers will also be interviewed to identify the strategies that students use in coping with bullying. However, the interview sessions for teachers and students will be carried out separately. This will be done in order to avoid teachers intervening in students’ answers. The questions for teachers will be designed for a different purpose. These will be related to their perceptions and views against the bullies and strategies for coping with bullying in schools. The involvement of students and teachers in the researcher’s interview sessions is likely to strengthen and support the findings of questionnaires. Note taking and use of a recorder to document the conversation might be necessary. The recorder should be small enough to be easily put anywhere to make respondents feel comfortable. This will enable the respondents feel like they are not being recorded even when they have been told about such.
Along with the interview sessions, questionnaires will also be used on teachers to provide more information related to bullying in my school. Teachers interact with students more often, and therefore, have ideas on issues related to them. The questionnaires are intended to identify the prevalence of bullying, strategies adopted by the students to cope with bullying, and motives for bullying, using the following scale: victimization, bullying others, strategies for coping with bullying and motives for bullying.
In many situations, interpretation entails constructing a logical scientific argument that explains the data. Egger and Carpi (2008), note that scientific interpretations are neither personal opinion nor absolute truth. They are suggestions, inferences, or hypotheses about what the data mean based on individual expertise and scientific knowledge. Scientists use logic and experience to draw plausible explanations for certain data. Although scientists can make mistakes, the majority of them constructs interpretations that are reasonable and supported by the data.
There is a great need for observing reliability and validity of the study. There are a number of strategies that can be used to test the validity and reliability of this Capstone. First, I will make it a point to use key terms, concepts, descriptions, and explanations used and provided by the people under my study. As the researcher, I will make an effort to provide readers with a systematic description of the research events under analysis, including detailed information on whom (gender, age, experience, and role) can represent others in these events and how these events start, proceed, and end. I will incorporate how the study will be regulated, where people sit, how the stages of the events are ordered, and the underlying reasons for the events, how people prepare for the events and what expectations govern the events. In this way, I will use informants’ terms and descriptions very carefully, down to the smallest details, how informants see these research events playing out. Second, the report will expound on something that the people under study would actually acknowledge as a facet of their lives. Community members will recognize the findings as something real and true about their world.
Based on what I have found in my research in chapter 2, it seems that using open-ended questions when studying behavioral topics such as bullying are exceedingly common. However, to some extent the design makes it difficult to collect information. At times, the questions used are too structured so that some preferred answers for students are not included. Therefore, this does not allow for much detail. I would like to use many of the questions to gather information. I will be sure to be very organized and keep accurate records if ever the best results are to be achieved. They are useful in investigating bullying matters. Questionnaires can be both anonymous and filled with privacy. This will increase the chances of students giving honest answers, as they will not be frightened by the presence of the researcher. The study will employ structured questionnaires meaning that each student will be asked the same question in the same way. This increases the reliability of the research method. The measurement to be used in the study should be reliable and valid. This is because most of the studies conducted on bullying used the same measurement and scales. However, questionnaires will only be applied for teachers and maybe two or three students in higher grades to provide more information useful in achieving the researcher’s objectives.
To ensure that the study is conducted as ethically and thoroughly as possible, the interviewees in this study will be made aware that their identities and answers will remain confidential. Dealing with children is a sensitive subject; therefore, there will not be the use of actual names of students. Instead, the researcher will discuss general situations experienced by those interviewed. After a successful completion of the Capstone project, students will take time to complete the Capstone Advising Evaluation form. This form helps monitor the quality of Capstone advising provided. This form can be turned in to the degree completion coordinator.
Conclusion This is a chance to make this chapter more conversational. All in all, I just want to do what is best for my students since there are capable and protecting them from bullying behaviors is critical towards their success. If the information I find from this research results in something that all students in my school can use to empower themselves against bullies, then I have provided a stepping-stone in the right direction. Though I cannot accomplish all that by myself I would appreciate a helping hand from all the stakeholders in education. Such efforts are important in uplifting the students’ morale and performance thus enhancing a better learning environment. Furthermore, if the information I find can bridge to other schools in the community, then it becomes even more powerful.
Running head: BULLYING 1
Sample Capstone Project Paper on Helping Suicidal Clients
Crisis intervention project: helping suicidal clients.
As a clinical supervisor, Rosey Bogner’s vision is of a safer community and the prevention of suicides. To make this a reality, she educates individuals on suicide intervention strategies. Some of the strategies are presented in the transcript of the video Crisis Worker Interview. It is important to find out whether a consumer has suicidal thoughts and, if so, if they have made plans to carry out the suicide. Because presence of a plan increases the chances of a successful suicide, the crisis worker should attempt to disable the plan as quickly as possible while taking care not to put his or her safety in jeopardy in the process. The crisis worker should also enquire about the reasons for considering suicide as well as giving hope and arranging for support for the affected individual.
Establishing existence of suicidal thoughts, suicide plans, and ways to prevent suicide occurring are the main points derived from this video interview. Human Services professionals face many challenges while dealing with suicidal clients. One of the challenges identified in the video is the risk of harm to the worker as he/she attempts to destroy the suicidal plans of their clients. Such clients, if armed, can turn their weapons against the worker. Suicidal people, by wanting to kill themselves, have perhaps lost their sense of life and may not value it anymore. They can take someone else’s life with ease.
Suicide therapists are subjected to a lot of stress while attending to suicidal people. Besides enduring sad tales of the client, they may become demoralized or frustrated if their efforts appear to fail or the situation overwhelms them. This can lead to both the patient and caregiver losing. To help suicidal clients, Human Service professionals need to take specific steps. After identifying the means by which the client intends to commit suicide, they should eliminate it. The professional can limit access of the client to drugs or other dangerous weapons. A more effective solution is listening to the suicidal person as he talks about his problems, a process that might aid the worker in identifying the root causes of the suicide thereby addressing them. The professional can also introduce the client to a support group, take him or her to a rehabilitation center, or reunite him or her with his or her family. The worker can also provide counseling (Bolger, n.d., personal communication).
Suicides are preventable. The key to prevention is early detection of suicidal tendencies such as isolation, hopelessness, or increased drug use (Firestone, n.d.). Limiting access to methods of suicides also helps prevent suicide because lack of access allows the suicidal impulse to subside (Gunnel & Frankel, 1994). Suicidal ideations may have its roots in childhood trauma (Firestone, n.d.). Firestone argues that children subjected to abuse may later become suicidal as a result of a process that begins with the child accepting the abuse but, later, re-enacting the trauma by mistreating themselves in a manner similar to how they were mistreated (p. 2). However, the environment has a role to play. Tragedy may deprive someone of his or her loved one so much so that one does not see the need to continue living. Economic hardship and terminal illness may also lead the affected persons to consider suicide as a way of ending their pain.
References Firestone, L. (n.d.). Suicide: What therapists need to know. American Psychological Association. Retrieved from www.apa.org/education/ce/suicide.pdf Gunnel, D. & Frankel, S. (1994). Prevention of suicide: aspirations and evidence. British Medical Journal, 308(6938), pp. 1227-1233. Retrieved from www.jstor.org
HELPING SUICIDAL CLIENTS 3
Running head: HELPING SUICIDAL CLIENTS 1
Sample Capstone Project Paper on Final Implementation and Close-out Plan
System integration of capstone project: final implementation and close-out plan.
The implementation phase of a project involves moving the project from the from a development status as done in the previous tasks to production status. There is no universal procedure for implementing projects because each project implementation process is based on the characteristics of the project and the nature of information technology solution offered. Therefore, the implementation activities will be identical with installation, operation, rollout, or go-live. Some of the activities involved in the implementation phase include data conversion, phased implementation, training, user guide or operations, system maintenance, and monitoring and evaluation of the project. In addition, implementation process also takes in a system security outlook where the final system must be certified and accredited for use in the production environment. The final stage of implementation phase is marked by a formal decision to discharge the last IT system integration solutions into the operations and maintenance phase.
Formulation of Tasks and Responsibilities The first stage under the implementation phase is assigning of tasks and responsibilities to various reasons that will be in charge of the system. The key responsibilities under this phase will go to the project manager, CIO if available, executive or/and project sponsor, project stakeholders and a team of project stakeholders. The roles and the responsibilities will be defined under a matrix called RACI matrix or RACI key. The project manager will have the biggest functions of being accountable and responsible of a successful implementation phase and being the leader of the integrated project team that carry out implementation activities. For instance, those assigned roles are expected to be responsible, accountable consulted and informed. The integrated project team have various functions including carrying out all tasks designed by the project manager. Besides the project manager, the sponsors and the integrated team there are other players including contract managers, financial analyst, and quality manager.
Within the same point of implementation there will be crucial players known as the critical partners. The role of critical partners will include providing oversight for the project, advising and counseling the project manager on the nature and requirements of the implementation stage critical partners will also provide vital information, evaluation, and recommendations to the various departments involved in the system integration project and IT governance during reviews and supporting baselines. Critical partners will advise the business on architecture, security, acquisition, budget, finance, human resource functions, performance, CPIC (to confirm it is a completed project) and any legal implication.
Communication Communication in the implementation phase will involve notification of all the involved users and organizations that will be affected by the implementation. It is also important to notify organizations and departments within the system even when they will not be affected for the good of the policy. This will take a week before the starting of the actual implementation process. Communication is also important to minimize the resistance of users and departments after the implementation, which could lead to collapse of the whole system. Communication will also prepare a breaking ground for training of the users. The implementation process is expected to interfere with the normal functions of business in the affected section. Communication will serve the purpose of preparing these sectors and business units for any eventualities that will arise from the process.
The notification issued to the affected users in different organizations, departments and business units will include: A complete schedule of the implementation process A brief but concise synopsis the benefits to the organization as a result of new system The key differences between the old system and the integrated system Outline of the responsibilities that the affected end user will assume after the implementation The process of accessing system support for the new integrated system with an inclusion of phone numbers and contact names In addition to the notification to the end users, communication process involves drafting key documents in the implementation process. These documents will include:- System integration product Project completion report Service Legal Agreements (SLAs) and all Memoranda of Understanding (MOU) A Contingency Plan or a Disaster Recovery Plan Operations and maintenance (O&M) Manual Systems Security Plan Security risk assessment Training plan Training materials User manual
Testing Activities The test phase will include the following deliverables:- Test Analysis Approval Determination Test problem reports Information Technology Systems Certification and Accreditation Defect log Readiness document These deliverables can be organized into a table as follows Deliverables Goals Developed byApproved byTest Analysis Approval Determination Will be used to test the readiness of the system and attached to the Test Analysis Report as main part of ultimate result obtained from the test reviews.Record the apparent functional-readiness of the integrated system Become an input to the project Readiness DocumentIntegrated project teamChief Information Officer (CIO)
Sponsor Critical PartnersTest Problem Reports Will Be Used To Record Problems Witnessed During Testing, And Attached T The Test Analysis Report Document the outcome of the testing procedureDevelopment teamProject manager Critical partners Information Technology Systems Certification & Accreditation Will involve completion of; System Security Assessment A Sensitive Security Plan Security Operating Procedures Security Test and Evaluation Certification StatementsEvaluate technical and non-technical protections to establish the degree to which the integrated system satisfies security requirements Get official declaration from a designated approval authority (DAA), which indicates that an information system is permitted to carry out operations in a given security mode with the use of a prearranged set of security policies at a tolerable risk levelDevelopment team
Project ManagerSponsor CIODefect Log Meant to track and summarize format defects or bugs established through the testing procedure in a tabular form. There are numerous ways of documenting the defects, through bug tracking tools that are obtainable commercially or tracking manually using a spreadsheet. Enable project team members to track reported bugs and/or defects Precisely communicate an outline of established defects Communicate facts about the bugs and defects, such as time detected, members that detected and reported them, statuses of the defects and team members charged with the responsibility of addressing the bugs through a well-organized report.Development TeamProject manager, although, the defect log does not necessarily need an approval however due to the complexity of the ESBReadiness Document Consolidates the summary information with regards to the present status of the integrated system in addition to the project in addition to providing decision makers of the implementation phase with adequate information essential to construct a Go-No Go decision.
