QAB020N503A Project Management Roehampton London
Assessment Brief QAB020N503A Project Management
|Module Title||Project Management|
|Type of Assessment||100% coursework (individual)|
|Assessment Deadline||Monday, 27th December 2019 at 1400/2pm|
Summative (Main) Assignment: Management Roehampton London is based on a fictitious case study (details to be provided separately) that presents students with a business project scenario. You must take the role of Project Manager and are required to analyse the case study, research the best approach to managing it and develop the following 4 items of project planning documentation, to be submitted as a single, individual report:
- Sample Project Initiation Document (PID) including:
- budgetary information
- key staff, and
- stakeholder analysis (approx. 750 words)
- Work Breakdown Structure (WBS) with at least 20 items. The WBS should be presented in the form of a table that includes dependencies, milestones, and summary tasks. You are free to deliver this as a Gantt chart (use Gantt Project to develop this), but it is not required. Include with this table a referenced paragraph explaining how a WBS can be used to help manage the tasks on a project and give a further paragraph briefly explaining the importance of critical path analysis;
- Risk register containing at least 10 fully documented risks, including owner, mitigation and contingency actions, pre-and post- action weighting and scores;
- Short report to the Project Sponsor, the Director of Operations. Your report should contain both of the following:
- An explanation of the need for quality leadership on the project, and the role that a successful project manager can play – the project manager has to be much more than an administrator or coordinator. Discuss the value of strong leadership on a project and, using examples, explain what happens when this leadership is missing;
- An analysis and critique of methodologies that might be used to run the case study project, comparing Agile, Waterfall and PRINCE2 methodologies. Explain their strengths and weaknesses and give your recommendation to the sponsor as to which methodology you believe would be best to use. There is no right or wrong answer for this, hence marks will be given on the basis of how well you have explained and justified your decision. As with the other assignment elements, reference to examples and theory is very important.
IMPORTANT: So that there is no confusion or doubt, for ALL elements in the assignment, reference must be made to established project management theory. As this is a fictitious project case you are free to make assumptions where necessary and these should be clearly stated in your submission. Furthermore, you are required to use multiple real project examples (both good and bad) as additional reference sources to help you demonstrate what good practice project management looks like and what happens when it is not applied.
It is also recommended that you include an appendix that contains all relevant assumptions that demonstrate how you arrived at your estimates – see separate student assignment guide.
Marking and Feedback
Summative (formal, individually marked assessment)
In the first half of the semester, you will have an opportunity to gain a basic understanding of the case study through interaction and discussion with each other. This will help you ‘get started’ as you work towards the delivery of the marked assessment which is an Individual report of 2,500 words total plus diagrams, tables, appendices, etc. containing the items listed above. As this is a report, it should make extensive use of structural elements (table of contents, headings, subheadings, lists, diagrams, tables, etc.) to help make your work clear to understand. You are expected to show understanding of theory and practice and make use of multiple external reference sources including referencing sources of all templates used for sample PID, Risk Register, etc. While students are encouraged to work together, the final reports are required to be individual work demonstrating the student’s unique understanding and insight into the case given.
How will we support you with your assessment?
- You will complete an assignment checklist, which will be discussed in Week 8. This will take the form of informal small group sharing of your ideas on the form provided with group discussions, as well as ‘private’ feedback from your tutor on your progress so far. Although the final deliverable is an individual piece of work, staff will encourage and support you in working informally in small groups to help everyone gain a better understanding of the case.
- There will be an assessment briefing in Weeks 1 and 2, and seminars will be used for work on elements of the assignment.
- Frequently asked questions (and their answers) will be posted on the module’s Moodle site
- There will be an opportunity to review and reflect upon work from previous cohorts. This will be delivered in lecture time.
- Significant seminar time will be given over to the discussion of the various aspects of project management that you will cover in your reports and this seminar time in the final two weeks will used to help support you in developing your assignment answers.
How will your work be assessed?
Your work will be assessed by a subject expert who will use the marking grid provided in this assessment brief.
When you access your marked work it is important that you reflect on the feedback so that you can use it to improve future assignments.
You MUST use the Harvard System. The Harvard system is very easy to use once you become familiar with it.
