Project Management Methodologies: Rapid Prototyping Essay

Question:

Discuss about the Project Management Methodologies for Prototyping.

Answer:

Introduction

Background

Rapid Prototyping (RP) is technique which is being used in manufacturing sectors to develop 3D full scaled model of the actual machine to check the efficiency and other performance criteria of the original equipment in certain design conditions [1]. This branch is rapidly evolving and growing day by day. Frank Billings had a dream to be a famous entrepreneur in this field.

Summary

Frank was awarded contract by Cocable to custom and develop four RP equipment according to the specific design conditions of Cocable. Accordingly Frank developed quickly by spending night shifts, but while final testing it failed.

Case Study Assessment

Project Management issues and their causes

Goal of the project was not clear [2]: the project aims and objectives were not defined at the beginning of the project along with the ‘case study’ and ‘project charter’. Frank had simply jumped over the work without developing any planning document; this might happened due to lack of similar experience or the tight schedule.

Scope was not verified before start of work: Cocable was needed to conduct scope verification task with GE while taking the job. Scope of work with all technical details was not verified. Scope Verification was lacking.

None of the project management methodology used [3]: methodology are the set of pre-defined steps which are required to be followed while executing any project, depending on the type of work different types of methodologies like ‘waterfall’, ‘Agile’ etc. But in current case, none of the methodologies were used.

Lack of Accountability: since no project charter was developed before the start of project work, no defined resource matrix was available with Frank regarding whom he could contact to ask for any technical queries and because of which no body is taking the ownership of the problem, whereas Frank is the sufferer of the issue.

Stakeholder’s expectation was not exercised [4]: stakeholder identification being the part of ‘initiation’ stage of project management was not identified in this case, so their expectations too. Now, if this would have been done, the expectation of GE could have been identified well at the beginning and the issue could have been avoided.

Communication plan not developed: as the stakeholder analysis was not done, so the communication plan was also not developed. It would have been in place, Frank could have arranged the technical review or query resolving meeting in between before the final testing of the prototype.

Progress Measurement Methodology was not developed: because of which there were neither any progress reporting nor any review meetings was conducted in between the award of the contract and final testing between all the stakeholders (Frank, Cocable, GE). Otherwise the GE’s expectation would have been available well before the testing.

Improper or no Risk Assessment was done: this stage was also missing in the case study. Proper risk assessment and its mitigation plan should be done before the start of work. This activity would have facilitated Frank in keeping some reserve time and cost for the unforeseen situations like this.

Recommendations

Scope Verification

First of all Frank & Cocable should have ensured the scope doubly and verification should have been done with GE before the placement of order. Proper documentation should have been available with stamp of GE along with the date of release with Cocable and the same should have been handed over to Frank for his better understanding about the technical specifications and scope of work.

Project Management Methodologies

There are more activities which are also required to be done to avoid above discussed issues like, the project management methodologies should have been used which provides a pre-set and proven steps of conducting the project management activities. All the steps of project management starting from the stakeholder identification to closing of contract should be followed for properly documenting the needs, aims and objectives of the project along with the SWOT and Risk analysis.

Lessons Learnt

The lessons learnt from the given case study is, we must always perform the scope checking or verification before start of any activity to prevent from reworking. Scope verification is the steps of activities conducted to verify the scope statement provided by client or developed in house.

Conclusion

After detailed study of the case, this can be very well concluded that how important is the finalization of the scope of works since the beginning of the project, otherwise the similar outcome may happen. In current case, it is not only the scope was the only issue, other issues were like none of the project management methodologies been used, otherwise at any steps of the project management cycle it could have been clarified and accordingly the action could have been taken by Frank to avoid this situation. But now in current scenario I feel all three stakeholders GE, Cocable and Frank are responsible for the mess. Because neither GE clarified after placing the order nor Cocable & frank verified after accepting the order.

References

[1] Margaret Rouse. (2014, January) Rapid Prototyping. [Online].
[2] Bisk Education. (2017) Top 10 Project Management Challenges. [Online].
[3] Wrike. (2017) II. Choose Your Project Management Methodology. [Online].
[4] S Markwell. (2010) Identifying and managing internal and external stakeholder interests. [Online].

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