It will take in a checklist for the entire job products, User Acceptance Test results, additional quality control verifications such as peer review, and outcomes of the integrated system walkthroughs.Give adequate information essential to formulate the Go-No Go decision Fuse and strengthen status information on the subject of successful conclusion of the project in addition to accomplishment of capstone project objectives as well as SDLC requirements establish attainment of every part of deliverable acceptance decisive factorDevelopment TeamCIOTesting activities will follow the following procedure: Defining a bare minimum set of software acceptance test functions that will be adequately executed for product acceptance Conducting the first test on software acceptance
Developing a document for test strategy Initiate documenting test cases that are a minimum requirement for user acceptance testing as determined by the system and organizational requirements, processes as well as business functions The next step will involve developing test scripts for all aforementioned test cases as per the provisions of the detailed requirement Defining the approach for test population for instance, in this case test data will be converted and entered into the system and at the same time spell out test data necessities Populate test data to input systems tests and aid user acceptance test (UAT) Carry out UAT, stress, interface, adaptation, in addition to parallel tests as provided by the testing plan drawn above Perform suitable system and installation tests before construction roll-outs Enclose the test kit with the intention of regression testing of novel discharge of the software Development of new tests as per the recommendations of critical partners to put in to the test kit as more changes are implemented to the integrated system
Training Activities and Final Migration to the New System There is a need to train users on the effects of Final migration activities besides communicating them through a notification. Training begins by documenting the high-level business requirements that will outline the data needs for the new system, organizational functions and data logics. The training is tailored to make users adapt to the flexibility of the of information systems in the present and in the future. Capstone program will also call for Request for Proposal (RFP) based on user requirements to develop the appropriate user manual. The user manual is designed to teach users to adapt to the features and capabilities of the integrated system.
The training program will also build up an application solution manuscript to map necessities and provisions to the system capacity. Training activities will also include specifications of the business requirement in line with the newly configured, customized and integrated to satisfy the requirement. The training manual will incorporate and document specifications implemented in the screen, tables, reports, calculations, algorithms and set-ups to facilitate migration into the new system. Training activities are the gateway to migration activities of the implementation process, therefore the training process will also include regularly revising mapping documents to reproduce final architecture implementation framework and work flows. Design changes will be required in the process of configuration, and it the manual is tailored to ensure that there is proper updates of rations documentation. Therefore, an up to date documentation will be essential for specifying changes to users whenever they arise.
Security and BPR of the Integrated System Security of the integrated system is one of the greatest concerns of the implementation process besides its functionality. The integrated system will see a wider base of information exchanged between its networks than the older system. That said, there is a need for greater controls and testing kits that will ensure the security of information in the integrated system. This section will not go into deeper tests or analysis because most of the testing and verification for security has been outlined in the testing activities segment specifically under Information Technology Systems Certification & Accreditation.
Project Closeout Activities Formulation of A Monitoring and Evaluation Program Monitoring and evaluation is a process that continues throughout the life of a project. Actually, the formulation of the evaluation program marks the beginning of the implementation of the project even though it is classified as part of project close-out activities. In this case, the program will begin by selecting a vendor select vendor to prepare the acquisition process of software needed for the project. The monitoring and evaluation will also be involved in close scrutiny of the acquisition request or justification to the vendor after vendor selection. The program will also be involved in the approval of a plan and a budget to guide the implementation of the project. The program will follow up the project to ensure that the timeframe outlined and the budget drafted will be adhered to throughout the implementation phase. The players outlined in this program will also be involved in negotiating and finalizing contracts with vendors and other players to ensure that resources are used efficiently. At this stage a product, software or a system can be subjected to product acceptance test to avoid implementing white elephant project.
Once the system has been acquired, the program oversees the plan and the budget by carrying out status and steering committees. The conversion process from a fragmented to an integrated system is expected to be delicate and therefore a closure strategy will control the conversion process using the escalation process. Monitoring and evaluation program is both post-ante and ex-ante such that after the completion of project documentation, the program oversees post-implementation project in addition to system review. Lessons Learnt From the Project Documentation of the project should be updated regularly to ensure that it is responds to the flexibility of the system and changes made during the implementation process Training activities are the gateway to final migration activities of the integrated system. It facilitates the acceptance of the project and usability and functional success Testing is the ultimate stage of project implementation as it validates the acceptance, usability, systems security, certification and detection of defects in the system Project evaluation and monitoring is important throughout the process of project implementation as it controls all the planning, scope, timeframe and budget of the project, and regular review to ensure smooth functioning of the project
CAPSTONE PROJECT 2
Running head: CAPSTONE PROJECT 1
Sample Business Studies Paper on Maria Yee Furniture Company.
Maria yee furniture company..
A Chinese born entrepreneur in California started Maria Yee Furniture Company in 1988. The company uses Asian- inspired designs and Chinese hand joinery techniques in order to manufacture products using renewable bamboo and eco-certified wood. Maria believed in being green through design and manufacturing but not only through marketing. In most of the company’s pictures, furniture that is made of bamboo are displayed. The furniture looks appealing to the eyes of the viewers and it has an advantage over other companies in that the company has incorporated the green initiative when it comes to manufacturing its furniture. Customer Segment Most of the Maria Yee furniture is sold to homes, offices, and hotels. This is because the company targets customers who will require more than one piece of furniture, which helps to boost the financial returns of the company. The furniture is sold mostly in the US and many more countries around the globe. The company has recognized dealers who are found in specific locations around the globe where customers can order their products. This is because the company does not sell directly to consumers; the deliveries are made by the dealers. Unique Value Proportion A unique value proportion means statements that communicate the unique contribution a company makes to the market that is different from other competitors. The company allows high suppliers bargaining power as well as allowing a medium bargaining power for the consumers. The consumers are allowed access to distribution as well as absolute cost advantages. The organization enjoys a strong brand identity, good brand recognition, and strong competitive advantages. This means that since the organization is well known by the consumers, there is ease in marketing its products to the consumers. The company has substitute products from which a consumer can choose from due to high prices on some of the other products. Key Success Factors Maria Yee furniture has the following key success factors that make it successful in the business. Unique design. The company uses Asian- inspired designs in manufacturing the furniture. This means that there are no nails and screws found in the furniture which makes it unique. The furniture is environmentally responsible which makes the company safe of green washing allegations The company has recognized retailers from where the consumers can order their products. The company enjoys cheap labor in China The company has a good reputation when it comes to furniture making It is certified by the Forest Stewardship Council Problems The company has the challenge of high turnover rate, especially when it comes to upper management. This is despite the continued attempt by the company to hire qualified general managers to run most of its operations. It is due to the failure of the managers to adapt to the unique needs of the company that newly employed managers do not last for more than two years. The company does not have any candidate for succession in the managerial positions in the company. The company has an inability to expand or venture into a new market, which is a critical challenge for the organization. Solutions The company can deal with these problems by doing the following things. The company can hire managers who have expansive experience to run most of the operations of the organization The company can develop talent through training in all the operational areas of the business. Motivating the managers in one way or the other will create job satisfaction, which in return promotes organizational citizenship behavior from the managers. It can be argued that if the company deals with the challenges stated above, it will grow into a higher level while still maintaining its core values of producing environmentally responsible furniture.
Work Cited. Kotler, Philip, Hermawan Kartajaya, and IwanSetiawan. Marketing 3.0: From Products to Customers to the Human Spirit. Hoboken, N.J: Wiley, 2010. Internet resource. Wedel, Mi
Sample Capstone Project Paper on Human Resource Management
Project human resource management.
Introduction The staffing management plan points the project’s human resource demands and the manner in which those demands will be satisfied. Staffing management is a necessary subsidiary strategy of the project management and is a required deliverable of this capstone project. The project human resource management comprises a number of sections. The first section is project roles and responsibilities that sum up the obligations for each position needed to carry out the project work. Secondly, there are project staffing estimates describes approximated staffing needs. The third section is acquisition strategy explains at what time, how, and from where staffing will be obtained. The fourth section is training plan recognizes skills gaps and specifies particular training prerequisites for each project team member and organizational chart, which demonstrates project reporting relationships (Dowling, Festing, & Engle Sr, 2008).
The function of the staffing management plan is to realize project accomplishment by ascertaining that the perfect human resources are sourced with the required proficiencies, resources are guided where any gaps in competencies are recognized, team building policies are plainly outlined, and team activities are efficiently handled. Therefore, this paper looks at some of the project human resource acquisition, resource contracting, making the necessary adjustments to the budget and the schedule used by the project teams to execute the key project activities.
Project Roles and Responsibilities Tasks and obligations of members and stakeholders should be visibly specified in any program. Relying upon the organizational framework, project members may constitute diverse groups/sectors and operate in the interest of various functional managers. Moreover, project members may have different levels of influence and accountability. When listing responsibilities and obligations the following should be incorporated: Role explanation of the section of the program for the position the member is responsible Authority the intensity upon which the worker may make preferences, utilize project resources, or make conclusions
Responsibility the job a team member must carry out to finish allocated job activities Competency the proficiency(s) necessary to finish allocated project activities The nearby tasks and duties have been ascertained for the project: Project Sponsor (1 position) The Project Sponsor is the business manager who is accountable for giving the total business bearing for the project and is the highest-ranking speaker for the project. The Project Sponsor is in charge of ascertaining that the requirements and achievements within the business region are extensively identified and understood. He also guarantees that the plan of the system conforms to both the functional and non-functional business objectives (Belout & Gauvreau, 2004). He is the person who orders others to deliver the project and defends the practice all the way through the project.
He will generally be a high-ranking member of staff with a significant area of accountability that will be impacted by the conclusion of the project. The project sponsor is occupied from the commencement of the assignment, and defining the program together with the manager. After the program has been commenced the project sponsor should guarantee that it is dynamically appraised. He is typically in charge of negotiating a course through the complicated diplomatic spheres of the project, playing as the superstar of the project, and being responsible for the delivery of designing gains connected with the project (Highsmith, 2009). The project sponsor also ensures the settlement of matters intensified by the project manager or the project board. He sponsors the communications agenda; communicating the programme’s objectives to the entire organization (Datta, Guthrie, & Wright, 2005). Finally, he is tasked with making major business decisions for the project, guaranteeing accessibility of necessary project resources, sanctioning the budget and decides tolerances, and offering decisive authority and accountability for the project.
Project Manager (1 position) He is responsible for developing, together with the project sponsor, a description for the project. The project manager then makes certain that the project is presented on time, to budget, and to the necessary quality standard (within established requirements). Project manager checks that the project is successfully resourced and supervises relationships with a broad variety of groups (together with all project subscribers). The project manager is as well accountable for handling the operations of consultants, apportioning and employing resources in a professional style, and preserving a mutual, inspired, and successful team. The manager is as well accountable for the total accomplishment of the program. He is also in charge of sanctioning that project activities satisfy recognized acceptability standards and lie within reasonable variances (Dowling et al., 2008).
The PM will be accountable for detailing the project’s progress compliant with the communications management policy. He will appraise the performance of all team members and convey their working standards to functional supervisors. The manager is in addition responsible for procuring personnel for the program by organizing with operational supervisors. The program manager has to have the skills of scheduling, administration, efficient communication, and budgeting. The PM is responsible for functioning intimately with program subscribers to ascertain the project satisfies business requirements, recognize user training wants, invent and administer user training programs, as well as registering and running project issues and stepping up where required to resolve cross-functional matters at project stage.
Project Team Members (25 positions) These persons energetically operate on the project, at a certain phase during the life span of the program. Team member responsibilities will differ in respect to the phase of the program. Characteristically, team members: offer operational know-how in an organizational process; operate with users to ascertain the project satisfies business requirements; record and evaluate present and future processes; recognize and map information requirements (Belout & Gauvreau, 2004).
Implementation Manager (7 positions) He is accountable for the allocation, realization, and administration of the project. The IM is accountable for operating with the project managers to ascertain that all systems and processes conform to managerial safety guidelines. The performance manager is accountable for harmonization of all departments to ensure each department’s operations cause minimal or no interruption to project operations. The IM will detail status directly to the PM compliant with the project’s communications management policy. The implementation manager’s performance will be assessed by the project manager and conveyed to the program’s operations manager (Dowling et al., 2008). The implementation manager should be skilled in leadership and human resource management.
Design Engineer (DL), (5 positions) The DL is answerable for training all program subscribers on the aspects offered by the new program or the elements provided by the upgraded program in case of an existing program. The design engineer will direct training occasions/sites with every department’s training sponsor. The design engineer will give training standing to the project manager compliant with the program communications administration policy.
