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Information Technology Project and Risk Management

Identify one technology risk and one non –technology risk an organization may encounter when outsourcing a component of an IT project to a foreign country. Develop a risk management plan to manage these risks

According to Marchewka (2009), one technological risk is the shortage of indigenous information technology companies in the area of interest. This shortage leads to a deficiency of technically skilled staff, for instance, software developers and project managers. This is an extra cost because experts are shipped in to train the natives and then subcontract them. A shortage of indigenous IT companies brings in a new problem of inadequate software advancement bodies. According to Vetter (2009), in cases of such deficiencies, the call for new management proficiency is necessary and comes at a cost. Lack of experienced personnel results in the creation of applications that do not meet the requirements.

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Political instability is a non-technological risk to consider. It has enormous effects on concrete business progression. Its presence affects the smooth running and operation of the daily activities of an organization. What is being experienced in Syria today destabilizes the capability to draw and maintain foreign investors. Potential investors shy away from politically unstable environments. For an organization that has already outsourced and there is political instability, it would suffer monetary loss, and if the services or products affected the daily running of the company, temporary closure may take place.

Risk Management plan

In order to avoid setting up a costly outsourcing venture, organizations need to set up risk management plans, to oversee the entire process. Vetter (2009) suggests that before outsourcing, organizations should seek experts’ advice on outsourcing; as such advisors have immense information on outsourcing relations. This is vital in making outsourcing decisions, as the benefits are not only visible but tangible. A risk management plan ensures that there are no future regrets. Training should be offered to ensure that the personnel is up to date with technology. In cases of political instability, the services that do not affect the day to day running of the business should be outsourced, and a backup plan should be put in place.

Clear knowledge and understanding of the outsourcing environment and its political stability, is vital in making decisions on outsourcing. This will enable the outsourcing company to know the upheavals and successes that may occur. As a result, a reliable entry and exit plan are formulated to be implemented when the need arises.

Why should the project team focus on both internal and external customers?

According to Marchewka (2009), the entire project is a customer sequence, which involves all the stakeholders, who are customers in one way or another. Maintaining early and constant communication with customers is vital for project accomplishment. According to the U.S. Department of the Interior Bureau of Reclamation (USDIBR) (2006), in order to focus on customers, project communication should be emphasized. The handout defines project communication as the exchange of project-specific information, which emphasizes the creation of good relations between the correspondent and the recipient.

By focusing on the internal customer, there is a well-timed and proper generation of the project’s requirements, in terms of raw materials and technology to be used. In addition, product development is also timely and of expected quality. The project team forms the internal customer, where the supplier is the task manager involved in earlier stages of the project life cycle, which provides the inputs and communicates to the manager, who in turn delivers the goods to the customer who is a task manager involved in testing the product.

According to USDIBR (2006), customers are of help in improving project management by ensuring that the addition of value is a fundamental part of project management. Customers may have important and necessary resources or knowledge, to make a considerable contribution to the assignment. The importance of both internal and external customers in quality project development is the brainstorming of ideas and developing strategies for the completion of the project.

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In quality planning, external and internal customers play a major role in identifying the standards required for the project. They constantly evaluate the project, to ensure that quality values are met. They also monitor the results to ensure they are in line with the set conditions. Quality improvement is enhanced by the customers, and as a result, the quality of project management is enhanced, giving rise to quality products.

Compare the views of Justen Deal, Scott Herren and Matthew Schiffgens. Why would these individuals have such different views of this project’s implementation?

Deal, Herren, and Schiffgen had different views on the implementation of Kaiser’s Health Connect. Deal claimed that the trustworthiness and measurability to hold the large epic capacity were a problem, and thus the application of Health Connect could pose more problems.

However, Harren considered the measurability of the application as not being the issue, but the entire design of the Health Connect was to blame for the mishaps and its failure to sustain the expected workload. Schiffgens acknowledged the fact that large organizations like Health Connect, had contests along the way, but what mattered in their case was the fact that their contests were managed.

Herren stated that Health Connects problems were not associated with Citrix. Citrix had several other fruitful Epic distributions in other locations. Schiffgens countered Deal’s accusation, by stating that difficult moments were part and parcel of any business organization, but what mattered most, was how those impediments were managed, so as to create a positive business environment. He went further to claim that the disorders at Corona Data Centre were good, but what counted, was the fact that they had managed the situation.

The three individuals had conflicting views, because of the different positions they held in their respective organizations and each had varied intentions in stating their views. Deal, being a Kaiser employee, based his views on his daily experiences. It’s possible that he was well-endowed with the functional variability of the project. He was informed of the shortcomings of Health Connect. Schiffgens was the spokesman for Kaiser, and was expected to fully protect the organization’s public image in order not to lose trust from their customers. Herren had a duty to protect the image and reputation of Citrix systems and to dissociate it from any organization, which was going under in order for them to stay afloat in the market. He talks in favor of Citrix and distances it from Health Connect.

