Field: Computer Science
Create a table of these things, and if necessary, map it to the governance needed and the project management activities.
There should be at least 8–10 minor and major milestones (could be a document sign-off, to a phase-end).
Apex Online Banking, determine the various project milestones that are within the project. Describe the review process that will take place at each of these milestones, At the end of project planning, the charter, project plan, and schedule will be reviewed and approved. At the end of the requirements phase, all requirements and early design documents will be reviewed and approved by a specific person and with a specific focus.
Describe the type of product testing that will take place for this project at a summary level in the opening paragraph of this section.
Phases of testing:
In the next section, indicate the phases of testing that will take place. Identify the deliverables and approvals that will need to be delivered.
Include (at a minimum) the following:
Performance or usability
Describe each type of testing within 2–3 sentences each. Include the goal of each phase of testing, as well as the roles involved.
This is an actionable document that a lot of people will use. Present this information in an easy-to-read format, such as a table.
Project Goals and Scope
Apex banking system is a reliable solution for the integration of all internal processes in a financial organization. It specializes in the core banking services. Also, it provides functional support for the products and services offered by the financial institution. The system complies with all reporting and accounting standards.
Each piece of software that has been developed is based on the set goals and objectives of the user. These goals and objectives are provided in the form of the requirements and the desired functionality of the given system. While addressing the issue of system requirements and requirement traceability, Apex banking system is going to look at the respective requirements for an online banking system with respect to the various areas of application as far as the system is concerned. Users in this system will be responsible check account balances, locking cards that have been lost or stolen, adjusting statements, waiving charges, view future auto deposits (2-3 days prior), and helping customer via phone if they decide to call in. Customer’s responsibilities are going to be checking account balance, requesting new accounts transfer or send money to someone, pay a bill, deposit check by picture, manage security such as passcodes, set up alerts and close accounts.
The system specifications in terms of the functionality of the system are defined by the functional requirements (Paetsch, Eberlein & Maurer, 2003). As far as the Apex online banking system is concerned, the requirement specifications are as described. Functional and the respective specifications for the system include what the system is expected to do to the user as well as to the other users of the system.
The system will provide the user with a clear user interface to facilitate the operations of the user to the system as far as banking is concerned. The user will be able to request to open an account online regardless of the user`s geographical location. The user will also be able to make the desired check deposits into the opened account regardless of the location of the user. The system is will provide the user with the services of bill paying. In case a user decides to terminate their banking services with the bank, the system will offer account termination services. The system will also facilitate the user to transfer funds from their account to any desired account. The specific requirements are as summarized below:
· Ability to request to open an account.
· Ability to login and log out of the system as desired.
· Ability to deposit checks by picture into the created account.
· Ability to pay bills as desired.
· Transfer abilities.
Project Management Process
In every new project, it is vital first to understand its objectives before anything else. Regarding this scenario, the aspiration at hand is to ensure successful business in the market while accommodating other features. In any project’s case, right from the design, production, sales, and marketing just to mention a few critical areas, the role of a project manager is vital to ensure the departments work together and communicate well to succeed in the project’s execution. Most importantly, there has to be a timeline that defines every action, outlines the responsible individuals and forecasted expenses, and the expected time of completion as well.
Upon completion, the project should keep Apex Banking at a competitive end and improve its financial base and market reach and reduce errors as it will enhance precision. Regarding value addition, the project will help the company as far as business perspective is concerned. The risks include lack of adequate finances, irresponsive market, slow growth and time constraints. If not undertaken, the immediate effect is Apex Banking failing to execute a crucial financial goal. Secondly, it is also possible for Apex Banking to avoid working on probabilities and evade a probable risk. Thirdly, failing to complete it can mean a great loss to the company regarding time and other resources which can be used in other ways and improve the company.
Risks and Mitigation Strategies
Inaccurate estimates (overestimates and underestimates) are common and affect the project’s schedule. The first step to getting the project done is having all resources sufficient. Among the greatest constraints is a scenario where finances are inadequate. This might occur due to unexpected overheads coming about, miscalculations or underestimations. As such, it is crucial to set aside a contingency in case the above mentioned or other likely scenarios happen to surface. An organization may also lack enough funds to complete the project as other priorities may also arise; therefore, having the potential to outsource is also important to ensure project completion (Young 66).
b) Timeline/Schedule Risks
It is an issue when a certain undertaking consumes more time than expected. In this scenario, a project consumes more time to complete which also affects other areas of budgeting as it calls for additional resources. It is crucial to be prepared for such scenarios as well. More so, in all situations, there should be a clear starting period and deadline too (Randolph 81).
c) Quality and assurance risks
It is more or less an issue to do with who is responsible for which area. Although the management is responsible for overseeing every process, the people assigned regardless of their positions may affect the quality. As a result, it is crucial to work with the professionals and experienced individuals. Even if it may be expensive especially where outsourcing is required, it is worth at the end and should be prioritized (Burke 26-28).
