PMP Critique Due Date
Week 7 – Friday, 5:00 pm. Worth
20% (50 marks)
This assessment task relates to the following course objectives:
• Employ a systems thinking approach to identify and understand the critical roles and phases in IT projects;
• Explain the basic components of project management and its importance in improving the success of IT projects
• Adopt a project management framework to write a project management plan, for a simulated real world contemporary information technology project;
• Apply the process groups model to manage information technology projects of various complexities and scales;
• Demonstrate decision-making processes to solve a range of information technology project issues;
• Classify and discuss current issues in IT project management
• Appreciate the importance of project management practice within an information technology business environment; and
• Value the significance of software quality in IT projects
A critique or critical analysis is a review or appraisal based on careful analytical evaluation. Writing a critical analysis requires you to read the selected text in detail and to also read other related texts so that you can present a fair and reasonable evaluation of the selected text.
In this assignment, you are required to undertake a critical analysis of a Project Management Plan (PMP) which is the core of PMBOK. Critical thinking is an important component of being a professional. Without thinking critically, you are only looking at the surface of things. To be a successful project manager you need to sort out what's accurate and what's not, and you need to identify a solid, factual base for solving problems and addressing issues on your project.
For assistance in critical writing techniques, see:
The purpose of this PMP critique is to prepare your for developing your own PMP. After this PMP critique, you should know what a good PMP is like and how to write a good PMP for your assignment 3. When doing the critique, focus on the following major points or findings:
1. The structure and components of the PMP. They can usually be found at the table of content.
2. The content of the PMP. How and why the particular information is used.
3. Presentation. How each content or section is presented, especially the conciseness, format, and style.
4. Tools. The common techniques and tools used in the PMP presentation.
5. Effectiveness. The most effective or the best techniques and tools for each component.
Your critical analysis will understand (interpret and summarise), analyse and evaluate (judge) key aspects of the assigned PMP. You should adopt Schwalbe (2014, pp.161-164) and the PMI’s (2013, p.76-77) PMBOK Guide as frameworks for comparison and evaluation.
IMPORTANT: An electronic copy of PMP for you to evaluate has been provided as an accompanying file on MOODLE, see file A #2 Case Study (SPINGRID).
Also see Appendix I, PMP Critique Guide at the end of this document.
When reviewing the PMP think about the following:
• What planning tools the authors have used;
• Any additional content that has been included;
• Any content that has been omitted;
• The language used;
• The layout and useability of the PMP;
• The overall quality of the PMP
Your report should be presented in a business or management style and structured as follows:
• Title page;
• Executive summary;
• Table of contents;
• Analysis of PMP:
o Introduction; o Organisation; o Management and technical approach; o Work to perform; o Schedule; and o Budget
• References; and
• Appendices (if needed)
Support your analysis with concepts and quotations from other people’s work. Gather these references from various sources such as the Internet, assigned text book and readings etc.
Please submit an electronic copy only via Moodle. Please refer to the Course Description for information regarding late assignments, extensions, special consideration, and plagiarism.
Your work will need to comply with the following:
• A report of a minimum of 2000 words which provides evidence of critical analysis of the provided PMP. You must include: o A written interpretation and synthesis of key components as well as a description of your understanding of the PMP’s purpose;
o An evaluation of the strengths and weaknesses identified, o Your assessment of the usefulness of the PMP to guide the project
• In your discussion you must identify and analyse key issues. This must reference the content of the various theoretical frameworks such as Schwalbe (2014), the PMI (2013) PMBOK guide, and must be supported by your own ideas.
• The more PMP examples you read, the more you understand how to develop a good
PMP, the more you are prepared to do your assignment 3. It is suggested that you Google the Internet and read at least 5 PMP examples for your critique, so that you will be able to compare and contrast them and look at a PMP from different point of views. You should cite each PMP you’ve read in your critique in terms of structure, content, writing, presentation, techniques and tools etc.
• Multiple references should be used. These must be acknowledged through the use of in-text citation and a Reference list. The citations and References list must comply with the APA citation style. In-text references should be used in such a way as to provide support for the work and these references should come from a wide variety of sources such as books, journals and reputable websites.
• Your report should be presented as a business or management style report which adheres to academic writing presentation standards. It must contain quality written expression as outlined in the university style guide.
PMP Critique Guide (Appendix I)
This document is designed to assist Project Management students in identifying and evaluating content and quality aspects of Project Management Plans (PMP) as outlined by Schwalbe (2014, pp.161-164).
PMP Introduction Section
The introduction should indicate the scope of the report, set aims/objectives and present and overview of what is to follow.
This section should provide a discussion about the project name. For example: Is it meaningful? Does it reflect the nature of project?
This section should provide a discussion of the details of the project description. Does it include information about goals and the reason for project? Is it written in simple language? Does it include a time and cost estimate?
This section should provide a discussion of the sponsors details supplied. Do they include the name, title, and contact information? Is there a back-up contact person supplied?
Project manager and team details:
This section should contain the names and contact details of the PM and team members.
This section should provide a discussion on the deliverables of the project. For example: Do the authors provide a list and description of each product created? Are these separated into product and PM related categories?
This section should reference plans from all other knowledge areas, for example; quality management plan, procurement management plan etc. It should also include a list of any resources consulted (in APA format).
This section should evaluate terminology unique to the particular industry or technology. Terms included should help to avoid confusion.
This section should provide an evaluation of any organisational charts provided, including both the organisation and the project charts. Are both roles and names clearly visible? Are the lines of authority clear?
This section should evaluate descriptions of all roles and responsibilities in the project, including a review of the responsibility assignment matrix (RAM). The RAM should include all activities/tasks to at least level 3 and should be accompanied by an explanatory key indicating who is responsible and who will carry out the duties.
Management and Technical Approach Section
This section should provide an analysis of the managerial objectives of the project. Are they realistic, achievable etc.? Is a list of priorities presented? Are any assumptions or constraints as outlined by management provided?
This section should provide an evaluation of the project monitoring strategies and change control procedures. Including: monthly or quarterly status reviews and so on.
This section should provide a critical review of how the project team will identify, manage and control risks. Including risk register, risk probability/impact matrix.
This section should provide an appraisal of the staffing plan. For example: Are the number and types of people required indicated? Are the roles clearly articulated? Include a resource histogram.
This section should provide an evaluation of the documentation standards described. Are they clear and useable etc? It should also provide a discussion of the system development life cycle approach selected. Was there justification? Is it the appropriate technique for the type of project?
Work to Perform Section
Major work packages:
This section should provide an evaluation of the organisation of the project into work packages. Including items such as: work breakdown structure, scope statement.
This section should critique the list and description of key products produced. (This section may provide a link back to the introduction section)
This section should review the description information related to performing work on the project. Including items such as: hardware/software required and a list of assumptions.
This section should provide and evaluation of the overall project schedule, including the Gantt chart, and milestone report.
This section should include a judgement on the detailed information provided in the schedule, including dependencies between project activities and the network diagram.
This section should evaluate any assumptions related to the project schedule.
This section should review the total estimate of the overall project’s budget. For example: Is it present? Does it contain totals for all budget line items?
This section should review the summary of the project cost management plan, including the project budget.
This section should evaluate information related to financial aspects of the project, including assumptions