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Be able to design systems and plans for initiating and managing projects

Project Management

Unit aims

The aim of this unit is to enable learners to understand the process of identifying appropriate and feasible projects. Learner will also understand how the projects can be planned and monitored in order to achieve business objectives.

Unit level

6

 

 

Unit code

T/615/2726

 

 

GLH

60

 

 

Credit value

15

 

 

Unit grading structure

Pass/Merit/Distinction

 

 

Assessment guidance

Learners should refer to actual business objectives and produce relevant plans in order to achieve LOs 1 and 2 at the standard required. The other LOs can be approached from a theoretical perspective but learners must use actual examples from organisations to support the points which are made.

Learning outcomes. The learner will:

Assessment criteria. The learner can:

 

 

 

Pass

Merit

Distinction

1.  Be able to analyse business objectives to identify potential projects, their feasibility and the methodology which may be used

        Analyse business objectives

        Identify potential projects required from an appraisal of established business objectives

        Review project methodologies suitable for the chosen project

        Assess the feasibility of a proposed project

1M1 Justify the project methodology chosen for the given project

1D1 Analyse the contribution the chosen project will make in achieving the business objectives

2.  Be able to design systems and plans for initiating and managing projects

        Devise a structure for the management of a project

        Explain the role and responsibilities of the project manager

        Prepare a detailed project plan with high level estimates of time, resources and costs that meet agreed milestones

2M1 Evaluate the skills and experience needed to fulfil the role of a project manager

2D1 Justify the chosen management structure for a project and explain the contribution made by other team members

3.  Understand how to monitor and control the progress of projects

        Identify potential issues and risks associated with projects

        Design systems and measures to monitor and appraise the status and progress of projects

        Design contingency plans to help mitigate potential delays in the progress of projects

 

 

4.  Understand how to close and review the success of a project

        Assess tasks needed to close a project

        Devise ways to review the success of a project

4M1 Assess the importance of reviewing projects after their completion

 

Indicative Content

1.    Be able to analyse business objectives to identify potential projects, their feasibility and the methodology which may be used

Analysis of business needs

  • Reviewing operations and procedures, business data, business performance, bench marking, market analysis, strategic and operational plans, vision and mission, strategic direction.

Project identification and feasibility:

  • Criteria to steer selection of projects, alternative project cost-benefit analyses. Project methodology:
    • Traditional approach, critical change approach, event change approach or proprietary/ formalised approaches, for example PRINCE, AGILE.

Feasibility:

  • Risk Management; identifying risk, impact analysis, risk management/planning, review cost- benefit and risk equation for projects. Consider other issues impacting on project e.g. issues of globalisation (advantages and disadvantages of cross-country/culture projects).

2.    Be able to design systems and plans for initiating and managing projects

Team structures:

  • Hierarchical, virtual, networked, functional team, pure project teams, matrix management.
  • Change control: formal change requests, review of critical path, impact on resources and timelines.

Roles and responsibilities of project manager:

  • Managing team and stakeholders, change management, project environment, understanding life cycle of projects, setting schedule, budget and timing, developing the project plan, managing project risks, interfaces with other projects, conflict resolution including role of project manager and sponsor, constructive vs. destructive conflicts, compromise, skill complementarities, goal congruence.

Project plan:

  • Value proposition, sponsorship, accountability, deliverables, responsibilities, resource allocations, timeline, milestones, critical path project sub-division: work breakdown, identifying time scales, identifying resources, project budgeting, reporting and accountability.

Interpersonal and Communication Skills:

  • Leadership, for example motivating others, delegation, and decision-making.
  • Networking, for example network building, communication skills, teamwork, collaboration, mentoring.
  • Communication for example negotiating, persuasion, assertive, listening skills, effective writing and oral skills.

3.    Understand how to monitor and control the progress of projects

Issues and risks:

  • Project creep, gaps in the scope or accountability of the project, changing dependencies (other projects, business conditions etc.), delays, planning errors, skills or other resource deficits.
  • Financial constraints, lack of decision making, lack of ownership for the project, communication failures, ‘meaningless’ plan without buy-in, changes to project team, priority changes within the organisation.

Project monitoring:

  • Status and plan documentation and regular monitoring meetings, performance management against targets, defining responsibilities and accountability, communications, traceability, audit trails, formalised frameworks and stages, contingency planning.

4.    Understand how to close and review the success of a project

Project closeout:

  • Formal evaluation of project and team performance, application of PERT, review of project process and outcomes, feedback from stakeholders, document learning points for future, assess success factors, post-implementation report, sign off on deliverables, hand over/archive documentation, contract closures, closing out financial accounts, reassign team.

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