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1.1 Explain the features of a project business case - Unit 16: Participate in a Project

Unit 16: Participate in a Project

Unit reference number: F/506/1934 QCF level: 3

Credit value: 3

Guided learning hours: 19

Unit type: Competence

Unit summary

In this unit you will look at project management and the importance of creating a solid project business case that predicts as many of the dangers as possible and plans, organises and controls activities so that a project is completed successfully despite the risks.

You will look at the role of the project manager, creating a project team and the need to use related information to actively monitor progress to keep that team on the right path. You will look at the importance of monitoring the ‘project management triangle’ to keep the project on track. You will be able to support the delivery of a project in line with a project plan and in accordance with the policies of the business reporting on problems as they occur.

Learning outcomes and assessment criteria

To pass this unit, the learner needs to demonstrate that they can meet all the learning outcomes for the unit. The assessment criteria outline the requirements the learner is expected to meet to achieve the unit.

Unit 16: Participate in a Project

Learning outcomes                                      Assessment criteria

1     Understand how to manage a project

1.1 Explain the features of a project business case

1.2 Explain the stages of a project lifecycle

1.3 Explain the roles of people involved in a project

1.4 Explain the uses of project-related information

1.5 Explain the advantages and limitations of different project monitoring techniques

1.6 Analyse the interrelationship of project scope, schedule, finance, risk, quality and resources

2     Be able to support the delivery of a project

2.1 Fulfil their role in accordance with a project plan

2.2 Collect project-related information in accordance with project plans

2.3 Use appropriate tools to analyse project information

2.4 Report on information analysis in the agreed format and timescale

2.5 Draw issues, anomalies and potential problems to the attention of project managers

2.6 Adhere to organisational policies and procedures, legal and ethical requirements in supporting the delivery of a project

Unit amplification

AC1.1:     Explain the features of a project business case
  • Business case: predecessor for any project; visual/written presentation to management to gain approval to proceed with the project; structured and defined document using a template that complies with business rules and processes
  • Features: describes the problem/issue at hand; reason for project; research to back up findings; how project will be executed to include expenses, timeline; project milestones and items that will be completed (deliverables)
  • Initiation: defines scope, purpose, objectives, resources, deliverables, timescales and structure of the project
  • Planning: creation of; project plan, resource plan, financial plan, quality plan, risk plan, acceptance plan
  • Execution: monitoring and controlling; time management, cost management, quality management, change management, risk management, issue management, acceptance management, communications management
  • Closure and Evaluation: determines project’s overall success; documents lessons learned for future projects
  • Project Manager: role e.g. develops definition of project; ensures that project is delivered on time, on budget and to required quality standard; manages relationships with groups to include all contributors
  • Project sponsor: role e.g. commissions others to deliver the project; defines project with Project Manager; ensures project is actively reviewed
  • Project Board (optional group): oversees progress of project; reacts to strategic problems
  • Senior Consultant: manages supplier-side input
    • Project Team Members: staff who actively work on project; varies with type of project; typical roles e.g. provision of functional expertise, identify and map information, train users
    • Project Administrator/Co-ordinator (in larger projects): role e.g. maintains project plan; provides administrative support to Project Manager
      • Monitoring project progress; monitoring project team; allowing decisions to be made; suggesting adjustments to plan; steering team in right direction; evaluation of project; lessons learnt to inform future projects
    • Monitoring of Project Team: advantages e.g. provides picture of broader trends, enables effective decision making by capturing detailed task level progress; limitations e.g. reports not always honest, may give no real indication of progress or may give favourable impressions without any substantiating evidence
    • Pulse meetings: advantages e.g. face to face or virtual meeting where brief status updates are shared, usually only 10 minutes maximum; limitations e.g. separate meetings required to resolve problems raised
    • Milestone monitoring: advantages e.g. identifies Critical Path activities/other major stages and decision points on project, deadlines are predetermined, plans can be adjusted in light of performance or changing circumstances; limitations e.g. unscheduled changes, unpredicted lack of progress
    • Scope (quality): clear, specific statement as to what has been agreed to be performed/achieved in a project; lays out functions, features, data, content; clearly expresses the desired final result of a project
    • Schedule: time required to complete components of a project; time required to carry out each task; duration of the project
    • Resources (cost): cost of a project; what and how many/much resources need to be dedicated to project; what needs to be applied or assigned to the project in terms of money and effort in order to make things happen such as resources to include manpower, materials, resources for risk management and assessment and third party resources
      • Triple constraint (the project management triangle): project scope/quality, resources/costs/finances and schedule/time as three aspects working together in balance; scope, schedule and cost are fully inter-related; each aspect affects another; aspects can change/fluctuate; any adjustment to any aspect must affect the other; if one is restricted/extended, others will need to be extended/increased; must be continually monitored by Project Manager
AC1.2: Explain the stages of a project lifecycle
AC1.3: Explain the roles of people involved in a project
AC1.4 Explain the uses of project-related information
AC1.5 Explain the advantages and limitations of different project monitoring techniques
AC1.6 Analyse the interrelationship of project scope, schedule, finance, risk, quality and resources

