Project Management - Assessment Brief – February 2022
Academic year and term:
Learning outcomes assessed within this piece of work as agreed at the programme level meeting
You will be able to develop understanding of the core activity areas project managers concern themselves with and how they relate to personal and organisational issues.
You will be able to apply the principles of project management to the planned development and delivery of business initiatives, e.g. new products, services or events
Type of assessment:
100% coursework (individual) submitted as two separate assignments worth 40% and 60% respectively.
Instructions for assessment
Formative (not marked – for guidance only): You will be given an opportunity to produce outline samples of your assignment work (using a pre-structured form) and share it with your seminar classmates for peer review in small groups. In addition, informal feedback will be offered by the seminar tutor but you will not be marked.
Individual Summative (Main) Assignments x2: These assignments are based on a fictitious case study that presents students with a business project scenario. You are free to choose the case study from the four options provided. 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 items of project planning documentation, to be submitted as two separate component assignments at various points through the semester: Assignments are individually marked.
Tasks to be completed are on page 2 and the four case scenario options are on page 3
Assignment 1 – to be submitted in week 6, 09/03/2022 (40% of module mark)
Sample Project Initiation Document (PID) including simple budgetary information (max 10 line items), timescales, objectives, approach, key staff and stakeholder analysis (approx. 750 words plus diagrams, etc.). Note: a full, detailed breakdown of how the budget may be used is not required, although you are free to put such information in an appendix if you feel it will help explain your summary position. Refer to the lecture slides for a typical example of a PID
- Work breakdown Structure containing at least 20 items in the WBS. The WBS should be presented in the form of a suitably referenced diagram that must include dependencies, milestones and a hierarchy of tasks. You are free to deliver this as a Gantt chart (use MS Project to develop this) but it is not required. All diagrams should be embedded into your report as images. In addition 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;
Assignment 2 – to be submitted in week 12, 22/04/2022 (60% of module mark)
You must produce a short report written directly to the project sponsor (approx. 2,000 words plus the contents of the risk register) containing the following three items:
- A suggested risk register containing at least 10 fully documented risks, including owner, mitigation and contingency actions, pre-and post- action weighting and scores and a (referenced) paragraph to the sponsor explaining why such a register is important
- An explanation of the need for careful, correctly managed completion of a project. Using theory and suitable examples, tell your sponsor how best you believe the project completion should be structured and managed for your specific case study so as to maximise the benefits available.
- An analysis and critique of methodologies that might be used to run the project case study, principally 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 and 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 examples and reference to theory is very important.
Note: Submit copies of your first assignment as appendix to this second piece of work so that the marker will be able to see continuity between the earlier assignment and this final one. Simply paste them in at the end and submit as one large document. If you did not submit assignment 1 but do wish to submit assignment 2 then simply note at the end that you do not have anything to submit for 1 (capped resits may be required).
IMPORTANT: So that there is no confusion or doubt, for ALL elements in all assignments, reference must be made to established project management theory and best practice. 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. These will 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.
Project Management Case Study Options – Choose One Only
Academic Year 2021/22 only
The Project Management Assignments require students to develop a number of pieces of documentation relating to a particular case study. To reflect the wide variety of ways in which project management techniques can be applied, we are allowing students to choose between four different fictitious scenarios. Choose one of the four and then answer all of the assignment questions, to be submitted at two separate points in the semester – week 6 and after Easter break, worth 40% and 60% of the module total mark respectively. You must use the same case scenario for all questions as it is expected that you will link your two pieces of work.
Case scenario 1
You are the Project Manager for an indoor sporting event, organising a sort of ‘Olympics’ between London/Birmingham/Manchester (please choose one based on your location) Higher Education Institutions (HEI), known as the HEI Games. The senior management at QAHE have asked for this as they wish it to be a flagship event that helps market the QAHE’s facilities. Assume you have the full academic year to organise this, with the events taking place in July or August. You have a budget of £20k per university taking part and you should assume around 10 HEIs will be involved although if more join in then that will allow for more budget.
