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Project Portfolio Management

Project Portfolio Management

The assignment must build off this section….This is the project that I chose to write about.
Select a project for the purpose of completing the writing assignments of this course. Provide a rationale
for your selection from an organizational strategy standpoint. Next, respond to at least two posts of your
classmates, and comment on their project selection. Note: Ensure that you can develop enough
information to thoroughly cover the project topic. Assume that your projects will have duration of 12 to 15
months with a functionally allocated project team. Adhere to confidentiality standards if you are discussing

projects from your organization

Today, my organization uses a system called RightNow to respond to customer requests via email and
fax. The company has been talking about switching to a new response system called Salesforce. The
Salesforce system is supposed to be more user friendly and also coincides with the system our company
uses to submit service orders; this will eliminate a lot of extra work for the agents that are completing

these type of requests. It keeps them from moving back and forth from system to system. However, there
a lot of things the company would need to take into consideration such as migration. All of the previous
requests we�ve received in the RightNow system would need to be migrated to the new system. This is
very important, being that there is no Third Party Verification being recorded for electronic requests it is
our way of proving that customers are requesting the service should any legal issues come about. The
end result of migrating to this new response system would make it easier on the agents completing the


Create an outline of an executive summary that includes the type of problem,
requirements, and proposed business problem solutions.
Executive Summary

RightNow has done a great work in making sure customer requests via email and fax are
responded to promptly. However, the only thing that is constant is change and when an
organization does not embrace change, it is setting itself up for failure. To ensure this does not
happen, my organization is seeking to adopt Salesforce. This is a new response system that will
not only address customer queries and requests, but also capture the service orders from the sales
agents. This would rope in the critical information and present it in real time to the critical
decision makers allowing them to make the right decision given the right and latest information.

The elimination of the service order requests and others requests of this type, the efficiencies to
be achieved should be sufficient enough to supersede associated costs – migration, retraining and
Third Party Verification.
Recommend a project portfolio management method for your selected project. Provide a
rationale for your recommendation. Note: Be sure to align your project with the strategic
efforts of the organization.

Project Portfolio Management Method

To achieve a successful switch-over from RightNow to Salesforce system, the project
implementation will be anchored on the Portfolio, Programme and Project Management Maturity
Model (P3M3) (Harold, 2011). The maturity model is suited for this challenge, since unlike
other models where managers are more often than not in a reactive mode, the former expects and
requires of its mangers to be in a proactive mode. An organization should not settle on
producing excellent results occasionally, this should be the norm. Only then do its customers
feel wanted – that the organization values them. The maturity model is especially useful in
improving portfolio programme management processes. This will be achieved at fine levels –
initial, repeatable, defined, managed and optimized processes (Ralph, Irwin & Ken, 2009).
State the vision and the goal of the project. Note: Be sure that the goals are Specific,
Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Timely (S.M.A.R.T.).
Goal of the Project

In Salesforce, the organization will be able to achieve its desired long term goal of
operating an effective and efficient business. This will mean the vision of the organization of
making sure the customer requests and queries are addressed rapidly is achieved and

additionally, that growing the business by getting sales orders in and deliveries out fast is vital.
When these two components are made central to the operations of any organization, then the
growth the organization can start to be experienced. For the organization, the pain that will be
guaranteed with the switch will be smoothed over by the expected growth in order delivery and
customer experience optimization that should make them more satisfied thus increasing sales
(Jean, 2012).
Determine five (5) major deliverables of the project, and explain the importance of each
major deliverable.


