SIM335: Managing Projects Individual Assignment

SIM335: Managing Projects Individual Assignment

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Faculty of Business and Law

Level: Top-Up                                              Module: SIM335 Managing Projects 

Assignment Code: SIM335 Managing Projects                Module Leader: Yannis S

Submission date:                                    

Submission to be made electronically in PDF or .doc format via Turnitin

Contribution to module assessment: 100% 

This is an individual assignment – complete both tasks 1 and 2

Background: The assignment is intended to bring out the benefits and limitations of the four stages of Project life cycle with different approaches to project planning and control by relating these to the circumstances in the cases outlined. It is also intended to allow students to demonstrate their learning and competence in respect of the management of resources generally but in particular elements of scope, schedule, quality, and cost. 

Task 1 (40% marks) 600 words (+/- 10%)

Q1.  What are the core principles/characteristics of any project and why are they important?

       (8 marks).

Uniqueness, Temporary, Finite budget, Iterative, Specification, Uncertainty

Q2.  How would you have defined the scope of the project in Task 2; case study (Concrete  

           Masonry Corporation)  (6 marks).

Q3.  Using the information below, plot out a full project Network diagram and identify the  

          critical path? (2 marks)

     How many days does it take to complete the project? (2 marks)

     What are the benefits of using a Gantt chart? (2 marks).                           (Total 2×3=6 marks)

Q4.  Define one of the following cost appraisal methods; NPV, Payback or IRR. What are the   

         benefits of your chosen method?  (4 marks).

(see the book: Page 65 to Page 69) and supplementary Notes lecture

Q5.  How would you have assessed and managed the risks on the project in Task 2; case study         (Concrete Masonry Corporation) (6 marks).

 Q6  Outline and explain the purpose of Quality audits. Identify the reasons why such methods  (Project evaluation, Monitoring and Control) would you introduce to ensure this Task 2; project (Concrete Masonry Corporation) is completed successfully (10 marks).

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Task 2: (60% marks)

The Concrete Masonry Corporation designs and manufactures pre-stressed concrete for the building Industry for years; the company enjoyed a stable marketplace and a relatively predictable business environment. Although there had been a boom in residential construction in recent years, commercial work was on the decline. As a result, all the pre-stressed concrete manufacturers were going further afield to big jobs. In order to survive, Concrete Masonry Corporation was forced to bid on jobs previously thought to be out of their geographical area. Survival depended upon staying competitive. However with the declining conditions of the market and the evolution that had drastically changed the character of the market place, the Concrete Masonry Corporation previously successful approach was now in question.

With the removal of trade barriers and other Globalized international trade agreements, the Concrete Masonry Corporation found itself competing with other pre-stressed manufacturers headquartered in countries around the world. A decision was then made to transfer several manufacturing machines to a new site in Eastern Europe to allow more agility and efficiency within their manufacturing supply.

The Project 

The project was to include the transfer of 8 pre-stressed concrete assembly machines, along with ancillary equipment into Eastern Europe. Scheduling the project had to take 6 months from September before production must start to supply potential customers. A site had been selected although the appointed Project Manager and potential team members had not visited the area, nor did they understand the weather conditions of wind, rain and snow that prevailed in this area. The assembly machines were to be transported by sea and then road haulage before arriving at the new site. Road infrastructure was again an area that required attention.

Kevin Lewis

Kevin Lewis has been appointed as the Project manager for this installation transfer. He is a

29-year-old graduate of a well known University in the UK with a in Mechanical Engineering. After graduation, he worked for five years in Engineering Design Industries. Although he took a significant pay cut, he jumped at the opportunity to return to his home location with Concrete Masonry Corporation. His job in Engineering Industries had been very demanding. The long hours and extensive travelling had created tension in his marriage. He was looking forward to a normal job with reasonable hours, or so he thought. While working in Engineering Design Industries, Lewis worked on projects and installed new Engineering designs. He was confident that he had the requisite technical expertise to excel at his new job with the Concrete Masonry Corporation.

