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PPP Case Study for Project Management Practice: Analysis and Reflection

Module Learning Outcomes (MLOs)
  1. Establish conceptual understanding of the complex scenarios that multiple and major projects environments and settings have, including the relationships between projects, programmes or portfolios within host organisations.
  2. Critically appraise existing project management knowledge and identify areas that can improve aspects of project delivery for stakeholders through the application of project management, theory or practice.
  3. Critically reflect upon approaches to project problem-solving on real life projects, in order to evaluate, learn from, and adopt similar appropriate solutions in future professional practice.
  4. Embrace critical thinking, to systematically identify, analyse, plan, produce, and then present, original work for academic review.
  5. Embrace academic, ethical, and professional standards, through practice and conduct, whilst developing understanding of competence in project management.

Context statement: Projects are variously executed within or across volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous (VUCA) environments, that present various political, economic, social, technological, legal, or environmental (PESTLE) challenges. Project management provides a means of addressing these.

To help better understand project management practice and the context in which it is undertaken, the following coursework task is set. You are to self-select a suitable PPP Case Study, for the purposes of analysis and reflection. The case itself can be either an individual Project, or a Programme, or a Portfolio. However, the ‘unit of analysis’ within the case study report should be that of ‘project management practice’ within this PPP setting. Ultimately, the case study should act as a ‘contextual vehicle’ which you use to absorb and discuss current Project Management knowledge.

Analysis: This written submission should fully introduce the ‘case’, provide the necessary description, and position it within the wider PPP context, before identifying and analysing the key challenges faced, evaluating the solutions produced, and then articulating those generalized ‘lessons learned’ that can inform future project management practice.

Reflection: Through theoretical, and evidence-based perspectives, reflect also upon the key elements of project management practice that you perceive have been applied on the selected PPP case. Discuss this by making use of current and salient academic (and relevant professional) literature from the subject knowledge-base.

Select a suitable PPP case study that is ripe for analysis. This could be a prominent, widely available case, where useful materials are readily and publicly available, or one that the student is currently, or has previously worked on. Such a PPP case should only be one that you have normal access to information. If such a case is a ‘building’ or ‘live site’, then this should only be one that you have the ‘normal’, and ‘necessary’ permissions to access externally and/or internally (i.e., you are not to engage in any trespass of any building/site that you do not have normal permission to enter). Also note, you should not 'coldcontact' professionals to attempt to arrange access to any case that you do not have normal access to.

If you need a discussion to advise if the proposed PPP case is suitable for the purposes of analysis and reflection, then arrange to have this discussion with one of the module tutors by teaching week 8.

In addition to the case study analysis, you should throughout the module, be equipping yourself on aspects of contemporary Project Management practice. To do this and develop your topic specific knowledge and understanding, and help you develop your intellectual skills and abilities in this subject, you are to fully and continuously engage with the academic and professional literature around the art, science, and discipline of Project Management.

Therefore in addition to describing the case study project itself, your coursework submission is expected primarily draw upon, and refer to, the body of academic work in this area, it is also reasonable to expect that some elements in your review will be informed by material issued by credible, relevant, professional institutes within Project Management as these organisations will be useful in highlighting current issues and offering supporting information.

The work is to be appropriately structured and supported through ‘academic’ research using appropriate and quality in-text references which are cited correctly throughout. A separate references list must also be provided at the end of the document.

Any footnotes or endnotes (see related note below).

The work must form a structured and coherent whole. No contents page or superfluous front matter is required. Only a basic front sheet for the submission is to be provided, that identifies the student number (not name), the total number of words used (excluding references section), and the number of figures/tables used.

'Footnotes'/’Endnotes’ will be permitted, as they can offer sufficient value, providing, their use is minimal, sufficiently concise, and appropriate - they offer only 'clarifying' information, or add 'adjacent' value to the sentences already written. In other words, they are not to be used to 'hide' words that would otherwise normally be expected to be contained within the main body of the text, and their use will be considered in accordance with the University word limits policy. The full word limit policy is accessible here:

  • Introduction - How well the work establishes and describes the case, and positions it within a wider PPP context: 10%
  • Problems – How well the work provides analysis of the ‘key issue’ problems within the PPP case that the delivery team faced. This criterion balances ‘range’, against ‘appropriateness’ in the identification of these key issues: 10%
  • Solutions - How well the work evaluates the specific solutions/tactics that were used to addressthese key issue problems, and discusses these in terms of project management practice: 10%
  • Lessons - How well the work articulates a critical appraisal of the ‘lessons learned’ from the case, then considers if and how these can be deployed more generally in future project management practice: 10%
  • Relationship with existing literature – Here, the work should demonstrate adequate understanding of the relevant literature in the field, cite an appropriate range of literature sources and not ignore any significant work: 20%
  • Quality of Conclusion – How well the conclusion of the work sufficiently relates to the preceding content, and provides an effectively summary for the reader: 10%
  • Quality of Communication – Here, the overall narrative should be coherent, and remain relevant to the practice of project management. Attention should have been paid to the clarity of expression and readability, such as sentence structure, jargon use, acronyms, etc: 20%
  • General structure and formatting of the work, and the References section (see above notes) in particular: 10%

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