The Business School requires a digital version of all assignment submissions. These must be submitted via Turnitin on the module’s Moodle site. They must be submitted as a single MS Word file (not as a pdf) and must not include scanned in text or text boxes. They must be submitted by 2pm on the given date. For further general details on coursework preparation refer to the online information via StudentZone at http://studentzone.roehampton.ac.uk/howtostudy/index.html.
Mitigating circumstances/what to do if you cannot submit a piece of work or attend your presentation
The University Mitigating Circumstances Policy can be found on the University website – Mitigating Circumstances Policy
Marking and Feedback process
Between handing in your work and receiving feedback and marks within 20 days, there are a number of quality assurance processes that we go through to ensure that students receive marks which reflects their work. A brief summary is provided below:
- Step One – The module and marking team meet to agree standards, expectations and how feedback will be provided.
- Step Two – A subject expert will mark your work using the criteria provided in the assessment brief.
- Step Three – A moderation meeting takes place where all members of the teaching and marking team will review the marking of others to confirm whether they agree with the mark and feedback
- Step Four – Work at Levels 5 and 6 then goes to an external examiner who will review a sample of work to confirm that the marking between different staff is consistent and fair
- Step Five – Your mark and feedback is processed by the Office and made available to you.
The grid below shows you the detailed marking criteria against which your work is marked.
Resit information may be found at the end of this document
|Outstanding 100||Excellent (80-89)/85||Very Good (70-79)/75||Good (60-69)/65||Satisfactory (50-59)/55||Adequate (40-49)/45||Marginal Fail (30-39)/35||Fail (20-29)/25||Missing (0)|
|Use of Theory and reference examples (20%) Quality and application of relevant project management theory and examples to inform all your answers, support your analysis of the project and add credibility to your recommendations||Demonstrates a sophisticated approach to the application of theory to practice. Project has been researched in depth and sources have been used to provide considerable insight.||Extensive evidence of quality research throughout with generally an excellent use of theory to inform practice.||Considerable evidence of solid research into the project. Extensive use of theory.||Good evidence of thorough investigation with research informing your answer and supporting extensive use of theory.||Some relevant use of theory supported in general by a solid amount of research.||Adequate investigation using a range of appropriate sources to inform your answer. Some evidence of wider reading and research into the issues discussed. Reasonable use and application of theory to support analysis.||Weak and somewhat superficial. Project not properly investigated using appropriate sources and lightweight, limited use of theory. Referencing poor and few appropriate sources used to enhance report.||Theory not applied. Very little use of relevant reference material and any sources incorrectly cited||No theory mentioned and no examples used|
|Task 1. PID (15%) Quality of application of theory to the task. Thoroughness of task, accuracy and relevance of content, demonstration that the student has understood the value and use of this piece of documentation. .||Professional standard based on high quality, referenced examples/templ ates. Complete and thorough, demonstrating depth of insight into the usefulness and importance of this element. Difficult to improve within the constraints of this case study.||Near professional standard based on quality, referenced examples/templ ates. Complete and thorough, demonstrating understanding of the importance of this element. Perhaps could be enhanced with some further guidance.||Very good attempt with all major elements and good use of quality external references. Artefact is generally correct and demonstrates some good understanding. Some points may be improved. .||Artefact is largely correct and appropriate with most points covered and supported by useful references. Could be improved with guidance but is a solid and competent attempt.||Some valid references support a reasonable attempt that is mostly complete. Somewhat lightweight but has potential with additional help.||Poor but adequate attempt. Some elements may be missing or are superficial and of limited relevance. Weak referencing. Some basic understanding in evidence in places.||Weak attempt at the task with significant elements missing and little or no referencing. Artefact is of little real use and is superficial at best||Task attempted but missing basic and core elements. Artefact is ineffective and irrelevant.||Task not attempted|
|Task 2. WBS (15%) Quality of application of theory to the task. Thoroughness of task, accuracy and relevance of content, demonstration that the student has||Professional standard based on high quality, referenced examples/templ ates. Complete and thorough, demonstrating depth of insight into the||Near professional standard based on quality, referenced examples/templ ates. Complete and thorough, demonstrating||Very good attempt with all major elements and good use of quality external references. Artefact is generally correct||Artefact is largely correct and appropriate with most points covered and supported by useful references. Could be||Some valid references support a reasonable attempt that is mostly complete. Somewhat||Poor but adequate attempt. Some elements may be missing or are superficial and of limited relevance. Weak||Weak attempt at the task with significant elements missing and little or no referencing. Artefact is of little real use and is||Task attempted but missing basic and core elements. Artefact is||Task not attempted|
