MISM613: similar projects may exist. Every project has a

MISM613: MIS & Competitive Intelligence Group members:• Mohd Fadzil Mohd Siam (SB22572)• Mohd Iqbal Ridwan• Suhaila ShawalTable of Contents1. Background1.1. Project Tracking System ………………………………………………………………………….. 11.2. Project Tracking System in TNB Research .…………………………………….….…….  11.3. The Current Project Tracking System   ……,,,,,,,…………………………………..…….  22. Problem Statement   ……………………………………………………………………………………..  63. Literature Review ……………………………………………………………………………………..…..  74. Methodology ………………………………………………………………………………………………..  95. Results and Discussion ………………………………………………………………………………..  126. Conclusion ……………………………………………………………………………………………..…..  177. References………………………………………………………………..………………………………..  18?1. Background1.1 Project Tracking System (PTS)In general Project Tracking System (PTS) refers to the Project Management Information System (PMIS), which includes but is not limited to measuring and reporting the status of milestones, tasks and activities required in achieving the pre-defined project results. Project Tracking can also refer to Project Management software, which automates the tracking of tasks, assignments, events and activities related to the project.A project is a one-time effort to accomplish an explicit objective by a specific time.  Each project is unique although similar projects may exist.  Every project has a definite beginning and a definite ending. Project management is the process of overseeing planning, organizing, scheduling, leading, communicating and controlling of activities to achieve the pre-defined outcome on time and within budget.One of the key components of Project Management is controlling. Typically, the needs of the project determine the level of detail at which you need to track progress. In example, you may track simple milestones to ensure that they have been reached, or you might track the number of hours each resource has spent on a task and the associated costs. Project tracking requires a careful balance of monitoring to ensure that you will achieve the results and respond to any incidents or roadblocks, while avoiding micro management and reducing team members ability to make decisions.There are various tools and techniques available to manage and track projects. Project management software is frequently used by companies to assist in managing the initiation, execution, tracking and closing of projects. By automating many of the project management tasks such as scheduling, time and expense reporting, and charge back reporting, project managers have access to real-time analytics, which ensure the efficient management of resource allocation and utilization. Automation also assists project managers in consistent project execution, improved resource utilization and reduced resource gaps, operational efficiency and it facilitates communication and decision-making.1.2 Project Tracking System in TNB ResearchTNB Research Sdn. Bhd.  (TNBR) has been the research arm for Tenaga Nasional Berhad (TNB) since 1993.  The R&D Centre conducts research and provides scientific and technical services spanning across generation, transmission and distribution of electricity. Stream of solutions developed under various Applied and Advanced Research projects have been implemented, with the main objectives to enhance TNB’s availability, reliability and efficiency as well as to position TNB as a key player in technology leadership.The key business of TNBR is R projects and obviously good project management is one of the important key success factors.  Project management is important because it ensures there’s rigor in architecting projects properly so that they fit well within the broader context of our client’s strategic frameworks.  Good project management ensures that the goals of projects closely align with the strategic goals of the business. Other important aspects of project management are as follows:• Project management provides leadership and vision, motivation, removing roadblocks, coaching and inspiring the team to do their best work.• Project management is important because it ensures there’s a proper plan for executing on strategic goals• Project management is important because it ensures proper expectations are set around what can be delivered, by when, and for how much.• Projects management is important because it ensures the quality of whatever is being delivered, consistently hits the mark.• Project management is important because it ensures the right people do the right things, at the right time – it ensures proper project process is followed throughout the project lifecycle.• Project management is important because it ensures a project’s progress is tracked and reported properly.Project tracking system is the crucial component of project management information system and TNBR is exploring other value added functions and benefit of the system. 1.3 The Current Project Tracking SystemThe system was developed in-house and it is 10 years old already. The users of the system are as follows:1. Project Leader2. Project Director3. Head of Department4. Managing Director5. Project Administration SectionThe key flow of the system is as follows as defined in the original PTS design manual. Figure 1. Project Leader system flow Figure 2. Project Director system flow Figure 3. Management system flow?2. Problem StatementAt any one time, there are close to 100 research projects undertaken by TNB Research. To ensure quality project delivery, timely completion and within the allocated funding, continuous monitoring is made at various platforms and levels. At company level, the monthly project progress is continuously monitored and updated through the online Project Tracking System. The key challenge at the moment is how to ensure the system is fully utilised and optimised. There are various reportings that have to be