Project 2: Project Management in an International Environment
In this two-week project, you will work with a project team made up of your fellow students using basic project management skills to plan for the design, construction, outfitting, and stocking of a new retail store in Brazil for your US-based home improvement company. As this is the first time the company has opened a store in an international market, your team will blaze a new trail for the company and set the example for future international expansion.
This project will require you and your team to create several deliverables using templates provided in the steps below to ensure that the new store is fully operational by the target date. You will have two weeks to complete all nine steps.
Recall that by the end of Week 2 in Project 1, you should have completed several tasks in preparation for this project: (1) joined a team, (2) posted your team agreement to your group discussion area, (3) posted your project work plan to your group discussion area, (4) downloaded and installed Microsoft Project on your personal computer, or have access to it, and (5) completed MS Project Practice Exercise.
To get started, click Step 1: Become Familiar with Project Scope.
Your work will be evaluated using the competencies listed below.
1.1: Organize document or presentation clearly in a manner that promotes understanding and meets the requirements of the assignment.
1.2: Develop coherent paragraphs or points so that each is internally unified and so that each functions as part of the whole document or presentation.
1.3: Provide sufficient, correctly cited support that substantiates the writer’s ideas.
1.6: Follow conventions of Standard Written English.
1.7: Create neat and professional looking documents appropriate for the project or presentation.
2.2: Locate and access sufficient information to investigate the issue or problem.
2.4: Consider and analyze information in context to the issue or problem.
3.1: Identify numerical or mathematical information that is relevant in a problem or situation.
3.4: Employ software applications and analytic tools to analyze, visualize, and present data to inform decision-making.
4.1: Lead and/or participate in a diverse group to accomplish projects and assignments.
4.2: Demonstrate the ability to plan and execute a project, articulating clear objectives and goals for the team.
4.3: Contribute to team projects, assignments, or organizational goals as an engaged member of a team.
4.4: Demonstrate diversity and inclusiveness in a team setting.
5.4: Resolve workplace conflicts using the optimal approaches and techniques for the situation and involved parties.
6.1: Identify the general (external) environment in which an organization operates and discuss the implications for enterprise success.
7.4: Analyze the impact of international and foreign laws on US organizations acting domestically and abroad.
9.2: Evaluate how human capital serves as a source of competitive advantage.
9.3: Apply the principles of employment law for ethical practices and risk mitigation.
Step 1: Become Familiar with Project Scope
A few hours after your call with Latoya Green, you receive an email from her executive assistant that defines the high-level deliverables and timelines for this project in a project statement of work (SOW).
INBOX: 1 New Message
Subject: Deliverables and Timeline for Store Opening
From: Cassandra Seltzer, Executive Assistant, TCS, Inc.
You will need to know the high-level deliverables and timelines for this project, which can be found in the project statement of work (SOW).
The SOW for this project lists the following requirements:
design the new store building, garage, parking lots, and landscaping
obtain required licenses and permits
prepare the site and lay the foundation
construct the new store building and finish the interior
construct the garage and garden center
outfit the store with shelves, fixtures, and IT systems (e.g., communications and payment systems)
pave the parking lots and landscape the exterior of the store
stock the store with inventory (For this project, stick to a storewide, high-level inventory budget, though you may have to make estimates based on different product categories, such as lumber, hardware, appliances, etc.)
staff, hire, and train store personnel
The SOW specifically notes that your project scope does not include the following:
marketing or publicity
other actions and costs related to operation of the new store
This project will require that you and your team create the following deliverables within the time frames described in this project, using standard templates provided in subsequent steps by TCS management. These steps will ensure that the new store is fully operational by the target date. Those deliverables, described in detail later, include the following:
a project charter
a stakeholder management plan
a high-level work breakdown structure (WBS) for the project
a risk register that identifies 5–10 key project risks and the team’s proposed responses for handling such risks
a Gantt chart showing key project activities and the project’s critical path
a high-level project cost estimate, with supporting justifications, for the labor, materials, and overhead for the new facility to be ready for operation by the assigned target date
a project management plan
Thank you for your attention. Our group will be in touch.
Email signature with Terrapin Construction Supply, Inc corporate logo, Cassandra Selzer, Executive Assistant, and contact info
From your client file on Terrapin Construction Supply, Inc., you are informed that there are five major product groups at each TCS store: plumbing and electrical supplies; building materials; hardware and tools; seasonal, garden, and yard items; and paint, flooring, and wall coverings.
Each TCS store has a store manager, assistant store manager, bookkeeper, information systems manager, a manager for each of the five major product groups, customer service employees to assist with purchases on the store floor, cashiers, receiving and stocking employees, and maintenance and janitorial employees.
In summary, you know a lot about what you need to have 10 months from now, but how will you get there? You do not have much experience with formal project management so you message a colleague who recently acquired a project management professional (PMP) certification.
In the next step, your friend delivers the requested help, outlining several key project management topics.
Step 2: Become Familiar with Project Management Concepts
In the previous step, you received a SOW and the authorized templates from the CEO’s office. You also put out an SOS to a friend, who emails you the next day.
INBOX: 1 New Message
Subject: Re: Help!
From: Jorge Linville
Got your message, good to hear from you and glad to hear you’re still with Maryland Creative Solutions.
Sounds like a big project you’ve been tasked with. I’m happy to help out where I can.
To begin, I’d suggest doing some background reading to familiarize yourself with a few key topics. I’ll help get you get started:
First of all, you should know what a project is and what it isn’t. Basically, you need an introduction to project management.
Next, you’re going to need to understand how to apply project management processes and the triple constraint, because these concepts are going affect a lot of other project components.
You’ll need to draft a project charter and understand the concepts of stakeholders and stakeholder management.