Functional Managers (2 positions) While not a portion of the program squad, operational managers are in charge of supplying resources for the project compliant with the project staffing policy. Functional managers are accountable for operating with the project manager to establish proficiency sets needed and sanctioning resource allocations. Functional managers are as well accountable for carrying out performance assessments of allotted resources based, partly, on the project manager’s response concerning project performance. Project Staffing Estimates
Project Organizational Charts Project human resource management is multi-dimensional. It is the capability to guide, direct, and coordinate the project team, the project subscribers, project associates, donors, and any relevant stakeholders attain the wanted outcomes for the project objective. They should trust on the program team to finish the assigned activities. Plan managers are supposed to entrust duties. Project human resource management banks on the common administration proficiencies of leading, negotiating, influencing, communicating, and crisis solving (Datta et al., 2005).
The project organizational chart below presents a graphical demonstration of the project’s hierarchical reporting relationships. The function of this is to demonstrate the duties of program members as they link with the project assignments. Devices like responsible, accountable, consult, inform (RACI) and responsibility assignment matrix (RAM) can be applied to assist in communicating functions and tasks for the project team. Moreover, resource breakdown formations could be applied to illustrate how obligations are apportioned by department or category of resource correspondingly (Belout & Gauvreau, 2004). However, it is imperative to note that the rank of detail may differ according to project intricacy. The RACI diagram below illustrates the connection involving program duties and team members. Any recommended modifications to program tasks should be appraised and endorsed by the program manager. Modifications will be suggested compliant with the plan’s adjustment operation procedure. As modifications are created all project records will be reorganized and reallocated consequently.
Table 1: RACI Chart Indication Project Activities against Team Members. Project SponsorProject ManagerImplementation ManagerDesign EngineerFunctional ManagersDepartment ManagersRequirements GatheringARRCCISystem DesignARC CISystem DevelopingAR Building project systemARC IISystem PreparationACR IIImplementationACRCCCConduct TrainingA RCCKey: R Responsible for finishing the workA Accountable for ascertaining task conclusion/sign offC Consulted prior to any decisions being reachedI Informed of when an activity /decision has been made
Project managers have to discover ways to stimulate the project team to finish the work. There is a propensity, in several projects, for the project team to be very eager about the project at the beginning and after that the enthusiasm diminishes as the project progresses toward conclusion. The project manager should train and guide to enlarge the project team to make sure that the enthusiasm, motivation, and commitment to the project activities remain. All the way through the project, the program administrator will have to deal with project team maintenance, employment relations, performance assessments, and, regarding the nature of the project activities, health and security matters (Datta et al., 2005).
Since most projects are novel and provisional, and the correlations between the projects team members and the project manager. As the project continues, the number of stakeholders in the course may vary. A technique to human resources may function perfectly in one stage of the project but poorly in another because of the stakeholders that have been concerned. The acting organization’s human resource department may have power over the greater part of the appointment and enrollment of the program team, but the manager will require some understanding as to the accountability, authority, and independence to conform to the organization’s guidelines (Dowling et al., 2008).
Preparing for Organizational Planning Organizational planning is the practice of mapping the project’s functions, obligations, and reporting relationships to the suitable people or sets of people. Organizational planning describes the personnel concerned with the project and establishes what their function in the project is, whom they are answerable to, or receives commands from, and their general impact on the project work. The project manager works for a business entity that will conclude the project work. He employs the staff responsible for activities within his business, the designers, implementers, supervisors, and others. He will as well have functional managers to harmonize staff accessibility, financing to organize procurement of resources required for project conclusion and executive administration to report the standing of the project work (Barreto, Barros, & Werner, 2008). The project manager will as well work and talk to government agencies for endorsement of the project, modification requests, and general calendar of the project. There will be security matters, landscaping issues, and other issues that will arise as the project advances. In conclusion, the project manager will probably talk to stakeholders that are not in the organization for instance, the residents in the area the project is being implemented, and several government executives. These stakeholders will want to be incorporated in the scheduling and design of the project to make sure it meets the society’s wants (Belout & Gauvreau, 2004).
Enrolling Team Members The program manager should adhere to the guidelines of the organizations concerned in the program when available. For instance, an organization may prohibit a manager from approaching a member of staff openly to talk about their accessibility and aspiration to develop the project. The program manager may as an alternative have to talk to the worker’s functional manager to get the resource.
Obtaining the Needed Staff A program requires an excellent, competent, experienced team. Their proficiency, know-how, and accessibility will instantly impact the achievement of the program. Equipped with this concept, the program manager may rely on a small amount of different devices and techniques to get the required project team resources.
Negotiating for Resources The majority programs necessitate the program manager to bargain for resources. The program manager will possibly have to bargain with functional managers to acquire the required resources to finish the project activities. The functional managers and the program manager may fight over a worker’s time because of demands in continuing processes, other programs, and efficient deployment of resources. In other words, functional managers may desire to allocate under-exploited resources on projects to explain their worker’s time. Program managers may as well be obliged to bargain with other program managers to distribute required resources among activities. Scheduling the required resources among the program teams will necessitate being organized in order that all plans may conclude effectively. An entity’s politics definitely come into focus during staff acquisitions. Functional managers possibly will desire design managers to carry additional resources on the project in return for fundamental employees, additional deliverables to the project, or further special treatments for the manager (Datta et al., 2005).
Working with Preassigned Staff Project team members are habitually preassigned to a project for several reasons: accessibility of the person, guaranteed as a contribution of an active contract, needed as part of the project charter of an in-house project, a chance for the staff member to finish on-the-job training. No matter the rationale behind the allocation of the workers to the program, the program manager should appraise the program group for proficiency gaps, accessibility to conclude the project activities, and prospects of the project team members. The program manager must deal with any divergences between the necessities of the program activities and the program team’s capacity to conclude the work (Barreto et al., 2008).
Procuring Staff At times, the program manager may have no option but to acquire the planning team or persons to finish the project activities. Concerning project team procurement, the justifications as to why the project manager can employ this option comprise the following: the acting organization is short of the in-house resources with the required skills to finish the project work; the works of contractors are more cost-efficient to obtain. The team members are working within the organization, but they are not accessible to the present agenda. The program team members in the organization cannot conclude the required work because of other program tasks (Dowling et al., 2008).
Staffing Management This part of the project staffing plan comprises data on various fields including at what time and how human resource needs will be procured, the timeline for what period resources are required and may be discharged, guidance for any personnel with recognized gaps in competencies necessary. Another field is how performance appraisals will be carried out and the compensations and appreciation scheme to be applied. It is imperative to note that relying on the extent of the program there might be other things incorporated in staffing administration (State and/or regulatory conformity, organizational health and security, among others).
Staff Acquisition The project staff will comprise entirely of internal and external resources. There will be contracting executed within the range of this project to ensure some activities that the internal resources cannot efficiently execute are done by the external resources. The plan manager will bargain with the service and section managers to recognize and allocate resources compliant with the project organizational framework. All resources will be accepted by the proper functional/department manager prior to the resource embarking on any project activity. The planning team should not be co-positioned for this program and the entire staff will continue in their present workplace (Datta et al., 2005).
Staff acquisition strategy One of the main objectives of the resources management is to determine how necessary resources will be obtained to carry out project work, evaluate whether each resource holds the necessary expertise to execute the responsibilities, and record all proficiency gaps. Normally, the project team attains dedications to discuss resources from the organization team or to contract external property. The resources to be contracted include the plan design engineers. Reasons for Contracting Specific Project Resources Resource procurement decisions were reached after making the following qualitative and quantitative considerations during the cost-benefit analysis.
Time The time available to conclude the project is a critical aspect in the decision about the form of resources to employ. Existing organization IT resources are inadequate to achieve the project deadlines because of additional duties, resource scarcity, and inadequate competencies required. It would be cheaper to finish a project with internal resources, although the timeline stops that from being feasible. Time, as illustrated below, will play a role in three areas of the decision-making process.
Table 2: Time Factors Time SignificancePlanning timeScheduling at the beginning is crucial to all projects. Sufficient time is required to identify the program/service capacity and define the program requirements and deliverables. Still ample time is needed when deliberating about outside recruitment options since the contract concession and organization will depend greatly upon the recognized objectives, metrics, and products (Datta et al., 2005). Given that the external supplier knows the organization’s project execution time limit, the cost for services will increase consequently.Project timeObligations of the association during the continuation of the contract. Managers have identified task budget lines and interim time restrictions if only a closing due date are recognized (Dowling et al., 2008).
Risk Risk recognition is a vital element of the investigation process. Risk influences priority and outlays and advantages due to its effect on program accomplishment. For example, using internal personnel who are well-informed of the relevant targets, aims, and schemes of the organization’s project assists to guarantee that the program will achieve the wants of the organization. When outsourcing all or part of a program, the agreement must evidently position these significant aspects with the aim of minimizing the possibility of concluding a program that does not attain the requirements of the organization (Kerzner, 2004). Yet again, in-house and outside appraisals concerning expertise ranks and the fruitful results of the program will establish what issues afford risk factors in the program recruitment choice.
Table 3: Main Areas of Risk Risk Considerations Operational RisksThe in-house resources lack the capacity to fulfill project timelines, results, and needed skills. They do not have the aptitude to react to changes in lawmaking, mission, and service descriptions (Barreto et al., 2008). There is no balance between what IT requires and what the organization wants. Organization dedication: top down support from management and end-user needs to be boosted by external resources.Technology RisksThe capacity of the project to react to technology modifications or new technologies is low. The project needs to match the existing technical design for the organization.
Relationship RisksThe relationship risks that subsist when external resources are preferred over internal resources such as; anticipations on service delivery; unforeseen expenditures of outsourcing agreements; vendor receptiveness to call for perfections; vendor disappointment to deliver services punctually; influence on workers contentment, self-esteem, workload are minimal (Datta et al., 2005). These risks were identified, analyzed, and revealed that the impact and the probability of occurrence of these risks due to external resources are insignificant. This procedure permits an organization to comprehend how the present choice of in-house or outside resources to sustain a project will affect the organization in future financial plans, expertise, and recruitment levels. Analyzing such threats in the planning stage of the project instead of after the project has commenced will ensure enhanced realization of the actual costs and benefits of each staffing alternative (Turner, Huemann, & Keegan, 2008).
Staffing Resource matters are a significant deliberation in this cost-benefit study. The motive to stop squeezing already overworked resources is a vital reflection in the decision process. On the other hand, it is imperative tactically for project resources to be engaged in a specific process due to a resource’s impact on organization service delivery. The following key staffing questions were analyzed to facilitate the organization to recognize the impact of contracting external resources to staffing.
Table 4: Staffing Issues Staffing IssuesConsiderations Internal ResourcesThe project’s workload is huge and the available in-house resources not capable to execute extra obligations due to the restrained agency priorities and deadlines. The available personnel have to be motivated and challenged by external resources to be interested in their jobs (Dowling et al., 2008). The organization and the IT personnel would not gain a lot from employing available resources on the new project that need innovation. There is minimal impact on available personnel if an outside vendor is contracted. No in-house resources will be influenced, restructured, relocated, or fired. Personnel assurance will not be changed either.
The in-house resources do not have the skill sets possessed thereby necessitating procuring these skills from an external supplier. External ResourcesThe external personnel contain the capabilities required based on the review of their curriculum vitae. The external personnel required for the program are presently obtainable, and will continue to be present throughout the contracted period. The program steering committee will guarantee that the external resources needed are permanently assigned to the program (Kerzner, 2004). There will be no staff turnover of the external resources because of the competitive market for IT proficiencies and services, and if so the impact of the turnover will not interfere will project success.
The external resources demonstrate the essential qualities for the organization for instance; they correspond in work hours, mores, and inventiveness.Contingency PlanningChanges will take place during the progress of the project when external resources are used since the procurement contract will stop sometime. Change management practices are in place to check, track, and deal with changes and their effect to the procurement contract. Transition difficulties associated with outsourcing such as evaluating a vendor-controlled atmosphere, supervising an attempt to shift the service back in-house, or shifting from one vendor to another have been analyzed. Staffing levels and proficiency sets necessitated by such modifications are known since modifications in procurement contracts are unavoidable, and this information will be required throughout the course of the project.
Access to ExpertiseObtaining access to proficiency that is not present in-house is a major reason for contracting resources, particularly because of the framework of budget/time restrictions. Preferring to employ in-house resources for the project and subsequently contracting existing services may minimize operating expenditure and promote a more professional and successful procuring contract. It is thus much easier to establish the success of the external supplier in attaining the wants of the organization.
Strategies are in place to ascertain that the organization has a knowledge transfer plan to deflect becoming reliant on one supplier for continuous operation of the project.Resources’ contracting is not a conclusion in its own right. Its fruitful implementation involves departments in making significant choices about the organization they are in and the most excellent method for delivering their services to the project. Outsourcing is an organization device and will be approached in that style. The project departments will outsource to obtain services that are unobtainable in-house. Even as outsourcing in many stages creates savings, cost minimization, however, is often not the main reason to procure resources in the project. For every procurement contract, it is imperative to distinguish the grounds for outsourcing in order that they can be replicated in the progress of the project prerequisite and the procurement assessment procedure (Belout & Gauvreau, 2004).
