24. April 2007 22:29
A few years ago I was given the task of converting and improving my employer’s current sales management tool from ASP to Asp.Net. The basic structure of the company consisted of 3 salesmen, 1 graphic designer, 1 operator, and 1 IT staff member who all reported to the owner. The project mostly focused on improving the human resource frame of the business by streamlining the ordering process for the sales team and allowing clients to update and replenish there accounts online, which would reduce the time it took to maintain each account. Unfortunately, the office politics was very turbulent given such a small company, the sales team was in favor of the system upgrade until they found out that the new system could actually phase them out and there would be extensive logging which would show any errors in account management or credits given to clients. The project was slowly accepted after the owner reassured the sales team repeatedly that they would not lose there jobs.
The initial constraints of this project were to upgrade the system, streamline and improve parts of the sales process, as well as allow clients to maintain and fund there account online. The project was estimated to take two months and the cost of 320 technical hours.
The project ended up being a slow process due to the resistance, but we did meet 1 of the 3 triple constraints Scope. There were some time delays from the sales team because they could not decide which layout and some of the minute functionalities of the system which pushed us off of our schedule by about a month. This additional month cost the company an additional 160 technical hours. After the project was compete, the sales team did like the new system and the owner liked that he could track all the activities of accounts with just a click of a button.
The business and organizational areas of the Three-Sphere Model for system management would have helped this project even thought technological areas were decided by the owner. He decide to put the system on Dell Poweredge servers within our local network written in Asp.net and using MS SQL as the backend database. If we asked questions from the business and organization part of the sphere we could have eliminated some of the problems by asking what level the user was at in relation to using the computer and the internet. How can we incorporate every sales person’s methods into the sales process? How streamlined can we make the sales process? I believe if we would have asked these questions before the project started we could have cut out most of the delay caused by the sales team instead of just going off of the Project documentation.
“Although it is easier to focus on the immediate and sometimes narrow concerns of a particular project, project managers and staff must keep in mind the effects any project on the interest and the needs of the entire system or organization." (Schwalbe, 2004)
- Schwalbe,Kathy. (2004). Information Technology Project Management Fourth Edition, Newton Square, PA: Thomson