|Task 3. Risk (15%) Quality of application of theory to the task. Thoroughness of task, accuracy and relevance of content, demonstration that the student has understood the value and use of this piece of documentation.||Professional standard based on high quality, referenced examples/templ ates. Complete and thorough, demonstrating depth of insight into the usefulness and importance of this element. Difficult to improve within the constraints of this case study.||Near professional standard based on quality, referenced examples/templ ates. Complete and thorough, demonstrating understanding of the importance of this element. Perhaps could be enhanced with some further guidance.||Very good attempt with all major elements and good use of quality external references. Artefact is generally correct and demonstrates some good understanding. Some points may be improved. .||Artefact is largely correct and appropriate with most points covered and supported by useful references. Could be improved with guidance but is a solid and competent attempt.||Some valid references support a reasonable attempt that is mostly complete. Somewhat lightweight but has potential with additional help.||Poor but adequate attempt. Some elements may be missing or are superficial and of limited relevance. Weak referencing. Some basic understanding in evidence in places.||Weak attempt at the task with significant elements missing and little or no referencing. Artefact is of little real use and is superficial at best||Task attempted but missing basic and core elements. Artefact is ineffective and irrelevant.||Task not attempted|
|Task 4. Report to boss (15%) Quality of application of theory to the task. Thoroughness of task, accuracy and relevance of content, demonstration that the student has understood the value and use of this piece of documentation.||Professional standard based on high quality, referenced examples/templ ates. Complete and thorough, demonstrating depth of insight into the usefulness and importance of this element. Difficult to improve within the constraints of this case study.||Near professional standard based on quality, referenced examples/templ ates. Complete and thorough, demonstrating understanding of the importance of this element. Perhaps could be enhanced with some further guidance.||Very good attempt with all major elements and good use of quality external references. Artefact is generally correct and demonstrates some good understanding. Some points may be improved. .||Artefact is largely correct and appropriate with most points covered and supported by useful references. Could be improved with guidance but is a solid and competent attempt.||Some valid references support a reasonable attempt that is mostly complete. Somewhat lightweight but has potential with additional help.||Poor but adequate attempt. Some elements may be missing or are superficial and of limited relevance. Weak referencing. Some basic understanding in evidence in places.||Weak attempt at the task with significant elements missing and little or no referencing. Artefact is of little real use and is superficial at best||Task attempted but missing basic and core elements. Artefact is ineffective and irrelevant.||Task not attempted|
|Overall Argument & Effectiveness (10%) All tasks completed||Report content is of professional standard throughout,||Report content is excellent and near professional in||Consistent and effective content demonstrating||Competent attempt addressing all||Most tasks completed with some minor||Report elements presented tend towards being||Weak and inconsistent with little connection||Chaotic and highly inconsiste||Most tasks not attempted|
|Structure & Presentation (10%) Professionalism, writing and quality of documentation.||Professional standard of report that would be worthy of giving to a commercial client. Expertly written,||Well written and presented with very good use of structure. Tables, diagrams, etc correctly labelled and||Mostly well written and presented with good use of structure. Tables, diagrams, etc correctly labelled and used.||Reasonable quality of writing with only modest errors throughout. An attempt has been made to||Adequately written and does not significantly detract from understanding. Some valid use of structure.||Writing somewhat poor in places with potentially significant impact on report credibility. Presentation poor||Very poor writing. Poor quality of document presentation with little use of structure. References||Writing rarely makes sense. Very messy presentation, lacking use of structure.||Unintelligible writing and messy/chaotic to the point of illegibility.|
|inspiring confidence, no English errors and layout & structure highly effective and appropriate. Referencing accurate and correct||used. References correct to Harvard standards||References generally correctly cited.||use appropriate structure. Referencing mostly correct with minor errors||Referencing needs some correction.||with limited structure. Referencing inconsistent||poorly and incorrectly cited.|
Resit Assignment Details
Resit submission date: To be announced and as shown on Moodle.