Focusing on core services Successful acquiring permits the project steering committee to center in-house resources on undertaking priorities. Ordinarily, these priorities will be policy conceptualization, regulatory control, and legislative service delivery roles. When a department focuses on implementation its priorities, it can utilize its monetary, human and administration resources more efficiently and proficiently. Contracting of some non-priority tasks offers departments with the elasticity to readdress and concentrate their resources on actions significant to their assignment. However, priorities may vary occasionally and from department to department and no task should be handled as automatically impervious from normal consideration as to its possibility for outsourcing.
Access to skills Departments may undergo scarcity of competent and skilled staff produced by the change in the organization operation background, retirements, withdrawals, restrictions on enrollment or an incapability to recruit. Available staffs do not at all times have the required expertise to keep step with swiftly developing technology. Normally, the project will source major function expertise through employment and exercise contracting to access proficiencies that it finds complex to employ and maintain. When a project is reflecting whether to offer new services, contracting will simplify the procedure of building the expertise and resources needed to react to these new proposals. Occasionally, outsourcing to an outside resource supplier will be the only realistic way to obtain the expertise needed to deliver services. The project will also gain from allowing their personnel work with the resource provider’s consultants. To ensure the project’s concerns are well attended to, procurement managers will require updating their own know-how.
Reduction in costs Budget certainties have an influence in determining which tasks are to be carried out in-house and which to be contracted. Throughout the project, outsourcing will reduce both capital and periodic expenditures. The project outsourcing survey findings revealed that average cutbacks of about 27% annually will be attained for non-works services that are initially delivered in-house. Training There is presently no training planned with respect to the project since the project has sufficient staff with necessary ability sets. Nevertheless, when training obligations are recognized, financial support will be furnished from the program fund.
Performance Reviews The program administrator will appraise each team member’s allocated work activities at the beginning of the project and convey all anticipations of work to be done. The program administrator will then appraise each team member all through the project to assess their performance, and how efficiently they are carrying out their allocated duties. Before discharging assignment staff, the program administrator will convene with the relevant functional manager and give an opinion on worker project performance (Maurer, 2010). The functional managers will subsequently carry out an official performance assessment for each project member.
Recognition and Rewards Even though the span of the program does not provide for plenty time to afford cross-training or prospective for financial incentives, there are a number of premeditated acknowledgment and incentive items for program group members. After effective conclusion of the project, a celebration will be conducted to appreciate the accomplishment of each group member with the group members’ relatives present. Also, after efficient conclusion of the program, any group member who adequately accomplished all allocated work packages in good time will be given a certificate to show gratitude from the CEO (Huemann, Keegan, & Turner, 2007). Team members who fruitfully finish all of their allocated work will have their picture taken for insertion in the company bulletin. The company will give free family film vouchers for the top two workers on every project.
Budget and Time Rescheduling Resource Calendars The program is projected to proceed for three months. All resources are needed earlier than the initiation of the activities. The resource histogram below shows the number of hours design engineers, implementation managers, and department managers need to work every month to complete the project in the planned time. Table 5. Resource Histogram (Time Allocated per Manager per month)
Attributable to the existing resources and budget constraints, the project cost estimates and scheduling requires adjustments and scheduling as shown below. The project activities can only be executed in 90 days with a projected total expenditure of $ 52,200. Table 6: Project Cost Estimates for Processes and Major Activities Project Phase Time (Days)Cost Estimates ($)Project Initiation 51,500Project Planning 156,700Project Execution 4024,000Project Monitoring and Control 2517,000Project Closing 53,000Table 7: Allocating time for Project Processes and Tasks Phase Activity Start TimeDuration Finish timeProject Initiation Dec 11, 20135 days Dec 15, 2013 Developing project objectives Dec, 11, 2013 2 days Dec 12, 2013Developing project charter Dec 12, 2013 3 days Dec 14, 2013 Project PlanningDec 15, 2013 15 daysDec 29, 2013Estimating CostDec 15, 20135 days Dec 19, 2013Scheduling of Tasks and Activities Dec 20, 2013 4 days Dec 23, 2013 Identifying the risks inherent in the project Dec 24, 20133 days Dec 26, 2013 Establishing communication systemDec 27, 20133 days Dec 29, 2013Project ExecutionDec 30, 2013 40 days Feb 10, 2014 Designing system Dec 30, 201312 days Jan 11, 2014Developing systems requirementsJan 11, 20148 days Jan 17, 2014 Building project system Jan 18,201420 days Feb 7, 2014Project Monitoring and Control Jan 29, 2014 25 days Feb 26, 2014 Project Status MeetingJan 29, 20148 days Feb 8, 2014 Quality Assessments Feb 9, 201417 days Feb 26, 2014 Project Closing Feb 26, 2014 5 days March 02, 2014 Evaluating project deliverables Feb26, 2014 3 days Feb 28, 2014 Project review Feb 28, 2014 2 daysMarch 02, 2014Conclusion
Project human resources are usually very essential for the achievement of the business. However, resource acquisition and coordination is usually subjected to some challenges and problems that may affect the achievement of the project goals. In order to overcome these challenges, organization should ensure that appropriate human resources for various activities such as scheduling, budgeting, and monitoring and control are acquired to execute these activities. One of the main objectives of the project human resource management is to determine how necessary resources will be obtained to carry out project work, evaluate whether each resource holds the necessary expertise to execute the responsibilities, and record all proficiency gaps (Huemann et al., 2007). The function of the staffing management plan is to realize project accomplishment by ascertaining that the perfect human resources are sourced with the required proficiencies, resources are guided where any gaps in competencies are recognized, team building policies are plainly outlined, and team activities are efficiently handled (Belout & Gauvreau, 2004).
References Barreto, A., Barros, M. D. O., & Werner, C. M. (2008). Staffing a software project: A constraint satisfaction and optimization-based approach. Computers & Operations Research, 35(10), 3073-3089. Belout, A., & Gauvreau, C. (2004). Factors influencing project success: the impact of human resource management. International journal of project management, 22(1), 1-11. Datta, D. K., Guthrie, J. P., & Wright, P. M. (2005). Human resource management and labor productivity: does industry matter? Academy of management Journal, 48(1), 135-145. Dowling, P. J., Festing, M., & Engle Sr, A. D. (2008). International human resource management: Managing people in a multinational context. CengageBrain. com. Highsmith, J. (2009). Agile project management: creating innovative products. New York: Pearson Education. Huemann, M., Keegan, A., & Turner, J. R. (2007). Human resource management in the project-oriented company: A review. International Journal of Project Management, 25(3), 315-323. Kerzner, H. (2004). Advanced project management: Best practices on implementation. New York: John Wiley & Sons. Maurer, I. (2010). How to build trust in inter-organizational projects: The impact of project staffing and project rewards on the formation of trust, knowledge acquisition and product innovation. International journal of project management, 28(7), 629-637. Turner, R., Huemann, M., & Keegan, A. (2008). Human resource management in the project-oriented organization: employee well-being and ethical treatment. International Journal of Project Management, 26(5), 577-585.
PROJECT MANAGEMENT 24
Running head: PROJECT MANAGEMENT 1
Sample Capstone Project Paper on Business SWOT Analysis
Business capstone swot analysis.
Introduction Established in 1977 by Steve Wozniak and Steve Jobs, Apple is known as the hub of technological innovation and creativity. The first of the company’s creations were computer circuit boards and later the company ventured into making computers, although these lacked graphical user interfaces. In addition to making personal computers, the company also developed software for these computers. The company went public in 1980 in an offering that was impressively successful. In 1994, Apple ventured into the portable computer business with the creation of Macbooks, a range of laptops that ran the company’s proprietary software.
With the introduction of the iPod in 2001, Apple changed the MP3 player industry, a feat they repeated in 2008 and 2011 in the mobile phone industry and tablet market with the introduction of the iPhone and iPad respectively. Although the company went through turbulent times in the 1980s, especially after the fallout of Steve Jobs with the then CEO of the company, which led to Steve Jobs being kicked out of the company, it made a strong comeback. Apple had previously held the largest market share in the PC business, but fell to a meager 3% of the entire PC market.
In 1997, the company’s share price had dropped to $3.30; this has however changed, as the company’s share price at the end of the fourth quarter of 2012 stood at $705.07. Although the company holds only a small percentage of the PC market, the company remains profitable since its diversified product offerings ensure a steady flow of revenue into the company. The company is also the largest publicly traded company in market capitalization. The iPhone takes up a considerable market share of the smartphone market; the iPad is the market leader in the tablet market, while iTunes is still among the world’s largest retailers of multimedia content.
Part of Apple’s success is the belief among Apple’s employees, stakeholders, customers, and suppliers in the vision and mission of the company. This is what the former CEO and co-founder Steve Jobs referred to as engraining the vision and mission in the company’s DNA (Harvey, 2001). Apple’s success is thus pinned on the company’s shared mission with its stakeholders. As a pioneer in technology and innovation, Apple’s uniqueness and success are particularly visible from the company’s mission statement. The mission is in itself unique as it diverges from the everyday statements to a more personal. The company’s mission statement reads, Apple is committed to bringing the best personal computing experience to students, educators, creative professionals, and consumers around the world through its innovative hardware, software, and Internet offerings (Apple, 2012).
Part of the reason why Apple customers like the company’s products, and why the company sells even with the premium prices on its products, is the unique experience that the customers get with the company’s products. The unique experience that customers get with Apple products begins with simplicity and an easy-to-use as well as beautiful interface. Bundled with the beauty and durability of the products offered by the company, Apple remains the company with the highest customer retention rate. According to Albanesius (2011), Apple has the highest customer retention rate at 89 percent, beating its competitors in the smartphone market, with the closest rival being HTC with a 39 percent retention rate and Samsung at 29 percent.
Tied to Apple’s mission, and success is the customer service that Apple accords its customers. Not only are the services and user experience streamlined in all the company’s devices, they remain efficient and user friendly. The company’s online services, such as the iTunes and the App Store are all connected with the company’s products staring with the iPod to the Mac (Haque, 2009). Connection to all these services and products are through a singular login user ID that opens the world of Apple to the consumers, including third party products. This is unlike other companies that rely on third party services or products for functionality and service provision.
Apple designs its products and services as a statement of fashion and class, while at the same time ensuring that these products and service are relevant and work perfectly, thus the unique experience. With constant, immediate and seamless updates of its software and regular release of new products, Apple customers not only enjoy unique customer service and product support for a long time, they also have a wide range of products to choose from with familiar user interfaces.
Similar to the company’s driving mission, Apple’s vision is yet another uniquely crafted feature that drives the company to its success. The vision, although it may also not be as carefully written as other companies’ vision statements, is a belief that has been carried through the company’s leadership and employees. According to the current CEO team Tim Cook, Apple’s vision stands as, To produce high-quality, low cost, easy to use products that incorporate high technology for the individual. We are proving that high technology does not have to be intimidating for noncomputer experts (Apple, 2012).
The vision is crafted in most of the company’s products and services, having simplicity as the core of the company’s innovative and intuitive products. With such simplicity, therefore, Apple has remained successful in its business, being a pioneer in most of the current computer and smartphone industries. The iPod, introduced in 2001, changed the MP3 player industry and even though the company was a late entrant in the market, it currently holds a 73 percent market share of the MP3 market in the US and 11 percent worldwide (Haque, 2009). Among the driving factors for such a strong market share presence is the company’s product interfaces, which are creative, simple and easy to use, even by those who are not well versed in technology.
The success of Apple’s products, driven by the vision of high quality, high technology, and simplicity for the individual is also perhaps the reason for the company’s continued success in both the PC and smartphone markets. Apple’s PC market share was 3 percent in 1997. This has changed, with the company holding 9 percent of the total PC market share. Success in the company due to its visionary products is also visible in the company’s sales in the smartphone industry. Thus, while it is losing market share to a barrage of Android devices that have flooded the market, the company has still managed to grow its sales by 7 percent, selling 37.4 million units with a 23 percent market share (Osawa, 2013).
The company’s rivals have a wide range of products that they sell with varied price ranges. Apple’s products are the premium-segmented especially the iPhone. The quality of the company’s offering, even with a falling market share, still puts Apple on top of its rivals as the most profitable business than any other smartphone marker (Osawa, 2013). Thus, although the company has fewer offerings in devices compared to its rivals in the smartphone industry, in addition to charging premium prices for the products, consumers still buy the products because of the high quality packaging of the products.
