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Mohamed J K Benhmid

 

Operation and Project Management

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Contents

Part 1- Operation Management. 3

Framework of the company’s current business position and strategy for competitiveness Current business position   3

Strategies for competitiveness. 3

Diversification of products. 3

Leveraging on technology. 4

Suggestion for improvement. 5

Customer orders. 5

Supply chain management: current state and proposed improvements. 6

Suppliers and make/buy decision and Improvement proposals. 6

Manufacturing distribution operations. 7

Quality arrangements and the proposed changes. 8

Priorities for improvements. 8

Part 2- Project Management. 9

Network Diagram.. 9

Product Breakdown Structure. 10

Benefits of product breakdown in a project. 11

Challenges faced by project managers. 12

  1. Costing. 12
  2. Schedules. 13

III.         Decision making. 13

  1. Lack of accountability. 13
  2. Communication challenges. 14

Overcoming the challenges. 14

Communication. 15

Communication, group working and leadership skills required by a project manager. 15

References. 17

 

 

 

Part 1- Operation Management

Framework of the company’s current business position and strategy for competitivenessCurrent business position

FFR is currently the market leader in the manufacturing of fishing reels in the UK today.  The company’s product portfolio reveals that it has dominated the market in the EU and is currently considered as one of the leading manufacturers of fly reels worldwide with the main competitors in Japan and in the US. While there are no direct statistics of its market dominance, the company is considered to be a front runner in the manufacturing of the fly reels in the industry within the UK.

Strategies for competitiveness

FFR’s current operational strategy evidently elevates them to a stronger commercial pedestal as compared to their competitors in the market. However, there are still plenty of operational loopholes that the company needs to implement if they have to experience exponential growth and dominate the market. An internal analysis of its internal operations reveals that it has embraced several definitive strategies to remain competitive in the market. One of the most notable strategies that the company has adopted includes product diversification.

Diversification of products

One of the most intelligible modalities of widening the revenue bracket of a business entity is to diversify the products while seeking to retain the operational costs. As discussed by Barney (2011, p. 61), production diversification gives the consumers or the target market for that matter, an opportunity to choose diverse products with different attributes. This essentially increases the sales of the commodity. As established from the internal audit of the operations of FFR, there are several types of reels that it makes in its product portfolio. The company makes reels with over one hundred styles and with different price tags and product attributes. The focus of the company is to have a wider variety of products with each targeting a different market segment thus widening the revenue base of the company. The premium products for instance, are specifically designed to target the ardent sportsmen in the fishing industry.

Through this strategy, FFR has essentially solved two very critical issues relevant in marginal improvements – opening up of new marketing frontiers. The idea here is that with a product range of more than a hundred products, the company is targeting different marketing segments as a way of improving their sales. Secondly, the company is focused on leveraging on price variations of its products to enhance its revenues while maintaining more or less the cost of production of the commodities (Chen and Huang, 2015).

Based on Porter’s theory of competitive advantage, it is evident that FFR is using quality to maintain a foothold in the market. The internal assessment of its operation reveals that the company has differentiated its products based on quality. The manufacturing strategies employed by FFR in its operations lays a lot of emphasis on the need to develop quality products. The company has thus invested massive resources to support this product differentiation strategy of developing products that are of higher quality and meets the expectations of the targeted market. These products from the company are considered as “superior” to the competitors. Essentially, it gives the company an edge in the competition matrix with its competitors. Having a distinctive feature in the business operations empowers it to remain unique in its transactions thus appealing to specific customer segments (Adcock, 2000, p. 31).

Leveraging on technology

An assessment of the operations of the company reveals that it has adopted technology as a way of optimising its operations in the targeted market portfolio. The use of technology in the manufacturing process is a core strategy that the company is currently employing to be able to inject efficiency in the manufacturing of its products. Through technology, FFR intends to significantly cut down on its operational costs within the market where it operates. Further, through the use of technology, the company has employed the concept of business intelligence to aid in the performance of its stock.

Suggestion for improvement

While the company’s current operational strategies seems to be serving it well in establishing itself as a market leader, there are issues in the management of its production that require urgent attention in order to realise its maximum potential. This paper proposes the following suggestions to aid in the improvement of the company’s operation with a view to achieving maximum growth.

