Hardware Replacement Project
January 26, 2014
A customer relationship management system (CRM) is used by companies to determine whom their loyal customers are and what their needs and wants are. “CRM systems capture and integrate customer data from all over the organization, consolidate the data, analyze the data, and then distribute the results to various systems and customer touch points across the enterprise” (Laudon & Laudon, 2013, p. 275). This information helps the company get to know their customers. While larger companies may not be able to know each customer individually and on a more personal level to learn what their interests are, the data ...view middle of the document...
In the case of the IT department, a wide scope will likely be necessary in order to complete the upgrade. A new CRM application will likely need new software to incorporate all the expanding needs of the business. In this case, new hardware is also needed to support the new software as it had been stated that the current hardware is out-dated.
The time and cost variables of the project are pretty self-explanatory. The time is usually set as the overall time that will be needed to complete the entire project; however, it can be broken down into smaller deadlines for each aspect of the project. For example, as new hardware will be needed to update the new CRM system, a deadline for purchase and set up of the new hardware may be a part of the total project deadline. The first part of the deadline should ideally be the systems analysis and planning part. Once the needs of the business have been defined, and the current system has been analyzed for efficiency, the project can be planned , and the next variable can then be determined.
The cost, like the time variable, is also usually set as an overall budget; however, many different factors must also be considered for the total project cost. The overall cost of implementation of the project is different from the price of the project and components needed. As with the IT department case study, new hardware will be needed. The price of all the hardware components will be a part of the overall costs, as well as the price of the new software needed for the CRM application. In addition to the price of both the hardware and software, the overall cost must also include the work hours needed for all stages of the project. The systems analysis and project planning will need to be included in the overall costs, followed by the hours needed to set up the new system. After all the system is setup, implementation will further increase the overall costs as training and adjustments will likely be needed. One factor that is often overlooked by outsiders is the cost of potential losses as the company deals with any problems that may result from the implementation of the new system.
One of the most important variables to consider is the quality. “Quality is an indicator of how well the end result of a project satisfies the objectives specified by management” (Laudon & Laudon, 2013, p. 389). Some important questions to ask in the planning process where quality is concerned are “How well do the deliverables have to function” and “What is the goal end result of the upgraded system?” The obvious answer would be “the highest quality and the best functionality.” With these quality goals in mind, the quality variable should be an easy one to answer; however, this variable must be tied in to all the others and be able to balance out. Is the highest quality available in a new system worth the added time and costs? Is the highest quality system needed or...