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Objectives of the project

Conduct a feasibility study on a project concept. The feasibility study must analyse the Client Organisation’s vision, mission, strategic direction, corporate or business plan and determine if the project should proceed based on the project’s benefits alignment with their vision, mission, strategic direction, corporate or business plan. As organisations and projects are unique there are no pre-determined feasibility criteria has been provided. Thiswill be defined by you based on information you glean from the organisation, though should at least have three criterion and risk should be seriously considered as one of these. The feasibility study report must provide recommendations on the project future,
based on:

  • Information that supports the progress of the project;
  • Information that supports the discontinuance of the project; or
  • Information that supports the progress of the project based on an alternate approach.

The objective of this assignment is to assess the feasibility of a project, which would be undertaken during the initiating phase of the project lifecycle. The feasibility must be based on how the intended benefits, gained from undertaking the project, will assist the organisation achieve their strategic objectives. Project benefits, drivers and other criteria of success will generally be outlined by the Client Organisation and noted in the business case or project brief, you may not have access to this information. 

In this assessment item you are required to develop and document a Business Case. You can use a proposal of your choice but are required to discuss this with your lecturer to ensure the appropriateness in terms of relevance and depth prior to documenting the work. Your Business Case or one of your peers’ will be subject to a group critique as part of Assessment 3 in this unit.


You are to write a report analysing the feasibility of a project concept. The report will record details of a feasibility study of a project concept of their interest. Ideally, the chosen project concept should be the one that has not obtained formal approval (as this may influence your recommendations) and is recognised and/or has significant details available within the public domain. In assessing the feasibility, students should consider, but not limited to, the following, aspects:

  • Brief background of the project
  • The anticipated outcomes and benefits of the project
  • Strategic goal/objectives of an organisation
  • Project drivers
  • Project assumptions, issues and constraints and their validity
  • Different options, alternatives or solutions considered or available (type, methods, project features, delivery approach, etc.) and their comparison
  • Broad risks present or associated in the project environment
  • The project brief may contain important project information, such as time and cost limitations that may prove helpful to this assignment.

You will also be required to discuss the briefly the theory of project management.


The report analyses the project using project management (PM) principles, processes and practices and appropriate/relevant knowledge areas that are discussed within the course materials and best practices using different sources (e.g., books, journal articles, websites, news articles, reports, interviews, and empirical data). The students need to provide a critical analysis using the appropriate PM terminology (please be careful as business terminology is different and easily identifiable), concepts and principles discussed in the unit.

Objectives of the project

The main requirements of the project are generally elaborated below:

  • The project “Mernda Rail extension project” was needed in order to develop an 8km long dual line for linking the present South Morang line with Mernda in Melbourne, Australia.
  • In addition to this, it is found that the development of this project is quite advnatgeous as it generally helps in minimizing the time of the journey by providing proper services between the stations of Morang, Mernda and Doreen.

The objectives of the entire project are listed below:

  • To develop a new 8km line for linking the line of South Morang with the city of Mernda in Melbourne.
  • To reduce the time that is needed to travel by providing direct services between stations of Mernda, Morang and Doreen
  • To build new rail bridges as well as underpasses with no level crossing as well as train stabling

The critical success factors of the project are elaborated below:

  • Integration of bridge with Mernda Town center: It is found that the integration of the new station at Mernda is generally integrated with the Mernda Town centre which will generally helpful in providing proper as well as easy access to the shopping, restaurant as well as fitness and bus services.
  • Proper extension of the Mernda rail: It is very much necessary to extend the Mernda rail properly so that the transport hub with proper interchange of bus services are generally developed to the station of Mernda.
  • Completion of project within the expected time and budget: It is very much necessary to estimate the time and budget of the project quite properly so that there will be no extension of time and budget.

The changes that are generally required within the entire project are elaborated below:

  • It is necessary for the project team to set up proper risk management plan in order to analyze the risks and challenges which are mainly associated with the project.
  • It is quite necessary to update proper opportunities so that the cost that is mainly associated with the project can be minimized.
  • It is quite important to develop proper construction management plan for the project in order to diminish the impact of the project
  • It is quite important to use standard environmental controls as well as operating practice for managing the impact of the project.

It is found that there are two options that are generally considered for the analysis and the two options are generally listed below:

  • Option 1: The Mernda railway extension should be integrated with the town of Mernda
  • Option 2: The platform of the Mernda station must help in offering clutter free space that must be covered with the help of roof canopy.

The evaluation criteria of the options are generally elaborated in the table below:

 The delivery of the entire project should be under $5 million

25%

The delivery of the entire project should be done within the timeline that is expected

30%

The construction of the rail extension should not extend the environment

25%

It is necessary to extend the rail of Mernda properly in order to access other facilities of the city of Mernda.