done to various level of management, project stakeholders and customers. Instead of coming out with different reporting system, the PTS can be used to automate the reporting according to different needs of the final users (of the reportings). At present, due to the needs of manual and multiple updating, the Project Leaders view PTS as a nuisance and not a productive tool in their project progress monitoring.?3. Literature ReviewThe current R project requirements and environment are complex. R Project Managers need to make fast decisions, allocate scarce resources efficiently, and have a clear focus. In organizations that are engaged in many projects simultaneously, management is faced with multiple challenges (Elonen and Artto, 2003). Project managers handling different projects with different scopes, complexities and timelines face particular problems. These can be related to resource conflicts and throughput times. Inadequate balancing of scarce resources often results in additional pressure on the organization, whichleads to poor quality of information and longer lead times of projects (Elonen and Artto, 2003). Interdependencies and interactions between projects and information and project overload present specific challenges as well.Project Management Information System have become comprehensive systems that support the entire life-cycle of projects, project programs, and project portfolios (Ahleman, 2009). They can support R project managers in their planning, organizing, control, reporting and decision making tasks, while evaluating and reporting at the same time (Raymond and Bergeron, 2008). Studies have shown that there are several important factors that encourage project managers to use PMIS. First, whether or not project managers will use PMIS strongly depends on the quality of the information generated by the PMIS.Kent University UK for example has implemented an integrated research information system (CRIS), known as KRIMSON – Kent Research and Innovation System Online. In a published paper (McDonnella and Kerridge: 2016), it reflects on the lessons learned for the implementation as a whole, and, in particular, the experiences with the various integrations and interfaces that were developed to other existing University IT systems: user authentication, HR, Finance, Institutional Repository, and the student records system. KRIMSON is envisaged as a cradle-to-grave research information management system, with functionality for pre-award proposal tracking and approval, costing and pricing, post-award management and financial reporting, publications management, activities and event records.In Malaysia, most universities implemented a manual project tracking system e.g. for research grant obtained under FRGS (USAINS, 2016). Under the FRGS guidelines produced by Ministry of Higher Education 2017, the responsibility is given to the individual university to manage the grant and research projects, as an example by the individual Research Management and Innovation Centre.Another challenges is in managing collaborative research projects which have emerged as a particular form of academia–industry-industry interaction. Collaborative research projects face many challenges concerning a successful project management (PM) since they are generally associated with high uncertainty and risks, individually oriented project personnel, heterogeneous project partners which are located at different locations, and significant pressure in terms of creativity and innovativeness (Barnes et al., 2006).Issues highlighted above are also applicable to TNBR. Gaps and opportunities for improvement will be studied and analysed to deliver an enhanced and effective Project Tracking System for the purpose of managing R projects.?4. MethodologyThe study applies quantitative analysis, in particular, survey as the research tool to obtain feedbacks from users regarding PTS. Since PTS is TNBR internal MIS application, the target populations are researchers and executives who use PTS as platform to update their project status and report to their respective superiors. The target population is equivalent to the total population of researchers and executives from working level to management level which is 90 personnel. The survey is designed using Survey Monkey© and the link to the survey is sent to the correspondents via TNBR WhatApps group for researchers and executives. The survey questions are categorized into 3 sections, which are: 1. Demographics2. Feedback on existing PTS3. Suggestions to improve PTSThe questions and choice of selections for section 1 are as follows: Figure 4. Questions for Section 1 (Demographics)For Section 2 on feedbacks on existing PTS, the questions are structured in a flow to understand how the system has assisted users in managing their projects and how do they rate the features of the system. The ratings are based on Likert Scale, from 1(Not Useful/Lowest) to 5(Most Useful/Highest). The questions for Section 2 are as follows: Figure 5. Questions for Section 2 (Feedbacks and existing PTS)The final section is to obtain feedback from users on how the system can be improved in terms of accessibility, user interface, integration with other systems and the need for advanced analytics and intelligence. The questions in this section are combination between Likert Scale (1-Not Significant to 5-Most Significant) which is to obtain feedback on pre-suggested features and also open-ended questions to seek suggestions for further improvement. The questions for Section 3 are as follows: Figure 6. Questions for Section 3 (Feedbacks and existing PTS)?5. Result and DiscussionsThe survey was conducted from 13th to 16th January 2018 and in total, 79 out of 90 personnel responded to the survey. The response volume for the 3-day survey period is shown below: Figure 7. Survey responses volumeFor section 1, the results of the demographic related questions are shown in Figure 5. It was revealed that the percentages between male and female respondents are each 65.56% (51 respondents) and 35.44% (29 respondents). For the number of years working TNBR, significant division for each number of years were observed where 33.76% (26 respondents) have less than 5 years’ experience, another 33.77% (26 respondents) are between 5 to 10 years and the remaining 32.47% (25 respondents) are more than 10 years. For the role in TNBR question, 49.35% (38 respondents) are from working level researchers, 12.99% (10 respondents) are from working level executives, 33.77% (26 respondents) are from project leaders and managers and 3.9% (3 respondents) are from TNBR top management.     