Recent Question/Assignment

Assessment item 2
POM+ Case Study - Project Application
Value: 50%
Due date: 14-Jan-2018
Return date: 06-Feb-2018
Length: 1500-2000
Submission method options
EASTS (online) Task
Assignment 2: POM+ Project (Note: The project case is provided in interact resources. It is NOT contained in the prescribed text).
Note: Your assignment will be submitted via EASTS and will be marked online. Attachments to assignments, such as MS Project (.mpp) files, for example on CD/DVD/memory stick/emailed files are not accepted and will not be included in marking. Your presentation has to successfully -stand alone- to your -very busy, time-poor project sponsor-!
This assignment requires a relevant, informative presentation that includes the following 3 tasks:
Project Plan:
Task1: Provides a strategic overview of the project that clearly explains project objectives and goals and other factors you consider important to position your project (like an executive summary or simple project charter) in presenting it to the sponsor. You may include items you feel are relevant to forming a clear picture of the project.
Task 2: Provide a project plan (incorporating case study parts 1-3 inclusive) including relevant output/reports and data capture using Microsoft Project, or other project tools, which MUST be incorporated into your presentation. Software files and printouts will not be accepted.
Tasks 1 & 2 may be incorporated into the one -document-.
Project Status Report:
Task 3: A project status update (case study part 4A) that includes clear status report at the date required and your specific recommendations, as project manager) for project progress, post-status date based on the case data presented. DO NOT complete part 4B.
For this assignment the Project start date is 1 March 2018, NOT January 2012 as per the text case PDF. The status date will become 29 June 2018.
Often projects are -formulated- as strategy but inevitably implementation is delayed, as in in this case, (from 2012) to 1 March 2018. Whilst specific reasons are not given, it might be safe to assume that the decision to delay might have related to budget pressures, the requirement to use current equipment until it was obsolete or -written off- either mechanically or financially, for example. Students needn't dwell on this aspect but accept the current project start date and make appropriate date adjustments/assumptions accordingly.
Please consider all dates in the text as 2018/2019 and note the text uses a US date format, holidays, etc. Use the text data as the basis for your project. You may have to research the specific holiday dates online.
You should use Australian date format in presenting your project plan and reports, even though the case uses the U.S. format. The simple assumption is that you are based in Australia (or your domicile).
Project structure and assumptions:
Because of the delay (date change) to the project you may need to make assumptions regarding those changes, especially task dates and baseline task 2, (parts 2 & 3) and in task 3, (part 4A). Those assumptions should be explained in your project overview, plan and status report.
Larson & Gray on page 625, Project Management, the managerial process 2011 (5th Ed.) state -In developing the exercises, trade offs had to be made to enrich the learning experience. One of the major problems students initially encounter is data and detail overload. This reduces their ability to identify project and data problems and to compare alternatives. Although the project found in this exercise is real, it has been reduced and detail has been modified many times to concentrate on applying project management principles and understanding linkages. In addition, other simplifying assumptions have been made so that students can trace problems and discuss outcomes. These assumptions detract from reality, but they keep the focus on the objectives of the exercises and reduce student frustration with software intricacies. Moving from these exercises to real projects is primarily one of increasing detail-.
These simplifying assumptions are given below (make sure they are included in -default,- -preferences,- and/or -options- sections of the software used-:
• Each task will represent a work package. Accept the WBS in table given (page 626) as correct.
• Resources will be considered in terms of teams not individuals. Resource information is included in the case study in table A2.1 (page 628).
• The public holidays listed in the case should be used. You will need to research those dates and factor them into your plan.
• There are no overhead costs included in this project. Use only the costs of people resources stated in costs per unit of usage time in table A2.2 (page 628).
This project is designed to take you through the project strategy/executive summary (task 1), design and planning (task 2, case parts 1-3 inclusive) and partly the implementation/execution/control (task 3, case part 4A) phases of the project.
Tips for Assignment 2:
Experience has taught students to frequently make separate, incremental Microsoft Project backup files for each exercise, when using this software. The software is never as friendly as users expect! Whilst it is likely that students will use project software (such as Microsoft Project), the use of other tools, such as Excel, PowerPoint or other software should not be overlooked if access to project software is difficult or you feel you can present a better case alternatively.
