Assessment Task 3
Part 1Creating the project charter
You have been provided with a press article reporting on a number of proposed council amalgamation projects (below) and a copy of the project management plan that was subsequently developed for the amalgamation project (Option 1, Local Government Reform).Drawing on these primary resources and other relevant commercial/industry references, you are required to:
- Create and document a high-level project charter that would have captured the intent behind the proposed council amalgamation between theShire of Mundaring and the City of Swan.
- Clearly the project management plan includes extensive information (30 pages plus numerous attachments) that would not be found in a charter, so you will need to carefully deconstruct the plan to identify and extract the key pieces of information required in the charter.
- While a charter template has been provided, you may create your own format or amend the one provided.
- You have discretion as to the assumptions you need and the information you may ‘create and document’ where needed though this must be relevant to the project and documented appropriately.
Mundaring Shire makes amalgamation submission
“At its April 22 meeting, the council agreed to provide a recommendation to the LGAB on the proposed amalgamation, which had to include the name of the proposed new entity, the method of election of the mayor, the number of elected members and the ward structures.
The Shire of Mundaring submitted the first amalgamation proposal in October last year when it lodged a proposal to amalgamate the Shire with the City of Swan.A second joint proposal was put forward by the City of Swan and the Town of Bassendean to amalgamate all three councils.The Minister for Local Government submitted a third proposal, which would abolish the Shire of Mundaring and incorporate the entire area of the Shire of Mundaring into an expanded City of Swan.
At its meeting, the council agreed that should Mundaring and the City of Swan be amalgamated on July 1, 2015, the new entity be named the City of Swan-Mundaring for up to two years.A review would be held in that time with public consultation to decide upon a permanent name.Mundaring proposed the new council be divided into seven wards and include 15 councillors.
The Altone, Ballajura, Ellenbrook, Helena, Midland and North/Swan Valley wards would each have two councillors, with three councillors in the Hills Ward. The Shire said in its proposal that councillors would elect the mayor of the new entity. However, if Local Government Minister Tony Simpson’s proposal for the abolition of the Shire of Mundaring was to go ahead, the council agreed the entity would continue to be called the City of Swan. The council recommended that it be divided into seven wards, with 15 councillors covering the same wards as in the previous proposal, and the mayor would be elected by councillors. The proposal was carried 8-2 by the Shire of Mundaring.
The City of Swan has been advised of its resolution.”
Gabrielle, S 2014, ‘Mundaring Shire makes amalgamation submission’, Hills Gazette Community, 3 May, retrieved 4 May 2018, https://www.communitynews.com.au/hills-gazette/news/mundaring-shire-makes-amalgamation-submission/
Part 2Short answer questions
- Your written answers will demonstrate your understanding of project management theory.
- There is a 500-word limit for each of the two answers.
- Please include in-text citations in all answers.
- A single reference list compliant with the Harvard referencing guide.
Please answer questions below.
- What information would you expect to find in a project resource (team) charter that communicated team values, agreements and operating guidelines for the team and justify its inclusion in the project management plan.
- Discuss the different estimating techniques often used in estimating project costs and what estimating issues may need to be resolved for each technique.
1. A project resource team charter is a partof the overall project charter that mainly includes the necessary human resources that are involved in the project. The human resources in the team charter do not necessarily need to include only the project stakeholders but also other human resources like workers, developers and similar such posts that do not have power within the entire project team but are responsible for following requirements and orders for the execution of the project (Snyder and Dionisio 2017). Hence, a project resource team charter includes all the human resources associated with the project including all the involved stakeholders, sponsors and the workers who carry out the work packages.
There is a lot of information that can be gained from the project resource team charter. Some of this information is listed below.
i. The first information that can be found in this part of the charter is the total number of people associated with the project. This information is extremely important as it helps to determine a suitable project schedule that can be followed and fulfilled by the current amount of human resources associated. Furthermore, the number of human resources also affects the overall budget of the project (e.g. the more people involved, more the wage budget of the project (Brioso 2015). The information also gives a clear idea to the project manager regarding how much work force is available in order to allocate various duties within the project.
ii. The second information that can be found in this charter includes the duties and responsibilities of all the human resources associated with the project. This helps to define the exact roles that need to be played by the project stakeholders and the associates throughout the course of the project.
iii. From the team charter, the communication plan for the human resources can also be determined. A communication plan is important determine how the human resources in the project will interact with each other regarding reporting, exchanging ideas, incorporating instructions, progress of the project and others.
In addition to these data and information, the team charter is also useful in determining team values that need to be followed in the entire duration of the project. The team values are not only aimed at gaining team unity and professionalism but also promoting team work that helps to complete the project within a given time and other limitations.
The inclusion of this charter within the project plan can be justified by the fact that it is one of the most important requirement of the project to allocate suitable job duties to each of the human resources in order to complete the project successfully. Furthermore, it is also required to set certain team values, guidelines and others that aim to establish a professional environment and collaboration among the human resources in order to gain high quality outcome for the project.
2. There are many different techniques of cost estimation in projects that are widely used by various business sectors, industries, project farms and others. However, there are two distinct techniques that are extensively popular among all project leads. These two techniques are discussed as follows.
Top Down Estimation Technique: The top down estimation technique is mainly used by determining an overall budget for the project and then breaking it down for the purchase and use of resources, approximate values of wages and others. Top down estimation is a technique that requires precision and accurate determination of the resource and asset values in order to determine a suitable budget for the project. In addition, it is also very important to determine all the areas of the project that will incur costs and estimations are to be made accordingly. Top down estimation also reflects the strategic decision making process of the project organization that also depends on the type of the project the organization is working on. At the same time, top down estimation technique calls for high risk in the project since the estimations mainly include the exact costs for each resource and activity included in the project and there is no scope of estimation for change management or additional costs that may be incurred in the project.
Bottom Up Estimation Technique: Bottom up estimation technique is a much more lengthy and accurate process that the top down estimation technique. The bottom up techniques involve breakdown of the entire project into phases and sub-phases and then allocating human and material resources in each work package. Finally, the basic expense rates are determined and then added up to prepare the final budget value. This technique brings lesser risk than the top down estimation technique as it considers all aspects of expenses in the project and also has the scope for determining additional costs, baseline budget, worst or best case scenarios and others. However, if this technique is utilized, fixed value contracts cannot be prepared as this technique involves constant changes in the budget due to changes in the work packages and allocation of resources.
While there is no inalienable differentiator or downside, every strategy for estimating has its own advantages in specific components and circumstances. It is up to the project manager to know the best technique for the best result.
Both of the techniques have some estimation issues that need to be resolved. For bottom up estimation, the estimation is mainly an aggregate of total values inserted in the project and it does not reflect the true budget for the project. For top down estimation, the estimated values are often inaccurate and moreover, the values are not divided separately for each part of the project. Hence, there may be future issues regarding the allocation of the budget to various activities in the project.