For this project, the deliverables will be critical in determining achievement of the
objectives. The Salesforce is marketed as a programme that will make the turnaround time
between raising a sales order and delivering on a sales promise. By making order rising
instantaneous, the decision makers in the office who are responsible for preparing order requests
from the field will now have better information when making decisions. Then will be able to
determine which product/s trends and consumption cycles. To achieve this desired outcome,
some of the tools to be used will include Brainstorming, Fishbone or Ishakawa Diagrams, Gnatt
Charts (GC) and Critical Path Analysis Flow Diagrams (CPAFD). Each tool has its strengths
that make is best suited for specific functions and aspects in the process (Batrol, & Martin,

Brainstorm Fishbone CPAFD G C

Project brainstorming and initial concepts, ideas, structures
and aims

3 2

Gathering and identifying all elements, especially causal
and hidden factors

1 3 2

Scheduling and timescales 2 3
Identifying and sequencing parallel and interdependent
activities and stages

1 3 1

Financial – costing, budgets, revenues, profits and

1 1 2 3
Monitoring, forecasting, reporting 1 2 3
Troubleshooting, problem identification, diagnosis and

2 3 2 1

‘Snapshot’ or ‘map’ overview – non-sequential , non-

2 3

Format for communication, presentations, updates,
progress reports

1 1 3

3 – Main tool; 2 – Optional / Secondary tool; 3 – Sometimes useful
To successfully achieve the switch over from RightNow to Salesforce, the organization
will need to designate a manager to be in-charge of this implementation – one who will be the
Champion of Salesforce. This could be the IT manager since Salesforce is an IT based platform.
In an effort to develop teamwork, the IT manager will be ably assisted by the Sales Manager and
the Customer Experience and Relationship manager. This three-sided team has adequate input
from the critical departments who are on the front line in having the Salesforce switchover.
Determine the key success criteria for your project. Provide a rationale to support your

Key Success Factors

In order for the switch-over to be successful, the methodology will follow the following
guidelines. These guidelines are developed from intensive research and in as much as they are
not the only ones; they offer a good guideline which if embraced, will make implementation


Define the project

This is vital in making sure that the risk of getting back-tracked, the management will
have to communicate clearly beforehand to the employees, the defining management’s intent in
undertaking the switch, outline the full extent of the switch-over project. This will entail
pinpointing the department, functions and staff to be involved and their degree of involvement, a
clear description of the end results of the switch-over project and its long-term effects if any on
the organization and its components (Watson, 2013).

Establish a Project Organization

As pointed out earlier, the IT manager will take the lead in implementing this switch-over
project. To capture the cross-cutting nature of this switch-over, the IT manager will have two
principal assistants on this project – the Customer Experience and Relationship Manager and the
Sales Manager. These two departments are the current main consumers of the project as
presently configured. In addition to appointing experienced managers to run the projects full
time, their terms of responsibilities will be clearly set out. This is further strengthened by the
appointment of line managers of the main consumers of the project. In addition to the line
managers, a dedicated staff of three people will permanently offer back office support for the
project around the clock. This will ensure queries are addressed promptly and glitches in the
system that could affect the end-consumers are troubleshot and addressed before they happen.
Finally, a sensitive balance has to be established between the functional heads of department and
the project manager (Kristoffer, Tor, Terry, 2007).

Install Project Controls

These special controls will focus of costs, quality and time. This is because; these
components will not be captured as they would with routine reports. Time control; this is

especially vital when undertaking the Critical Path Method-ideal for providing the best time
control for the project. Cost Control; though this controls are not as formalized as time controls,
they break the aggregate costs into work packages, develop obligation reports for technical
decision makers and focusing human capital talent on major opportunities and problems. Quality
Control; are envisioned to compromise of elements that define the performance criteria, use
quality standards to express the objectives and monitor advancement towards these set standards
(Robert & Randall, 2012).

