Uber Transporters: a Project Management Plan

Uber Transporters: a Project Management Plan

A multinational Francisco, American based Transportation Company dealing in transportation and delivery services.

 Introduction

Due to the changing demands of the Uber company customers all over the world and the emergence of new players in the field, the management of the company has sort out for some improvements. The improvements are majorly focused on customer retention for the company to maintain its high position in the transportation and delivery industry. In order to achieve the later, the management of the company commissioned the project management team with the task to come up with a strategy to ensure that the name of the company graces the top. The strategy that the project management came with is the strategy aimed at customer retention. The customer retention strategy will be achieved by improving customer experience in the Uber Company. There are some aspects that are due to customer demand which will be included in the customer satisfaction program. (Angrist, 2017) Others are just due to the company’s planning suggestion and all are deemed useful in ensuring that the experience of the customers in Uber is improved. The strategy will also enable the company thrive well in the competitive transportation industry. This is therefore a project management plan for the improvement of customers’ experience in the Uber Company in all parts of the world where the company has set foot. The project management team lays the procedures towards the achievement of the company’s goals and it will be done in stages.

Project Background

Our Main Goal

The primary reason the proposed project is to come up with strategies which will provide a new and better experience for the clients of the company. Besides the fact that the company is a profit oriented company and that it would like to incur any cost to retain the clients, the company conforms to the principle of customer orientalism. By improving the customer experience, the company meets fully the demands of the customers and at the same time, the company gets to boost its reputation and earns a favor in the eyes of the clients. The customer review program is one the avenues from which the company has acquired most of the strategies to improve customers’ experience in the company. Customers will feel part of the company when they see their views being implemented in the delivery of the Uber transportation services.

The Concept

Uber is a rideshare company which owns the transportation industry contemporarily. One of its competitors is the Lyft Company that provides the same services as Uber Company. It therefore means that Uber could lose its market to companies like Lyft if care is not taken in the next five years. It is therefore, potent that the company implements the strategies designed in this project management plan for the improvement of customer experience. Besides the improvement of customer’s experience, some of the strategies are also aimed at improving the experience of the driver and not only the rider.

There are some concerns that have been raised by the clients about the nature of the Uber app which has been in use for the past five years. One concern is that the use of the app was a great improvement but there are some improvements that need to be done to make the use of the Uber app even more interesting. Customers have demanded for the chatting option within the app is to enable customers to ask urgent questions for clarification purposes. The current option of completing a support ticket and waiting for longer hours before receiving a reply is not very efficient when it comes to the call of urgency.

Also, according to the views of several clients, they would like to be given the chance of choosing their driver of their own choice before the ride is confirmed and closed. Clients would like to go through the profiles of several drivers for the confirmation of their work history. The latter is just for the sake of customer’s safety assurance. The project management team has come up with the ways of ensuring that the demands of the clients are met together with the other many demands that the management of the company listed to be included in this project.

Project Benefits

One very vivid benefit accrued from the project is that the customers of the Uber Company receive a fulfillment of their requirements. Customers are always very demanding and are sensitive. Whenever they make their claims and are not met by the business organizations, they tend to opt out and look for other options. The measure of negativity which clients treat the negligence of a business over their demands is the same measure of positivity that they are likely to treat the response of the organizations over their demands. Clients feel that they are part of the company and this is what retains them. This brings us to the aspect of customer retention and attraction which is the desire of all the business organizations. Besides the project benefiting the clients of the company, the company benefits from the customer retention achieved at the end of the day. Profit making and international expansion is the primary goal of all businesses that are put up and it can only be achieved when the businesses are serving happy and satisfied clients. This strategy will save the company from the promotion costs as the existing clients of the company will advertise for the company to the impending or the potential customers.

The implementation of the project strategies will boost the reputation of the Uber Company and thus gaining fame and favor against the competitors of the company such as Lyft transporters owing to the fact that the Lyft travelers have not yet implemented such strategies in their business and most of their processes are similar to those of Uber. The suggested strategies of the project plan will induce the aspect of uniqueness. Clients are always attracted to the uniqueness of products and services and for this reason, Uber may take away some of the Lyft potential clients.

There are a series of benefits that are anticipated in the completion of the project and are seen to benefit both sides of the stakeholders. One is the Uber Company itself in terms of the profits to be made and the second direct beneficiaries of the completion of the project is the customers. Customer orientalism is one of the strategies to benefit both the clients and the owners of the businesses at the same time.