The Team 

Lewis had a part-time team of five assistants on placement from the departments within Concrete Masonry Corporation. At first, he was not sure how freely he could delegate work to the assistants bearing in mind they also reported to other managers within the organisation. He quickly realised that they were all very bright, competent workers who were anxious to leverage this project experience into a lucrative career.

The project transfer has an investment of £900,000 pounds and is scheduled to take 6 months to complete; taking into account, the project would be completed during the winter which would be difficult. Lewis and his team would first need to visit the new location and start to consider the project activities.

You are required to prepare a report concerning the main issues to be addressed by Kevin Lewis from a project management perspective (2,500 words +/- 10%). 

From a project management perspective base on Project life cycle outline the activities required to be completed by Kevin Lewis to successfully implement this new initiative, e.g. Project Scope Statement, Project Priorities (with a balanced trade-off and justification), Work Breakdown Structure (with brief details of work packages) and Cost Estimation (with time-phased budget) ensuring that it can operate on-time, and within budget. Kevin Lewis is only Project Managing the transfer of equipment and not the actual facility building project. (Assume the building has already been completed.)

Your report should be based on the four stages of Project life cycle and include examples of the concerns, Project Life cycle  stages, associated with managing the lifecycle of this major project.

Don’t forget to provide Network diagram, Gantt chart, cost appraisal methods and any other relevant table or information as an Appendix; also any practical examples in relation to relevant theories in Task 2 should be derived from the case study.

Assignment presentation and assessment

The answers to both tasks are independent and should be addressed separately. 

Task 1 answers to six questions – (600 words) – completed as an individual task 

Task 2 a report that is produced for Task two (2500 words) – completed as an individual task

For your convenience, both tasks should be submitted as one document, which contains both individual tasks.

The criteria for assessing the task two report will be:

Report presentation (20%) (12 marks)

The extent to which the assignment represents a valid report. This will be judged on:

Appearance: Is a word count included at the end of the report? Is it within the specified amount? Is the text double spaced?

Structure: Does the report follow the conventions of the format? Does it have a clear introduction, explaining how it answers the questions? Do the sections of the report develop ideas in a logical sequence? Are diagrams or other subsidiary information shown in appendices?

Spelling and grammar: Are all words spelt correctly and is the meaning of sentences clear?

Referencing: Have appropriate references been included in the report. Has a recognised referencing system been used for notation? (see the relevant section in the Guide to Basic Study Skills)

Use of relevant theory (40%)(24 marks)

Has the right theoretical content been chosen as the basis for answering the questions? Is there evidence of the use of course notes and books? Is the theory that is selected significant to the questions?

Analysis (40%) (24 marks)

This measures the extent to which students develop a structured argument for the points they make by combining relevant theory with the information provided in the questions.

Any work submitted is subject to the University’s rules and procedures governing infringement of assessment regulations.

Module Leader: Yannis S                                            Moderated by: Peter C

Grading Criteria SIM335   Managing Projects  Individual Assignment

First Class (70 – 100%)

A creative and original response to the question. Critically reflecting on perceived theory and experiences. Extensive and appropriate use of sources (theory and practice) based on reading and experiences. Answer wrote fluently, with evidence of a highly developed capacity to structure work systematically and argue logically.

Upper Second Class (60 – 69%)

Comprehensive knowledge of concepts and theories. Appropriate application of theory and experience to the question answered. Ability to inter-relate concepts and ideas. Some originality in approach and awareness of scope and limitations. Answer systematically structured and coherent.

Lower Second Class (50-59%)

Evidence of knowledge of concepts and theories. Attempts to relate and balance theory and practice.  Main issues addressed appropriately.  Mainstream texts and lecture notes used. Work presented in a structured form but arguments weak in places.

Third Class (40-49%)

Evidence of uncritical knowledge of main concepts and theories.  Limited attempts to relate theory and practice relaying on personal opinion or assertions. Insufficient evidence of reading.  Presentation and structure weak in several places.

Fail  (0 – 39%)

Some knowledge of main concepts and theory but significant omissions and/or misunderstandings. Style and structure weak and overly descriptive. Considerable limitations inability to perceive the relationship between theory and practice.  Limited reading.

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