Established in 1975, Zara is a Spanish company that is considered as one of the world’s largest companies operated in the fashion industry. The company is engaged in the designing, manufacturing, distribution, and selling of clothing for men, women, and children across the world. The company has initiated a project for launching a new summer-shoe in the market of UK. For this, a project management plan has been developed that states the way for successful project execution, monitoring and controlling. The project management plan mainly comprises of project aims, deliverables, schedule, and communication plan and so on. For this purpose, market research is vital for data collection and analysis by using qualitative and quantitative research methods.
P1: Project Aims and Objectives
Project Management refers to the execution of skills, processes, tools, techniques, and knowledge for the purpose of meeting the project aims and objectives. It mainly includes project objectives, scope, deliverables, budgeting, work breakdown structure, human resource planning, communication planning, and execution and controlling planning. It encompasses five key phases named project initiation, project planning, execution, project control, and project closing. It ensures the attainment of project aims and objectives in an effective manner. It also facilitates proper direction and leadership to the projects for successful deliverables. It ensures the project deliverables to be up to the mark as well as valuable deliverables to the company.
Zara is currently operating in the clothing industry at the global level. It provides clothing products for men, women, and children of every age. Recently, the company has planned for launching a new summer-shoe with an objective of competing effectively with the existing competitor firms. It also aims at developing a launch event for selling the product to major industrialists at the time of London Fashion Week in 2019.
The main aim of Zara is the development of new products for the expansion of the product profile as well as competing effectively with the international market leaders.
The vital deliverables of this project consist of the project plan, project scope statement, work breakdown structure, and governance plan and so on. The objectives of the Zara project are the project outcomes that are clearly stated and lie within the scope of the project. These objectives are developed keeping in mind the key criteria of specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and time-bound. The key objectives are basically the milestones being developed for the attainment of the project aims. The significant objectives of the Zara project are as follows:
- Enter into new markets to enhance the customer base across the globe
- Incorporating innovation and superior quality in products
- Becoming a socially and environmentally responsible company
- Providing value to customers to gain satisfaction
- To enhance the profitability of the company
P2: Project Management Plan and Key Areas
The project management plan is highly helpful in the successful execution of a project. The project of Zara will be initiated with the identification of the stakeholders and the definition of aims and goals to be achieved with this project. The plan will further state deliverables and develop project schedules. After this, the plan will follow identification of project risks involved and conduct a risk assessment procedure. After all these steps, the project management plan will be communicated to the stakeholders of this project. However, there are some key areas that need to be considered by Zara during project management planning.
- Cost: It is one of the significant project aspects as it involves the allocation of cost for each activity of a project. Cost allocation is done after the approval of the budget which constraints the excess or inadequacy of cost. This project ensures the perfect balance of cost during the entire project duration.
- Scope: The scope of the project mainly involves the objectives and aims along with deliverables of the project. The project scope clearly defines and maintains the boundaries of the project and it should be the major responsibility of a project manager. Being a crucial part, scope ensures no wastage of efforts, time, resources and cost.
- Time and Schedule: Time and scheduling facilitate the completion of each activity and whole project as well on time. This factor considers the fact that the project should be completed within a specific time limit as the value of the project decreases when it consumes longer time than the expected.
- Quality: Quality management plays a critical role in project management as it ensures the maintenance of quality during the project duration. This project will prioritize quality standards, strategy for attaining those standards and quality control.
- Communication: Project management plan considers the importance of communication so that issues related to project deadlines, scope and budgets can be restrained. Different projects have different communication needs that require addressing within the plan for effective functioning. This aspect includes investor circulars, project updates and progress reports, and others. It is vital for a project management plan to define the suitable communication systems for the project.
- Risk: Every project involves certain risks that affect the project in many ways. It becomes important for a project manager to develop a proper risk management system so that the influence of the risks during the project duration can be minimized.
- Resources: A successful project requires different resources to accomplish the project successfully such as hardware, software, space, human resources, and other resources. The resources require allocation to each phase of the project efficiently for the reason that a balanced allocation of resources assists in proper management of the project.
