1. Introduction

1.1 Brief introduction about the company

Roots Global (Pvt) Ltd is maintaining the famous ‘Roots’ brand in Sri Lanka. The head office of the organisation is situated in Colombo, Sri Lanka. The organisation is maintaining several linked branch island wide. Roots are known as elite juice bars which deliver much healthier lifestyle natural drinks to the Sri Lankan consumers. This elite juice bars would provide freshly squeezed juice, smoothies and ice cream sundaes. The products of Roots are natural and the organisation guarantee the consumer satisfaction.

The organisation is proud to say that their products are natural and very healthier to consume. All the juices and smoothies are made using the freshly squeezed fruits. Even the consumers can see the food making process through the store to ensure the hygiene of the fruit juices. The organisation expects to improve their branch network and sales during 2017 – 2018 and the proposed software development project would address that the expectation through improving the sales of the organisation.

1.2 The proposed project

The organisation expects to develop Consumer Relationship Management (CRM) system to the organisation to improve the consumer engagement to the organisation. The CRM system would encourage the consumer retention of the organisation. The system would analyse the consumer behaviour through their interactions with the organisation.

Currently, the organisation does not own any mechanism to capture and store the consumer information. The management of the organisation believes that if they introduce CRM system to the organisation they can keep the track of daily consumers of the organisation. If the organisation promotes their products to the consumers the management expects that the consumers would purchase more products from the organisation.

1.3 Problem statement and the alternative methodologies

Mainly the organisation wants to develop a system that can capture their existing consumer information and potential consumer information. Currently, the organisation does not use any method to capture the consumer information to the organisation. The consumers are simply buying the products from the organisation and the organisation does not do any further action to improve the consumer relationship to the organisation (Futrell, Shafer and Shafer, 2002). Actually, the organisation has a good level of daily sales because of the goodness and richness of their products. But the management expects that they would be able to gain more successful results if they improve the consumer relationship more.

1.3.1 Alternatives

MethodDescription
Paper based communicationThis is considered as the traditional mechanism of improving the consumer intimacy to the organisation. The printed materials would be provided to the consumers such as leaflets, brochures, mail and paper advertisements to improve the consumer awareness of the products of the organisation (Collins, 2011). Currently, the organisation is conducting such printed media promotional activities and the management has identified that this method is making a high level of cost to the organisation and it is not environmental friendly (Futrell, Shafer and Shafer, 2002). The main goal of the organisation is to go natural and support natural products. The management has identified that printed materials would not achieve their business personification. Because of that, the organisation is expecting to stop this traditional paper based communication method.
Usage of software manuallySome small scale organisations are using famous office packages to maintain their consumer information databases (Collins, 2011). They manually input the details to that software and retrieve the details and the information when they want to conduct promotional activities. All the activities are done using different software packages and the high level of personnel involvement can be seen in the activities (Futrell, Shafer and Shafer, 2002). The less automation of such methodologies would not provide the same results when comparing to the full automated systems in the market.
Use prebuild CRM softwareThe organisation can purchase and use prebuild CRM system to achieve the organisational expectations (Futrell, Shafer and Shafer, 2002). The main requirements of the organisation are capture, store and retrieve the consumer information when it is required to conduct promotional activities (Collins, 2011). The prebuild software packages would be much cheaper and it would not make a high level of organisational stress as the development of own software to the organisation. But the management of the organisation argues that such software would come with unwanted features and sometimes that software would not address all the requirements of the management. Also, that software has limitations for improvements and upgrades.
Develop own CRM systemThe management of the organisation expects to develop own CRM system to the organisation, therefore, the management has a high level of flexibility of improving the software when it is necessary and required. Sometimes the new systems would fail in the organisation because of the fewer compatibilities with the organisational requirements (Futrell, Shafer and Shafer, 2002). The management justifies that if they develop their own system they can customise the system as they want when there is a mismatch of the user expectations and the functionalities (Futrell, Shafer and Shafer, 2002). Also, the organisation owns the software and it has the ability to brand the software and selling it in the market when there is an opportunity (Collins, 2011). The management of the organisation is seeing this development of a new system to the organisation as an investment.

2. Analysis

2.1 The business process re-engineering and the impact

The new system would introduce new organisational methods to the organisational business process (Lecky-Thompson, 2005). Now the employees have to assist the system to capture the consumer information to the system (Tinnirello, 2000). Employees would not generally favour the change of business processes in the organisation. Some employees would show a high level of resistance to the new system and due to that, the organisation would not be able to achieve the expected outcomes of the system which would eventually generate losses to the organisation (Lecky-Thompson, 2005). Below it is discussed the potential impacts to the organisation because of the new system introduction.

