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Assessment task
• Assignment 1 requires you to write a literature review of topics related to this course to provide you with knowledge of the literature to assist with completion of assignment 2
You are working as a project team member in a project management office (PMO) and the manager of the PMO has asked you to participate in a review of the PMO’s risk management procedures and processes to be used for an upcoming project.
The resources you identify in assignment 1 can form part of your assignment 2 so you should consider your selection of a suitable project for assignment 2 before you commence assignment 1.
Your task
• Your initial task is to carry out a survey of the literature on project risk identification, analysis and evaluation tools and processes to inform the review. You are looking for contemporary and seminal literature on this topic which is relevant to the sector of your organisation/project types.
• In the format of a report, you will discuss this literature, considering its strengths, weaknesses and relevance to your organisation’s projects.
• Also in the report you will make a recommendation on a risk identification, analysis and evaluation method (including the key processes and tools to be used) for the organisation’s projects (or a particular project).
• You are writing in a report style about different articles/book chapters etc. that you have reviewed – not a series of individual annotated bibliographies.
• A key requirement is being able to compare and contrast what you have found on the topic. What insights emerge overall that are of relevance to your project?
• You are being asked to make (and justify) recommendations for your project based on your reading.
The total length of your assignment 1 is to be approx. 2000 words. Remember that the assignments require referencing to use Harvard AGPS6 formatting and not APA. Using the incorrect referencing format could lose marks.
Report structure
For assignment 1, provide the following:
Executive summary (200 – 300 words – not included in word count)
Table of contents
1. Introduction (150 words)
Introduce the purpose of your report and its structure.
2. Organisational context (200 words)
In this section, describe the organisational and project context for which you are preparing the report. You can base this on a PMO with which you have experience, or on a case study taken from the literature. Include details such as the type of projects undertaken, the current risk identification process, risk analysis and evaluation capability, problems being experienced etc. Specify whether this report is for all projects in the organisation, a type of project in the organisation, or a specific project.
3. Literature review (900 words)
• You may choose to structure this section in two-parts:
o Risk identification
o Risk analysis and evaluation
• You can support your literature review with tables and figures.
• Summarise, compare and contrast the literature you have found which is relevant to these topics and the domain of the organisation/project/projects.
• Ensure you justify your choice of literature (e.g. its legitimacy, date of publication, whether it has been peer-reviewed, and whether there is research supporting the concept or argument).
4. Recommendations (500 words)
• Based on your review of the literature, suggest the tools or processes that should be used by the organisation’s projects (or specific project) for identifying, analysing and evaluating risks. Justify your recommendation – what are the expected benefits from adopting the recommendations.
• You can support your recommendation with tables and figures to justify your selection and/or to demonstrate the use of the recommended tool or process.
5. Conclusions (150 words)
• Summarise your findings (i.e. what did you discover from conducting the literature review?).
6. Reference List
• The focus of this assignment is on demonstrating an ability to find, summarise and discuss high quality and relevant literature.
• This is not a critical analysis as you are not comparing the projects actual processes to the literature. You are simply reviewing relevant literature for what may be useful to the organisational/project.
TIP 1: Remember what we’re asking you to demonstrate in your assignments:
In both assignments we are asking you to search the literature to find information of relevance to your project. The aim is to build your skills in searching for information and critically thinking about what you read, so in a real-life scenario you can get evidence-based information to address problems and find solutions.
No sector or size of project is necessarily wrong or inappropriate. You don’t need to use a multi-million-dollar ICT or infrastructure project.
In other words, you can use pretty much any project for your assignments. In “real-life” you could have to explore problems and find solutions to any situation. The key to success is to use your project to meet the assignment requirements.
Remember: the makers are not focused on the project itself. They are focused on how you use the project to demonstrate your skills (such as searching the literature and thinking critically) and to meet the requirements of the particular assignment.
TIP 2: For your critical analysis, use a project which is complete or can be portrayed as being complete (even when it’s not):
Given the central process in the critical analysis is comparing what happened in your project to the literature, make your life (and the marker’s life) easier by using a project that is complete. If it is not quite finished, we’d suggest writing your assignment as if it has finished
– the marker is not going to know whether it is actually complete.
TIP 3: You don’t need to know everything about a project or have all the documentation to use it for your assignments:
As long as you have sufficient information about the project to complete the requirements or you can make some assumptions about how those things were done – that’s fine. Remember, the marker is not going to know where there has been some assumptions or creativity in what actually occurred. The markers cannot verify the actual facts about your project – so just make sure the details about the project make sense or seem feasible and are logical.
TIP 6: You don’t have to have been the project manager or an active participant in the project:
As long as you have enough information or can make reasonable assumptions about what happened in the project it has the potential to be suitable. Feel free to talk with colleagues or family and friends regarding projects they may have been involved with. The key factor is that it enables you to meet the project requirements.
TIP 7: You can use a false name (or pseudonym) for your project or its key details:
Markers treat the information provided in the assignments confidentially. But if you are concerned about confidentially, feel free to change any details you wish to protect the identity of your project or the people involved.
TIP 8: Use the literature or information in the public domain if you don’t have a project of your own:
If you are still stuck for an assignment to use, you can use reports available on the internet about public projects for your assignments – just use google. Remember, you can make assumptions about these projects too if they don’t have every detail you need for your assignment.

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