This case study is based on a job run by a firm of Computer Consultants to install some new database query software across a company with several different sites (nodes). The tasks are already grouped and indented – but resource allocations have been stripped out.
The case study data file, called ‘BA5.mpp’, has been saved without a baseline.
The project consists of about 50 tasks (some of which are summary tasks or milestones).
Notice that the critical tasks are unshaded whereas the non critical tasks are shaded in. This is so you can tell them apart on a monochrome printer or a photocopier.
You are given the following information about the supply of resources for your project (all work based):
Resource Name: Max Units: Standard Rate O/T rate:
Part A i)
First, allocate these resources to the tasks as stated below (where ‘NE’ means ‘Network Engineer’, ‘SA’ means ‘Systems Analyst’ … and so on):
ID Brief Name: Resources to be allocated:
Next, using your common sense (and differently from every other student), allocate at least one of the resources to each of the sub tasks as you consider appropriate. Do not add resources to top level summary tasks or milestones (though you may wish to add various fixed costs to these later).
For example, sub tasks that involve installation of software will require ‘Software Installers’, sub tasks which involve writing or reviewing manuals will involve the ‘Technical Author’, etc. Some sub tasks may need more than one resource. Do not feel that you have to use all of the resources listed.
(Note: Your mark will ignore the relevance, or otherwise, of your resource allocations.)
It is likely that some resource clashes will occur.
For the first three such clashes that occur:
Resolve them in any way you consider sensible or let ‘MS Project’ do it for you. Document carefully and explain any changes made either by you or by ‘MS Project’ at the task level.
For any other clashes that occur:
Simply resolve them. There is no need to document any of the additional clashes.
Please note – as guidelines:
‘Resource’, ‘Levelling options’ window and to show the baseline as a reference point via ‘Format’. You should also reset the baseline between clashes so as to collect the clearest possible evidence of each clash.
Part A ii)
In part A i) above, you were given an initial supply of resources. Now that you have made your allocation of staff to tasks you should reconsider this initial allocation.
Leave the number of resources at the level found in ‘Part A ii) 1’ for the rest of your work.
You are now given the following information about various fixed costs:
Overheads are allocated to the project at £150 per day (covering management and administrative costs, secretarial support, consumables, photocopying, plan prints and office accommodation where allocated to this project, etc.). Payment is to be made pro rata.
For task 3 (Install ethernet and fast …) the cost of components is £8000 paid up front.
For the duration of ‘Phase 2’ you must hire a test site at a cost of £400 per week paid at the end of the phase.
You may add other fixed costs if you wish … provided that you justify their inclusion.
Add the fixed costs as specified above. Describe carefully how each fixed costs is allocated within the programme and how much each adds to total cost. Provide evidence of these changes.
Of course, in the actual project, there would be far more fixed costs to take account of. But for the purposes of this assessment we will ignore them.
Note: When you add in fixed costs make sure you do so in a way that does not change the duration of your tasks.
At the moment, by default, the project is using the ‘Standard’ Microsoft Project calendar which ignores both Bank and Public Holidays. Create a new copy of the standard calendar (perhaps called by your name Annie) and allocate it as the default calendar for your project. It should include the following dates, where relevant, as non working days:
Year 2020: 01 Jan 10 Apr 13 Apr 04 May 25 May 31 Aug 25 Dec 28 Dec 29 Dec
With the ‘Standard’ calendar the project is due to start on Monday, 09 March 2020 and finish on Monday, 19 June, 2020 (a total of 75 working days).
Show some clear evidence that your dates have been changed to non working days.
Show evidence of any effect that this may have on your project.
What is meant by the term ‘tracking’? Why is it necessary to ‘track’ a project?
Your project now starts and you receive a report telling you that tasks 3 to 7 went off exactly according to plan.
Update MS Project to show that tasks 3 to 7 did indeed go according to plan.
Now, track through this project for tasks 9 to 13 inclusive making any assumptions about actual durations and/or costs you like. Have at least three tasks where either the duration or the cost (or both) were different from your baseline figure(s).
Explain carefully the variances you introduce for each of the tasks and carefully document the impact on costs and durations in your project for each task.
Provide some print out which demonstrates that tracking has occurred at task level and shows any cost and/or time variances so created.
TOTAL: 100 Marks
BA5 – PROJECT MANAGEMENT COURSEWORK
Your work should be clear, precise, coherent and well presented. You should show a clear understanding of how your analysis and conclusions are dependent upon any underlying assumptions required or employed by you. You should show a clear integration of knowledge from other modules where appropriate.
Make sure that you fully explain and justify any steps taken at each stage particularly with respect to the clashes, the use and effect of your calendar, the allocation of fixed costs to the project and your tracking. For the tracking, carefully document the tasks where actual and planned costs and/or durations diverge. Detail fully and explain any cost and/or time variances so produced.