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MISP New Learning Management System Assessment Questions Answers

Managing Information Systems Projects Assignment Autumn 2020

Scenario: Our New Learning Management System

Our organisation is in the logistics sector. We specialise in parcel deliveries, using a fleet of our own vans and drivers. We also lease a small number of cargo aircraft for long-range deliveries. We are successful because our revenue has grown rapidly in the pandemic, but recently a problem has emerged. The quality of our work has led to negative customer feedback. There have been too many errors in processes, meaning that tasks which should be done once must be repeated. Studies of industry benchmarks have shown that we are less efficient that the competition and our costs per unit of output are too high.

Although the logistics sector is heavily computerised, it still depends on good working practices by employees.

Our management has decided that part of the problem is that our staff are not trained to a high enough level. The solution will be a learning management system (LMS), allowing employees to take training courses online (e-learning). Our CEO has just searched the internet for “learning management system” and found there are plenty available that should suit our needs.

A lot of work will be needed to get from where we are now, to the day when the first group of our workers will log into their first e-learning course. Your job, as the newly appointed LMS project manager, is to lead and manage that work.

This assignment is not about technology, so you are NOT required to show you have a technical understanding of LMS. However, you may wish to do some background research on LMS, so you understand a little about the technology context.

Scenarios such as this never contain full information. You may therefore make any reasonable assumptions about this scenario that are appropriate for answering the assignment questions.

Your answers to all question must demonstrate that you have applied your learning to the given scenario. To pass the assignment it is not enough just to summarise theory, without also applying the theory to the LMS scenario.

Assignment tasks

There are FIVE (5) tasks set out below. Please complete all FIVE (5) tasks. The five tasks carry 20 marks each.

Remember that to pass the module, your answers MUST be related to the above scenario.

Task 1: Stakeholders(20 marks)

How will you identify and analyse the stakeholders of the LMS project?

Task 2: Requirements(20 marks)

How will you find out the requirements for the LMS? How will you manage the requirements and ensure they are regularly updated as new information is discovered about what people want from the system?

Task 3: Planning(20 marks)

What tools and techniques will you use for planning, monitoring and controlling the project? Explain your choices.

Task 4: Agile(20 marks)

To what extent will you use agile methods in managing the LMS project and why?

Task 5: My Role as Project Manager(20 marks)

Explain how you, as project manager, will lead and motivate the project team, and how you will resolve any conflicts that arise between stakeholders.


Task 1: Stakeholders

Identify and analyse stakeholders of LMS project:

According to Brown et al. (2016), stakeholders are those groups or an individual that has an interest in activity or decision making of an organisation. Stakeholders can be outside or within the organisation and they have an interest in the project or organisational success. Outside stakeholders are those who do not directly work in a company but influence the organisation by their action (Mok et al. 2015). Inside stakeholders are directly associated with the organisation through investment, employment or ownership. Stakeholders create a positive or negative influence on the project. The main stakeholders in the LMS project are the employees who will be associated to take training through a learning management system. On the other hand, management of the organisation has an interest in the training of employees for the betterment of the employees. Therefore, management is other stakeholders. LMS project manager is associated to manage and lead the employees during the LMS project so that the manager is the other stakeholder.

There are mainly three different types of the matrix that are stakeholder analysis matrix, power-interest matrix and assessment matrix for stakeholder engagement. Stakeholder analysis matrix summarises power and interest of stakeholders based on different factors such as financial interest, political opinion, ownership values, religious value, ethical value, communication preferences, business interest and many more. The assessment matrix for stakeholder engagement mainly governs the stakeholder management activity of the team of project management during the execution of the project (Kent and Zunker, 2017). This matrix is generally developed during the planning of the project and updated when the new information about stakeholder buy-in is mainly obtained. Every stakeholder is mainly fallen under five different categories that are unaware, resistant, supportive, neutral and leading (Vogler et al. 2017). In that case, the LMS project manager falls under the leading and supportive category because they support and lead the project. The employees fall under the resistant and supportive category. This project is new to the employees so that they resist the project but they support the project when they will get knowledge about the project. The management of the logistic organisation falls under the leading category as they lead the project. In power-interest stakeholder matrix, there are two different variables such as power and interest based on which stakeholders in the project are analysed.

Task 2: Requirements

Requirements for LMS and management of requirements as well as ensure information is regularly updated:

For making a project successful, it is important in fulfilling the requirement of the project which is the stakeholder's expectation from a project. Therefore, for the identification of the need of the project, identification of stakeholder need is highly important because a project is mainly developed for satisfying the need of the project (Fachrurrazi, 2018). This project has been developed in improving the skill level of employees in the logistic based organisation. Developing an online training for the employees with the help of LMS is one of the requirements for the project. The requirement of another stakeholder that is management is improving the capacity and skill of employees so that the productivity of the organisation can be improved (Saeed et al. 2016). For identifying the need of the stakeholders and the management, the LMS project manager must work closely with them so that they can understand the project related requirement which increases the successfulness of the project with efficiencies.