Implementation Benchmarks

When implementing the switch-over, the main activities will include a Work Breakdown
Structure (WBS). This allows for decomposition of the project in various levels of detailed
tasks. It is this small parts that when managed optimally will ensure project success. A
Dependency Analysis will organize the tasks recognized by WBS in a sequence that allows for
order while allowing simultaneous implementation where applicable. After this, Network
Development, which entails developing a network diagram that captures all tasks in an orderly
fashion, will follow. When allocating or committing resources, the appropriate individuals with
the requisite expertise and skill are identified and tasked adequately. The resources are allocated
to ensure they are adequate and cover all phases – build up to the phase out. It is important to
estimate the time it will take on each activity and the whole project. To achieve this, the
organization will either employ the quantitative, constraint, forecast or unit of work methods.
Irrespective of method chosen, the technique will consider the effort-energy exerted and
calendar-duration elapsed. Budgeting is important and the next step. Budgeting allows for the
allocation of related project development costs over the lifetime of the project. This ensures that
costs do not pile up at the beginning of a project but appear as they are incurred – in the course

of a project implementation timeline. Finally, the status report detailing the work-in-progress on
the different components of the project – resource load, schedule and budgets is prepared. This
assists to track the actual.
It is important to point out that studies have shown that there are no alternatives to project
management methods. Should the organization choose not to implement and formalize project
management; it will be choosing to work at random – no clear plan. By embracing project
management, individual contributions – based on specific tasks developed as part of the whole,
outcomes when joined together with others results and by individuals.
Having established the power of the project management as a technique, it should be
noted that this power can be harnessed for both large and small projects. Given the multiplicity
of benefits and uses of project management tools, some industries are especially suited for this.
They include, manufacturing, servicing construction among others. By implementing the
switchover project, the organization will benefit from reduction in the cost of doing business, a
reduction in the time used to attend to customer queries and complains better resource allocation
and increased quality of the final product or service. These are the factors that determine the
competitiveness and profitability of the organization. By being able to break-down complex
projects into small independent task, cost and time resources will be better managed and more
gotten from them. Additionally, project management techniques accrue to the organization
benefits including, failure reduction, reduction of inappropriate tasks, close examination of the
sub-tasks, scheduling, integration and communication (Fuller, 2010).
When considering the cost of implementation, the switchover will be made up of two
components: resource allocation and infrastructure needed, and implementation schedule. The

switchover requires cross-organizational collaboration between the customer experience and
relationship and sales departments. In the switchover project, it will be very important that the
project costs management be inclusive of the vital processes central to the project completion
within its approved budget. To achieve this, the resources to be considered include: resource
planning – establishing the resources and precise quantities needed of each in performing project
activities; cost estimation – determining an estimate of the costs needed to get the project to the
desired conclusion; cost budgeting – apportioning the overall costs estimates to individual work
items; and finally, cost control – controlling changes to project budget (Megginson, 2011).

Recourse Planning Cost Estimating Cost

Cost Control


 Work Breakdown Structure
 Historical information
 Scope statement
 Resource Pool Description
 organizational policies

 Work
 Recourse
 Recourse rates
 Activity
 Historical
 Chart of

 Cost
 Work
 Project

 Cost baseline
 Performance
 Change
 Cost

Tools and

 Expert judgment
 Alternatives identification

 Analogous
 Parametric
 Bottom-up
 Computerized

 Cost
tools and

 Cost change
 Performance
 Additional

d tools

Results –

 Recourse requirements  Cost estimates
 Supporting

 Cost

 Revised cost


 Cost

 Budget
 Corrective
 Estimate at
 Lessons

Irrespective of the project dynamics, each project requires time to implement it. Having a
grip on the time will enable the organization maximize its resources as well as operate efficiently
and effectively. When considering the timeframe for the switchover project, the organization
will have to consider the activity definition – pinpointing the project deliverables and specific
activities to be performed. Activity sequencing – pointing out and documenting dependencies
between interactivities (Meredith & Mantel, 2010). Activity Duration Estimating – given the
individual activities, there is need to estimate the number of work periods needed. Schedule
Development – sequencing activities, duration of activities and requirements for recourse when
creating the project schedule and schedule control – changes to the project schedule.
For the migration to be considered successful, it must increase sales by 25%. In as much
as Salesforce can be used by other department in the organization, as the name suggests it is
meant to make selling effective and efficient. Despite the cost that the migration will cost the
organization, the overall cost of doing business should come down by 10%. Finally, the bottom
line should increase by 5%.
Provide the timeframe for delivering the solution to the project.