Project Charter: A successful project requires proper definition and explanation that is clear to all. Also, there should not be a relaxed approach to risks; there is no project that is immune to them. Consequently, when the management is aware of what is needed to be done and when as well as what can deter it and how to prevent it, there is no doubt that the project’s objectives will be achieved. The charter will consider the following;
Delineation of Roles: The power to commence, end, halt, and to make changes rests with the project’s team.
Project’s Objectives: Should make a positive change overall
Manager’s authority: Assigning roles, hiring and firing, adjustments and consulting
Executive powers description: Overseeing and providing resources
Project’s Schedule: This is another deliverable that needs to be examined keenly in the execution process. Irrespective of the project’s size, it is vital to ensure all resources are in place so that each phase is completed at the appropriate time.
Overall Budget: Another key deliverable that is worth periodic checking. The principal goal of this part is to ensure the activities involved in the process and the resources used to meet the budgetary estimates.
The level of governance that the customers want in the project is multi-level governance. For this one, there are many interacting authority structures which work together to ensure effective integration of the various components. In this case, the project does not depend on one function for its success, but the input and collaboration of many elements. The primary reason why the customers would want this type of governance is to reduce dependability in one area; thus, there is more than one solution, which makes working relationships convenient.
Monitoring and Evaluation
There are many ways to track a project’s process. However, the use of Gantt chart can work well in this scenario. Apparently, a Gantt chart will illustrate the start and finish dates of the project in connection with its terminal elements and the project’s summary. For instance, a weekly status report will summarize the breakdown of the work done in that week, resources used, and time consumed among other inclusions. After that, it will compare it to the overall summary in a way to determine whether it observes the normal schedule or not and any interventions necessary.
Requirements Management (REQM)
Applying the case of Apex Banking to this scenario, this practice area is highly essential and serves fundamental purposes in project and software standards. By and large, its primary role is to help in the management of products’ requirements as well as the product components of the project. In connection, it is one way to ensure the management of requires takes place as the project plans dictate (Forrester, Brandon and Sandy 207). On the same case, it is vital to note that in project management, as a process, requirements management becomes available at CCMI Maturity Level 2. As such, its role in project teams is to outline project’s requirements while ensuring availability of its components.
In a way to outline it in a better and precise way, this practice area helps the project’s team to understand the requirements of the project, obtain commitment, manage changes, and facilitate alignment between the project work and its requirements (Varajao 159). In this regard, its usefulness to the team comes in four broad ways. Firstly, it ensures the ones involved in the implementation understand the requirements in details. Secondly, it helps to base-line the requirements. Thirdly, it enables project’s tracing in regard to its requirements in each phase. Fourthly, it ensures that there are minimal changes in the requirements for better outcomes.
Promoting Quality Requirements
There are several things that a team can do to promote quality requirements under this standard but essential ones it to plan quality and perform quality assurance. On the first case, plan quality has to do with the identification of the various quality requirements vital for both the project and the product. According to Forrester, Brandon and Sandy 207, it also takes into account the documentation of the project’s progress in relation to how it should meet the quality requirements. When a team factors this essential input, the outputs include quality metrics and checklists that are undoubtedly essential for an effective project plan.
On the same case, it is vital for a team to embrace continuous improvement. With no doubt, it is one of the ways to ensure the regular improvement of the project’s outcome bearing in mind that it is a process that requires periodic review as well. Regarding continuous improvement, the team makes it a responsibility to keep on improving the procedures involved in the project over time. Basically, these improvements take various forms, and they can be small or incremental changes as long as they do not affect the quality in a negative way. When it comes to the project, it is necessary to apply the concept by analyzing issues that can trigger repeated mistakes and avoid them completely.
Apart from plan quality, the other essential thing for a team is to perform quality assurance. As a standard practice in every project, the necessity for assurance is to certify that all the project’s processes are not only sufficient but also meet the value that is required of them (O’Connor 258). In this regard, it becomes easier to verify whether the same processes adhere to the project’s deliverables and that there’s no compromise in regard to the quality intended to be achieved. For this reason, there are two methods that one can use for quality assurance; the first case involves process checklists and the other one is projecting audits.
For the process checklists, the project team examines all the essentials that a project requires with respect to the deliverables put in place. As such, it is a way to ensure all the requirements are in place and if need be a change can be made at the appropriate time. On the other hand, project’s audits ensure that there is an evaluation of the quality in respect to the processes involved in a way to ensure that they are not off the intended quality at any time. As such, it verifies that the products must meet the quality requirements and one can as well use peer reviews and testing for performing quality control (O’Connor 39).
