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Project Plan Template

Solution:

Consumer Sentiment and Inventory Management Application

1. Project Plan History

1.1Document Location

The document or report is valid on the day it was printed.

1.2 Revision History

Date of the revision:

Date of Next Revisions:

Revision DatePrevious Revision DateSummary of ChangesChanges Market
    

1.3 Approvals

NameSignatureTitleDate of IssueVersion
     

1.4 Distribution

The document has been distributed to-

NameTitleDate of IssueVersion
    

2. Introduction

Project management is the distinctive process of organising the financial and material resources and utilising them in systematic ways (Creasy and Carnes, 2017). In accordance with the principle of project management, the process of project management includes effective steps like project conception, project initiation, project planning, monitoring and performance and project documentation. This report describes the plan of the project “Consumer Sentiment and Inventory Management Application for FMCG Retail Firms”.   The project manager will introduce AI and big data-based software by which the FMCG retail firms will be able to determine the consumers’ sentiment and the number of stocks that need to be ordered for the manufacturing process.  The report creates the project plan by including the Gantt chart, WBS, Flow diagram, activity network, financial budget resource requirements, contingency plan etc. The report also includes the description of the project plan, prerequisites, external decencies, planning assumption, project purpose etc.

3. Purpose

The purpose of the project is to create inventory management in the FMCG Retail Firms. In the United Kingdom (UK), the FMCG Retail Firm is considered a fast-moving consumer goods company, which is the category of retail products and services which are sold quickly, usually at a very low cost. In the retail sector, the companies have faced problems regarding supply chain management, like issues with delivering the raw material such as technical materials and financial resources used in the manufacturing process and delivering the final products to end users. In the area of supply chain management, inventory management is the problem which is related to the warehouses fulfilling the courser’s demand. The software of inventory management in FMCG Retail Firms will allow the management to avoid the chances of errors and reduce the issues of the supply chain by providing the requirement and resources to the management. Apart from that, the AI-powered software will also include the feature of understanding consumers’ demand for the retail products, and that will allow the management to focus on these products’ manufacturing processes. The aim of the project planning is to create the path of developing the software for consumer sentiment and inventory management in the FMCG Retail Firms in the UK.

4. Plan Description

Project planning is described as the discipline which helps to address the way to accomplish the projects within a certain time limit by using the defined stages and designed resources (Kerzner and Kerzner, 2017). The project plan of introducing the software for consumer sentiment and inventory management in the FMCG Retail Firms intends to reduce the issues related to the supply chain. In the Covid 19 situation, the FMCG retail firms have faced some issues in gaining the raw resources to produce the final products. The development of inventory management in the FMCG retail firms will allow the companies to identify the amount of stock that needs to be ordered at what time. The software application of the consumers’ sentiment and the inventory management allows the FMCG retail firms to understand the consumer’s demand for the retail goods, and it also gives suggestions to the firm for increasing or decreasing the stocks related to these goods. The project managers will include the Prince PM Method to develop the AI-powered software. The software will have the feature of analysing current data of the market related to the consumer needs, preferences and purchasing power and provide the information to the company so that they are able to direct the manufacturing process along with the resource allocation. The project plan includes the selection of resources, contingency plan, budget design, tolerance, activities allocation, stakeholders’ roles and responsibilities etc.     

5. Prerequisites

In order to accomplish the project regarding the development of the software related to consumer sentiment and inventory management, the project managers are important to include some activities and tasks.

  • The activities and tasks are related to identifying the shareholders, communicating with shareholders, allocating the activities, working on the software through documentation and aligning the activities with the client’s requirements.
  •  The stakeholders of this project are employees, IT professionals, technologies developers, system developers, software designers, FMCG retail firms, market analysts etc.
  • The project plan includes the individual and communication over the process and tools like email, Video conference, phone calls face to face meetings etc. 

6. External Dependencies

The external dependencies of the project are related to the project constraints are the scope, schedule, budget and quality (Kerzner and Kerzner, 2017). The scope of the software development of consumers’ sentiment and inventory management is to understand the consumer’s demand and preferences and determine the number of stocks that need to be ordered. Apart from that, the software will also allow the FMCG retail firms in the UK to create a general equilibrium situation in the perfectly competitive market. Along with that, the quality of the project or the final product, like software to predict the consumer’s sentiment and inventory amount, also depends on the external resource like Artificial Intelligence, Big data, IT Professionals, the client’s requirements etc.

7. Planning Assumptions

After the Pandemic situation in the UK, the consumer’s demand and preferences, along with purchasing behaviours, as they are more likely to consume sustainable and fresh products. The software related to consumer sentiment and inventory management in the FMCG retail firms will be developed by emerging technologies like AI and BIG data.

  • The assumption of the project is to determine the consumer’s demand and give the recommendation regarding the number of stocks to be ordered for the manufacturing process. The plan of the project includes the identification of the activities related to software development, selecting the project management method like Prince 2 etc.

However, by including the Prince 2 methodology and dividing the activities of project initiation, direction, controlling, managing and project closing, the project manager will be able to develop the software which will estimate the consumer’s demand for the goods and services.

