ENG8208 Advanced Engineering Project Management
Assignment 2 – Semester 1 2015
Date due: 12 June 2015
Weighting: 60% (600 marks)
1. Answer all questions, and ensure that your answers have the coverage, and are in the format, requested.
2. Present your own ideas.
3. Your answers should be properly referenced and reflect that you have undertaken research outside the study material. You are to use the Harvard AGPS referencing system, information which is available from the USQ Library webpage:
4. You will require an abstract and table of contents for your answer to Part A of Question 1.
5. You will require an executive summary and table of contents for your answer to Part B of Question 1.
6. You will require an abstract and table of contents for your answer to Question 2.
7. You should include a word count for each of Part A of Question 1, Part B of Question 1 and Question 2. Word counts exclude the List of References.
8. It is expected that your written answers will be produced using electronic word processing. The ‘.pdf’ format is preferred for written answers.
9. Calculations for the project budget should be clearly explained.
10. Assignments will be submitted electronically via the Study Desk.
11. There must be a turnitin result for your answer. Otherwise it will not be accepted. turnitin is the plagiarism detection service used by USQ to examine student submissions as they are uploaded to the study desk. If the system does not successfully generate a turnitin result, students should try a different file format or contact the course examiner.
12. Please note that if plagiarism or cheating is detected in this assignment it will result in no marks for the assignment. Students should ensure they clearly understand the meaning of plagiarism and cheating. In particular, students should understand that while they may collaborate with other students on the conceptual ideas in their assignments, the final written report submitted by each student must be unique, and must not contain the written material of (a) any other student in the course, or (b) by any other person without due acknowledgement.
Question 1 (450 marks)
Because you have performed very well in your project review task, you have been promoted to a senior project management position within your organisation.
Your main responsibility is that management of a program of approximately six (6) engineering projects in a related area of your organisation.
You have just taken over this particular program.
Three (3) of the six (6) projects in this program are progressing well towards a satisfactory result. The remaining three (3) projects, Project A, Project B and Project C require attention.
The information given below about each project is fairly basic. You are expected to develop additional details about each project as part of your answer, and for each project nominate an example project (for example, a road construction project for Project A, development of a new manufacturing system for Project C) for which to develop your answers. Further information with respect to these matters is in Questions 1 and 2 of Part A of Your Task.
Project A is a larger project (about $10 million in value) that is progressing well, but is being conducted in an environmentally sensitive area in which has a number of property owners who are quite concerned with the impact of the project on their environment. In particular, they are concerned that a thorough environmental risk assessment has not been undertaken with respect to the long-term impact on the sensitive bushland area in which they live. They are also concerned that completion of the project, through providing the basis for significant property development and destruction of bushland, will forever change the social fabric of their region.
Project B is smaller (about $5 million in value) than Project A. It is well behind time, over cost and is not achieving quality targets. There are also a number of risks associated with this project, including a quite basic business case, rudimentary project charter, poor definition of expected project outcomes, a large number of client requests for changes, poor change control procedures, difficult working conditions, difficulty in procuring a number of critical components on the local market, inability to attract good project staff and the potential for high penalties if it is not completed in time for the Minister to officially open it.
Project C is a small (about $2 million in value) but complex project that has as its purpose the development of a new management system, and is highly complex in nature. In particular, it has a number of small interrelated sub-systems that are mutually dependent, and does not have a welldefined direction. There are as a result numerous interactions between project developers about the direction that the project should take. It is, however, an important project as if the new system achieves its desired goals, the organisation will be able to achieve considerable productivity improvements.
The Board of Directors has recently decided that the organisation should develop a more focused strategic direction, and in particular wishes to focus on larger projects with well defined project charters and business cases and very clear objectives that must be agreed to by clients. Projects must also be very closely aligned to the particular engineering disciplines represented by your organisation. Smaller internally funded projects with a definite purpose are still acceptable.
