Contents Reflective Paper. 2 CATA4 Introduction. 2 Concepts & Principles. 2 Knowledge. 2 Categorizing the Risks.
4 Cognitive Mapping & Project Escalation. 5 Reflective Assessment. 6 Ideas & Insight. 6 Drivers. 6 Hurdles & Blockers. 7 Enablers. 7 Learning points & Actions. 7 Critical Reflection.
8 Reflective Paper CATA4 Introduction CATA4 UK is thesubsidiary of the company CATA4, which is an autonomous organization that operatesin 55 countries generating revenue of £13Bannually. Since competition within their sector is growing, competing inservice quality is no longer sufficient. In order to regain their competitiveadvantage. As the company has two domains which are the retail organization andthe catering sector, it wanted an implementation of a better IT and changebusiness infrastructure. In my eyes the plan was well established one but thecompany failed to take into the consideration the level of risk that will bethere in each stage and how to deal with the uncertainties.
Apart from that Ialso think that project escalation was a problem too in the strategy of thecompany. These problems were from the start of the project as only having avision and the scope for the project is not sufficient in order to deal withproject management issues and completing the processes. In order to examine theissues related with the risks, uncertainties, and project escalation there area few significant concepts which I think could have been used in an earlierstage that would have helped in a smoother management of the SAP ERP in CATA4.There should have been a risk management process of identifying andcategorizing of any known known risk at each stage, analyzing the process andany deviation so far, making change in order to respond the deviation and to beon the track and the process of monitoring the data of the project, to collectdata and communicate it, as well as the controlling and comparing pastperformance, compilation and analysis of the data produced so far in theproject. This cycle could have helped in identifying the risks in the company.As the project management relates to the inputs, outputs, outcomes, benefitsand the cost this distinguishes the CATA4 project from many other projects evenin the same industries as I believe each company have a different culture andorganizational structure as well as power matrix which makes it reallydifficult and complex to have the same procedure followed in a differentcompany and different project every time. I think that this then leads to aquestion mark as in How to approach the implementation of the project? How toorganize the team of the project management? What kind of skills do we want tostart the work? What kind of strategy can be adopted for CATA4? Will thecompany be true and fair in its representation? And the most significant that Ithink are what is the background of the company? Can the team go on with theproject? Does working with this company possess any threats to the image of eitherthe project Management Company, team members or team leader for any future project? Concepts &Principles Knowledge Before talking about therisks in projects let’s see what the characteristics of a project are.
A projectis a temporary and a unique process. “A projectis temporary isthat it has a defined beginning and end in time, and therefore defined scopeand resources” (Project Mangement Institute, 2017).”A project is unique in that it is not a routineoperation, but a specific set of operations designed to accomplish a singulargoal” (Project Mangement Institute, 2017). According to a study overtime there have been developmentin the approach and the strategies to deal with the different kinds of theprojects.
A consideration of what is called a “project amnesia “as a triggerfor higher risks, which raises uncertainty within project teams also considersknowledge as being the outcome of experience (Schindler, 2003). Bringing the conceptof reports, where lessons could be learnt from recommendations and conclusions.While project organizations have become common, knowledge management of projectorganizations are still largely underdeveloped (Schindler, 2003). Nevertheless, project organizationsrequire particular systematic and effective knowledge management if they are toavoid knowledge fragmentation and loss of organizational learning. This dealswith knowledge management and knowledge competences in project organizations,particular framework programmes to present a learning Programme Model (J.
J. Kasvi, 2003).A diagrammatical “Project Learning Model” that clearly establishes the ideathat in each and every stage where the project is broken down into severalmilestone, each of the mile stone should be thoroughly reviewed to incorporateany mistakes that have been learnt from the project so far and incorporate anynew changes or ideas into further stage (J.
J. Kasvi, 2003). This can also beseen as the idea from a rolling wave planning which develops rolling wave plansso the results of early work will give the information needed to create goodplans for later work (Kloppenborg, 2014). Categorizing theRisks Anotherapproach for risk management is to identify the risks. As it is already knownfrom the start of a project that there are some risks that are known known andthese May include risks that have been correctly identified and properlymeasured.