  • High level of employee resistance – This is expected when the introduction of organisational process re-engineering activities. The employees of the organisation would show a high level of resistance to the changed business process of the organisation and they would find difficulties to cope with the new business process methods and ways. The management of the organisation should highly focus on the change management of the organisation (Futrell, Shafer and Shafer, 2002). If the management failed to manage the change the new re-engineering activities would make the business to fall in the market. The best option is to train the employees with the new system features. The improved awareness of the system would be very helpful to manage the resistance of the employees. The proper training and positive consideration of the impact of the new system would throw away the employee resistance from the organisation regarding the re-engineering activities (Futrell, Shafer and Shafer, 2002).
  • Lack of knowledge to interact with the system and its features – This is similar to the earlier defined case. The front level business processes of the organisation are done by the employee who does not pose the high level of educational background. Because of that, they might show fear to the system and also they would tend to make mistakes with the system (Futrell, Shafer and Shafer, 2002). The front office should be very agile when capturing the consumer information to the system and if they make mistakes the consumer information gathering would not be very successful (Futrell, Shafer and Shafer, 2002). Proper training of the system activities would be solution to the identified problem scenario.
  • Ability to monitor the consumer buying patterns – This is a positive impact to the business from the system. The system would have the abilities to capture the consumer’s buying pattern (Futrell, Shafer and Shafer, 2002). The system captures the transactions of the consumers with the organisation and that number of interactions and purchased goods would define the consumer buying pattern and it would be very helpful to the organisation when improving their business process and production to gain high level of market share in the market (Futrell, Shafer and Shafer, 2002).
  • Improved consumer perception toward the organisation – When the organisation is using the improved information systems the consumers would have a high level of positive perception toward the organisation. The consumer is getting information from the organisation regularly and it would remind the goodness of the organisational products to the consumer. This would improve the consumer perception and the loyalty towards the organisation.
  • Challenges from the improved sales – The main expectation of the proposed system is to improve the consumer relationship with the organisation and improve the sales and transactions of the organisation. Improved sales and transactions would eventually make the requirement of adequate level of human resource to the organisation (Lecky-Thompson, 2005). The organisation would need to be ready for that potential as well. The management of the organisation should start hiring people when there is an indication of constant sales up in the organisation due to the implementation of the new system.
  • Need of IT staff – Since the system is running as an in house project in the organisation it would be required to have the services of the IT personnel (Lecky-Thompson, 2005). The IT staff should be able to ensure the continuous running abilities of the CRM system. Actually, the IT staff would generate cost to the organisation and the management of the organisation would have to cover the increased cost because of the new staff with the expected increase of sales (Lecky-Thompson, 2005).

2.2 Strategic importance of the project

Information systems are using to achieve the strategic advantages in the market. IT helps the organisation to get a competitive advantage over the rival organisations. To assess the strategic importance of the project it is essential to analyse the strategic position of the organisation in the market.

2.2.1 SWOT analysis

Strengths

  • The organisation has a good brand name as an elite juice bar in the market.
  • The brand is famous for the high nutritious natural drinks and foods.
  • The highly skilled trained staff.
  • The highly experience management.
  • The branch network which has the high level of sales to the organisation.
  • The innovative support culture of the organisation.
Weaknesses

  • Lack of methodology usage to improve the consumer intimacy.
  • Less IT knowledge of the staff.
  • Less technology orientation of the organisation.
  • Long step business processes.
  • Manual systems which required high level of employee interactions.
Opportunities

  • The enhance technology to improve the business process.
  • High level of technology orientation in the country.
  • Consumer expectation of usage of new technology to improve their day to day activities.
  • Ability to reduce the transaction cost with the information systems.
Threats

  • Existing competition in the market.
  • Many organisations are using the CRM systems to improve the consumer intimacy and therefore the organisation would not be able to achieve high level of advantage.
  • Security risks of the information system.
  • Information disclosure and privacy issues of the information systems.

Conclusion – The SWOT analysis would indicate that the organisation would be able to create considerable improvement in the organisation through the newly proposed system. The weaknesses would be mainly addressed by the newly proposed system of the organisation.