A new Chief Executive Officer, who has been appointed by the Board of Directors, urgently requires that you review these projects and present a report on what steps you will take to ensure that all three projects that require attention will be completed on time, to budget and to the required quality. It is also required that you undertake an investigation of all three (3) projects to ascertain how they fit the organisation’s new strategic direction, with a view to ensuring that future projects meet the organisation’s preferred strategic direction.
Question 1 - Part A (3000 to 4000 words) (300 marks)
Analysis of Performance of the Selected Projects
1. Nominate three (3) example projects for discussion. (30 marks – 10 marks per project)
Nominate an organisation of your choice, and the engineering discipline or disciplines in which it is operating. This can be the same organisation as you used for Assignment 1, or a different organisation.
Nominate three (3) suitable projects (for example, road development, subdivisional development, power station, mobile phone network, mining, provision of industrial equipment, installation, maintenance, surveying, research and development) to use as examples for your discussion.
These projects should be consistent with your nomination of the type of engineering disciplines in which your organisation operates.
2. Define key characteristics of each project nominated. (45 marks – 15 marks per project)
• Fit with current organisational strategic direction
• Estimated cost
• Estimated duration
• Expected quality of deliverables
• Current expenditure, percentage complete, quality standard achieved
• Key stakeholders
• Main risks
• Impact on the environment and society – short term and long term
• Other factors (for example, human resource, communications, procurement)
• Project integration factors
• Any other significant factor impacting on the project
3. Review each of the projects nominated in the background with respect to their alignment with the principles of advanced project management.
(150 marks – 50 marks per project)
Areas to consider in this review include, but are not limited to:
• Project charter and plan
• Business case for the project in accordance with the new strategic direction of your organisation
• Identification of project stakeholders and their role in the project
• Potential to be completed within the constraints of time, cost and quality
• Likelihood of the project’s scope being changed as a result of stakeholder issues and requirements
• Change control requirements
• Potential human resource, communications and procurement issues that may impact on
delivery of the project
• Potential risks in delivering the project and subsequent to delivery of the project
• Sustainability of the project and its outcomes
• Other matters considered important to the achievement of these objectives
4. Develop a plan to manage each of the projects to achieve project objectives.
(75 marks – 25 marks per project)
This plan should take into account each of the issues described above, and summarise the following points:
• Summary of issues for each project as determined by analysis
• The best approach for managing the five (5) major issues
• Feasibility of implementing the proposed approach for managing these issues
SUB- TOTAL 300 MARKS
Question 1 - Part B (about 1000 words) (80 marks)
Report to Chief Executive Officer
Write a report to your Chief Executive Officer that:
• Summarises your analysis of each of the three (3) projects you have been asked to assess.
(30 marks – 10 marks per project)
• Describes your proposed solution for each project, including the feasibility of implementing it.
(30 marks – 10 marks per project) • Discusses how projects within your program can be better assessed with respect to ensuring that they achieve the revised strategic direction of your organisation. (20 marks)
SUB- TOTAL 80 MARKS
Written Communication (70 marks)
Abstract and table of contents (10 marks)
Structure (15 marks)
Language, style, spelling (15 marks)
Completion in within word count (10 marks)
Setting out and referencing (20 marks )
SUB- TOTAL 70 MARKS
Question 2 (150 marks)
Write a 1500 to 2000 word essay to discuss the following:
• What in your opinion are the three (3) main issues that project managers are likely to face in the next 50 years?
• Why are they likely to be the main issues that project managers are likely to face?
• How would you expect the practice of project management to change over the years to meet these issues?
Identification of issues, discussion, analysis (120 marks)
Identification and explanation of each issue (10 marks per issue)
Discussion of why each issue is important (15 marks per issue)
Analysis of how the practice of project management will change to meet them (45 marks)
(15 marks per issue) (45 marks)
SUB- TOTAL 120 MARKS
Written Communication (30 marks)
Structure (abstract, introduction, body, conclusion) (10 marks)
Language, style, spelling (10 marks)
Setting out and referencing (10 marks)
SUB- TOTAL 30 MARKS
TOTAL MARKS FOR QUESTION 2 150 MARKS