To survive in this highly competitive business market, companies have to be alert, constantly on watch and come up with new business plans. Development of a project implementation plan is crucial to the success of any business venture and Friar Tucker International (FTI) is no exception. Companies not only have to be selective in the projects they acquire but they have to ensure the projects are in line with the strategic plans of the company. Since no strategy is perfect and without risk, companies need to be aware of risks and constantly on watch. The ability to manage risks allows companies to remain competitive, retain and acquire new customers. Outlining the requirements prior to starting a project can eliminate confusion. Ensuring that time, resources, and issues are all taken into account, planned for, and addressed is a significant part of making sure that the project will meet the measurement of success.
Friar Tucker International (FTI) is a growing company in the hospitality business whose core business revolves around fine cuisine and entertainment. Over the years Friar Tucker has entered into agreements to manage several fine food restaurants, sports bars, hotel chains and other family and corporate entertainment establishments. As the business has increased the number of projects that have come to the doors of Friar Tucker has increased significantly. Therefore, the company needed to have a strategy in order to decide which projects the company should accept and which one’s the company should let go. In order to achieve that the Chief Executive Officer of Friar Tucker, Ricardo Bellini formed a Project Selection Committee consisting of several upper management members and a consultant. These members were assigned to research all the potential projects and align them with overall strategy and experiences of Friar Tucker.
This paper covers Friar Tucker’s current organizational strategy, the unique implementation plan developed for completing the Galleria project, the implementation planning process at FTI, and conclusion.
Friar Tucker’s Strategy
FTI is hospitality services chain with1200 employees, who live the vision of being among the top 10 providers in their industry by offering innovative marketing and superior service levels (Anonymous, 2008). FTI also has a secondary vision to attract more visitors and customers through their food and entertainment establishments and to ensure an enjoyable family experience. FTI wants to establish their presence in the entertainment hospitality segment, consolidate their presence in the cuisine business by expanding into specialty cuisine establishments, and to expand into the corporate entertainment segment.
The Galleria project fits into these key focus areas while strengthening the corporate primary and secondary visions. Although not ideal, Friar Tucker will have to outsource most of the operations to a construction vendor on its Galleria project since FTI does not currently possess the experience needed to handle such projects. Further, this new project will enhance the brand image of FTI. The Galleria project will enable FTI to drive growth and thus coincide with its vision of becoming a top 10 hospitality services provider. What makes this project even more lucrative and attractive at this time is that it will produce multiple revenue streams because of the diverse scope of the project. No strategy is perfect and without risk. However, with Friar Tucker being in the hospitality industry without any major competitors, the risk of building Galleria with Atoll Solutions is minor. In order to minimize risk, Atoll Solutions has created an implementation plan and presented the plan to Friar Tucker.
The Galleria project strategically aligns itself with the core values, visions and focus areas that FTI has developed. The Galleria is a proposed entertainment center that houses a multiple screen theater, indoor gaming, restaurant, two bistro cafés and a shopping mall that offers several thousand square feet of retail space. This enterprise is expected to attract a variety of customers considering it is designed to be a complete entertainment center. Since the Galleria is a new project, it is expected to build new core competencies that will allow FTI to achieve their vision of becoming one of the top ten hospitality providers in the industry. The Galleria will also establish a presence into the corporate entertainment segment and strengthen their presence in the entertainment segment (Anonymous, 2008).
Friar Tucker also hopes to strengthen their brand image through the projects they implement. The Galleria project has the potential to impact the vision and objectives of Friar Tucker International. Each person associated with the implementation of this project must successfully complete their tasks on time to avoid delays or failure of the project. The project team also needs to identify any shortfalls, risk factors and consequences associated with the Galleria project. Based on the selection process, Friar Tucker International made a decision to invest in the Galleria project to gain entry into the entertainment and hospitality market where it considered it to be the next strategic stronghold for the company. The Galleria project demonstrated a more favorable outcome.
Unique Implementation Plan for Completing the Galleria Project
The thoughts and ideas for the Galleria Project are humongous, and if accomplished successfully will put Friar Tucker International at the forefront of the hospitality service industry (Anonymous, 2008). There are many deliverables planned for Project Galleria, as well as timelines and those ultimately responsible for the deliverable. The implementation plan for the Galleria project will begin with selection of the specific design and construction process for the facility. Together with Friar Tucker’s Project Selection Committee, Atoll Solutions’ design team will create a concept that suits the diverse needs of a hospitality services provider while attempting to appeal to a broad customer base. The project team, at this point, becomes accountable for the successful completion of the Galleria project. The first order of business for the project team is to develop an estimate for the project time and cost. The project team must understand the importance of the project time and cost estimate. “Cost, time, and budget estimates are the lifeline for control; they serve as the standard for comparison of actual and plan throughout the life of the project” (Gray& Larson, 2006).
