Assignment 2 – PMP Critique
The aim of this assignment is to gain understanding and insight into what is contained within a useful and best practice Project Management Plan (PMP). You are asked to complete a report detailing your critical analysis of a provided Project Management Plan.
Timelines and Expectations
Marks: Assignment will be assessed based on a mark out of 50
Percentage Value of Task: 20% of the course marks
Due: Week 7, Thursday 5:00pm
Minimum time expectation: 16 hours
This is an individual assignment. There is an expectation that no two submissions will be the same.
Learning Outcomes Assessed
The following course learning outcomes are assessed by completing this assessment:
K2 - describe project management methodologies, such as the project management body of knowledge;
K3 - acquire a theoretical knowledge of the project management process groups model;
K4 - explain the basic components of a project management plan and its importance in improving the success of information technology projects;
S3 - employ a systems thinking approach to identify critical roles and stakeholders in information technology projects;
S4 - demonstrate decision-making processes to solve a range of information technology project issues;
S5 - utilise a range of organizational and self-management skills, emulating real world practice of information technology project managers;
A1 - adopt a project management framework to write (review) a project management plan, for a simulated real world contemporary information technology project;
A critique or critical analysis is a review or appraisal based on careful analytical evaluation. Writing a critical analysis requires you to read the selected document in detail and to also read other related texts so that you can present a fair and reasonable evaluation of the selected document.
In this assignment, you are required to undertake a critical analysis of a fundamental document of the PMBOK – the PMP. Critical thinking and analysis are important components of being a professional. If you do not think critically you will only have a superficial view. To be a successful project manager you need to sort out what's accurate and what's not, and you need to identify a solid, factual base for solving problems and addressing issues on your project.
For assistance in critical writing techniques, see
Federation University’s General Guide to Writing and Study Skills, in particular pp. 27 – 29 on Critical Thinking. For another example, try http://www2.le.ac.uk/offices/careers/ld/resources/writing/writing- resources/critical-writing/
The purpose of this PMP critique is to prepare you for developing your own PMP. After this PMP critique, you should understand and appreciate the structure and content required for a good PMP so that you are able to complete the construction of a PMP for assignment 3.
An electronic copy of the PMP for you to evaluate and critique - ITECH_2250_A2_S8_2018_201807_PMP_for_Critique – as well as this assignment, are contained in the zip file - ITECH2250_A2_S8_2018_201807_PMP_Critique.zip in the Assessment section of your Moodle shell.
Your critical analysis will understand (interpret and summarise), analyse and evaluate (judge) key aspects of the assigned PMP. You should adopt Schwalbe1 (2010, pp.151-154; 2014, pp.161-164; 2016, pp. 158-161) and the PMI’s (2013, p.77) PMBOK Guide as frameworks for comparison and evaluation. In the Topic 3 section of your Moodle shell, under the Week 3: Additional Learning Resources section you will find a copy of the Schwalbe 2010 layout - Week 3: Reading 1 (Schwalbe, 2010) and the PMI PMBOK Guide PMP contents – Week 3: Reading 4 (PMI, 2013).
You may also like to review Appendix A - PMP Critique Guide at the end of this document for some suggestions or interpretations of Schwalbe’s understanding of what should be in a PMP.
When reviewing the PMP think about the following:
The common techniques and tools used in PMP presentation;
The most effective or the best techniques and tools for each component of the PMP;
the layout and usability of the given PMP;
The structure and components of the given PMP;
The content of the given PMP - how and why the particular information is used;
How each section and the overall content is presented, especially the conciseness, format, and style;
what planning tools the authors have used;
any content that has been omitted;
any additional content that has been included – is it necessary? does it suit the purpose?;
the language and form of expression used;
the overall quality and professionalism of the PMP;
The usefulness of the PMP for guiding the project
Your PMP critique report should be presented in a business or management style and structured as follows:
table of contents;
1 Schwalbe, K. (2016). Information Technology Project Management (8th ed.). Boston, MA: Cengage Learning
critical analysis of PMP:
management and technical approach;
work to perform;
appendices (if needed)
Support your analysis with concepts and references from the work of others. Gather these references from various sources including the assigned text books and references, Course readings and reputable and reliable internet sites.
An electronic copy of your PMP Critique report must be submitte d via Moodle. Partner students please refer to your course lecturer for submission instructions. Please refer to the Course Description for information regarding late assignments, extensions, special consideration and plagiarism. For further clarification you may consult the academic regulations which can be accessed via the university’s website, see: http://federation.edu.au/staff/governance/legal/feduni-legislation/feduni- statutes-and-regulations
Plagiarism is the presentation of the expressed thought or work of another person as though it is one's own without properly acknowledging that person. You must not allow other students to copy your work and you must take care to safeguard against this happening.
More information about the plagiarism policy and procedure for the university can be found at http://federation.edu.au/students/learning-and-study/online-help-with/plagiarism.
