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Explanation of Project Network Diagram

Assessment 1 (25%) – Individual Assignment – Spring 2018

Task 1: Project Assessment Report (15 out of 25 marks)

You have just been employed by a dynamic company as a project manager and your first task is to assess the existing project experiencing delays and lack of overall progress. You are expected to collect the available information, set some realistic expectations with regards to completion and inform the company director. 

This project has 15 activities, labelled A through O and is listed in the table below. The table indicates the immediate predecessors of each activity along with each activity’s expected duration, in days.

You managed to collect the following information on project activities:

Activity Description PredecessorsDuration (days)
APerform needs analysis None 10
BDevelop specifications 6
CSelect server 6
DSelect software 12
ESelect cables 4
FPurchase equipment D, E 3
GDevelop user manuals C, D 6
HWire offices 12
ISet up server 3
JDevelop training program 14
KInstall software 4
LConnect network H, K 3
MTrain users J, L 8
NTest and debug system 12
OGet management acceptance M, N 4


Your output to the director should be in a form of a formal status report. The report should include a title, background information, objectives, methodology used (diagrams, if any used) with expected results and recommendations. Any references used should be clearly documented.

There are some specific components that you are expected to include in your report:

  1. Project network diagram.
  2. Project schedule and duration 
  3. Critical path identification – highlighting the tasks that cannot be delayed

The following change scenarios need to be considered and questions answered:

  1. What would be the consequence of delaying the start of activity C only, by two days?
  2. What will happen to the project duration time if the duration of only the activity D will have to be increased by one day?
  3. In this project, activities C and D can be done concurrently. Suppose instead that activity C is an immediate predecessor of activity D. (the same employees to be used due to cost restrictions, and these employees can perform only one activity at a time.) Will this affect the project completion time you obtained in part #2? Will there be a change in the critical path?
  4. Two new activities are being added to the original list: P and Q. Activity P moves selected employees to temporary offices while installation occurs, and activity Q moves them back after installation is finished. Activity P has immediate predecessors D and E, immediate successor H, and duration three days. Activity Q has immediate predecessor L, immediate successor O, and duration three days. You can assume that activity E is still an immediate successor of activity C. That is, it doesn’t need to wait for activity D to finish. Will these changes affect the duration of the project and/or the critical path you obtained in question #2?
  5. Due to work commitments employees cannot go for training on the schedule date expected in part #2. Training of users, activity M cannot start until three weeks after the start of activity J, which is the development of training program. What effect will this have on the project?

Task 2: Work Breakdown Structure (10 out of 25 marks)

Consider the following scenario:

You are a member of a youth soccer club that helps bring recreational players to a higher level of competition and preparing them for the Olympic Development Program and/or A-League tournaments. The club currently has 123 boys and girls (ranging in age from 5 to 16). 

The club’s board of directors decided to sponsor a winter invitational soccer tournament to generate revenue. Given the boom in youth soccer, hosting winter tournaments has become a popular method for raising funds. The club needs funds to refurbish and expand the number of soccer fields in their home ground. Funds would also be used to provide partial or full scholarships to youths who need financial assistance in paying the annual club membership fee of $450.

You are a soccer enthusiast and a long-time associate of the club who had been elected as the tournament director and is responsible for organising the club’s first winter tournament. A committee meeting planned for a two-hour duration, was held on a Thursday evening at 6 pm, after you election to gather the members’ opinion.

You started the meeting by having everyone introduce themselves and by proclaiming how excited you were that the club was going to sponsor its own tournament. You then suggested that the committee brainstorm what needed to be done to pull off the event; you would record their ideas on a flipchart.

What emerged was a free-for-all of ideas and suggestions. One member immediately stressed the importance of having qualified referees and spent several minutes describing in detail how his son’s team was robbed in a poorly officiated championship game. This was followed by other stories of injustice on the soccer field. Another member suggested that they needed to quickly contact the local colleges to see if they could use their fields. 

The committee spent more than 30 minutes talking about how they should screen teams and how much they should charge as an entry fee. An argument broke out over whether they should reward the winning teams in each age bracket with medals or trophies. Many members felt that medals were too cheap, while others thought the trophies would be too expensive. Someone suggested that they seek local corporate sponsors to help fund the tournament.

The proposed sale of tournament T-shirts and sweatshirts was followed by a general critique of the different shirts parents had acquired at different tournaments. One member advocated that they recruit an artist he knew to develop a unique silk-screen design for the tournament. The meeting adjourned 30 minutes late with only half of the members remaining until the end. Jane drove home with seven sheets of ideas and a headache.

You realised that organising this tournament would be a big project and will need proper planning. The first thing you wanted to do was to develop a WBS for the project. 

You need to do the following:

  1. Make a list of the major deliverables for the project and use them to develop a draft of the work breakdown structure for the tournament that contains at least three levels of detail.
  2. Provide short answers to the following questions:
    1. How would developing a WBS alleviate some of the problems that occurred during the first meeting and help you organise and plan the project?
    2. Where can you find additional information to help you develop a WBS for the tournament?
    3. How could you and your committee members use the WBS to generate cost estimates for the tournament? Why would this be useful information?

