Wrap-up activities | My Assignment Tutor

Instructions Sheet Write all answers in the spaces provided in this examination paper.Answer all eight questions. TOTAL 50 MARKS Students MUST answer all EIGHT questions. Write ALL answers in the space provided in this examination paper. Question 1 5 Marks According to Larson et al., a project life cycle typically passes through four stages.Briefly describe the major activities and deliverables in the project closure stage. (3 marks)Wrap-up activities These include: Delivery of the project and getting approval and acceptance from the customer (and ensuring customer satisfaction).Closing accounts and paying bills etc.Reassigning staff and equipment.Closing facilities.Finding new opportunities.Producing the final report (see details of the contents of the final report in the chapter).Evaluation of the performance and management of the project This includes evaluation of the individual performancethe team performancehow well the project manager managed the team and project. Vendors and customers may also provide input into this process. Retrospectives or lessons learned Lessons learned represent an analysis carried out during and shortly after the project lifecycle to capture positive and negative project learning experiences so that these experiences can contribute to the future performance of the organisation. Retrospectives are discussed further in question 5. + don’t forget to celebrate at the end of a successful project! Question 1 continued over page Question 1 continued What is meant by the “triple constraints” in a project? (1 mark) The triple constraints are time(schedule), cost(budget) and performance requirements (scope) for a project. Project managers must balance the triple constraints and also ensure customer satisfaction. Give an example of the “trade-offs” between the triple constraints. (1 mark) An example would be increasing the scope of a project. This would most likely lead to increased costs and/or increased time to complete the project. (or something similar illustrating an understanding of the relationship) Question 2 5 Marks Explain what is involved in “portfolio management” and discuss at least two benefits of good portfolio management. (3 marks) Portfolio management is the centralised management of one or more project portfolios to achieve these strategic objectives. It involves the evaluation of the benefits of each project (or potential project) against the strategic objectives, selection of the “best” programs and projects, elimination of projects that no longer support strategy and ensures that resources are available for the work to be carried out. It also involves monitoring of projects and balancing the portfolio. (1 mark for explanation) Benefits (any 2 – 1 each ) ( key ones – align to strategy; balance of type and risk, discipline in process (i.e. less subjective) The benefits are: Builds discipline into the project selection processLinks project selection to strategic metricsPrioritises projects across a common set of criteria rather than on politics or emotionAllocates resources to projects that align with strategic directionBalances risk across all projectsJustifies stopping projects that do not support strategyImproves communication and supports agreement on project goals What does it mean if net present value (NPV) for a project is negative? (1 mark) NPV (net present value) is a method of calculating the monetary gain or loss from a project by discounting all expected cash inflows and outflows to the present point in time. It takes into account the fact that a dollar earned today is worth more than a dollar earned 5 years from now. A positive NPV means the return from the project exceeds the cost of the capital (i.e. exceeds the return available by investing the capital elsewhere) – ve means it doesn’t +. Might just say reject project based on financial criteria– that would be fine too Project A has a NPV of +$54,000, project B has a NPV of -$20,000, project C has a NPV of +$70,000 and project D has a NPV of $-80,000. Assuming all other factors are equal which project would you select if you had to choose between project A, B, C and D? Explain. (1 mark) C – it has the highest positive NPV Question 3 6 Marks Why is it important to assess the culture of an organisation before deciding what project management structure (matrix, dedicated team or functional) should be used? In your answer you must discuss what cultural aspects would influence your decision and what structure(s) you would recommend in different cultural environments. (2 marks) A positive organizational culture (in terms of encouraging teamwork and cross fertilisation across functional groups) can compensate for the inherent weaknesses of the formal structure. For example, a functional