Critically assess the usefulness of project management tools and techniques for managing a project within an organisation

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LEVEL 5 ASSESSMENT SPECIFICATION

 

Student name:

     

Student ID number:

 

Programme:

BA (Hons) Leadership and Management Skills in the Workplace

Module:

Managing Projects in the Workplace

Module code:

BMSW 5104

Contribution to Overall Module Assessment (%):

100%

Lecturer:

 

Internal Verifier:

 

Assignment Title:

Project Management Plan

Word count (or equivalent):

2,500 +/- 10% words

Proposal pitch – 10 minutes per person

Submission deadline:

Report: 10/12/21 – 3pm

Academic presentation: 10/12/21 – 3pm

Return date of provisional marks & written feedback:

TBC

Submission method:

All written assessments, where practical and possible, must be submitted via Turnitin unless otherwise instructed by the Lecturer. (Please DO NOT put this assessment specification into Turnitin or it will match many similarities with other students’ submissions.)

Alternative submission method (if applicable):

Late submission of the assessment will result in a late penalty mark.  Penalties for late submission: Up to one week late, maximum mark of 40%.  Over one week late, 0%.  Only the Extenuating Circumstances Panel may approve a change to submission dates.

Academic honesty / referencing:

Academic honesty is required. In the main body of your submission you must give credit to authors on whose research and ideas your work is based. Append to your submission a reference list that indicates the books, articles, etc. that you have used, cited or quoted in order to complete this assessment. 

Module Learning Outcomes (from module syllabus)

 

  • Critically assess the usefulness of project management tools and techniques for managing a project within an organisation
  • Plan the implementation of a project of appropriate complexity within a workplace
  • Critically evaluate their ability to manage a project

TASK DESCRIPTION

This assessment is an individual piece of work that comprises two parts. A project management plan that adheres a business report structure is the requirement for Part One of the assessment. Part Two of the assessment is an individual academic interview of 10 minutes.

Part One

Submit a Project Management Plan (2,500 +/-10% words) based on an individual project on ONE of the projects listed below. You should demonstrate the application of project management approaches and techniques discussed in the module. To complete the task, you should consider: stakeholders` involvement, the scope, allocation of resources, work breakdown structure, project success criteria, project deliverables, and constraints. Further, depicting a high level of self-direction embedded with independent thinking, initiative, and problem-solving skills are expected. 

Project A – Project management plan for launching a new product

Assume that you work in a company that operates in a very competitive environment. Recently, during a management meeting, one of the managers suggested that it is the right time for the company to consider launching a new product line. This was extensively discussed and was agreed to diversify the product portfolio. As a new product development manager, you have been tasked with launching the new product.

Project B – Project management plan for a restaurant extension

A small and medium-scale restaurant is seeking to extend the service (dining) area to enable them to accommodate increased bookings. Whilst the outside terrace is used throughout the summer, the restaurant wanted to be able to utilise the space all year round. With the restaurant facing increasing restrictions on both table numbers and dining times, extensions like this are critical to keeping the business in operation.

Project C – Project management plan for a nursery

An entrepreneur identifies that demand for a nursery would never drop off due to childcare costs, and the availability of suitable places are an ongoing issue for working parents. Therefore, a perfect start-up opportunity. The entrepreneur requires a project management plan to set up the nursery business. Critically assess the usefulness of project management tools and techniques for managing a project within an organisation

Part Two

Part Two is an oral assessment in the form of an academic interview for 10 minutes to review student`s engagement with the learning. The focus of the academic interview is to pitch the project management plan to the company (Project A) OR restaurant owner (Project B) OR the entrepreneur (Project C). More specifically, the interview tests knowledge and understanding skills and transferable skills for life and professional practice. The interview provides an opportunity to present and discuss the key findings and conclusions of the work and the challenges and limitations that would hinder the progress of the Project (Part One). Students are allowed to have notes, material, etc. for reference. However, knowledge should not be excessively dependent upon prepared notes. It is expected that students use PowerPoint slides for the pitch. The pitch should last no more than 10 minutes, plus an additional 5 minutes for a Q&A session. The pitch could include, among others, the project outline / description / scope based on your project, stakeholder analysis, work breakdown structure, project success criteria, project deliverables, risk assessment and any assumptions. Further, depicting a high level of self-direction embedded with independent thinking, initiative, and problem-solving skills are expected.   

Note: ‘Pitching’ is trying to convince people to agree with you or to purchase your product. Therefore, the objective of the pitch is to convince the target audience to agree with the project management plan. 

