Tuesday, May 5, 2020
Goulburn-Murray Rural Water Corporation
Question: Discuss abput the Report for Goulburn-Murray Rural Water Corporation. Answer: Introduction Goulburn-Murray rural Water Corporation that trades under the ticker symbol GMW is a statutory corporation constituted by the ministerial order under the provisions of water act 1989. The company serves a region of approximately 68,000 square kilometers. The company maintains 23 storage facilities and thousands of kilometers of channel infrastructure to approximately 35,000 customers including urban water providers, groundwater users, river diverters and gravity irrigators. Today, project management is considered an integral facet that propels organization forward by ensuring that companies operate more effectively and efficiently. Due to the subjects significance, organizations have moved forwards and begun to include a director with the responsibility for project management. However, with increasing business demands, the company is planning to deploy a robust, scalable and secure information systems infrastructure that scales in tandem with new customer demands. The company has realized that it needs to enhance its customer experience and this includes deploying a modern customer service solution that improves on overall customer experience (Renz, 2007). Modern information systems that auger with Goulburn-Murray business needs require significant investments to deploy, therefore the company must employ sound project governance techniques to mitigate on looming risks arising from change hence maximize on perceived benefits. Project governance will also assure the organization on the continued development of the profession and disciplines of the project and portfolio management. Just in the same manner that proper corporate governance is essential in the running of the business with competence and integrity, it also makes absolute sense to follow the same path with projects as part and parcel of an organization operating strategy. Literature Review IT Project Governance Most I.T managers have unanimously agreed on the need to implement a strong governance model, but when it comes to program managers there is minimal shared information on what a proper governance model constitutes. It is also clear that the lack of executive support coupled with waning user involvement undermine great initiatives (Williams Samset, 2012). Goulburn-Murray IT project governance framework is designed to govern the management and execution of the companys entire IT project. This particular framework promotes compliance with various legislative amendments, illustrates a common project management structure for IT related projects, and it also establishes a referencing framework for future project risks and quality control. The framework will ensure that the organization develops agency wide and smaller IT systems through the application of consistent and repeatable process. System development process will be broke down into discreet and manageable phases. The phases will comprise of activities and procedures in line with industry best practices, Goulburn-Murray corporate policy and government standards (Dionisi Turner, 2012). Integrated Governance Structure IT project governance entails three enterprise processes illustrated in the diagram and listed below Fig 1.0 diagram illustrating IT governance structure Enterprise performance management The IT governance process should begin by establishing IT objectives in both strategic and operational perspective. The priorities must be set to ensure that the information systems infrastructure is available and the proposed project initiatives are aligned with the direction of the Goulburn-Murray Corporation (Muller et al., 2012). In this very approach the companys management and the IT department will focus on: Aligning the companys IT strategy with a properly constituted business strategy Ensuring that deploying of the IT infrastructure delivers on the strategy through clear defined expectations and evaluation criteria Directing the information systems strategy to balance investments the infrastructure supporting the enterprise in streamlining their operations Asset Portfolio The portfolio focuses on Goulburn-Murray current business operations and two categories of assets are included which are hardware assets, personnel, tools, production applications, and other computing facilities. The other category comprises of soft assets such as knowledge and skills, capabilities, services, and available and future generated data. These mentioned assets should be proactively managed to maximize their efficiency and this includes disposing IT assets that have reached their lifespan. The deficiency of any existing IT asset should be immediately identified and incremental improvement strategies should also be nurtured. I.T Project Portfolio and Project Prioritization We shall implement a standardized approach that will be used to approve and prioritize potential project within Goulburn-Murray IT project portfolio and the process will be executed under the stewardship of the executive management, investment committee, the IT department and the Architectural Design Team (ADT). The ADT ensures that the project is developed in tandem with Goulburn-Murray technology standards. The ID department will work hand in hand with ADT in regards to technical compliance and will also determine the suitability of the proposed project based on the available resources, feasibility and strategic alignment. The investment committee ensures that funds are available and they will also work on modalities to secure additional funding if need arises. I.T Governance