Contents order to respond the deviation and to be

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

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CATA4 Introduction

 

CATA4 UK is the
subsidiary of the company CATA4, which is an autonomous organization that operates
in 55 countries generating revenue of £13B
annually. Since competition within their sector is growing, competing in
service quality is no longer sufficient. In order to regain their competitive
advantage. As the company has two domains which are the retail organization and
the catering sector, it wanted an implementation of a better IT and change
business infrastructure. In my eyes the plan was well established one but the
company failed to take into the consideration the level of risk that will be
there in each stage and how to deal with the uncertainties. Apart from that I
also think that project escalation was a problem too in the strategy of the
company. These problems were from the start of the project as only having a
vision and the scope for the project is not sufficient in order to deal with
project management issues and completing the processes. In order to examine the
issues related with the risks, uncertainties, and project escalation there are
a few significant concepts which I think could have been used in an earlier
stage that would have helped in a smoother management of the SAP ERP in CATA4.
There should have been a risk management process of identifying and
categorizing of any known known risk at each stage, analyzing the process and
any deviation so far, making change in order to respond the deviation and to be
on the track and the process of monitoring the data of the project, to collect
data and communicate it, as well as the controlling and comparing past
performance, compilation and analysis of the data produced so far in the
project. This cycle could have helped in identifying the risks in the company.
As the project management relates to the inputs, outputs, outcomes, benefits
and the cost this distinguishes the CATA4 project from many other projects even
in the same industries as I believe each company have a different culture and
organizational structure as well as power matrix which makes it really
difficult and complex to have the same procedure followed in a different
company and different project every time. I think that this then leads to a
question mark as in How to approach the implementation of the project? How to
organize the team of the project management? What kind of skills do we want to
start the work? What kind of strategy can be adopted for CATA4? Will the
company be true and fair in its representation? And the most significant that I
think are what is the background of the company? Can the team go on with the
project? Does working with this company possess any threats to the image of either
the project Management Company, team members or team leader for any future project?

 

Concepts &
Principles

 

Knowledge

 

Before talking about the
risks in projects let’s see what the characteristics of a project are. A project
is a temporary and a unique process. “A project
is temporary is
that it has a defined beginning and end in time, and therefore defined scope
and resources” (Project Mangement Institute,
2017).
“A project is unique in that it is not a routine
operation, but a specific set of operations designed to accomplish a singular
goal” (Project Mangement Institute,
2017). According to a study overtime there have been development
in the approach and the strategies to deal with the different kinds of the
projects. A consideration of what is called a “project amnesia “as a trigger
for higher risks, which raises uncertainty within project teams also considers
knowledge as being the outcome of experience (Schindler, 2003). Bringing the concept
of reports, where lessons could be learnt from recommendations and conclusions.
While project organizations have become common, knowledge management of project
organizations are still largely underdeveloped (Schindler,
2003).
 Nevertheless, project organizations
require particular systematic and effective knowledge management if they are to
avoid knowledge fragmentation and loss of organizational learning. This deals
with 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 idea
that in each and every stage where the project is broken down into several
milestone, each of the mile stone should be thoroughly reviewed to incorporate
any mistakes that have been learnt from the project so far and incorporate any
new changes or ideas into further stage (J.J. Kasvi, 2003). This can also be
seen as the idea from a rolling wave planning which develops rolling wave plans
so the results of early work will give the information needed to create good
plans for later work (Kloppenborg, 2014).

 

 

 

Categorizing the
Risks

 