Customer orders

Since there is no formal planning for customer orders, the company faces challenges in its customer care through weak ordering and delivery system. While the internal assessment done reveals that the workload is well understood by the production manager, there are glaring gaps in the production and delivery of customer orders courtesy of inadequate planning in the production frontiers. One of the fundamental avenues through which companies can compete effectively is through the adoption of an effective approach in customer care (Soteriou and Stavrinides, 2013, p. 116). This can be met through effective approaches to delivery of orders to the customers therefore; FFR has an obligation to rectify this situation promptly. This submission proposes the use of robust production software to plan for customer orders. Through this program, the company seeks to ease the burden on the production manager who has taken over the role of scheduling purchase orders in a manual set up.  As earlier suggested, there is need for the company to develop a strategic plan of adopting systemic technology in all its processes. From the production process, billing, customer management, tasks scheduling, FFR requires a robust management system in order to remain efficient in all its operational processes. In this regard, a customer ordering program should be integrated in its management module to be able to meet the demands of their customers.

Supply chain management: current state and proposed improvements

The unstable prices of Aluminium, which is a critical raw material for the company’s operations, call for a total overhaul of the current SCM strategies (Wieland and Handfield, 2016, p. 81). Specifically, inventory management seems to be the biggest hurdle in the supply chain schematic of the company. There is need to have a proper inventory management platform where the Aluminium reserves to be used in the production are replenished within time. Of more significance is for the company to seek for more markets from where they are capable of purchasing sufficient reserves to the company to be able to sustain the manufacturing period. This paper therefore proposes that FFR should develop a new inventory management strategy to ensure that there are sufficient raw materials to sustain the manufacturing period. As earlier said this calls for the overhaul of the current supply chain strategies and embrace a more dynamic supply chain model. As earlier admitted by Barney (2011, p. 112), the sales volume of a company can be omitted or lowered substantially if the sales and the retail outlets may ebb out just in case the delivery of orders given are not delivered in time (Christopher, 2016, p.71).

Suppliers and make/buy decision and Improvement proposals

Manufacturing businesses must be able to consider decisions that lower their production costs constantly (Wieland and Handfield, 2016, p. 19). The make-or-buy decision will be essential in lowering costs by helping FFR to decide whether to buy a product or make the product by itself. From the production chain of the company, there are 5 key stages of production of which some may be eliminated through a “buy” decision. Instead of casting, machining and painting the die cast, there is a lot of sense in sub contracting a supplier to undertake such tasks. This will greatly lower the operational costs of the company as the associated expenses related to the casting, machining and painting of the casts. The company would lower the costs of labour, machine maintenance and even time if the casts are directly supplied to them from a different supplier so that it only focuses on the assembly of the products.

Manufacturing distribution operations

Manufacturing distribution operations entails an elaborate planning strategy by manufacturing entities to prepare a schedule for production based on the demand forecasts and the capability of production (Cousins, 2015, p. 87). It entails resource and capacity planning modalities coupled with material planning operations. FFR has to optimise its manufacturing operations first by having lean manufacturing. Through this, wanton wastage is reduced from the manufacturing chain. Lean manufacturing seeks to instil frugal use of resources in the manufacturing process as a way of trimming down the operational costs of the manufacturing process (Khurana, 2014, p 61). The internal auditing of the company has revealed that there is considerable loss of energy during the trial kitting process especially if the items required in trial kitting are out of stock for whatever reason. To reduce this wastage, this submission proposes that a daily planning schedule of kitting is planned within the system and the associated stock transited to the manufacturing plant so as to eliminate the wastage synonymous with the lag time required when new stock is brought in for production to continue.

Proper scheduling is required in the production process to avoid any form of wastage especially when the machines run idle (Barney, 2011, p. 182). A daily work plan for the manufacturing process is thus necessary within the plan. Further, it is critical that before the production process begins in earnest, all the relevant products required are within the vicinity of the manufacturing team (McGee, 2014, p. 68). As noted in the internal evaluation of its operations, it has been adduced that one of the major problems is delayed orders brought forth by hard aluminium used to die the castings. The product is difficult to die – cast and machine thus takes a lot of time. As earlier proposed, this problem could be easily solved through outsourcing of the already made product so that the company can completely focus on other tasks.

