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Project Management

Unit 13

Unit 13

Support Software A Supply Chain Monitoring Perspective and Utility of Software

Structure: 13.1 13.2 13.3 Introduction Learning Objectives Introduction to Supply Chain Monitoring (SCMo) Writing a Business Plan Why create a Business Plan? Writing a plan The process The key to success How to prepare? Outline of various sections Overview of Process Documentation System Support Software The Arrow Project Why Arrow? Why Fedora? VITAL PILIN Summary Terminal Questions Answers to SAQs and TQs Answers to self assessment questions Answers to terminal questions

13.4 13.5

13.6 13.7 13.8

13.1 Introduction
The entire inter-company supply network is driven by customer demand. The increased reaction speed coupled with the flexibility of the supply network offers the necessary benefits. Wherever applicable, the multi-tier concepts should be enabled. Integrated inter-company processes are also needed to collect and share relevant data. Information relevant for decision making should be updated in an appropriate period of time for quick
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responses. Scenarios can be simulated due to the global availability of information. All these lead to effective Supply Chain Monitoring which enables win-win partnership. Supply Chain Monitoring also helps in finding the root causes rather than cures for the symptoms. In this unit, we will look at the importance of Supply Chain Monitoring from a project management perspective. In addition, we will learn about the application of various support software in project management. These software support several business processes and improve automation and employee level productivity. This unit also touches upon an important aspect of business - writing business plans. We will look at the outline of various sections of a business plan. Learning Objectives By the end of this unit, you should be able to: Explain the supply chain philosophy in project management Explain the key processes of inventory List the key functions of Supply Chain Monitoring (SCMo) model Explain the utility of various support software in project management List key business processes within the industry which can be supported by these software solutions Recall the ways and means of integration of main and auxiliary software solutions Describe the way any enterprise would effectively implement a project management system with substantial automation and member level productivity

13.2 Introduction to Supply Chain Monitoring (SCMo)


It is possible today to establish a monitoring system aligned with an organisations supply chain. Supply Chain Monitoring (SCMo) can be an add-on to existing ERP systems. SCMo makes it more efficient to master difficult to manage supply networks.

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Objectives of SCMo Prevention of stock-out and over supply Early warnings and elimination of bull-whip effect Optimised allocation in bottleneck situations due to network-wide inventory and demand transparency Elimination of time lags in the information flow Synchronisation of demand information Smooth and secure supply with minimal safety inventories Increased speed and flexibility of supply networks Reduction of non value adding cost due to trouble shooting efforts and administrative efforts to manage and control material flow Decrease in premium freight Avoidance of scrap due to obsolescence in case of engineering changes or end of production

A Caselet on SCMo Maruti Udyog Limited has a robust SCMo policy which gives its a competitive edge. Because of the policy, Maruti delivers cars to its customer quicker than other players in the market. Also, the company incurs lesser freight charges than others. To meet its objectives, SCMo runs on certain principles. The main principles behind SCMo are shown in figure 13.1

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Fig. 13.1: SCMo principles

Now that we know the purpose of SCMo, how do we set it up? Let us list the steps involved in initiating SCMo. The main steps for the set up SCMo include: a) Determination of the potentially critical part of the supply network criteria b) Mapping of structures such as high shortage risk and effect, long lead and reaction times, high total inventory cost, and frequent engineering changes The main features of such a system are i) Releases and iterations planning It is a simple way to create project plan. A methodology for iterations planning is given later in this section. ii) Dashboard It is a quick project status reporting tool. iii) To-Do lists These lists help in identifying and documenting the integrated assignments.
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iv) Integrated QA The quality analysis includes bug tracking, test cases management, user story-to-bugs traceability, QA stats and charts. v) Time Tracking It is an efficient way of creating more accurate estimates of time. As discussed above, iterations planning is an important feature of SCMo implementation. Figure 13.2 presents a typical iteration plan methodology.

Fig. 13.2: A typical iteration plan methodology

Self Assessment Questions True or False? 1. Prevention of stock-out and over supply is one of the main objectives the SCMo system which is an add on to existing ERP system. 2. The main principles behind SCMo is the integration of supply chain participants, exchange of demand and inventory information, transparency and visibility of inventories and demands for multi-level supply chain.
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13.3 Writing a Business Plan


