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Question:

(a) Demonstrate in a single diagram the Tracking Gantt Chart view of MS Project with columns for Information, Task Name, Duration, Start Date and Finish Date shown. State the final project completion date.

(b) Propose a graph showing the Cumulative Actual Cost Curve vs Cumulative Budgeted Cost Curve. Comment on the variations observed between the two curves.

(c) Demonstrate the Cost Performance Index (CPI) formula, and compute the CPI. Practice and prepare a MS Project cost report or table with CPI to verify the accuracy of your calculation. State the final total project cost and interpret the CPI.

The Senior Management of SMT asked for a presentation of the project one week after the DTS System was launched. Your presentation should address the following issues:

1. What are the objectives and priorities of the project, and are they met?
2. Were there changes in schedule and what are the contributing events?
3. Was there a cost overrun and what were the contributors for the cost overruns, if any?
4. Lessons learnt and suggestions for future project.

Prepare a video recording of the presentation of at least 3 minutes but not exceeding 6 minutes. There are two methods for ECA video assignment submission; either Record Media or Upload Media. For Upload Media, please note that your file size should be no more than 500MB and the format is in .
 

Answer:

Defining the Project

Question 1:

a) Explanation of the need of Virtual project team in DTS project and illustration of challenges and strategies for managing DTS virtual project team

In DTS project, SMT “Swift Mobile Technology company will mainly engage in integrating the parts of the car that is supplied by GCA from Germany and Siam Vehicle from Thailand and on the other hand, GCA will engage in customizing a car engine for the taxi. As the organization likes Express Connect Services, Swift Mobile Technology and Geng Car Ag belong to different geographical location it is quite difficult to create a team in any one place and thus Virtual project team for the DTS project will be beneficial. It is identified that the concept of virtual team for DTS project would be advantageous as it is one of the cost effective tap to include wide pool of talent from different location to complete the project successfully.

The challenges that are associated with managing the DTS Virtual Project Team are as follows:

Difficult in decision making: It is quite difficult to make decisions with virtual team as the absence of proper visual cues makes it more difficult for the team members of the virtual team to collaborate and build trust.

Communication: While working with virtual team, it is very much necessary to create proper communication channels at the right time as loss of information as well as miscommunication can create challenges within the virtual team.

 The strategies that are helpful for managing DTS virtual project team are as follows:

 Establish multiple communication tools: Establishing multiple communication tools is necessary in order to communicate about te project or the risks that are associated with the project. Proper communication tool helps in unifying the team which further assists in creating a feeling of togetherness among the team members.

Scheduling regular meeting: Regular meetings are necessary for maximizing efficiency of work and for keeping the team members at ease so that they can be able to complete the project work properly.

Define work system: As different people have different ways of doing task it is very much necessary to set some standards which will further help in shortening the time that is needed to achieve the desired result. The work system should be standardized for allowing proper effectiveness in order to complete the task as per the ability.

Question 2:

 

 a) Appraisal of project priority and construction of project priority matrix

 It is found that in order to prioritize project work for the DTS virtual team, it is quite necessary to follow some of the steps that are as follows:

 Make project schedule visible: It is identified that making project schedule visible is necessary in order to keep the team members updated on top priorities every day by utilizing proper management tool is necessary.

Providing project task proper completion date: Providing deadline for each and every activities of the project is necessary for completing the project work within time and it also assists in prioritizing work as per their urgency.

Add buffers: It is very much necessary for the project managers to add buffers in account for different types of uncertainties that can occur in the project schedule.

Learn for predicting priority shifts: It is necessary to aware of all the project parts as improper prediction can affect the priorities of the team.

Draw line between urgent and important activity: It is necessary to give immediate attention to urgent task while important tasks of three projects can receive on-going attention.

 Priority Matrix is considered as one of the beneficial tool for the project, which assists in identifying criteria, which is constrained, which should be enhanced and which can be accepted.

Constrain: The original parameter of the project remains fixed in order to meets the objectives of the project.

Enhance: Within the project scope, the criteria that needs to be optimized is generally enhanced

Accept: the criterion which is tolerable within the project is generally accepted.

Project Priority Matrix

 

Time

Performance

Cost

Constrain

 

 

 

Enhance

 

 

 

Accept

 

 

 

Figure 1: Project Priority Matrix

(Source: Created by Author)

The above figure helps in displaying the priority matrix for the DTS project. As the project manager is asked to change the schedule if it is necessary to maintain the quality as well as performance of DTS project. Therefore time constraint is enhanced, and in doing so, the cost of the project increases which is acceptable though not desirable within the project.

 

b) Examination of four conditions that assists in deciding the use of cost estimation approach within the project

1st Condition

 For unstable scope (condition) top down estimate is preferred because the person who is engaged in estimation is experienced and thus cost determination will be appropriate for the project. However, this is not the case in DTS project as the project manager is inexperienced. Hence SMT shall use Bottom up estimate under this condition.

2nd Condition

 For High uncertainty (condition) top down estimate is preferred because experience person can be able to manage uncertainty and can predict cost. However, this is not the case in DTS project as the project manager is inexperienced. Hence SMT shall use Bottom up estimate under this condition.

3rd condition

For cost and time important (condition) bottom down estimate is preferred because it helps in allowing more proper estimation for particular work. However, this is case in DTS project proper time and cost estimation is made by the CEO. Hence SMT shall use Bottom up estimate under this condition.