Additional information for writing the project management report (Part 1)

You could include items including, but not limited to, the following:

  • A basic project outline / description / scope based on your project  
  • Stakeholder analysis
  • A typical Work Breakdown Structure (WBS)
  • A decent draft of costs/resources use
  • Consideration of resources (i.e., including your own time, even if the ‘perceived cost to you is zero’)
  • An outline Project Schedule / Gantt Chart
  • A Risk Assessment
  • In the context of a document that links these all together with reference to your project

Please do not infer any order or priority from this list; present in such a way as is most logical for your project.

Further, it is important to present a formal report in as clear and concise a way as possible. Your reader needs to grasp the main points quickly and easily, and so you should consider how well your report’s structure and format helps to communicate this information.

Writing style

  • Brevity is desirable, provided the necessary information is properly communicated. Some suggestions: Avoid reproducing standard information and avoid appendices unless there is a specific reason for them. Consider each sentence; does it meaningfully contribute to the report?
  • Only the title page, executive summary, contents, list of tables, list of figures, abbreviations, and the references should start on a separate page (you may not have all the sections, e.g., abbreviations), the other sections should not. However, a heading needs to indicate the beginning of each section. Sub-headings within sections can be an excellent way to further organise the report. The title page, executive summary, contents, list of tables, list of figures, abbreviations, and the references are NOT included in the word count.
  • A table or figure should never be inserted into the report without first referring to that table or figure in the text. Reference to a figure should include a brief description of what it contains and what it contributes to the point under consideration. Figures and tables should be merged into the text or placed on a separate page immediately following the first page on which they are mentioned; they should NOT be collected at the end of the report.
  • References: Harvard citation approach must be adhered (minimum of 10 scholarly literature references).
  • A suitable font is Times New Roman, Calibri, or Corbel, 12 pt.
  • A uniform verb tense should be used throughout the report, preferably present tense. You should limit the use of the past tense to (a) describe specific experimental methods and observations, and (b) citing results published in the past.
  • Since the report is formal, the first person (singular "I" or plural "We") should NOT be used.
  • Sentences should not start with "It" unless the object that "It" refers to is absolutely clear from the context.
  • All text should be 1.5-line spaced.
  • All pages, including table/figure pages, should be numbered consecutively.
  • Overly long sentences should be avoided. Two or more short sentences should be used instead.
  • An excellent way to improve style and grammar is to have others proofread the report.
  • Needlessly fancy presentation (bold, italic, or underlined fonts; colour in text or figures) should be avoided unless it truly enhances the clarity of the report.
  • If you choose to keep supporting material such as summaries of data, maps, notes or survey results as appended, they can be placed in an appendix at the end of the report. They would be headed as Appendix A, Appendix B, and so on (Appendix is NOT included in the word count).
  • Tables and Figures
  • Tables and figures are numbered independently in the sequence in which they are referred to in the text and start with Table 1 and Figure 1. Note: it is NOT acceptable to abbreviate the word “Figure” as “Fig.” The word “Table” is not abbreviated. Further, the number and name of the Table should appear at the top of the respective table, while the number and name of the figure should appear at the bottom of a figure.
  • Critically assess the usefulness of project management tools and techniques for managing a project within an organisation

GUIDANCE FOR Students IN THE COMPLETION OF TASKS

NOTE: The guidance offered below is linked to the five generic assessment criteria overleaf.

1. Engagement with Literature Skills

Your work must be informed and supported by scholarly material that is relevant to and focused on the task(s) set.    You should provide evidence that you have accessed an appropriate range of sources, which may be academic, governmental and industrial; these sources may include academic journal articles, textbooks, current news articles, organisational documents, and websites.  You should consider the credibility of your sources; academic journals are normally highly credible sources while websites require careful consideration/selection and should be used sparingly.   Any sources you use should be current and up-to-date, mostly published within the last five years or so, though seminal/important works in the field may be older.  You must provide evidence of your research/own reading throughout your work, using a suitable referencing system, including in-text citations in the main body of your work and a reference list at the end of your work.

Guidance specific to this assessment:

Presentation: There should be at least 5 academic references to support your work from a variety of valid and reliable sources. A reference list should be provided using Harvard referencing convention

Report: There should be at least 10 academic references to support your work from a variety of valid and reliable sources. A reference list should be provided using Harvard referencing convention.

