Posted: April 5th, 2015

Group Project Management Assignment

Project Management

Assignment Title:                                Group Project Management Assignment

Assignment Summary
This group assignment aims to put into practice the elements of the taught course which you have learnt thus far and to undertake a group project which mirrors a realistic enterprise project. The assessment comprises a single group project which will enable learners to demonstrate a methodological approach to project management, together with evidence of practical skills deployment, through portfolio development and team working. The work should encompass team development, research, objective setting, and project initiation.

Assessment Strategy
This assignment will be assessed by a summative group portfolio for a given project management scenario, based on a case study (weighted 50% of final assessment), addressing all appropriate group learning outcomes. The group’s portfolio will be assessed per individual group: formal presentation (15%); project report (25%); and, peer assessed teamwork  contribution  (10%).  Group  composition  will  be  decided  and  informed  by  the module leader.

Assessment Criteria
Pass level for this group assignment will comprise documented and effective use of project management and teamwork methodologies, together with demonstrated project definition, planning, evaluation, delivery and communication. Modal level will be demonstrated through understanding and interpretation of the issues in selecting an appropriate project approach, consideration of alternatives, and a high level of synthesis, even original thinking, in the delivery and evaluation.

Learning Outcomes
•    Knowledge and Understanding
a)  Have an understanding of the wide role of the project manager, with respect to project proposal/justification, project control, team-working, motivation, discipline and the selection/control of suppliers and sub-contractors.
b)  Understand the attributes required to be an effective project manager and to be an effective member of a project team.

•    Abilities
c)  Be able to identify appropriate aims/objectives, specification/scope, deliverables, tasks and resource requirements, with respect to practical case material.
d)  Demonstrate the command of appropriate skills to develop, communicate, monitor and control realistic project schedules, resource profiles, budgets and performance indices.
e)  Demonstrate an ability to work effectively as a member of a team.

Assignment Tasks:

1.    To research and deliver a short, but formal business presentation to the class, for the case study below. The presentation will be in the form of a project feasibility study and evaluation; and, to outline the overall timescale in the form of a high-level project plan. This should be delivered as a group, be succinct and last no more than 15 minutes, with
5 minutes for supplementary questions and answers (15%).

2.    To develop a formal Project Initiation Document (PID) and detailed project plan to follow on from management approval of the project outline provided in Assignment Task 1. The document must be in the form of a concise, business focused, report (25%).

3.    To inform the peer assessment of individual contributions to the team portfolio work and to  assess  the  learner’s  ability  to  analyse  the  human  and  organisational  factors associated with team working, together with identification of personal strengths and weaknesses (10%).

Case Study:

You are initially required to undertake a team review of the case study below:

Enviro-Protect Limited is a large UK company which manufactures a range of liquid chemical storage solutions, predominately for use at the commercial end of manufacturing and distribution markets. Typical applications for the products range from bulk storage tanks, through to integrated pipe-work and fluids transfer solutions. The company has experienced a fall in sales over recent years and feels it needs to consider the introduction of new products and services to its range. The Managing Director of the company believes the most promising approach would be to consider the development and launch of an additional, bespoke customer design and manufacture service, aimed at the higher-end of the marketplace. The new service would deliver turnkey and individually customised solutions to the industrial market, providing higher levels of service, quality, technology, performance and, hopefully – profit. The Managing Director would like to launch the new service at a major European trade exhibition in 15 months time.

The company’s current manufacturing strategy centres on the provision of dedicated, and highly effective and efficient assembly systems for the main products. All components and sub-assemblies are bought in from external suppliers.

With the above in mind, you have been given the task of carrying out a feasibility study and evaluation of the Managing Director’s proposals and (on the assumption that the expected return on investment is satisfactory) to develop an outline plan for progressing the project to a successful product launch. The Managing Director regards this as a crucial decision for the company and wishes to be convinced that your approach to the feasibility study and outline planning  is  appropriate. With  this  is  mind,  you  have  been  initially  asked  to  provide  a Microsoft PowerPoint presentation, supported by appropriate notes and appendices, which if approved by the Managing Director, will be delivered to the Board within five weeks time.

If the project was then successfully approved, you will then need to place yourself in the position of the assigned project management team and prepare a formal Project Initiation Document  (PID)  to  describe  how the  project  could  be  implemented.  In  essence,  what approach and actions would you take to ensure the project was appropriately initiated?

Assignment Task 1: Presentation Guidance

The presentation will be in the form of a project feasibility study and start-up evaluation and to outline the overall timescale in the form of a high-level project plan. You are  not  required to carry out any detailed market research or detailed design, the  emphasis is on the process of project definition, project planning, project evaluation, project delivery and effective communication.

The outline should include consideration of the following:

1.  Statement, explanation, and justification of an appropriate set of objectives for the project. This should follow discussion with reference to the overall business case.

2.  Clear identification of the scope of the project, together with a Work or Product
Breakdown Structure (WBS/PBS).

3.  A milestone plan and high-level schedule (Gantt chart) covering the period from now until the completion of the project.

4.  Identification and planning of major resources (internal and external), which are likely be required to complete the project.

5.  Identification of the major areas of cost which will need to be quantified in order to complete the financial evaluation.

6.  An outline cash-flow and cumulative expenditure forecast for the period over which the project will be evaluated (5 years). Experience, judgement and module tutor advice should be used to estimate these figures.

7.  Consideration of the major areas of project risk.

8.  Other information and evidence pertinent to the study.

9.  An  appendix  which  briefly  identifies  the  key  responsibilities  undertaken  by  the individual group members in the provision of the presentation.

The detailed marking criteria are presented below. Extra credit can be gained for taking a novel or innovative approach to making your case PROVIDED the essential elements are also in place. With a short presentation format you need to be focused, specific, making key points only. Consider which methods are most effective for communicating your ideas – the presentation medium (i.e. Microsoft PowerPoint) needs to be bold, illustrative, conveying a message, even using a metaphor. Think about the medium you are using – how will you communicate it all in such a small space – visually?. Higher grades will be associated with presentations which:

•        Provide clear and concise introductions to the background of the project and use this to establish clear and appropriate objectives and scope.

•        Develop and justify an appropriate timescale and budget for the project, taking into account the relevant technical, practical and business related issues.

•    Make effective use of an electronic project planning package, i.e. Microsoft Project.

•    Deliver well structured, concise and informative content to the specified audience.

•    Are well supported by relevant and concise presentation notes and appendices.

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