Apple’s primary stakeholders include the leaders, employees, Apple developers and suppliers. The customers too are stakeholders as they are considered the engine that drives the company in terms of sale. Steve Jobs’ legacy in the company as a leader remains as one of a hands-on leader, whose philosophy of simplicity is engrained in the company’s intuitive products. By running a campaign on the premise of Thinking Differently, Steve Jobs’ tenure at Apple saw the company grow not only in the market share price, but in revenue as well. It also helped the company come up with successful brands that reinvented their respective industries. The iPhone reinvented the mobile phone industry and remains one of the highest sold gadgets in the history of technology. The iPad also redefined, in fact, created the tablet market that was virtually non-existent prior to its launch.
Through Steve Jobs’ predecessor Tim Cook, Apple launched a new operating system, new iPads and a new iPhone. The iPhone 5s launched with a fingerprint sensor, which is a first in the smartphone industry. Apple’s leadership creates a culture within the company’s staff, suppliers, and customers, which enables the company to stay afloat in whichever market segment they operate in. The company’s leadership under Tim Cook has so far been tremendous, although it is still based on the auspices of the founder Steve Jobs. It will be important for leadership to therefore shake off the ghost of Steve Jobs and move on to a new Apple, giving the same high quality and reliance on products, but under the new management.
Apple’s developers on the other hand have been the brains behind the company’s success in applications. Currently Apple has more than 1 billion apps on the App Store, far ahead of what Android, its main competitor has. Additionally, most of the applications in the smartphone world first launch on the iOS platform before they launch on other smartphone platforms. This has enabled Apple to stay ahead of its rivals in functionality since some of these applications end up being exclusively on the Apple platforms.
Additionally, Apple retains a cordial relationship with its suppliers and retailers. However, even through such a cordial relationship, the company ensures that supplier maintain high standards in the goods they produce in addition to being agile and flexible in delivery of the products. Such commitment and relationship with suppliers has ensured that Apple maintains its quality in products, and therefore success in the industry (Apple, 2012, p. 2). For its retailers, the exclusivity deals with phone carriers have been a cementing factor in the company’s success. By closely maintaining its strictness in supply chain, the company has been able to monitor its sales, and with it, create a win-win situation for the company, its suppliers and retailers.
An analysis of Porter’s Five Forces on Apple indicates that the suppliers are not much of a big threat to the company. Both the company and its suppliers are reliant on each other for sales. Apple however holds an advantage against the suppliers because of its brand name. Its insistence on product quality however presses the suppliers, as they have to incur costs with a rising labor and component cost. Apple’s advantage over the suppliers also builds on the premise of having many suppliers willing to meet its standards. The company has also started developing its own components such as the A Cortex chips for the iPhone and iPad. The suppliers’ bargaining power is therefore relatively low.
Apple buyers on the other hand, hold less of a bargaining power. Apple has thrived on selling its products at premium prices and this has not changed over time. The company holds a stronger advantage over its buyers who cannot demand for lower prices, since the company’s products are different from other competitors’ products. Additionally, Apple delivers on the quality of its products far more than its competitors do. This therefore makes Apple buyers have less of bargaining power. Apple customers’ low bargaining power is also due to the costs they would incur in changing both hardware and software. It is widely known that Apple uses different software and hardware for its products, and delivers on quality. Changing to other products therefore would be difficult for its customers, hence the low bargaining power.
Current PC and smartphone markets are already saturated. While the tablet industry is new and Apple is currently the market leader, new entrants into this industry are unlikely to be a threat to Apple. The standardization of smartphone and PC components and the establishment of these components’ suppliers have lowered the prices of these components. Therefore, it is difficult for new entrants to thrive in such kind of a market, especially if they are disadvantageous with economies of scale. Any new entrant into the PC, tablet and smartphone market has to come up with a completely revolutionary product, of which Apple is the leader. Thus, for Apple, the threat of a new entrant is relatively low, especially since the company has the highest customer loyalty in the technology industry.
The PC and smartphone markets are highly competitive. Apple’s main competitors here include Dell, Samsung, HP, Toshiba and Acer. While all these rivals employ aggressive pricing policies, Apple uses a differentiation strategy to beat its rivals. It thus targets consumers rather than business people for its smartphones. Additionally, it targets creative professional for the Mac and ProBooks. Its brand loyalty and maintenance of quality throughout its product range ensures that it fends off industry rivalry. Apple additionally, can check internal competitor rivalry by rationing the amount of products it wishes to develop. This therefore gives it an advantage over its industry competitors.
Apple holds the ground as the revolutionary product leader, the threat of substitutes is therefore relatively low. Although competitors have introduced products to compete against its offerings, Apple’s products remain much better in performance and quality. The Apple brand name in itself has no substitute, thereby giving the company an advantage over its rivals.
Apple’s SWOT Analysis Strengths Strong brand recognition and reputation Strong Customer loyalty and retention Leader in innovation Leading market capitalization and strong financial performance Better advertising and marketing Retail stores and partnership with carriers
Opportunities Patent acquisition through acquisition and new product development Increased demand for the cloud computing services Continued growth of the tablet and smartphone market Projected growth in mobile advertisement High demand for products such as iPhone 5 and iPad MiniWeaknesses Very high price on products Reliance on US market for sales Law suits and patent infringement Change in management Declining market share Decrease in gross profit margin of timeThreats Growth of Android
Technological change is rapid Free online music and movie download sites and competitors such as WalMart, Amazon and subscription services such as Spotify Samsung’s pressure over key technological components Foxconn, its Chinese manufacturer rising wages Government tax increases
Strong performance of the dollar In light of the SWOT analysis, Apple’s first strategy as a leader in innovation would be to introduce new products, especially in markets that are untapped. Since that iPhone and the iPad revolutionized their respective markets, Apple could look into introducing new products in either these markets or other markets. A bigger screen for the iPhone, but with more features as well as the finger sensor for the iPad. Additionally, collaborating with huge carriers, such as China Mobile, the largest mobile phone provider by subscription, would extend Apple’s products penetration given the strong reputation that the company has. Partnering can also extend to third party content providers for exclusivity deals, such as movie studios and music production houses.
The Chinese market is specifically warming up to the cloud computing services. Apple can therefore tap into this growing demand with its innovative iCloud service. Further, the company could also scout for upstarts with unique technology and patents for acquisition to add into its innovation. These upstarts could include companies providing mobile advertising services, to capitalize on this growing market. While Apple concentrates on the US market, there is a potential market in Asia as well as Africa. Apple could tap into these potential markets with billions of potential customers by introducing mid-range products to tap into these markets. The mid-range, fairly priced products would help it fend off Android’s increased gain on the smartphone and tablet market share.
According to Apple (2012), competition in the mobile industry can cause a strain on acquisition of components, this as seen Samsung that supplies the company’s memory chips and screens (p. 7). To beat such pressure therefore, Apple can acquire/ enter into a trade agreement with other component manufacturers to supply such primary components. This will help in keeping up with the rapid changes in technology in the mobile phone industry. Apple’s competitive advantage has always been on its differentiation. By use of the law on property rights and patents, the company has had the advantage of inimitable resources. An extension of this resource through acquisitions can increase the company’s competitive advantage over its competitors.
The management of Apple through Steve Jobs had given the company not only an image as a quality brand, but also as an innovator. Now that Steve Jobs is gone, it is important that Tim Cook win over the confidence of stakeholders and consumers to maintain the company’s competitive advantage. This is currently visible through the launch of iPhone 5s with the industry first in finger sensor. Additionally, under Tim Cook, Apple has launched a new operating system for the iPhone and iPad. A continued products innovation and release under the new management will be instrumental in pushing the company to new levels of competition and profitability.
Acquisition and new product launches are important events especially for stakeholders. If Apple’s therefore desires to expand its resources through acquisition and new product launches it is important that it informs its stakeholders. Primary stakeholders should be kept abreast of all development concerning the company since such affect them directly. Categorizing the stakeholders would therefore be the first step in giving the communication. These stakeholders will therefore be categorized as primary and secondary stakeholder. Primary stakeholders’ communication should be prompt and would include such methods as use of fax and mail. For secondary stakeholders, traditional channels such as the company website and key events would suffice for passing information about new acquisitions and product launches.
Apple’s management remains answerable to the company’s overall corporate governance. Its internal governance is therefore designed in such as way that the CEO is answerable to the board of directors (Apple, 2012). Thus, the actions by the CEO are all subject to the Board’s approval. Additionally, the Board appoints the CEO of the company. The external governance on the other hand includes industry regulators and the government. These have been instrumental in influencing managerial actions as seen by the government insistence of the company to switch off the data collection program in the iPhone. In an app war with Google over Googles app on the iPhone, which Apple had declined to include in the App Store, the FCC made the management agree to have the app on the App Store. Thus, the external governance in industry regulation plays a major role in Apple’s managerial decision.
Apple’s success is however not free of turbulence. While quality of product is something synonymous with the company, the company’s failure to react quickly to the reception problem of the iPhone 4 was a major ethical violation. Although the company went ahead and fixed the problem by providing cases and a $15 refund, it did shake the company’s reputation on quality. The company’s corporate responsibility is however considerable, insisting on inspection its suppliers working conditions. Such inspections have led to the rise in pay of Foxconn workers, one of its major suppliers in China. The Chinese workers are specifically happy with the wage increases, thus improving the company’s standing in quality and corporate responsibility.
References Apple. (2012). 2012 Annual Report. Apple. Albanesius, C. (2011, 23 September). Report: Apple Boasts 89 Percent Retention Rate, RIM Users Less Loyal. PCMAG. Retrieved from http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2393452,00.asp Harvey, A. (2001). A dramaturgical analysis of charismatic leader discourse. Journal of Organizational Change Management, 14(3): 253-265. Haque, U. (2009, 1 October). Apple’s Next Revolution-And What You Can Learn From It. Harvard Business Review. Retrieved from http://blogs.hbr.org/2009/10/apples-next-revolution-and-wha/ Osawa, J. (2013, April 26). Apple’s Smartphone Market Share Falls. The Wall Street Journal. retrieved from http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424127887324474004578445712299078452 Yoffie, D. B., & Slind, M. (2008). Apple Inc., 2008. Boston, MA: Harvard Business School.
Business Capstone SWOT analysis 13
Running head: Business Capstone SWOT analysis 1
Sample Capstone Project Paper on Management
Discussion Question 1 Project manager’s need for good communication skills A person cannot qualify as an effective project manager without good communication skills. A project manager is surrounded by several people, including the clients, subcontractors, team members, and employers, all of whom need to be updated, directed, informed, and/or instructed depending on the activities and the progress of the project. Effective communication skills are crucial for the project’s continuity, identification of potential problems, keeping the customers updated, soliciting suggestions and new ideas for improving performance, and avoidance of surprises (Gido & Clements, 2009).
Project management uses both oral and written communication skills. Project managers pass information to persons named above through diverse ways, depending on the content of the message and the target (Gido & Clements, 2009). Therefore, it is important for such managers to be thoroughly acquainted with both oral and written communication styles to enhance communication processes. For example, when giving directives to their subordinates, they may choose to use oral communication alone, which involve talking and listening.
They can communicate the activities of the day orally, giving details of what each team would be doing on that particular day. Upon giving directives, project managers should give room for questions, without which communication process is incomplete. However, in presenting the report on the progress to the clients, project managers need to use both oral and written communication.
Interpersonal skills and their importance Interpersonal skills are simply defined as the skills employed in interacting with other people, particularly in relation to communication. Therefore, interpersonal skills heavily depend on a person’s ability to communicate effectively, using both written and oral forms of communication (Gido & Clements, 2009). Such skills include (1) verbal and non-verbal communication, (2) listening and negotiation skills, and (3) problems solving and decisions making skills.
A project manager must know what he needs to say while dealing with various persons, how he should say it (the non-verbal cues), and must be a good listener. Moreover, one cannot make a good project manager with a deficiency in decision-making skills: Ability to evaluate issues and circumstances and making the most suitable decision are inseparable with effective management. In every project, it is impossible to go all the way from the beginning to the end without facing challenges (Gido & Clements, 2009). A project manager must be equipped with problem-solving skills to overcome all the challenges the teams are likely to encounter in the course of realizing the set objectives. Without such skills, a project may spill in terms of time, thus increase the cost or even lead to its failure.