2.2.2 PESTLE analysis

PoliticalThe political impact to the organisation is very low. The organisation has to follow the general government rules and regulations. Root is registered as a private limited and currently the Sri Lankan government is strictly monitoring the activities of such limited liability organisations.
EconomicalThe country has developing economic conditions and due to that the ups and downs of economic conditions can be seen in the country. The market has a high level of demand for the fast moving consumer goods and the busy lifestyles of the people would prefer fast foods as well. The current economic conditions are in the favour to the organisation.
SociologicalThe country has a good culture and less social conflicts can be seen in the environment. People are highly focused on maintaining their health and they want to live as much as time with health and happiness. This positive thought pattern of the country has good sociological impact to the organisation. The current sociological factors are in the favour of the organisation.
TechnologicalThe country shows a high level of new technology product consumption. Smart mobile technologies can be seen in the country in high ratios. The young generation of the country has a high level of favour to the modern technology and they expect the business organisation would also provide them with the modern technological facilities.
LegalSince the organisation is manufacturing food and drinks high level of health regulations and law are impacting the organisation. The country’s code of food health and safe is strict and the organisation has to follow all the stated regulations and laws when preparing and serving the food items to the consumers.
EnvironmentalThe business organisations are expected to follow the environmental protection laws and the organisation do not have a high level of impact to the environment.

Conclusion – The external environmental conditions are in the favour to the organisation and the proposed new project would eventually generate positive results to the organisation.

2.2.3 Porter’s Five Forces analysis

Suppliers’ powerThe organisation is creating their products using natural fruits and other natural raw food materials. The organisation has a high level of options to select from and therefore it is safe to say the suppliers have a low level of power over the organisation.
Buyers’ powerThe buyers have many options to select their daily foods and beverages. Many substitutes can be seen in the market and therefore the buyer has high level power over demanding the prices for the products of the organisation.
Competitive rivalryThe organisation has a high level of competition from the various local and international fast food chains in the country.
Threat of new entrantsThe food and beverage market is easy to enter and anyone can start their own business for a lesser amount of investment. Because of that, the higher level of threat can be seen in the market from the new entrants.
SubstitutesHigh level of substitute products can be seen in the market and because of that the organisation has to compete with the substitute products of the market.

Conclusion – The high level of market competition can be seen in the market and the favours of the market to the organisation is very low. The organisation can implement the low cost strategies and consumer relationship improvement methods to enhance the organisational status of the market.

2.3 Stakeholders

The main stake holders of the proposed project are as follows.

The client – The client is investing to the project and the details of the ongoing processes would be required by the client. Also the expectations and the requirements of the project would be defined by the client and it is essential to provide the required information to the client.

The management – The management of the organisation would request reports for ongoing functions of the project. The better communication should be maintained with project management team and the organisational management.

Project manager – The project manager is responsible for handling the functions of the project and deliver the necessary reports to the management of the organisation.

Project team – The management should improve the communication with the project team to explain the management expectations of the project. The project manager should coordinate the communication to improve the functionalities of the project team.

Users of the system – The user would involve in the testing phase and deployment phase of the project. The necessary knowledge should be provided to the users to improve their awareness of the newly developed system.

2.4 Feasibility analysis

Technological feasibilityThe current system development technologies and the technological devices would have the required potential of the system development.
Economic feasibilityThe organisation would invest LKR 1 million for all the project activities and expect to grow the organisational revenue 50% each year through the improve consumers relationships because of the newly introduced system. The project is economically feasible.
Legal feasibilityThe legal background is favourable to proposed project. It is recommended to have user policies in the system. And also the information system ethics should be followed by the project team to avoid the legal conflicts.
Operational feasibilityThe proposed project would develop an information system to capture the consumer information of the organisation. Actually, many systems are developed to carry out the same task and none of the operational issues is reported. The project manager should be able to manage the team and keep them motivated to achieve the objectives of the project.
Schedule feasibilityThe proposed timeframe for the project is three months of time. Currently, there are many open source software developing libraries and agile development methodologies available. Because of that, it would not be so hard to achieve the assigned time frame of the project.

