Assessment Details and Submission Guidelines
Unit Code MN601
Unit Title Network Project Management
Assessment Type Assignment 1
Title Individual case study assignment
Purpose of the assessment (with ULO
Mapping) ? In-depth analysis of common issues that program/project managers often face in organisations that lack a culture that supports implementation of project management methodologies.
Total Marks 45
Word limit 800-1000
Due Date Week 7
Submission Guidelines • All work must be submitted on Moodle by the due date along with a completed Assignment Cover Page.
• The assignment must be in MS Word format, 1.5 spacing, 11-pt Calibri (Body) font and 2 cm margins on all four sides of your page with appropriate section headings.
• Reference sources must be cited in the text of the report, and listed appropriately at the end in a reference list using IEEE referencing style.
Extension • If an extension of time to submit work is required, a Special Consideration Application must be submitted directly to the School's Administration Officer, in Melbourne on Level 6 or in Sydney on Level 7. You must submit this application three working days prior to the due date of the assignment. Further information is available at:
• Academic Misconduct is a serious offence. Depending on the seriousness of the case, penalties can vary from a written warning or zero marks to exclusion from the course or rescinding the degree. Students should make themselves familiar with the full policy and procedure available at: http://www.mit.edu.au/about-mit/institute-publications/policiesprocedures-and-guidelines/Plagiarism-Academic-Misconduct-PolicyProcedure. For further information, please refer to the Academic Integrity Section in your Unit Description.
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Purpose of the assessment:
Project management problems can occur when project management methodologies are not implemented successfully across organisations. In this assessment task, you are required to write a report on the current project management issues in the following case-study, in 800 to 1000 words exclusive of references.
RAPID PROTOTYPING — NEW DISCIPLINE
Rapid prototyping has been a constant growing and evolving field since the late 1980s. As technology improved, so did the opportunities in new markets. The idea quickly evolved from its grassroots beginning to many small companies competing for a bigger share of the growing market.
Frank Billings was just another name in what was at that time a niche market. As a student in engineering school, he followed the development of the new prototyping techniques and realized their potential in the marketplace. His dream job was to work for a rapid prototype equipment manufacturer. There were only a few start - up companies in rapid prototype machine development, however, and none could pay the average engineer wage.
Like most engineering school graduates overloaded with school loans, he couldn’t wait for his dream job to come along, so he went for a job at Cocable Company. Cocable designed and manufactured specialty cable and cable – related products. It had nothing to do with rapid prototyping, but it paid well. He worked hard at Cocable and earned enough to pay down his debts. He proved to be an excellent engineer, earning a great reputation at Cocable and making many contacts along the way. In those three years at Cocable, however, he never stopped thinking about rapid prototype machines. He spent his free time coming up with a rapid prototype machine design, always dreaming of having his own company. Three years in, he was ready. He quit Cocable and started his own rapid prototype (RP) design business. He perfected his own RP machine design and was ready to prove himself in the growing field.
Like every start - up business in a new field, finding customers is tough. In the RP field, there are two types of work. The first includes owning an RP machine and doing prototypes per order. The second is selling RP machines to businesses that want the machine to do in - house RP. The latter option is far more profitable since the machines are more expensive than each prototype they produce. Frank would have been happy with either type of business, since at the time, he wasn’t doing much business at all.
All those years making contacts at Cocable Company proved to be worth the time and effort. He had stayed in touch with these contacts and through them was happy to learn that Cocable had just been hired by GE to design and manufacture cable installations on their newest jet engine. Part of the wiring installation that Cocable had been hired to design included junction boxes and switch covers. The installation would be no simple task as these “ boxes ” are made of specialty materials with complex shapes and multiple designs, all needed for application. They had to be perfect from the start since airplane engines have no room for error. This was a huge job and the timeline was tight. Rapid prototypes were an absolute necessity for this job. Frank’s knowledge of Cocable’s needs made him perfect for the RP job.
Cocable wanted full access to rapid prototyping so they decided to contract Frank to custom build four RP machines to their specifications. Frank could not be happier. The RP machine specs were given to Frank and he went to work.
WHO IS GOING TO PAY FOR THE CHANGES?