For students who are offered a resit you are required to improve and resubmit your original work as well as adding a further reflective commentary discussing what you have learned from the process.
You must resubmit your work using the specific resit Turnitin link on Moodle.
- Review your previously submitted work and read carefully the feedback given by the marker.
- Use this feedback to help you revisit and rewrite your work, improving it in the areas identified as weak in the original marking process
- Include with your resubmission an additional reflective piece (up to 500 words) on what you understand was weak, how you set about addressing this and what you have learned from this that may help you with further assignments. You should address the following specifically:
- Identify tutor feedback points
on your original work and identify where/how the resit work has changed (give
page number) in response to feedback
- Identify the lessons you have learnt from doing the resit
- Reflect on how your feedback and this process will help you improve future assignments
If you did not submit work at the first opportunity you cannot reflect on your feedback. However, you are still required to submit a reflective piece in which you identify your reasons for non-submission, the implications of non-submission for your future success and how you propose to address this in the future. If you have issues with confidentiality of your reasons for non-submission then you could reflect on how you have met the learning outcomes for the module, how you can use what you have done on the module to support your future career and what skills/employability attributes you feel the module has helped you to develop.
If you were deferred at the first assessment opportunity you do not need to include the reflective piece as this is a first submission at a later date, not a resit.
The original marking criteria will still apply (see marking grid provided above) except that the 10% weighting for presentation will be awarded instead to your reflective piece
PROJECT MANAGEMENT – Sample structure of assignment
Please find below the essential parts of your assignment – You are NOT restricted to the points below as these are ONLY guidelines; however, that’s a good starting point:
- Front Cover submission sheet (official)
- Own cover sheet (optional – gives a professional image)
- Abstract/Executive summary
- Table of Contents
- Project Initiation Document (PID)
- Budgetary information
- Key staff
- You are allowed to include additional elements in your PID as per templates obtained and relevance.
- Stakeholder Analysis table (extended analysis)
- Risk Register (At least 10 fully documented risks, including owner, mitigation and contingency actions, pre-and post- action weighting and scores, plus discussion demonstrating the use of the risk register with examples of good practice from other published)
- Work Breakdown Structure (at least 20 items – tasks, dependencies, milestones, summary tasks)
You can use excel templates or any free online software to facilitate that process
• Report to project sponsor
- Explanation of the need for quality leadership on the project
- Analysis and critique of the methodologies that might be used to run the project
** Make sure that all your work is referenced properly (for example, templates that you adapt to your assignment) using the Harvard Referencing System. Further help can be sought from the ACE team if the need arises.
** The project is based on estimates (for example, budget and costing) and assumptions as long as these are realistic as the focus in on how you have interpreted and applied the information accordingly.
** This assignment should be ‘Work in Progress’ and shown to the seminar tutor during the seminars for feedback when such sessions are scheduled.
Case Study for Project Management Assignment Autumn 2019
Note: The following is entirely hypothetical. It is not actually happening, but you are required to prepare some documentation as if it were a real project.
QA Higher Education (QAHE) has just completed a refurbishment of its teaching rooms and computing labs in the London (London students), Birmingham (Birmingham students) and Manchester (Manchester students) premises, to ensure students and staff all have an excellent learning environment and access to the latest technology to support their studies and teaching.
The university wishes to have a major launch event to publicise this (it may help attract students and make the university more competitive) and to celebrate the success of the project. You are the project manager for this event, scheduled to take place during Freshers’ Week in January 2020. You will need to plan this event carefully, ensuring that it is scheduled correctly within the calendar of events and includes formal ceremony, informal opportunity for staff and students to get tours of the building, celebratory elements including food and drink, invitations to local/national dignitaries (remember who opened the building originally!), etc.
The main project sponsor is the Managing Director, represented on the project by the Director of Operations and you have been told the budget for this launch is approximately £50,000.
