Decentralized Model To Web-Based Application Migration For XYZ Manufacturer

Anticipated outcome

XYZ manufacturer has shifted its business model to a de-centralized one due to its growing customer base for the past 3 years. It is difficult to administering workforce due to provision of continuous support to growing clients in more locations. With the expansion of the workforce the existing legacy mainframe systems maintain internal requirements such as resource management, payroll activities and reporting has become incompetent to efficiently manage these activities (Rodriguez et al., 2013). For the past 10 months this incompetency has resulted in higher costs and increased employee turnover. The company has decided to shift to web-based application which has been defined in the WP project’s business case, to efficiently manage the company’s administration from one standard and central platform. 

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1) Anticipated outcome: By moving its administrative platform to a centralized web-based one, XYZ manufacturer will be able to manage its administrative activities and functions along with employee payroll systems in a consolidated and consistent way. This technological migration will decrease the overhead costs that is related for the huge manpower in order to manage these tasks. There will be freedom for the decentralized employees in managing their training, payroll, along with tasks of reporting and administration. In addition, there will be benefit for organization from systematic and timely reporting from the regional manager’s provision of continuous update of their financial metrics. As a result, errors will be reduced and cycle time gets improved (Ghazawneh & Henfridsson, 2013). 

2) Recommendation and Justification: Different alternatives and options were examined to identify the best possible way to leverage the technology for business process improvement and minimizing the overhead cost in XYZ manufacturers. The suggested WP project will allow the organization’s existing mainframe system data and functions to periodically migrate to the platform of new web-based system so as to maintain the integrity of data and also provides sufficient time for training managers and employees on their roles and responsibilities to respective administrative functions. Besides providing compatibility with other recent information technology (IT) systems, the web-based platform will also improve the reporting efficiency throughout the company. This technology will achieve its desired result in the following manner.

  • Instead of telephoning their respective reporting manager about entry into the mainframe system, employees will have the provision of entering and editing their timesheet data from anywhere and at anytime. In addition, the manager’s task will also get reduced as employees will be able to register themselves for training.
  • Staff requirements for the purpose of compiling and analysing data will be greatly reduced due to immediate accessibility of timesheet and payroll details for the purpose of quality control and reporting.

The shifting of payroll system along with auxiliary administrative level activities from the system of legacy mainframe to the platform of new web-based system will enable the company to manage its resources and business processes. Though current situation and other alternatives were analysed, still the WP project was chosen for this business case proposal as it provides best circumstances to quickly apprehend the benefits while improving efficiency and cost reduction. The other alternatives and options were too tough to define as well as presumed more risk and less benefit. Hence those alternatives cannot properly meet the company’s current objectives. 

Recommendation and Justification

A business case is actually a business need that defines a problem of the organization, measures the project’s effect that solves the problem and clarifies the proposed plan’s benefits and costs (Kerzner & Kerzner, 2017). The team for analysis of business case consists of the following people and they develop and analyse the business case of WP project.

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Role

Description

Name / Title

Executive sponsor

Responsible for providing executive support to project.

Ricky Smith, Vice President  (Operations)

Support for technology

Provides all required technological support for the project.

Thomas Williams, Vice President  (IT)

Support for software

Provides all required software support related to project.

Albert Philip, Team Leader (Software)

Process improvement

Advocates team on the techniques of process improvement.

Shane Thompson, Team Leader (Process)

Project management

Manages project team along with overall business case.

Stuart Jones, Project Manager

1) Problem statement: Manager’s burden of addressing employees concerns including reporting with balancing the requirements of daily billable task (Alias et al., 2014).

2) Organizational impact: Upon application of WP project, there will be impact on XYZ manufacturer, its tools, processes as well as roles and responsibilities (Whitney & Daniels, 2013).