matrix can be effective if the norms and customs of the organization value teamwork and effective problem-solving. Conversely, a functional matrix is likely to be disastrous in a negative culture that encourages competition and looking out only for yourself. In that case it would be important to have either a dedicated team or a strong matrix. Marking guide – students should show an understanding of what cultural influences are (team work, cooperation, cross fertilisation and that if there is a positive culture functional/weak matrix probably works reasonably well, but if not then they should suggest a dedicated team/strong matrix to compensate (1 mark cultural aspects, 1 mark functional vs dedicated team/strong matrix) How does the culture of an organisation influence the quality of estimates? In your answer discuss at least two cultural aspects of an organisation that would influence the quality of estimates and how these would impact on the quality of the estimates. (2 marks) Organization culture can influence project estimates – the importance the organization places on estimating will influence how much time are they prepared to spend on careful bottom up estimation and resolving differences between top down vs bottom-up estimation. Use of top-down versus bottom-up estimating can influence estimates. (Students could also discuss the attitude of senior management to the initial top down estimates etc. ) How padding is handled/viewed within the organisational culture strongly influences estimates. How organization politics is tolerated can severely influence estimates. (Marking guide any 2 key points for 2 marks – students must explain/describe the cultural aspect and also discuss how they impact the estimates) Question 3 continued over page Question 3 continued There are four basic treatment strategies for dealing with negative project risks. Briefly describe each strategy. (2 marks) Risk avoidance – withdraw from the risk situation. Change the plan to eliminate the threat entirely. Risk reduction – aims to reduce the likelihood and/or consequence of the risk to a tolerable level. Risk retention – an informed decision to hold the risk without applying any treatment. Risk transfer – to another party (e.g. through insurance). (must describe each strategy –0.5 for each) Question 4 6 Marks What is “scope creep” and what is the likely impact of scope creep on a project? (2 marks) “This is the tendency for the project scope to expand over time. It is usually as a result of changing requirements and priorities. It can have a positive or negative effect, but in most cases it results in additional costs and time delays.” “If a change control process is not used to reduce scope creep, budgets and plans will self-destruct quickly. Tracking changes facilitates control and accountability of budgets and time. In addition, change control allows for coordination of changes further on in the project.” How can “scope creep” be reduced? (2 marks) To help reduce scope creep, it is important to have a carefully written, well defined scope statement that makes it as clear as possible what is inside and what is outside the scope of the project. Secondly, it is important to have a good change control process in place in the project to manage any requests to change the scope of the project. What is quality assurance? (1 mark) It is the collective term for all the formal activities and managerial processes that attempt to ensure that products and services meet the required quality level. It includes activities and processes that ensure that all legal and regulatory requirements are met. What is quality control? (1 mark) It is the collective term for the activities and techniques within the process that are intended to create specific quality characteristics (e.g. continually monitoring processes, identifying and eliminating causes of problems, use of statistical process control to reduce variability and increase efficiency.) It involves selecting what to control, setting standards, establishing measurement methods, comparing actual results to quality standards, acting to bring non-conforming processes and materials back to the standard and including detailed documentation for all processes. Question 5 6 Marks How can the project manager and organisations (parent organisation and/or professional bodies) influence the ethical behaviour of the project team? (2 marks) The project manager can lead by example and by making his or her expectations clear. In many cases, team members base their actions on how they think the project manager would respond.Many businesses (and professional groups such as the PMI) publish a code of conduct to provide greater clarity about business ethics and the expected code conduct. Normally highly cohesive teams are the most