Project Scope

Key Objectives Of The Project

The progress strategies of the project are scheduled to begin in the year 2021 on the first month of the year. It is scheduled to begin on the third month of January in order to ensure that the milestones of the project begin in the initial dates of the beginning of the year for traceability. It is expected that the project takes a period of six months before all the strategies are implemented. It is supposed to end by the 7th date of the month of June in the year 2021.Only the key objectives are designed to be completed in the six months while others could be completed by the end of the year 2021.

Option To Chat Within The App

The chatting option within the app is a proposal by the clients in the client review platform. They prefer the option to the ticket submission option which does not cater for the urgent demands of the clients. Clients would like to have a direct chat with the customer team before making the confirmation of the ride. In order to attain this, the project management has come up with interview forms designed for the clients. The interviews are aimed at getting the views of the clients on how the chatting platform should be designed. One of the ideas learnt from the clients is that the chatting platform should be designed that the clients chat with real people on the customer support end and not the robots. Robots have been used on the customer team due to their immediate response. They have their advantages over human support team but for the Uber clients, they have a preference for real people on the customer support end. The main reason for the real human preference of the customers is the need for personal appeal that cannot be provided by the robots. Robots only give fixed responses and this is not suitable in cases that may require personal appeal. One strategy that the project management team has suggested in order to ensure that the company meets the demands of the clients is to increase the number of employees to fill the space created by the project plan. More job opportunities will be advertised to the public for the selection to begin on completion of the budget planning for the entire project.

Ability To Select One’s Driver

There are several aspects that the clients would want to know about their drivers before they choose them. The initial program doesn’t allow for the clients to choose the driver and according to them, it denies them the freedom for free choice. They feel like they are being imposed to drivers they don’t like and don’t really feel secure with. The project management team suggests that the management of the company should come up with an improvement for the app. The Uber app seems to limit the clients to the drivers provided by the company and not of their own choice. One of the improvements suggested for the app are; the display of several drivers for the clients to choose from as they order for the Uber ride and a display of their professional backgrounds in the field of driving. According to the clients this is one way to ensure that one is driven by a trusted driver. Also, the ages of the drivers is a consideration as it has been discovered that clients are so choosy about the drivers on the basis of age. Some would like to be driven by young drivers while some have a preference for older drivers. They link the ages of the drivers to the carefulness and safety of the ride. Some think that old drivers are more careful while some believe that younger drivers are more stable while driving. It is therefore a suggestion that the app be improved in terms of driver selection on the side of the clients.

Including More Details In The App

There is need to enrich the app with more details to shed more light for the client on the nature of ride they are going to have. One of the most important details to be included in the app is the details on the weather. The nature of the weather enables the clients to understand the rates charged and not complain whenever the rates charged are increased due to bad weather conditions. Another detail to include in the app is to introduce a video call with the drivers. It creates a personal appeal between the client and the customer and thus making them feel free and safe in the company of each other during the ride.

Reinvesting In The Drivers

The main aim of this project is to improve the customer experience with Uber. It has to be understood that the success of any institution is only achieved when the workers of the institution are satisfied. The project management team has, therefore suggested a strategy to improve the experience of the drivers in order for them to deliver quality services to the clients. One of the suggestions by the project management team is for the company to provide some items such as; contain water and snacks. These are items that the drivers could have otherwise bought for themselves but when the company management steps in to provide for the items, the drivers feel appreciated and will in turn provide quality services to the clients. There are cases where some drivers tend to provide poor services to the clients on claims that they are neglected by the company. ( Edelman, 2015) It is noted that customer satisfaction is directly related to worker motivation. The two factors go hand in hand and for one to be met, the other has to be met too.

There are several strategies to be implemented by the management of the company and most of them lie in the quality management department of the company. The above named strategies are the key objectives of the company in the road to improving client satisfaction and thereby increasing customer turnout for the company at the same time.

Project Objectives (SMART Objectives)

To Boost The Reputation Of The Company In 12 Months

The reputation of the company can be boosted from the customer based programs of the company and this in turn saves the company from the advertisement costs. As usual, it is the regard by which the clients hold a business with that determines their retention rate. Clients who regard a business highly are more likely to be retained and also sell the name of the company to the outside world. (Scherr, 2018) Referrals are very important in a business and they can only be won when the company has a good reputation to in the locality and the international world. The reputation of the company has to be boosted beyond the boundaries of the USA to the international world market where the company has not set foot yet.