30%

The project must be successfully delivered within the subject site

Mandatory

 The reasons of the selected options are generally evaluated below:

  • Option 1: It is found that option is selected as if the new station that is developed is integrated into the town center of Mernda for accessing shopping malls, restaurants, entertainments as well as other facilities without wasting much time. Moreover, the station will also helpful in offering parking facilities for the bikes that are more than 1,000 cars.
  • Option 2: This option is generally selected so that proper transport hub including the bus services can also be developed to the east of the station of Mernda. In addition to this, it is found that this will also assists in building of pedestrian at the stations in order to allow the passengers so that they do not need to cross the busy bridge for entering within the station.

It is found that option 1 is mainly recommended as the integration of the station with the city of Mernda will generally allow the people of that area or city to access the restaurants, entertainment, hospitals as well as shopping malls quite easily without wasting much time. Moreover, they can also get the facility of parking for the bikes that are more than 1,000 cars.

The scope of the project is listed below:

  • Development of an 8km long line of rail in order to link South Morang with the city of Mernda
  • Construction of three different new stations within the area of Hawkstowe, Marymede as well as Mernda.
  • The project must be finished within the approved budget as well as time
  • The project must provide the facility of minimizing the time as well as helpful in providing direct services between Morang, Doreen as well as the stations of Mernda
  • Integration of the new station with the Mernda city in order to provide proper access of restaurants as well as other facilities to the people of that area.

The constraints of the project are generally elaborated below:

  • Scope: It is quite important to follow the scope of the project so that the Mernda rail extension project can get completed within the expected time and budget by accomplishing all the objectives of the project.
  • Time: It is necessary to finish the entire project within the time that determined as per the developed schedule in the planning phase. It is important to finish the project within the expected time as extension of project time generally enhances the budget of the project.
  • Budget: It is necessary to accomplish all the objectives of the project within the approved budget in order to avoid financial challenges and for achieving success after the project gets finished successfully.

The steps that are generally required for managing the scope of the project are generally elaborated below:

Understanding the problem: It is very much necessary to understand the problem of the project quite effectively so that the reasons of the problems can be identified quite effectively.

Understanding the needs of the project: It is very much necessary to understand the needs of the project quite effectively so that the requirements of the project can be properly gathered.

Identifying the signs of the project creep: The signs of the project creep must be understood in the initial stage so that the problems or challenges that are mainly associated with the scope can be effectively avoided.

Account for the various changes that is done financially: The changes of the project should not incur cost that is above the ore-determined amount so that the manager of the project must be prepared for asking for increase the budget of the project. Moreover, if the resources of the project are unavailable then it is identified that the project managers cannot make this type of determination without taking the permission to increase the budget.

The deliverables of the entire project are generally elaborated below:

  • Development of 8km long rail line that will generally link the present South Morang line with the Mernda in Melbourne
  • Construction of three different stations in areas including Marymede, Hawkstone as well as Mernda
  • Integration of the station with the Mernda Town centre for accessing shopping malls, bus services as well as other facilities
  • Reduction of time for giving direct services between the various stations that are constructed.

The KPI’s of the project are generally elaborated below:

Time spent: It is found that the time that is generally spent by the team members on each of the project tasks should be effectively tracked.

Critical success factors of the project

Budget variance: It is quite responsible to track the actual budget that generally varies from the projected budget in order to determine the KPI for measuring the baseline amount of expenses.

Training: Proper method of training facility should be provided to the team members so that they can be able to work effectively within the entire project.

Project sign off: This is generally required in order to track that whether each of the activities of the project can be completed successfully.

It is necessary to follow proper project management strategies in order to finish the entire project within the expected budget and time. The project management strategies are elaborated below:

Adopting proper project management methodologies: It is quite essential to use proper project methodology so that the rail extension can be effectively completed.

 Setting clear expectation: It is quite necessary to set proper as well as clear expectation of the project so that the entire project can be completed within the expected budget and time.

Selecting the right team as well as system: It is quite important to use right team members within the entire project so that the entire work of the project can be finished quite successfully.

Defining milestones: It is quite necessary to define the project milestones properly throughout the lifecycle of the project in order to perform evaluation after each phase of the project.

Managing risks of the project: It is quite necessary to manage the risks as well as problems of the project quite effectively in order to finish the extension of the Mernda project within the expected time and budget.

 The structure of the project is elaborated below:

                         

                                                                          Figure 1: Project Structure

                                                                          (Source: Created by Author)

 It is found that various managers are generally hired for the governance of the project:

 Project manager: It is found that the project manager is mainly responsible for managing the team of the project including functional project team as well as civil and transport team of the project. In addition to this, it is found that the project manager generally governs as well as associates the advisors for finishing the project quite effectively.

