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1) Define the key characteristics of any project.
2) What is the Scope Statement for a project? What role does the Work Breakdown Structure (WBS) have in sucha statement?
3) Using the information below, plot out a full project Gantt chart and identify the critical path. How many days does it take to complete the project?

4) What approaches exist to generate a budget for a specific project budget?
5) How can project risk arise? Outline the various responses to risk that may be taken within project management.
6) What quality methods (project evaluation, monitoring and control) would you introduce to ensure a project is completed successfully?

Scope Statement of the project

A project is a set of activities and methods that are carried out to achieve a specific set of goals and objectives.

The following are the primary characteristics of a project.

  • Every project has a defined list of deliverables and milestones to be achieved.
  • A project has a series of phases that mark its life cycle.
  • There are resources assigned to the projects for the execution of the tasks and activities.
  • Project has an estimated budget and schedule.
  • There are internal and external stakeholders that are associated with the projects.

The scope statement of the project covers the list of items and activities that shall be completed by the project resources during the project timeline.

The scope is important as it allows the Project Manager and other resources to estimate the project budget, schedule, and effort. The scope statement provides the set of requirements and specifications that shall be carried out for achieving the project goals and objectives. The items included in the scope statement act as the baselines for the projects and the effort estimation is done accordingly (Fageha and Aibinu, 2013).

The overall duration of the project is 19 days.

Task Name

Duration

Start

Finish

Predecessors

Project

19 days

Tue 27-03-18

Fri 20-04-18

   a

5 days

Tue 27-03-18

Mon 02-04-18

   b

4 days

Tue 03-04-18

Fri 06-04-18

2

   c

2 days

Mon 09-04-18

Tue 10-04-18

3

   d

3 days

Mon 09-04-18

Wed 11-04-18

3

   e

5 days

Wed 11-04-18

Tue 17-04-18

4

   f

7 days

Thu 12-04-18

Fri 20-04-18

5

The Gantt chart and critical path of the project has been shown in the image below.

There are various approaches that may be used for generating the project budget.

  • Top-down Approach: This is the high-level breakdown structure in which the costs for the top-most process are determined followed by the subsequent efforts and costs. The work items under each package are assessed in terms of the costs that shall be used for the execution of the project tasks and activities (Tannu, 2014).
  • Bottom-up Approach: It is the reverse of the top-down approach as it involves the estimations of the cost at the bottom. These costs are then combined to understand the costs at one level up. As a result, the overall project costs are calculated.
  • Time-phased estimation: It is the process in which monthly estimation of the project costs is done which are then calculated on a cumulative basis.
  • Analogous Estimations: The historical data and information from the similar processes is used for estimating the project costs (Sequeira and Lopes, 2015).

There may be various risks that may come up in the projects, such as technical risks, operational errors, security risks, market risks, schedule/budget overrun, legal risks, ethical, and quality risks. These risks arise due to security vulnerabilities, technical faults, operational inefficiencies, changes in market trends, scope inflation, decrease in resource productivity and other factors (Sanchez et al., 2009).

These risks can be managed by a defined risks management process. The first step in the process included identification of the risks which are then assessed, analysed and evaluated. The risk treatment and monitoring is carried out followed by control and reporting of the risks (Pimchangthong and Boonjing, 2017).

There are evaluation, monitoring, and control methods that are executed to ensure that the project quality is maintained.

These include verification and validation methods to assess and maintain the project quality. The project managers and leaders shall carry out the process as audits, reviews, inspections, and walkthroughs to assure that the quality of the project is maintained across all the project activities. These processes shall map the quality standards with the expected values and standards and a gap analysis must be carried out. The increased gaps would indicate non-adherence to the desired standards and vice versa.

There are also testing processes that shall be executed to maintain and manage the project and product quality. These processes shall include system testing, integration testing, regression testing, performance, and security testing. The results of these processes will provide the list of defects and bugs present in the project and the systems developed in the same. These methods will ensure that the defects detected are resolved and the required quality standards are maintained (Ingason, 2015).

Gantt Chart and Critical Path

The project is a merger project being carried out by ABC PLC, UK based food and drinks retailer. The company has a good reputation in the market and has been successful in mergers and acquisitions. The company already has a list of food and drinks manufacturers and retailers that it has acquired. It is now considering merging with DEF Ltd, a high street frozen food retailer. DEF Ltd has its outlets in most of the cities in UK.