After three months of all - night work sessions, the machines were built to specification and ready for delivery to Cocable. Frank ’ s daring steps into a new field were fully rewarded, he thought. Everyone was ready for a test run, after the first machine was delivered to Cocable. The CAD model was loaded and it was time to hit the “Start” button.
Beep, beep, beep.
“That’s not good, ” said Frank.
He felt embarrassed that the machine failed in front of everyone. He was sure the machine ran fine before it was delivered. He couldn’t allow his first major deal to fail in any way. The machine was checked over for shipping damages. The connections were double - checked. Everything appeared intact. Frank sat down to review the CAD model and discovered the problem. The model was 62 inches long. This was an issue, considering the RP machines were designed for a maximum of 55 inches.
The original Cocable specs for Frank’s RP machines were for a maximum length of 48 inches. Frank optimized his machines for a length of 48 inches, but to be on the safe side, the machines were capable of 55 - inch designs. Sixty – two inches went outside that range. A machine that could make prototypes that long would require completely different processors, actuators, and adhesion processes. This would be a major redesign of the RP machines. This would take time and a lot of money.
Cocable claims that the original specs for a maximum of 48 inches came from GE. GE claims that it never gave Cocable a maximum length. The first design that GE requested from Cocable was 62 inches long and that had been weeks before. Cocable should have double - checked their RP specs. Nobody wants to take the blame for specifying the prototype design sizes and Frank’s first major product is now going nowhere. Everyone is dissatisfied and two things are for sure: (1) The entire project is running late, and (2) it will be way over budget.
You are a Project Management consultant, and have been commissioned to write a report on this case. Write the report to address the following questions.
Questions to be addresses in the report:
1. What lessons can be learnt from this case?
2. Who do you think should pay for the changes?
3. What could have been done to make sure that the project scope was correct?
Ref: CASE STUDIES IN PROJECT, PROGRAM, AND ORGANIZATIONAL PROJECT MANAGEMENT Dragan Z. Milosevic, Peerasit Patanakul & Sabin Srivannaboon Copyright 0 2010 by John Wiley & Sons, Inc. All rights reserved.
You must use the section heading given in the following marking criteria, and sub-heading as appropriate for your answer.
Section to be included in the report Description of the section Marks
Introduction Executive summary and background of the case study 5
Case Study Assessment
List, and analyse the project management problems and their possible causes. 20
Recommendations What should have been done to avoid the above problems? 10
Conclusion A summary of the report, and the main conclusion. 5
Reference style Follow IEEE reference style 5
Example Marking Rubric for Assignment #: Total Marks 50
Note: The marking rubrics varies for each assignment
Grade Mark HD
40-50 DI 35-44 CR
25-29 Fail 25
Excellent Very Good Good Satisfactory Unsatisfactory
/5 All topics are pertinent and covered in depth. Ability to think critically and source material is demonstrated Topics are relevant and soundly analysed. Generally relevant and analysed. Some relevance and briefly presented. This is not relevant to the
/10 Demonstrated excellent ability to think critically and sourced reference material appropriately Demonstrat
ed excellent ability to think critically but did not source reference material
appropriatel y Demonstrated ability to think
critically and sourced reference material appropriately Demonstrated ability to think critically and did not source reference material appropriately Did not
ability to think critically and did not source reference material appropriately
/10 Logic is clear and easy to follow with strong arguments Consistency logical and convincing Mostly consistent logical and convincing Adequate cohesion and conviction Argument is confused and disjointed
/10 All elements are present and very well integrated. Components present with good cohesive Components present and mostly well integrated Most components present Proposal lacks structure.
/5 Excellent use of creditable sources. Accurate referencing. Obvious that
made Extremely good effort Good effort made but not outstanding Made some
example, Web searches only Very little attempt to reference. Lazy effort with inaccuracies
/5 Logic is clear and easy to follow with strong arguments Consistency logical and convincing Mostly consistent logical and convincing Adequate cohesion and conviction Argument is confused and disjointed
/5 Clear styles with excellent source of references. Clear referencing style Generally good referencing style Sometimes clear referencing style Lacks consistency with many errors