Discussion Question 2 Project manager effectiveness and improvement Becoming a good project manager requires more than technical competence. Interpersonal skills, communication skills, and administrative skills play a very significant role in project management. I witnessed this in a project that I once participated in and was under a good project manager. One of the features that characterized the manager was that he had the necessary technical know-how, thus he knew exactly what was to be done. Although he sought the team members’ opinions before implementing various plans, the objective was always to have us think in togetherness, which helped us in understanding concepts before implementing them.
The technical knowledge would not have realized the set objectives in the absence of effective communication skills. The project manager shared his ideas, opinions, frustrations, and directives in a polite, courteous, and clear manner, thus left no room for guesswork or assumptions. My project manager came out successful in the project because he anticipated problems and responded to them before they caused mayhems, delays, failures, and disappointments. His experience in the field and with workers made it easier for him to identify potential challenges even before they struck and lay measures of averting or responding to such problems in time. For example, he could identify bad leadership traits among supervisors and timely respond to them, thus preventing them from affecting the teams’ progresses.
Although the project manager was able to get the job done and realize the set objectives in time, there was room for improvement especially in relation to enhancing teamwork. The staff members were divided into several working groups, with each group assigned a specific responsibility in the project. However, the project manager failed to transform the groups into focused working teams. He had to resolve so many disputes, especially those that related to disagreements between and among team members.
The second failure of the team manager was overwhelming himself with too many responsibilities in the project. He rarely delegated duties to the group leaders and project supervisors. The project supervisors and group leaders had very little to do; they had to seek his opinion on everything they did. In his absence, the project almost stopped because the other leaders were afraid to guide the groups into various activities. Through delegation, the project manager would not have exhausted himself as he did and he would have trained other leaders to become leaders like him.
References Gido, J., & Clements, J. (2009). Successful Project Management. New York, NY: Cengage Learning.
PROJECT MANAGER 2
Running head: PROJECT MANAGER 1
PROJECT MANAGER 4
Sample Capstone Project Paper on Organizational Plan
Organizational plan: part 4.
Organizational Plan of Capstone Project The Management Structure The structure of Capstone project, being a limited liability project shall contain a management team that comprises different levels that contribute to the drive of the firm. At the top of the company shall be the CEO. The officer shall take charge of overall management duties. Such a position requires diverse leadership skills as well as resilient as the firm is in the infant stage. Second in rank is the Chairman of corporate governance board. The chairperson shall facilitate the efficient running of the firm in terms of procurement, and manufacturing. He or she must therefore posses the critical ability to manage the different departments and procurements. Under the Chairman shall be the director of the sales department, the operations faculty, finance docket, and marketing column. The firm shall also have a legal advisor to ensure that the company operates under the legalities required (Kotler & Keller, 2012).
(Sample diagram of Capstone management team)
The McKinsey 7-S model and the management team
Adapted from (Salvendry & Karwowski, 1993)) The McKinsey 7-S model is very relevant to Capstone project. The seven elements will be identified as follows: The strategy: The strategy of the firm is categorical to attract direct sales of the firm products in relation to the customers. The direct linkage shall eliminate the intermediaries’ effect that increases the supply costs and indirectly, retail prices. The strategy also aims at efficiency, which is a necessary requirement in client satisfaction. To reduce the intermediary effect and increase efficiency, the firm seeks to employ different trucks for deliveries. The management shall also ensure that adequate marketing is in place, as it exists in the marketing plan. This shall involve virtual, as well as physical features. The company intends to have direct client involvement through product purchase and trials. The competition is stiff but the company is prepared to have a cut of the edge technology that surpasses other competitors in the market. The trick of Capstone marketing and sales occurs through interactions and direct client influence. Furthermore, Capstone intends to have a regular market study and provide trainings in anticipation of any changes.
The structure: The organization follows the McKinsey model as illustrated above to ensure productivity and return on investments affect. The hierarchy is limited and communication structured such that every member finds the right channel to drive the firm (Caruth & Pane, 2009). Through regular training, the firm intends to sell the company’s vision and strategy to the human resource constantly with motivations and incentives when required as is evident in Rothwell & Pane (2005 p. 120). The leadership styles anticipated is situational, which ensure that decision-making is interactive and context based. Lastly, sharing of information shall take a linear pattern so that every department gets informed of decisions and feedbacks.
The shared values: As stated in the introductory part of the plan, the business has a mission, vision, and ideals that ensure its development and direction. The values shall become active in daily activities making sure that clients get satisfaction and trust in the firm. Ideally, the values are built upon the strong principles of honesty, trust, and handwork.
Style: From the previous section, the management style will be situational to enable decisions to be context based. Additionally, interactive leadership styles that have diverse personalities are encouraged. This ensures that the human resource inculcates motivational values of work and productivity.
Staff: Due to the initial stages, the organization will have a limited number of staff and increase gradually as it grows. For instance, I will take two roles of CEO as well as Chairman to the board of governors. This will ensure that the company develops at a recordable pace in line with productivity. With time, however, the needs shall be addressed in accordance with the five-year plan under course (Caruth & Pane, 2009).
Skills: Certain skills are a prerequisite in developing the firm. Manufacturing and industrial production skills are necessary (Root, 2013). The staff must also have comprehensive IT skills to enable the firm to benefit from constant training and marketing. Such skills are readily available but proper care shall be taken to ensure that new recruits acquire proper preliminary trainings to ensure productivity at minimal costs. The model above addresses critical issues that any firm needs to address, which include: Alignment Consistency Gaps Support Weaknesses Strengths Conflicts
Business-level strategy The business strategy level focuses on key competencies of cost leadership, and cost advantage (Rothwell & Payne, 2005). The cost leadership ensures that price is in line with internal efficiencies that endear customers to the firm. The focus here shall dwell upon efficient facilities in due course to prevent competitive imitation. The management shall also ensure tight control of production costs to maximize profits. Lastly, the firm shall minimize sales costs by going online and ensuring quality of network marketing. The ideals of maximum production at minimal costs with the aim of customer satisfaction are in line with the corporate strategy of cutting intermediaries and reducing prices for the clients.
Reference Caruth, D. L., Caruth, G. D., & Pane, S. S. (2009). Staffing the contemporary organization: A guide to planning, recruiting, and selecting for human resource professionals. Westport, Conn: Praeger Publishers. Kotler, Philip & Keller, L. Kevin (2012). Marketing management 14e. Pearson Education Limited 2012 Root. (2013). Development of the Detergent Industry. Retrieved August 7, 2013, from Root: http://www.root-cn.com/Laundry-Ball-Knowledge/Development%20of%20the%20Detergent%20Industry_57.Html Rothwell, W. J., Wang, A. W., & Payne, T. D. (2005). Career planning and succession management: Developing your organization’s talent ; for today and tomorrow. Westport, Conn: Praeger Publishers. Salvendy, G., & Karwowski, W. (1993). Planning, organization and management of advanced manufacturing: A human factors perspective. New York, N.Y: Wiley.
ORGANIZATIONAL PLAN 2
Running Head: ORGANIZATIONAL PLAN 1
Sample Capstone Project Paper on A New Restaurant in Geelong
A new restaurant in geelong.
This reflective review reports on the project of opening an Asian Food Restaurant in Geelong, Australia. This project was initiated due to lack of enough restaurants that provide varieties of Asian food loved by the Geelong residents. Currently, there are only two restaurants providing such food delicacies in this town, an indication of the need to set up another unit with better offer. The situation also shows lack of meaningful competition in the provision of the Asian food varieties. Another notable issue is the fact that Man Bo Restaurant, which is the main competitor in town is overpriced with many people having to part with much money to enjoy their Asian food choices.
Therefore, the project of establishing another new restaurant that offers better prices in Geelong would be profitable in the long run as customers would prefer it to other competitors (Urbanspoon 1). The project of establishing a new Asian Food Restaurant in Geelong seeks to break into the market through a systematic method. The team starting the project knows that the important thing would be to capture the market share of those who love the Asian food varieties. To achieve this, the project seeks to offer lower food prices as compared to other two existing restaurants. This measure aims at attracting the existing customers to this particular restaurant, a prerequisite to gaining the required market share. After an assurance of the market share, the food prices will be slightly increased later to gain profits (Urbanspoon 1). A successful implementation of this plan will make this new food restaurant the number one preferred Asian food restaurant in Geelong.
The main objective the project seeks to achieve is opening an Asian Restaurant that satisfies the need for Asian food, giving the Geelong residents a taste of Asian cuisines. The second objective is to generate a profit of AUD$200,000 by the end of 2014 though providing meals that cost AUD$15 to about 150 customers each day. Note that for any project to be successful, the objectives must be SMART. Therefore, the only way to know the viability of this project would be to analyze the objectives put forth by the team.
The first objective does not give enough information on how it stands to be achieved. It is no doubt that the current restaurants in Geelong provide varieties of Asian food. This first objective should indicate how the new restaurant would beat competition through offering new specific products that are missing in the current restaurants. Furthermore, it should have touched more on the current market figures on customer satisfaction through the products provided by existing restaurants. The second objective clearly gives a simple and measurable method on how to achieve it. This projection can be easily followed to find out the viability of the project. It therefore stands out as a SMART objective of the project.
Presentation of the project always remains important in wooing potential financiers (Roennevig 2). Most of such people may find it difficult to read many pages of project proposals, but would rather listen to a summarized oral and visual presentation. This calls for due diligence on how individuals or members in a team project presentation. In this Asian food restaurant, the specific nature of the project is clearly stated with the start-up funding well placed. There is no doubt that enough time was taken in doing the research relating to the project. The PowerPoint presentation was very important in aiding the visual part of the audience. To be specific, the first two slides had good visual aids that included appealing food pictures. However, the other slides lacked such visual aids. Handouts distributed to the audience also helped in engaging the audience on the project specifics (Roennevig 1).
The information on the visual presentation had good flow throughout; however, the word Restaurant’ should be added on the first slide to emphasize on the nature of the project. Lack of clear elaboration on the competitive advantage also weakened the presentation, as it is not convincing enough on some specific issues the new restaurant would address to gain more advantage over other competitors. The general standard of the presentation aids stands to add scores to the project. For instance, the second slide is an example of a well-structured presentation owing to the usage of both text and photos (Roennevig 1). It is appealing; hence, other slides should follow this to add points on the viability of the project.
Teamwork was also demonstrated during presentation with two team members making the presentation while others participated in answering questions from the audience. However, the two who talked throughout the presentation period brought a feeling of unfairness, as it seemed the rest did not have much knowledge on the project specific details. Nevertheless, the team demonstrated a good background research on the project with enough information on how to gain the market share, especially through offering lower prices compared to the exorbitant competitor prices. It is clear that the team had enough information on the Asian food market in Geelong. This leads to the Acid Test conclusion that the work was very good as it exceeded expectations for the first presentation of a project. Market research was well conducted and members had good planning and execution details.
References Roennevig, M. Ways to Present a Project. Demand Media, (n.d). Web. 18th August. 2013 <http://work.chron.com/ways-present-project-3324.html> Urbanspoon. Geelong Restaurants, (n.d). Web. 18th August. 2013 <http://www.urbanspoon.com/n/346/46388/Victoria/Geelong-restaurants>
Sample Capstone Project Paper on Integrative Learning and Organizational Setting
Integrative learning project: organizational setting.
Golden State Energy is a global supplier of diesel fuel based in central California. In this paper, we shall discuss its organizational setting in terms of mission, vision, value addition and Christian integration. To further understand more concerning the company, we shall concentrate on defining key concepts with relation to the company.
They include total quality management, six sigma, innovation, and schedule management, capacity planning for services, supply chain management, transformation systems and finally performance management through the use of a balanced scorecard. Golden State Energy Services is the best diesel refining company in California and it strives to ensure it maintains the position through provision of quality refined diesel all the time.
The customer services offered by the company are of its own class of quality and value for their money. To enhance this, Golden State Energy Services has developed a balanced scorecard as a way of performance measurement which allow the company to focus all the efforts to the most crucial and essential componentsGolden State Energy Services is a regional bulk sale supplier of diesel fuel. It is situated in Central California with crude production assets located in the San Joaquin Valley; Western Kern County and the Central Coast region of California; San Luis Obispo County and Santa Barbara County. The arteries of the business are a network of safely operated pipelines that connect production fields to a manufacturing and refining facility on the Central Coast of California specifically San Luis Obispo County. The 1,700 plus acre Golden State Energy Services Refinery is located adjacent to California State Highway 1 in an area called the Nipomo Mesa.