Product and Process Quality Assurance (PPQA) in CMMI
In software standards, PPQA is the principal software quality assurance (SQA) process area as far as CCMI is concerned. Even if there are many areas and definitions of SQA, its primary role within CCMI is particularly on the aspects that have to do with conformance and compliance to the process descriptions that precede the standards and procedures in place among other important undertakings. By and large, an essential role of PPQA is to offer process stimuli that are essential for its improvement, since it identifies defects and their causes. More so, it helps in the identification of non-conforming products (Forrester, Brandon and Sandy 52).
Another important way in which PPQA is relevant to teams is providing staff and management with the necessary objective insight that is crucial for efficient processes and associated work products. In so doing, PPQA ensures that all staff and management regardless of their levels get the appropriate visibility into the necessary and associated work products throughout the project’s lifecycle. In like manner, the project team can also get the necessary feedback that is vital for project’s control as a significant part of the audit process. As a result, it ensures that everything is in line as required and the key deliverables can be achieved on time as well.
It is very important for every project to go full implementation. As a result, every required material and resource not only needs to be in place but with the proper implementers too. The practices in the Process and Product Quality Assurance process area ensure that the planned processes are implemented, while the practices in the verification process area ensure that the specified requirements are satisfied. These two process areas may on occasion address the same work product but from different perspectives. Projects should take advantage of the overlap in order to minimize duplication of effort while taking care to maintain the separate perspectives.
Another importance of PPQA process area is to enhance implementation of the planned processes in a project. More so, while ensuring that the planned processes undergo full implementation, it also ensures that the practices involved in the verification process promote the satisfaction of the specific requirements. In most cases, verification and implementation work hand in hand and may occasionally address a similar work product although from unrelated perspectives (Pressman 90). As a result, it is also necessary for the projects to take advantage of such occasionally overlaps if at all they have to minimize effort duplication as they try to maintain the required flow.
Promoting Quality Requirements
Based on PPQA standard, there are various things that a team can do to promote quality requirements. Firstly, one of the most important things is to perform objective evaluations. Whether periodically regular or irregular, objective evaluations enhance quality in the light of ensuring everything works under the proposed procedures. They can take various forms that include formal organizational audits which as well can be done by different quality assurance organizations. The other way is through peer reviews which crosscheck progress in relation to what is expected. Above all, there can be an in-depth review of the work products to examine the extent to which the deliverables have been met.
Besides objective evaluations, an independent quality assurance group can play an essential role in improving the quality of this standard. Just like in the case of objective evaluations, quality assurance groups promote objectivity that is vital for processes quality. However, there are several inclusions that are necessary in order to achieve objectivity. The first one includes training of the quality assurance personnel to ensure that they are conversant with their roles. In this respect, the project team must work and/or hire only the qualified personnel. Also, it is necessary to separate the quality assurance personnel from the implementers completely to avoid compliance issues.
Software Development Methodology
Enterprise resource planning systems provide organizations with a resource planning advantage which significantly improves the operations of Apex banking system. ERP Sage Evolution systems offer cloud-based enterprise resource planning software that can help Apex’s system to improve its ability to manage their resources as well as the coordination of different banking processes. Businesses are not able to advance and grow due to poor coordination of various organizational functions and processes. Technology is a necessity in today’s business environment; emerging firms are adapting to project management to surpass the challenges of operating of the business. Apex banking system depends on computers and software information to effectively manage their business operations. Computers and software systems provide accurate information, and such preciseness is required in the running of businesses. The environment of Apex system is increasingly being sophisticated; it is, therefore, requisite for all of its banking system to be integrated to information technology solution.
Installing Enterprise resource planning (ERP) is one main way in which Apex banking have adopted IT on a large array. The ERP systems specifically the Sage Evolution is highly recommended for the firm who want to establish a good relationship with its employees and customers. The emergence of Apex firm is in their growth stage and it has exploited the use of information resources after establishing a market niche. The ERP Sage Evolution integrates all the Apex’s components and modules resulting in cross-industry and multi-functionality in a Company. The Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system accomplishes any business transaction, and Data processing needs efficiently. Typically, the Business Requirement Specification (BRS) step in the project is done before the software selection by the client, this way the client can decide on the suitable ERP solution for their business.
The ERP systems especially the Sage Evolution software packages can be utilized to enhance cross-industry and multi-functionality in a particular firm. This advanced technology uses the Microsoft SQL Server to secure data. The ERP system provides several distinct, but integrated modules, which can be installed as a package for any organization. A lot of emerging Companies in South Africa have resulted in the ERP Sage Evolution system because it ensures data integrity with the Microsoft SQL servers.
