Measurement Driven Project Management

Scenario

Fresh Air is a national independent air conditioning system manufacturer and installer. They have over forty years experience of manufacturing, sales and installation for trade customers around the world. They manufacture and supply for large-scale projects, such as new University campus buildings like the Student Life Building currently in development on the Middlesbrough campus.

 

Fresh Air pride themselves on being an environmentally friendly company, sourcing their power from ethical green suppliers, and incorporating sustainable solutions where possible in their new installations. They send an experienced engineer to work with architects during the planning and design phases of a new build, and ensure regular visits to a developing building before they start their own installation. This ensures they are aware of any changes potentially affecting their product. Materials they use are ethically sourced and recyclable where possible but this does increase the cost of products by around 20% when compared to competitors.

 

They undertake regular careful market analysis, identifying exciting future trends and making sure they keep abreast of competitor developments. Being the first to provide market leading service and products helps to offset the additional costs relating to ethical and environmental choices. It’s one of the unique selling points for the company and attracts businesses who are keen to have the latest technology installed in their new build. Ultimately, their installations can save companies around 30% in their heating and cooling bills over a long-term period (5 years or more).

 

 

 

Fresh Air employ over 100 staff in a variety of roles, including management, market research, sales, design, manufacturing, testing, installation, IT services and customer aftercare.

 

Finances

 

Fresh Air ask trade customers to pay a 20% deposit when an order is placed. Once manufacturing of bespoke parts is due to begin (usually within one month) the customer is billed a further 30%. This covers the cost of administration and early manufacturing. The final invoice is sent electronically to customers within 24 hours of installation and testing, with a request to pay the full balance within one week.

 

Management & Staffing

 

Fresh Air have recently restructured their staffing, and have developed the following jobs with responsibility for a variety of new systems:

 

  • IT Services Manager – looking after IT services, which include:
    • Purchase and licensing of proprietary software for the workshop floor.
    • Working with a third-party provider on hardware and software provision (the contract for this is outsourced).
    • Managing the company website for customer orders and deposits, technical detail and progress of build, booking system for installation inspection (aftersales & customer service).
    • Implementing an email solution (could be outsourced – the choice is left to the IT Services Manager).
    • Implementing a desktop solution for all staff (managed in-house). This will include a helpdesk system using the ITIL framework to ensure IT related issues are fully documented and tracked using a ticketing system.
    • Implementing a sign in/sign out system which can show when staff are on the premises. This will be linked to a fire evacuation system to ensure in the case of a fire incident all staff are safely out of the building.
    • Implementing an annual leave/sickness system for staff.
    • Implementing a staff training system for IT related services and systems.
    • Responsible for 2 full-time technical staff.

 

  • Sales Manager – looking after sales and marketing:
    • Responsible for 3 full time sales staff, who will receive 1.5% commission on every system they sell. This commission is paid within 48 hours of the final installation.
    • Responsible for managing a budget around sales marketing information, which will be set at £80,000 per annum.
    • Supplies information to be displayed on the website and social media platforms.
    • Identifies new customers.
    • Tracks payment status for each development.
    • Responsible for chasing late payment.

 

  • Installation Manager – working with customers and other tradesmen to track progress of developments and adjust to any build changes:
    • Conducts the initial survey of work.
    • Responsible for 12 installation-approved staff.
    • Manages an installation calendar to ensure no quiet days or clashes.
    • Tracks development of new projects to plan for the best time to start manufacturing and installation.
    • Keeps and updates technical documentation relating to each build.
    • Works with architects and other tradesmen to design and specify a suitable system for installation.
    • Arranges on-site training for their staff.
    • Responsible for full testing and sign-off for every installation.

 

  • General Manager – has overall responsibility for the running of the company:
    • Manages everyone else and ensures department managers meet their own targets.
    • Conducts staff performance reviews (department managers).
    • Looks after overall budgeting.
    • Responsible for ensuring full compliance (including for health and safety).
    • Implements general policies and processes (e.g. disciplinary).
    • Works with department managers to set annual targets and adjust business aims.

 

Requirements

 

Using the scenario detail above, you need to create the following items for your assessment:

 

  1. A Project Plan which incorporates all of your analysis of the case study, and includes (but does not need to be limited to):
    1. A list of key business strategies that you can ascertain from the scenario, with the resulting business aims and objectives [5 marks]
    2. Any assumptions you have made from the information in the scenario, a table of contents, any references used, a Bibliography and glossary of technical terms, if applicable. [5 marks]
    3. A list of metrics and KPIs required for each job described above, with an associated discussion which clearly justifies your selections. These metrics/KPIs would be used in a dashboard. [10 marks]
    4. A brief discussion of what ethical considerations you need to make when designing a dashboard to be used in this scenario. [5 marks]

 

Total = 25 marks (1500 words maximum)

 

  1. You need to create a dashboard for one of the jobs listed in the scenario – it is your choice as to which one you decide to create. You need to ensure it is suitable for the target audience so that the metrics/KPIs included are appropriate for the person/people using the dashboard.

You are required to use Microsoft Excel (or equivalent) to produce the dashboard. If you use alternative software you MUST ensure you save the dashboard so it is readable in the version of Excel currently being used onsite at the University, and check that all the functionality still works.

  1. Include a brief explanation of why you have chosen that particular job and related dashboard design (<400 words). [5 marks]
  2. Functionality: Your dashboard needs to allow the user the chance to measure progress, check status and forecast. It should include a visual representation of performance measures specific to the user’s job, the ability to identify and correct negative trends, and the ability to measure efficiencies/inefficiencies. [25 marks]
  3. Design & Layout: It needs to be neat, attractive, professionally laid out and ideally offer an instant visual representation (snapshot) of everything you want the user to see. It should be fit for use without requiring further editing to gain the best marks. [20 marks]

 

Total = 50 marks

 

  1. An analysis of the final outcome which answers the following questions (this is not an exhaustive list; you may include further relevant points):
    1. Is the dashboard fit for purpose? Why? In what ways?
    2. Is there anything you would have done differently? Why? How?
    3. How do the chosen metrics/KPIs assist their user in their job? Did you select appropriate metrics?
    4. What have you learned from this assessment that you could apply to a future job?

25 marks (800 words maximum)

 

TOTAL = 100 marks

 

 

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