Another
approach for risk management is to identify the risks. As it is already known
from the start of a project that there are some risks that are known known and
these May include risks that have been correctly identified and properly
measured. “It however does not mean that any losses other than this can occur
due 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 management
system but are expected to be there. “These arise due to expected imperfections
in the risk measurement model like assumptions about distributions of rates not
perfect or factors like leaving some parameters out of equations due to the
complexity of the measurement process or human error while doing the
measurement. These are normal risks associated with the measurement model” (
FinanceTrain, 2017).The errors in calculation or in the
estimation 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 which
relies on the estimation of the discount rates with the help of mathematical
and financial models. At present what seems feasible might change because of
change in the discount rates, mismanagement of resources or just because of
estimation fault in the discount rate. That is why a contingency reserve is
required over and above the estimated budget to be ready to cope with these
kind of risks. Then come the unknown unknowns, the risks that could have not
been predicted. These are risks that arise due to events or causes of losses
than cannot be modeled or the existence of such factors cannot even be
determined properly. “These include political events affect normal operations
that are not predicted, defaults on obligations by the opposite party involved
in the transaction and also some types of liquidity risks that cannot be
measured properly” ( FinanceTrain, 2017) an example will be
the dot com bubble of 1999 and the banking crises of 2007-2008 that was not
predicted and led to the downfall of even the developed economies and failures
of many projects. Determining the risks that might occur in the foreseeable
future allows the project manager to be ready for the proactive response which
is a strategy to respond to a threat or a risk before it even hits the company
or the project adversely rather than a reactive response when the project
manager reacts after the risk occurs. A reactive response will hit the
resources, time scheduling and stakeholders of the project adversely and erode
some of the benefits associated with the project because the responding of the
threat is done afterwards. Unlike a reactive response the proactive response
helps to mitigate the risks and uncertainties for smooth project management.

 

                                    

                                                               
  Figure. 2                 

 

Cognitive Mapping
& Project Escalation

 

A
cognitive mapping approach is also a very useful technique which makes the use
of a complex and messy situation of which the project manager and client
together 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 mental
imagery, are like internalized perceptions” (Tversky, 1993). The exercise allows
the participant to indulge in a deeper thought of what is required as an
outcome of the project and for the facilitator which is the project management
to understand what does the client need and how to achieve that. This approach
allows the use of system 2 of the brain which a slow and conscious part of mind
to avoid the decision biases which are made because of fast and frugal
decisions 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 behavior
by giving ourselves benefits of doubt, faith in availability of information,
Confirmation bias and over reliance on information which also leads to the
project escalation (WOOD, 2015).  “Escalation in project management is an
anticipated rise in uncommitted costs of resources (labor, material, equipment)
over time” (Upland software, 2017). Thus the cognitive
mapping allows to see the difference between the uncertainty and risks and give
an idea of mitigating and planning in the future state of each milestone.
Although there are a few more risk analysis models and techniques but those
defines above will allow the use of Physiological agenda to understand the
project, create a relationship, and to define the approach to identify,
analyze, review, plan, respond, control and monitor the project at each
milestone stage to achieve the project vision by having a clear idea of the
project mission and developing the project scope to achieve the outcome that
best fits the goal of the client by keeping into consideration the triple
constraint theory of any project which are cost, scope and time to achieve the
quality perspective of the project.

 

 

 

 

 

 

                                                             

                           

                                                            
Figure. 3

 

 

Reflective Assessment

 

As like the CATA 4 the
CATA 4 UK has gone through a tremendous change altogether with many
acquisitions and for a better future perspective and the rise in the
shareholder value the largely autonomous business, data structure, chart accounts
timely and accurate business information was becoming a constraint for the
business. I think that the implementation of the SAP ERP was not seen as a
business change but as a projects by the company. Chris Miller was appointed as
a consultant for the company and later became the director for the project
leader but I think he also initially failed to have the risk analysis
procedures in the place. Retail business was taken for granted which then led
to 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 the
catering business. According to my understanding if the continuous risk
management process would have been in place which is identify and categorize,
analyze, respond, control and monitor than this would have helped in the
implementation of the SAP ERP in the retail phase as it does not matter that
retail is a small part of the business but the procedures to follow should have
been the same. This than would have helped in knowing the risks and categorize
them as a known known, known unknown, unknown known and unknown unknown.
Whereas much ca not be done beforehand for the unknown unknown but identifying
others would have led into knowing that whether the SAP could be compatible
with the business or will it be feasible to run the SAP and legendary business
side by side without the loss of data, how to control and monitor the data that
was coming out of the both system and were there any discrepancies in the
information and what was the quality of the information.

 

Ideas & Insight

 

Apart from that as the
new information became available which was not available at the start and the
risk and uncertainty at the latter stage increased the rolling wave planning
would have came into effect where because of the new information and data
available now each stage could be planned in more detail knowing the
information and improvements that should be in place for the next stage
whenever a milestone is achieved. Plus the cognitive mapping approach if would
have been taken then it could have better helped Chris Miller to understand
where the company want to see the itself in the future and process should be
flowed for the transformation as it uses the system 2 of the brain with slow
and careful thinking and pushes the boundaries of what we want from the
project. It would have helped Chris Miller for a better understanding and
scheduling for the project to know the successor stage, predecessor stage, and
float time available and also the critical path of the stage that would require
more resources than other by the technique of resource levelling.

