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DELIVERING PROJECTS, PROGRAMMES AND PORTFOLIOS

Task

You will face a range of practically oriented project management problems/situations/ scenarios, from which only one must be chosen for this assignment. The output should be presented as a 1,000-word portfolio written in an academic format. When developing the argument, you are expected to critically analyse various available options and suggest an optimal solution, while making use of relevant theoretical references and illustrative examples/case studies. Remember that all questions are worth equal marks.

Submission

This assessment is worth 75% of the total module marks. You are asked to submit both the hard copy to the Business School reception and an electronic copy via Turnitin® for plagiarism monitoring purposes. Please make every effort to submit work by the due date indicated above. Students are advised not to assume that granting of an extension is a matter of course. Factors such as standard work pressures, holidays, etc. are not regarded as appropriate reasons for granting extensions. Work received after the deadline (without an approved extension) will be subject to a penalty in line with the College’s policy.

Problems/Questions

The proposed questions for this academic year are as follows:

 

  1. Would you agree that the Waterfall model is always the best approach to managing projects? Elaborate upon two classes of projects where other methodologies may be more suitable.

 

  1. Earned Value Analysis is a key method used by project managers to measure performance and monitor value creation within their projects. Analyse the validity of the assumptions behind this technique to ascertain some of its limitations, and discuss any implications in case EVA is not embedded in project control on a construction project of your choice.

 

  1. You have been named a project manager for a new subcontracted tourist guide application, being part of a bigger programme of city regeneration and tourist attraction. Would you consider Agile as a viable methodology in such context and why? Evaluate the potential problematics of the following Agile postulates in relation to the above project: ‘Individuals and interactions over processes and tools’ and ‘Customer collaboration over contract negotiation’.

 

  1. Discuss the available project evaluation and selection methods and recommend an optimal portfolio of them to be employed by a pharmaceutical company, mainly dealing with market research and new product development and launch projects.

 

  1. At the local city council, you are asked to oversee the concurrent execution of the following projects: improvement of certain fundamental operational processes, installation of a state-of-the-art enterprise resource planning system and a series of organisation-wide events to promote the use of e-learning tools in the workplace. How would you best manage all these undertakings: as a programme or portfolio of projects?

 

  1. The senior management within your organisation made a decision to implement a cultural change programme as a consequence of the recently completed merger with another company. As a traditional PM approach was deemed inappropriate, they now require a recommendation as to what Lean Thinking principles might be of significant assistance to their aim. Critically evaluate and advise on what Lean concepts and tools should become part of their original methodology.

 

Marking Criteria

Amongst other usual criteria for written assignments and basic considerations of argument’s structure, logic and presentation, the following will be considered key:

 

  • evidence of research and extensive reading
  • understanding and critical evaluation of relevant theory
  • clear and coherent approach to communicating ideas
  • problem solving and synthesis of original recommendations.

 

 

 

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