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Final Project Plan

Essay by 24  •  March 11, 2011  •  4,497 Words (18 Pages)  •  1,247 Views

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Final Project Plan Paper

Introduction

In the Telecommunications industry, balancing assets and profitability is especially important in the survival of a given company. This is due to the fact that consumers are becoming more knowledgeable and understand the technical aspects much better now than in the past. Customers are always looking for new technological solutions and more bandwidth as their applications are becoming more sophisticated. Small Telecommunications companies, in an attempt to keep up with the technological changes, are moving too fast and often do not properly track their costs. In addition to the technical challenges, new regulatory changes are making hard for CLECs (Competitive Local Exchange Carriers) to compete against the ILECs (Incumbent Local Exchange Carriers). These changes are ILEC friendly and are triggering higher imposed costs for the CLECs. This paper will discuss how these changes impact a CLEC to the point where costs and revenues are no longer tracked properly.

This paper will also discuss a project created to identify where changes can be made to realign costs and revenues in order to improve margins as well as determine asset usefulness, utilization, and values as part of the cost to do business. Part of the discussion will revolve around project planning, forecasting, and risk assessment.

Project Plan Overview

Project description: Due to proprietary information, the specifics about this project and the company it relates to will be modified. The aforementioned changes and impacting factors have forced the CLECs to face an increase in costs and a slight decrease in revenue caused by customer churn. ABC Telecom, the subject of this paper, has created a project that will target a detailed review of each point of presence an each network element in order to determine whether maintaining a network in certain markets is profitable. This project will also examine the profitability of its edge network.

Problem Statement: A local network is comprised of many components: switch sites, POPs (Points of Presence), Collocations, and transport sites. Collocations are where customer facing assets are located. For a local company, more than 80% of all customer services go through these collocations. Therefore, they can be considered the lifeline of any local company because they connect to the customer through their established infrastructure to homes and businesses. Services such as POTS (Plain Old Telephone Services) must go through collocations. Therefore, a portion of the cost to do business is associated with these collocations. Some of these services must be carried across the country and through multiple network elements and sites to be terminated. Therefore, some of the cost has to be distributed across the network. The purpose of this project is to determine how that cost and, consequently, how the revenue can be allocated properly in order to determine profitability. Once profitability studies are completed, then decisions to decommission or maintain network presence in a given market must be made.

Mission justification and high-level scope: ÐŽ§Mission, objectives, and strategies are set to meet the needs of customer(s). Development of a mission, objectives, and organization strategies depend on the external and internal environmental factors.ЎЁ (Gray & Larson, 2005) ABC TelecomÐŽ¦s mission statements revolve around world-class services, competitive rates, and state of the art technology. Obviously, the importance of reducing cost is emphasized by the promise to provide products and services at a competitive price. This is important as large companies consider bandwidth a commodity and emphasize the underlying services. Smaller companies such as CLECs cannot afford to take that approach but they still have to compete. In that regard, they must find other ways to cut costs and reduce rates. This project will reduce the cost burden on the company and ensure a better understanding of margin thresholds.

Strategy: The scope of this project is all encompassing and very involved; therefore, the timeline of such project spans a minimum of nine months. The main objective of this project is to determine whether the company is profitable in a given market with the deployed assets, reduce cost, and increase the overall margin by at least 10%. This project will be managed in two distinct phases:

„© Profitability analysis: This study process is simple but required the participation of all departments. Network Planning, Engineering, Filed Operations, Sales, Finance and marketing all have to be part of the study. Business practices and daily processes must be reviewed and reevaluated. The profitability analysis study includes a review of the actual costs of maintaining network presence in a given market, the current revenue, future forecast, equipment decommissioning and displacement costs.

„© Decommission implementation (if necessary): This phase would require participation from the implementation organizations in addition to Network Planning, Customer Service, Engineering, and other implementation organizations.

Measurable success: The success of this project will be defined by three important measurable aspects. All the deadlines and scheduled deliverables must be met. Any length of time spent with the current cost and revenue structures in place mean lack of profitability for that much longer. The project manager will track these deliverables and the associated dates. As part of the project team, all members must be responsible enough to ensure timely delivery of all project components. Communication between team members is extremely important. The main metrics will be gross margin improvement, implementation timing and costs, and customer experience. Each of these metrics can be measured and tracked.

The importance of this project lies in its alignment with the strategic goals and objectives of the company. Strategic alignment is directly related to the fundamental processes used to manage the day-to-day corporate business objectives. This is important to consider when selecting a project. For instance, the selected project for this paper targets the promise to provide world-class services at a reasonable rate. The consumer is heavily impacted with this project as is the company. By redefining how the company thinks about network deployment, the company regains control over its cost structures and position itself to better compete.

Risk Management

ÐŽ§Every project manager understands risks are inherent in projects. No amount of planning can overcome risk, or the inability to control chance events.ЎЁ (Gray & Larson, 2005) All initiatives have a number

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