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Case Study - SIM335 Managing Projects




Example case study prepared for: Boon Chuan Tan, UK

Core Principles/Characteristics of any Project and why they are Important

Projects that are correctly managed have a project charter, or working plan; the stakeholders are identified, the project scope is established, a work breakdown structure is created, preferably with a Gantt chart, risk is carefully identified and analyzed, and a communications management plan is created (RMC).

Business Management

The project charter defines what is going to happen in the project and it fives the project manager the authority to manage the project, including the people and the business elements. Resources are identified and the key stakeholders are identified. Major deliverables are defined, as well as what the deliverables will contain.

Defining the Scope of the Project

The scope of the project includes the deliverables and the boundaries: when the project begins, when it ends, how much can be spent, and what must be accomplished. The scope justifies why the project needs done, what the objectives are, the acceptance criteria that has been established for the project, the constraints of the project and the assumptions that are made (Cornell University). The scope is generally planned over several sessions and it is best to have collaboration on the scope since upper management will need to sign off. The scope’s baseline, consisting of the scope statement, the WBS, and the WBS dictionary, forms a “pull out” section that can be used as a take-with document for management. In establishing the Scope for Grabbit and Scarper & Sons Limited’s project, each of these things would have been included.

Plotting a Full Gantt Chart and Critical Path

If there had been a work breakdown structure, full Gantt chart, and critical path created, the organization would most likely not be facing the reality that there were now only 6 months left to complete the project. The Gantt chart shows all of the tasks that need to be completed on the project, while the critical path shows the task that are critical to complete on time, and their dependencies. Most software programs will highlight the critical path once the Gantt chart is entered. If the critical path gets off schedule, the project will not come in on time unless major changes are made in the plan. Makar pointed out that if an item in the critical path is delayed by a day, then the project will be a day late. Likewise, three months delay will be three months late, and so on. Properly done, Penny would know what absolutely had to be completed on time for the project to come in on time. The issue of the cranes alone significantly delayed the project.

Method of Cost Management

Penny should have conducted a cost benefits analysis on the project to determine what steps she could take that would cost less and have more benefits. A break even analysis should be conducted as well. In a cost benefits analysis the individual figures out how much cost there will be to any particular benefit. The level of cost effectiveness of differing choices should be established and the overall benefits cost, in term of measures of efficiency and effectiveness. Among the calculations are the benefits, the future value, the present value, net present value, and cost to benefit ratio. By computing these costs Penny would have had a better idea which choice she should make given different circumstance (Nickolaisen).

Assessing and Managing Risk

Assessing risk is far easier if one has seen the paperwork on a project. Failure to see the paperwork was Penny’s first error. Surely she should have asked to see all the project paperwork. Next, she should have studied the project on paper to familiarize herself with the requirements, including doing a WBS if it had not been done. Once she had seen the paperwork, she could plan risk management, involve the entire team in identifying risk, and perform both qualitative and quantitative risk analysis. Then, responses to risk can occur, Finally in this way the risks can be analyzed, managed, and controlled (Hamilton, Byatt, & Hodgkinson).

Missing Quality Management Methods

Quality methods in general are missing in this case study. There seems to be no one centralized area of control prior to Penny’s taking the job, and the actions of the plant’s managers (all family) suggest that they may have hired a project manager because someone told them they had to, rather than because they understood what one did. In general they need a good dose of monitoring and evaluation, for this is the way they show accountability and implement processes that keep the project on line and on time. When evaluation is systematic and ongoing, the risk lowers; the chance of breaking the critical path decreases and the chance of early or on time completion increases (Chimwedo).

References

Chimwedo, M. Module 5: Desıgnıng monıtorıng and evaluatıon systems for NEPAD projects.

Cornell University. Project scope, WBS, deliberables (Kuali Financial Systems).

Hamilton, G., Byatt, G., & Hodgkinson, J. Risk management and project management go hand in hand. CIO Management.

Makar, A. Why critical path is critical to project management. Tech Republic.

Nickolaisen, N. How to perform a cost/benefit analysis: Build a model, not a number. TechTarget.

RMC. Six essential elements to effective project management: Delivering projects on time, on budge, and in scope. RMC Learning Solutions. Mınnetonka, MN: Self.