Process There shall be two principal players who can also double their role to act as a single person in the proposed governance model. There shall be a project sponsor and the business unit project initiator. The project cannot proceed without a sponsor, and the project concepts will be initially documents by the project sponsor on a request for services (RFS) form that will be issued through a collaboration of the IT department and the executive management. The RFS documentation shall be used to capture the purpose and objective of the project, funding sources, out-of-scope sections, and anticipated deliverables. The business unit project initiator will work hand in hand with the project management office and will notify them of the progress and any change of plans. Other additional forms that will be necessary in the project include: ADT compliance checklist that ensures compliance with Goulburn-Murray IT standards Statement of works Request for proposals Investment committee project proposal checklists that assists to prepare an investment committee presentation A project proposal guide that elaborates on feasibility studies, business case, total cost of ownership, strategic alignment issues, requirements and business process Steering committee project proposals ADT preliminary checklists that reminds of additional cost factors that previously could had been omitted until this particular point in time Enterprise Architecture It mainly entails establishing and ensuring compliance with the Goulburn-Murray Corporation technical standards to enhance the companys ability to serve its clients, utilize its assets efficiently and also promote industry best practices. Within the organization, architectural compliance will be ensured by the ADT. The companys IT project shall be categorized into two distinct types; ready made application and commercial off-the shelf that can be hosted in-house or offsite and accessed through the cloud. The enterprise architecture shall be developed whereby am proposing that the company should adopt the following service oriented diagram that scales with business demands. NB: However, take note that the diagram is only used for illustration purposes and that my proposed governance structure does not endorse any vendor or its affiliates, it is the sole discretion of the IT department so select their preferred vendors. Fig 3.0 diagram illustrating enterprise architecture Goulburn-Murray Corporation Governance Roles and Responsibilities Goulburn-Murray Corporation governance structure will comprise of four components namely the executive, investment committee, IT department and the Architectural Design Team (ADT). With such a structure in place it is possible to initiate, prioritize and align IT assets with the companys business needs. The primary goal of such a governance structure is strategically evaluate Goulburn-Murray Corporation projects in the following areas: Aligning project initiatives with the companys technical standards Evaluation of expected business return Ascertaining risks involved in deploying the project The entire costs of undertaking the project Executive management She/he shall be responsible for establishing strategic direction of the company and will also assist in identifying operational enhancements to drive Goulburn-Murray Corporation investment and resultant assets. The head of departments will be represented in the IT steering committee/IT department with the process concluding in the approval by the companys top management. Investment Committee They ensure that the funds are available to complete the project, and the main goal of this particular committee is to: Ensuring that the project I adequately funded Determining whether the funds should be fully used up in a single financial year or they should be used across several years Determining the financial viability of the product in terms of the return on investment I.T Steering Committee They are mandated with developing the IT project portfolio and at the same time monitoring project activities across the entire portfolio of the Goulburn-Murray Corporation IT projects. The committee develops the company strategic divisions on some of the projects that must be undertaken by the company staff. The committee comprises of subset of Goulburn-Murray executives and the IT staff. The primary goals of this particular committee shall be to: Ensuring compliance with strategic goals and objectives Ensuring there are available resources and may also advise the company on alternative resources such as use of open source application Re-prioritization of project portfolio Determining as to whether other systems or business processes are likely to be affected Ensuring that the viability of using existing systems is considered Determining if the entire project is in line with the companys operational objectives Architectural Design Team They shall be mandated with maintaining technical standards of all IT assets and new projects that fall within their mandate. The main goals of the ADT will be to: Enhance capacity planning and IT asset resource allocation Enhance continuity of operations Provide business input that can be utilized by the executive management to make sound decision Identifying and communicating identified architectural gaps Communicating the technical readiness of the proposed project Enhancing interoperability amongst the companys IT applications Identifying opportunities for the use of shared devices Ensuring compliance with the companys IT standards Identifying potential problems during the onset of the project to minimize on the costs and risks of changes in the later part of the project