It might sometimes be difficult for an organisation to straightaway launch into a project management exercise, even if they are well equipped. This holds particularly true if the project is too large for example, development of a new product, expansion of capacity, modernisation of facilities, diversification into a totally new business area, getting into a joint venture and so on. In such cases, the core project team itself might feel the need to have some major inputs before even a tentative plan could be drawn up. A well-drafted business plan would ideally serve this purpose, provided it is handled systematically and professionally. 13.3.1 Why create a business plan? The actual process of planning is documented in a business plan. A business plan is essential because of several reasons as listed below: 1. It communicates several things including: Strategic direction Tactical agreements Company objectives Department objectives Budget requirements Common agreement & buy-in 2. It consolidates management direction 3. It provides a scope for debate and reaching a finally consensus 4. It works as a guide when speed bumps appear 5. It is a managers professional and personal scorecard 13.3.2 Writing a plan Writing is something that many people dread. Naturally, writing a plan is not everyones cup of tea. It is tough because of the following reasons 1. It requires disciplined balance 2. It is visionary, but flexible 3. It needs to be logical 4. It should be financially perfect not only for today, but also for next 3 years and beyond 5. It is formal plan which should be easy to read 6. It requires creativity and at the same time it follows certain rules
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13.3.3 The process Now that you know writing a business plan is not easy, here are some tips that can aid you while drafting a business plan. a) Pay attention to the Dos and Donts b) Be compelling c) Be brief, focused, and deliberate d) Focus on sales pitch e) Focus on cash breakeven f) Provide market research and hard data g) Be innovative and describe barriers h) Create an experienced management team i) Be direct and detailed j) Get to the bottom line quickly k) Identify the immediate business l) Identify the immediate business model m) Focus on your customers (Who? How big? Where?) n) Define the sales model immediately o) Define metrics of sales productivity p) Define whats compelling & unique q) Be realistic with yourself r) Remember, you are investing your career s) Define long term objectives for 3 to 5 years t) Describe the 3 to 4 primary strategies u) Make realistic, but exciting projections 13.3.4 The key to success The key to success of a business plan depends on how well you answer the following questions. a) Whats my Vision? b) Can I explain it to others? c) What business are we in today? d) What about in 3 years? e) Are we really innovative? 13.3.5 How to prepare? To prepare a business plan you need to follow the steps shown in figure 13.3.
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Fig. 13.3: Steps to write a business plan

13.3.6 Outline of various sections A traditional business plan has 7-9 sections with an Executive Summary. It can be 20-30 pages long after including financials. Irrespective of the page count, it should satisfy the following criteria: a) Does it provide clear details? b) Does it bring out the richness of the business idea? c) Does it detail the market opportunity and complexity d) Does it list the business and sales models? Lets now find out what are the various sections included in a business plan. a) b) c) d) e) f) g) h) i) Executive Summary Introduction to the business Definition of products and services Overview of markets Overview of sales and marketing plans Overview of product roadmap Summary of manufacturing & operations Management team bios Four pages of financials
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Having listed the sections, let us move on to analyse the outline of a sample business plan. Section 1: The Executive Summary The content of executive summary includes: Clear definition of the business markets The business and the sales models Competitive advantages Management team Financial and use of funds Section 2: Whats the Business? The content of this section includes: The Business Opportunity The Markets The Technology & The Products It must define. A clear vision and clear strategies A well defined business & economic model A strong sense of management experience Section 3: Sales & Marketing The content of this section includes: Customer analysis: pain and needs Worldwide market size and trends Competitive strengths and weaknesses Whats the value creation? Section 3.1: The Sales Plan The content of this section includes: Whats your sales strategy? What channels will you use? Is there an innovative channel? What are your penetration tactics? Whats your sales model? What are you metrics? Whats your hiring & training plan?
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Section 3.2: The Marketing Plan The content of this section includes: What are your marketing strategies? What are the data points to measure success? What is your price positioning and why? What are you primary tactics in years 1 & 2? Section 3.3: The Customer Support Plan The content of this section includes: Primary objectives Delivery and Response metrics Primary policies & tactics Outsource or not? Future services? Section 4. Engineering - The Development Plan The content of this section includes: What are your core technologies? Provide sufficient, not numbing detail. What is your development status? Describe your primary milestones. Be conservative. development will be late. What are your core technologies? Provide sufficient, not numbing detail. What is your development status? Describe your primary milestones Be conservative. Development will be late. What is the roadmap? Detail the technical teams background. Section 5: Operations & Manufacturing The content of this section includes: Customer focus is the key Outsource or not? Why & Why not? Primary metrics Quality, costs, delivery What is core in manufacturing? What are unique capabilities & processes?
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Section 6: Senior Management This section contains the profiles of the senior management. Before writing the profiles of the senior management, think over the following issues: Why business plans fall apart Why investors do not invest How the experience, dedication and ability to rapidly learn relatively are placed in the order of importance Is too strong an ego negative? Section 7: The Financials This section is one of the most crucial one. Here the rule is everything must sync. Your vision and strategies in text must tie in. Your market growth objectives must tie in. Your business and sales models must tie in. Your margin percentages must tie in. Your cost of goods must tie in. Your expenses must reflect standard %S. To complete this section you will need P & Ls 1st year by month 2nd year by quarter 3d year by year Balance sheets for each year Cash flows for each year 3-4 pieces of paper to list your Primary assumptions Primary categories for use of funds Primary risks other than the normal Whats your exist strategy Section 8: The appendices In this section, you need to provide ony the compelling things such as Product data sheets for primary products Any critical publication. Always remember not to provide resumes or include patents in this section.