4th Condition

 For Strategic decision-making (condition) top down estimate is preferred because the person who are involved are experienced and thus they can be able to make proper decision. However, this is not the case in DTS project because all the team members of the project are inexperienced as the project Driverless taxi system is totally new. Hence SMT shall use Bottom up estimate under this condition.

Overall, SMT use a Bottom-up estimate approach.

Section 2:

Question 3:

a) Gantt chart after clear levelling and explanation of resources that conflict

Figure 2: Gantt chart

(Source: Created by Author)

From the above, figure, it can be analyzed that the completion date of the project is 27th December 2017.

 It is identified that the resources Ms Siti and Mr Tomsak of the project generally conflicts as they are mainly overburdened to complete the work of the project. It is identified that Ms Siti is mainly engaged in designing system, controlling car as well as co-ordinating partners on various types of technical issue. On the other hand, Mr Tomsak role is to design the accessories and chassis of the car. Both are high over allocated within the project work and as a result conflict occurs.

b-i) Resource levelling, examine changes and evaluation of impact on project schedule

 It is identified from the figure below that after levelling within the slack, the total time of the project does not changes. However the time for the activity “train operation centre staff” increase from 11 days to 19 days but the changes in days in not reflected in the total duration of the project.

Figure 3: Gantt chart after resource levelling

(Source: Created by Author)

b-ii) Levelling beyond deadline and discussion of its impact on project schedule

 It is identified from the figure below that after levelling beyond deadline, the total duration that is needed for completing the project of DTS increases. It is found that the duration of the project increases from 98 days to 104 days.

Figure 4: Gantt chart after resource levelling beyond deadline

(Source: Created by Author)

Section 3:

Question 4:

a) Demonstrate single diagram of Tracking Gantt chart

It is identified from the figure below that the entire project of Driverless taxi System will be completed by 9th January 2018.

Figure 5:  Tracking Gantt chart

(Source: Created by Author)

 

b) Graph showing cumulative Actual cost and Cumulative budgeted cost curve and comment on the variations

Figure 6:  Graph showing cumulative Actual cost and Cumulative budgeted cost curve

(Source: Created by Author)

It is identified from the graph that as cumulative actual cost is higher than earned value therefore the project is over budget. However, as the cumulative budgeted cost is higher than earned value it can be analyzed that project is behind schedule.

c) Demonstration of Cost performance index and computation of CPI

  Cost performance index generally assists in analyzing the efficiency of the budget that is mainly used by the project. It is identified that it helps in measuring the value of the work completed in comparison to actual cost spent on the project.

The formula of CPI= BCWP/ ACWP.

From the project, it can be identified that BCWP= $491600 and ACWP= 505000

CPI= BCWP/ ACWP

=491600/505000

=0.97

Therefore, Cost performance index of the project is 0.97

The total cost of the project that is generally needed for completing the project is around $505,000 which is generally reflected with the help of the table below:

Task Name

Cost

Driverless Taxi System (DTS) Project

$ 505,000

   Conduct initial remote project meeting

$ 2,000

   Study ECS requirements and traffic rules

$ 20,000

   Purchase electronic components

$ 62,400

   Design DTS Car Control System

$ 42,000

   Customise car engine

$ 101,000

   Design car chassis

$ 13,600

   Fabricate car chassis

$ 52,000

   Prepare Car Accessories

$ 17,200

   Assemble car & engine at SMT

$ 39,200

   Install control system in car

$ 38,000

   Test car in SMT Lab

$ 25,000

   Conduct civil works in Pulau Ubin

$ 18,000

   Trial run in Pulau Ubin

$ 40,000

   Seek approval by Land Network Board

$ 13,000

   Train Operation Centre staff

$ 19,800

   Launch Driverless Taxi System

$ 1,800

Question 5:

 

 a) Action that have been done for preventing incident from occurring or to minimize its impacts.

 Over budget: It is identified from the project that after implementation of DTS system, some unforeseen incidents occur and as a result the total cost of the project increases. If the project manager would have analyzed the unforeseen incidents of the project then the chances of increasing project budget can be reduced.

Inappropriate estimation of time: If the project managers have estimated the time for each and every activities of the project properly then the entire project would have been successfully completed within the estimated time.

Extension of project completion date: As to resolve the problems that occur due to unforeseen activities, the entire time for the project completion extended to 9th January 2018. However, if the project manager would have managed the problem properly then the entire project would have completed within the estimated time that is 31st December 2017.

 

References

Fleming, Q. W., & Koppelman, J. M. (2016, December). Earned value project management. Project Management Institute.

Hornstein, H. A. (2015). The integration of project management and organizational change management is now a necessity. International Journal of Project Management, 33(2), 291-298.

Joslin, R., & Müller, R. (2015). Relationships between a project management methodology and project success in different project governance contexts. International Journal of Project Management, 33(6), 1377-1392.

Kerzner, H., & Kerzner, H. R. (2017). Project management: a systems approach to planning, scheduling, and controlling. John Wiley & Sons.

Kerzner, H. (2017). Project management metrics, KPIs, and dashboards: a guide to measuring and monitoring project performance. John Wiley & Sons.

Mir, F. A., & Pinnington, A. H. (2014). Exploring the value of project management: linking project management performance and project success. International journal of project management, 32(2), 202-217.

Snyder, C. S. (2014). A guide to the project management body of knowledge: PMBOK (®) guide. Project Management Institute: Newtown Square, PA, USA.

Svejvig, P., & Andersen, P. (2015). Rethinking project management: A structured literature review with a critical look at the brave new world. International Journal of Project Management, 33(2), 278-290.

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