“It however does not mean that any losses other than this can occurdue to flawed models or random nature like bad luck” ( FinanceTrain, 2017). Then there are the Known unknowns,these are risks that have not been accurately measured by a risk managementsystem but are expected to be there. “These arise due to expected imperfectionsin the risk measurement model like assumptions about distributions of rates notperfect or factors like leaving some parameters out of equations due to thecomplexity of the measurement process or human error while doing themeasurement.
These are normal risks associated with the measurement model” ( FinanceTrain, 2017).The errors in calculation or in theestimation may cause the known unknown risks for example the Net Present Value (NPV)of the project is done to see will the project be feasible enough or not whichrelies on the estimation of the discount rates with the help of mathematicaland financial models. At present what seems feasible might change because ofchange in the discount rates, mismanagement of resources or just because ofestimation fault in the discount rate.
That is why a contingency reserve isrequired over and above the estimated budget to be ready to cope with thesekind of risks. Then come the unknown unknowns, the risks that could have notbeen predicted. These are risks that arise due to events or causes of lossesthan cannot be modeled or the existence of such factors cannot even bedetermined properly. “These include political events affect normal operationsthat are not predicted, defaults on obligations by the opposite party involvedin the transaction and also some types of liquidity risks that cannot bemeasured properly” ( FinanceTrain, 2017) an example will bethe dot com bubble of 1999 and the banking crises of 2007-2008 that was notpredicted and led to the downfall of even the developed economies and failuresof many projects. Determining the risks that might occur in the foreseeablefuture allows the project manager to be ready for the proactive response whichis a strategy to respond to a threat or a risk before it even hits the companyor the project adversely rather than a reactive response when the projectmanager reacts after the risk occurs. A reactive response will hit theresources, time scheduling and stakeholders of the project adversely and erodesome of the benefits associated with the project because the responding of thethreat is done afterwards. Unlike a reactive response the proactive responsehelps to mitigate the risks and uncertainties for smooth project management. Figure.
2 Cognitive Mapping& Project Escalation Acognitive mapping approach is also a very useful technique which makes the useof a complex and messy situation of which the project manager and clienttogether indulge in an exercise to try to make sense of the situation. “As mental constructs available to mental inspection,cognitive maps are presumed to be like real maps available to real inspection,as well as like images, which, according to the classical view of mentalimagery, are like internalized perceptions” (Tversky, 1993). The exercise allowsthe participant to indulge in a deeper thought of what is required as anoutcome of the project and for the facilitator which is the project managementto understand what does the client need and how to achieve that. This approachallows the use of system 2 of the brain which a slow and conscious part of mindto avoid the decision biases which are made because of fast and frugaldecisions made by the use of system 1 which is unconscious part of the brain (Kahneman, 2012).
The decision biases can be because of the overconfidence, Optimistic behaviorby giving ourselves benefits of doubt, faith in availability of information,Confirmation bias and over reliance on information which also leads to theproject escalation (WOOD, 2015). “Escalation in project management is ananticipated rise in uncommitted costs of resources (labor, material, equipment)over time” (Upland software, 2017). Thus the cognitivemapping allows to see the difference between the uncertainty and risks and givean idea of mitigating and planning in the future state of each milestone.Although there are a few more risk analysis models and techniques but thosedefines above will allow the use of Physiological agenda to understand theproject, create a relationship, and to define the approach to identify,analyze, review, plan, respond, control and monitor the project at eachmilestone stage to achieve the project vision by having a clear idea of theproject mission and developing the project scope to achieve the outcome thatbest fits the goal of the client by keeping into consideration the tripleconstraint theory of any project which are cost, scope and time to achieve thequality perspective of the project. Figure. 3 Reflective Assessment As like the CATA 4 theCATA 4 UK has gone through a tremendous change altogether with manyacquisitions and for a better future perspective and the rise in theshareholder value the largely autonomous business, data structure, chart accountstimely and accurate business information was becoming a constraint for thebusiness. I think that the implementation of the SAP ERP was not seen as abusiness change but as a projects by the company. Chris Miller was appointed asa consultant for the company and later became the director for the projectleader but I think he also initially failed to have the risk analysisprocedures in the place.
