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IT Project Management Learning Journal and Critique

Task 1: Learning Journal

Notes and Advice

? The Extenuating Circumstances procedure is there to support you if you have had any circumstances (problems) that have been serious or significant enough to prevent you from attending, completing or submitting an assessment on time. If you complete an Extenuating Circumstances Form (ECF) for this assessment, it is important that you use the correct module code, item number and deadline (not the late deadline) given above.
? ASDAC are available to any students who disclose a disability or require additional support for their academic studies with a good set of resources on the ASDAC moodle site
? The University takes any form of academic misconduct (such as plagiarism or cheating) seriously, so please make sure your work is your own. Please ensure you adhere to our Code of Student Behaviour and watch the video on Plagiarism
? Any material included in your coursework should be fully cited and referenced in APA 7 format.  Detailed advice on referencing is available from the library .
? Any material submitted that does not meet format or submission guidelines, or falls outside of the submission deadline could be subject to a cap on your overall result or disqualification entirely. 
? If you need additional assistance, you can ask your subject lecturer, personal tutor, course leader or course administrator.
? If you are concerned about your mental well-being, please contact our Well-being service.


Learning Outcomes for this unit:


3. Explain the critical importance of soft skills, change management, risk analysis and communication planning in an operational IT environment.

4. Demonstrate personal critical thinking and lucid writing skills in analysis, discussion and argumentation about the practical application of IT project management and systems development concepts.


General instructions

Correct UK English grammar and spelling is expected in narrative essay writing. Serious failings in English usage will result in lower marks. Good communication skills are inherent in the unit learning outcomes.

Task 1

Prepare a Learning Journal for the unit, reflectively discussing how your understanding of project management has developed and what remains unclear. Your entries should refer to your own job or experience and/or exercises/activities. See Note 1 below. 20 marks

Task 2

Write a reflective critique of the group work, analysing what was successful and what could have been improved and how/why. Give some recommendations for future group working especially for multi-located teams. 10 Marks

Note 1 – Reflective Learning Journal:

Task 2: Group work critique

The purpose of the Learning journal is for you to document how your learning and understanding progresses throughout the unit. The reflection on how it has developed your understanding of the subject and how you might use what you have learnt. 

You do not have to do all the exercises / activities in Moodle. They are there to focus your thoughts / provide a preparation for the chat / reinforce the theory with practical application. So, focus on doing the exercises / activities in the areas that you have the least experience. They should not require more than 1 side (2 at most) of A4 and 30 mins of your time each. They are intended to be answered in note form (e.g. numbered / bullet points).

To achieve a good pass or above (see marking criteria on last 2 pages) you will have attempted at least three of the exercises/activities. You may need to do more if you cannot refer to your own job or experience.

If the exercises are not posted onto Moodle then they will need to be attached to the final submission as an Appendix, making it clear (via student number), who has done each task.

Task 1

1. Learning Journal

How well presented is the journal as a meaningful diary of learning? How well does the journal reflect on the exercises and/or the student’s own experience / knowledge?

Task 2

2. Group work critique

How credibly is the group work analysed as an IT project? How good are the lessons learnt / recommendations?

Group work (20 marks)

1. Discuss the Problems that face Kathy’s kennels (KK) and from that identify the Objectives, Scope and Deliverables of the Project. Submit this for approval with the KK managing director (MD) by 29th November 2021. You can communicate with the MD via the Group discussion forum on Moodle. 10 Marks

2. Identify the Stakeholders for this project. Then briefly explain what methods/strategies you will use to manage the change to the business for the different types of Stakeholders. 10 Marks

Individual work (50 marks)

3. Briefly describe a Systems Development Methodology (SDM) and a complimentary Project Management methodology (PMM) that you consider is appropriate for the KK project. Justify your choice; including why you have rejected 2 other methods. 15 Marks

4. Use a recognised planning approach (e.g. PBP or WBS) to produce a GANTT chart of the project plan using Microsoft Project (or ProjectLibre), showing the stages, summary tasks and at least some detail tasks. Deliverables and milestones should be clear from the plan. Your plan should reflect your proposed SDM/PMM from Task 3. Show resource assignment on the detailed tasks for higher marks. 15 Marks

Note: you only need to submit the GANTT chart, no workings.

5. Explain the difference between Product Based Planning (PBP) and Task/Activity Based Planning. Which one did you use to plan the KK plan and why? What are the advantages and disadvantages of the method that you used? 10 Marks

6. Construct a Risk Management Matrix of risks to the Project and provide a brief explanation for 2 of the high risks items. 10 Marks

Scenario: Kathy’s Kennels Case Study

Kathy’s Kennels (KK) provides temporary care for Cats and Dogs based in the Guildford area.

It is mainly animals whose owners have gone on holiday for anything between 2 days and 10 weeks, although some provision is available for pet owners who wish to leave their pets for up to 6 months for any reason. Kathy employs three office staff and several  kennel staff to help her run the kennels.

KK grew rapidly between May 2018 and March 2020 and a number of errors crept into the manual and ‘ad-hoc’ spreadsheets used to track and monitor the day-to-day activities. They were also looking to expand their operation and were looking at other locations near Portsmouth and also on the Isle of Wight.

KK decided that they needed to revise their systems if they were to sustain their growth and still provide the excellent Customer service that they had built their reputation on - especially if they were going to expand to other sites.

Then Covid-19 happened and they were forced to operate on an ‘essential service’ only basis, furlough 80% of their staff and abandon their plans for other locations - at least in the short term.

Although Covid-19 has reduced the number of bookings over the last 15 months and KK, they realise that they need to be prepared for a rapid increase in bookings for 2022, when hopefully travel will return and more people will need their services. Then they can resurrect their expansion plans too.

So they want to make the most of this ‘quietish’ period to get organised and install a number of systems to manage:

  • Bookings - web based and able to take deposits. Plus the ability for the customer/owner to cancel and a refund for the deposit to be given if more than 7 days before the start date of the stay - currently they have a very basic informational website at present and bookings are usually done by phone or email.
  • Management of Owner and contact information - currently on a spreadsheet.
  • Management of pet details including: their name, breed, approx. age, any known medical conditions, their normal Vet, date of last vaccinations (pets cannot stay without these), any allergies and their dietary needs (text description).
  • Allocation of pets to rooms - currently done manually in a diary
  • Recording of daily activities - such as medical and dietary or unusual behaviour.
  • Arrivals (check in) - The Kennel staff need a weekly list of all pets due to arrive and due to leave on each day, with the relevant room numbers.
  • Collections - The balance of payment is taken when the pet is checked in and any additional expenses such as Vet fees are settled when the pet is collected.
  • They have a new accounts system but the new systems will need to interface with it.

You can ask the owner of Kathy’s Kennels via the dedicated thread in the Assessments discussion forum.  

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