The continuous improvement plan is considered as one of the significant plan and process for the striving the consistency for enhancing any particular service or product. Chattergoon et al., (2014) illustrated in various project management, the organization realize the complacency in the process of achieving quality in project management process but losing the competitive advantage. Ensuring the continuous improvement during the project ensures the simplified pressure, process, customer recognition and improved quality of the product and project. The plan for the continuous improvement for a particular project allow the organization to plan and act accordingly for incremental enhancement of the process, products and services. In this report, the project aims at development and implementation of an E-procurement system for Victoria Museum.
Continuous Improvement Plan
Figure 1: Continuous Improvement Process
(Source: Created by Author)
Bernhardt, (2013) illustrated that the application of the “continuous improvement plan” during the project management allows the organization in continuous monitoring, evaluation and incremental improvement of the undertaken project. The development of the “continuous improvement model” illustrates the basic principle of project management with the application several core improvement principles. According to Vollenbroek et al., (2014), various basic principles of project improvement as follows:
Incremental Improvement: The improvement plan in the project should be based on small changes rather that major shift in paradigm. The amount and level of change within the project significantly impact the organization and success of the project. Sibthorpe et al., (2017) showed that considering small and incremental improvement in the project reduces the potential of risks.
Improvement is based on the project team: The opportunities in improvement within the project needs to included and initiated from within the project team and the internal stakeholders. The top management involvement and changes in the project scope are not included in the improvement plan.
Reflective Improvement: Hunt, Hunter and Levan (2017) illustrated that the improvement module undertaken for the project are inexpensive as there are based on the previous module or prototype developed. The analysis and plan of the project team are included in the next iteration of the improvement plan. According to Muhammed et al., (2017), the feedback of the client during the implementation of the improvement module are crucial for ensuing the client satisfaction and obtaining the project scope.
Repeatable and Measurable Improvement: Lewis, (2016) illustrated that the change made for the improvement of the project also needs to be analyzed and tracked. The determination of the impact on the project allows the organization and the project manager to evaluate the level of success of the project and the improvement made.
The process of improvement within the project is based on four basics module as illustrated in figure 1.
Identify: Rahman et al., (2016) showed that in the “identify” phase, the internal stakeholder of the project evaluate the current system or prototype model that has been developed during the project. The analysis of the current status of the project and the limitations allows the project team to identify the required area where the improvement can be made.
Plan: Based on the identification of the improvement area, the project team developed a required plan for implementing the improvement module within the existing project. The level of improvement determines required planning of the implementation, development, resource allocation and execution of the project. In addition to that, the project manager needs to develop the required process that would be followed during the execution phase.
Execute: Elmore et al., (2014) showed that the execution phase of the improvement process is initiated based on the review and approval of implementation plan. The developed plan for the implementing the improvement module are deployed in this particular phase.
Review: The deployment of the improvement process does not end at the execution of the plan. In the review phase, the project manager needs to continuously monitor and review the changes implemented in the project. The monitoring, evaluation of the review of the improvement phase allows in determining the impact of the change and modification made within the project.
Procedural Documents Required in the Improvement Plan
Fagnani, and Guimaraes, (2017) showed that it is essential for the project manager to develop and follow various procedural documents for ensuring the proper and effective development of the improvement plan. Following are the several procedural documents that are essential for the improvement process within the project.
The internal audit plan for the project helps in testing and inspecting the developed project or prototype model. The documents of the internal audits includes the assessment and evaluation of the management process and developed system itself. The application of the audit report uncovers the particular area within the project that has an improvement scope and opportunity for ensuring quality project.
Project Management Plan
The documents for the “project management plan” in the project, includes the required process and techniques for developing the required project. Furthermore, the development of the “project management plan” includes the cost estimation and schedule for developing the particular project. Apart from that, the project documents allows in identification of the potential risks that might occur during the project.
Quality Review documents
The “Quality Review Documents” includes the information regarding the review and analysis of the project. The development of the “Quality Review Documents” allows the organization in identifying the area that can be improved through the next iteration of the improvement plan. The quality review document includes process evaluation, performance review, technical, functional and operational review of the project.
The initiation of the project development and implementation of the project improvement process is based and dependent on the approval of the project charter. The project charter helps in the identification of the project scope and requirements that needs to be implemented in the project. The project charter are approved by the project manager and project client before starting the implementation process.
The project budget document provides the detailed budget estimation required for the project. The project budget documents also includes the cash flow and budget analysis based on the undertaken project. The improvement plan for the next iteration is dependent on the estimated project budget as motioned in the project budget document.