Increase Customer Retention Rate In Six Months

Customer retention is a benefit to the company and this enables it to thrive in the competitive world market of the transportation industry. However, this cannot be met if the clients of the company are not satisfied with the services. It is for this reason that the company came up with this project to ensure the satisfaction of the clients that is the road to the success of the company. The customer retention rate is expected to increase by the end of the implementation process of the project ‘strategies. Referrals are expected to increase the customer retention rate from its current state in a year’s time according to the project management team.

Increase Uber Operations Internationally At The End Of 2021

Due to the nature of the laid strategies of the project plan, it is expected that the name of the company will have spread all over the world through the referral clients and the advertisement programs on the media. By the end of the year 2021, the company will take advantage of the build reputation of the company and set foot in several parts of the world which don’t have Uber operations yet. The Company may set foot in the new parts through franchise or just opening Uber offices and intensifying on making its awareness in the new regions. The above strategy enables the company penetrate inner markets that could be of greater potential as many parts of the world are new to the kind of services provided by the Uber Company.

Increase The Number Of Workers In 3 Months

One of the strategies to improve client’s experience with Uber was introducing the online chat option in the app. Customers demanded for real people to chat with and it is for this reason that by the end of the third month of the implementation of the project’s strategies, the company should have increased the number of workers on the customer support desk. Job vacancies will be posted to the public and the one’s that merit will be chosen through an interview to ensure their competency. (Bitran, 2016) The company will thereafter provide some initial training programs to the newly recruited workers to ensure that they are familiarized with the Uber norms of quality deliveries.

Work break down table (WBS Table)

No. Description Code
1 Project initiation and planning 1.0.0
2 Initiation of the project and planning 1.1.0
3 Regular reporting about the status of the project 1.1.2
4 System design 1.1.3
5 System implementation strategy 1.1.4
6 Master testing strategy 1.1.5
7 System interface 1.2.0
8 Developing data conversion plan 1.2.1
9 Developing interface specifications 1.2.2
10 System architecture 1.2.3
11 System development or configuration 1.3.0
12 Development of the system development plan 1.3.1
13 Data conversion and reporting 1.3.2
14 System maintenance 1.3.3
15 Testing of the system 1.4.0
16 Development of detailed test plans 1.4.1
17 Test scenarios 1.4.2
18 Documented results for the system 1.4.3
19 Project training 1.5.0
20 Training plan 1.5.1
21 Training manuals and materials 1.5.2
22 Implementation closeout 1.6.0
23 Releasing of the readiness reports 1.6.1
24 Implementation closeout 1.7.0

 

Stakeholder Management Strategy


STAKEHOLDERS DESCRIPTION INTERNAL/EXTERNAL

IMPACT

MANAGEMENT STRATEGY
Travis Kalanick This is one of the major consultants of the company and approver of all the company’s strategies. He is the founder and therefore the main financier of the Uber company. His role is to approve all the suggestions made at the managerial level. He will approve all the project’s changes and new suggestions to be included in the scope of the project. He will approve all the changes about finances and approve all the financial decisions during the life of the project. Internal. His role is felt from within the company as he is a member of the company’s managerial committee and owner at the same time. High Approves major financial and change decisions during the project.
Uber CEO This is among the major consultants and the sources of the project. He and the management approve the financial decisions suggested by the project manager. He must go through all the change decisions in the project management plan for approval. Internal. He works for the company and major decisions come from him and the management team of the company. High Together with the top management team they approve all the decisions of the company’s project.

He receives reports from the project manager.

Project manager Drafts the project management plan and displays it for all the approved stakeholders. He oversees all the processes of the project throughout its life to the completion Internal High Oversees all the project procedures and gives reports to the overall management in the milestones of the project.
Project management team They are one of the most important element on the ground as they are the implementers of the project’s strategies. Internal High They take orders from the project manager and ensure that the project management plan is used in the implementation of the project’s strategies.

They check out for the need for change during the life of the project to its completion.

Uber clients They are the main reason for the designing of the project. All the strategies laid in the project plan are meant to be felt by them directly External. They are external but the primary target of the project. Medium Clients will be giving a product review during the implementation stage of the project. They will be used to prompt the changes to be made during the life of the project to the end.
Uber franchises They are important in ensuring that the company sets foot in the new places of the world. They will be given the allowance to operate ride services in the name of the Uber company. External Medium They are the business people from different parts of the world other than USA. They will be given the allowance to operate ride services with the Uber name.
Uber drivers They are one of the primary implementers of the project’s new strategies. Internal High They will be used in the implementation of the strategies and thus they are expected to sell a good name of the company

 