NOTE: LONDON STUDENTS SHOULD SELECT THE LONDON PROJECT TO OUTLINE, BIRMINGHAM STUDENTS THE BIRMINGHAM PROJECT, AND MANCHESTER STUDENTS THE MANCHESTER PROJECT
Note that considerable class time will be devoted to guiding you and helping you complete these tasks so attendance at the classes will be of immense use in achieving a good assignment mark. Reasonable assumptions can be made throughout (and indeed are necessary) and students are encouraged to ask for clarification whenever necessary. Also note that you are not expected to have any specific technical knowledge of architecture, building refurbishment or events management, hence any reasonable assumptions may be made (must be stated clearly) and your lecturers will be happy to advise where necessary.
Your work will be marked on the quality of the documentation and understanding of the techniques used and not on how well you have shown you can plan an event
IMPORTANT: It is absolutely essential that your answers are well referenced. This means that published work (text books, journals, other printed material such as newspapers and credible magazine articles) is used to illustrate your points to enhance the validity and credibility of your work. Web sites may also be used although in some instances they are less reliable (not peer reviewed or subject to editorial constraints) and hence should be used sparingly. Failure to reference correctly may result in a particularly poor mark and possible failure. In contrast, good and extensive use of relevant references that inform and enhance your work will be awarded high marks.
Project Management Assignment – Notes for Students
Roehampton University and Partners 2019
The assignment this year is based on a fictitious case study and students are required to develop some sample documentation typical of that which would be produced by a real project manager.
This document is intended to ensure that as many questions as possible are answered and that there is consistency across all teams and locations delivering the module. If you have further questions you should contact your seminar tutor in the first instance.
We want to measure and mark on learning outcomes documented in your module specifications so, aside from the specifics of the task, your main aim is to demonstrate real understanding by doing what has been asked of you. If you do that, then by definition you will at least get a pass. If your work demonstrates some mature insight and perceptiveness beyond that which we reasonably expect to pass then clearly you get higher marks. The requirements must be met in order to maximise your marks so, for example, if you are asked for ten risks and you do a fantastic risk register with, perhaps, additional commentary and lots of references, but only provide eight risks, we cannot mark it as highly as we would like but it will still be recognised that overall you have demonstrated depth of understanding, albeit marks reduced to reflect failure to deliver all that was required. Conversely, if a piece of work includes ten risks but they are either ridiculously unrealistic or all the same (e.g. ten different members of the project team all getting ill!) or contain little in the way of additional information (scoring, mitigating and contingency actions, etc.) then you will have been deemed to have missed the basic requirements of the brief so clearly you will fail.
Referencing: This is crucial and we DO expect this stuff to be referenced thoroughly, using Harvard style in-text citations and not just a bibliography at the end of the document. Just because it is a fictitious example doesn’t mean no references are required. For example, references for the PID or risk register formats used should be given – you must have got the idea from somewhere so where do they come from (even if it is just the lecture notes)? If you have used other documents to understand this case then reference those as well. You might, for example, have found risk registers or discussion relating to other launch event projects and you should provide those with the associated task. Hence the risk register might have a reference underneath it saying, “Derived from ….. (reference here)” but an individual risk line item might also be referenced showing where you got their idea for the risk and how to manage it. Such a reference should be cited in the correct place in the risk register text just as you would any citation in body text. This applies to all tasks. If you have not referenced it we will assume you have completely made it up out of thin air with no inspiration from any other sources and your marks will be low.
What now follows is an attempt to provide additional information for each task.
Task 1 – PID and Stakeholder Analysis
We teach you that a typical PID (also known as a Project Charter or Terms of Reference) is simply a short summary document, usually produced at the beginning of a project that can be circulated to anyone who wants/needs to know to give an idea of the overall concept and major parameters. The lecture slides are very clear about what is usually contained within one. The example in the lecture slides is very good as it clearly differentiates between approach and objective.