productive. However, there are problems that can be experienced by highly cohesive teams. One of the pitfalls is called “groupthink”. Briefly describe what is meant by “groupthink”. ( 1 mark) This is the term used when the group seems to lose their critical evaluation capabilities – decisions are made quickly with little consideration of alternatives. Some symptoms include: Illusion of invulnerability Whitewash of critical thinking Negative stereotypes of outsiders Pressure applied to any dissenter in the group If you were managing a highly cohesive team project team exhibiting symptoms of “groupthink” what are two strategies you might employ to improve the situation? (1 mark) Any two of the following (0.5 mark each) Avoid “group think” by encouraging functional conflict (have someone be devil’s advocate, use structured problem solving etc.)Reduce the isolation of the team. Some suggestions are:Create work connections outside the team and with the rest of the organisation.Involve external specialists and other members of the organisation in the project and project meetings.Reinforce the connection between the project and the mission and policies of the parent organisation.Have formal team building sessions. These may reveal dysfunctional behaviour and can also get the group to refocus on project objectives Compare traditional project management with agile project management by circling the appropriate answer in each cell of the table below. (2 marks) TraditionalAgileDesignUpfront/ContinuousUpfront/ContinuousUncertaintyHigh/LowHigh/LowScopeFixed/FlexibleFixed/FlexibleChangeEmbrace/AvoidEmbrace/Avoid Question 6 6 Marks This question relates to the project described in the network diagram and resource requirements table below. Question 6 continued over page Question 6 continued Resource Requirements TaskResources (workers) required for the duration of the taskA2B2C3D2E1F3G1H1I4 Assume that the number of workers required for a task does not change for the duration of the task. Complete the table below to show the current resource requirements for the duration of the project. (2 marks) MONTHS1234567891011121314151617181920A22B22C333333D2222E1111F3333G11H111111I44Total number of workers44999955111144 Question 6 continued over page Question 6 (continued) What is the total number of “worker months” for this project? (1 mark) 66 You are informed that resources are constrained for the project and you can only have a maximum of 5 workers working on the project at any one time. Perform resource constrained scheduling for this project. Show the final result in the table labelled “Final Answer”. You are provided with extra tables to show your working. (2 marks) MONTHS1234567891011121314151617181920A22B22C333333D2222E1111F3333G11H111111I44Total number of workers44999955111144 MONTHS1234567891011121314151617181920A22B22C333333D2222E1111F3333G11H111111I44Total number of workers44999955111144 MONTHS1234567891011121314151617181920A22B22C333333D2222E1111F3333G11H111111I44Total number of workers44555566554444 MONTHS1234567891011121314151617181920A22B22C333333D2222E1111F3333G11H111111I44Total number of workers44555555555544 Final Answer: MONTHS1234567891011121314151617181920A22B22C333333D2222E1111F3333G11H111111I44Total number of workers44555555555544 Has the resource constrained scheduling had an impact on the sensitivity of the network? Explain you answer. (1 mark) Yes. The amount of slack has been reduced – the network is less flexible (more sensitive) and more tasks are critical. Question 7 7 Marks These questions are based on the following network diagram for a project: Question 7 continued over page Question 7 continued Given that the customer would like the project completed in 35 weeks, complete the table below listing the following values for each activity: earliest start time (ES), earliest finish time (EF), latest start time (LS), latest finish time (LF), total slack (TS). (3 marks) Activity ES EF LS LF TS A 0 5 -1 4 -1 B 5 17 5 17 0 C 5 15 4 14 -1 D 5 9 7 11 +2 E 5 10 6 11 +1 F 17 29 17 29 0 G 15 24 14 23 -1 H 10 22 11 23 +1 I 24 30 23 29 -1 J 30 36 29 35 -1What is the most critical path(s) for this project? (If there is more than one path, list the activities on each path separately.) (1 mark) a-c-g-i-j Question 7 continued over page Question 7 continued Only the activities in the following table can be shortened (crashed). They can all be crashed by up to 2 weeks. The costs to crash each activity are shown in the table. ActivityCost to shorten task by 1 weekA$1200B$300C$2000D$250F$700G$900H$600I$400 (Activities not listed in the table cannot be crashed.) You are required to shorten the project in the network diagram by 1 week less than your earliest finish time for the smallest possible cost. What activity or activities would you