Assignment 2 is challenging, be prepared to spend time studying to understand both the project concepts (e.g. duration, critical path, resource levelling, slack, etc. found in the topics/text) AND the software you use. Do not leave this assignment to the last moment - it requires time and planning as well as understanding the concepts used in project planning and implementation.
Include only relevant and informative reports that will benefit a -time poor- sponsor/key stakeholder/spender decision making and build their -trust- in you as project manager. You are NOT able to attach or separately submit software files. I find the Snipping Tool embedded in Microsoft programs to be really useful.
Attend the optional voluntary workshop in Bathurst (Saturday 9 December 2017) if possible. See earlier details as well as interact2 subject site announcements and discussion forums.
Work through the interact2 resources and study guide (or other resources you can access) for using Microsoft Project. There are many guides, readings and videos in the subject resources to guide you through and to also help you master older versions of the software if you are using them. The files mentioned in the Schwalbe (2016) guides are also posted as a resource. Search online for resources as well.
Use the subject forum to share questions and ideas to help both learning and assignment outcomes.
There are also online videos which may be helpful for using Microsoft Project and the case study.
Rationale
This assignment is designed to help you understand the issues of Project Management in an organisation and apply the technical principles of Project Management, particularly to develop an integrated information system needed for decision-making and for tracking a project's progress. The project software is a tool to help with this process.
Understanding the key linkages and connections of all the tasks of the exercise should be a key objective for the assignment. You will develop a holistic project plan from a project manager's point of view which covers everything from the strategic intent to the technical plan, status report, your observations, and finally, a communication document for management.
Learning outcomes related to this assessment include:
1. being able to gather information, define project goals and objectives and create a timeline so as to present a completed and comprehensive project plan;
2. being able to monitor progress through measurement of resource usage, timeline performance and actual cost versus budget to measure project progress against plan;
3. be able to provide a comprehensive risk assessment for a project;
4. be able to evaluate project outcomes:
5. be able to utilise project management software as a tool for planning and managing a project; and
6. be able to successfully transfer outcomes to the customer at completion of the project (in the assignment as a project plan and status report);
Marking criteria
This assignment will be marked on the basis on the quality, accuracy, presentation and comprehension of the whole project. Simply put, consider the marker as the sponsor for the project and your mark will reflect how -convinced- the sponsor is as to the likely success and value of the project, the data to support your project, as well as the projected ability of the project manager (student) to deliver!
The assignment is worth 50% of assessment value.
MGT553 201690 High Distinction (HD)
Distinction (DI) Credit (CR) Pass (PS) Fail (FL)
Assignment is worth 50% of subject assessment marks.
Marks are a guide to weighting, but outcomes also based on overall reponse. 85% to 100%
High Distinction is awarded for work of outstanding quality in achieving all parts of the assignment together with outstanding integration and understanding of theory and application of concepts. 75% to 84%
Distinction is awarded for work of superior quality in achieving all parts of the assignment and a superior integration and understanding of theory and application of concepts.
65% to 74%
Credit is awarded for work showing a more than satisfactory achievement of all parts of the assignment and a more than adequate understanding of theory and application of concepts.
50% to 64%
Pass is awarded for work showing a satisfactory achievement of all parts of the assignment, an understanding of theory and application of concepts.
0%-49%
Pass is awarded for work showing a satisfactory achievement of all parts of the assignment, an understanding of theory and application of concepts.
Task 1: Introduction:
Strategic positioning of the project, company strategy and link to plan. Clear link to strategy, defined project objectives and goals, inclusion of key elements such as stakeholders, risks, Exceptionally clear and well-presented introduction inclusive of main topic goals and objectives, other pertinent project information, plan, and line of reasoning. Very clear and wellpresented introduction inclusive of main topic goals and objectives, other pertinent project information, plan, and line of reasoning. Clear and well-presented introduction inclusive of main topic goals and objectives, other pertinent project information, plan, and line of reasoning. Includes an introduction inclusive of main topic goals and objectives, other pertinent project information, plan, and line of reasoning. Little or no introduction, with poor or confusing content.
summary cost and timeframe as minimum.
8 marks (16%)
Learning outcome 1.
Task 2: Case parts 1-3:
Responses to the content of each case question. Specifically direct and clear indications of project process understanding including work/nonwork days, format of WBS and Gantt chart, critical path and burst/merge milestones, cost, resource usage, levelling within and outside slack, clear plan direction, presentation of appropriate reports and screen captures to support plan information. Clarity of presentation and showing complex concepts relatively simply. Overall responses need to demonstrate understanding of communication strategy (reflected in presentation), project processes and outcomes.