2.5 The project charter

The name of the project – Consumer relationship management system for Roots Global (Pvt) Ltd
Background of the projectSpecified in 1.2 subsection of the Introduction chapter.
Objectives of the project
  • Deliver fully functioning CRM system to the client.
  • Develop the system with the abilities of capturing and storing the consumer’s information of the organisation.
  • Improve the information gathering through the system.
  • Address functional and non functional requirements of the project.
  • Improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the consumer information gathering and realising their buying patterns.
Scope of the project The CRM system would capture and store the consumer information of the organisation and that collected information would be very helpful to identify the consumer behaviours and their preferences. Also the system would assist the organisational marketing functions by supporting the awareness improvement of the consumer about the organisation.
Project team members and responsibilitiesProject managerThe project manager has highest level of responsibility of managing the ongoing project activities. The person should manage the project team to achieve the project objectives and goals.
Project coordinatorThe person is responsible for conducting the coordinating part of the project. The assigned resources of the project would be delivered and provided to the team by the coordinator.
System analystThe system analyst would play an important role in the system development and the person is responsible for identifying the functional and non functional requirements of the project.
System designerThe person is responsible for creating and designing the plans for the system development activities. The plans would provide guidance to the system development functions.
System developerSystem developers are responsible in developing the system according the requirements and testing the application to ensure the performance of the system. The found bugs would be fixed immediately during the system testing activities.
Quality assurance officerThe QA officer is responsible for assessing the quality of the system. The system should have high level of response to users request and the QA officer should assess the system responses with the stated quality measurements.
Resource requirementTechnological resources
  • Main server computer to run the application that has centralised database capabilities.
  • Software to develop and coding the system.
  • Network to collaborate the communication of the networks.
Financial resources
  • The proposed financial allocation for the project is LKR 1 million.
Human resource
  • The system development team
  • Employees of the organisation.
  • Management of the organisation
Risks and contingency situations of the project
  • Lack of financial resources for the project completion.
  • Problems in project delivering timeframe and failure to meet the deadlines.
  • Challenges in meeting the expected functionalities of the project.
  • Morale and motivation of the project team would diminish during the time.
  • Issues in user friendliness of the system.

3. Project plan

3.1 Project work breakdown structure

The WBS of the project would define the main activities of the project. The system development would contain six major steps namely System analysis and requirement identification, System design, System coding, System testing, System deployment and System maintenance (Murugesan and Deshpande, 2001). Actually, the system maintenance functions would carry after handing over the completed project to the organisation (Tinnirello, 2000). The maintenance activities are ongoing functions of the project.

Figure 5. 1 The work breakdown structure of the system

3.2 The cost estimation for the project

TaskEstimated cost (LKR)
System analysis and requirement identification
Carry out the initial research of the system40,000.0060,000.00
Feasibility analysis of the system5,000.00
Generate the report specifying the system requirements15,000.00
System design
Define the cases for the system.15,000.00100,000.00
Propose and assess the functionalities of the system.15,000.00
Generate the system design and planning repots.70,000.00
System coding
System coding activities500,000.00500,000
System testing
Create system testing cases10,000.00150,000
Alpha testing of the system80,000.00
Beta testing of the system60,000.00
System deployment
The new system introduction to the environment.10,000.0040,000
Conduct training programmes to train the users.30,000.00
Contingency allocation150,000
Total1,000,000

3.3. Gantt chart for the system development

The resource requirement for the project was discussed in the project charter in topic 2.5 of the report. Using allocated resources for the system development the project team would expect to complete the project within three months of time.

Figure 5. 2 Gantt chart for the project

3.4 Project technical infrastructure

  • The category of software – The proposed system would run as a web based application using the capabilities of the Internet and web servers
  • Security – The application has secured login. The access control to the application would be provided to ensure the safety of the system. The users of the system would be provided with username and password to access the system (Murugesan and Deshpande, 2001). Also, the application would Secure Hypertext Transfer Protocol to ensure additional safety to the system with the capabilities of Secure Socket Layer. All the data transmission of the system would be encrypted using Public key cryptography to assure the data protection of the system and the protection of the data transmission over a network.
  • The development language and the justification – The proposed system would be developed using a famous web development language PHP. PHP is running server side and it is much secure language to develop web based systems. Also since the language is licensed under the open source licensing method many parties in the world are contributing their knowledge for the development of the language (Murugesan and Deshpande, 2001). With the PHP we would use JavaScript, jQuery Mobile UI, HTML and CSS to design and develop the user interfaces of the system.
  • The server and the database management system – The organisation is expecting to hire online server that has the abilities to execute the application on the Internet. Initially, the organisation expects to get low end server to run the application because it is not storing a high level of information during the initial stages (Murugesan and Deshpande, 2001). After passing some time the organisation expects to use own data server that would be maintained by the organisation itself to run the application. The database would be handled using MySQL DBMS language. MySQL is supporting well to the requirements of PHP.
  • Management reports – The system would provide various reports to the management for the decision making activities. The periodic reports would be provided to the management to express the consumer interactions with the organisation. Also, the management can measure the stages of the promotional activities of the organisation. Many automated promotional activities such as automated promotional emails and SMS would be sent to the consumers as promotional functions of the organisation. All the relevant reports would be provided by the system to make management decisions in the organisation.

