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SIM335 Managing Projects Assignment Help

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SIM335 Managing Projects Assignment Help

SIM335 Managing Projects Assignment Help

INTRODUCTION

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1. Project Initiation Phase

Your task is to: carry out the initiation phase of the identified project and prepare the project initiation document (PID). They will need to work as a team and review the client brief to gather as much information as possible with respect to the client’s expectations LSC work. Following on from the PID, learners will prepare a business case for the client to consider. It is important that learners outline the different options to the client indicating their respective benefits and costs.

• Complete the documentation for the initiation phase for an identified project

• Create a business case to support an identified project

EVIDENCE

A project initiation document (PID):-

Tarhini et al., (2015) describe that PID provides detail information about the project planning, especially the scope statement of a project, project constraints, and final project deliverables. This must include:

• who the stakeholder(s) is/are

• who the clients and target audience (end users) are

• the scope definition

• the project's purpose/Aims

• the project's objectives

• the deliverables

• the timescales

• the structure.

A business case This must provide the client(s) with:-

• alternatives to consider

• the costs/benefits of each option.

It must enable the client(s) to make an informed decision as to:-

• why the project should go ahead

the direction of the project (to do what and why?).

2. Project Planning and Phase Review

Your task is to: be presented with the final choice made by the client(s) as to which option to take forward. They will then need to prepare a project plan for the chosen option. It is important that learners appreciate that ‘time is money’ and they should cost in the potential value of time as well as the cost of any physical resources.

On completion of their individual project plan, learners will conduct a team meeting and carry out a phase review to ensure that their part of the project can progress to the next stage.

• Develop a project plan for the identified project

• Carry out and document a phase review of the project plan

EVIDENCE

A project Plan

This must include:-

• resource plan (e.g. identification of staff, equipment and materials needed).

• design of Work Breakdown Structure (WBS) (e.g. deliverable-oriented breakdown of a project into smaller components(activity or deliverable), lowest element, called work packages. A WBS also provides the necessary framework for detailed cost estimating and control along with providing guidance for schedule development and control)

• financial plan (e.g. quantify the financial expenditure required)

• quality plan (e.g. quality targets and quality control methods)

• risk plan (identify risks and plan actions need to minimise risks)

• acceptance plan (e.g. specify criteria for accepting deliverables).

A phase review (this could take the form of a formal report, minutes of a meeting or presentation with speaker notes). This must include the following considerations:

• Is the project on schedule and within budget?

• Have the deliverables been produced and approved?

• Have the risks been controlled and mitigated?

• Have issues been resolved?

• Is the project on track?

• Should the project continue to the execution phase?

• What is the justification for the decisions made?

• What changes have been identified, how will these be implemented and what is the justification for them?

The purpose of this phase review is to ensure that nothing has been missed in the planning phase and all eventualities (as much as one can foresee) have been considered before the execution of the plan.

3. Executing the Project

Your task is to: provide evidence of following the project through in line with their Project Plan. At this point if working as part of a team a decision could be made to split out the overall project into smaller components for individuals to work on. For example one group member might be assigned the responsibility of working on the limited face-2-face system; another group member may be given the task of developing the online system, etc. Whatever roles are eventually determined learners will also need to conduct a phase review and prepare a project closure report as part of their evidence generation for this task.

• Follow the project plan and conduct a phase review of the identified project

• Prepare a project closure report based on the execution phase review of the identified project

EVIDENCE

Recording documentation

This must include:

• time

• quality

• change

• risks

• issues

• communications

• acceptance.

A phase review (this could take the form of a formal report, minutes of a meeting or presentation with speaker notes). This must include the following considerations:

• Is the project on schedule and within budget?

• Have the deliverables been produced and approved?

• Have the risks been controlled and mitigated?

• Have issues been resolved?

• Is the project on track?

• Should the project continue?

The purpose of this phase review is establish whether the group has done what it said it would do in the plan and whether the project can be closed down.

4. A project closure report

A project closure report is a formal document and, therefore, must be accurate with respect to spelling and grammar and be clearly written so that the content can be understood

This must include:

• actions identified in the phase review that had to be addressed so that the project could be closed

• project summary

• reason for project closure (has the project reached its planned end date or is it being closed prematurely for some reason?)

• assessment of project performance (how well did the project perform against the business case?)

o achievement of the project objectives, outputs and activities (where the project was successful/unsuccessful)

o performance against planned time, resources and costs (explanation of variance from original planned milestones, costs or allocated resources)

o performance against planned savings and benefits (explanation of any variance from original planned benefits)

• lessons learned

• celebrating success (what were the biggest successes for the project?)

• next steps (description of any outstanding actions and handover arrangements)

o outstanding activities

o remaining risks and issues

o on-going dependencies

o costs of on-going support

o stakeholder communications

o handover of assets and contracts.

