PPMP20010 – Practical Assessment 3
Critical Analysis Report
Project Management in various domains is considered to be a relatively mature discipline. There is extensive body of knowledge that promotes project management and supports its main object of delivering successful projects. This knowledge base is supplemented by well-established standards that have been evolving over years such as PMBOK and Prince2 to equip project managers with the knowledge, tools and skills to perform their role.
Having said that, project delivery in various domains is still unsatisfactory. Many recent studies and audits have revealed that project management fails to deliver successful project outcomes with alarming frequency. In the case of construction, for example, recent figures show that around 50% of projects fail to meet the delivery targets. Those problems are not exclusive to the construction sector. The IT sector projects also encounter an estimated 70% failure rate. This should be alarming to project management professionals and practitioners whose main duties are to ensure successful delivery of projects.
Since project management is supposed to improve project delivery, it is essential to fully appreciate the reasons behind project failure. Understanding the reasons for project failure will help protect management profession work towards achieving more consistent project delivery.
This is a group assessment. This assessment item requires you to consider:
1. Project execution,
2. Project success factors,
3. Reasons for cost and time overruns,
4. Application of project control systems,
5. Stakeholders' influence on project performance
You must demonstrate your understanding of the above in the context of a project of your choice and submit a critical analysis report. You are encouraged to use assessment output and ideas that you may have developed from previous practical assessments within this unit as supporting evidence for your analysis.
Your task is to consider the first two learning outcomes (L1 and L2) in the context of this unit. This assessment requires you to examine a significant project of your own choice from any discipline (perhaps from personal experience or professional network). You are required to produce a detailed report which forwards a critical analysis of project control approaches used to ensure successful completion of the project and stakeholders’ influence. The report should include a demonstration of the range of control systems and evaluation of their application and whether a poor application of the control systems and lack of stakeholder’s management has contributed partially or fully to the project failure.
The primary purpose of this assessment item is to help you to develop and demonstrate your skills in the use of project management concepts, principles, theories and arguments about the project management execution phase. You are particularly required to demonstrate your understanding of the real application of control system. You must then be able to analyse and argue what type of control systems will enable better or worse project outcomes.
The secondary purpose of this assessment is to give you the opportunity to enhance your analysis, critical thinking and written communication skills; particularly in the areas of argument development and academic writing.
Structure of the report
Your report should be of 4000 words (excluding references and appendices). The report should include the following 7 key sections:
1. An introduction to the project you have chosen;
2. Explanation of the range of used control systems for cost, schedule, quality and scope.
3. An analysis of the reasons that explain the cost and/or time overruns encountered during the project;
4. An analysis of the extent to which the project execution team could be held responsible of the incurred time and/or cost overruns;
5. An analysis of the relationship between the problems you identify in (3) and the stakeholders’ needs and influence;
6. An analysis of the project management actions that could have been taken to better control the project and stakeholders to increase the chance for successful delivery;
7. A conclusion which identifies the key lessons that Project Management can learn from the experience of the project.
This assessment also involves researching your assigned topic to enhance your understanding of project management concepts and utilisation of academic literature. Whilst you should use the recommended textbooks you may also refer to relevant peer reviewed academic journal articles. You will be expected to present information and evidence from, and cite from the reading material from the unit. You are also encouraged to cite other material that is peer reviewed.
The Marking Criteria
1. Project Information: Is the project information appropriate? 2
2. Introduction: Is the introduction of the chosen failed project appropriate? 5
3. Key Issues: Are the issues and problems described about the project failure appropriate? 8
4. Control Systems: Is the explanation of the range of control systems used for cost, schedule, quality and scope reasonable? 15
5. Analysis of cost and/or schedule overruns: Are the reasons given for the cost and/or time overruns encountered during the project appropriate? 10
6. Analysis of the project execution team: Is the analysis of the extent to which the project execution team could be held responsible of the incurred time and/or cost overrun appropriate? 10
7. Analysis of relationship between overruns and the stakeholders: Is the analysis of the relationship between the problems you identified in cost and/or time overruns and the stakeholders’ expectations appropriate? 10
8. Analysis of possible actions for success: Are the analysis of the project management actions that could have been taken to better control the project and stakeholders to increase the chance for successful delivery appropriate? 10
9. Conclusion: Is the conclusion which identifies the key lessons that project management can learn from the experience of the project appropriate? 10
Does the report contain substantial evidence of the use of project management concepts, principles, theories and arguments about the execution phase, particularly application, analysis and arguments about the type of control systems that will enable better or worse project outcomes? 10
Clarity of expression, language, format and presentation of the written report, Are the references provided correctly in an academic manner? (10%)
Total Marks 100
Scaled Marks 40%
Late Penalty - 5% each calendar day (either part or full)