3.5 HRM

3.5.1 The project management team

The description of the project management team has stated in The Project Charter in topic 2.5.

3.5.2 Challenges of HRM

The project team should be managed well to achieve the objectives of the project. When selecting the members to the project team it is essential to select the team members who have a high level of experience of developing corporate systems (Wysocki, 2006). Mainly the team members should have the abilities to work as a team. The proper communication should be done among the team members and the communication would improve the team ship of the project team (Wysocki, 2006).

The proposed project would be completed in three months of time and because of that, the project team should act rapidly to meet the deadlines. The deadlines would make a high level of pressure to the team members (Wysocki, 2006). The management of the project should consider this working pressure of the team members. It is essential to act effectively and efficiently to ongoing matters of the project. Failure to address the project issue would harm the flow of the project.

The regular meetings would keep the project team in line to achieve the project goals by facing the ongoing challenges of the project (Wysocki, 2006). The team should be able to address the ongoing matters with the brainstorming solutions for the ongoing issues of the system development. The team should be provided with both financial and non financial benefits to improve the motivation of the team to achieve the deadlines and the objectives of the project (Wysocki, 2006). It is essential to remember to keep the software quality during the development of the system.

3.5.3 Responsibilities

The responsibilities of the team as follows in the each phase of the system development.

RolesInitiate the projectEnvironmental analysis and preliminary researchRequirement identification of the systemPrepare system plansDevelop the Consumer relationship management systemSystem testingSystem deployment
The clientCIIIIII
Project managerA RA RA RA RA RA RA R
System analystIA RA RCCCC
System designerIIIA RCCC
System developerIIIIA RA RC
System testerIIIIIA RC
Quality assurance officerIIICA RA RAR

R – Responsible A – Accountable C – Consult I – Inform

3.6 Software component reusability

The software reusability is widely spoken topic in the field of IT and information systems. Reusable codes and system components would provide much of ease when developing new systems or developing the systems based on the current systems (McClure, 2010).

Mainly the software development would follow object oriented software development framework. The OOD method would generate software reusable components since the classes and the objects are loosely coupled with the functionalities (McClure, 2010). That would achieve the requirement of software component reusability which would be very cost effective to the organisation when improving or developing a new system in the organisation (McClure, 2010).

The most of the components for the system development would be gathered from the open source software reusable classes and objects. Since those components are functioning under the open source licencing the developers would have the ability to adjust the code according to the necessities of the proposed system (McClure, 2010). Also, the continuous development of the open source components would happen and that would improve the organisational system automatically (McClure, 2010).

3.7 Quality control

The system quality assurance and control are an essential to deliver the good system to the client. The fewer quality systems would not provide the expected results and output efficiently and effectively (Schmidt, 2013). The development team has a quality assurance officer and the responsibility of the person is to assure the system quality at the expected standards of the organisation.

The method of testing the system quality – The quality of system would be highly measured during the process of the system testing phase. The system units would be individually tested by the QA officer to check the proposed outcome would be generated by the unit with the expected level of quality (Schmidt, 2013).

User feedbacks – After assuring the unit quality testing the system would be delivered to the users to conduct beta testing activities. The user acceptance would be captured during that process and the feedback for the system quality would be taken from the users to assure the quality acceptance of the system by its users (Schmidt, 2013).

3.8 Risk management

RiskSolutionPriorityImpact
Miscommunication of the project requirement and develop a system that fails to address the functional non functional requirements of the project.The system analysis and requirement identification should be done thoroughly and deliver the requirements with the project team with proper communication.HighVery High
Fewer skills and knowledge to develop the system.Capture people for the system development that have the similar experience in developing such systems.HighHigh
Violation of project deadlinesThe regular meetings to discuss the project status would address the failures to meet the deadlines because it would give the opportunity to the team to brainstorm the ideas to ongoing challenges of the development activitiesMediumLow
The resource allocation would not enough to meet the expectation of the development.The allocated contingency funds could be used in scenarios like that. The contingency expenses should be justified by the team and use it when it required onlyLowMedium

3.9 Continuous improvement

The system development functions would not be stopped after handing over the project to the client (Schmidt, 2013). During the maintenance phase of the project, the management of the organisation would assess the current compatibility of the project and make necessary improvements. Actually, the system should be improved continuously to meet the expectations of the growing technology of the world (Schmidt, 2013).

The current development activity can be considered as an iteration of the initial software development. Various later development and improvement iterations should be carried out to improve the functionalities of the system to the organisation (Wysocki, 2006). The organisation should assess the system functionalities regularly to identify the potential improvements of the system.

References

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