The purpose of this project closure report is to document the final status of the project in a formal way, following the bullets as indicated above.

6. Project Evaluation (This task should take between 1 and 2 hours)

Your task is to: evaluate the outcome of the project that they have worked on and be able to recommend improvements for future projects based on their evaluation. Their evaluations should enable them to make a qualitative judgement, taking into account different factors using their knowledge and experience of working through the project.

• Evaluate the feedback from the client and team for the identified project

• Recommend potential improvements for future projects based on the outcome of a project evaluation

EVIDENCE

A project evaluation (this could take the form of completed questionnaires with analysis of the findings, as a report or in a presentation)

This must identify, with justification for responses:

• Whether the project has:

o delivered the business benefits identified in the business case

o achieved the objectives in the terms of reference

o deviated from the original scope

o met the quality targets identified in the quality plan

o proceeded according to the delivery schedule

o deviated from the budget as defined in the financial plan

o deviated from forecast resource levels as per the resource plan

o conformed to the management process as per the execution phase

• the major achievements and the positive effect on the client’s business

• any project failures and the effects on the client’s business • lessons learned

• potential improvements for similar future projects (these will be based on the outcome of your project evaluation above).

The purpose of this project evaluation is to consider in broader terms the success of the project, seeking feedback from different stakeholder groups as appropriate.

APPENDIX 1

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APPENDIX 2

WORK BREAKDOWN STRUCTURE (WBS)

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APPENDIX 3

QUESTIONS AND SOLUTIONS

1) How does risk level vary with project life cycle stages? Where is the period of highest risk impact? Why?

Answer: Risk is at its highest during a project's concept phase, falling off gradually during development phase and reduces dramatically during implementation and termination phases. At project completion, risk is at its nadir. Risk is highest at the start of a project because uncertainty is high; what may be a clear vision in the customer's and project leader's minds is far from realization. Questions are answered and uncertainties resolved as the project progresses, but the amount at stake, as measured in man hours of labor, materials, and other expenses, rises. The period of highest risk impact is late in a project's life; while risk itself is lower, the amount at stake is much higher, and until the project is finished and accepted there is potential for a poor finish. Since one important criterion of project success is customer acceptance, the risk impact remains high to the end.

2) What are the four distinct stages of systematic risk management and what takes place at each?

Answer: The four distinct steps of systematic risk management are:

• Risk identification — the process of determining the specific risk factors that can reasonably be expected to affect the project.

• Analysis of probability and consequences — the potential impact of these risk factors is determined by how likely they are to occur and the effect they would have on the project if they did occur.

• Risk mitigation strategies — steps taken to minimize the potential impact of these risk factors deemed sufficiently threatening to the project.

• Control and documentation — creating a knowledge base for future projects based on lessons learned.

3) What are the basic qualitative methods for identifying risk factors? What are the advantages and disadvantages of each method?

Answer: A number of qualitative methods are available for conducting risk factor identification for industry specific risks.

• A brainstorming meeting is valuable for bringing a team together and generating many ideas quickly. If one member dominates a brainstorming meeting or members pass judgment on ideas as they are generated, such a meeting may be less valuable.

• The Delphi method collects expert opinions anonymously in two or more rounds of questions posed by an expert. There is no "in-the-moment" synergy among experts unless a real-time decision support system is being used, but there is also little chance of a single member dominating the proceedings. The Delphi method would also suffer if the experts were unable to articulate their methods or if the moderator screened out an idea that might have triggered additional thoughts.

• The "experience counts" approach looks for individuals in the organization that have had similar project experiences and seeks their input with regards to "lessons learned" and risks anticipated. This method is less formal and the lack of structure may result in less knowledge transfer, but it permits great richness of observations.

• Past history examines patterns that have emerged prior to problems in previous projects. This technique is appropriate if the same underlying causal structure is assumed to exist, but there is no guarantee that history is a reliable predictor of the future.

• Multiple (or team-based) assessments bring together a diverse group of team members that specialize in different aspects of the project and therefore have a different perspective on potential risks. This approach encourages identification of a comprehensive set of risks but carries with it the pitfalls that accompany any group discussion exercise.

4) What are the four alternatives a project organization can adopt in deciding how to address their risks? What are the advantages and disadvantages of each? Which is best and why?

Answer: The four possible alternatives a project organization can adopt in deciding how to address their risks are:

• Accept risk — Risks of a minor nature are probably present in a matter of course, but because their likelihood and or consequence are so small, they are deemed acceptable and are worth little to no attention because the expense outweighs the benefit.

• Minimize risk — Strategies to minimize risk seek ways to prevent risks from occurring or to minimize impact if they do occur.

• Share risk — Risk can be allocated among project members, either subcontractors, or different departments, or between customer and project organization. The risk that is evenly distributed will lessen the burden on any one player, but contracts are best signed up front to minimize the amount of finger-pointing that occurs once the risk is realized.