P3: Work Breakdown Structure and Gantt chart
Work breakdown structure refers to a significant deliverable of a project that clearly organizes the entire project task into small groups for a clear definition of tasks. It helps in stating the different tasks involved in the project in a way that can be understood easily by the project team members. It helps in developing budgets and project schedule by facilitating cost and time allocation to each activity. The work breakdown structure of the Zara project is as follows:
Figure 1: Work Breakdown Structure of the Zara Project
Source: By Author, 2018
A Gantt chart is utilized as a project management tool for displaying the entire tasks against time. The tasks are represented as a bar in which the bars show the initial date, duration and last date of the task. It represents the complex information in a manageable manner and also enhances team productivity. Following the Gantt chart shows the project activities of Zara against time:
Figure 2: Gantt chart of Zara Project
Source: By Author, 2018
M2: Milestone Schedule
Milestone scheduling in project monitoring ensures the progress of the project according to the activities planned. Such scheduling facilitates the time estimation in a more accurate manner for the completion of the project. The milestone scheduling for monitoring the project of Zara is provided below:
Figure 3: Milestone Scheduling of Zara Project
Source: By Author, 2018
P4: Small-Scale Research for the project of Zara
As per the views of (1), quantitative research mainly focuses on the quantity of things while qualitative research is concerned with the quality of things. Quantitative research helps in gaining conceptual conclusions from the larger sample sizes and also utilizes reliable statistical methods. Opposing these views, (2) stated that such research may sometimes provide a false impression of sample homogeneity. He further supported qualitative research by saying that this research involves deep insights and perceptions of participants. In the words of (3), quantitative and qualitative research are inter-linked to each other where quantitative data can be collected from quantitative methods such as questionnaires with open-ended questions.
The small-scale research has been undertaken for the Zara project of developing a new product as a summer-shoe. Small-scale research in this project is the combination of qualitative and quantitative research methods.
Quantitative research is done with an aim of ascertaining the relationship between one dependent and one independent variable from the pool of a population. Such research is developed as experimental or subjective. Quantitative research is mainly concerned with the data in the numerical and logical form. This type of research deals with the numbers and any data that can be measured in a systematic manner. It does not involve data that is not in numerical or measurable form. Different methods will be used by Zara for conducting quantitative research.
- Questionnaires/ Surveys: Most utilized method, questionnaires represents as a form that contains a series of questions to be answered by participants for collecting data.
- Observations: This method involves the data collection by having an observation on people in a natural setting or situations. Simple observations are conducted for collecting numerical data.
- Interviews: The method of interview mainly takes place when verbal communication occurs between the researcher and participants. Interviews can be structured or unstructured.
- Records: Records, used by the researcher, that facilitate statistical and numerical data from secondary sources such as company records and internet.
The questionnaire used by Zara:
- Which is the most competitive company for Zara in the new product development category?
- What purpose do you look for Zara shoe?
- How much you are satisfied with the existing products of Zara?
- Very Satisfied
- Very Dissatisfied
- How do you purchase Zara products?
- Physical stores
- What should be the best feature in Zara shoe?
Qualitative Research refers to the process of collecting data using the conversational as well as open-ended communications. This research collects data in the form of pictures, graphs, words and observations instead of numerical and statistical data. This research focuses not only what people think but also why they think so. Zara has utilized some methods for the purpose of accomplishing qualitative research.
- Focus Groups: In this method, a small group of people from the targeted market is selected for conducting a conversation regarding the research issue.
- Case Study: Such a method uses multiple data sources for gaining a deep understanding and may describe any event, exploratory or explanatory.
- Grounded Theory: Grounded theory is used to facilitate a theory or an explanation behind the occurrence of events.
M2: Evaluation of the Accuracy and Reliability of Different Research Methods
The methods used in research are quantitative and qualitative that is suitable from the point of view of reliability and accuracy. The research is reliable as they contain significant attributes such as equivalence, stability, and homogeneity. The research has collaborated with other researchers for eliminating research bias. Apart from this, the company has used data triangulation that involves different perspectives for developing highly comprehensive findings. These strategies were adopted for ensuring the accuracy and reliability of both the research methods of small-scale research. The company has utilized primary as well as secondary sources for collecting data that are highly reliable and provides accurate data.