Your work will need to comply with the following:
A report of a minimum of 2000 words that provides evidence of critical analysis of the provided PMP and that satisfies items within the marking rubric. You must include:
a description of your understanding of the PMP’s purpose;
a written interpretation and synthesis of key components;
analysis and evaluation of key aspects of the PMP and the strengths and weaknesses identified;
your assessment of the usefulness of the PMP to guide the project
In your discussion you must identify and analyse key issues. This must reference the content of the various theoretical frameworks such as Schwalbe (2010; 2014) and the PMI (2013) PMBOK guide, and must be supported by judgements based on sound academic reasoning.
Multiple references (at least nine appropriate references are expected) should be used. These must be acknowledged through the use of in-text citation and a Reference List. The citations and References List must comply with the APA citation style (see Federation University’s General Guide to Referencing). In-text references should be used in such a way as to provide support for the work and these references should come from a wide variety of sources such as books, journals and reputable and reliable websites.
Your report should be presented as a business or management style report that adheres to academic writing presentation standards. It must contain high quality academic presentation, expression and features as outlined in:
The University’s Assignment Layout and Appearance Guidelines;
the University style guide - https://federation.edu.au/current-students/learning-and- study/online-help-with/study-skills-and-writing-guides - which covers Federation University’s General Guide to Writing and Study Skills (above), General Guide to Referencing (above); and
Features of Academic Writing (from UEfAP.com)
Marking Rubric/Assessment Feedback
Feedback will occur through Moodle within two weeks of the submission date
Appendix A - PMP Critique Guide
The following details are designed to assist ITECH2250 IT Project Management Techniques students in identifying and evaluating content and quality aspects of Project Management Plans (PMP) as outlined by Schwalbe (2010, pp.151-154; 2014, pp.161-164; 2016, pp. 158-161). This is a guide and is not a template. Students are expected to use additional resources to help with their critique.
PMP Introduction Section The introduction should indicate the scope of the report, set
aims/objectives and present an overview of what is to follow.
Name- This section should provide a discussion about the project name. For example: Is it meaningful? Does it reflect the nature of project?
Description -This section should provide a discussion of the details of the project description. Does it include information about goals and the reason for project? Is it written in simple language? Does it include a time and cost estimate?
Sponsor’s details- This section should provide a discussion of the sponsors details supplied. Do they include the name, title, and contact information? Is there a back-up contact person supplied?
Project manager and team details- This section should contain the names and contact details
of the PM and team members.
Deliverables- This section should provide a discussion on the deliverables of the project. For example: Do the authors provide a list and description of each product created? Are these separated into product and PM related categories?
Reference details- This section should reference plans from all other knowledge areas, for example; quality management plan, procurement management plan etc. It should also include a list of any resources consulted (in APA format).
Definitions- This section should evaluate terminology unique to the particular industry or technology. Terms included should help to avoid confusion.
Organisational charts - This section should provide an evaluation of any organisational charts provided, including both the organisation and the project charts. Are both roles and names clearly visible? Are the lines of authority clear?
Project responsibilities- This section should evaluate descriptions of all roles and responsibilities in the project, including a review of the responsibility assignment matrix (RAM). The RAM should include all activities/tasks to at least level 3 and should be accompanied by an explanatory key indicating who is responsible and who will carry out the duties.
Management and Technical Approach Section
Management objectives- This section should provide an analysis of the managerial
objectives of the project. Are they realistic, achievable etc.? Is a list of priorities presented? Are any assumptions or
Project controls -This section should provide an evaluation of the project monitoring strategies and change control procedures. Including: monthly or quarterly status reviews and so on.
Risk management- This section should provide a critical review of how the project team will identify, manage and control risks. Including risk register, risk probability/impact matrix.
Project staffing- This section should provide an appraisal of the staffing plan. For example: Are the number and types of people required indicated? Are the roles clearly articulated? Include a resource histogram.
Technical processes - This section should provide an evaluation of the documentation standards described. Are they clear and useable etc? It should also provide a discussion of the system development life cycle approach selected. Was there justification? Is it the appropriate technique for the type of project?
Work to Perform Section
Major work packages -This section should provide an evaluation of the organisation of the project into work packages. Including items such as: work breakdown structure, scope statement.
Key deliverables- This section should critique the list and description of key products produced. (This section may provide a link back to the introduction section)
Other- This section should review the description information related to performing work on the project. Including items such as: hardware/software required and a list of assumptions.
Summary- This section should provide and evaluation of the overall project schedule, including the Gantt chart, and milestone report.
Detailed- This section should include a judgement on the detailed information provided in the schedule, including dependencies between project activities and the network diagram.
Other- This section should evaluate any assumptions related to the project schedule.
SummaryThis section should review the total estimate of the overall project’s budget. For example: Is it present? Does it contain totals for all budget line items? Does it add up?
Detailed- This section should review the summary of the project cost management plan, including the project budget.
Other- This section should evaluate information related to financial aspects of the project, including assumptions.
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