Quality arrangements and the proposed changes

There is substantial evidence that FFR has differentiated their products as of higher quality as compared to their competitors. The company relies heavily on an internal mechanism to ensure that quality standards are achieved throughout all the processes of manufacturing. While this has played a key role in the enhancement of the quality standards in the company, there is need to embrace more strategic changes in the enhancement of quality standards for operational improvement. Instead of the internal quality management structure with a fully operational office, this submission proposes the outsourcing of quality assurance human capital (Gehani, 2013, p. 191). This will ensure that the cost implications on the improvement and assessment of quality of products are lowered tremendously while maintaining the same professionalism in assessing the quality of products.

Priorities for improvements

In any manufacturing operation, all the processes are interlinked and directly contribute to the success of the company (Shiraz and Ramezani, 2014, p. 31). In this case scenario, it is prudent that there is a homogenous improvement where all the proposed changes are initiated progressively at once. This work does not propose a hierarchical improvement strategy but rather a progressive yet uniform implementation of the changes proposed. This is because all these operations have a very direct impact on the output of the operations in equal measure.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Business School

Marking Scheme and Feedback Sheet for Exceptional Coursework Assignment 2016-17

  Criterion

Marker’s feedback

Mark Marking guide
1. Applying appropriate theories and frameworks to the company’s business position and strategy for competitiveness

Has adopted diversification, targeting products at different sectors (this is more about having a wide range – diversification generally means going into a different business area). Mentions Porter- differentiation on quality – but does this apply to the cheap plastic products?  Aims to use technology to reduce costs.  Good summary of where they are with relevant literature.  But doesn’t seem to identify anything that could be improved.

8/10

 

8-10 Applies theories / frameworks at a high level of competence 6-8 Applies frameworks / theories correctly with few mistakes or omissions 4-6 Applies theories / frameworks to an acceptable level with some mistakes or omissions 0-4 fails to apply suitable theories / frameworks or applies incorrectly or with significant omissions
Suggestions to improve their strategy

I can’t find any suggestions to improve strategy.  But you do suggest they should improve the delivery of orders to customers.  This would probably be seen as a way of doing what is required (delivering quickly) in response to a strategy that stated quick delivery as a requirement, thus part of the operations rather than part of the strategy.  The strategy above said nothing about speed of delivery, you could discuss that as a missing item in strategy.

5/10

 

8-10 Identifies challenges thoroughly and presents appropriate proposals at a high level of competence 6-8 Makes proposals competently with few mistakes or omissions. 4-6 Makes proposals at an adequate level but with mistakes or omissions 0-4 fails to suggest appropriate improvements or contains significant mistakes or omissions
2. Applying appropriate theories and frameworks to the company’s position with regard to suppliers and the make/buy decision.

You focus on the inventory management of aluminium but I don’t know what problem you are thinking of, there is no shortage of supply in the case, only the price fluctuates.

In terms of make/buy you seem to be happy with things as they are, but do you think they should buy all their plastic parts, and make all the metal ones? OK this comes up in the improvements section.

5/10

 

8-10 Applies theories / frameworks at a high level of competence 6-8 Applies frameworks / theories correctly with few mistakes or omissions 4-6 Applies theories / frameworks to an acceptable level with some mistakes or omissions 0-4 fails to apply suitable theories / frameworks or applies incorrectly or with significant omissions
Improvement proposals

Suggests outsourcing the casting, machining and painting for die-cast products.  This could make sense but how does it fit in with the strategy?  As the company is experienced with these processes it seems questionable whether a supplier could do it cheaper and make a profit.  Some justification from literature on outsourcing / subcontracting would be good here.

 

 

6/10

 

8-10 Identifies challenges thoroughly and presents appropriate proposals at a high level of competence 6-8 Makes proposals competently with few mistakes or omissions. 4-6 Makes proposals at an adequate level but with mistakes or omissions 0-4 fails to suggest appropriate improvements or contains significant mistakes or omissions
3. Applying appropriate theories and frameworks to the company’s manufacturing and distribution operations, including physical aspects and the management aspects.

Refers to kitting problems and calls for better scheduling. Suggests outsourcing the casting.

Does not comment on the distribution aspects. 

Khurana reference is incomplete.