You’ll also need to plan the nuts and bolts of the work to be done with a work breakdown structure (WBS) and Gantt charts, and you’ll need to know how to determine the critical path.
And of course, nothing is free, so you’ll need to understand project cost estimating and project procurement.
Critically, you should understand project risk and risk registers so that you can actually develop a project risk register.
And you’ll need to be able to write a good project management plan overview.
Those are the basics, at least. Hope this helps, and good luck!
Email signature of Jorge Linville, Project Manager, and contact info
After you have reviewed these project management resources, proceed to the next step, where you will develop a project charter.
Step 3: Develop a Project Charter
Very glad that you reached out for Jorge’s insight and resources, you proceed with the formal requirements listed in the project statement of work.
Your team has established guidelines for communication and accountability on this project. Now, your team will need to develop a project charter using the provided project charter template. While this document will not be turned in until the end of Week 4, it will guide your development of the project management plan. Note that TCS CEO Latoya Green is your project sponsor and the key stakeholder who must approve and sign the project charter.
When you have completed your project charter, continue to the next step, where you will develop a stakeholder management plan.
Step 4: Develop a Stakeholder Management Plan
Following your team project charter, you are invited to a check-in web meeting with MCS CEO Jillian Best to discuss next steps with the TCS project:
Calendar Invite: Jillian Best, CEO
“I’m glad your team has agreed on a charter for TCS,” Jillian says. “Now I want you to really start nailing down some of the specifics of this project, such as involved parties, responsibilities, risks, and costs.
“To this point, TCS management has provided you with information and templates for this project, your team has set guidelines to work together effectively, and you have used that information to develop a project charter for Latoya Green to approve. Now, you are ready to begin thinking about stakeholders and stakeholder management.
“Your team needs to develop a stakeholder management plan. I’m attaching a stakeholder management plan template to follow. The plan should identify potential stakeholders by their general role, such as CFO, local government offical, vice president of marketing, etc. There is one exception: You must name Latoya Green as your project sponsor.
“Good work team, looking forward to seeing the stakeholder management plan.”
When you have completed your stakeholder management plan, continue to the next step, where you will develop a work breakdown structure and Gantt chart.
Step 5: Create the Work Breakdown Structure and Gantt Chart
In previous steps, you identified all stakeholders, both internal and external to your team, and created a communication plan to manage their expectations. Now your team must consider how you will handle the work breakdown structure (WBS) and Gantt charts.
Create a draft of the work breakdown structure based on the provided WBS template. Then, using Microsoft Project, create a high-level WBS for your project that covers the key facets set out in the statement of work, such as the design of the new store. All required dependencies for activities should be established. That work will be used to create your Gantt chart with the project schedule. Ensure that your Gantt chart indicates the critical path in red. If you need help, please follow these Microsoft Project guidelines.
For feedback from your instructor, submit your project charter, stakeholder management plan, WBS, and Gantt chart to your team’s group discussion area only. Then continue to the next step, where your team will develop a project risk register for this store construction project.
Step 6: Create the Risk Register
Risk is a factor in every project. Each stakeholder and each element in your work breakdown structure, especially along the critical path, introduces risk. Identifying and managing these risks is critical to ensuring project success. Read more in Project Risk and Risk Register.
In this step, your team will develop a project risk register using the provided risk register template. The risk register must include at least 10 project risks, both internal and external, as well as the projected response or responses to those risks. Keep in mind that you are conducting a project in a foreign country, Brazil, which itself will add some risk because the official language in Sao Paulo, Brazil is Portugese.
When you have completed your risk register and identified at least 10 project risks, continue to the next step, where you will develop a project cost estimate.
Step 7: Estimate Project Cost
Your team has already identified the details of the work schedule in a work breakdown structure and visualized these details in a Gantt chart with a critical path. You also used your stakeholder management plan to determine who needs to be informed of progress on the project and when. And you’ve planned out responses to the risks you identified. Now, you must determine the cost to build and operate this store. You must also estimate the costs of the required inventory inside the store and the hiring and training of employees to begin operations. Read Project Cost Estimating and Project Procurement for help in answering this question.
For this project, your team only needs to research and provide high-level budget estimates for the various work packages or the higher-level work activities. For example, building the store itself might be broken down into design, site preparation (your company already owns the land), permit costs, plumbing, electrical, etc. Or, you may prefer to just use major categories such as design, build, and outfit. Consider other project procurements that may be required for your project. Develop your own project cost estimate template. While your research will yield material, labor, and overhead cost data in Brazilian real (BRL), for the purpose of this assignment, you will convert all cost figures to US dollars (USD).
When you have completed the project cost estimate, continue to the next step, where you will complete your project management plan.
Step 8: Complete the Project Management Plan
Before any work can start on the new TCS store in Sao Paulo, Brazil your team must put all the work you’ve done so far into a project management plan.
Use the project management plan template to create your plan. Your plan should be 15 to 20 pages, double spaced, excluding cover page, executive summary, reference list, and appendices. Any tables, graphs, and figures should be included as appendices. Your report should have one-inch margins and be double spaced in 12-point Times New Roman font. In-text citations and references should abide by APA format. The report should be organized using headings and subheadings to improve its readability.
For clarity, the plan should cover key elements in the main body of the plan, and then use appendices for detailed data. For example, you could provide a summary cost breakdown in the main body, and the detailed breakdown of costs in an appendix, such as an Excel spreadsheet.
Your final project management plan will consist of two files: the completed template and the Microsoft Project file (*.mpp) containing your WBS and Gantt chart. Submit these files in the dropbox located in the final step of this project by the end of Week 4. Also, each team will post one copy of the final project management plan in the team’s group discussion area.