Atoll Solutions has presented an impeccable implementation plan. The plan includes an entertainment hub, indoor gaming facilities, a restaurant, cafes and a shopping mall called the Galleria to be completed within one year of the projects start date. The actual building will be created within one year as well as the amenities. Atoll Solutions will present Friar Tucker with several different designs for Galleria. The Galleria Project is a new opportunity for Friar Tucker International to expand in new area, strengthen their presence in the market and attract new kind of customers. The rationale should extend beyond meeting any requirements; rather, the motivation should come from an intimate awareness of the near- and long-term outcomes derived by the project. The uniqueness of this plan will require an implementation of a Work Breakdown Structure (WBS) which will define all the elements of the project in a hierarchical framework and establishes their relationships to the project end item (Gray & Larson, 2006, P. 106). This will also define the communication channels and assist in understanding and coordinating many parts of the project (Gray & Larson, 2006, P. 107). On the other hand as a company, Friar Tucker International needs to take into consideration the types of project constrains such as technical, physical and resources constrain that will affect the project (Gray & Larson, 2006, P.242). This will simultaneously run side by side with the implementation of the WBS, and paint a perfect picture of how the project will run and be monitored.
After the design has been finalized, Alan Tanaka, FTI Business Development Manager, and the Atoll Solutions Project Supervisor will work together to construct a project network and a time-phased budget. The project network and a time-phased budget are needed to control schedule and costs as the project is being implemented (Gray & Lawson, 2006). Together they must take into account necessary actions, tasks, financial issues and success factors when developing the implementation plan.
The planning horizon and project duration play a major factor estimate due to the uncertainty of future events. “The people factor can also introduce errors in estimating times and cost. For example, accuracy of estimates depends on the skills of the people making the estimates” (Gray&Larson, 2006). Gray and Larson (2005) states that “Project estimating is a complex process”. The quality of time and cost estimates can be improved when these variables are considered in making the estimates and that managers recognize time, cost, and resource estimates must be accurate if project planning, scheduling, and controlling are to be effective.” FTI’s project team must decide which estimating method will best provide an accurate time and cost forecast for the Galleria project.
Breaking down the budget into time-phases and further breaking down the time-phased budget into specific costs, allow FTI’s project manager to effectively control the costs associated with the project. Managing the costs of the project and delivering the project on time are two of the CEO’s highest measurable for project success. The project team must have an accurate project budget developed before moving onto resource scheduling. These “pre-implementation” processes are a necessity before beginning the actual work on the project. These processes will allow the Galleria project team to map a guide that will lead them into the implementation process and to the eventual conclusion of a successful project.
Implementation Planning Process
The critical success values include keeping the investment under the allotted budget, breaking even at the earliest, multiple revenue streams, develops new competencies, strengthens the corporate brand image and attracting new customers. These values have been determined to instrumental in the success of a project. Project selection is just part of the process that FTI has developed to strengthen their project management system. Vendor selection has also become a structured process to ensure the right vendor is chosen for the project. Ricardo has changed the seemingly random nature that projects had previously been selected by establishing a Project Selection Committee (PSC), (Anonymous, 2008). Their purpose is to identify the type of projects the company should consider. Additionally, they will play a pivotal role in the implementation plan of the Galleria project.
Timely completion is important because the sooner the project is finished, the sooner it can begin generating revenue. Subcontracting will form a significant portion of the cost for the total project so the Project Selection Committee has weighed several factors that have led them to choose Atoll Solutions as its contractor. FTI has not worked with Atoll Solutions on projects in the past but they do have a good reputation, their costs are reasonable, and they are known for quick turnaround times all which should serve to mitigate Friar Tucker’s risk in the project and has led to their selection. The Friar Tucker International-Atoll Solutions partnership should prove to if adheres to the implementation plan that has been established through budget and time controls and risk mitigation.
The CEO developed a vendor selection matrix that provides the project selection committee with a valuable resource to select the vendor that will provide the best service to the project. The values include meeting the proposed time line, coming in at or under cost, experience, financial stability, process maturity, quality of resources and their track record with FTI. The higher the score that the vendor receives, the more likely the vendor is to provide services that are in alignment with the scope and values of the project. Implementation planning ensures that the detailed planning, resources, and performance expectations are aligned to support the achievement of the company. The building of Galleria involves more than just drafts and designs. A planning process must exist and all involved in the process must understand their role. Each responsible party must know when and what action to take when necessary, which is why Atoll Solutions picked a unique implementation team. The chosen team is dedicated only to work with Friar Tucker and ensuring quality and customer satisfaction. If Friar Tucker is not pleased with one activity, the team is responsible for correcting the activity and making sure Friar Tucker is pleased with the results.
