Managing Project Risk

Topics: Project management, Management, Implementation Pages: 5 (1835 words) Published: March 24, 2006
Tasks and Milestones
Drawing up a milestone plan with due dates helps to verify if a project is where it should be. Periodic reviews should be done to see which milestones were delivered against the assignment date and what needs to be accomplished to complete the next milestone. Several major milestones should be assessed when implementing Starbucks' Project Improvement Plan. If the project has a hard deadline for completion handed to the project team, it is wise to back plan the milestones to ensure that the milestone dates will correspond with the project due date assigned. The first milestone is the final decision of how the implementation will take place. Announcing the go-forward plan ensures that the entire team knows which way the project will be headed. For the purposes of this project, an automated ordering system will be implemented instead of the current process, which is calling out the order to the drink maker, or writing the order on the cup. The second milestone is completion of training on the new system. Training the employees on how the equipment works can provide crucial feedback from the users prior to installation. The third major milestone is installation of the equipment into the stores. And the final milestone is tracking the success against the baseline data of the original process. This will determine if the project is a success or failure. Project Risks and Impact on Project Outcomes

Any project implementation carries a certain number of risks. How the team prepares for risk can possibly prevent them from occurring. Knowing what can cause a project failure can point the team in the right direction the first time. There are several risks this project can run into during the implementation. Vendor delays to install the new store equipment can halt the project and can affect every store involved in the implementation. On a scale of one to 100, not having equipment installed is a risk to the project of 75. It does not detriment Starbuck's overall current sales as the stores already have customers walking away due to the long wait but it does lose sales every day the implementation is not in use (assuming that the new process will decrease the transaction time and increase sales). Another risk is the software for the automated equipment. Should the software not perform as planned, this could slow the process down even further. If the stores do not have a way to ring up the customers outside of the new equipment, all transactions will revert to manual, thus increasing the wait time even more. Not having an alternate way of ringing up customers is a risk of 100 and can affect all stores with the new equipment should it be a server crash instead of a one-store occurrence. A third risk is improper or incomplete training for the employees. Since the employees will be there to help the customers along in the automated process if need be, not knowing how to work the units would be a risk factor of 50. One would hope that someone in the store would know how the system works and could be called upon, although it would take that employee away from his/her current task to help another. A forth risk would be lack of buy-in from store management. This could jeopardize the complete project if the stores are unwilling to change and go auto. This would hold a risk factor of 100 and would impact all stores should management not agree with the new process. The last risk would be if the automated process took longer than the current process. This has the highest risk factor as well as the most expensive. This would mean total project failure and would need a complete redesign to reach a successful outcome. Wyner (2003) suggests gathering quantitative and qualitative data when considering improving a process to determine if a problem exists in consumers' minds, and if so, identify which part of the process is the cause. Quantitative data is useful, but does not tell the entire story as to how a customer feels...
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