8. Project Plan

8.1 Gantt Chart

Gantt chart is a project management tool with the support of which the plan for accomplishing a project is strategically prepared as per the necessity of its different phases along with allocating appropriate resources so that respective objectives might be met effectively (Sharon and Dori, 2017). The Gantt chart for the consumer sentiment and inventory management application project is prepared as follows-

Figure 2: Product Flow Diagram (PDF) of consumer sentiment and inventory management application; Source: Author

8.4 Product Descriptions

The consumer sentiment and inventory management application is an AI (Artificial Intelligence) software whose primary purpose is to assist the administration of an organisation in procuring and delivering an appropriate kind of product or service as per the targeted customer’s interest. The software application is designed to work in three different phases, including input of past invoices and customers’ feedback data, precited consumer behaviour and inventory planning. In the primary phase of the functionality of software application, the business head of a corporation is empowered to upload or link essential kinds of raw data like invoices, feedback and cookies of e-commerce websites etc., related to the shopping behaviour of customers (Bao, et al., 2019). Once the consumer behaviour-related raw data is input within the software application, then it is processed to remove irrelevant data, and this is eventually used to develop a model for predicting the buying trend and decision-making pattern of targeted customers with 98.50 % accuracy. On the basis of the predicted consumer behaviour-related pattern, a relevant kind of inventory is suggested to the operator or administrations of the organisation in the form of digital messages and CSV (Comma Separated Files). In short, with the support of the digital and documented output of the AI-powered software application, the management of an entity becomes empowered in procuring consumer-centric inventory procurement and management without facing any storage shortage or excess issues (Henrique, et al., 2019).

8. 5 Activity Network

An activity network is a graphical representation of the project management techniques in which the entire activities necessary for accomplishing a project are represented in sequential form along with highlighting respective dependencies using appropriate nodes and arrows (Ahmad, 2018). The activity network of the consumer sentiment and inventory management application development related project is developed as follows along with respective analysis-

Financial Budget
Consumer Sentiment and Inventory Management Application Project
ParticularNumberCost
AI Developer1 £                                               700.00
Java, HTML and CSS Experts2 £                                               500.00
Hardware (Computer and Hard Disk etc.)3 £                                               600.00
Software (OS, debugger, assemblers, code editors etc.) £                                               400.00
Server1 £                                               500.00
Utilities £                                                 40.00
Project Manager1 £                                               400.00
HR Manager1 £                                               200.00
Mobile2 £                                               260.00
Other £                                               400.00
Total £                                            4,000.00

On the evaluation of the projected financial budget, it is found that around £4000 will be required as capital for developing the desired kind of consumer sentiment and inventory management application for the FMCG retailing firms. Around 18 % of the total estimated budget is estimated for hiring competitive kinds of AI developers so that advanced kinds of a software applications might be developed for assisting companies in procuring their inventories as per current and upcoming behaviours of targeted customers. Apart from it, 13 % and 15 % of the total estimated budget of the software application development project are supposed to be incurred for hiring HTML (CSS and Java) experts and procuring essential kinds of hardware, respectively. Besides this, 10 %, 13 % and 1 % of the entire budget of the application development project are budgeted for meeting the software, server and utilities-related need of the project. Above all, around 10 %, 5 %, 7% and 10 % of the total budget are planned for the expenses related project manager, HR manager, mobile and other necessities (emergency fund).

8.7 Change Budget

For changing the budget of the application development project in case of an emergency situation, the phases which will be required by its administration are mentioned as follows-

Identification and examination of new needs

In this phase, it will be analysed what kind of changes are required to be brought within the software application development project to make it competitive (Manigart and Sapienza, 2017).

Proposition and Decision on Appropriate Capital

In this phase, the amount of capital which will be needed for meeting the technical or process change of the application development project is finalised.

Implementation of the Change in Budget

The finalised capital change is implemented in the previous budget and allocated accordingly (Bayraktaroglu, et al., 2019).

The project managers need to include several resources like financial resources, material resources and time resources in order to accomplish the project related to software development in FMCG retail firms. The financial resources include the budget as well as the assets which will raise by the investors. Apart from that, the time resources of the project are the time limit that needs to accomplish the project.

Financial resources

The financial resource of the project is related to the budget that needs to purchase the technologies like AI, BIG data and tools to communicate with the human resources like the employees, IT professionals, technologies developers, system developers, software designers, the FMCG retail firms, market analyst etc. The total budget of the project related to the software development for the FMCG firm is 4000 Euro.

Material resources

The material resources important include the resources like the Software compiler, database computer, the internet etc. That will allow the project manager to develop the software to understand the consumer sentiment and inventory. 

Time resources

In order to accomplish the project, the project manager will take 9 weeks or 63 days. In these 63 days, the project manager will accomplish the activities like identifying the project aim and objective, project planning, procurement, prototype development, testing and approval, model training and testing, resting the application of real-time data etc.

8.8 Specific Resources

Human resources

In order to introduce the software to determine the consumer’s demand and preferences regarding products and inventories in FMCG firms, the project managers include effective human resources. The human resource of this project is categorised under the internal as well as the external stakeholders (Wysocki, 2014). The stakeholders of the project are developed in the following section:

Sl. NoType of stakeholdersStakeholders
1Internal stakeholdersAccountant
2Internal stakeholdersFMCG firms in the UK
3External stakeholdersInvestors
4Internal stakeholdersTechnologies suppliers
5External stakeholdersIT professionals
6Software developer
7Software tester
8Database administrators
9Government
10Full stack developed  

8.9 Tolerance

The tolerance of the project of software development is the limited budget and the time limit. In order to accomplish the project, the project managers will take 63 days and use the resources of 4000euros. Apart from that, the project managers will allocate the work among the internal as well as the external stakeholders like IT professionals, database administrators, software developers, and software testers in accordance with the time frames so that the project will be accomplished within the given time limit. The tolerance of the project also includes the factor of the clients’ needs and preferences regarding the software functionality. The project manager has to direct the activities as per clients’ needs and include the appropriate PM method like Prince 2. 

8.10 Contingency Plan

The contingency plan is the course of action which is mainly designed to assist a firm in responding effectively to significant future incidents (Kerzner and Kerzner, 2017). The contingency plan of this project is developed by recognising the issues that are important to be mitigated over a specific period of time (Walker, 2016). The contingency plan for this project is developed in the following section:

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