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E-Business Project Management - Project Planning and Implementation

written by: Tomica Bonner • edited by: Jean Scheid • updated: 7/6/2011

E-business project planning and implementation require a comprehensive project management approach. Despite following the basic project management rules the approach toward e-business must be handled in a completely different manner.

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    Project planning with in-Step The current e-business approach in business to business solutions has completely transformed the consumer market today. With the current pace of IT development and establishment of new businesses online, internet has become a transaction hub for the business houses and customers across the globe. It has not only pooled the current livestock of broadways information online but also made the online market trading and transactions aggressive and more competitive. Of late, as businesses have started realizing its importance of understanding the current status of marketplace, they are strategizing their objectives accordingly. However, this is not so easy and calls for significant intervention by IT professionals and other professionals through the medium of project management. Like other conventionally engineered projects, an e-business projects also demands effective project planning and implementation of fundamental project management practices.

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    Project Planning Approach in E-Business Project Management

    Most projects begin by gathering information on the project requirements and the identifying the pros and cons as well as a draft of the project management capsule. E-business system also requires this comprehensive approach, however, in a completely different manner, despite following the basic project management rules. Here the planning of projects starts with the vision of establishment of websites and then various other parameters are considered like financial resources, risk factors, human resources, time management and last but not the least – the embedded technology for successful execution of such projects. There is a unique method involved in accomplishing an e-business project and there is also the need of effective detailing at each stage of project execution since this system is more prone to technological disruptions. Other factors that play important role here are unstable economic environment, inadequate risk prioritization and the mishandling of business agreements since a major portion of operation is processed electronically. This not only demands careful supervision but it also increases the cost of various operations. Therefore planning and implementation of e-business project need special forecasting techniques with critical business objectives.

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    Various Steps of Planning and Implementation of E-business Projects

    There is an analogy between e-business project management and conventional project management software development – both need exhaustive technical planning. However, there is lot more to an e-business project. While planning an e-business project, there are some important data management factors that need to be taken care of. These data management factors are often referred to as crucial e-business project management components required for setting a compatible as well as integrated trading platform. Among these components, there is Electronic Data Exchange (EDI) which allows exchange of data between the intending websites and business participants. Secondly there is a security channel which secures transaction of data between the website users, influencers and administrators. Other important component is HCI- Human Computer Interface. It makes the e-business website user-friendly. Other two supplements with this component are graphics and real time response which make website look attractive and effective for trading.

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    However, the components mentioned need contingent platform or medium through which they can be incorporated in the e-business system effectively. E-business project management planning and implementation follows a three-way approach:

    Website Specification with Accurate Technical Planning:

    The first feasible step in e-business project execution is incorporating necessary information on essential project components into several web pages and designing an attractive website with exhaustive description of products and services. A sample e-business website will have a following flow:

    Home Page – Registration Tab – Notifications – About Products – Search Placements – Customer Support – User Information Page – Payment Options – View Cart and Add to Cart – Terms and Conditions – Transaction – Authentication of Privacy and Products.

    Once a website is designed, the subsequent operations of optimization and other development work will follow.

    E-Business Project Scheduling:

    Like a project manager in traditional project management system, project managers of e-business projects are responsible for project monitoring and task allocation by defining resources and time constraints. Project managers draw a Gnatt chart for listing tasks and activities. They apply suitable project management methodologies in checking project status and ensure that all the scheduled tasks are completed on time. However, for e-business project scheduling, project managers categorize tasks under different phases of project management and often call them as Project management implementation phases: Project Analysis Phase – Project Design Phase – Website Development and Integration Phase – Evaluation Phase – Pilot Phase. All these phases use the simple application of CPM (Critical Path Method) to accomplish all the scheduled tasks.

    E-business Project Management Networking and Human Resource Management:

    This is the approach where usage of PERT is extremely important. This helps in evaluating risks and reducing deviations of scheduled activities which arise due to several unavoidable factors during the course of project development. For this, a networking model is designed to investigate the overall system. It not only helps in obtaining optimistic estimates for e-business projects but also supports flexible e-business project tracking.

    But one thing which must not be ignored here is the human resource management. Human resource polishes the stages of project scheduling and network modeling. Through proper team collaboration and with motivated team and time management system, one can easily avoid conflicts in successfully completing the project. But why conflict? Because e-business project management system is complex in set up and requires in depth expertise and effective collaboration to complete the entire task on time and this is not possible without a motivated project team. Also, understanding e-business project networking becomes quite challenging for many individuals involved with the project, especially when attrition and recruitment are frequent. Therefore, human resource factor needs to be addressed carefully and comprehensively.

    E-Business Project management is subject to frequent changes due to a number of factors like economical changes, technological advancements and market situations. It needs a feasible and subjective study of project management parameters and effective detailing of e-commerce terms and trading. Once these efforts have been integrated successfully, assume that your e-business project has been planned well and can be implemented and completed successfully.

    Photo source p.1: microTOOL GmbH