The project will be managed by John, the Project Manager and it would be intended to utilize the in-house expertise to bring down the overall costs of the merger. The terms and conditions put forward by ABC PLC have been accepted by DEF Ltd and the merger is expected to be a friendly process.

The following activities will be carried out by the project resources during the timeline of the project.

  • The conduction of feasibility analysis and studies to understand the success of the merger and organization of the start-up meeting to discuss the highlights.
  • Project chartering activities and development of the charter (Leger et al., 2013).
  • Information collection and analysis to understand the specifications and tasks to be included in the mergers process and the market performance expected as an outcome.
  • Project planning and estimations
  • Execution of the merger of the two companies and management of the changes
  • Reviews and inspections
  • Continuous improvement processes and quality checks

The project team will not cover the activities as negotiations with the suppliers for the tools and equipment required during the merger, advertising of the merger process on various marketing and advertising channels (Ogunberu, 2016).

The project activities will be managed by the project management methodology as Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK). According to this methodology, there will be five phases in the project as project initiation, project planning, project execution, project control, and project closure.

The phases that will be carried out in the merger project will be integrated with the PMBOK phases to make sure that the project goals and objectives are achieved. The methodology puts the Project Manager as the primary resource in the project responsible for overall management of the project (Gasik, 2015). The phases that will be associated in the project life cycle have been listed and described below.

The initiation phase of the project will begin with the conduction of feasibility studies on social, technical, environmental, economic, and operational aspects.

The results of these studies will be analysed and a start-up meeting will be conducted followed by the chartering of the project.

The techniques that will be used for the purpose of information investigation will include interviews, domain analysis, e-surveys, and observations.

These techniques will be executed to collect the data and information sets and the information gathered will be analysed using automated tools.

The project methodology will be determined as Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK). According to this methodology, there will be five phases in the project as project initiation, project planning, project execution, project control, and project closure. The phases that will be carried out in the merger project will be integrated with the PMBOK phases to make sure that the project goals and objectives are achieved.

Project Budget and Risk Management

This phase will then include the estimations of project scope, schedule, budget, effort, communications and risks (Zwikael, 2009).

The merger process will be carried out followed by reviews and inspection processes along with the highlighting and implementation of the changes.

The changes detected will be managed by carrying out the phases as change planning, change execution, and change reinforcement (Jamali and Oveisi, 2016).

The final phase will be the control and closure phase. In this phase, the control activities will be carried out, such as quality control and continuous improvement.

The closure activities will then be carried out.

The resources and the set of responsibilities that will be performed by these resources have been included in the table below.

Resource Name

Responsibilities

Project Manager

John, the Project Manager will be responsible for project chartering, planning, estimations, control, and closure activities in the project

Business Analyst

Social and environmental feasibility study, project scope management, risk management, reviews and inspections

Data Analyst 1

Information collection and gathering through E-Surveys, Interviews, Observations, Domain Analysis, information analysis and identification of other sources for further gathering of the data

Data Analyst 2

Information collection and gathering through E-Surveys, Interviews, Observations, Domain Analysis, information analysis and identification of other sources for further gathering of the data

Implementation Head

Change planning and management, analysis and feedback, continuous improvement tasks (Carden and Egan, 2008)

Market Associate

Merger and acquisition processes, market analysis

Market Expert

Merger and acquisition processes, market analysis

Finance Officer

Economic feasibility analysis, budget management, reflection tasks

Technical Expert

Technical feasibility analysis, risk management

Quality Manager

Findings & quality analysis, continuous improvement activities

WBS

Task Name

Duration

Start

Finish

Predecessors

Resource Names

1

Merger of ABC PLC & DEF Ltd

124 days

Wed 28-03-18

Mon 17-09-18

1.1

   Initiation of the Project

7 days

Wed 28-03-18

Thu 05-04-18

1.1.1

      Social & Environmental Feasibility Analysis

2 days

Wed 28-03-18

Thu 29-03-18

Business Analyst

1.1.2

      Technical and Operational Feasibility

2 days

Fri 30-03-18

Mon 02-04-18

3

Technical Expert

1.1.3

      Economic Feasibility

1 day

Wed 04-04-18

Wed 04-04-18

4

Finance Officer

1.1.4

      Start-up meeting

1 day

Tue 03-04-18

Tue 03-04-18

3,4

Project Manager, Data Analyst 2,Data Analyst 1,Implementation Head, Market Associate, Market Expert, Business Analyst, Finance Officer, Technical Expert

