Principles of Project Management
Project Management Body of Knowledge or PMBOK provides with guidelines and standards to define the project lifecycle, effective project management strategies and practices. As per this standard, every project has five different project management process groups starting from initial, planning till closing. In this study, focus has been given on exploring initial documents required to successfully select the project of new UBER app development. For this, the project initiation process group has been given the priority.
UBER App case study
Project selection method
Project initiation process group
This process group mentioned in the guide of PMBOK is all about processes like identifying stakeholder, ways to communicate with them, and development of project charter. In this charter, details about the project like planned phases, project scope, strategic objective, project constraints, and deliverables are mentioned. As per the ideas of Kerzner & Kerzner (2017), this process group consists of processes that are required to define a new project or incorporate a new phase to an existing project.
Keeping this and the idea to further update app of UBER in mind, it can be mentioned that this project would allow customers to communicate easily with the drivers even in a crowded place. Also, use of spotlight would be fruitful for both passengers as well as drivers to spot each other (Grothaus, 2018). This would therefore, be considered as the first feature to be updated in the existing app besides sending text messages to the drivers. Based on the initiating project group, the first phase of this project would be to prepare a project charter which would contains every minute details about project scope, features, constraints, and risk management. Next to this, desired stakeholders would be determined who will assist the project manager to successfully execute the project.
Stakeholder identification and communication
|Key stakeholders||Role||Importance or priority||Communication media|
|Passengers||● They decide profitability and sales of service
● They are and would be the ones who avail services in exchange of payment
|1||● Customer service team
|Drivers (referred as partners by UBER)||● Heart of service as they are responsible for success of the business
● Interaction with passengers on a regular basis
|Investors||● Would support innovation and technological advancement within the business with their investment
● Funding would make it easy to adopt features like that of Spotlight
● Report on project progress
|Regulators||● Would investigate on viability of planned features
● They would ensure compliance with regulatory frameworks
|3||● Electronic document|
One of the foremost strategic objectives behind this project is to contribute towards brand image and make it convenient for the customers to find their drivers without much effort. Similarly, use of Spotlight would allow drivers to spot their passengers without causing much delay in their journey. In conjunction to this, offering user friendly services to all would be another strategic objective and for this, “send message” feature has been planned to be included (inspired from the ideas of Hornstein, 2015).
Project work statement
Work statement of this project is that new features to be added are expected to be helpful also for the drivers as sending message would ensure providing extra details thereby making it easy to pickup.
Service delivery and scope
It has been analyzed that often drivers fails to pick up passengers when the pickup location is crowded. As a result of this, delay in the journey occurs thereby making it inconvenient for the customers. This is evident from the fact that Uber witnessed net loss of $4.5 million in the year 2017 due to difficulty in identifying exact location of passenger as well as delay in reaching the pickup location (Khosrowshahi, 2018). Therefore, scope of this project is that with use of the new updated app, passengers can experience better service and can therefore, be termed as an user friendly app. Rasmussen & Hall (2016) further added that use of the innovative concept, Spotlight would make it easy to detect passengers even during nighttime or in an over-crowded place. Sending some extra details by messaging can help drivers to easily identify the passengers and with this, it is expected from this business to experience rapid growth thereby beating all other competitors.
If planned features can be successfully implemented with this project besides getting agreement from both internal and external stakeholders then following deliverables can be observed:
- Drivers or partners of Uber can ensure easy detection of rider without causing much delay in their rides or journey
- Riders or passengers would not require waiting for long for the driver to pick
- Passengers can easily communicate with allocated drivers
- In accordance with the ideas of Wysocki (2011), it can be added that customer as well as employee satisfaction can be ensured in an effective and innovative way with successful execution of the project.
Project assumption and constraints
Assumptions of this project are:
- It is assumed that most of the riders are not aware of “send message” feature therefore, attention needs to be given on this and considered as a major part of risk management
- Safe driving can be expected from this project as drivers would not be required to pick calls of the riders
Project constraints can be as listed below:
- Passengers who are riding or availing service of Uber for the first time might find it real hard to make use of Spotlight
- Integration of these technological innovations requires efficient monitoring system in order to make the entire operation smooth thereby increasing expense and budget of the project (Milosevic & Martinelli, 2016).
- Previous updates of the app would not be hampered
- Other stakeholders with least priority have not been considered.
|Probable project risk||Impact||Mitigation strategies|
|Integration of these features requires depth understanding and therefore, can be time consuming||3||In order to ensure that this project is delivered within stipulated time, developers with expertise in Spotlight needs to be recruited and given the responsibility to supervise|
|Resources required are estimated to be expensive||2||An resource management plan needs to be prepared in order to proceed|
|In spite of the fact that this project is about incorporating new features however, riders might not be aware of these||1||For overcoming this, launching of simple yet detailed user guide on the app can be useful|
Function development, interface design and testing of the prototype
Integration with the innovative passenger identification feature, Spotlight would allow customers to light up their Smartphone with specific color also known to the drivers. However, this would require active engagement of the passengers and they would be required to hold their phone in order to make it visible for the drivers. Based on the ideas of Thelen (2018), it can be mentioned that specific color code would allow drivers to identify passengers within no time. The driver along with the rider would receive a message where the color would be mentioned. Every rider would have unique color code that matches with that of the drivers.