A successful Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) systems implementation is very difficult and requires management because this package comprises the entire Organization. The ERP system has significantly changed the work of IT organizations. The ERP implementation is complicated and requires proficient project managers who will successfully manage this project. Typically, there are two important aspects of the ERP management, people, and technology. An ERP package is of sheers size, and lack of careful installation can affect almost every employee. The ERP system utilized within the Apex system requires a coherent integration of their network and information system. The ERP system has grown in popularity due to its ability to simplify business transaction processing, and removing work that adds little or no value. This system has also led to enhanced customer delivery (Tan, Cater-Steel & Toleman, 2009). Sage Evolution is customized and designed for various banking systems because it accords with their IFRS accounting standards. The correct configuration of the ERP system will need the active and committed participation of It experts from across the Organization.
The ERP project is very sophisticated with numerous programs different from typical application development projects; therefore it should be managed properly. ERP project management comprises of planning for the large risk and sophisticated cross-functional issues that are associated with ERP projects. For instance, after implementation of the ERP system, Owens Corning reduced the number of legacy systems considerably from 200 to less than ten (Tan, Cater-Steel, & Toleman, 2009). The Service Level Agreements of installation will vary from one vendor to another. However, the final invoice can differ from the quoted amount due to specific customer requirements. Before installing an ERP system it is advisable to weigh the cost and benefit of adopting this technology, it is apparent that the ERP system can enhance information processing quality and thus management decisions related to business operations simultaneously increasing sales.
Project management is requisite for a successful ERP implementation, an Organization has to hire a project manager with adequate ERP experience to avoid nasty surprises. For instance, one mismanaged ERP implementation resulted in adverse long-term effects for one southeastern electronics manufacturer. This firm was unable to accept deliveries and nearly closed a plant due to poor ERP project management. Project management is a necessity; consider the complexity of the ERP software package that makes it hard to get a clear vision of the technological portion of the installation because of the tremendous combination of hardware and software. Even though an Organization is implementing one module or multiple modules, they should consider project management to ensure consistency and full integration across the various subprojects. This is a complicated process that requires a lot of effort; it is only through efficient project management that Apex can match the outcomes of the Business Requirement Specification (BRS) and be able to combine the operational experience and departmental input of stakeholders in a high-level workflow format. Managing this implementation will ensure that the specific Business Requirement specification is in line with the workflow steps with the capabilities of an Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) software solution.
The software package of ERP called Sage Evolution; has also been used by Apex banking system to improve the operation of various Organizations process inside a single integrated information system (Tan, Cater-Steel, & Toleman, 2009). Sage Evolution is the most revolutionary ERP system solution in the world because it is efficient in various fields. Sage Evolution is proficient in the five areas; managing finances and accounting, handling people and payroll, payment solutions, business intelligence and business management solutions (Monk & Wagner, 2012). The ERP systems place an Organization on consultant education program where persons are trained to implement and install the ERP distinct version. The education program is helpful because it increases the availability of the required expert programmers. Sage Evolution package system has this important ERP that seeks to improve human capital management for better human resources functionality. The human capital management ERP in Sage Evolution package systems helps business organizations to increase their productivity and also lower the cost of operations. This particular ERP function helps organizations to monitor employees and also manage new talents
The risks involved in the implementation of the ERP system in the Apex banking system is considered to be a long-term investment, therefore, it incurs a significant costs for the company undergoes while installing it. Business process re-engineering is included in the implementation of the Sage Evolution software (Schlenker & Crocker, 2003). Two options face an Organization interested in implementing the commonly used ERP software package: One is to correspond with the components of the software or change the software package to embrace the existent organization of the firm. It is essential to proceed with caution during implementation because the installation of an ERP is demanding with a sophisticated and inflexible structure.
The ERP project management is necessary because if the rollout is not done perfectly, it will hurt an entire Apex performance. Initially, the ERP systems were designed purposely for manufacturing firms because they have similar business processes Majority of the ERP experts has advised that the only secret to a successful installation is to ensure the project team conducts research to customize the product to suit the Organizations culture.
The ERP solution is supported by a widespread national service and support infrastructure. It is also customized and designed for it complies with IFRS accounting standard. It is apparent that the ERP project requires proper management otherwise it will not effectively improve the productivity of Apex system.
Table of 7 key elements
Enterprise resource planning systems
A management process of software’s that allows the banking system to be integrated to the office functions in relation to the technological systems
Sage Evolution software
This is a control systems that consolidates the management and ensures various solutions
The Service Level Agreements
It’s an agreement that defines the relative terms of provider
Microsoft SQL servers
This is server incorporated within the business management system that provide encrypted forms of services
Computers and software systems
These are the computer systems that provides various functions to the banking systems of Apex. They are used for transactional purposes and other related duties.
These are the banking standard that are applicable in the Apex accounting systems
Apex banking systems
The banking system that is being related to the software system being integrated
It’s common for ERP applications to have different features that are able to perform the following; sharing and manipulating data in real time, optimization of databases accessibility, enhancing of database security, improving communication and collaboration. An ERP helps eliminate the problem of having to manually combine data from the different software processes and systems within the Apex banking system.
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