shorten/crash to achieve the reduction in the project duration of 1 week and why? You must explain your choice(s). (1 mark) I – cheapest one to shorten on CP Question 7 continued over page Question 7 continued You are then asked to shorten the project in the network diagram by a second week. What activity or activities will you shorten to reduce the project by a second week and why? You must explain your choice(s). (1 mark) Now 2 CPs:abfj and acgij – must shorten both paths -> b and I together is a cheaper option than a It is possible to shorten the critical path and save money. Explain how. (1 mark) (2 marks) The only way to shorten the critical path and save money is to have indirect costs which are greater than the additional direct costs of shortening the critical path one unit of time. The difference is a saving. . Question 8 6 Marks The formulae required to answer this question are provided in the table below. ValueDescriptionFormulaEVEarned ValueEV =% completed *original budgetCVCost varianceCV = EV-ACSVSchedule VarianceSV = EV-PVCPICost performance indexCPI =EV/ACSPISchedule performance indexSPI =EV/PVEACfForecasted estimate of completion or forecasted cost at completion (if we continue at the same efficiency on the project)EACf = AC + [(BAC-EV)/CPI]BAC is the total planned value of the project This question relates to the following network diagram and baseline budget table. Question 8 continued over page Question 8 continued ActivityTotal Budgeted CostMONTH1234567891011121314A60202020B751515151515C7010101010101010D555510151055E1001025302510F603030Total42035353525252540505030553030Cumulative3570105130155180220270320350355360390420 Table 1: Budget Table (values are in thousands of dollars) Question 8 continued over page Question 8 continued Complete the following table to provide a status report for the project at the end of month 9: (3 marks) End of Month 9ActivityActual % completeEV (Earned Value)AC (Actual Cost)PV (Planned Value)CV (Cost Variance)SV (Schedule Variance)A100%604660+140B100%758075-50C90%635560+83D20%113535-24-24E90%90909000F0%00000Cumulative totals299306320-7-21 Based on the data in tables 1 and 2 (and any necessary calculations you need to perform using this data), complete the following assessment of the project status at the end of month 9 by completing (i) – (vi) in the sentences below. You are required to either fill in the dollar value in the blanks or circle the correct answer where you are given a choice of answers. Note: When answering the questions below requiring a dollar value, show the exact amount (e.g. $100,000) not in thousands of dollars as shown in Tables 1 and 2. Show all your working clearly in Tables 1-2 and in the space provided at the end of the question. The project is currently (i) $ 7,000 (ii) (under ) / (over) budget and is getting (iii) $ 0.98c worth of work for each dollar spent. (2 marks) There is (iv) $ 21,000 worth of (v) (additional work that has been done) / (work that was supposed to have been done that has not been done).(1 mark) If the project continues at the same rate of efficiency calculated by the CPI, the forecasted cost at completion would be (vi) $ $429848.52 (1 mark) Show your working for part (b) below: CPI : EV/AC= 299/306 = .98 Forecasted cost at completion: EACf = AC + [(BAC-EV)/CPI] = 306 + [(420 – 299)/.977] = 306 +(121/.977) = 306 + 123.8485158 multiplied by 1000 $429848.52 Any other calculations: Question 8 continued over page Question 8 continued Based on the status data in part (b) are what are the issues (if any) that the project manager must deal with? Be specific and if there are particular activities that are of concern, discuss those activities. (1 mark) slightly over budget, but more of a concern is that activity D which is on the critical path is very behind schedule and over budget …. Task D has a large –ve cost variance which has been compensated by other tasks having a positive CV and so as a result the overall CV and EAC doesn’t currently look too bad – However, the PM needs to investigate the issues with activity D If this project has a priority matrix that is time-constrain, scope-enhance, cost-accept, what should the project manager do? (1 mark) As the project is time constrain the manager must address the late schedule especially since the issues is with task D on the CP – given it is cost-accept (and given some of the earlier savings) the PM should spend money to get activity D back on schedule – but care – the cause of the delays and cost for this task so far need to be investigated. Students could also include a discussion of possible ways to get back on schedule (e.g the use of overtime) and the need to discuss the situation with the customer and management etc – End of paper –


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *