KPower Project Management Software
During the last monthly management meeting, the senior management of the KPower Company concluded the importance of project management software integration into the business processes of the enterprise. The integration aims to improve the quality of the employees’ work and to guarantee effective communication inside the company and with the company’s customers. According to the company’s management, this solution is the best since the integration of two IT products will make the realization of the desired goals possible. At the same time, it is necessary to perform the cost-volume-profit analysis of the proposed solution to avoid additional costs that might occur during the exploitation of the integrated software.
The Current Situation in the KPower Company
The Workplace Issues
In the KPower Company, it is possible to divide the existing employees’ management issues into two groups – the issues of effective communications and the issues of staff management and self-organization. For the problem of communication, the limitations of the business processes include the low quality of the existing mechanisms for communication between the employees and the absence of means for an operative and productive cooperation between the employees and customers. Other problems connected to the organization of communication in the KPower Company include the absence of tools for real collaboration between the team members, which could allow them to share information about projects with each other in a short period and without the risk of data loss or theft. The last important issue in the sphere of communication that requires solving is the necessity of tools for safe online conferencing between the team members that work for the same project. Here, the question of data privacy also plays an important role.
The second group of issues of the KPower Company is connected to the staff management software. Considering its current state, the company has not integrated any software products that could be useful in the organization of effective staff performance in separate teams and the enterprise in general. The proposed management software is supposed to solve a list of issues that include the planning of trips to meet with the clients, the management and prioritization of the existing projects, and the effective organization of a team. Furthermore, it includes such issues as the control of the time usage by the team members, the control of deadline requirements fulfillment, the safe storage of documents, and the control of the corporate emails. The variety of tasks defines high requirements that the potential software solution should consider, and it should strictly fit the condition of cost-volume-profit effectiveness. At the same time, the potential product should minimize the probability of failures or errors in the work because possible errors will directly affect the efficiency of the staff.
The Causes of the Existing Issues
It is possible to determine a list of possible causes of the defined communication issues. First of all, the absence of a certain level of IT culture can force the staff to use obsolete means of communication. There is a probability of the fact that the staff does not know about the new tools available in this industry, and the factor of habits may also take place. The employees will be saving time associated with learning how to use the new communication tools to perform their current tasks. In this way, it is also necessary to improve the level of IT culture among the customers and show them that the loss of time connected with the study of new products will be compensated by the economy of time of projects’ realization due to the high quality of communication. The issues of IT culture level relate not only to the personnel of the company but also to its clients. It will be important to introduce a new means of communication to the clients and show them how attractive it is through faster and more comfortable communication with the company’s staff.
The same causes can be used to explain the existing limitations in the sphere of staff management in the KPower Company. Nevertheless, additional causes also exist for this group of issues. The absence of a clear understanding of the ideal combination of control over the staff’s performance and the workers’ autonomy in the realization of their tasks might take place. Therefore, before the integration of software solutions into the existing business processes, it is necessary to define the level of autonomy for the employees and the tasks that the company’s management will control completely. In this case, the implementation of the proposed software can have maximum positive effects on the company. Otherwise, the inconsistency in understanding the tasks of the system will only lead to additional costs and even more confusion among the staff’s management.
The Effects of Neglecting the Existing Issues
The issues of communication and the staff’s management can have a serious impact on the overall performance of the company. The absence of effective collaboration between the team members can significantly increase the costs of the project and the amount of time required for its realization (Lorette, 2017). The impossibility to consider different aspects of the project with other team members can lead to the situation where the employees will perform the work that was not required at all due to the absence of a clear understanding of the task, and the necessity to spend time on the revision of the previous work. The low quality of communications with the clients can cause a reduction in the company’s attractiveness to potential customers. In modern life, customers value the low amount of time and other resources required for the successful resolution of their problems. If an effective communication system is not built, the customers will face the necessity of a frequent response to the employees’ letters about the order’s characteristics. The customers will surely become tired of such conditions and will choose the competing company with more comfortable conditions of communication.
As for the staff management tasks, the absence of a productive system can lead to an increase in the project’s costs and the reduction of its quality (Gamelearn, 2016). The absence of control over data and deadlines for the project can negatively affect the reputation of the company since it will not be able to meet customer requirements.
The Description of the Plan
The Proposed Solutions
For the defined problems of staff internal communications and the communications between staff and clients, the best potential decision from the point of compromise between quality and costs is the Brosix Messaging Platform which guarantees the highest quality of business communications for any type of business (Brosix, 2017). Brosix Enterprise provides an instant messaging (IM) network that connects an unlimited amount of employees and clients in the same network and protects their communication and data from any external influence. Brosix Enterprise guarantees zero configuration and maintenance costs for their client companies and permanent high-quality support. The advantages of this solution are that KPower Company will be able to attract external specialists for the maintenance of the system while avoiding sudden costs connected with the operations of the IM network. The main advantage of the system is that it provides a variety of communication tools, including text and voice chat, data transfer, and screen sharing technologies to all of the members of the system (Brosix Features, 2017). In this case, it is possible not just to create a new environment for employee internal communication, but to offer a completely new experience for the clients of the KPower Company. The clients will have an access to the IM platform of the team that performs their order and will be able to monitor all the relevant information about it. As a result, the client will be able to control the process of the order’s fulfillment in real-time. Such an advantage for clients can even become one of the competitive benefits of the KPower Company. In addition to all the previous factors, the low price of Brosix IM is another factor in the decision-making process regarding the acquisition of this IM platform.