D1: Evaluation of Project Management Process and Different Research Methodologies
The quantitative research provides certain advantages such as cost-benefit analysis, a valuable approach and highly accurate risk value. However, the results lack preciseness, consumes more time and cost as well as may give a false impression of perceptions. Qualitative research methods are easy to apply and also impactful in a visual manner. It assists in determining risk categories easily. Contrary to this, it may give biased results and is less valuable as compared to quantitative research methods.
P5: Analysis of Research and Data Using Tools and Techniques
Research Question 1: Most Competitive Company for Zara
(Figure 4: Graph for Most Competitive Company for Zara)
Source: By Author, 2018
Analysis: This questionnaire was conducted with 100 people out of which 45% people consider Nike to be the most competitive for Zara. Fila ranks second with 25% followed by Adidas with 20% and Bata with 10%. This means that Zara will have face competition with all these companies but Nike is the strongest competition.
Research Question 2: Purpose of Zara Shoe
(Figure 5: Pie chart showing the purpose of purchasing Zara shoe)
Source: By Author, 2018
Analysis: The majority of people desire to have Zara shoe for the formal purpose with 35%. However, 18% of people will purchase Zara shoe for the purpose of jogging, gym or running. About 20% people support the casual purpose and 27% people want Zara shoe for the party. This means that Zara will design a shoe for the formal purpose.
Research Question 3: Customer Satisfaction for Zara
(Figure 6: Chart showing customer satisfaction for Zara)
Source: By Author, 2018
Analysis: This analysis shows that approximately 39% of people are satisfied with Zara products and 25% people show that they are highly satisfied. About 8% of people are neither satisfied nor dissatisfied with Zara. Contrary to this, 10% and 18% people are dissatisfied and highly dissatisfied respectively with the products of Zara.
Research Question 4: Way of Purchasing Zara Products
(Figure 7: Pie chart for the purchasing channel used for Zara products)
Source: By Author, 2018
Analysis: It has been realized that 62% of people prefer to purchase Zara products through physical stores while 38% use the online website for buying its products.
Research Question 5: Best Feature in Zara shoe that should be considered
(Figure 8: Graph showing best feature to be looked for Zara shoe)
Source: By Author, 2018
Analysis: It is clearly seen that people find comfort to be the most likely feature with 36% majority. Only 15% people consider design while purchasing shoes while 29% of people look for flexibility that should be in Zara shoes. Adjustable feature is preferred by 20% people that show that Zara should consider comfort most.
P6: Recommendations for Research and Data Analysis
The company has adopted a combination of quantitative and qualitative research methods for conducting effective market research. Qualitative research should be conducted at the time of project initiation while quantitative methods should be utilized after the outcomes of qualitative research has attained. This is because of the fact that qualitative research will assist in making the researcher familiar with the customers during the discussion of purchase experience or product. The company should not consider the qualitative research most as it limits the scope of the research. Hence, it should attempt to maintain the proper balance of both the research methodologies. The validity and reliability of research should be checked at each stage of research which is not done by the researchers many times.
The company should set objectives and goals before initiating the research as it will help them in providing direction. The outcomes of the research should not only be counted in numbers, words or pictures but also used to derive the overall meaning of the research. It can be seen that technology has emerged in every field of business and personal lives. Therefore, the company should also conduct research with the utilization of technology as it will help in reducing cost and time and will provide more accurate and reliable results. Both the research possesses numerous methods that make it difficult for companies to select the most suitable one. Zara should carefully evaluate the methods and use the most appropriate research methods for attaining effective results.
M3: Evaluation of the Selection of Appropriate Tools and Techniques
For the analysis of the research and data, some tools and techniques named bar charts and pie charts are utilized. These tools and techniques are easy to understand and apply. Utilization of technology can be possible by using mobile phones and social media sites for conducting research. The questionnaires can be sent on emails and social media sites that can be filled by participants more easily. Use of technology has always been fruitful for the companies since the people have become tech-savvy these days. The balance of both the research methods can be maintained by using surveys and focus groups along with observations as these methods can provide quantitative and qualitative data.
Zara desires to initiate a project for the purpose of developing a new product as a summer-shoe. The project management plan of Zara is effective as it clearly defines each and every task along with the cost and time allocation. The company requires conducting research with the balance of quantitative and qualitative research so that the company can enjoy the fruits of both the methods. It can be said that this research will assist the company in effective decision-making for attaining the project aims and objectives. This research is crucial for Zara as it will provide the foundation to the project.