Portfolio Part 2: Set of Problems

Contribution to Final Module Mark: 70%

Below you can find a detailed description of the relevant assessment requirements.

Task:

The learning outcomes MO1-4 will be assessed through a selection of practically oriented project management problems (or project scenarios), from which only two must be chosen for this assignment. When developing the argument, you are expected to critically analyse various available options and suggest an optimal solution, while making use of relevant theoretical references and illustrative examples or case studies. Your standpoint should be balanced and analysis well-written, possibly referring to personal experiences, observations and insights where appropriate.

Such a creative problem solving work is intended to allow you to apply the acquired theoretical knowledge to practical, realistic project contexts and demonstrate your ability to make robust managerial decisions under uncertainty and ambiguity.

The proposed problems for your consideration are as follows:

1. Would you agree that the Waterfall model is undoubtedly the best approach to managing projects? Critically appraise two classes of projects where sustainable project management methodologies may be more suitable.

2. Who should be responsible for managing quality on a construction project of your choice? Analyse the validity of assumptions behind the most famous quality philosophies to ascertain some of their limitations and recommend what strategic approach should be taken for the chosen project.

3. You have been named a project manager for a new subcontracted tourist guide application, being part of a bigger programme of city regeneration and tourist attraction. Would you consider Agile as a viable methodology in such project and programme contexts and why? Evaluate the potential problematics of the following Agile postulates in relation to the above project: ‘Individuals and interactions over processes and tools’ and ‘Customer collaboration over contract negotiation’.

4. Compare and contrast the Critical Path and Critical Chain methods in terms of their advantages and deficiencies to conclude on what will be the preferred approach to plan and execute a political party’s election campaign.

5. Discuss the available project evaluation and portfolio selection methods and recommend an optimal combination of them to be employed by a pharmaceutical company, mainly dealing with market research and new product development projects.

6. At the local city council, you are asked to oversee the concurrent execution of the following projects: improvement of certain fundamental operational processes, installation of a state-of-the-art enterprise resource planning system and a series of organisation-wide events to promote the use of e-learning tools in the workplace. How would you best manage all these undertakings: as a programme or portfolio of projects?

7. As a consequence of the recently completed merger with another company, the senior management within your organisation made a decision to implement a cultural change programme. Traditional project management was deemed inappropriate, so that now they require a recommendation as to what Lean Thinking principles might be of significant assistance to their aim. Critically evaluate and advise on what Lean concepts and tools should become part of their original project management methodology to successfully implement the required cultural change.

The presented analysis should be based on appropriate and substantial research, which must be evidenced in your work. A mere composition of the theoretical material or repetition of some sources without your own in-depth elaboration, critical evaluation and synthesis of original recommendations will not be deemed a highly original contribution and, consequently, will attract low marks.

The written set of problems should be 2,500 words (+/-10%), including any exhibits, tables and figures, but excluding the reference list. All figures and tables should be consecutively numbered, and captions provided.

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