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Problem Solution: Harrison-Keyes Inc.

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Project Implementation Plan Research

University of Phoenix

Project Implementation Plan Research

The concept of project implementation is applicable to all companies yet it is often overlooked by some organizations. The eagerness to begin project work and the pressure of fast results can often hinder the project implementation and planning process. Harrison-Keyes is facing a very large project through shifting market focus into e-publishing. The company should not only benchmark other organizations, but also analyze and implement the key concepts of project implementation.

Key Course Concepts

The concept of integrating an organization's strategy in project selection has proven to produce favorable outcomes of projects and allows for the effective utilization of human and capital resources to achieve project objectives. The new school of thought lists project management as an integral part of the strategic management process. Strategic management is defined as "the process of assessing "what we are" and deciding and implementing what we intend to be and how we are going to get there" (Gray & Larson, 2006. Chap.2, p.7). This helps an organization adapt to changes in its internal and external environments to maintain a competitive advantage in its industry.

The importance of implementing an effective strategic management process is evident in AT&T Telecommunications. The implementation of the company's outsourcing initiative aimed at increasing profitability and customer satisfaction is identified as a best practice by the team for its effective strategic management process. Motorola's management's six sigma approach successfully aligned resources towards achieving the organization's goals and strategies. The organization has a strong competitive position unlike some organizations where "integration of strategy formulation and implementation often does not exist" (Gray & Larson, 2006. Chap. 2, p. 4).

Project managers recognize that implementation of strategies in projects consists of effort, understanding roles and completing tasks thus the need for an effective portfolio management system. Organizations like Guaranty Life Income and Bank of America have realized the benefits of designing a portfolio management system and the impact it has on improving the profit margin of an organization. A portfolio management system ensures "organizations build discipline into the production selection process; aligns project selection to strategic metrics; prioritizes proposals across a common set of criteria, rather than politics or emotion; allocates resources to projects that align with direction; balances risk across all projects; justifies killing projects that do not support organization strategy and improves communication to ensure agreement on project goals" (Gray & Larson, 2006. Chap.2, p.13).

Once the top priority project is identified, project managers typically define the project scope for the project prior to crafting the project plan. "The primary purpose of the project scope is to define as clearly as possible the deliverables for the end user and to focus project plans (Gray & Larson, 2006. Chap.4, p. 2). The project scope ensures that with the collaboration of the project manager and customer the projects objectives, deliverables, milestones, technical requirements, limits, exclusions and reviews with customer are defined. The common elements project managers should keep in mind in designing the project scope is that it should "define the results to be achieved in specific, tangible and measurable terms" (Gray 7 Larson, 2006. Chap. 4, p.2). Target, a major player in the retail industry developed project "One Stop" which had an objective to increase customer frequency. The success project success could be attributed to the innovative approach to satisfy the end users of the project- its customers.

Once the project scope has been defined it is important for project managers to develop a project priority matrix to ensure that all stakeholders are aware of the project priorities which ensures that everyone is on the same page. Verizon Wireless, a leader in the telecommunications industry through the use of its work breakdown structure (WBS) developed its project network to "depict the project activities that must be completed; the logical sequences; the interdependencies of the activities that must be completed and the times the activities to start and finish along with the longest part through the network- the critical path" (Gray & Larson, 2006). Verizon's "global delivery strategy" matrix which uses the activity of node methodology to ensure efficiency of project activities and enable the organization determine the "free slack" (difference between early start and early finish) in projects.

Harrison- Keyes strategic plan faces issues because of lack of dedicated teams. Lockheed Martin's implementation of "skunk works" in its corporate structure is a best practice approach established for project teams to resolve issues that arise midway in the project and impact the project life cycle. The efficiency and effectiveness of Lockheed Martin's approach could be emulated by Harrison-Keyes because it has enabled Lockheed Martin to achieve profitability and reach greater heights in technological advancements in the aerospace industry. "The key organizing principle is that, instead of doing everything in-house, a firm can outsource key activities to other businesses with requisite principles" (Gray & Larson, 2006). Managing the potential risk events in the outsourcing, and copyright issues raised by key stakeholders of Harrison-Keyes, Inc. is also crucial to the project success. The ability for organizations to maintain a proactive approach to managing risk either through risk avoidance techniques used by Payden and Rygel and Kaiser ensures that Harrison-Keyes eliminates the chances of risk events from occurring which could impact the life cycle of the project.

Compare and Contrast

Harrison-Keyes is implementing a major project as part of their new strategy under recently hired CEO, Meg McGill. The implementation of e-book publishing is not going smooth. To overcome the problems they are experiencing, Harrison-Keyes can look to other

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