Network Diagram/ Critical Path Method

Activity Description Predecessor Expected Duration (Days) Start date
A Initiation of the project and planning None 27 01/10/20
B System design A/c 34 28/10/20
C System implementation strategy None 14 12/10/20
D Testing of the system A/c 24 28/10/20
E Project training D 03 30/11/20
F Development of the system development plan E 07 03/12/20
G System maintenance E 27 03/12/20
H Implementation closeout F 06 28/12/20

 

 

 

Gantt Chart

TASK NAMES Start date End date Days to complete
Project initiation and planning 2 Mar 2021 2 Apr 2021 30
Initiation of the project and planning 2 Mar 2021 4 Apr 2021 32
Regular reporting about the status of the project 3 Mar 2021 10 Aug 2021 180
System design 5 Mar 2021 5 Apr 2021 30
System implementation strategy 6 Apr 2021 10 Aug 2021 120
Master testing strategy 7 Apr 2021 10 Aug 2021 117
Developing interface specifications 7 Apr 2021 18 Jul 2021 90
System architecture 4 Mar 2021 4 Jun 2021 60
System maintenance 3 Mar 2021 31 Jul 2021 90
Testing of the system 5 May 2021 1 Jun 2021 20
Test scenarios 5 May 2021 1 Jun 2021 20
Project training 1 Jul 2021 30 Jul 2021 29
Training manuals and materials 10 Jun 2021 20 Jun 2021 10
Master testing strategy 1 Jun 2021 5 Jul 2021 35
Development of the system development plan 1 Jun 2021 30 Jun 2021 29
Implementation closeout 10 Jul 2021 25 Jul 2021 15

 

Project Budget

The main strategy is focused on improving the Uber app. Following the expected expenses of creating such an app like Uber, the project management team estimates an average of $50 per hour. Due to the complexity of the Uber app and the suggestions made for the app, the cost of development is estimated at over $70,000.On the other hand, the payment of the workers of the project implementation have to be paid over $1M as the development of the project will be a worldwide project. Other funds of about $500000 would be expected to be used in hiring new personnel as suggested in the project management plan. Due to the uncertainties and the impending risks during the life of the project, a budget of over $1M has been set aside to cater for the uncertainties.

WBS CODE TASK NAME ESTIMATED COST (in aud) TOTAL COST (in aud)
1.0 Project initiation and planning 3000
1.1 Initiation of the project and planning 4000
1.12 Regular reporting about the status of the project 4500
1.13 System design 3000
1.14 System implementation strategy 8000
1.15 Master testing strategy 7000
1.20 System interface 8000
1.21 Developing data conversion plan 2400
1.22 Developing interface specifications 3000
1.23 System architecture 6500
1.30 System development or configuration 1700
1.31 Development of the system development plan 7800
132 Data conversion and reporting 6600
1.33 System maintenance   5400
1.40 Testing of the system 8700
1.41 Development of detailed test plans 5500
1.42 Test scenarios 2100
1.43 Documented results for the system 4300
1.50 Project training 4300
1.51 Training plan 3400
1.52 Training manuals and materials 9000
1.60 Implementation closeout 9500
1.61 Releasing of the readiness reports 1000
1.70 Implementation closeout 10000

 

Project HRM And Responsibilities

 


WBS CODE TASK NAME PROJECT TEAM AND RESPONSIBILITIES
1.0 Project initiation and planning The project manager seeks approval of the initiation of the project from the top management of the company. It is the role of the CEO and the financiers to approve the start dates of the project.
1.1 Initiation of the project and planning The project manager initiates the start of the project by assigning specific workers and assigns those departments to head. They are the departmental heads that initiate the start of the project in the specific departments.
1.1.2 Regular reporting about the status of the project The assigned departmental heads report to the overall project manager who in turn reports all the progress of the project to the overall management of the company.
1.1.3 System design The engineers assigned to come up with the development of the Uber app put the developments in place.
1.1.4 System implementation strategy After the designing of the system new technology it is the role of the software engineer to test the viability of the change made
1.1.5 Master testing strategy The changes can be tried on the real customers to see its effectiveness.
1.2.0 System interface It is the role of the software specialists
1.2.1 Developing data conversion plan It is the role of the engineers to ensure that the app is in good state and the changes made are not incompatible with the app. The project manager then approves the viability of the changes.
1.2.2 Developing interface specifications It is the role of the engineers and the specialists to come up with the interface specifications
1.2.3 System architecture The software specialists design the nature of the app after the changes have been made. It has to be viable and meet all the demands of the clients as stated in the project plan.
1.3.0 System development or configuration The system is developed by the specialist in the watch of the project manager.
1.3.1 Development of the system development plan It is the role of the project manager to ensure that there is a plan to be flowed in the development of the software
1.3.2 Data conversion and reporting The software engineers convert the data which is further reported by the departmental heads
1.3.3 System maintenance The project manager assigns the specialized engineers to cater for the maintenance of the app in its life
1.4.0 Testing of the system The viability of the designed system is tried by the real clients and their opinions count for any adjustments
1.4.1 Development of detailed test plans It is the role of the departmental heads together with the specialists to design the test plans
1.4.2 Test scenarios The viability of the changes made on the app is tried with some real clients of the company and their opinions count.
1.4.3 Documented results for the system The department’s heads come up with documented results on the milestones the project has made with respect to time.
1.5.0 Project training The software specialists follow the training program designed by the project manager to train the users of the app on its use.
1.5.1 Training plan The project manager designs the training program to acquaint the new features of the app with the users that is the drivers and the customers of the company.
1.5.1 Training manuals and materials The engineers and the software specialists come up with a training program for the use of the new changes made on the app.
1.6.0 Implementation closeout The project manager closes the developmental stage and the company management approves the new changes to be put to use by the customers
1.6.1 Releasing of the readiness reports The departments heads approve the viability of the project and confirms its real implementation
1.7.0 Implementation closeout The project manager closes the developmental stage and the company management approves the new changes to be put to use by the customers.