Should Kaiser terminate this project? Or should they continue with the implementation? What are the ramifications for terminating the project or continuing?

Kaiser Foundation should implement the e-health records management system, because this mode is efficient and thus improves health care provision. The efficiency comes in whereby, it is easy to retrieve a patient’s record and forward it for the client’s examination. This saves on time, and thus several patients can be attended to within a short time. Emergency cases can be handled, because it’s easier to retrieve the patient’s records, and thus study the individuals’ past medical history (Schwalbe, 2009).

According to King (2009), the electronic health records management, aids in eradicating redundant processes. Moreover, the tedious paperwork has been done away with, thus presenting a tidy model of record management. This model has sufficient security in cases of data loss, because there are data backups. It is also easier to determine a new client from an existing one, hence duplicity is avoided. A medical follow up on a patient’s case can be enabled, because there is easier access to the patient’s records. Mechanical errors experienced in the paper system, such as wrongly entered data, have been managed.

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According to Chen (2012), the adoption of an inclusive electronic health records system, has had far-reaching advancements in the health delivery sector. She claimed that scheduled visits and e-mail texts were easily managed. These patient’s aligned processes, have improved the health care that is being offered. Chen (2012) further claims that this mode has enhanced documentation. Consequently, this creates a reliable and effective medical system. This mode has enabled a connectivity of all the sections of health, providing units for instance pharmacies, laboratories, and inpatient –outpatient support areas.

The consequences for the continuity of e-health records management system project are far reaching. According to Gurley and Rose (2004), the startup expenses for such a project, are usually exorbitant. Since most healthcare providers are usually in the process of cutting down costs, investing in such an expensive venture is a problem. Moreover, such an installation requires a certain level of information on the part of the patients.

The hospital staff are no exception, and they are also required to be taken through some courses that will enable them work perfectly with the system. This training means that the healthcare providers will dig deeper into their pockets, and this proves costly. Despite these impediments, electronic health records management systems, are necessary in a globalizing society, in order to see them through to the next level of technological advancements.

What, from a project management perspective, could Nestle have done better in implementing SAP?

In implementing SAP, there were a number of issues that Nestle should have done to ensure a successful and workable implementation. The participation of the workers and management staff in the implementation of the project was essential. This could have ensured that the workers acknowledge the changes that were to take place and the reasons for them. A forum to train the workers and the management staff could have been held to educate and hence introduce them to the new system. Moreover, through the said workshop, workers could have been made to acknowledge change consequently accepting to do things in diverse and up-to-the-minute ways.

Rushing to meet project deadlines was another issue that should have been taken aboard. What was necessary for Nestle was introducing a workable plan and not quickening implementation in order to have a new but ineffective system. To have a functional system, the compatibility of the new system and the old one should have been tested in order to incorporate the two into a wholesome running implementation. In conclusion, the necessity of a new system was to be clearly outlined in order to agree on a format in which the several divisions of Nestle could harmonize activities to bring forth a fully operational organization.

The primary lesson that Dunn says she gained from the project is, “No major software implementation is really about the software. It’s about change management.” Do you agree with her statement? Discuss why you agree or disagree?

I agree with Dunn’s statement that any implementation is usually about the change management and not the software itself. First, before any implementation, it should be taken into account that the intended implementation is not going to work in a vacuum, but will be operated on by people, the management, and thus their acceptance of it is vital. Baekdal et al. (2006) note that change is about people, and in consequence their competence and self enthusiasm advances the functioning of the company.

The management needs to be persuaded to accept changes in the operation of the organization. This can be attained through workshops focusing on change readiness and personal change orientation.

Education on change readiness enables the workers to be keen on accepting any new implementation program that the organization has lined up. Baekdal et al. (2006) adds that change management introduces new ideals in the workers, and thus remedies them for any responsibly, ensuring that they accept any new implementation with litheness. In conclusion, change management enables workers familiarize themselves with new software before it is implemented. Moreover, it makes the feelings of the management known, about the intended implementation.

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References

Baekdal, T.,Hansen, K.L., Todbjerg, L., & Mikkelsen, H. (2006). Change Management HandbookHandle change management projects more effectively. Web.

Chen, C. (2012). The Kaiser Permanente electronic health record: transforming and streaming modalities of care. Web.

Gurley, L. & Rose, B. (2004). Advantages and disadvantages of the electronic medical record. New York: The American Academy of Medical Administrators.

King, R. (2009). How Kaiser Permanente went paperless. Web.

Marchewka, J. (2009). Information technology: project management. New York: John Wiley & Sons.

Schwalbe, K. (2009). Information technology project. New York: Cengage Learning.

U.S. Department of the Interior Bureau of Reclamation (USDIBR) (2006). Managing water in the West: managing for excellence team 19- adding value to major repair projects. Web.

Vetter, R. (2009). The pros and cons of outsourcing. London: Alsbridge.

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