Project Management – Assessment Brief
Academic year and term: Spring 2019/20
Module title: Project Management
Learning outcomes assessed within this piece of work as agreed at the programme level meeting Knowledge:
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 three separate small assignments (components) worth 30%, 30% and 40% respectively.
Assessment deadline: 1.
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 x3: 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 three 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 (30% of module mark); 2pm, Friday 21/02/20
A. Sample Project Initiation Document (PID) including budgetary information, timescales, objectives, approach, key staff and stakeholder analysis (approx. 750 words plus diagrams, etc.);
B. Work breakdown Structure containing at least 20 items in the WBS. The WBS should be presented in the form of a diagram that includes 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 10 (30% of module mark); 2pm, Friday 20/03/20
A. A risk register containing at least 10 fully documented risks, including owner, mitigation and contingency actions, pre-and post- action weighting and scores.
B. In approximately 500 words describing the way in which a risk register forms a crucial part of an overall risk management plan, using examples to show what happens when risk is not properly managed on projects.
Assignment 3 – to be submitted in week 12 (40% of module mark); 2pm, Monday 03/04/20
A. A short report written directly to the project sponsor (approx. 1,500 words) containing both of the following:
i. An explanation of the need for effective, structured communication between the project manager and members of their team. Using theory and suitable case examples, tell your sponsor how best you believe the communication process should be structured on your project, so as to ensure the most efficient and effective possible team working.
ii. 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.
B. Submit copies of your previous two assignments (from weeks 5 and 10) as appendices to this third piece of work so that the marker will be able to see continuity between these earlier assignments and this final one. Simply paste them in at the end and submit as one large document. If you did not submit assignment 1 and/or 2 but do wish to submit assignment 3 then simply note at the end that you do not have anything to submit for 1 and 2 (you will be given a capped resit opportunity for each non-submitted assignment).
IMPORTANT: So that there is no confusion or doubt, for ALL elements in all assignments, 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. 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 2019/20 only
The Project Management Assignments require students to develop a number of pieces of documentation relating to a particular case study. For the last two years we have just given one case study scenario which has been mandatory and required to be delivered as one large piece of work at the end of the semester. This year, in response to student feedback regarding case study choice and reduction in risk of having to submit a whole module’s work at once (to avoid ‘eggs in one basket’), and also 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 three separate points in the semester – weeks 6, 10 and 12, worth 30%, 30% and 40% 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 three pieces of work.
Case Scenario 1
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 2
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 3
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 second year so at the start of the next academic year the 30 students on the course will be going into their final year. 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 March of Semester 2. 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.
Case scenario 4
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.
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.
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 three 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 assignments 1 and 2 should be included as appendices when you submit assignment 3, 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
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.
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
20 17 15 13 11 9 7 5 0
Thoroughness, accuracy and completeness of content element – demonstrating knowledge of what artifact should contain.
Professional standard based on high quality, referenced examples/templates. 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/templates. 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. Artifact is generally correct and demonstrates some good understanding. Some points may be improved. Artifact 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 key 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
30 25.5 22.5 10 16.5 13.5 10.5 7.5 0
Relevance of artifact content to case study showing understanding of how to apply artefact principles to specific case
Professional standard based on high quality, referenced examples/templates. Complete and thorough, demonstrating depth of insight into the application of the element to this case study. Difficult to improve within the constraints of this case study. Near professional standard based on quality, referenced examples/templates. Complete and thorough, demonstrating understanding of the application of this element to the case study. Perhaps could be enhanced with some further guidance. Very good attempt with all major elements and good use of quality external references. Artifact is generally well completed and demonstrates some good understanding of how itis applied to the case. Some points may be improved. Use of artifact for case study 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 at application that is mostly complete. Somewhat lightweight but has potential with additional help Poor but adequate attempt. Some key application 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. Artifact 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
30 25.5 22.5 19.5 16.5 13.5 10.5 7.5 0
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, inspiring confidence, no English errors and layout & structure highly effective and appropriate. Referencing accurate and correct Well written and presented with very good use of structure. Tables, diagrams, etc correctly labelled and used. References correct to Harvard standards Mostly well written and presented with good use of structure. Tables, diagrams, etc correctly labelled and used. References generally correctly cited. Reasonable quality of writing with only modest errors throughout. An attempt has been made to use appropriate structure. Referencing mostly correct with minor errors Adequately written and does not significantly detract from understanding. Some valid use of structure. Referencing needs some correction. Writing somewhat poor in places with potentially significant impact on report credibility. Presentation poor with limited structure. Referencing inconsistent Very poor writing. Poor quality of document presentation with little use of structure. References poorly and incorrectly cited. Writing rarely makes sense. Very messy presentation, lacking use of structure. Unintelligible writing and messy/chaotic to the point of illegibility.
10 8.5 7.5 6.5 5.5 4.5 3.5 2.5 0
OR – for RESIT submissions only…
Reflective piece – RESIT submissions only – replaces Structure & Professionalism component(10%)
Insight into personal limitations, self-awareness and connection to established learning theories. Professional and insightful level of reporting. Deep understanding of own learning styles and limitations demonstrated with excellent us of appropriate theory Considerable depth of self-awareness and understanding of learning styles demonstrated. Good use of theory but room for a little improvement if guided. Generally good depth of self-awareness and understanding of learning styles demonstrated. Some use of theory but could be substantively improved. Some valid points made about self although at times perhaps some sense of ‘excuses being made rather than facing personal limitations. Basic reference to theory only Adequate but largely descriptive narrative with little understanding of why resit required Marginal work – basic and descriptive. Does not really offer any information of substance Poorly written and weak, naïve work with no self-awareness evident Writing rarely makes sense. Not clear that the student has any real idea of what they were being asked Not attempted
10 8.5 7.5 6.5 5.5 4.5 3.5 2.5 0
Resit Assignment Details
Resit submission date: TBC and as shown on Moodle
The assignment work for this module is set as three separate assignments and hence each assignment will be treated separately for resit purposes.
Students may be offered resits on any of the three different assignments. In each case, 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.
1. Review your previously submitted work and read carefully the feedback given by the marker.
2. Use this feedback to help you revisit and rewrite your work, improving it in the areas identified as weak in the original marking process
3. Include 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:
i) Identify tutor feedback points on your original work and identify where/how the resit work has changed (give page number) in response to feedback
ii) Identify the lessons you have learnt from doing the resit
iii) Reflect on how your feedback and this process will help you improve future assignments
Note: This applies to all three resit 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