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CID133 Project Management

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  • Course Code: CID133
  • University: University Of Sunderland
  • Country: United Kingdom


Case Study details

Organisation Background

Your organisation is a large multinational oil company with multiple storage facilities located around Australia. They own and operate their tank farms in each state to supply the domestic market with automotive fuels. The Project Management Office (PMO) based in Melbourne determines which projects take priority, the scope, and goals for each project along with the terms and conditions for engaging contractors to complete the works.

The Revenue Division of the company has developed a business case for substantial repair works to be completed to reduce environmental fines and optimise availability and throughput of all locations. Throughput equals profit!

Your role:

You are the Project Manager, employed to plan and manage a project to bring the Western Australian storage facility up to the required standard, while normal operations continue.

You report to the clients Program Manager in the Project Management Office (PMO) in Melbourne 


Currently 30% of the company's unleaded petrol (ULP) storage capacity in Western Australia (WA) is bordering on collapse due to the age and condition of the tanks and associated infrastructure. The condition of the largest tank in WA is particularly bad due to the tank being over 50 years old and of a complex and outdated design. The company is currently paying $20,000/month in environmental fines due to detected leakage of petroleum products into the surrounding soil.

You are the third Project Manager to be appointed to this project due to performance and personal issues affecting prior appointments.  The Health, Safety and Environment (HSE) Manager has worked with you before, but your relationship is tarnished from a disagreement with your in-house HSE Manager.

The Terminal Manager has taken over responsibility for operations in the last 4 months after a promotion and is still working through the logistical challenges of the site.  Operations must continue to provide revenue streams and continuity of supply to fuel outlets.

Fuel deliveries for the tanks under repair have been rescheduled to coincide with the planned completion of works as per the schedule.

Required works for the Western Australian site

Tank 1

Capacity: 1 million litres unleaded petrol (ULP)
4 Steel Patches averaging 2m2 in size.
4 Steel anchors required on top of tank for working at heights
Cleaning and repaint of outside of tank

Tank 2

Capacity: 3 million litres unleaded petrol (ULP)
7 Steel Patches averaging 3m2 in size.
4 Steel anchors required on top of tank for working at heights
Cleaning and repaint of outside of tank

Tank 3

Capacity: 7 million litres unleaded petrol (ULP)
6 Steel Patches averaging 1.5m2 in size.
4 Steel anchors required on top of tank for working at heights
Replacement of main supply valve. Size: 300mm Diameter, in Stainless Steel.
Cleaning and repaint of outside of tank

Site challenges

The site is a tapered triangular shape. The longest side is bounded by the loading docks. Another side has a dead-end road leading to the container terminal.

The final side is bounded by a small specialist oil distribution company. The site is on a rise with loading gantry site below the tanks. In order to work on the tanks you will need to use one large crane, one small crane and scaffolding.

When a tanker docks to deliver fuel, all works stops due to highly flammable vapours venting from tanks as they fill. 

Time to fill each tank;

Tank 1:  4 to 6 hours

Tank 2:  8 to 10 hours

Tank 3:  18 to 20 hours

Site plan view showing restricted access and internal restrictions created by pipelines. 


Hi, I'm Kim, the Operations Manager for Western Australia.

The Storage Tank you are currently working on in W.A. needs to be back online within 3 weeks because we have to receive 4 million litres of Aviation Fuel from a rescheduled shipment. We can’t miss this deadline, as it will be another 12 weeks before a backup shipment can be arranged. There is seriouspressure from the Commercial Division not to lose the $2m revenue from this product and to top it all off if we don't get this delivery our key customer will not be able to operate, exposing us to major penalty payments in excess of $3m per month!

I can see from your master schedule that you originally planned for this tank to be worked on in another 5 days time, taking 10 days to complete the planned works. BUT the project has already been delayed 10 days by faults discovered in other tanks on site, so we can't possible complete these works within your original schedule. Please rework the schedule to ensure this tank will be ready to receive the product within my 3 week deadline!!


(By the way, I don’t have any funds in my budget to pay for this change.)

Assessment: Complete project documentation

Building on previous assessments, you are the project manager for the Case Study project and required to complete the remaining documentation for the project.

Read your project Case Study carefully, and then prepare the following documents. As you work through these tasks, identify any areas where you do not yet have sufficient information, and may need to ask further questions from your project sponsor. 

  1. Implementation plan - Identify the conditions surrounding the Case Study project, required for successful implementation.  This may include, but is not limited to, management structure, style and culture, levels and boundaries for authority and autonomy, personal skills, attributes and characteristics of those in the project team.  (Approximately 700 words)
  2. Management plan - Document how the Case Study project will be managed.  This will build on question 1 above, with emphasis on what will be controlled and by what techniques and tools.  The four primary areas of focus should be Time, Cost, Resources and Quality.  Include other areas you determine to be relevant for successful management of the Case Study project.  (Approximately 800 words)
  3. Project performance evaluation - From your work on managing the project, identify the methods, tools and techniques you would use to determine whether the Case Study project goals have been achieved.  (Approximately 600 words)
  4. Project closure - Identify the steps required to close off the Case Study project and what activities should take place, post-project.  (Approximately 400 words)

A report format is acceptable but must include discussion of the approaches used for the above sections. Diagrams, charts, tables and illustrations may be used to help communicate or describe an approach.  These must be supported by a written discussion and not relied on to tell the story themselves. 

Assessment will be based on your discussion of tools and techniques considered and used for each section of the plan.  You should discuss the strengths and weaknesses of each approach considered and support your chosen approach to each section for the case with academic research.

Tips on preparing your assessment:

  • Base your report on academic sources, e.g. journal articles, books, chapters in books.
  • You may refer to other sources, such as internet sites, magazines, or newspapers, as long as you include a minimum of 3 peer-reviewed academic resources
  • Communication skills are important, so proofread your work carefully before you submit. The standard of your writing will affect your mark.
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