Information for tutors: Unit 16: Participate in a Project

Suggested resources

Barker, S., – Brilliant Project Management: What the Best Project Managers Know, Do and Say (Brilliant Business) (Pearson, 2012) ISBN 9780273775096

Graham, N., – Project Management For Dummies (John Wiley & Sons, 2010) ISBN 9780470711194


This unit is internally assessed. To pass this unit the evidence that the learner presents for assessment must demonstrate that they have met the required standard specified in the learning outcomes and assessment criteria and the requirements of the Assessment Strategy.

To ensure that the assessment tasks and activities enable learners to produce valid, sufficient, authentic and appropriate evidence that meets the assessment criteria, centres should apply the Unit Assessment guidance and the requirements of the Assessment Strategy below.

Wherever possible, centres should adopt a holistic approach to assessing the units in the qualification. This gives the assessment process greater rigour and minimises repetition, time and the burden of assessment on all parties involved in the process.

Unit assessment requirements

This unit must be assessed in the workplace in accordance with the Skills CFA Assessment Strategy for Business Administration, Customer Service and Management and Leadership, in Annexe A. Simulation is not allowed for this unit. All evidence of occupational competence should be generated through performance under workplace conditions; this includes evidence of achievement for knowledge- based learning outcomes and associated assessment criteria.

This unit is a barred combination with unit R/506/1999 Manage a Project.

Unit assessment guidance

This guidance supports assessors in making decisions about how best to assess each unit and the evidence needed to meet the assessment requirements of the unit. Centres can adapt the guidance for learners and the particular assessment context, as appropriate.

To achieve this unit, learners must show participation in a project.

The main sources of evidence to meet learning outcome 2 are a review of learner work products and witness statements supported by professional discussion.

For learning outcome 2 learner work products could include their notes on the project plan and their associated role (AC2.1 and AC2.2) and the tools used to collect and analyse project information and reports on information (AC2.2, AC2.3 and AC2.4). Witness statements could be used to support the learner’s delivery of a project (AC2.2 – AC2.6) These work products should be used as the basis for a professional discussion with the learner to meet the requirements of AC2.1 as well to evidence the learner’s competence. For example, within the professional discussion the learner could explain the process they used to ensure they fulfilled their role whilst adhering to organisational policies and procedures (AC2.6).

Evidence to confirm the achievement of learning outcome 1 could be integrated into the professional discussion or reflective account for learning outcome 2, providing the opportunity for the learner to link and apply their knowledge to the workplace activities. For example, the relationship between the theory of managing a project and the ability to deliver a project could be explored. Learner responses or statements to meet the requirements for AC1.1 – 1.6 must be at a sufficient depth and breadth to meet the level of demand expected from an explanation and analysis. For example, the learner’s response on the features of effective collaboration (AC1.3) should go beyond just statements but should include reasoning around how interrelationship of project scope, schedule, finance, risk, quality and resources can affect a project (AC1.6).

A reflective account can also be used to meet the requirements of the knowledge ACs in learning outcome 1, in particular AC1.6, which requires the learner to analyse the interrelationship of project scope, schedule, finance, risk, quality and resources.

Evidence of Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) can also be used within the unit to confirm competence. Wherever possible, the learning outcomes in this unit should be assessed holistically across the qualification.

Unit 16: Participate in a Project

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