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You are to consider a project and prepare a report assessing its management. This should be a personal one or one drawn from your work experience. Your report should focus on the effectiveness of the planning as well as the implementation activities. The management of project resources and budgets should be considered and the risks discussed. Applications of the techniques discussed in class and covered by the textbook are strongly encouraged, and speculative or indicative data is permitted. Your assignment should illustrate the application of techniques in areas such as:

1. Project Selection and Evaluation Methods
2. Work Breakdown Structures,
3. Planning techniques such as Gantt Charts or the Critical Path Method,
4. Workload and Cost Estimation methods,
5. Budgeting and Financial Control,
6. Risk Assessment and Management, and
7. Resource Management

Given the wide variety of projects that may be found, and the unlikelihood that any particular one might have sufficient data for all these techniques to be shown, but as many should be used as possible.

Example Projects:
Good ones (A grades):
1.    House extension: converting an attached garage to living space and building an additional room with en-suite bathroom above it.
2.    Restaurant: took over an existing facility and re-developed it: new cuisine, with new décor, some new equipment, new staff.
3.    Supermarket Equipment Replacement: a student working at a supermarket used their replacement of food cooler display units as their project.
4.    Garden Project: landscaping the garden of a house just purchased.
5.    Birthday Party, a large 21st Birthday with many people invited to a hired venue with a mix of outside catering and home-made foods.

Poor (Failing) Projects:
1.     Club Event
A very good general background on the Club’s Project, but it wasn’t at all clear why you choose to consider the project over three years—it would have been most appropriate to look at just the start-up for the first year; otherwise you needed to make the case that the three years’ operations differ between the years and the whole period was necessary for fully establishing the event as an on-going operation then on. This was not done.
It would have been helpful to know more of your role in the Project.
Your assignment would have benefited from some discussion of your project’s selection criteria—why was this chosen? What were the objectives for it, you discuss profit margins and participant numbers, but what was desired, were there minimum thresholds for considering the project a success?
Your assignment would have benefited from a discussion of your project’s tasks and the relationships between them. There was absolutely no discussion on any of the details of undertaking this project. This really failed to apply any of the course concepts or techniques at all adequately.
There was no plan for activities at all.
The costs for the project tasks are clear, but very limited. You focus only on the out-of-pocket expenses for the project and do not consider any of the costs to the organization of running the event- your own time and publicity costs, etc.
You haven’t really discussed any of the work needed to actually set up and run the event by the organization itself. There’s no real “project” in this, you only focus on the final event and say little or nothing about how it is created.
The risks for the project are poorly described and assessed—this was much too vague. Ideally there should have been discussion of risks beyond very simple comments on not enough income or poor weather.
You needed to say rather more about the management of the risks—you’ve vaguely identified two but have not said enough about how they should be managed.
This was a very disappointing assignment. I think that you could and certainly should have said a lot more about what Club itself did to set-up and run this event. Things like this do not just happen and the work needed to support it should have been the central focus of your assignment and not so much on the event itself.

