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Risk and Value Project Report ;decision theory that are applicable to project management

Module learning outcomes that will be assessed:    1.    Determine and evaluate the aspects of decision theory that are applicable to project management.
2.    Critically appraise the role of different decision-making strategies in managing projects and apply a range of appropriate decision-making techniques within the project process.
3.    Analyse the overall facets of project value and evaluate approaches to value management and engineering that are applicable to project management.
4.    Evaluate and selectively apply a range of appropriate Value Management and Value Engineering techniques within the project process.
5.    Evaluate the theoretical aspects of risk and approaches to risk that are applicable to project management.
6.    Apply a range of appropriate Risk Management techniques within the project process.
7.    Evaluate the impact of client requirements, scope and external stakeholders upon value and risk management decisions in the project process.
8.    Analyse the impact of risk, in project environments, upon decisions generally and in particular upon value management objectives.

Background information [how students will demonstrate the learning outcomes]:
A risk and value management report is to be prepared responding to the specific characteristics of a project.
The specification will be produced from you on the basis of a project selected from a given set.

The report will demonstrate the learning outcomes by applying techniques and methods of Risk and Value Management to the project and justifying your choices and decisions on grounds of project specifications, academic knowledge and other project background information.

Coursework description [what the coursework is all about]:
For the assignment you will be asked to submit a Risk and Value report for a project of your specification to be initiated at the beginning of the next year.

Access the World Bank database of projects (available at http://www.worldbank.org/projects) and choose a project that will serve as a “seed” for the definition of your own. You are free to select projects from any category in the database, it is advised that you select a completed project as they provide richer documentation, but this is not mandatory. The WB search tools should allow you to select a project meaningful for your individual background.

The easiest way to produce the specification of the new project is to clone relevant portions of the specs from the WB database and amend them as needed for a new project to be started at the beginning next year. In the definition of your own project you have the freedom to change any aspect of the specifications in order to make the project relevant to your expertise.

So, for example, aspects such as available budget, location of the project, the nature of the stakeholders and even the intended benefits can be arbitrarily changed by you; you can also decide to focus on a specific work-package of the project to exclude portions that are not of your interest. You should use this freedom to specify a project that challenges your knowledge and skills on the topics Risk and Value, while providing a suitable environment for the application of the theoretical challenges discussed in lectures.

The reason to build your project on the foundations provided by the WB example is twofold: (1) it does help you defining a project that is realistic and (2) its experience can serve as a starting point for the management of your project, make the most of it by underlying in the paperwork the reasons for portions of its governance that you decided to alter as well as for the parts that you are retaining.

Details of the sections to cover in the report are listed below in the “coursework tasks” section.

Coursework tasks [what the students are expected to do]:
The coursework report you will produce is to be composed of 4 parts (A, B, C, D)

Part A Project specifications – This part of the assignment should comprise all the specifications adopted in the production of the report. Their purpose is to serve as a repository to support decisions taken in all subsequent parts.
E.g. It should include information such as:-
o    details (name, value, timescale) of your project
o    an identification of Client, Funders, Sponsors and other stakeholders
o    Project objectives, scope and Critical success factors
o    any relevant Background and Environment information.

Please make every effort to reference sources as appropriate and highlight where the specifications diverge from the selected seed project.

Part B Value Management (answer two of the following questions:)

Question B1 – Produce a value analysis on the project with techniques of your choice.

Question B2 – What value management activities would you set up for the project? What different stakeholders would be involved in them, and what tools recommended?

Question B3 – What project roles would you establish for benefit management? What responsibility and tools should they adopt?

Question B4 – Describe issues associated with the project’s social responsibility and their implication in the area of value.

Part C Risk Management (answer two of the following questions:)

Question C1 – Identify and classify the Project Stakeholders (e.g. as primary, secondary and tertiary) and carry out an analysis of the positive and/or adverse impacts these may have on the project’s success;

Question C2 – Present a risk management strategy that would allow qualitative and quantitative risk prevention and monitoring.

Question C3 – Analyse how the location of the project might have an impact on its risk management processes and policies.

Question C4 – What actions would you recommend in the area of risk management to ensure the project is completed according to time and budget expectations?

Part D Governance and Decision Making (answer two of the following questions:)

Question D1 – identify 3 key decisions that would impact the project lifecycle; these could include strategic aspects and/or operational aspects of the project execution. Describe how you would prepare for the decision making moment.

Question D2 – present the governance plan for the project in consideration of a balanced prioritisation of control and efficiency.

Question D3 – identify the main project roles along with their communication flows and responsibilities.

Question D4 – What information and communication technology systems would you recommend for project office/support?

General notes:
Whenever possible try to support your work with a clear theoretical rationale, relevant data and references to project specifications.

Nature of coursework submission [what students need to submit for assessment]:Your submission will be a single report of maximum 6000 words. A penalty of 10% will be applied to the mark if the word count exceeds 6000. Data, annexes or tables provided in appendix to support your work should not be included in the word count.

Assessment criteria and weighting [how the coursework will be marked]:
Marks are allocated for individual parts for a total of 80%, the explicit reference of interdependence across the different parts will count for the remaining 20%.

– Part A – Specifications: 20%
– Part B – Value Management: 20%
– Part C – Risk management: 20%
– Part D – Governance and Decision Making: 20%
– Consideration and presentation of integration across parts: 20%

“… and critically discuss what they contribute to our understanding of leadership effectiveness”.

For this part of the question, engage in a critical discussion which might include an exploration of the following:
o    What aspects of leadership do the approaches/theories focus on?
o    The strengths and limitations of the approaches/theories
o    Any research to support or indeed critique the ideas proposed by the approaches/theories
o    Applicability, for example:
?    What organisations and situations would these approaches/theories work in/not work in and why?
?    To what extent are followers involved?
?    Are the theories/approaches used in organisations today? Can you give any examples?
?    Are there any examples of leaders that help demonstrate the ideas explored or support your discussion on their value?

For this part of the question it is important that you have not just discussed the above aspects but have considered, as a result, what can be taken from the ideas within the approaches and theories to help us understand what is important for effective leadership. For example, situational leadership helps us understand the importance of considering the needs of followers and how leaders can support followers through adapting their style.

Finally, some additional points to consider:
1) Include a definition of leadership. Keep any discussion on this brief however, as you need to focus on the two main aspects of the question.
2) Clearly cite in the main body the appropriate authors of the theories you are exploring.
3) Do not provide long descriptions of the models.  You need to provide a summary/ overview description of what the theories are about to show understanding but should not waste your word count on long descriptions of each part of the models.

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