Atoll Solutions has agreed not to make any major decisions without speaking to Friar Tucker. Even though Friar Tucker has a contingency fund in place, the ideal project would not touch the contingency fund. Atoll Solutions do not want to make any waves. Atoll has issued a sample implementation plan to Friar Tucker when the company asked for bids. The implementation plan identified those responsible for doing the assigned activity, estimated costs, and issues relating to permits. Atoll used a unique strategy by researching companies Friar Tucker have used in the past. The company was looking for any risks or issues Friar Tucker experienced with other contractors. After gathering the list, Atoll decided to present Friar Tucker with a solution.
FTI is poised to enhance its position in the hospitality services industry with its Galleria project which has a proposed commitment completion date of 12 months at a cost of $1.85 million. With a mission “to attract more visitors and customers through food and entertainment industries, and provide a great family experience” (Anonymous, 2008) the project also promises to boost Friar Tucker into the top 10 hospitality services providers within just a few short years. Moreover, this project is aligned with the organization’s overall strategy because it maps well with FTI’s focus on the entertainment hospitality segment and makes the logical choice of projects to pursue at this time.
The dynamic hospitality services environment creates many unique challenges for many companies just as it does for Friar Tucker. There are a number of factors that can vary widely including managed work environments, employee knowledge and skills, customer expectations, technology, business standards, and competition. The key factors to implementing a successful project plan is to plan early, re-evaluate often, and to keep the lines of communication open among company leadership, project vendors and suppliers, and project workers. A detailed implementation plan will emphasize the need for control, involvement of people, research, constant reporting, occasion auditing, and will be supported throughout by management until it is implemented satisfactorily.
Friar Tucker has been successful implementing project in the past. The CEO has decided that in order to continue the growth of FTI, the projects Friar Tucker decides to pursue must completely align with the strategic objectives of the company. This led to the creation of a project selection committee and the development of the project and vendor selection matrices.
In conclusion, Friar Tucker International will implement and construct the Galleria Project successfully using the tools available to them. This will make them strategizing for success and planning a series of tactical moves to direct the company to their ultimate goal. The attention given to a project network, implementing the WBS and the components of a risk management process, will increasingly be fundamental and help Friar Tucker International to manage the risk and control the project which will result in a successful implementation and greater outcomes.
Friar Trucker needs to concentrate on delivery of their business strategy, “How do you close the gap between business strategy and results? It’s about delivery, and the assurance that you can deliver” (Project Management Institute, 2004 p. 391). The ability of any organization to survive and evolve rests in its ability to adapt, change and deliver what the customer wants or needs ‘Now’. “In the modern evolving organization, project managers will be focused on business aspects, and their role will expand from getting the job done to achieving the business results and winning in the market place” (Gray & Larson, 2006, p. 22). A key activity is ensuring that the portfolio strategy is always aligned with corporate and business strategy, “Corporate Strategy is created as means of considering and articulating how an organization’s corporate goals and objectives will be pursued and achieved” (Morris & Jamieson, 2004, p. 1).
Anonymous. (2008). “Selecting and Initiating Projects” Simulation. Retrieved February 26, 2008, from http://ecampus.phoenix.edu.secure/resource/resource.asp.
Gray, C., & Larson, E. (2006). Project Management: The Managerial Process. The McGraw-Hill Companies. Retrieved February 26, 2008, from University of Phoenix, eBook Collection
Morris, P., & Jamieson, A. (2004). Translating Corporate Strategy Into Project Strategy. Newtown Square, Pennsylvania: Project Managment Institute, Inc.
Project Management Institute (2004). A guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge (3rd ed.). Newtown Square, Pennsylvania: Project Management Institute, Inc.
Optimal Solution Implementation Plan
Action Item Deliverable Timeline Who is Responsible
Develop specific design and construction process 15 days PSC Committee
Select major project oversight manager/contractor administrator 15 days Ricardo Bellini, CEO
Project network/time-phased budget 30 days Tanaka/AS Project Supervisor
Review and approval of project deliverables and costs 40 days PSC Committee
Implement project management plan 60 days AS Contractor Team assigned to Galleria Project
Monthly progress reports to Project Selection Committee First week of every month AS Project Supervisor
Project turnover/acceptance 1 year Ricardo Bellini, Dennis McGee, Alan Tanaka