2.     Public Project:
A very good background on the Heathrow Terminal 5 project generally.
However, because this was a public project for which you had little detailed information about task workloads and durations, costs or risks those sections were not developed as thoroughly as they might have been. In the assignment remit it noted (in bold, underlined) that speculative or indicative data was allowed and you really needed to provide that in order to illustrate the application of the techniques as required. On the whole, you simply didn’t show the techniques as well as was needed. The discussions were very good, but did not focus on the practical application of management technique that was the assignment’s purpose.
A public, previously defined project. No selection analysis shown, though presumably some basic cost/benefit assessment was done to establish that it was the most suitable choice.
What alternatives to T5 were there? How were those assessed? It needed to show the evaluation method more fully- with more on the assessment criteria and their justification and more was needed on the performance measures and how they were assessed. This was almost certainly part of the public consultation process.
A basic, very “high” level WBS with a limited discussion of its application to your project. But this information was not used at all in your later Gantt Chart and project planning. In fact the material from the Gantt Chart could have been “reverse engineered” to yield a WBS, and then had various workload and costs developed for further analysis. There was no use of the WBS for later planning analyses.
The Gantt Chart was completely unconnected to the WBS. It was taken from a source and doesn’t represent your OWN analysis of the tasks, their durations or their relationships. The assignment objective was to have students themselves apply the techniques and demonstrate their own abilities to apply them to a real project, and not to show what other people had done.
There was no critical path or network analysis. This is a critically important technique for project managers. You should have determined the critical path, and calculated the slack for the tasks.
The costs for the project tasks are reports of actual expenditure rather than planning figures developed from an estimation process that you yourself applied. This was not developed at all-, the objective was for students to consider times taken by activities and the various resources used and their costs to identify task costs that then would be reflected in overall project costs. Then, with costs combined with the scheduling information they would generate early and late start budgets.
The work required for each project task was not estimated. There was no workload profile or discussion of managing or balancing workloads.
The risks for the project tasks were not really discussed at all, this simply discussed overall strategy in terms of financial arrangements.
There was no risk assessment process described and no consideration of any operational issues concerning risks and their management.
The risk discussion was too general and not associated with any specific task, or identifiable source.
You should have said more about how the risks could be avoided, minimized, reduced, off-set, out-sourced, guarded or insured against, and managed with a recovery plan.
Your discussion would have benefited from more formal analysis. It was too general and vague.
We warn students that such public projects do not allow the depth of analysis and discussion that personal projects for which students have more access to details of their planning and management allow. You should have developed the speculative data that the assignment remit allowed to develop applications of the techniques as specified in the assignment. What you’ve written really does not address the requirements of the assignment, despite being a reasonable discussion of some issues at a very general, but tangential level.
3.     Public Project (?)
The assignment was not as well written and presented as it ought to have been. The figures were randomly ordered in the appendices and poorly drawn. The body should have been printed out in “Portrait” rather than landscape mode and you should use a “standard” font style and 12 point size. Headings should not include your name, this should be anonymous.
Proofread your work too; this was not even spell checked.  There, their and there are different, and “payed” is NOT correct.
A fair background on the air traffic control system upgrade project generally.
It would have been helpful to know more of your role in the Project.
Regulatory required project. No selection analysis needed. Some discussion of the requirements was needed, time to deadline, etc. how were costs and quality assessed?
It simply showed the lowest level activities without any structure- this is not really a WBS. It needed to show the hierarchical framework more fully- with more on the level-by-level relationships.
The tasks were not fairly described, but the relationships between the project’s tasks were only poorly defined.
The Gantt Chart was poorly done, there seemed ot be a number of errors in it. For example, task 10 should start after 3 finished on day 58 not day 51 as shown,tasks 11 and 12 should start on day 86 when task 5 ends not day 79. The handling of slack was completely wrong for the individual tasks.
The network was not drawn but it seems rather simplistic, with few parallel paths. No critical path was determined.
You put a lot of effort into producing financial “numbers” but say absolutely nothing about what they mean and how you estimated them. For example, you show worst case numbers without ever identify what a worst case scenario might be. The numbers seem plucked from thin air and have no supporting analysis what-so-ever.
The work required for each project task was not done.
There was no workload profile or consideration of managing the workloads.
The risks for the project tasks are poorly described, and only vaguely discussed. There was no risk assessment of any particular risk considering its likelihood of occurring, its effects or how it might be managed or controlled.
The risks you identified were too general and not associated with any specific task, or identifiable source. Being late and over-budget is a symptom of a risk’s occurring, and not the risk itself, or cause of the lateness or cost over-run. Your discussion would have benefited from more formal analysis. Your discussion was too general and vague.
This was a reasonable project, but you really needed to apply the more formal analyses and planning techniques more fully than you have done.

4 Essay on theory
Well written and presented, your writing style is good. Good references that were well used.
BUT this is a general essay about project management that does NOT address the issues demanded by the assignment.
You were to select a real project and APPLY course concepts and management techniques to practical issues in its planning and management.
You did nothing of that sort.
No project to discuss.
No projects were compared, no identification of specific criteria for selecting between them, no discussion of how alternatives were measured against the criteria; no choice made….
No specific project analyzed.
No specific project analyzed.
No specific project analyzed.
No specific project analyzed.
No specific project analyzed.
A complete waste of your time and effort.

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