 

 

 

Drivers

 

Another thing was that
the Budget created by the Chris Miller were nominal and did not took into consideration
the discount value in order to give the present value of the project. The
Financial benefits calculated were as follows.

 

                                                       
Figure. 4

Hurdles & Blockers

 

Beside this the proposal
made by Chris Miller was on the basis of the knowledge that he had about the
company. I think that as the knowledge could be divided into implicit knowledge
which is easier to transfer to the next person by piece of paper but here Chris
Miller was now the project director so there was a barrier in place as to how
he could transfer the explicit knowledge which is gained by the experience and
time. 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 Miller
should be ready listen, accommodate and amend the proposal without having lack
of trust or differences in opinion for a smoother operation.

 

Enablers

 

To apply these concepts
first a training and seminars of the new projects would be really helpful so
the employees are on the same page and there is no fragmentation of the
employees, then the project team and IT team should have an align strategy in
order to review, control, monitor and respond to the changing situation and I
also think that the organizational structure should be project basis where the
project manager has the decision making authority, this would help in a faster
decision making without going through the long exchange of the business
information with a longer hierarchies for urgent decision.

 

Learning points & Actions

 

I think that having all
those procedures discussed by me above in place would have helped the CATA 4 in
some aspects like they could have avoided or mitigated the failure of the
implementation in the retail business that led to 3 month delay and pulled back
resources that were required to be used for the phase 2 in the catering
business. Although the 11 plans were made and contingencies plan for them were
made later but they were done too late and even that required a request of a 2
month time from the stakeholders of the company whereas this strategy should
have been in place from the start. Not having an align strategy and if
employees do not know what is going on in the company that they work in will
lead to a demotivation among them and a fear of the job security as well as
lack of faith in the company, this might also lead to diversified organization
system hence creating a mess in the company. Apart from that if the
recommendations are not followed the problem of lack of information and poor
quality 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 important
if the Risks are to be avoided or to be dealt with by the company.

 

Critical Reflection

 

There are a few things
that can be learned from this project which are that it is better to be
proactive and to be ready for uncertainties than to be reactive, each stage and
each business part is important regardless of where the major chunk lies as in
this case less importance was given to the retail business which then led to be
problematic and that risk management process is a continuous cycle that starts
when the project starts and finishes when the project finishes. The differences
in opinion and lack of trust still remain an issue but this is not something
that could be solved overnight. Showing outcome of the strategy taken
continuous meeting with directors and project team to discuss future hurdles
and face to face interaction is really important to pass on the information,
achievements and continuous engagement in the project that will establish trust
and may also lead to lesser managerial differences in the future. I would
really like to know the company and the employees to get a feeling of the
organization that I will be working with and how to engage with them for a
clear and a transparent relationship throughout the project lifecycle.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

References

Bibliography

FinanceTrain, 2017. Types of Risks: The Known and
The Unknowns. Online
Available at: www.financetrain.com
Accessed 12/5/2017 December 2017.
J.J. Kasvi, J. &.
V. M. &. H. M., 2003. Managing knowledge competences in projects and
project organizations. International Journal of Project Management, pp.
571-582.
Kahneman, D., 2012. Book
Summary: Thinking Fast and Slow. 1 ed. s.l.:Penguine.
Kloppenborg, T.,
2014. Contemporary Project Management. In: Contemporary Project
Management. s.l.:South-Western College Pub, p. 480.
Project Mangement
Institute, 2017. What is Project Management?. Online
Available at: https://www.pmi.org/about/learn-about-pmi/what-is-project-management
Accessed November 2017.
Schindler, M. a. E.
M., 2003. Harvesting Project Knowledge: A Review of Project Learning Methods
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Tversky, B., 1993.
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Upland software,
2017. Upland tenrox. Online
Available at: https://uplandsoftware.com
Accessed 5 December 2017.
WOOD, J. M., 2015. 20
Cognitive Biases That Affect Your Decisions. Online
Available at: http://mentalfloss.com
Accessed 5 December 2017.