Crucially important: We don’t really care too much about the specific details within it but we do care about how you derived them. For example, although the budget number is given we don’t know how much should be spent on, say, catering. You could just put a number in – for example £10,000. However, where do you get that number? You could say it is for 1,000 people at £10/head but even that is just a guess isn’t it. Max marks will be given to those who have done a little research and referenced some pricing for catering and shown what one gets for £10k or whatever you choose to spend. Does that include drink? How many are you catering for? Are there several sub-events? Perhaps you will have a formal high cost event for senior managers and visiting dignitaries as well as a celebration for the whole department and all students. Maybe you will have evening entertainment as well. It’s up to you but does need planning and you should not just guess!
We strongly encourage you to make sensible assumptions and put all that in an Appendix and refer to it in the main body of the document. For example, next to the budget in the PID you might use the ‘footnote’ function in Word like this: Budget is £x,000 (see the bottom of the page for how that looks – it’s just an example but I am suggesting it as a way of laying this all out clearly).
The same should apply to timescales so feel free to explain any assumptions you are making – common sense rules here – but the headlines are in the brief anyway. BUT what about some of the preliminary stuff that could be done in advance in terms of early planning, prep, purchasing, etc.?
Objectives (WHAT ARE WE TRYING TO DO?) are fairly easy but think about what those might be. An objective is a business goal. The objective is NOT to have an event! Think about multiple objectives. Think in terms of celebration, competitive positioning, attracting students, supporting staff, marketing the university well, etc. etc.
Approach (HOW ARE WE TRYING TO DO IT?) is probably the part of the PID that you might struggle with most and what we are looking for here is a logical high level approach to achieving the above objectives (there needs to be connection between objective and approach). It’s all applied common sense so think about how you would go about it. What have other organisations done when celebrating a major building refurbishment? What do staff and students think is needed? What might a specialist events management company recommend? Well to answer that you would have to find them so maybe part of your approach section might be to identify experienced suppliers. Maybe you will use some of your budget to buy in events management expertise. Who is going to provide the food, put up the marquee, install the PA system? Where do you get stewards for the event? How do you sort car parking? We don’t need names but clearly finding and selecting such resources and solving these problems is a part of your approach to delivering this project successfully. None of that is beyond any student to come up with and document in a few simple bullet points as per the example in the lecture slides.
Stakeholder analysis should include a list of key stakeholders covering examples of everything from advocates to blockers and all points in between. BUT it must be so much more than a list. To make it an analysis you need to explain the significance of each stakeholder and something about their likely attitude AND what this analysis means to the project manager. In other words why do we care about this stakeholder and what are we going to do about them, if anything? It’s all about how stakeholders impact the project management process and if you miss that then you have failed to achieve the learning for that part.
Task 2 – Risk Register
Again this is all about applied common sense. We want at least ten risks and they need to be a range of risks from the mundane (e.g. project manager gets sick) to the extreme (e.g. plane crashes on the building). We want to see you cover different types of issues using examples from the lecture and seminar activity and anything else you think of. The point is that again you need to demonstrate understanding. If you can produce suggested actions to mitigate these or contingency actions in case they happen anyway then you will be getting there and we can give solid marks. The scoring needs to make sense (no point in scoring the plane crash as high likelihood but low impact!) and something about post-mitigation/contingency scores would be good.
Task 3 – WBS
If you have done all the above well then the WBS should reflect that and hence be good. Too many students just list everything in chronological order and you have a totally serial WBS which is frankly useless. We need to see the same logic I describe above applied to a task schedule, showing where things can be done in parallel and where there are real and sensible dependencies and that your WBS reflects the timescales defined in the PID and the tasks reflect your approach. Include a few sensibly chosen milestones. Discuss (provide referenced paragraph each) on the concept and importance of WBS and the Critical Path Analysis.
Task 4 – Short Report
Write it as if you were writing to the sponsor. So it needs to say something like “You need to make sure the project is led well otherwise…” All we then want is a persuasive argument showing why it is important. Use examples and reference them well. Better students will reference every few sentences in this and to use referenced examples as well to illustrate your points. The same then applies to methodologies but there is no right or wrong answer. All methodologies have their strengths and weaknesses so be aware that we do not have a hidden agenda that you have to work out or guess. We simply need you to write a persuasive argument one way or another. That means you will have to research, cite correctly and demonstrate understanding of the strengths and weakness of PRINCE2, Waterfall and Agile and come up with a final recommendation.
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