First build release
In case of emergency or due to some reasons, if riders are unable to call the driver for sharing details about exact location, then riders can send messages. This feature would work in such a way that riders on clicking on this feature can see few pre-populated message which can be send in just one tap (Khosrowshahi, 2018). On other hand, drivers on receiving message from the riders can hear it aloud which can further facilitate safe driving. These would be built in the first stage and would then be released.
Publishing or launching on the app store
According to the ideas of Hornstein (2015), it can be mentioned that after successfully testing the prototypes and implementation of desired changes, it is essential to launch such in the market. Since, this project is about modification in the existing Uber app, therefore, riders would require updating their app in order to avail these innovative features. Existing riders can get alert for app update on opening the app from their phone. However, in order to make others aware and attract promotion of these features comes under priority list. For this, this project would require integration with effective digital marketing techniques.
Maintenance and support
With this plan for innovation, it is estimated that Uber can stick to its “on-time guarantee”. However, there can be certain issues that might act as a hindrance and for this, continuous maintenance and support becomes essential. For instance, a user manual guide needs to be available over the app which riders can refer in case of the driver does not show up on time (Rasmussen & Hall, 2016). Also, active engagement of the customer service team is required to ensure successful execution of this project.
From the above discussions, it can therefore, be mentioned that use of initiating process group of PMBOK has helped in selecting the project. This project of updating the existing app of UBER aims at delivering satisfied as well as convenient services to both the drivers as well as the passengers. As per the project plan, with use of Spotlight, drivers are likely to detect riders easily even if the place is overcrowded or it is dark outside. Furthermore, when riders would share their details via message, then drivers can reach the pickup location on time. This on the other hand, would help riders to make drivers aware of the exact location.
Grothaus, M. (2018). Uber’s brilliant new Spotlight tool makes pickups easier. Retrieved on 15 March 2019, from: https://www.fastcompany.com/90203430/ubers-brilliant-new-spotlight-tool-makes-pickups-easier
Hornstein, H. A. (2015). The integration of project management and organizational change management is now a necessity. International Journal of Project Management, 33(2), 291-298. Retrieved on 10 March 2019, from: https://fenix.tecnico.ulisboa.pt/downloadFile/845043405428940/13%20The%20integration%20of%20project%20management%20and%20organizational%20change.pdf
Kerzner, H., & Kerzner, H. R. (2017). Project management: a systems approach to planning, scheduling, and controlling. John Wiley & Sons. Retrieved on 7 March 2019, from: http://18.104.22.168:8080/xmlui/bitstream/handle/123456789/3849/Project%20management%20%20a%20systems%20approach%20to%20planning%2C%20scheduling%2C%20and%20controlling.pdf?sequence=1&isAllowed=y
Khosrowshahi, D,. (2018). A New App, Built For and With Drivers. Retrieved on 15 March 2019, from: https://www.uber.com/newsroom/new-driver-app/
Milosevic, D. Z., & Martinelli, R. J. (2016). Project management toolbox: tools and techniques for the practicing project manager. New Jersey, United States: John Wiley & Sons. Retrieved on 15 March 2019, from: https://books.google.co.in/books?hl=en&lr=&id=ixWRCgAAQBAJ&oi=fnd&pg=PR15&dq=project+management+initiation+group&ots=pnRFB8yo9k&sig=aFLAorjSGplFcMsJl9mDmvdOr4E
Papke-Shields, K. E., & Boyer-Wright, K. M. (2017). Strategic planning characteristics applied to project management. International Journal of Project Management, 35(2), 169-179. Retrieved on 15 March 2019, from: https://fardapaper.ir/mohavaha/uploads/2017/10/papkeshields2017.pdf
Rasmussen, L., & Hall, H. (2016). The adoption process in management innovation: A Knowledge Management case study. Journal of Information Science, 42(3), 356-368. Retrieved on 15 March 2019, from: https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/0165551515625032
Thelen, K. (2018). Regulating Uber: The Politics of the Platform Economy in Europe and the United States. Perspectives on Politics, 16(4), 938-953. Retrieved on 2 March 2019, from: https://www.cambridge.org/core/journals/perspectives-on-politics/article/regulating-uber-the-politics-of-the-platform-economy-in-europe-and-the-united-states/DFE30511CEB3281E40CBFDFFA56110E0
Wysocki, R. K. (2011). Effective project management: traditional, agile, extreme. New Jersey, United States: John Wiley & Sons. Retrieved on 8 March 2019, from: http://www.academia.edu/download/6648310/jpdf0705-effective-project.pdf