The optimal solution for the issue of staff management and organization is the Base Camp App, which provides an integrated platform where each member of the team can see the information about the relevant e-mail messages and tasks that need to be fulfilled. Furthermore, they can also see the schedule calendar with data about the deadlines for each task, automatic check-ins notifications that include information about the everyday performance of each employee, the employees’ online chat, and the data storage tools (BaseCamp, 2017). All of these tools are available on the majority of the modern platforms including PC and mobile apps, which makes Base Camp an application that can be used anywhere and at any time. The big number of the provided functions makes the application an ideal solution for personnel management and the senior management’s control over the business processes. Therefore, the KPower Company can reduce the costs of personnel control through the Base Camp App usage.
The Goals of the Proposed Plan
To evaluate the overall effectiveness of the proposed plan realization, it is necessary to define a list of quantitative indicators that will be used to evaluate the results of the software products’ integration into the existing business processes of the KPower Company. The determined list of indicators will be similar to the applications that are connected with the communications and management issues. In general, the overall performance of the company will be evaluated.
First of all, the rate of the orders with broken deadlines should reach 0 % two months after the integration of the proposed software solutions. The period of three months is given to the employees to get used to the new information products. The value of the time required for the realization of each order should also be reduced by the average level of 5 % for all the processes in the KPower Company for two months. The growing speed of data transfer and communication should contribute to the increase of decision-making processes speed in the company. At the same time, the average value of 5 % is taken to evaluate the growth of speed for each process. Of course, for some processes, the growth of speed will be higher than 5 %, but for others, the growth will be lower.
The costs of the orders’ fulfillment should also be reduced by 5-10 % due to the reduction of revision requirements and a clear understanding of the customers’ needs. The new tools of customer-employee communications should contribute to the growth of the sales revenue by 10-15 % during the next six months. The clients will require additional time to get used to the Brosix interface and functions and to evaluate its advantages over the services of the competitors of the KPower Company.
Nevertheless, a qualitative estimation of the proposed plan will also be required. The main indicator will be the level of the employees’ and clients’ satisfaction gained from the improved processes of communication and management.
The Required Steps
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To realize the proposed plan, the management of the KPower Company should take several important steps. First of all, it is necessary to negotiate with the companies that own the presented products about the opportunities for cooperation. Furthermore, it is important to organize the process of software integration into the business processes to avoid the loss of time. One of the most important steps in the realization of the plan will be connected to the preparation of the staff for effective work in the system. The management will be required to develop tools for constant consultation of the employees about the features of the system for the period of the adaptation. During the first months of the software used in the company, it will be also important to monitor its work to reduce the risks of mistakes or failures.
The Positive Results
As for the company, the implementation of the proposed plan will contribute not only to the improvement of the company’s performance in general, but it will also have a positive effect on the employees. The positive effects of the proposed software usage are mentioned in the section of the report that discusses the goals of the plan. As for the personnel, the existence of productive tools for communication with other employees and clients can contribute to the development of the team spirit and result in the improvement of the personnel’s morale (Johnson, 2017). Concerning the benefits of the management system improvement for the employees, it is possible to mention the elimination of the procrastination effect (Swain, 2017) and the reduction of personal stress connected with work (Morgan, 2017). All these effects in conjunction with the positive effects for the company form the list of quantitative and qualitative profits of the plan realization for the company.
The Costs of the Plan’s Realization
Regardless of the numerous benefits, it is necessary to mention the costs of the proposed software usage for the company. The estimation of costs is a rather simple process and it will be based on the existing pricing policies of the companies that provide the aforementioned software products. For the Brosix IM, three tariffs are available to the customers. For the KPower Company, the ultimate tariff is the most attractive one due to the big amount of opportunities it gives to the users. The cost of this tariff is $2.99 per user per month. The company will also have to pay for the clients’ accounts in the system. However, the potential benefits of the system’s usage are supposed to cover the occurring costs, while the absence of such tools for the communication of the personnel and clients can even lead to the stagnation of business.
As for the Base Camp App, there are two tariffs available — $99 per month for 10 users or $999 per year for an unlimited number of users. Naturally, the second proposition is more attractive to the KPower Company’s management. At the same time, the benefits from the improvement of the staff performance are supposed to cover these costs.
Based on the study of the existing issues in the work of the KPower Company, the software integration plan has been developed. Two software products have been offered to the senior management to integrate into the existing business processes of the company – the Brosix IM and the Base Camp App. Both of these products have features that will help to solve the defined issues and fit the requirements of the cost-volume-profit analysis. The potential benefits of the plan realization include the improvement of the personnel’s performance indicators, the increase of the company’s attractiveness to the clients, and the increase of the enterprise’s profits. The realization of the plan is supposed to bring positive results after three months when the personnel and the clients will get used to the usage of new software products. Considering all information, the proposed solution is considered to be the best alternative for realization.
Our research group expresses gratitude to everyone who has decided to get acquainted with the results of this work and encourages the readers to establish further cooperation. For these aims, the contacts of the research team members are presented at the end of the report.
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