• Transfer risk — Transfer of risk is done contractually; the benefit to the transferring party is that the risk is no longer theirs, although this lightened burden comes at some expense.

The best approach depends on the risk involved and the mindset of the project organization. Minimal risk should be handled with acceptance; more serious risk can be handled with acceptance or some other means depending on the resources the company can bring to bear.

5) There are four alternatives a project organization can adopt in deciding how to address their risks. Develop four different scenarios, one each for which each of the alternatives would be appropriate. Justify your selections

Answer: The four possible alternatives a project organization can adopt in deciding how to address their risks are to accept risk, minimize risk, share risk, and transfer risk. Scenarios are limited only by the bounds of your students' imaginations, but as a general rule, the motivation for each strategy are outlined below.

• Accept risk — Risks of a minor nature are probably present in a matter of course, but because their likelihood and or consequence are so small, they are deemed acceptable and are worth little to no attention because the expense outweighs the benefit.

• Minimize risk — Strategies to minimize risk seek ways to prevent risks from occurring or to minimize impact if they do occur.

• Share risk — Risk can be allocated among project members, either subcontractors, or different departments, or between customer and project organization. The risk that is evenly distributed will lessen the burden on any one player, but contracts are best signed up front to minimize the amount of finger-pointing that occurs once the risk is realized.

• Transfer risk — Transfer of risk is done contractually; the benefit to the transferring party is that the risk is no longer theirs, although this lightened burden comes at some expense.

The best approach depends on the risk involved and the mindset of the project organization. Minimal risk should be handled with acceptance; more serious risk can be handled with acceptance or some other means depending on the resources the company can bring to bear.

6) How do mentoring and cross-training mitigate risk?

Answer: Mentoring and cross-training are two approaches to risk minimization that train project team members. A mentoring program pairs junior or inexperienced project managers with senior managers in order to help them learn best practices. This approach mitigates risk by easing the junior members into new duties with a senior member that can answer questions and clarify problems as they get their feet wet in the project organization. Cross-training requires that members of the project team learn not only their own duties but also the roles that other team members are expected to perform. Cross-training addresses more immediate needs; if a member is pulled away for some time, the cross-trained member can fill in as needed.

7) What's the relationship between WBS, scheduling, and budgeting?

Answer: The central goal of a budget is the need to support, rather than conflict with the project's and organization's goals. The project budget is a plan that identifies the allocated resources, the project's goals, and the schedule that allows an organization to achieve those goals. The project budget must be coordinated with the project activities defined in the work breakdown structure, as the WBS sets the stage for creating the project schedule and the budget assigns the necessary resources to support the schedule.

8) What is a scope statement and what are the key steps in the scope statement process?

Answer: The scope statement reflects a project team's best efforts at creating the documentation and approval of all important project parameters prior to proceeding to the development phase. The key steps of the scope statement process identified in the text are:

• Establishing the project goal criteria.

• Developing the management plan for the project.

• Establishing a work breakdown structure.

• Creating a scope baseline.

9) Provide an example of work breakdown structure and indicate what purpose WBS serves.

Answer: Work breakdown structure (WBS) divides the project into its component sub-steps in order to begin establishing critical interrelationships among activities. Examples may vary, but if the project is to lead students on a study tour of Mexico, major components might be transportation, housing, business visits, recreation visits, and curriculum. Each of these major headings can be broken down further, for example, transportation can be segmented into air and ground transportation, with timelines established for securing firm reservations, paying deposits, and getting directions.

10) Provide an example of a work package and a WBS code and indicate the information they provide.

Answer: A work package is the lowest (most detailed) level in work breakdown structure (WBS). Some firms use work package and task interchangeably, using the terms to represent an individual activity. A WBS code is a number assigned to each activity so that the accounting function may track costs more precisely. The accounting function may track activities that are over or under budget and otherwise maintain financial control of the development process. Examples may vary, but a work package for a curriculum redesign might be to design the syllabus for an introductory course and the WBS code would be 2.3.8.

11) What is the purpose of controls? Describe any three types of control systems.

Answer: Control systems are vital to ensure that any changes to the project baseline are conducted in a systematic and thorough manner. The focus of a control system may be on configuration, design, trends, documents, acquisition, or specification. Configuration control takes procedures that monitor emerging project scope against original baseline scope. Design control relates to systems for monitoring the project's scope, schedule, and costs during the design stage. Trend monitoring is the process of tracking the estimated costs, schedules, and resources needed against those planned. Document control ensures that important documentation is compiled and disseminated in an orderly and timely fashion. Acquisition control monitors systems used to acquire necessary project equipment, materials, or services needed for project development and implementation. Specification control ensures that project specifications are prepared clearly, communicated to all concerned parties, and changed only with proper authorization.

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