Submission instructions:

  • Assessment document template provided
  • Submit your file to UTS Online 
  • You can submit your assignment as PDF or MSWord
  • Any figures, diagrams, charts etc. need to be embedded in the document or inserted as pictures if not easily included in its original format (for example MS Project output)
  • Clearly name your submission file, using the following format: 

 Assessment criteria:

CriteriaWeight
Description – presentation and style10%
Description – literacy10%
Description – knowledge10%
Description – evidence of enquiry and use of scientific method20%
Analysis – application10%
Analysis – deduction, inference, making connections within the subject6.66%
Personal meaning / impact – knowledge10%
Personal meaning / impact – making connections outside the subject6.66%
Action identified6.66%
Evidence of action taken10%
TOTAL100%


Answer

60903 Project Management for Science

Part 1 - Task 1: Project Assessment Report

Introduction 

The aim of the report is to present information about explaining the project network diagram and impact of critical tasks on a project. The company has a number of running projects that are experiencing delays and lacking overall progress. It needs assessment of its project schedule and finding out the reasons behind the delays in the project.

Background 

After the employment at one of a dynamic company, the main challenge for the project management is to align the ongoing project in such a way that there are lesser project failures due to delays and there was lack of progress in the projects. From the available information, the list of project activities due, the predecessors of each activities, and the duration to complete each activities have been found. Now the job for the newly appointed project manager is to prepare a schedule, and following the project management methodology to identify the critical path and understanding the scope of possible changes on the schedule. 

Objective 

The primary objective of the project is to collect as much information as possible about the ongoing projects, preparing a network diagram to understand the critical path and to determine the impact of some possible changes on the overall progress and deadlines of the project. 

Methodology 

The project management methodology has been used for the project. It will help to understand the correlations among the project and to make a realistic schedule to finish the pending project. The traditional software development methodology has been followed to streamline the pending projects. The traditional methodology has a system development life cycle. The SDLC will help to plan and then execute the activities required to complete the project successfully. 

1. Project Network Diagram 

A project network diagram is a tool used for making and understanding project plans and to track project progress from the start to the finish. A project network diagram also helps to understand the scope of a project and the critical path (Schwalbe, 2014). It is a concise and clear graphic representation of a project. 

Based on the given activities, durations and dependency details, the project network diagram is given above. The critical path here is shown in red. A critical path contains critical tasks that have strict deadlines to meet. There is no slack time on critical task. It is the shortest path between the start and end of a project. 

 Project Network Diagram

2. Project Schedule and Duration

The total project will take 62 days to complete by following the dependencies as described in the network diagram. 

Project Schedule and Duration

3. Critical Path Identification 

The critical path is, 

AàBàDàFàHàLàNà

4. Delay on Activity C

If the activity C is delayed, then the slack time of the activities C and E will be consumed and both will become critical tasks. There will be no effect on other tasks and the project duration. 

5. Delay on Activity D

As activity D is already a critical task, so increasing the time by 1 day will make the duration of the project increased by one day. 

6. C and D Concurrently 

Without any changes the project schedule is 62 days duration and the task D is critical task, whereas the task C is not. But making activity D an immediate predecessor will increase the schedule up to 68 days. Then the changes in the days required by 2 days will make the schedule increased up to 70 days. C and D both will become critical activity tasks. 

7. New tasks 

There is no change in the total duration of the project after the changes for the activities P and Q. 

8. Activity M

The project schedule duration will be increased to 67 days due to the changes made by the training module requirements. 

Conclusion 

In this report, different scenarios have been analysed. It is recommended that the project should follow strict deadline for the critical tasks or they must make the schedule realistically so that the number of critical tasks will be decreased. 

Task 2: Project Assessment Report

Work breakdown Structure

Deliverables

  1. Soccer Tournament Project 
    1. Arranging Meeting with board members 
      1. Brainstorming the ideas 
  2. Preparing initial planning
  3. Arranging funds
    1. Contact to local sponsors for match, prizes and goodies 
    2. Track and collect sponsorships 
  4. Preparing field 
    1. Search for fields 
    2. Rent a field 
    3. Do the paperwork 
    4. Clean and prepare the field
  5. Arrange entry cards 
    1. Design the entry cards and tickets 
    2. Print the cards and tickets 
    3. Sell the tickets 
    4. Track and collect the fund 
  6. Arrange teams 
    1. Open entry for teams
    2. Invite local schools and colleges 
    3. Nominate teams 
    4. Initial screening 
    5. Final team nominations 
  7. Finding a referee
    1. Invite applications through social channels 
    2. Collect and shortlist applications 
    3. Interview the selected candidates 
    4. Final selection 
  8. Final Day 
    1. Make arrangements of lights 
    2. Make arrangements of the match 
    3. Make arrangements of the prizes 
    4. Make arrangement of the gallery 
  9. Conduct the match 
    1. Collect information about the game 
    2. Decide the winner 
    3. Prize distribution

Soccer Tournament Project

WBS


Response to questions

Question A: 

The WBS has defined the scope of the project clearly. It has an outline for the plan of the project and the activities required to fulfil the tasks (Marchewka, 2011). It would help to streamline the meeting and to find out more insights from the members. It would have been used to guide the discussion. In a stakeholders meeting, it is a common scenario that every stakeholder shares their ideas and they gauge the project from their perspective. Often that breaks the scope of the project. Hence, the project manager needs to keep the discussion within the scope of the project. A WBS helps in keeping the discussion within the scope of the project by outlining the activities relevant to the project. 

Question B: 

Internet and WWW are the primary sources for finding information about the project. Other than that, there are project management books. First, the information about how to arrange a soccer tournament was researched and then upon finding the information, the task was broken down into multiple activities that go with the case study. Finally, the concepts of project management and brainstorming helped to prepare the WBS. 

Question C: 

To estimate cost the WBS can be extended to make a project Gantt chart and allocate resources to the activities. As duration are already given, so calculating the consumption of resources based on the allocated resources would help to estimate the cost. Other than that, a research on the Internet can help to estimate the unit cost for the materials and human resources working on the project. For example, the hourly rate of a project manager working on similar projects can be found by searching on the WWW. Further there are project management books that can be used to collect information. 

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