The specific responsibilities of the ADT will be to: Providing architectural recommendations to the company Reviewing and establishing new standards Providing alternative advice and ideas Facilitating architectural review process Ensuring that the systems are compliant with the companys technical standards Project Start Up Project Life cycle The project involves overhauling the companys information systems infrastructure and this includes establishing a service oriented architecture that scales with the companys business demand. The second phase of the project entails deploying a robust network, the third phase will include installing of necessary hardware and software, the fourth phase involves testing of the deployed system and handing over the new system to the company. Work activities There shall be a work breakdown structure whereby the roles and responsibilities of all the project stakeholders will be described. The WBS proposed below shall be maintained throughout the lifecycle of the project. Identifier Work package description Definition/objective Milestone deliverable Project manager He oversees the projects implementation and reports the outcome directly to the executive He works hand in hand with the available committee such as the IT, donors, vendors Overseeing the success of the project External I.T consultant He assess the business need of Goulburn-Murray Corporation He ensures that the proposed solution is in line with the companys business objectives Identifying the most reliable solution in line with the companys budget IT steering committee They work with the consultant to oversee the implementation of the deployed system They ensure that appropriate technology is acquired and installed in line with the companys policies IT solutions are properly installed IT Architectural Committee They develop the enterprise architecture to accommodate the proposed solution from the external IT consultant The architecture is able to scale with the companys business needs An architecture in line with industry best practices is deployed Finance committee They secure funding for the project Funding is readily available The project is fully funded The executive They ensure the project is on track and all the support required from the company is available The project is on track The project is in line with the business objectives Schedule Allocation Identifier Task Milestone Duration Start Finish Dependent task IT Consultancy Viability of the project Proposed solution is in line with business objectives 3 month September 2016 November 2016 Companys operational processes Funding Seeking funds Ensuring funds are available 1 month 1st December 2016 31st December 2016 The companys financial statement Designing the enterprise architecture Coming up with an enterprise architecture in line with the companys business needs The architecture scales with enterprise business demands 3 months January 2017 March 2017 Reviewing the current enterprise architecture Vendor Selection Selecting IT products Identifying the best products for the task 3 months April 2017 June 2017 Review of previous systems performances Deploying the proposed solution Installing the hardware and softwares The technology is properly installed and interoperable 3 months July 2017 September 2017 Ensuring that the technical personnel have the requisite skills to handle the proposed solution Testing and Handing over Testing the infrastructure The deployed infrastructure is properly working 1 month 1st October 2017 30th October 2017 The proposed solution is fully working according to business needs. Conclusion Project management is a very delicate process hence cannot be considered as an instant solution or instant coffee for that matter. The process is very delicate and requires the input of different stakeholders in the company. To begin with, due to the sensitivity of the project and massive financial capital required, stakeholders such as the shareholders and companys management should participate in the governance of any project. The company in collaboration with industry players and insiders should ensure that the proposed project is in line with business objectives and all the operations of the project will be fully supported by the project. There should be a project manager who sees the implementation of the project from the start to the level whereby the solution is finally handed over to the company. The project manager should also be experienced enough especially with sensitive projects involving massive capital outlay to the tune of millions. The company should also collaborate with the finance department to ensure that the expenses associated with the proposed project does not jeopardize the operations of other departments, because, IT projects in particular if not properly consulted tend to affect how a company will operate in future and in cases that the project does not properly meet business objectives, the companys reputation comes under scrutiny. The solution should also be secure enough so that sensitive company information including client details does not easily get hacked. Works Cited Alvarez-Dionisi, L.E. and Turner, J.R., 2012. Project governance: reviewing the past, envisioning the future--. Newtown Square, PA: Project Management Institute. Muller, R. and S.J., 2011. Xiang mu zhi li = Project governance. Beijing: Dian zi gong ye Chu ban she. Renz, P.S., 2007. Project governance: implementing corporate governance and business ethics in nonprofit organizations. Heidelberg: Physica-Verlag. Williams, T.M. and Samset, K., 2012. Project governance: getting investments right. Houndmills, Basingstoke, Hampshire: Palgrave Macmillan.