For successfully managing the requirement, it needs to be categorised after the collection of the requirement from the stakeholders. During collecting the requirements, any kind of assumptions must be avoided. After categorising the information, it needs to be documented so that it can be accessed in a later time. During documenting the project, following transparency is necessary (Saeed et al. 2016). This category must be followed and managed all through the project so that the project aim can be achieved.  Proper documentation is necessary for project failure or success because it helps the project team in understanding their role in the project (Asadabadi et al. 2020). Understanding the role helps the project team of LMS in increasing the success of the project. For increasing efficiencies in the documentation, initial requirements must be noted. After that, every single requirement must be noted down. 

Project-related requirements are continuously evolving; therefore, every single requirement must be documented. For this reason, documents must be updated with efficiencies. Updating the new information need to be performed continuously so that the need of the end stakeholders can be satisfied. Continuous updating the information is helpful for the employees of the logistic organisation in developing knowledge on an effective basis. 

Task 3: Planning

Tools and techniques that are used for planning, controlling and monitoring project:

As stated by Taylor et al. (2018), planning tools refers to the instruments that guide the organisational action steps regarding the implementation of the program, initiatives or intervention. Gantt chart refers to the project management bar chart that illustrates a project schedule. With the help of the Gantt chart, the tasks associated with the LMS projects and time associated to achieve the tasks are generally noted down. Along with the Gantt chart, work breakdown structure is one of the project planning tools. WBS refers to the deliverable-orients breakdown structure of the project into the smaller components (Sperano et al. 2018). A WBS is one of the key project deliverables which organise the work of the team into the manageable section. With the help of WBS, it is possible in presenting the tasks required to perform the project. Therefore, this tool helps plan the project by mentioning the tasks along with the schedule and costs to perform the tasks.

According to Hazır (2015), monitoring refers to the systematic process to collect, analyse and use the information to track the progress of the project towards reaching the objectives and guiding the decision of management. Controlling consist of the verification of whether everything is occurring with conformities with the instruction issued, plans adopted as well as principles established. For control and monitor, the LMS project manager can utilise the data analysis. By analysing data, the manager can identify the gaps among the project scope and actual project-related outcome. Variance analysis can be used by the LMS PM. With the help of variance analysis, the project manager can identify the differences among the planned as well as actual performances. After the identification of the variation, it is necessary for identifying the sources of the variations (Kostalova et al. 2015). For identifying the sources, the PM can perform root cause analysis. After identifying the reason for the problem by conducting root cause analysis, developing the solution to the problem is highly important. For the solution, a cost-benefit analysis must be conducted by the PM so that the most effective solution can be applied to resolve the differences among the actual and projected performance. 

Task 4: Agile

Use the agile method in managing the LMS project: 

Agile project management refers to the iterative approach in delivering a project throughout the life cycle of the project. Agile life cycles mainly include different incremental steps or the iterations towards project completion (Serrador and Pinto, 2015). Popular agile methods that can be applied in the LMS project are the Scrum and Kanban.

Scrum refers to a framework which helps work together in a team (Hoda and Murugesan, 2016). Scrum is one of the project management methodologies where a small team is generally led by the master whose main job is clearing every obstacle so that the tasks can be completed. Scrum framework is centred on the continuous improvement that is the core principles of agile (Noguera et al. 2018). It is a heuristic framework which is based on the continuous learning which adjusts the fluctuating factors. LMS project is going to develop a software application that administers, report, document, deliver as well as track educational courses. On the other hand, scrum technology is efficient for software development. Therefore, this agile method is effective.

Kanban refers to the agile method that offers a visual approach to the project management where the teams can create a physical representation of tasks that often utilises sticky notes on the whiteboards (Rasnacis and Berzisa, 2017). This physical representation is highly effective in identifying the progress of the LMS project and understanding some common issues in the project. Kanban helps LMS project with efficiencies because it shows the requirements regarding the project, develops software, makes the end-user aware about the services and offers training to the end-users so that they can use the software with efficiencies. This representation helps complete the tasks. 

Task 5: Role as a project manager 

Leading and motivating project team as the project manager and resolve conflicts:

A project can be successful if the associated employees in the project can show their efficiencies in the project (Hu and Liden, 2015). Employees can show efficiencies when they are effectively motivated and lead (DuBois et al. 2015). For leading and motivating the employees, the LMS project manager must apply an appropriate leadership style. In that case, the PM can apply the participative leadership style which involved the employees in the project management. This fact helps the employees in understanding the need of the project which in turns reduces the chances of employee resistance (Aga et al. 2016). Following a better leadership strategy not only leads the employees but it also motivates the employees in shaping the success.

For motivating the employees, the LMS PM must recognise the capabilities of the employees. Along with recognition, the organisation must arrange a better remuneration strategy and incentive strategy. Additionally, it is also necessary for offering awards to the employees so that it can motivate them. Along with monetary rewards, offering different non-monetary rewards such as arranging better health insurance and free parking facilities must be provided to the employees (Blanchard, 2018). Moreover, the manager must develop good communication with the employees so that they can effectively support the employees. 

To resolve the organisational conflict in the organisation, PM must apply proper leadership style. For resolving conflicts, the PM must input their power so that the issues can be effectively resolved. Moreover, the PM must apply effective open communication so that it can help the employees in demonstrating the difficulties that they face in their workplace. Arranging a meeting of the employees is necessary for PM so that the problems of the project team can be understood. Management of frequent communication is necessary for PM in resolving conflicts.

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