Evaluation criteria for the options

Program director-Civil and transport: It is found that the program director of civil and transport is mainly responsible of managing the success of the project in association with the transport as well as civil delivery manager of the project.

The reporting structure of the project is generally provided below:

Tester

Risk manager

Supplier

Business Consultant

Team member

Sub-contractor

Contractor

Project planner

Project Manager

Project Manager

M

M

M

M

M

M

-

Project planner

-

R

Contractor

M

M

-

R

R

Sub-contractor

-

R

Team member

-

R

Business Consultant

-

R

Supplier

-

R

Risk manager

-

R

Tester

-

R

The procurement strategy that are generally utilized within the entire project are mainly elaborated below:

  • It is necessary for the project team to set up appropriate plan for risk management so that the risks as well as challenges of the project can be managed appropriate. In addition to this, it is quite necessary to develop proper opportunities for minimizing the cost that is mainly associated with the project.
  • Integration of the new station with the Mernda city in order to provide proper access of restaurants as well as other facilities to the people of that area.
  • Construction of the underpasses with absence of proper level crossing as well as train stabling yard that is mainly built on the entire project.

The communication plan for the project are provided below:

Team members

The project manager discusses about the objectives as well as goals of the project

Once

Email/face to face

Project managers

Financial planner

Discuses about the budget that is needed for the project

Once

Email/face to face

Project manager

Team leader

Discusses about the risks and challenges of the project

Whenever required

Email/face to face

Team member

The stakeholder’s management strategy is provided in the below table:

Project Manager

High

High

Manage closely

Project planner

High

High

Manage closely

Contractor

High

High

Manage closely

Sub-contractor

High

High

Manage closely

Team member

Medium

High

Manage closely

Business Consultant

Medium

High

Manage closely

Supplier

Medium

Medium

Manage closely

Risk manager

High

High

Manage closely

Tester

High

High

Manage closely

The expected timing of the project is provided in the table below:

1.1

      Feasibility study of project plan

10 days

Wed 19-04-17

Tue 02-05-17

1.2

      Prepare business case

12 days

Wed 03-05-17

Thu 18-05-17

1.3

      Review of business case

13 days

Fri 19-05-17

Tue 06-06-17

1.4

      Appointment of project government team

10 days

Wed 07-06-17

Tue 20-06-17

1.5

      Acquisition of land

12 days

Wed 21-06-17

Thu 06-07-17

1.6

      Milestone 1: Completion of project development phase

0 days

Thu 06-07-17

Thu 06-07-17

2.1

      Prepare a design report

30 days

Fri 07-07-17

Thu 17-08-17

2.2

      Designing the extension rail

25 days

Fri 18-08-17

Thu 21-09-17

2.3

      Detailed engineering done

28 days

Fri 22-09-17

Tue 31-10-17

2.4

      Infrastructure provision

27 days

Wed 01-11-17

Thu 07-12-17

2.5

      Milestone 2: Completion of project design phase

0 days

Thu 07-12-17

Thu 07-12-17

3.1

      Hire of project contractors

30 days

Fri 08-12-17

Thu 18-01-18

3.2

      Preparing layout for 8km-long dual rail line

24 days

Fri 19-01-18

Wed 21-02-18

3.3

       Developing Mernda Rail extension project

30 days

Thu 22-02-18

Wed 04-04-18

3.4

      Integration of Mernda Rail extension project with the town of Mernda

25 days

Thu 05-04-18

Wed 09-05-18

3.5

      Milestone 3: Completion of project construction phase

0 days

Wed 09-05-18

Wed 09-05-18

4.1

      Identify risk

20 days

Thu 10-05-18

Wed 06-06-18

4.2

      Mitigate risk

18 days

Thu 07-06-18

Mon 02-07-18

4.3

      Testing

18 days

Tue 03-07-18

Thu 26-07-18

4.4

      Audit report

20 days

Fri 27-07-18

Thu 23-08-18

4.5

      Milestone 4: Completion of project testing phase

0 days

Thu 23-08-18

Thu 23-08-18

5

1 day

Wed 19-07-17

Wed 19-07-17

                                          Summary Information – Project Estimates

                     Current Funding                                                     Current Cost Estimates

Capital                                      $352,000             Capital                                   $1,004, 728        

Expense                                                                   Expense

Ongoing Costs (life of asset)                                  Ongoing Costs (life of asset)

Subtotal                                                                   Subtotal

Revenue                                                                   Revenue

Net Total                                      $352,000             Net Total                          $1,004, 728        

Cost Escalation & Risk                                            Cost Escalation & Risk                 $1,384,000

TOTAL                                              $352,000        TOTAL                                         $1,736,000

                                                         Cash Flow Estimates

Financial Year                            2016/17                            2017/18                       

Budget                                        $352,000                                   $0                             

Current Cost Estimate               $352,000                          $1,004, 728        

Cumulative Cost Estimates      $166,000                           $1,736,000

 Improper scheduling

Due to improper analyzes, the time of the project is not estimated properly.