The refinery has been under the ownership of several other companies that include Uno-Cal, Tosco, Conoco-Phillips and Phillips 66 that has been in operation for more than 50 years. Only 11 percent of the land is utilized for company operations. This portion equates to about 200 acres. The rest of the land is utilized for cattle grazing as well as an open space used in wildlife preservation in an area known as the Nipomo Dunes. As an essential part of California’s energy infrastructure, our refinery processes about 44,000 barrels of heavy crude oil daily. Golden State Energy Services also plays an important role in the local economy by employing 200 full-time workers. We constantly reinvest in our assets by upgrading our facilities and implementing rapidly changing technology in order to maintain environmentally sound and safe operations (Rusco, 2011).
1.2 Mission At Golden State Energy Services, our primary mission is to produce with minimal adverse environmental impacts, safely transport and convert heavy crude oil into high quality diesel. The goal is to safely provide diesel fuel to wholesale businesses, truck fleets and the railroad industry. We will safely transport our high quality diesel through railcar, truck and pipeline to our customer’s facilities throughout California.
1.3 Vision Our vision at Golden State Energy Services is to grow, develop and expand as the safest, effective and efficient provider of bulk diesel fuel in California. We will measure our success based on our balanced score card which tracks our safety performances, environmental performances, customer feedback, community feedback as well as employee feedback. We understand that in order to be a high performance industry respected by customers, communities, competitors and our employees we ought to establish a perfect and flawless operation. The attainment of perfect operations encourages and supports on the stability of our most important and respected asset which is our people. Golden State Energy Service will therefore foster a culture of commitment towards a well preserved and safe environment. Mutual respect, empowerment, open honest communication and the pursuit of a well-balanced quality of life for every employee will also ensure we achieve our vision and mission.
1.4 Value Added In order to separate ourselves from our customers, we have established a structure fully integrated in the business from senior to junior staff but more importantly our customers. Historically, fully integrated companies have been large corporations. Although they are integrated, they are also layered and tiered with a fully hierarchal structure. Crude production, pipeline assets and refinery assets operate as a standalone businesses focusing on their part of the business. Each of the business possesses its own hierarchy of management from the frontline to the president of the company who is expected to report to the Chief Executive Officer (CEO). The current structure however can be termed ineffective. This is because; each business operates in the silo effect with duplication of efforts and processes. For example, maintenance activities are not coordinated within the whole organization. Instead, maintenance is performed within each organizational silo thus; added systems downtime due to lack of wholesome coordination (Rusco, 2011).
As a fully integrated business, we aim at being a flatter organization with one Executive Leadership Team (ELT) for the company as a whole and not for each process of the business. The key to success is having a pool of subject matter, experts for the respective process of the business and an open ear to field personnel who know their own part of the process better than anybody else does.
Duplication of processes such as three separate payroll departments, human resource departments and separate real estate facilities can be minimized. The focus under integration is team building in order to encourage conducting operations as a whole as it will improve customer service externally and internally.The external customer will acquire more reliable supply streams at affordable prices. Conversely, internal customers mainly the employees will experience an improved quality of life due to effective scheduling and less ad hock responses to operational issues as well as better wages. The organization is also advantaged due to its ability in providing one fuel and diesel that streamlines our refining processes (Solanki, 2011).
1.5 Personal Role My major responsibility will be integrating the assets in order to form a Master Limited Partnership (MLP). I have spent several years during my working experience as a team builder. When the MLP formation process is completed, my next role will be laying the foundation for the leadership structure. As I lay this foundation, I will continue to evolve my role thus, changing it into an expert in the realm of logistics that includes movement of pipelines, trucking and railcars.
1.6 Christian Integration Christianity will be exemplified through our moral expectations in running an ethical business with a mutual respect towards every person. Our ethics will ensure we do not impede on our neighbors. More so, we will schedule our trucking during off peak hours in order to minimize community traffic. Although this may result to more expenses thus reduced profits, we prefer earning less profits but in a responsible accountable and ethical manner. We believe that this will assist in the community believing and trusting us as an ethical commercial entity thus; hold the organization with high regard. We aim at minimizing our waste to reduce our environmental footprint. Our frontrunners will be servant leaders who put the needs of other people mainly the employees, customers and community first. Our aim is to conduct business activities under the guidelines provide in Proverbs 22:1 which states; a good name is rather to be chosen than great riches, and loving favor rather than silver and gold.
2.0 Key Concepts 2.1 Total Quality Management This concept refers to service and product assurance as well as managing the future of an organization. Our business functions, operations, processes and employees will be managed in order to satisfy our customer needs, expectations, wants and demands at every stage externally and internally. It is believed that, combining total quality management with effective and efficient leadership skills results to a properly planned, organized and managed organization practicing appropriate activities within stipulated timeframe. Golden State Energy Services therefore aims at acquiring qualified and skilled leaders who will deliver impeccable results (Morfaw, 2013).
Total quality management has various cores components including customers, employees, suppliers, organization processes, commitment, communication, culture and systems that are all part of Golden State Energy Service community. Quality is a term applied in defining the delight and satisfaction customers derive when their needs, wants and expectations are met and fulfilled. Golden State Energy Services therefore aims at ensuring the performance is fast and satisfactory. More so, we seek to make our commodities appealing thus improving the appearance clients will have on our diesel products. Availability of our diesel commodity through reliable, affordable and accessible means as well as sustainable and maintained delivery methods that are effective with regard to costs on the organization and the customer is also our major aim. We are therefore researching on our customer’s needs and expectations to make them better.
By identifying, understanding and measuring them, it will assure us if we have the capabilities of meeting them within the stipulated period especially with regard to deliveries. Therefore, our diesel quality will span around our organizational functions, people, departments, culture and operational activities. We will cooperate in every interface in order to ensure that Golden State Energy Services’ total quality measures are achieved widely through controlled and managed mechanisms (Morfaw, 2013).
In order to achieve total quality management, an organization ought to shun bad and poor practices, functions and operations. Golden State Energy Services will therefore need to recognize and correct the inappropriate practices immediately they are detected. The most common inappropriate practices witnessed among organizations include, lack of clear directions from leaders, managers and senior staff. As a result, departments can decide to work without the required systems or directions especially if they do not understand them comprehensively. We at Golden State Energy Services acknowledge that, ignoring our leaders due to poor communication skills will result to poor practices, poor quality diesel products and consequently, loss of business due to a poor image in the industry.
Controlling people located in different and diverse departments in Golden State Energy Services has been identified as challenging, confusing and/or misunderstood. However, we seek to have departmental systems and processes that are easily understood and operated by employees from all ranks. This way, our diesel quality will neither be compromised resulting to poor quality fuel products nor poorly graded.
Everyone within Golden State Energy Services will therefore have to accept that operating under reactive behaviors due to poor communications, negative attitude and defected systems will hinder production, supply and delivery of our commodity diesel. They will have to aim at establishing a flexible and effective working environment where everyone can communicate freely without fear of being disrespected, ignored or misunderstood. Since total quality management is an approach aimed at ensuring committed leadership skills in order to achieve a competitive advantage in the market in order for stakeholders to benefit, we at Golden State Energy Services aim at applying it within our organization. Through total quality management, we will succeed in increasing our sales and profits thus, success will be shared among the Golden State Energy Services family (Morfaw, 2013).
2.2 Six Sigma This concept is a disciplined procedure aimed at assisting organizations to focus on establishing, developing and delivering commodities and services that are near perfection. Sigma is a statistical term commonly used in measuring production processes and how far or near they is in delivering a perfect product without defects. Defects in a product or service can be measured based on how customers find them appealing and/or acceptable.
Six sigma therefore measures defects in production processes by systematically identifying and figuring them out. It aims at finding out ways of eliminating the defects or reducing them to zero to meet customers’ specific needs, wants and expectations. The current production and manufacturing processes in Golden State Energy Service environment aim at achieving a competitive advantage in order to survive and earn high market share values in the fuel industry within California. Global economies indicate that fuel-producing organizations ought to strive at reaching excellence perfection in order to remain relevant in a highly competitive market (Truscott, 2012).
Six sigma concept revolves around; critical quality, defects, processes abilities, variations, and stable operations as well as designing customer needs, desires, wants and expectations. Considering our customers define diesel quality based on their expectations, we at providing high quality diesel that pleases and satisfies our clients. Customers also believe commodities and services ought to have a perfect performance rate. More so, goods and services ought to be delivered on time and the transaction correctly processed based on reliable competitive prices in the market or industry.
Therefore, at Golden State Energy Services, we do not only aim at producing high quality diesel fuel but also at delivering our diesel commodities to our customers upon request without delay. Our automated cash registers will also ensure the transactions are correct and consistent with the customer’s expectations. This way, the organization will reduce the number of cases customer claim they were overcharged or undercharged. Our customer’s happiness and delight as we meet their necessities excellently and perfectly is our goal and primary objective (Ching-Chow, 2010).
We do not seek to lose a percentage of our total revenues due to production of defected diesel products because our manufacturing processes are faulty. Defects tend to take up an organization’s time, resources and effort in correcting and trying to satisfy their complaining clients. In order to achieve our quality requirement, we have identified our customer’s perceptions without influencing them based on Golden State Energy Services’ needs. Therefore, our customer needs will be based on a life cycle in our production processes. We have identified various areas customers need value added, enhanced or improved within the fuel industry. We have communicated them with our employees. Golden State Energy Services strategies, statistical tools and techniques will provide opportunities for the firm to grow and expand by understanding our clients and delivering what they expect. It is therefore our philosophical goal to achieve and perfection through production methodologies aimed at acquiring diesel fuel quality that is as perfect as possible (Truscott, 2012).
2.3 Innovation Business innovation refers to adapting management systems aimed at changing, improving, enhancing and/or transforming sustainable conditions in a business environment in order to grow and survive. We at Golden State Energy Service aim at reducing or eliminating unnecessary costs in order to increase productivity of diesel fuel. This is because we shall successfully gain a competitive edge within the market and industry with regard to diesel production and refinery. Although total quality management does not hinder business innovation, it influences technology formation and implementation processes. Therefore, we plan to support innovation among our products, production procedures and management styles (Bruce & Birchall, 2012).
Innovation in products is influenced by customer needs, wants and expectations. Therefore, we have room for improvement based on the feedback we retrieve from our customers on how they perceive our product and ways they think we can improve. Innovation with regard to production procedures refers to the changes experienced in machinery, equipment, plants and other indirect elements associated with employees aiming to increase and expand productivity. If customers demand we improve our diesel products, we shall do so promptly. This will translate to Golden State Energy Service acquiring new production plants able to meet new changes thus fill the missing gap among our customers. Conversely, innovation and management styles aim at adapting systems and procedures in management of new sustainable conditions in order to improve how employees, production procedures and work is organized and managed.
Therefore, innovation can result to application of automated devices that are proof of defects and mistakes. As earlier stated, our main objective is to produce diesel commodities that are perfect and functional. In order to achieve this, we need to have a management style under the control of leaders who share similar views. The leaders should therefore be innovative and encourage even our employees to air their views on how we can keep improving our fuel products. This is mainly because innovation is mainly motivated by internal and external environmental changes among employees, customers, suppliers, marketers and partners (Bruce & Birchall, 2012).
The key to success in an organization is based on the firm’s ability to adapt to changes despite company’s size. Total quality management aims at improving attitudes, productivity and commitment among employees. Innovation applied drastically aims at reengineering while innovation applied in gradual progressions proposed by total quality management aims at achieving continuous and consistent improvements. We at Golden State Energy Services consider total quality management essential in providing support as well as obstacles for improvement and innovation. Our arguments are based on total quality management’s ability to identify production processes, revamping or replacing them in order to implement new and more efficient as well as effective mechanisms in conducting business thus, supporting innovation. However, we do note that total quality management develops and facilitates innovations. This is because it does not hinder innovation among organizational focus areas such as customer focus, team work empowerment and training and analyzing production processes (Bruce & Birchall, 2012).
Therefore, we shall provide room for innovation by eliminating the obstacles and maximizing on the supportive mechanism. In this industry, in order to remain relevant, a firm has to produce high quality products that improve with period and changing times. Since technology is a gradual process that changes and advances, we promise to keep updated on the new technologies and delivering high quality products to our clients at all times.
2.4 Schedule Management A schedule is a list of activities, tools, goals and priorities to be achieved in order to meet reliable and realistic organizational objectives. Golden State Energy Services scheduling procedures are based on the available time before we commence formulation of production plans. Schedule management within Golden State Energy Services projects estimates resources to be allocated, the project duration in order to prepare a budget and link them with scheduled events. Therefore, our organization plans, portfolios and contracts and other factors influencing the success of a firm’s project will be scheduled based on our abilities as fuel producing organization (Pinedo, 2012).
