The following describes a fictitious but realistic project that you are to plan and manage as though you were the project manager and an active participant. You are to compile a schedule utilising MS-Project* to plan and manage this project. You will also be required to analyse and maintain that schedule.
You will be assessed on your ability to display an understanding of project scheduling concepts. Advanced skills with MS-Project are not required but clear presentation of your plans is essential.
You live and work in Perth, Western Australia with your partner/spouse and 2 teenaged children. You work as an executive responsible for the delivery of projects for a large, infrastructure development corporation. You and your family have (and only travel on) Australian passports.
Because of your recent successes with the delivery of two major infrastructure projects within Australia, you are invited to present a keynote paper on the first day of a 3-day international, industry conference to be held on 8th to 10th May 2017 in Prague. Your CEO is very pleased that the company’s expertise will be showcased and the firm will reimburse the cost of your travel and accommodation, however you will need to use your annual leave (you have more than 6 weeks owing) and arrange your own accommodation and travel.
Your family are very supportive. They have recently been discussing the idea of an overseas family holiday (before the youngsters become too old to enjoy travelling with the family), so you accept the invitation as conference speaker and take advantage of this opportunity to incorporate a family holiday to Europe. In a family meeting, it is determined that, to experience Europe properly, this holiday should be for 3-weeks. More time would put pressure on you at work and schooling. The family agree that the trip should include 3 or more countries (including Czech Republic) with at least 5 full days in each country visited. You will be attending the full conference although the other members of your family cannot, so they will sightsee over this time. Preferring not to start the trip being separated, you agree that at least one country should be visited before the Czech Republic. Having agreed to these constraints, you proceed to plan your holiday.
Your application for 3 weeks annual leave is granted for this trip, however your work commitments are such that you cannot leave Perth until after a hand-over meeting with your major client in Perth on 27th April 2017.
Part A. Create a project schedule:
Develop a work breakdown structure (WBS) for this project. This should be structured to show all activities required to meet to project’s objectives including planning, delivering and concluding all related work and holiday events.
You can develop this WBS to whatever level of detail you require, however project reports in this assignment should show 65 to 75 items (ie. between 65 and 75 lines in the WBS of any report). Note that this is not a restriction on the level of detail for your planning but it is a restriction on the level of detail of your reporting.
Based on your WBS for the project, estimate the required resources and durations for the project activities.
Provide a Gantt Chart showing the plan for your project, including dependencies between the activities that comprise your project schedule and show the resources and the estimated durations of the components of your schedule.
In your Gantt Chart, clearly identify the start and end of the project and the dates planned for the work activities and any milestones that will need to be achieved to successfully manage the execution of the project. Show any date constraints and ensure that your schedule meets these.
Part B. Time planning & control:
The sequence of tasks in a project schedule is based on dependencies, which may be either hard/mandatory or soft/discretionary. Briefly describe these different types of dependencies and illustrate both of these with specific examples taken from your Part A project schedule.
As a guide, your answer should not be more than 200 words.
Explain an effort-driven task. Select an effort-driven tasks from your Part A.WBS. Describe how you estimated the duration of this task (including the method or technique used) and the basis for any assumptions made.
As a guide, your answer should not be more than 200 words.
Part C. Managing a Variation:
On the day before you were due to depart your first destination country in Europe, your plans are significantly disrupted. Your partner is robbed of a small amount of money and, more significantly, the passports, other than yours which you always carry separately. As a matter of urgency, you report the incident to the police and contact the embassy to arrange for replacement passports. Unfortunately, you discover, it takes a full 7 days for passports to be replaced.
Of course, in reality, emergency passports or travel papers could normally be sourced in much less time, however, for this assignment the 7 day delay is a mandatory constraint. Also, as a non-European national, you cannot cross national borders without carrying your passport or authorised travel papers.
You immediately make appropriate arrangements and reorganise your travel plans to manage these events. You have the option to arrange for an additional one week of leave to compensate for the disruption to the holiday.
Re-plan your holiday to include this variation, ensuring that you manage any significant risks associated with changing and extending the holiday.
Provide a Gantt Chart showing the revised WBS and schedule for the project (limited to 65 to 75 lines) and showing your progress on the project to date and clearly highlighting any changes to the planned activities.
Explain why you managed the change as you did and the effects of this change on the planned project, including additional project tasks and activities that have changed or are no longer required. Explain if and how you can still meet the objectives of your project within these new constraints on your holiday.
As a guide, this explanation should not be more than about 350 words.
Please, present your work in a format that follows the above structure.
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