18 marks (36%)
Learning outcomes 1, 2, 3 & 5. Consistently demonstrates and integrates critical planning and evaluation. Shows superior reflective
thinking skills in presenting accurate, informative information, data and responses. Regularly demonstrates and integrates critical planning and evaluation. Shows reasonable reflective thinking skills in presenting accurate, informative information, data and responses. Generally demonstrates and integrates critical planning and evaluation. Shows hight than usual reflective thinking skills in presenting accurate, informative information, data and responses. Demonstrates and integrates critical planning and evaluation. Shows some
reflective thinking skills in presenting accurate, informative information, data and reponses. Little or no demonstration or integration critical planning and evaluation. Shows poor thinking skills in presenting accurate, informative information, data and reponses.
Task 3: Case Part 4a:
The question asks for specific data (based on table A2.3) as a minimum.
Significant marks are lost if not shown and presented in a way that explains understanding.
Question is ideally answered in the form of a status report. Form of presentation is at your discretion. Clear understanding of status of the project must be evident as well as Well-constructed and clear conclusion with strong links to main arguments in project plan and specific, outcomerelated recommendations. Shows a clear conclusion with links to main arguments in project plan and specific, outcomerelated recommendations. Appropriate conclusion with links to main arguments in project plan and generally clear,
outcome-related recommendations. Vague conclusion with weak links to main arguments in project plan and limited, outcomerelated recommendations. No or poor conclusion with no or few links to main arguments in project plan and vague or no recommendations.
what the numbers “say” and actions you plan and/or recommend following the status outcome presented.
13 marks (26%)
Learning outcomes 2 & 6.
Presentation:
Ease of understanding and showing included, complex graphs/reports relatively simply.
Must follow some format of project/business plan whilst including required data and question responses. Following the case part number sequence is acceptable.
Clear standards as further indicated in
case study and assignment information, such as minimum required data or other inclusions. Memo form, like the case, or a more holistic presentation approach are both acceptable. This is an opportunity to refine your presentation skills.
10 marks (20%)
Learning outcome 1. Clearly and well structured plan and status report, presented with clear headings and sub-headings, appropriate fonts, pagination and diagrams, where appropriate. A structured plan and status report, presented with clear headings and sub-headings, appropriate fonts, pagination and diagrams, where appropriate. Presented with some structure and adequate formatting. Structure and presentation is difficult to understand and includes errors, such as different fonts, no headings or sub headings, only general projectrelated content. No/poor structure and content is not easy to follow, with little or no formatting, structure or clarity.
References:
Essay reference standards are not expected as this is presented as a working project/business plan and status update and in-item referencing isn’t expected.
Average expectation is that a bibliography or reference listing should be provided at the end of the assignment and would be from a An effective and meaningful bibliography included. An appropriate bibliography included An appropriate bibliography included. A vague bibliography included. No bibliography included.
minimum of three (3) sources - textbook can be considered as one. It is doubtful the assignment can be completed using only the text. Reference list must include online sources and URLs must be quoted. Random checks for efficacy will be made.
1 mark (2%)
Presentation
This assignment requires case responses and data, reports and content to be presented in a business report/presentation format. Students may adopt any form of presentation they prefer (includes Microsoft Work, PowerPoint, PDF format). Typically your plan will reflect the requirements of the parts of the case, however, you can be as creative as you like, adopt a workplace template or other format you prefer. The most important considerations are the communication and understanding of project application and the case. A sample project plan is included along with a range of project templates included in subject resources. Remember, you are presenting a three-part response - strategic approach (task 1), plan (task 2) and then a progress report and recommendations (task 3) to a time-poor sponsor. So how you present this information to obtain -approval- is critical.
Because of the academic influence, and the questions to be answered for each part, some leeway is allowed, and items, such as a reference listing is still required at the end of the assignment, but not required within the body of your document. It is doubtful that the body of the plan will require references, but the lecturer would like to see, at the end, where students accessed information (texts, articles, online/URLs, etc.) used to complete the assignment. Please be honest about these resources as they may help other students and will certainly help the lecturer!
EASTS submission is the only option for this assignment. Assignments will be marked online, so they should be in colour.

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