Schedule management assists in identifying and understanding how realistic a project can be achieved in due time. It plans how the available time will be utilized through project plans while allocating enough time to conduct other activities that were not expected but absolutely necessary. Thus, it minimizes stress by eliminating over-commitments among people involved in the project (Pinedo, 2012).
2.4.1 Operations Scheduling. As earlier discussed, schedule management is essential in an organization especially at Golden State Energy Service. Operation scheduling involves allocation of various responsibilities to specific people who are specialist in various areas of operations. Diesel refinery is a complex process which unless well-coordinated and planned may result to huge losses and unsatisfactory services to customers. Operation scheduling involves planning of initial procedures in diesel refinery, filtration, distribution as well as supply to respective end users in an enhanced and smooth procedure. At Golden State Energy Services, operation scheduling is emphasized to ensure the company reputation is not jeopardized neither product quality compromised. It does not matter the inputs as long as the product quality is enhanced, the company is more than willing to consider the former at all cost (Wood & Wollenberg, 2012).
2.4.2 Maintenance Scheduling. Operations scheduling enhances the activities are achieved according to the plan in an organization. In this line, the achievements and accomplishments ought to be guarded as well to ensure holistic approach is achieved. This is the responsibility of maintenance scheduling to further ensure all the operations within an organization are harmoniously carried out for the achievement of organizational goals and objectives. In order for an organization to work as a single entity, all operations need to be harmonized and procedures maintained within organizational scope and traditions. This is mainly the work of maintenance scheduling which is regarded as the backbone in every organization. With regard to Golden State Energy Services, maintenance scheduling enables continuous flow of refined diesel across California and its environs.
In addition, it helps the company to maintain steady operations at the satisfaction of all the stakeholders regardless of their diverse responsibilities. Therefore, maintenance scheduling is pivotal especially in Golden State Energy Services where such an essential commodity is involved (Vanhoucke, 2012).
2.5 Capacity Planning For Services Every organization evaluates its performances through various methodologies to enhance its service and product delivery. This is an essential step since such self evaluations helps internal strengthening of operations thus increased productivity. Every company ought to assess its capacity planning capabilities in service and product deliver in a process, which should be holistic involving all stakeholders for successful implementation of findings. In this manner, the company is able to predict the path to follow in achieving such a step for the benefit of all stakeholders minimizing any possible resistance. In addition, such internal evaluations are important to assess the financial implications any activity or operation intended to be undertaken would have in the company. In this regard, one such tool, which can perform this task effectively and efficiently, is The Learning Curve which shall be discussed in details below mostly focused on the Golden State Energy Service (Pries & Quigley, 2012).
2.5.1 The Learning Curve. The learning curve represents a concept and a terminology which describes the operations of how new skills as well as knowledge can initially be acquired in a company or an organization. Subsequently, the learning process slows down with reduced momentum in every activity that was initiated towards improvement of service delivery and transmission of skills and knowledge in the company. The principle of learning curve operates in such a manner that, the initial stages involves minimal employment of resources with massive returns and significant results. However, the payback realized from continued utilization of resources towards the same venture reduces significantly in the end. The concept of the learning curve is attributed to psychologist Hermann Ebbinghaus in early 1885 though it was later developed and more elaborated in 1934 by psychologist Arthur Bills (Pries & Quigley, 2012).
When a visual representation is performed for a learning curve, a steeper curve is indicative of easier and faster adaptation and learning in every aspect viewed in totality. On the other hand, a flatter and less steep learning curve is indicative of more difficult and slower learning experiences. The learning curve concept is essential to companies especially Golden State Energy Services in the hiring, training and orientation program especially for new employees. Whenever the company aspires and intends to bring on board new brains, the diesel refinery company considers how faster employees shall adopt to the tradition and culture of Golden State Energy Services.
As the executives of the company considers it, its is better to incur training and orientation costs but to ensure every employee in the company is build and improved in career progression path regardless of the department. As long as an employee meets the minimum basic criteria, the rest in trajectory of career growth is handled by the human resource department at Golden State Energy Services. The major objective of the learning curve in any company is inclined to ensure that productivity is increased and carried out effectively. In addition, Golden State Energy Services analysis the learning curve to ensure budgeting and forecasting costs in various departments are maintained at manageable levels to ensure profitability. The executives at the company have ensured all the prerequisites with regard to employees’ empowerment is accorded sufficient attention and handled efficiently (Pries & Quigley, 2012).
The learning curve
The above diagram is a representation of a learning curve. The rationale behind this illustration especially with regard to our discussion (Golden State Energy Services) is that when a worker refines much quantity of diesel, the same worker will require less time in refining subsequent quantities of diesel. This ought not to be confused with experience curve but rather have a clear distinction that learning curve is focusing on average time per unit and the cumulative volume of production. The rationale behind the learning curve is that the worker will have perfected the art of working and learnt how to perform various tasks better and faster hence enhancing effectiveness and efficiency.
When Golden State Energy Services considers the implications that are likely to be associated with a learning curve, various conclusions are worth consideration. If the time taken in refining a unit quantity of diesel (or a unit labor cost) decreases while the cumulative output or the product increases, this translates to the firm refining more and for a longer period. When such a scenario is witnessed by Golden State Energy Services, they enjoys lower average time used in per unit refining of diesel consequently dominating the California market as envisioned in their mission and vision statements (Pries & Quigley, 2012).
2.6 Supply Chain Management Independent firms interlinked through production of fuel products jointly or separately form a supply chain. This is aimed at delivering high quality fuel commodities to end consumers. Supply chain management within the fuel production industry is an extended concept aimed at adding value to commodities before delivering them. We at Golden State Energy Services understand that, managing a business requires newly innovated ideas, styles, approaches and strategies in order to grow and develop a firm. We are a new organization in the industry. Therefore, we need to have a re-engineered balanced, agile, lean thinking capacity and business processes in order to rapidly grow, develop and expand in this industry globally (Stentoft, 2012).
Due to globalization, stiff competition, renewed business environments, highly transformative customer needs, technology advances and geopolitical factors, former approaches and strategies are no longer adequate and relevant in delivering our objectives and goals. We understand our firm is a part of large supply chains participating in this industry aiming to win and remain relevant in the industry by achieving the competitive position. In order for Golden State Energy Services to survive and remain relevant in this arena of producing diesel products, we cannot depend on our abilities alone. We need to cooperate with the current supply chains in California and win the competitive advantage (Lu, 2012).
2.7 Transformation Systems Transformation systems involve all the procedures and processes in place that enables a firm to process raw materials into finished products ready for consumption. It is also the process of converting inputs to meaningful outputs beneficial to a company. Depending with the type of company, they are various transformation systems incorporated in operations of a company to deliver desired results. The following discussion shall concentrate with continuous process (Ulrich & Newcomb, 2012).
2.7.1 Continuous Process. Golden State Energy Services settled on a continuous production process that is evolving in nature and manner in order to foster innovation, growth and expansion. Our organization deals with raw materials that are bulky and in fluid form. Therefore, the production processes are continuously in motion in order to mix the chemicals in mechanical plants under a treatment step requiring heat.
Golden State Energy Services aims at operating for a duration of twenty-four hour unless machines, plants and equipment breakdown. However, we have invested in machinery assets able to operate for more than three years without necessarily shutting them down or stopping. Unlike machines, people operating them require breaks. As a result, we have scheduled the employees in rotational shifts. We understand that overworking a staff member renders them under-efficient and effective. Thus, in order to intensify and manage our capitals in relation to employees, we need to offer them operating time they are comfortable with getting fatigued. Machines will undergo thermal cycling as well as tear and wear checkups to minimize damages (Ulrich & Newcomb, 2012).
2.8 Performance Measurement Performance management involves thorough evaluation of results to identify success from failures for improvement purposes. Performance measurement also provides a way of evaluating whether the strategy employed is working and beneficial to the firm or not. In addition, it allows employees to focus their attention to what matters most in achievement of a company’s vision. To achieve a meaningful performance measurement, a balanced scorecard is developed to guide an organization as shall be discussed below (Davila, Epstein & Francois, 2012).
2.8.1 Balance Scorecard. A balanced scorecard helps managers and the management team of a company to view their business from four distinct perspectives. First, from the customer’s perspective, secondly, internal perspective focusing on what the firm must excel at, thirdly, innovation and learning perspective and finally financial perspective. A balanced scorecard minimizes any information overload by providing number of measures used in performance appraisals. Hence, it directs managers of any company to focus their efforts on those measures only, which are the most critical (Lawrence, 2012).
Use of a balanced scorecard has been witnessed to fulfill several managerial requirements and need in management processes within a company. All the company’s competitive agenda are summarized in a single management report when balanced scorecard is used. Secondly, use of a balanced scorecard in a company prevents sub-optimization hence improving efficiency at firm’s capacity; hence, balanced scorecard should focus on company’s vision at the center (Davila, Epstein & Francois, 2012).
3.0 References Bruce, A., & Birchall, D. (2012). Innovation: Fast Track to Success, FT Press. Ching-Chow, Y. (2010). Six sigma and Total Quality Management, Sciyo, Abdurrahman Coskun. Davila, A., Epstein, M., & Francois, J. (2012). Performance Measurement and Management Control: Global Issues, Emerald Group Publishing. Lawrence, J. (2012). Implementing a Prototype Energy and Water Quality Management System, IWA Publishing. Lu, D. (2012). Fundamentals of Supply Chain Management, Dr. Dawei Lu& Ventus Publishing ApS. Morfaw, J. (2013). Total Quality Management (TQM): A Model for the Sustainability of Projects and Programs in Africa, University Press of America. Pinedo, M. (2012). Scheduling: Theory, Algorithms, and Systems, Springer. Pries, K., & Quigley, J. (2012). Total Quality Management for Project Management, CRC Press. Rusco, F. (2011). Oil and Gas Management: Interior’s Oil and Gas Production Verification Efforts Do Not Provide Reasonable Assurance of Accurate Measurement of Production Volumes, Diane Publishing. Solanki, P. (2011). Earned Value Management: Integrated View of Cost and Schedule Performance, Global India Publications. Stentoft, J. (2012). Supply Chain Management, Academica. Truscott, W. (2012). Six Sigma, Routledge. Ulrich, W., & Newcomb, P. (2012). Information Systems Transformation: Architecture Driven Modernization Case Studies, Morgan Kaufmann. Vanhoucke, M. (2012). Project Management with Dynamic Scheduling: Baseline Scheduling, Risk Analysis and Project Control, Springer. Wood, A., & Wollenberg, B. (2012). Power Generation, Operation and Control, John Wiley & Sons.
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- Introduction CAPSTONE RESEARCH TVVillaflores
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- Definition Research ➢ re - a prefix which means again, anew or over again ➢ search - a verb meaning to examine closely and carefully, to test and try, or to probe. TVVillaflores
- Definition Research - a structured enquiry that utilizes acceptable scientific methodology to solve problems and create new knowledge that is generally applicable. Scientific methods consist of systematic observation, classification and interpretation of data. TVVillaflores
- Definition Research - a “truth-seeking activity which contributes to knowledge, aimed at describing or explaining the world, conducted by those with a high level of proficiency or expertise”. (Coryn, 2007) TVVillaflores
- Definition Capstone - a crowning achievement TVVillaflores
- Definition Capstone Research - a multifaceted project that serves as a culminating academic and intellectual experience for students during their final senior year TVVillaflores
- Capstone projects may take a wide variety of forms that culminate in a final product, presentation, or performance. TVVillaflores
- Capstone Research is designed to: 1. Encourage students to think critically 2. Solve challenging problems 3. Develop skills such as: oral communication, public speaking, research skills, media literacy, teamwork, planning, self-sufficiency, goal-setting TVVillaflores
- Capstone Research is designed to: 4. Apply skills or investigate issues across many different subject areas or domains of knowledge 5. Connect projects to community issues or problems 6. Integrate outside-of-school learning experiences such as interviews, scientific observations, or internships TVVillaflores
- Goals of Capstone Research 1. Increase the academic rigor of senior year 2. Increase student motivation and engagement 3. Increase educational and career aspirations TVVillaflores
- Goals of Capstone Research 4. Improve student confidence and self- perceptions 5. Demonstrate learning and proficiency TVVillaflores
- How can you relate what you have already leaned in accomplishing a capstone project? TVVillaflores
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