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Self Assessment Questions Fill in the blanks 3. A well-drafted _________ would ideally serve this purpose, provided it is handled systematically and professionally. 4. Writing a plan is tough because, It requires __________.

13.4 Overview of Process Documentation System


The process documentation system is intranet based to provide immediate access to current, up-to-date process documentation. The system allows users to navigate through graphical structures to relevant documentation and processes which were created with the ARIS-Toolset. The content of the process documentation system includes the area supply chain management from the Odette Supply Chain Management Group. The system includes graphical process documentation, in the form of process chains, as well as the entire range of documentation related to the processes. The Process Documentation System gives, according to its objectives, an overview and a detailed view of the relevant processes for SCMo. The entry point in the documentations system is the model Process Overview SCMo. This model is the starting point for the navigation to other models. The navigation between models is done via the assignment symbol. The assignment symbol of a function / process Interface indicates that there is a link to another model. The linked / assigned models can be opened by double-clicking on the assignment symbol. This can be classified into two different navigations as shown in figure 13.4.

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Fig. 13.4: Supply chain modelling

a)

Vertical Navigation: The vertical navigation is the navigation on different levels. Starting on the work package level and going downwards into more detail, the first models of processes are found on the sub-process level. In the model Process Overview SCMo those processes are assigned to the functions on Level 2. In the models there can be assignments for some functions, e.g. for a Function Allocation Diagram or a sub-process that describes that function. These two examples are currently the models on the lowest level.

b)

Horizontal Navigation: The horizontal navigation is on the same level. Some processes have a link to other processes, which can be at the start or end or even in the process itself, when another process is imbedded in the process. Those links are represented by Process Interfaces.

Microsoft has a team project management solution that enables project managers and their teams to collaborate on projects. The Microsoft Project 2002 products in these solutions are: 1. Microsoft Project Standard 2002 2. Microsoft Project Server 2002 3. Microsoft Project Server Client Access License (CAL) 2002. Self Assessment Questions Fill in the blanks 5. The documentation system is _______ based to provide immediate access to current, up-to-date process documentation. 6. The ______ navigation is the navigation on different levels.
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13.5 Support Software


Having learnt the basics of application software, you would have a fair idea of how and to what extent project management processes could be automated. However, the challenge of making things work remains unchanged. While software vendors are confident of making it work, two yawning gaps still remain: 1. Business processes which are not covered in such software 2. Integration of multi vendor supported software applications The enterprise is normally in a dilemma whether to look at the same vendors to support such customisation or not. This normally works out too expensive for their comfort or within their tight budgets. Several software vendors have seized the opportunity with offerings that substantially fill these gaps effectively at a fraction of the costs quoted by the major vendors. The other carrot which these vendors offer is a unilateral transfer of the facility to customise themselves which is seen as a huge advantage. The various support software that may be used for managing projects are: 1. ARROW 2. FEDORA 3. VITAL 4. PILIN 5. MS EXCHANGE SERVER 2003 13.5.1 The ARROW Project It is a consortia of institutional repository solution, combining open source and proprietary Software 13.5.2 Why Arrow? Arrow is preferred support software because it: Provides a platform for promoting research output in the ARROW context Safeguards digital information Gathers an institutions research output into one place Provides consistent ways of finding similar objects Allows information to be preserved over the long term
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Allows information from many repositories to be gathered and searched in one step Enables resources to be shared, while respecting access constraints Enables effective communication and collaboration between researchers