2. Knowledge and Understanding Skills

At level 5, you should be able to demonstrate: sound knowledge and critical understanding of the well-established concepts and principles of the subject area and the way in which those principles have developed; knowledge of the main methods of enquiry in the discipline.  Knowledge relates to the facts, information and skills you have acquired through your learning.  You demonstrate your understanding by interpreting the meaning of the facts and information (knowledge). This means that you need to select and include in your work the concepts, techniques, models, theories, etc. appropriate to the task(s) set.  You should be able to explain the theories, concepts, etc. meaningfully to show your understanding.  Your mark/grade will also depend upon the extent to which you demonstrate your knowledge and understanding.

Guidance specific to this assessment: You should demonstrate your knowledge and understanding of the tools and techniques associated with project management

3. Cognitive and Intellectual Skills

You should be able to critically analyse information, and propose solutions to problems arising from that analysis, including the critical evaluation of the appropriateness of different approaches to solving problems. Your work must contain evidence of logical, analytical thinking, evaluation and synthesis. For example, to examine and break information down into parts, make inferences, compile, compare and contrast information.  This means not just describing what! But also justifying: Why? How? When? Who? Where? At what cost? At all times, you must provide justification/evidence for your arguments and judgements.  Evidence that you have reflected upon the ideas of others within the subject area is crucial to you providing a reasoned and informed debate within your work.  Furthermore, you should provide evidence that you are able to make sound judgements and convincing arguments using data and concepts, with an understanding of the limits of knowledge, and how this influences analyses and interpretations. Sound, valid conclusions are necessary and must be derived from the content of your work. Where relevant, alternative solutions and recommendations may be proposed.

Guidance specific to this assessment: provide evidence of implementation and critical analysis of the tools and techniques applied within the specific project to show evidence of interpreting the theories and how to apply them to the project at hand

4. Practical Skills

At level 5, you should be able to use/deploy a range of established techniques within the discipline, and apply underlying concepts and principles outside the context in which they were first studied, including, where appropriate, the application of those principles in an employment context. You should be able to demonstrate how the subject-related concepts and ideas relate to real world situations and/or a particular context.  How do they work in practice?  You will deploy models, methods, techniques, and/or theories, in that context, to assess current situations, perhaps to formulate plans or solutions to solve problems, or to create artefacts, some of which may be creative.  This is likely to involve, for instance, the use of real world artefacts, examples and cases, the application of a model within an organisation and/or benchmarking one theory or organisation against others based on stated criteria.  You should show awareness of the limitations of concepts and theories when applied in particular contexts. Critically assess the usefulness of project management tools and techniques for managing a project within an organisation

Guidance specific to this assessment: Plan the implementation of a project of appropriate complexity within a workplace preparing and executing an action plan, and using critical evaluation of own’s ability of managing the project and draw out recommendations proposed for future

5. Transferable Skills for Life and Professional Practice

Your work must provide evidence of the qualities and transferable skills necessary for employment requiring the exercise of personal responsibility and decision-making.  This includes demonstrating: professional development to advance existing skills and acquire new competences that will enable you to assume significant responsibility within organisations; that you can initiate and complete tasks and procedures, whether individually and/or collaboratively; that you can use appropriate media to effectively communicate information, arguments and analysis in a variety of forms to specialist and non-specialist audiences; fluency of expression; clarity and effectiveness in presentation and organisation. Work should be coherent and well-structured in presentation and organisation.

Guidance specific to this assessment:

Presentation: You should demonstrate appropriate presentation skills such as regular eye contact, clear and logical verbal and written communication, and adhering to timescales.

Report: your report should be presented in a clear and coherent format.

This section details the extent to which the assessment criteria are demonstrated by you, which in turn determines your mark. The marks available for each category of skill are shown. Lecturers will use the space provided to comment on the achievement of the task(s), including those areas in which you have performed well and areas that would benefit from development/improvement

Generic Assessment Criteria

Marks available

Marks

awarded

1. Engagement with Literature Skills

 

 

Report

15

 

 

2. Knowledge and Understanding Skills

 

 

Report

Academic interview (pitch)

15

20

 

 

3. Cognitive and Intellectual Skills

 

 

Report

 

15

 

 

4. Practical Application Skills

 

 

Report

 

15

 

 

5. Transferable Skills for Life and Professional Practice

 

 

Report

Academic interview (Pitch)

15

05

 

 

Assessment Mark (Assessment marks are subject to ratification at the Exam Board.  These comments and marks are to give feedback on module work and are for guidance only until they are confirmed. )

Late Submission Penalties (tick if appropriate)

%

Up to 1 week late (40% Max)

 

Over 1 week late (0%)

 

 

 


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