 

 

5/10

 

8-10 Applies theories / frameworks at a high level of competence 6-8 Applies frameworks / theories correctly with few mistakes or omissions 4-6 Applies theories / frameworks to an acceptable level with some mistakes or omissions 0-4 fails to apply suitable theories / frameworks or applies incorrectly or with significant omissions
Improvement proposals

Combined with the above in one section.  As you suggest better scheduling, what kind do you suggest?  In the module we looked at forward and backward scheduling.  How could distribution be improved?

 

 

1/10

 

8-10 Identifies challenges thoroughly and presents appropriate proposals at a high level of competence 6-8 Makes proposals competently with few mistakes or omissions. 4-6 Makes proposals at an adequate level but with mistakes or omissions 0-4 fails to suggest appropriate improvements or contains significant mistakes or omissions
4. Applying appropriate theories and frameworks to the company’s position with regard to managing quality, describing their current arrangements

One short section covers this aspect and the next. You don’t clearly identify any quality problems …

 

 

1/10

 

8-10 Applies theories / frameworks at a high level of competence 6-8 Applies frameworks / theories correctly with few mistakes or omissions 4-6 Applies theories / frameworks to an acceptable level with some mistakes or omissions 0-4 fails to apply suitable theories / frameworks or applies incorrectly or with significant omissions
Proposed improved arrangements

… and you only make one suggestion but it doesn’t make sense, what is meant by “the outsourcing of quality assurance human capital”?

Also you refer to p. 191 of Gehani but the article only spans pp144-155.

 

 

 

1/10

 

8-10 Identifies challenges thoroughly and presents appropriate proposals at a high level of competence 6-8 Makes proposals competently with few mistakes or omissions. 4-6 Makes proposals at an adequate level but with mistakes or omissions 0-4 fails to suggest appropriate improvements or contains significant mistakes or omissions
5. Determination of the priorities for improvement

You completely dodge the issue of prioritisation by saying they should do everything at once.  That’s probably not very practical, except that I am not really clear what you are suggesting.

Again you refer to p.31 of an article that runs from p1 to p6.  I wonder if you have really read this. Shiraz and Ramezani’s article is mainly about the benefits of sharing information with suppliers

 

 

1/10

 

8-10 Identifies challenges thoroughly and presents appropriate proposals at a high level of competence 6-8 Makes proposals competently with few mistakes or omissions. 4-6 Makes proposals at an adequate level but with mistakes or omissions 0-4 fails to suggest appropriate improvements or contains significant mistakes or omissions
Presentation

Your use of references is awkward, since it is often impossible to see what the reference adds.  For example in your Supply Chain section you have Wieland and Handfield saying that an overhaul of the SCM strategies is called for.  Did they really say that, without knowing anything about the company?  Strange that you do not refer to the course text at all, or anything in the reading list.

5/10

 

8-10 Excellent presentation, well-structured and explained with references presented correctly in Harvard style 6-8 Very good presentation with room for improvement in structure, explanation and/or referencing 4-6 Presented at an acceptable level, possibly with some lack of clarity or structure, or errors or omissions in referencing. 0-4 Poor presentation that fails to explain the problem and proposals either due to omissions, poor structure or poor writing
  Total

On the whole I have the impression that you never attended the module, since no module materials are referred to.

On saving the document to add in the marks sheet and comments, I noticed the author of the file is “Brenga Mar”.  I am curious as to who actually wrote the report.

38/100        

 

 

Part 2- Project Management

 

 

 

 

                             

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Finish

Network Diagram

 

 

 

 

 

 

  1. Early start time for nodes

0+28+14+21+3=       66 days

  1. Early finish

20+14+21+8+20-1= 82 days

  • Late start65 days
  1. Late finish78 days
  2. Critical path is ABCN

Project need to be shortened by 44 days so that the concert can take place as planned August 31st.

