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Element & Performance Criteria Essay

1. What documentation could you expect to receive when you are asked to undertake a project? Apart from the written documentation, you might need to obtain additional information. What could this be? Why is it important to get all this information before you start your project? Your Answer: You could expect to receive a copy of the contract or agreement, the project brief and project plans. You will also need to know who your stakeholders are and what outcomes are expected, the reporting requirements, inclusions and exclusions, timeframe for milestones, quality standards and resources available to you. You need to understand completely what is expected, what time frame and the resources available and ensure nothing has been left out as you may not be able to ask for extra time or resources once the project has commenced.

2. Why is it important to check out the relationship of your project to both your organisation’s objectives and to other projects? What could be the outcomes if you don’t check these out? Your Answer: You need to ensure your project is in line with your company’s overall objectives to ensure other departments you are working with have ample time to respond to any requests from your team and ensure less disruption to work flow. As you may have some part time staff on your team you also need to ensure project work does not take away them away from their daily duties. You need to make sure that anything you develop works into the established procedures and can easily be adapted to work straight away. Your project wouldn’t be successful if you cannot integrate the end product easily into the company functions.

QUESTION 2 0 Satisfactory 0 Not Yet Satisfactory

Element & Performance Criteria1.2

1. In any project, there are the direct or formal stakeholders as well as informal stakeholders. How would you go about determining these? Why would you need to know who the informal stakeholders are? Your Answer: You are undertaking a project on behalf of stakeholders so you need to be aware of who they are. You must remember the project mantra is “satisfying the stakeholders”. Depending on the project you need to work out if it is being undertaken for a customer, a department, funding body, management, sponsor or key personnel to establish their vested interest and better understand the outcomes required for them. As you will need to supply progress reports, you will need to understand who the stakeholder is and what information you can be disclosed to them. Knowing who your stakeholders are can also work in your favour as you can use their vested interest to gain the assets you need.

QUESTION 3 0 Satisfactory 0 Not Yet Satisfactory

Element & Performance Criteria1.3, 1.6

1. When you are asked to take on a project, you need to know the project brief, but there are many other details you need to have, including items such as legislative requirements, risks, resources and so on. What items should be on your checklist to make sure you are clear on the project, its parameters and the resources available to you? Your Answer: You will need to know the following:

Legislative and quality standards – government regulations Physical, human and technical resources available – full / part time staff and how much of their time is available to you. Procurement requirements – limits of authority for sign off and purchase regulations Risks – Physical, financial, technological – a full risk assessment should be undertaken prior to commencement and a comprehensive budget developed. Reporting requirements – who to report to, what needs to be covered and how often reports are expected. How the project integrates into the company

QUESTION 4 0 Satisfactory 0 Not Yet Satisfactory

Element & Performance Criteria2.1, 2.3

1. If you are setting up a detailed project plan for your project, why must you also set up a risk management plan? How would you go about making sure your two plans are synchronised? Your Answer: Your project plan should work around any identified risks. You should undertake a risk assessment before beginning the project and identify any acceptable risks, ways to avoid or mitigate these risks and if necessary transfer the risk to a third party. You need to work the results from your risk assessment into your project plan eg outsourcing some of the risk or changing strategies to lessen the risks to the project. 2. As you set up your project plan, one of the key components is your timeline. What factors must you consider when determining the timeline? Your Answer: It is best to use a software package for accurate setup.

Decide on a schedule that covers from the beginning to the end of the project and list all tasks involved. Sort which tasks can be done in parallel with others and include tasks by outside resources like subcontractors, vendors and other departments. Work out how long each task may take by using past experiences or work out how long it would take you to undertake the task and add 20% for any unseen problems. Be sure to include time for meetings, reports and documentation development. Look at the manpower available for completing the project and schedule times for part time members who also perform work for other departments. This document needs to be flexible with some slack time built into the schedule at various points.

QUESTION 5 0 Satisfactory 0 Not Yet Satisfactory

Element & Performance Criteria2.2

1.There are many project management tools available to you. Choose five from the following list and describe the pros and cons of each of the five: •cost schedule control system
•Critical Path Method
•Gantt and bar charts
•life cycle cost analysis
•logistics support analysis
•PERT charts
•project management software
•spreadsheets
•WHS management system tools

Your Answer:
Project Management Software
Helps schedule the project
Assigns tasks
Finds the critical path
Tracks progress against the time line plan
Creates you Gnatt charts for you and automatically updates these charts with adjustments in your plan

Gnatt & Bar Charts
Shows scheduling information about a project
Shows tasks that are part of the critical path
Identifies who tasks are assigned to and which tasks are to be completed by people outside of your team Shows the current status of tasks

Spreadsheets
These are useful for charts of data that need to be created
Charts can be created in word processing documents
Preforms calculations on data inserted into a document
Embedded formulas allows calculations to be in real time and adjusts to any changes made