Figure 8. Section 1 (Demographics) questions resultFor Section 2 question 4 on the current usage of PTS, the lowest weighted average score was 2.45 out of 5 which is on “Monitoring Financial Expenditures”. This is expected as the current PTS system is not integrated with the financial report for each project as the reports are separately available in MS Excel format. The highest weighted average score is 3.44 out of 5 on “Report project related issues to management (project director and above)”. In TNBR, issues and concerns related to projects are generally discussed during the monthly General Manager Review meeting and the issues in PTS are mostly highlighted during this meeting. However, the score also indicates that not all users utilize PTS to discuss project issues with their respective superiors, which indicates the medium utilization of the system for the purpose. The overall results are shown in Figure 9 below. Figure 9. Section 2 questions 4 resultsFor question 5 on the rating of current PTS, the “Look and Feel” feature scored the lowest weighted average of 2.59 out of 5. This may do to the fact that the user interface for PTS has not undergone any major change over the years. Another important feature which scored second lowest is the “Ease of Use” with weighted average score of 2.88 out of 5. With the absence of user manual and FAQ section for the current PTS, it is not unexpected for users to rate low on the particular feature. “Accessibility” scored the highest weighted average with the score of 3.29 out of 5. However, it is important to note that the current PTS does not support access from outside TNBR intranet hence this score may be skewed by researchers and/or executives who do not involve much in outstation projects. The overall results for question 5 are shown in Figure 10. Figure 10. Section 2 questions 5 resultsFor the final section, the results for question 6 on the rating for pre-suggested new features illustrated an interesting trend where the weighted average scores are concentrated from 3.77 to 4.00 out of 5. This indicates that the respondents are supportive for the new features and desire changes in PTS to able to assist them in managing projects. The overall results are shown in Figure 8. Figure 11. Section 2 questions 6 resultsThe desire for improvement in the PTS is further observed for the question 7 on the open-ended question for suggestions, where 32 respondents suggested a range of improvements from user interface to further analytics features including the utilization of AI to support project decision making. Below are the some of the common keywords in the suggestion for improvement question:1. Centralized reporting platform with improved user interface 2. Improved accessibility and flexibility to eliminate redundancies in reporting3. Integration with financial and procurement system and enhancement to Decision Support System (DSS) to management4. User forum section to discuss common project issues 5. To be configured as extranet and made available to project clients/customers to monitor project statusThe snapshot of users’ feedback to question 7 is shown in Figure 9. Figure 9. Section 3 questions 7 results?6. ConclusionFrom the survey results and analysis that have been conducted, it can be observed that TNBR PTS users support improvement to the current system as they acknowledge the system is able to assist and enhance their experience in managing research projects. The survey also managed to unearth users’ concerns regarding reporting aspects as it appears certain projects suffered from multiple reporting regarding same issue but for different clientele. Consequently, it can be concluded that when PTS is improved with the suggested features, it will greatly increase the productivity of researchers and executives. This is because PTS will serve as one-stop-system in research project management that not only encompass overall project aspects, but also with intelligence to predict project derailment from the desired timeline and suggests the appropriate course of action. ?7. ReferencesAhlemann, F., 2009. Towards a conceptual reference model for project management information systems. International Journal of Project Management 27 (1), 19–30.Barnes, T., Pashby, I., Gibbons, A., 2006. Managing collaborative R&D projects development of a practical management tool. Int. J. Proj. Manag. 24, 395–404.Elonen, S., Artto, K.A., 2003. Problems in managing internal development projects in multi-project environments. International Journal of Project Management 21 (6), 395–402.Garis Panduan Skim Geran Penyelidikan Fundamental (FRGS), Pindaan Tahun 2017. McDonnella R, Kerridge S. Research Information Management System (KRIMSON) at Kent. 13th International Conference on Current Research Information Systems, CRIS2016, 9-11 June 2016, Scotland, UKRaymond, L., Bergeron, F., 2008. Project management information systems: an empirical study of their impact on project managers and project success. International Journal of Project Management 26 (2), 213–220.USAINS Holdings, Universiti Sains Malaysia, RU Grant Progress Report Form, 2016