Retail business was taken for granted which then ledto a 3 Month delay in the original plan with having a dramatic effect in place.There were uncertainties in place regards to the phase 2 of the SAP ERP in thecatering business. According to my understanding if the continuous riskmanagement process would have been in place which is identify and categorize,analyze, respond, control and monitor than this would have helped in theimplementation of the SAP ERP in the retail phase as it does not matter thatretail is a small part of the business but the procedures to follow should havebeen the same. This than would have helped in knowing the risks and categorizethem as a known known, known unknown, unknown known and unknown unknown.Whereas much ca not be done beforehand for the unknown unknown but identifyingothers would have led into knowing that whether the SAP could be compatiblewith the business or will it be feasible to run the SAP and legendary businessside by side without the loss of data, how to control and monitor the data thatwas coming out of the both system and were there any discrepancies in theinformation and what was the quality of the information.
Ideas & Insight Apart from that as thenew information became available which was not available at the start and therisk and uncertainty at the latter stage increased the rolling wave planningwould have came into effect where because of the new information and dataavailable now each stage could be planned in more detail knowing theinformation and improvements that should be in place for the next stagewhenever a milestone is achieved. Plus the cognitive mapping approach if wouldhave been taken then it could have better helped Chris Miller to understandwhere the company want to see the itself in the future and process should beflowed for the transformation as it uses the system 2 of the brain with slowand careful thinking and pushes the boundaries of what we want from theproject. It would have helped Chris Miller for a better understanding andscheduling for the project to know the successor stage, predecessor stage, andfloat time available and also the critical path of the stage that would requiremore resources than other by the technique of resource levelling. Drivers Another thing was thatthe Budget created by the Chris Miller were nominal and did not took into considerationthe discount value in order to give the present value of the project. TheFinancial benefits calculated were as follows. Figure.
4Hurdles & Blockers Beside this the proposalmade by Chris Miller was on the basis of the knowledge that he had about thecompany. I think that as the knowledge could be divided into implicit knowledgewhich is easier to transfer to the next person by piece of paper but here ChrisMiller was now the project director so there was a barrier in place as to howhe could transfer the explicit knowledge which is gained by the experience andtime. So the transfer of the explicit knowledge was a hurdle for Chris Miller.Beside that the directors of the business and the superiors of the Chris Millershould be ready listen, accommodate and amend the proposal without having lackof trust or differences in opinion for a smoother operation. Enablers To apply these conceptsfirst a training and seminars of the new projects would be really helpful sothe employees are on the same page and there is no fragmentation of theemployees, then the project team and IT team should have an align strategy inorder to review, control, monitor and respond to the changing situation and Ialso think that the organizational structure should be project basis where theproject manager has the decision making authority, this would help in a fasterdecision making without going through the long exchange of the businessinformation with a longer hierarchies for urgent decision.
Learning points & Actions I think that having allthose procedures discussed by me above in place would have helped the CATA 4 insome aspects like they could have avoided or mitigated the failure of theimplementation in the retail business that led to 3 month delay and pulled backresources that were required to be used for the phase 2 in the cateringbusiness. Although the 11 plans were made and contingencies plan for them weremade later but they were done too late and even that required a request of a 2month time from the stakeholders of the company whereas this strategy shouldhave been in place from the start. Not having an align strategy and ifemployees do not know what is going on in the company that they work in willlead to a demotivation among them and a fear of the job security as well aslack of faith in the company, this might also lead to diversified organizationsystem hence creating a mess in the company. Apart from that if therecommendations are not followed the problem of lack of information and poorquality of the project will be there so I think that agreement on the terms,distinguishing the path to follow and remaining on track are really importantif the Risks are to be avoided or to be dealt with by the company. Critical Reflection There are a few thingsthat can be learned from this project which are that it is better to beproactive and to be ready for uncertainties than to be reactive, each stage andeach business part is important regardless of where the major chunk lies as inthis case less importance was given to the retail business which then led to beproblematic and that risk management process is a continuous cycle that startswhen the project starts and finishes when the project finishes. The differencesin opinion and lack of trust still remain an issue but this is not somethingthat could be solved overnight. Showing outcome of the strategy takencontinuous meeting with directors and project team to discuss future hurdlesand face to face interaction is really important to pass on the information,achievements and continuous engagement in the project that will establish trustand may also lead to lesser managerial differences in the future. I wouldreally like to know the company and the employees to get a feeling of theorganization that I will be working with and how to engage with them for aclear and a transparent relationship throughout the project lifecycle.
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