1.1.5

      Project Chartering Processes

2 days

Wed 04-04-18

Thu 05-04-18

6

Project Manager

1.1.6

      Milestone 1: Project Charter Document

0 days

Thu 05-04-18

Thu 05-04-18

7

1.2

   Information Investigation and Analysis

25 days

Thu 12-04-18

Wed 16-05-18

1.2.1

      E-Surveys, Interviews, Observations, Domain Analysis

5 days

Thu 12-04-18

Wed 18-04-18

7

Data Analyst 1,Data Analyst 2

1.2.2

      Listing of other sources of data

3 days

Tue 01-05-18

Thu 03-05-18

10

Data Analyst 1

1.2.3

      Information Investigation Processes

3 days

Tue 01-05-18

Thu 03-05-18

10

Data Analyst 2

1.2.4

      Information Collection & Gathering

8 days

Thu 19-04-18

Mon 30-04-18

10

Data Analyst 2,Data Analyst 1

1.2.5

      Analysis of the information and data sets

5 days

Fri 04-05-18

Thu 10-05-18

10,11,12,13

Data Analyst 1,Data Analyst 2

1.2.6

      Analytics report creation

4 days

Fri 11-05-18

Wed 16-05-18

14,13

Data Analyst 1,Data Analyst 2

1.2.7

      Milestone 2: Analytics Report

0 days

Wed 16-05-18

Wed 16-05-18

15

1.3

   Project Planning

24 days

Thu 17-05-18

Tue 19-06-18

1.3.1

      Project Approach & Phases

4 days

Thu 17-05-18

Tue 22-05-18

15

Project Manager

1.3.2

      Determination and management of scope

6 days

Fri 25-05-18

Fri 01-06-18

18

Project Manager, Business Analyst

1.3.3

      Determination and management of schedule

3 days

Mon 04-06-18

Wed 06-06-18

19

Project Manager

1.3.4

      Determination and management of budget

3 days

Tue 12-06-18

Thu 14-06-18

20

Finance Officer

1.3.5

      Determination and management of risks and resources

3 days

Thu 07-06-18

Mon 11-06-18

18,19,20

Project Manager, Finance Officer, Business Analyst, Market Associate, Technical Expert

1.3.6

      Communication management

3 days

Fri 15-06-18

Tue 19-06-18

22,21

Project Manager

1.3.7

      Milestone 3: Project Plan

0 days

Tue 19-06-18

Tue 19-06-18

23

1.4

   Change Management & Implementation

34 days

Wed 20-06-18

Mon 06-08-18

1.4.1

      Merger and acquisition processes

12 days

Wed 20-06-18

Wed 11-07-18

23

Market Associate, Business Analyst, Implementation Head, Market Expert, Project Manager

1.4.2

      Review and inspections

11 days

Thu 12-07-18

Thu 26-07-18

26

Business Analyst, Project Manager, Finance Officer, Implementation Head, Market Expert, Technical Expert

1.4.3

      Market analysis

5 days

Thu 12-07-18

Wed 18-07-18

26

Market Expert, Market Associate

1.4.4

      Change planning and management

7 days

Fri 27-07-18

Mon 06-08-18

28,27,26

Implementation Head

1.4.5

      Milestone 4: Change Plan

0 days

Mon 06-08-18

Mon 06-08-18

29

1.5

   Project Control & Closure

30 days

Tue 07-08-18

Mon 17-09-18

1.5.1

      Analysis & Feedback

5 days

Tue 07-08-18

Mon 13-08-18

29

Implementation Head

1.5.2

      Findings & quality analysis

9 days

Wed 05-09-18

Mon 17-09-18

32

Quality Manager

1.5.3

      Continuous improvement activities

10 days

Tue 14-08-18

Mon 27-08-18

32

Implementation Head, Quality Manager

1.5.4

      Measurement of performances and lessons learnt

5 days

Wed 05-09-18

Tue 11-09-18

34

Project Manager

1.5.5

      Reflection and completion

6 days

Tue 28-08-18

Tue 04-09-18

34

Project Manager, Finance Officer, Business Analyst, Data Analyst 1,Data Analyst 2,Implementation Head, Market Associate, Market Expert, Quality Manager, Technical Expert

