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(a) Prepare a network diagram showing the critical path and planned duration of the project. Quantify the float on the non-critical tasks. (8 marks)

Fundamentals of Project Management (BT7073)

1.     Assessment Brief

1.1.   Case Study / Brief

Assessment Brief

The Fundamentals of Project Management course has TWO separate deliverables to be submitted as a single document:

Part A

Project Management Consultancy Report

This should be structured in four sections based on the Case Study – 3500 words (85% of final course grade)


Part B

Reflective Essay

Prepare an analysis into the challenges encountered throughout the Module and the difficulties producing the assessment. Identify clear personal development goals. Briefly from your research highlight the characteristics of a Good Project Manager.

750 words (15 % of final course grade)



 Automation Futures (AF) PLC which is shown in Fig.1 is a technology contracting, consulting and product/software development company with extensive experience in the design, manufacture, commissioning and delivery of a range of Electronic/Technology projects but specialising in Automation and New products for a range of clients including Bespoke Automation Factories. It 

operates out of a large Consultancy Practice in The Thames Valley (UK) and a Product Development factory in Ireland (ROI) which develops and manufactures automation plant and Prefabricated Factories for various clients largely in Europe.


The company’s facilities and expertise allow them to offer tailor-made solutions that are highly competitive with other companies in this market. Margins on projects are good given the innovative nature of the business but clients are demanding and require competitive responses in a fast-changing world.


AF PLC has won a major contract to design and build a new engineering Automation plant for a major Train manufacturing client, TTF PLC, based in Germany which will deliver Electronic Component parts including a to be designed Inverter Product specifically aimed at Power Saving for new train fleets. TTF is itself a major supplier to various governments and train operating companies throughout the world. The contract is structured on a risk and reward basis with a target price of £58.5m with a shared bonus if finished early and a shared penalty if finished late.  The target price is extremely competitive and reflects the belief that they have the capacity to improve on the delivery date and thereby earn the bonus. The AF PLC bid was based on a conceptual design provided to them setting out the outputs in terms of product attributes including power saving targets and product availability. AF Plc will have to complete the detailed design of the Inverter product from outline designs prepared by TTF along with the automated production line as part of the Contract and organise installation of the equipment in the New factory in Germany which they will also have to commission and Construct.

TTF will manufacture the Inverter Product from the production line as part of its Train Manufacturing Process.


TTF have acquired the site for the New Factory but AF will have to:


  • Design and Construct of the new Factory to fit the automation equipment;
  • Design and Develop the Automation plant including the production line software;
  • Design the Inverter product including the control software.




Part A.


1.            Project Definition/Parameters and Risks (20 Marks)


(a)          Discuss the relative importance of the various iron triangle parameters in setting the Overall Project objectives that will need to be managed by you as the AF PLC project manager over the course of the project, and how they may inter-relate to each other. (10 marks)


(b)          Use the template provided to create a risk register, identifying a maximum of ten risks that AF PLC are likely to face with a construction project of this nature. (10 marks)


The main contracted Labour/Staff requirements and the fixed costs for each task are shown in Table 1 are in £m.


(a)          Prepare a network diagram showing the critical path and planned duration of the project. Quantify the float on the non-critical tasks. (8 marks)


(b)          Using Microsoft Project (or a similar package) prepare a Gantt chart for the project to a professional standard. Calibrate the timescale in weeks. If the project is scheduled to start on Monday 8th July 2019 determine the planned completion date based on the constraints outlined in table 1 and the brief. (8 marks)


(c)           Using the information provided, detail the overall Project Budget and the projected Net profit for the contract (i.e. revenue – costs) (including any bonus or allowing for any penalty) that the company will be aiming to achieve based on the projected completion date and the contract terms.  You are also required to provide an indication of what budget components could impact the point at which in terms of days late the project could become loss making assuming no increases on the initial Project Budget. Show your workings clearly using a spreadsheet (You can submit as a separate spreadsheet file attachment, but the overall figures must be included in the main body of the report) (9 marks)


3              Managing progress and spending (10 Marks)


The project started on time, and after 17 weeks of work following on from the Project Review, an intensive analysis of the project was held at the AF PLC Factory. The following information was reported by the project team.

(a)                Using the Gantt chart, determine the planned progress (%) for each task, after 17 weeks had been completed. Assume that progress is achieved on a linear basis for each task. For example, if a task is planned over the course of 4 weeks, then if 3 weeks have elapsed planned progress would be 75%. Then create a TABLE comparing the planned progress against the actual progress values from table 2. (5 marks)

(b)               Enter the actual progress values for progress from the revised Table produced in answering Q3a into the Gantt Chart, and using Microsoft Project or similar software reschedule the project with effect from the review date. Produce a revised GANTT Chart AND IDENTIFY the new completion date and COMMENT on the outcome from a commercial perspective detailing any POTENTIAL effect on the Profit from the Project AND the budget cost. (5 marks)



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