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An explanation of the need for quality leadership on the project, and the role that a successful project manager can play the project manager has to be much more than an administrator or coordinator

Project Management

Assessment Brief

Academic Year
2018-19
Module Title
Project Management
Module Code
                                                                                                     
Module Convener
 
Type of Assessment
100% coursework (individual)
Assessment Deadline
27th November 2019 at 14.00/2pm

Instructions

Details 

Summative (Main) Assignment: This assignment is based on a fictitious case study (details to be provided separately) that presents students with a business project scenario.  You must take the role of Project Manager and are required to analyse the case study, research the best approach to managing it and develop the following 4 items of project planning documentation, to be submitted as a single, individual report: 

1. Sample Project Initiation Document (PID) including: 

budgetary information 

timescales 

objectives 

approach 

key staff, and 

stakeholder analysis

2. Work Breakdown Structure (WBS) with at least 20 items.  The WBS should be presented in the form of a table that includes dependencies, milestones, and summary tasks.  You are free to deliver this as a Gantt chart (use GanttProject to develop this), but it is not required.  Include with this table a referenced paragraph explaining how a WBS can be used to help manage the tasks on a project and give a further paragraph briefly explaining the importance of critical path analysis; 

3. Risk register containing at least 10 fully documented risks, including owner, mitigation and contingency actions, pre-and post- action weighting and scores; 

4. Short report to the Project Sponsor, the Director of Operations.  Your report should contain both of the following: 

a. An explanation of the need for quality leadership on the project, and the role that a successful project manager can play – the project manager has to be much more than an administrator or coordinator.   Discuss the value of strong leadership on a project and, using examples, explain what happens when this leadership is missing; 

b. An analysis and critique of methodologies that might be used to run the case study project, comparing Agile, Waterfall and PRINCE2 methodologies.  Explain their strengths and weaknesses and give your recommendation to the sponsor as to which methodology you believe would be best to use.  There is no right or wrong answer for this, hence marks will be given on the basis of how well you have explained and justified your decision.  As with the other assignment elements, reference to examples and theory is very important. 

IMPORTANT: So that there is no confusion or doubt, for ALL elements in the assignment, reference must be made to established project management theory. As this is a fictitious project case you are free to make assumptions where necessary and these should be clearly stated in your submission.  Furthermore, you are required to use multiple real project examples (both good and bad) as additional reference sources to help you demonstrate what good practice project management looks like and what happens when it is not applied. 

It is also recommended that you include an appendix that contains all relevant assumptions that demonstrate how you arrived at your estimates - see separate student assignment guide.

Marking and Feedback 

Summative (formal, individually marked assessment) 

In the first half of the semester, you will have an opportunity to gain a basic understanding of the case study through interaction and discussion with each other.  This will help you ‘get started’ as you work towards the delivery of the marked assessment which is an Individual report of 2,500 words total plus diagrams, tables, appendices, etc. containing the items listed above.  As this is a report, it should make extensive use of structural elements (table of contents, headings, subheadings, lists, diagrams, tables, etc.) to help make your work clear to understand.  You are expected to show understanding of theory and practice and make use of multiple external reference sources including referencing sources of all templates used for sample PID, Risk Register, etc.  While students are encouraged to work together, the final reports are required to be individual work demonstrating the student’s unique understanding and insight into the case given. 

How will we support you with your assessment? 

You will complete an assignment checklist, which will be discussed in Week 8.  This will take the form of informal small group sharing of your ideas on the form provided with group discussions, as well as ‘private’ feedback from your tutor on your progress so far.  Although the final deliverable is an individual piece of work, staff will encourage and support you in working informally in small groups to help everyone gain a better understanding of the case. 

There will be an assessment briefing in Weeks 1 and 2, and seminars will be used for work on elements of the assignment. 

Frequently asked questions (and their answers) will be posted on the module’s Moodle site 

There will be an opportunity to review and reflect upon work from previous cohorts. This will be delivered in lecture time. 

Significant seminar time will be given over to the discussion of the various aspects of project management that you will cover in your reports and this seminar time in the final two weeks will used to help support you in developing your assignment answers. 

How will your work be assessed? 

Your work will be assessed by a subject expert who will use the marking grid provided in this assessment brief. 

When you access your marked work it is important that you reflect on the feedback so that you can use it to improve future assignments.  

Referencing

You MUST use the Harvard System.  The Harvard system is very easy to use once you become familiar with it.


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