The vision of project ARROW: The ARROW project will identify and test software or solutions to support best practice institutional digital repositories comprising e-prints, digital theses and electronic publishing. What did the ARROW project set out to achieve? ARROW project wanted to be a solution for storing any digital output. Their initial focus was on print equivalents such as thesis and journal articles among others. It provided solution that could offer on-going technical support and development past the end of the funding period of the project. What is ARROW now? Its in a development stage combining Open Source and proprietary software such as Fedora, VITAL, Open Journal Services (OJS). It is not a centralised or hosting solution. Every member has their own hardware and software. 13.5.3 Why Fedora? ARROW wanted a robust, well architected underlying platform and a flexible object-oriented data model to be able to have persistent identifiers down to the level of individual data streams. It accommodates the content model to be able to be version independent. Since the beginning of the project ARROW has worked actively and closely with Fedora and the Fedora Community. The ARROW projects Technical Architect is a member of Fedora Advisory Board and sits on Fedora Development Group. This association is reinforced by VTLS Inc. VTLS President is a member of Fedora Advisory Board and VITAL Lead Developer sits on Fedora Development Group 13.5.4 Why VITAL? VITAL refers to ARROW specified software created and fully supported by VTLS Inc. built on top of Fedora. It currently provides: 1. VITAL Manager 2. VITAL Portal 3. VITAL Access Portal
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4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9.

VALET Web Self-Submission Tool Batch Loader Tool Handles Server (CNRI) Google Indexing and Exposure SRU / SRW Support VITAL architecture overview

VITAL is part of creative development of ARROW institutional repositories. VITAL has the following features: 1. Inclusion of multimedia and creative works produced in Australian universities 2. Limited exposure nationally or internationally 3. Addition of annotation capability 4. Inclusion of datasets and other research output not easily provided in any other publishing channel 5. Being developed in conjunction with the DART (ARCHER) Project 6. Exploration of the research-teaching nexus tools that will allow value added services for repositories 7. Integration with or development of new tools that will allow value added services for repositories (for instance the creation of e-portfolios or CVs of research output of individual academics) 13.5.5 PILIN Persistent Identifiers and Linking Infrastructure There has been a growing realisation that sustainable identifier infrastructure is required to deal with the vast amount of digital assets being produced and stored within universities. PILIN is a particular challenge for e-research communities where massive amounts of data are being generated without any means of managing this data over any length of time. The broad objectives are to: 1. Support adoption and use of persistent identifiers and shared persistent identifier management services by the project stakeholders 2. Plan for a sustainable, shared identifier management infrastructure that enables persistence of identifiers and associated services over archival lengths of time 3. Deploy a Worldwide Site Consolidation Solution for Exchange Server 2003 at Microsoft 4. Add Picture
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5. Use Microsoft Exchange Server 2003 to consolidate more than 70 messaging sites worldwide into seven physical locations In this context, let us look at Microsoft Model Enterprises (MME). Microsoft Model Enterprises (MME) Objectives Maximising the number of management tasks performed centrally Decreasing the number of sites through the consolidation of the smaller locations into a smaller number of RDCs Reducing the total number of infrastructure and application servers Standardising infrastructure and devices worldwide Solution Consolidation of 75 tail sites into 6 regional data centers (RDCs) using local storage area networks (SANs) Key Focus Areas Proactive, detailed monitoring and analysis of WAN bandwidth utilisation and latency Effective but flexible approach to project planning, scheduling, and cross-group coordination Coordination and control of deployment of successive pre-release versions of Office System 2003 (including Outlook 2003) Business Benefits Four percent overall direct cost savings Key enabler of the Microsoft ME initiative which through fiscal year 2003 has produced millions in overall consolidation savings including USE IT Benefits Improved server utilisation Improved server management Strengthened security Increased reliability

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Self Assessment Questions True or False 7. Several Software Vendors have seized the opportunity with offerings that substantially fill these gaps effectively at a fraction of the costs quoted by the major vendors. 8. The ARROW project will identify and test software or solutions to support best practice institutional digital repositories comprising e-prints, digital theses and electronic publishing. 9. Support adoption and use of persistent identifiers and shared persistent identifier management services by the project stakeholders is one of the objectives of FEDORA.

13.6 Summary
In this unit, concepts have been provided for you to understand the supply chain philosophy in Project Management and the key processes of inventory. You learnt how to analyse key functions of SCMo model. Various examples have been provided so that you can learn the utility of various softwares in project management and understand key business processes within the industry which can be supported by these software solutions. You must have learnt how any enterprise would effectively implement a Project Management System with substantial automation and member level productivity.

13.7 Terminal Questions


1. What is a business plan and how is it written ? 2. What does the traditional business plan comprise of? 3. Write a brief note of ARROW. 4. Explain PILIN.

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13.8 Answers to SAQs and TQs


13.8.1 Answers to Self Assessment Questions 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. True True Business plan Disciplined balance Intranet Vertical True True False

13.8.2 Answers to Terminal Questions 1. 2. 3. 4. Refer to section 13.4 Refer to section 13.4.5 Refer to section 13.6.1 Refer to section 13.6.7

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