Logistics Support Analysis
Shows an analysis of all logistical elements required for each activity Integrates the logistics and supply chain into a seamless operation

Reduces
costs
Increases responsiveness

Life Cycle Cost Analysis
This is a system of cost evaluation
Shows costs throughout the expected life
Used to make cost determinations between different systems proposed for a particular need

QUESTION 6 0 Satisfactory 0 Not Yet Satisfactory

Element & Performance Criteria2.5, 3.1, 3.2

1. What are the advantages of consulting your team members when setting up your project plan? What are the risks if you do not consult them? Your Answer: You can use the expertise of your team to develop a list of tasks, estimate the time needed to undertake these tasks and develop a list of equipment & materials required. As you finalise the project plan communicate with your team members their part in the project and present your plan to them prior to presentation to management. Let them help identify potential problems and suggest any solutions. If your members feel they are part of creating the plan then they will have a greater commitment to completing the project on time and within budget. Involving your staff will get them to buy into the project and will eliminate the idea that it is your plan and giving them an excuse for not meeting timelines or budgets. You want your team to work as a team with enthusiasm to the project for a successful outcome.

2.Describe the techniques you could use to make sure:
•at the beginning of your project that team members are clear about their responsibilities •as the project progresses that all team members continue to be clear about their responsibilities Your Answer: Ensure each team member understands clearly the scope of the project and their individual responsibility. If you have involved the team in the planning and setting up of the project plan they will understand the aims of the project and what you require from them and the time constraints in place. To keep them on track whilst the project progresses, be proactive and display posters reminding them of the project scope and goals, have weekly status meetings and get everyone to give an update, send a weekly project update email or motivational email and talk to your team members to see where they are up to and help them to get around any obstacles they encounter. Follow up with your team and help guide them in the right direction. You need to have your finger on the pulse and know what each member is doing to ensure they stay on track. 3.Some suggested techniques for supporting your project team members are:

•encouragement

•feedback
•learning and development
•regular project team meetings
•supervision, mentoring and coaching

What are at least five of the key activities you would consider when undertaking these techniques and supporting your project team members? Explain why you would choose these particular five. What communication skills would each activity require? Your Answer:

Encouragement – Support your team members and recognise them for their contributions to the project. Help them to get the necessary assistance and guidance to ensure they can perform their tasks. Listening, empathy, understanding are the communication skills required. Provide feedback to members to show what tasks have been achieved and where the budget and timelines are being achieved or missed. Discussion, reporting and presenting of reports and charts to show achievements Provide learning and development opportunities to team members. Get help and guidance from outside the team to help members to get past any problems or road blocks. Coordination, discussion, problem solving and team work would be required in this instance.

Conduct regular team meetings and discuss where each member is up to with their required tasks and reward and recognise high performing team members with simple gifts and acknowledgment. Presentation, coordination and discussion will be required during meetings. Supervise, mentor and coach your team. Your job is to manage the team not do all the work. Your team are the experts in each area and you just need to support them and help them to make everything come together Mentoring, watching, looking and talking would be required when mentoring your team.

QUESTION 7 0 Satisfactory 0 Not Yet Satisfactory

Element & Performance Criteria1.5, 3.4

1. Projects often start to run over budget, milestones slip, resources don’t reach you on schedule or a key person gets ill. What do you need to have in place to manage these problems? Who might you consult when you hit a problem that you are having difficulty resolving? Your Answer: You need to have identified the potential risks at the project planning stage and factored in some time to deal with these obstacles. You need to deal with each target that is not achieved and establish a plan that can be implemented to get the project back on track. Resources need to be looked at that can be added to the project team or new ways to undertake work need to be thought of.

To think outside the box is necessary to establish better ways to achieve outcomes as the traditional company way may be to time consuming when working on a project. The usual company way could be used when full production is undertaken but isn’t necessary during a project. You can approach the stakeholders when you are hit with a problem you can’t easily resolve. They have a vested interest in the outcome and may be able to assist with extra resources or ideas on where items can be procured or sub-contractors that could be engaged.

QUESTION 8 0 Satisfactory 0 Not Yet Satisfactory

Element & Performance Criteria5.1

1. It is the nature of most projects that there will be mistakes, problems with resources or people, changes in both the internal or external environments, or even changes in the project scope or brief. Understanding how these happened and how they were managed can become learning experiences, but if they are not documented in some way, they become lost. How could you go about making sure the lessons learnt are not lost? Your: Accurate notes and documentation will ensure lessons learnt are not lost and can be used by future project teams who can learn from your successes and mistakes.

Identifying problems encountered and the process used to find a solution and accurate documentation of the solution and the techniques or methods tried is important to have for the company to use in future work or trials. Accurately record what problems occurred, its effects, what you did to rectify the problem and the impact of the changes you made. This will help in the future to improve processes or procedures of the company and may assist future project managers when faced with obstacles.


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