Activity/Time Months

1 2 3 4 5 6

Training of IT and back office staff on Salesforce
Training of sales staff on Salesforce
Training of Customer experience and relationship management staff
Training of Accounting staff
Migration to from RightNow to Salesforce
Activation of Salesforce and switch-off of RightNow

Create a table which contains the generic resources, including people, equipment, and
materials needed to undertake the project.

Generic Resources

Project Champion (IT Manager) –
Project Ambassadors (Sales and CE&R Managers) –
Training 10,000
Data Entry Devices for the Sales team 7,500
Dedicated Server 2,500

Estimate the total budget for the project based on the cost of the resources specified in the
table that you have created. Next, add contingency and any other additional costs (e.g.,
intangible costs, the cost of a change in culture or process within the business, etc.).Support
your response.

Project Budget

Training 15,000
Data Entry Devices for the Sales team 10,000
Dedicated Server 5,000
Migration Costs 70,000
Total 100,000

The Migration costs will include intangible costs. These are costs that will only be
incurred as a direct result of the migration – whether successful or not. This will include cost of
a change in culture and processes within the organization among others. This figure may seem
huge, however when invested wisely, it will mean the difference between the success or failure
of the migration.
Assume that your project is delivered on time, within scope, and budget. Justify your
stakeholders’ satisfactory level with three (3) key success criteria, against which the project
will be measured

Stakeholder Satisfaction

There are many stakeholders who have a stake on the successful migration from RightNow to
Salesforce. To the management, the successful migration will result in better decision making.

They will be able to get the latest information thus allowing them make strategic decision. When
demand trends change, management does not have to wait for a long time to respond. The can
anticipate this and act as opposed to reacting. The shareholders should be satisfied with the
migration since it will have resulted in better returns from their investment. Additionally, since
Salesforce is a new technology, the shareholders will feel that the strategic direction the
management is taking the organization is agreeable to them. Finally, the sales force will be
motivated when they get to interact with satisfied customers. The satisfaction of the customers
will be enhanced by experiencing responses to the queries in a timely and comprehensive


In conclusion, the success of the switchover project will depend on addressing some
conditions of implementation. After initially adopting and embracing the project management
philosophy, there is need to appreciate and acknowledge the remarkable benefits and profits that
can be gained. Focus will, thus, be in ensuring the organization has sufficient cash flow;
adequate existing and new infrastructure; the project manager and assistants are appointed, and
that the requisite staff are hired and the resultant team satisfactorily developed.



Batrol K. M and Martin D. C (2012) Management, McGraw-Hill, New York, NY.
Fuller, J (2010) Managing Performance Improvement Projects: Preparing, Planning and
Implementing, McGraw-Hill, New York, NY.
Harold K (2011) Project Management: A System Approach to Planning, Scheduling and
Controlling, 6 th Ed, McGraw-Hill, New York, NY.
Jean H (2012) Sharpen Your Team’s Skills in Project Management, Hoboken, New York,
Kristoffer V. G, Tor H, Terry G (Editor),(2007) Goal Directed Project Management, 4 th Ed,
McGraw-Hill, New York, NY
Megginson L.C. (2011), Management, Concepts and Applications, Harper Collins Publishers
Inc, Chicago, IL.
Meredith J.R. and Mantel S.J.Jr. (2010). Project Management, J. Wiley & Sons, Hoboken, NJ.
Ralph L. K, Irwin S. L, Ken L. R (2009) Project Management Methodology: A Practical Guide,
J. Wiley & Sons, Hoboken, NJ
Robert J. G, Randall L. E (2012) Creating an Environment for Successful Projects: The Quest
to Manage Project Management, The Jossey-Bass Business and Management, SF
Watson, M (2013) Managing Smaller Projects, Project Manager Today Publications, Miami, FL.

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