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This module, like all modules at Anglia Ruskin, is taught on the basis of achieving intended learning outcomes. On successful completion of the module, the student will be expected to be able to demonstrate the following:
Knowledge and understanding
Intellectual, practical, affective and transferable skills
LO 1. Explain the nature of project management and the project management triangle;
LO 2. Be critically aware of the importance of managing the process groups of project management, stakeholders and risk;
LO 3. Utilise software applications for planning and scheduling project tasks, including resources and costs;
LO 4. Evaluate approaches to improving project management.
Project Management Case Study
New Project Planning Approach at WestBuild
Your role in this case study is that of the new Chief Project Planning Manager responsible for project planning methods for all projects at WestBuild PLC. You are reporting directly to the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and the Chief Financial Officer (CFO). You are tasked to find out how a new project planning approach can lead to positive financial results. When you told your best friend about your new job he gave you the book of Harvey Maylor about “Project Management” as a gift.
WestBuild is a leading company delivering projects and consultancy in the field of construction of large buildings and infrastructure. Customers are both from the public and private sector. It is located in the capital and has a proven history of successful projects for international customers. It has more than 250,000 employees.
WestBuild has decided to advertise the position of Chief Project Planning Manager for which you have applied successfully. Your first task is to write a study focusing on the introduction of a new project planning approach.
This report is expected to serve as an input for the discussions at the board of directors. This has become a critical issue as several key suppliers of the company have required to coordinate their planning activities with those of your company.
For WestBuild, the stated objectives of your report are:
A total project budget of £850,000 is considered appropriate and sufficient by the Finance Director. This sum is intended to cover all costs to finish your report including all consultant and travel costs, and new hardware and software for the project planning software solution.
The budget includes all costs for contacting and meeting suppliers of WestBuild.
The only costs this budget would not cover would be the salaries of any project managers seconded full or part-time to support you. They would draw their salaries exactly as usual from their units which does not impact on your budget.
Personnel allocated for your study are: two secretaries with a salary at £ 3,250 p.c.m. (per current month), and two consultants at £ 200 per hour or 1,600 per day.
You are requested to present your report in front of the board of directors of WestBuild on Monday 16 January 2017.
The implementation of the new Project Planning approach
The implementation of the new Project Planning approach is time critical for a 4 month duration. Work for your report should start on Monday 06 February 2017. Please discuss the following issues:
Analysis of cost planning which needs to be discussed with project managers and should take no more than 20 working days. This should include information about current projects, measures to control cost, and current project planning techniques.
This should be followed by Detailed Analysis of the Effectiveness of Project Planning (5 days) and Improvement of Project Planning Processes (15 days) – these activities can run at the same time and can run roughly in parallel. As soon as Detailed Description of the Project Planning metrics is complete you could start Selection of Project Planning Software solution (30 days).
Meetings with suppliers should run for 10 days and can be done in parallel.
Presentation of final PMO report is a final milestone.
Please check for public holidays during the project duration.
When asked about who works on what tasks the following information was handed over to you (the letters in brackets stand for: S1 and S2 = Secretaries, C1 and C2 = Consultants). Please note that these are only suggestions. As Senior Project Officer you can adapt this as necessary:
Analysis of cost planning (no more than 20 working days) (SPO, C1, C2, S1)
Detailed Analysis of the Effectiveness of Project Planning (5 days) (SPO, C1, C2)
Improvement of Project Planning Processes (15 days) (SPO, C1, C2)
Detailed Description of the Project Planning metrics (SPO, C1, C2, S1, S2)
Selection of Project Planning Software solution (30 days) (SPO, C1, C2)
Meetings with suppliers (SPO, C1, C2, S1, S2)
Discussion of report with Managing Director (SPO, C1, C2)
Writing of final PMO report (SPO, C1, C2, S1, S2)
Presentation of final PMO report (SPO, C1, C2)
In the role of the Chief Project Planning Manager you are required to develop a report, structured along the following lines:
Part A – General Overview (60%) – approx. 1,600 words [LO1; LO2; LO4]
Critically evaluate the relationships between project planning and performance (including academic references), specifically:
Part B – Project Planning Gantt Chart Report (20%) (approx. 200 words of added explanation) [LO1; LO3]
Given the importance of your report, develop a one-page project plan in Gantt chart form (as if the project had not commenced) for the 4 month duration. The chart should clearly indicate the start date, the critical tasks, milestones and the planned end date. Include the Gantt chart in the content of your report.
Part C – Budget Creation Report (20%) (approx. 200 words of added explanation) [LO1; LO 2; LO3]
Assuming that the project will run perfectly to the schedule outlined by you in Part B with all contract personnel working as defined on the tasks indicated, generate an overall budget planning for your report. Include the 2 secretaries and 2 consultants, accommodation costs at £650 per week inclusive, your own salary at £ 5,250 p.c.m. (per current month), all new PC hardware (total fixed cost: £35,000) and project planning software (total fixed cost: £27,000), and total miscellaneous fixed costs of £25,000. Create budget positions for meetings, travel costs and other activities at your discretion within the overall budget limit. You also need to include the cost for the roll-out of the new project planning approach for 200 project teams at a cost of 1,000 pounds for each project team (this includes production of a training video, a train-the-trainer programme and a web site for training of the teams with the new planning techniques).
Show all calculations and totals via suitable report formats.