  • The existing platform of legacy administration will be completely phased out.
  • The suggested project will make the payroll and the administrative efficient and streamlined.
  • Besides providing more flexibility and freedom for employees and reducing manager’s burden, the required manpower for HR and payroll staff will be reduced.
  • Besides software licensing for project XYZ manufacturers will be required to purchase additional servers to accommodate the platform and its expected growth for coming years.

3) Feasibility summary: The primary estimated evaluation below summarizes the feasibility of the WP Project.

  • Overhead expenses will get reduced by 16% within the first 12 months;
  • Employee turnover costs will get decreased by 12% in the first 12 months;
  • The generation time of weekly and monthly financial reports will get decreased by 52%;
  • The time taken to resolve payroll issues will get decreased by 22%.

The overview of WP project detailed out about how the project will address the XYZ manufacturer’s issue (Heagney, 2016). The overview consists of the following components.

1) Project description: The WP project will perform analysis and reviewal of various potential projects to replace the XYZ manufacturer’s legacy payroll and administration mainframe system with a web-based platform. This will be performed by product identification and selection that will satisfactorily replace the company’s existing system. After selection, the new system will be implemented and once it is operational the old system will be archived (Marchewka, 2014).

2) Goals and objectives: The established corporate objectives along with goals of XYZ manufacturer is supported by the WP project. The table below lists the goals and objectives (Turner, 2016).

Objective /Goal of business

Description of objective

 Accurate and timely reporting

 The web-based system will provide accurate and actual time reporting of all metrics of payroll and administration.

 Improvement of staff efficiency

 Efficiency will be improved as less payroll and HR staff will be required to manage the above mentioned activities.

 Decrease the employee turnover

 More flexibility and freedom will help managers to focus on billable work as well as address employee concerns

Reduction of overhead costs.

Company overhead will be reduced with the requirement of the fewer staff.

3) Project Performance: The process, service or key resources and their expected business results to measure the project performance are listed the table below. These performance measures will be further defined as well as evaluated in project plan (Mir & Pinnington, 2014).

Key Resource/Process/Service

Performance Measure

Reporting

Reporting disparities (gaps and duplicates) will get reduced by the web-based system and within half year the system will require reconciliation.

Entry of timesheet / admin data

The non-billable task of managers is eliminated by enabling employees to input their data directly.

Maintenance of software and system

The maintenance of the new system will get reduced from monthly once to every six months due to reduction of cost and staff requirements.

Staff resources

Due to automation of various functions there will be elimination of 10 staff positions in payroll and HR.

 
4) Project Assumptions: The assumptions below are applicable for WP project. With beginning of the project plan, other assumptions are recognized and accordingly they will get included (Leach, 2014).

  • As per the new web-based system, every employees and staff will get trained in their respective tasks of timesheet, data entry and reporting.
  • Funds are available for training as well as for purchasing the web-based system’s software and hardware.
  • There will be provision for proper support from heads of every department for successful project completion.
  • Project will have the support for executive-level backing.

5) Project Constraints: The constraints below are applicable for WP project. With beginning of the project plan, other assumptions are recognized and accordingly they will get included (Fleming & Koppelman, 2016).

  • Availability of limited IT resources as well as other ongoing initiatives to support the WP.
  • Availability of inadequate support from the providers of hardware/software as implementation will be conducted within organization, instead of vendors or product developers.

6) Major Project Milestones: The major milestones of the project are identified as follows. With progress of project planning the schedule is build and there will be adjustment in the milestones and their completion end dates will be adjusted, altered and decided for establishing the baseline schedule (Larson et al., 2014).

Milestones/Deliverables

End date

Project Charter

01/03/2018

Review and completion of project plan

03/04/2018

 Project begins

03/12/2018

Completion of  first phase

04/12/2018

Completion of second phase

06/12/2018

Completion of third phase

08/12/2018

Completion of fourth phase

10/12/2018

Completion of fifth phase

12/12/2018

Project ends

12/31/2018

After the project gets approved and progress further, each of the above components of the project overview will be extended to more detail level for the working of the project plan.