High

High

 It is necessary to estimate the time of the project properly.

Increment in the project cost

 Due to improper management, the cost that is associated with the project generally increases.

High

High

Proper management of the project is necessary for avoiding financial issues.

Problems in project approval

Due to problem, the project does not get approval.

High

High

It is necessary to get approval at the right time in order to finish the project on time.

 Inexperienced workers

As the workers are not experienced, then it can cause number of challenges in finishing the project properly.

High

Medium

It is quite necessary to provide proper facility of training to the workers.

The quality management strategy of the entire project is provided below:

  • Testing of the materials that are generally used within the project will generally assists in increasing the project quality
  • Providing proper facility of training to the team members of the project so that the team members can be able to complete the work of the project quite effectively
  • It is necessary to undertake testing after the completion of each phase of the project in order to maintain the project quality.

The completion strategies of the project are generally provided below:

  • It is quite important to set proper as well as clear expectations of the project so that the entire project can be completed successfully.
  • Selection of the proper team of the project helps in accomplishing the objectives as well as goals of the project
  • Managing the risks as well as challenges that are mainly associated with the project

The benefits realization plan of the entire project is generally elaborated below:

  • The entire project of Mernda rail extension gets completed successfully within the expected time and budget
  • Accomplishing all the objectives as well as goals of the project quite effectively
  • Integration of the new station with the Mernda city in order to provide proper access of restaurants as well as other facilities to the people of that area

Reference

Ahern, T., Leavy, B., & Byrne, P. J. (2014). Complex project management as complex problem solving: A distributed knowledge management perspective. International Journal of Project Management, 32(8), 1371-1381.

Badewi, A. (2016). The impact of project management (PM) and benefits management (BM) practices on project success: Towards developing a project benefits governance framework. International Journal of Project Management, 34(4), 761-778.

Binder, J. (2016). Global project management: communication, collaboration and management across borders. Routledge.

Cagliano, A. C., Grimaldi, S., & Rafele, C. (2015). Choosing project risk management techniques. A theoretical framework. Journal of Risk Research, 18(2), 232-248.

Conforto, E. C., Amaral, D. C., da Silva, S. L., Di Felippo, A., & Kamikawachi, D. S. L. (2016). The agility construct on project management theory. International Journal of Project Management, 34(4), 660-674.

Conforto, E. C., Salum, F., Amaral, D. C., da Silva, S. L., & de Almeida, L. F. M. (2014). Can agile project management be adopted by industries other than software development?. Project Management Journal, 45(3), 21-34.

Costantino, F., Di Gravio, G., & Nonino, F. (2015). Project selection in project portfolio management: An artificial neural network model based on critical success factors. International Journal of Project Management, 33(8), 1744-1754.

Drouin, N., Sankaran, S., & Muller, R. (2016). The nature of organizational project management and its role as an organizational capability. Manageable Cooperation?.

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.

Kaiser, M. G., El Arbi, F., & Ahlemann, F. (2015). Successful project portfolio management beyond project selection techniques: Understanding the role of structural alignment. International Journal of Project Management, 33(1), 126-139.

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

Kucharska, W., & Kowalczyk, R. (2016). Trust, collaborative culture and tacit knowledge sharing in project management–A relationship model.

Marcelino-Sádaba, S., Pérez-Ezcurdia, A., Lazcano, A. M. E., & Villanueva, P. (2014). Project risk management methodology for small firms. International journal of project management, 32(2), 327-340.

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.

Sánchez, M. A. (2015). Integrating sustainability issues into project management. Journal of Cleaner Production, 96, 319-330.

Serra, C. E. M., & Kunc, M. (2015). Benefits realisation management and its influence on project success and on the execution of business strategies. International Journal of Project Management, 33(1), 53-66.

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.

Todorovi?, M. L., Petrovi?, D. ?., Mihi?, M. M., Obradovi?, V. L., & Bushuyev, S. D. (2015). Project success analysis framework: A knowledge-based approach in project management. International Journal of Project Management, 33(4), 772-783.

Too, E. G., & Weaver, P. (2014). The management of project management: A conceptual framework for project governance. International Journal of Project Management, 32(8), 1382-1394.

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