1.5.6

      Milestone 5: Project Closure Report

0 days

Tue 04-09-18

Tue 04-09-18

36

Task Name

Cost

Merger of ABC PLC & DEF Ltd

£202,896.00

   Initiation of the Project

£11,560.00

      Social & Environmental Feasibility Analysis

£1,440.00

      Technical and Operational Feasibility

£1,440.00

      Economic Feasibility

£728.00

      Start-up meeting

£6,352.00

      Project Chartering Processes

£1,600.00

      Milestone 1: Project Charter Document

£0.00

   Information Investigation and Analysis

£34,000.00

      E-Surveys, Interviews, Observations, Domain Analysis

£6,800.00

      Listing of other sources of data

£2,040.00

      Information Investigation Processes

£2,040.00

      Information Collection & Gathering

£10,880.00

      Analysis of the information and data sets

£6,800.00

      Analytics report creation

£5,440.00

      Milestone 2: Analytics Report

£0.00

   Project Planning

£30,128.00

      Project Approach & Phases

£3,200.00

      Determination and management of scope

£9,120.00

      Determination and management of schedule

£2,400.00

      Determination and management of budget

£2,184.00

      Determination and management of risks and resources

£10,824.00

      Communication management

£2,400.00

      Milestone 3: Project Plan

£0.00

   Change Management & Implementation

£74,536.00

      Merger and acquisition processes

£36,896.00

      Review and inspections

£26,112.00

      Market analysis

£6,600.00

      Change planning and management

£4,928.00

      Milestone 4: Change Plan

£0.00

   Project Control & Closure

£52,672.00

      Analysis & Feedback

£3,520.00

      Findings & quality analysis

£0.00

      Continuous improvement activities

£7,040.00

      Measurement of performances and lessons learnt

£4,000.00

      Reflection and completion

£38,112.00

      Milestone 5: Project Closure Report

£0.00

The cost of the resources involved is specified below.

Resource Name

Type

Initials

Max. Units

Std. Rate

Project Manager

Work

PM

100%

£100.00/hr

Business Analyst

Work

BA

100%

£90.00/hr

Data Analyst 1

Work

DA1

100%

£85.00/hr

Data Analyst 2

Work

DA2

100%

£85.00/hr

Implementation Head

Work

IH

100%

£88.00/hr

Market Associate

Work

MA

100%

£80.00/hr

Market Expert

Work

ME

100%

£85.00/hr

Finance Officer

Work

FO

100%

£91.00/hr

Technical Expert

Work

TE

100%

£90.00/hr

Quality Manager

Work

QM

100%

£0.00/hr

The risk management of the project will be carried out by conducting the phases as risk identification, risk analysis, risk evaluation, risk treatment, risk monitoring, and risk reporting. The following risks have been identified and analysed for the project.

Risk Name

Description

Probability (Very High – 5

High – 4

Moderate – 3

Likely – 2

Unlikely – 1)

Impact

(Very High – 5

High – 4

Moderate – 3

Low – 2

Negligible – 1)

Score (Probability x Impact)

Treatment Strategy

Market Risks

The market trends and patterns may change leading to issues in the process of merger with changes in expectations

3

4

12

The treatment strategy as risk mitigation and avoidance shall be used to treat the risk.

Technical Risks

The technical tools and equipment utilized in the project may turn faulty, such as breakdown of data analytics tools

3

3

9

The treatment strategy as risk transfer shall be used to treat the risk.

Quality Risks

The project resources may fail to meet the desired levels of quality standards and best practices

2

5

10

The treatment strategy as risk avoidance shall be used to treat the risk.

Legal Risks

The project resources may fail to meet the legal policies and regulations

1

5

5

The treatment strategy as risk avoidance shall be used to treat the risk.

Schedule/Budget Overrun

The merger and acquisition may not be carried out as per the estimated schedule or budget

3

5

15

The treatment strategy as risk mitigation and avoidance shall be used to treat the risk.