Business Case Analysis

The actions of expense and savings in relation to WP project, description of those actions, and the expense or savings related with them are depicted in table below. The final savings for first year is depicted at the bottom of the table (David, Dube & Ngulube, 2013).

Action

Type of action

Description of action

Cost of first year (- depicts expected savings)

Purchasing the web-based product along with licenses

Cost

 Primary financing for WP project

$250,500

Training and installing software

Cost

New software installation expense for IT department and employees training cost for training group

$90,000

Reducing 10 HR and payroll staff

Cost

Reduction of an existing overhead is equal to 6 HR staff and 4 payroll staff yearly salary.

-$120,000

Managers are relieved from working on administrative and non-billable work.

Savings

The weekly average non-billable time for 16 regional managers is 14. This number is expected to be reduced to no less than two hours weekly. With an average of $32/hour will result in ($32 x 12 hours /wk reduced non-billable time x 16 managers) $6144 weekly increased revenue.

-$319,488

Monthly maintenance of system has been revised to six months.

Savings

Lesser repeated use of IT resources engaged on added non-valued work saves about  $38,000

-$38,000

Employee turnover reduction upto 10 %

Savings

Cost savings to process out exiting employee and new employees recruiting, training is about $48,000

-$48,000

 Net First Year Savings

184,988

As per the cost benefit analysis it is found that in the first year XYZ manufacturers will save $184,488 which indicates a remarkable improvement of company’s operating cost and this represent the company’s benefit from this project.

The people’s signatures below implies that the purpose of the business case is clear to them. By sigining below in the document, the authorised signatory has approved the proposed project. proceed further (Hwang & Ng, 2013).

Name of Approver

Title

Signature

Date

Jones, A.

President and Chief Executive Officer (CEO)

Signature of CEO

Date of signature

Bond, R.

Executive Vice President (VP)

Signature of VP

Date of signature

References:

Alias, Z., Zawawi, E. M. A., Yusof, K., & Aris, N. M. (2014). Determining critical success factors of project management practice: A conceptual framework. Procedia-Social and Behavioral Sciences, 153, 61-69.

David, R., Dube, A., & Ngulube, P. (2013). A cost-benefit analysis of document management strategies used at a financial institution in Zimbabwe: A case study. South African Journal of Information Management, 15(2), 1-10.

 Fleming, Q. W., & Koppelman, J. M. (2016, December). Earned value project management. Project Management Institute.

Ghazawneh, A., & Henfridsson, O. (2013). Balancing platform control and external contribution in third?party development: the boundary resources model. Information Systems Journal, 23(2), 173-192.

Harrison, F., & Lock, D. (2017). Advanced project management: a structured approach. Routledge.

Heagney, J. (2016). Fundamentals of project management. Amacom.

Hwang, B. G., & Ng, W. J. (2013). Project management knowledge and skills for green construction: Overcoming challenges. International Journal of Project Management, 31(2), 272-284.

Kerzner, H., & Kerzner, H. R. (2017). Project management: a systems approach to planning, scheduling, and controlling. John Wiley & Sons.

 Larson, E. W., Gray, C. F., Danlin, U., Honig, B., & Bacarini, D. (2014). Project management: The managerial process (Vol. 6). Grandview Heights, OH: McGraw-Hill Education.

 Leach, L. P. (2014). Critical chain project management. Artech House.

Marchewka, J. T. (2014). Information technology project management. John Wiley & Sons.

 Mir, F. A., & Pinnington, A. H. (2014). Exploring the value of project management: linking project management performance and project success. International journal of project management, 32(2), 202-217.

Rodriguez, J. M., Crasso, M., Mateos, C., Zunino, A., & Campo, M. (2013). Bottom-up and top-down cobol system migration to web services. IEEE Internet Computing, 17(2), 44-51.

Turner, R. (2016). Gower handbook of project management. Routledge.

Whitney, K. M., & Daniels, C. B. (2013). The root cause of failure in complex IT projects: complexity itself. Procedia Computer Science, 20, 325-330.