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Table of Contents
1. Introduction and context: 1
2. Project management in practice: 3
a. Tools and techniques: 3
a.1. The Constraint Triangle 3
a.2. Communication: 4
a.3. Change management: 5
a.4. Risks management: 5
b. Critical evaluation of the role of stakeholders: 6
c. Critical examination of the role of the Project Manager: 7
d. Gantt chart and diagrams: 8
3. Final discussion and Conclusion 9
4. Reference: 10
5. List of diagrams and tables: 10
1. Introduction and context:
Thomas and Brubaker (2008) defined the major targets of projects and dissertations in master’s and doctoral’s degree courses are to equip graduates with practical research experience, to contribute knowledge at the student’s own perspective and improve the conduct of several activities. In their perspective, practice means to prepare graduates for future encounters with research, while knowledge contribution refers to absorbing found information or to discover a new branch of thoughts.
At the end of the MSc Programme, a dissertation is required and the aim of this report is to plan out the processes in which the project will be carried out. According to Burke (2013), there are many methods that we must apply in order to carry out the project punctually, with quality and according to our financial capability. There are also three main stages that must be followed when writing a dissertation: first a topic must be thoroughly researched and decided upon; secondly, the various sections of the dissertation must be accomplished; at last, the dissertation must be finalised (Burke, 2013). There are tons of potentially well-debated topics, however, due to the limited time and financial capabilities it is highly important that we put into priority a few possible topics, “feasible” as put by Burke (2013). According to Thomas and Brubaker (2008), there are nine criteria for assessing whether a topic is desirable or undesirable. One of the nine criteria includes the Feasible Methodology, which concurred with that of Burke (2013) known as the Feasibility Study. The most important step after choosing the topic is to indentify the scope of the project. This is an essential step before one can carry on fulfilling the different sections of the dissertation. This task involves what one must do and is not required to do (Burke, 2013). In defining these criteria, one will be able to avoid missing important points as well as discussing irrelevant points (Burke, 2013). Particular outcomes are identified that lies within our scope of work (See table 1).
According to Burke (2013), one must seek for approval for their topic from the stakeholders once the topic is chosen. Scope validation and verification are also two substantial steps as the topics will be reviewed by stakeholders to ensure that one complies with the project requirement and carries out the right outcomes.
In general, with moderate risks, high time constraint, resource limits, the techniques and tools learned from the Project Management module must be analysed, applied and assessed. Stakeholders’ levels of involvement and responsibility would also be included. Timelines and tasks would also be demonstrated through the Gantt chart and diagrams.
Table 1-Table of outcomes
Steps Outcomes Date Cost Responsible person Note
1 Research Proposal Hand-in 04/08 0 Student Soft copy
2 Literature Review Hand-in 05/09 £22 Student Printing
3 Literature Review Presentation 08/10 £8 Student & Supervisor
4 Methodology Hand-in 07/11 £25 Student & Supervisor
5 Findings, analysis, conclusions, recommendations& discussion hand-in 15/11 0 Student
6 Findings, analysis, recommendations presentation 22/11 £5 Student Printing
7 Final submission 31/11 £30 Student Printing
8 Viva presentation 31/11 £5 Student Printing
Supervisor Soft copy and print outs
2. Project management in practice:
a. Tools and techniques:
a.1. The Constraint Triangle
According to Burke (2013), there are three major forces that affect projects in which managers should consider: cost, time and quality. I apply this model into my project through the fact that all three factors will be focus on at a point where they all balance. That is, they are given the same level of attention. To be specific, I will utilise the budget that I have for this project, in corresponding with the length of time allotted and ensuring that the project carried out fits in line with the requirements and guidelines.
Diagram 1 – The Constraint Triangle
During the preparation and running of a project, it is highly essential that tight communication is retained at all time, whether it is among Project Manager and Supervisor or among team members and different stakeholders. According to Burke (2013), lack of communication or ineffective communication could be a cause for failure in carrying out the project. This idea seemed to agree with that of Thomas and Brubaker (2008) suggesting that communication is one of the most important factors that determine the success of a project.
For my part, I will draw up a communication plan to ensure that my project runs efficiently and does not overlook any minor steps in communicating with my peers and supervisor.
Table 2- Communication Plan:
No. Communication target Date Method Aim
1 All stakeholders 21/07 Meeting Discuss the project as a whole
2 Project Manager and Supervisor 28/07 Meeting Discuss on the process of project planning and implementation
3 Project Manager and Supervisor 10/08 Meeting Seek feedback for finised part and update of progress
4 Project Manager and Supervisor 04/09 Meeting Second update
5Project Manager and Supervisor05/09Email
Literature Review Hand-in
6 Project Manager and Supervisor 08/10 Meeting Literature Review Presentation
7 Project Manager and Supervisor 06/11 Meeting Third update
8 Project Manager and Supervisor 07/11 Email Methodology Hand-in
9 All stakeholders 28/11 Meeting Final update. Seek feedback, advice, suggestion
a.3. Change management:
In a project there are always changes that may happen during or after the running of the project that will cause the costs to run higher than expected. Therefore, we must stick tightly to the budget as well as carry out frequent evaluation as the outcomes are fulfilled so that in the end, as little changes as possible are made. In this way, we may avoid incurring higher costs than our budget.
a.4. Risks management:
While we are working on the project, there are many difficult situations that may occur and in order to tackle them, we need to have a plan beforehand to foresee these problems and draw up solutions to avoid them before they get a chance to happen. As explained in section a.3., changes may incur higher costs than we can afford and in addressing the risks that we may face, we are fighting to avoid changes in our project and hence, keeping costs as planned.
Table 3- Potential risks and solutions:
Potential risks Prompt Actions Preventive solutions
Delay in response from others -Get in touch through as many channels as possible to remind them. -Follow up regularly with the person.
-Try contacting through various channels: email, phone, text message,…
-Leave enough time for the person to respond, do not wait until last minute to seek feedback.
Illness -Ask for support; ask supervisors and peers for advice. -Try to get enough sleep, sufficient meal and outdoor activities everyday.
Unpredictable events (i.e.accident,etc.) -Manage to work while in bed, hospital, etc. -Be careful at all time.
IT problems (i.e. lost of file, virus, etc.) -Try going back to recover
-Ask technical assistant – Save file regularly
-Keep file on Google Drive, USB, in computer and on email.
Unable to find needed information -Seek advice from supervisor, colleagues
-Update them with the status of your work. – Keep aside various information sources (internet, library,…)