 

Risk Analysis

Due to the technical nature of the software development project of developing the Uber app, there are many technological aspects involved. This is accompanied by several uncertainties that must be taken care of by the risk management team in order to ensure that the project of the company is a success. It is the role of the risk management team to come up with the analysis of the risks associated with the implementation of the project and come up with ways to mitigate the situation.

Risk Identification And Classification

With the test plan in place, the risk analysis team can easily identify the risk associated with the implementation of the strategies put in place. Some of the identified risks in the software development of the Uber app are such as;

  1. New Hardware.
  2. New Technology.
  3. New Automation Tool.
  4. Sequence of code delivery.
  5. Availability of application test resources.

In software development there are some unavoidable risks that the risk analysis and management team identify. Some of them are such as;

  • Change in requirements or incomplete requirements.
  • Time allocation for testing.
  • Developers delaying to deliver the build for testing.
  • Urgency from client for delivery.
  • Defect Leakage due to application size or complexity.

It is therefore the role of the project manager to report to the management of the company about the anticipated risks according to the report of the risk analysis team. (McBride, 2018) From there the risk management team will come up with the measures to mitigate the situation and reduce the intensity of the risks.

Monitoring And Control Methods

The monitoring and control stage of the project is necessary to ensure that the project runs to the end in accordance to the project management plan.( Jones, 2009) There are steps to be followed in the Uber app development project and are as follows;

Setting Goals

This is one of the initial stages of initiation of any project and for the app development, there are goals set. Time of completion is among the goals set in the achievement of the demands of the clients of Uber. Goals will act as a roadmap and a motivation to the implementers of the project.

Measuring Progress

This is an important step to be taken by the project manager of the project to ensure that the resources being released to the departments are being used in the right way. It is an important strategy in saving on time and also avoiding wastages that may occur due to some irresponsible workers.

Comparing Actual Progress With Planned

The progress of the project is supposed to go in line with what is stated in the Gantt chart. It is therefore important that the workers of the project are issued with the project plan copies for them to work in accordance to the details in the plan. By checking the actual progress and the planned, the project manager is in position to determine the weaknesses and the strengths in the project implementation. Changes can therefore be made whenever there is a problem as determined by the project manager.

 

Conclusion

As the project manager of the project management team, it is important to ensure that the project management plan is issued to the workers in the implementation of the project. The project is basically the development of the Uber app that the clients have claimed change. All the strategies and objectives of the project aim at fulfilling the demands of the clients. It is the Uber app that the clients majorly come into contact with the management of the company as many of them see no need to approach the physical offices of the company. The development and management of the app will improve the interaction of the clients with the company thus ensure they are satisfied.

 

Appendix

The Uber Company is a ride company whose main offices are located in Francisco, USA.

Travis Kalanick, the owner and founder of the shared company suggested a change in the design of the Uber app due to the claims of the clients.

The company is willing to spend over $ 5M to make the change and fulfill the demands of the clients. The main aim of the company is to fulfill the clients for customer retention.

The entire process of the company’s Uber app development is estimated to take about 6 months beginning from the third month of the year 2021.

James Crack is the project manager of the project and he will oversee all the activities of the project’s lifetime.

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