Security Risks

There may be security attacks on information and data sets

4

4

16

The treatment strategy as risk mitigation and avoidance shall be used to treat the risk.

Resource Risks

The resources may showcase drop in their productivity levels

3

4

12

The treatment strategy as risk avoidance shall be used to treat the risk.

Ethical Risks

The project resources may fail to meet the desired levels of ethical standards and best practices

2

5

10

The treatment strategy as risk avoidance shall be used to treat the risk.

Communications is an effective element that shall be used in the project to keep the internal and external project stakeholders informed about the project status and progress.

The following reporting and communication structure will be followed in the project. There will be daily and weekly meetings carried out in the project to inform all the stakeholders about the project progress and to discuss the activities to be carried out as well. There are a number of reports that shall be provided and shared with the stakeholders to keep a track of the project status and progress.

Report Name

Frequency

Report Shared By

Report Submitted to

Placement Location

Progress Report

Daily

All the project resources

Project Manager

The report shall be placed on the SharePoint location and a notification shall be sent via email

Progress Report

Weekly

Project Manager

Senior management and external project stakeholders

The report shall be placed on the SharePoint location and a notification shall be sent via email

Data Analytics Report

At the end of information investigation and analysis phase

Data Analyst 1, Data Analyst 2

Project Manager

The report shall be placed on the SharePoint location and a notification shall be sent via email

Market Analytics Report

At the end of the change management and implementation phase

Market Expert

Project Manager

The report shall be placed on the SharePoint location and a notification shall be sent via email

Project Completion Report

At the end of the project

Project Manager

Senior management and external project stakeholders

The report shall be placed on the SharePoint location and a notification shall be sent via email

References

Carden, L. and Egan, T. (2008). Human Resource Development and Project Management: Key Connections. Human Resource Development Review, 7(3), pp.309-338.

Fageha, M. and Aibinu, A. (2013). Managing Project Scope Definition to Improve Stakeholders’ Participation and Enhance Project Outcome. Procedia - Social and Behavioral Sciences, 74, pp.154-164.

Gasik, S. (2015). An Analysis of Knowledge Management in PMBOK® Guide. [online] Sybena.pl. Available at: https://www.sybena.pl/dokumenty/PM-World-Journal-2015-January-Gasik-Analysis-of-knowledge-management-in-PMBOK-Guide-PMI.pdf [Accessed 27 Mar. 2018].

Ingason, H. (2015). Best Project Management Practices in the Implementation of an ISO 9001 Quality Management System. Procedia - Social and Behavioral Sciences, 194, pp.192-200.

Jamali, G. and Oveisi, M. (2016). A Study on Project Management Based on PMBOK and PRINCE2. Modern Applied Science, 10(6), p.142.

Leger, P., Lyle, D., Babin, G., Charland, P. and Pellerin, R. (2013). Scope Management: A Core Information System Implementation Project Pedagogy. [online] Available at: https://dx.doi.org/10.5539/ies.v6n3p55 [Accessed 27 Mar. 2018].

Ogunberu, A. (2016). Factors Affecting the Choice of Project Scope Management Practices among Telecommunication Organizations. [online] Oer.sau.edu.ng. Available at: https://oer.sau.edu.ng/Uploads/Journals/factors-affecting-the-choice-of-project-scope-management-practices-among-telecommunication-organizations.pdf [Accessed 27 Mar. 2018].

Pimchangthong, D. and Boonjing, V. (2017). Effects of Risk Management Practice on the Success of IT Project. Procedia Engineering, 182, pp.579-586.

Sanchez, H., Robert, B., Bourgault, M. and Pellerin, R. (2009). Risk management applied to projects, programs, and portfolios. International Journal of Managing Projects in Business, 2(1), pp.14-35.

Sequeira, S. and Lopes, E. (2015). Simple Method Proposal for Cost Estimation from Work Breakdown Structure. Procedia Computer Science, 64, pp.537-544.

Tannu (2014). Comparative Analysis of Different Software Cost Estimation Methods. [online] Ijcsmc.com. Available at: https://www.ijcsmc.com/docs/papers/June2014/V3I6201495.pdf [Accessed 27 Mar. 2018].

Zwikael, O. (2009). The relative importance of the PMBOK® Guide's nine Knowledge Areas during project planning. Project Management Journal, 40(4), pp.94-103.

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