Case Scenario 2
QAHE wishes to improve the spaces available for business students and has asked you to project manage the refurbishment and redevelopment of the London/Birmingham/Manchester (please choose one based on your location) Campus. The preference is for tiered seating that can be retracted, together with acoustic panels on the walls to make it a better teaching space. You have been asked to project manage this process with support from the Facilities Management department at QAHE and have been given a provisional budget of £100k. Bear in mind that the work must not cause disruption to teaching timetables.
Case Scenario 3
QAHE has recognised that students do not always know what is going on at QAHE Campuses outside of timetabled class sessions and in addition can find it difficult to contact representatives from clubs and societies. Hence, in order to help increase student engagement with extra-curricular activities, QAHE’s Student Forum Representative has asked you to project manage the development of a new QAHE Recreation mobile phone app which will provide day by day details of QAHE clubs and societies’ events, links to contact details and the freedom for students to publicise their own events. Grant funding from O2 (one of their directors is a former QAHE student) has given you a budget of £200k and the university, although supportive, wants it ready to be used by students at the start of the next academic year.
Case Scenario 4
QAHE Business Management Faculty has designed a new degree course in Sustainable Business, focusing on ethical and environmental business issues. This is now in its third year so there are 30 final year students now on this course. The Business Faculty has secured funding to support a two week field trip to see some interesting sustainable projects in Uganda, intending that this takes place in May, after the rest of their assignments have been submitted. The Programme Convener has asked for your help in organising this trip and you are doing so as a project management task in place of your dissertation. Each student will be funded a max of £2,000 to enable them to go, thus meaning there is a total of £60,000 available for the whole trip. You should assume that staff costs (including yourself) are also funded, totalling an additional £10,000.
IMPORTANT: You do not need to have any technical knowledge of construction, IT, app development etc. in order to do well with any of the above as it is the use of the project management processes that will be marked and not detailed technical understand of a particular industry or technology.
Marking and Feedback
Formative (not formally marked – opportunity to obtain feedback)
Students will be given the opportunity to share their ideas and work so far in small groups. You will be given a full briefing early on in the semester. You should be expected to complete forms (to be provided) that help you set out the basics of your assignment work in each case and bring these forms to the seminar group typically two weeks before deadlines. These forms will be a structured set of notes about the key elements of each assignment and your initial findings and thoughts. Students will be placed in small groups where they will pass around their forms and critique and review each other’s. Seminar tutors will then lead a class discussion to gain broader feedback and observations from the whole seminar class. In addition, your forms may be emailed to your seminar tutor by the end of the same week, which will be used to give you feedback on how to improve your work.
Summative (formal, individually marked assessment)
The work in small groups gives you an opportunity to gain a basic understanding of the given case study through interaction and discussion with each other. This will help you ‘get started’ as you work towards the delivery of the marked assessments which total approximately 3,000 words plus diagrams, tables, appendices, etc. containing the items listed above. Although each assignment requires you to develop different pieces of project management documentation, marking feedback from one may prove helpful in developing the next, e.g. being told you need to reference better.
As these assignments are essentially elements of a larger report, they should make extensive use of structural elements (table of contents, headings, subheadings, lists, diagrams, tables, etc.) to help make your work clear to understand and assignment 1 should be included as an appendix when you submit assignment 2, in order to ensure continuity between assignments. 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. Whilst students are encouraged to work together, particularly until the formative assessments, the final reports are required to be individual work demonstrating the student’s unique understanding and insight into the case given. NOTE: Copying of other student work is not accepted and both the original author and copying students will be held equally accountable under university disciplinary procedures.
How will we support you with your assessment?
- You will receive formative feedback. See details above. Although the final deliverables are individual pieces of work, staff will encourage and support you in working informally in small groups to help everyone gain a better understanding of the cases available.
- There will be an assessment briefing in Weeks 1 and/or 2 as necessary and further briefings for formative assessments where necessary.
- 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 and seminar time.
- Significant seminar time will be given over to the discussion of the various aspects of project management that you will cover in your assignments and seminar time in the final two weeks will used to help support you in developing your final 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. This marking brief will be applied to all three assignments. 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 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 you handing in your work and then receiving your 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.