Project Risk Assessment
The “risk assessment document” is required in the project for the estimation and evaluation of the associated risks present within the project. The risks assessment documents also identified the possible mitigation solutions. Furthermore the risks identified and obtained within the project are recorded in the risk register included in the “risk assessment document”.
Post Project implementation review
After the implementation of the improvement plan in the project, the developed project is reviewed and verifies for ensuing the quality and possibility of enhancement within the project.
The project for the implementation of the e-procurement system for Museum Victoria, Australia followed the PDCA model for including the incremental improvement within the project. The process of continuous improvement plan followed for the development of the e-procurement system includes the continuous improvement of the system with continuous and incremental improvement. In this project, the improvement plan includes four significant stages illustrated as follows:
Plan: In the planning phase, the changes and improvement required in the e-procurement system are identified. During this phase, the current prototype of the e-procurement system developed for the Museum Victoria are investigated and potential area for development are identified. The project team involved in the e-procurement system project evaluates the system and identifying the risks and opportunities associated with the project. The project team used the prioritization matrix for determining a particular change that needs to be implemented in the next iteration phase. For developing the plan for improvement process, the functional module and processes that has been developed in the prototype of the e-procurement system are evaluated. Value Stream Mapping and flow chart will be used for defining the functions and procedures of e-procurement system. Time and budget are the significant factors determining the project success. The project manager will use histogram and Pareto charts will be used for evaluating the resources required and its impact on the allocated budget and schedule of the e-procurement project. Furthermore, brainstorming session among the team members would allow in the identification of the area of improvement in the e-procurement system. Based on the identification of the significant causes and area of improvement, the project manager would develop an action plan that needs to be implemented during the improvement plan.
Do: During the Do phase of the continuous improvement process, the incremental development is done on the prototype model of the e-procurement system for Museum Victoria. The project manager developed the required scope documents and project implementation plan for the e-procurement system. The developed plan for implementing the improvement module will be reviewed and approved by the project manager before implementation. In this particular phase, the required modification will be made in the functional module will be implemented. The modification done in the prototype of the e-procurement system allowed in improving the previous solutions for eliminating the identified issues and risks. During the system improvement, the project manager follows the project plan and project charter for ensuring the achievement and implementation of the project scope. The project manager further records the risks identified and accessed during the implementation of the planned improvement module.
Check: In this particular phase, the project manager analyses the performance of the e-procurement system and compare the data with the initial model observed before improvement. The data obtained are further measured with the baseline of the planed project for determining and identifying the planed improvement for the e-procurement system was achieved. The quality review documents are developed in this phase for evaluating and reviewing the obtained quality in the developed improved e-procurement system for Museum Australia. In addition to that, the quality of the e-procurement system is evaluated and identified based on the black box test, unit test analyzing the achievement of the functional requirements for display and storage of information. Apart from that, the system quality is further evaluated by the client feedback and user acceptance test ensuring all the functional requirements are met during the improvement plan. The information obtained from the quality assessment and evaluation of the e-procurement system are recorded in the project plan for future application.
Act: This phase of the improvement plan for the e-procurement project enables the analysis and testing of the required e-procurement system developed after the improvement plan. Based on the evaluation of the system, the project manager needs to determine whether the developed e-procurement system needs to be adopted, adapted or abandoned. The improved system of e-procurement will be adopted if the quality analysis revealed the meeting of the aim has been obtained. This process includes the establishment of the new functional module and measured for standardizing the performance of the application for the Museum Victoria. Furthermore, in case of the system adaptation, various monitoring benchmarks are developed for monitoring the quality and performance of the developed e-procurement system. In addition to that, based on the analysis, thee project manager may decide to repeat the improvement phase for enhancing the quality of the e-procurement system. The improved system is adapted when the system fails to obtain the complete requirement of the improvement process. In case of the system adaptation, the improvement phase is repeated with the development of the enhanced e-procurement system. In addition to that, if the improvement phase does not provide required solution and enhancement of the quality or functionality of the e-procurement system, the project manager abandoned the system and initiated the project improvement plan for achieving the required quality as identified in the planning phase of PDCA.
The application of the PDCA module for achieving the required quality and improvement of the e-procurement system has been identified as most appropriate. As the development of the e-procurement system is IT based project, the application of the PDCA model allowed the project manager in developing the software in an incremental process for ensuring the quality and project scope. Therefore, the proper planning and development of the improvement plan would assist in achieving the required quality in the e-procurement system.
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