Product Breakdown Structure

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Benefits of product breakdown in a project

Product breakdown structure is a very crucial aspect of project management that details the requirements of products in a project. The structure details the quantity of these products that are required in the project and details the costs that are associated with the products. In project management, this gives the managers an opportunity to quantify how much of these products are required in the project and at what stages of the project are they needed and the cost of these projects. There are several benefits of undertaking a project breakdown structure in a project. These entail the following;

  1. Costing: for successful implementation of a project, a bill of quantities is relevant. It is important to know and understand the cost implications of the project and adhere within these costs. The aspect of budgeting, notes Burke (2013. Pp, 54) is central to project management and this can only be done effectively if the product breakdown is undertaken. The product breakdown structure also gives the managers or the project leaders an opportunity how the variation in the costs of products needed in the project may influence the overall implementation of the project. It is thus admissible that product breakdown structure is very essential in the costing of  the value of projects
  2. Quantity of products required: assessing the progress of a project entails a thorough evaluation of the products that have been used in the project. This means that the managers or the team leaders of a project should be able to know and understand the quantities of the necessary materials that have been used in a specific project. Essentially, through a product breakdown structure, project leaders are capable of establishing how much of each of the resources or raw materials have been used to complete the project. As earlier mentioned, the product breakdown is essential for noting down the bill of quantities that is expected to be consumed in a project
  • Appraisal: there is no modality of appraising the value of a project if an intensive evaluation is not undertaken on the cost implications and the resources pumped into the project. The project breakdown structure gives the project leaders an opportunity to appraise the progression of a project. Through a cost implication analysis, it is possible that a project can be given a clean bill of health to proceed or to be terminated. All these are variants of project management that heavily rely on product breakdown to advance the course of project management in the globe today.
  1. Product breakdown structures are also very clear on the requirements of the project in specific stages within the lifecycle of the project. Through this breakdown structure, one is capable of indicating the commodities required at specific timelines within the project. The relevance of this is that the managers can develop an elaborate strategy where the project raw materials required are to be availed for the advancement of the project. This will help in eliminating any form of delays that may be witnessed in the project
  2. Accountability: perhaps one of the most prominent roles of the product breakdown structure is its relevance in the enhancement of accountability in project management. Being accountable in the project management lifecycle entails being able to assess the expenses of the project in terms of the resources used in completing the project. Knowing the quantity and quality of the materials used in the project will enable the managers to understand the extent to which the project has consumed resources during the project lifecycle.

Challenges faced by project managers

        I.            Costing

A project manager, hosting the kind of the party in the case study would come with immense challenges on the cost of products needed. Price variation depending on time and place is one reality of project management that one cannot really avoid.  All the costs that have been listed in the cost breakdown are not the exact costs for the materials and services listed. This means that either the anticipated total budget will go up or down. In this case, the project manager is more worried if the costs of completing the project are high. Every manager has a role of ensuring that the project is undertaken within the anticipated budget and thus any failure to adhere to such provisions will lead to a lot of questions asked about the competency of the project leadership (Burke, 2013. Pp, 61).

     II.            Schedules

Organizing the party also comes with immense challenges of project scheduling. Since the project manager deals with quite a number of issues, it is almost near impossible to stick to the timelines that had been drafted originally. For a project or program manager, it is almost unavoidable to experience very many challenges in the delays of the activities scheduled to be performed during the party.

   III.            Decision making

In organising the party in the case study, it is highly likely that quite a number of individuals were involved in coming up with the work structure and the budget. In instances where the number of individuals engaged in the planning phase of a project is high, it is notable that in such an instance, the decision making process is very hard (Belassi, and Tukel.2011. Pp,94). Deliberating on specific issues that are all important for the successful completion of the project is likely to take long. Moreover, agreeing amongst themselves on specific aspects of the party is quite complicated. Therefore, the program manager or rather the whole leadership is required to develop strategies through which it can circumvent the problem of decision making.

   IV.            Lack of accountability

Based on the number of individuals involved in both the planning and execution of the party, there are very high chances that the financial and resource consumption of the party would remain very obscure. The project manager will find it hard o do a follow up on how much was spent in which kind of activity in the party and was there the reception of value for money as a key concept of accountability? As a project manager, these are very pertinent questions that may arise at the conclusion of the party.

      V.            Communication challenges

The project leadership is also faced with the problem of maintaining a constant communication amongst the team members who were involved in the planning and the execution of the party (Holland and Light, 2009, pp 116). With the massive number of individuals engaged in the planning, it is anticipated that the leadership will be bombarded with several issues of communication between them.

Regardless of these challenges, the leadership should be able to design strategies through which they are capable to circumvent these challenges. As a leader in project management and implementation, it is critical that leadership and direction is given to tow the project to its desired completion.

Overcoming the challenges

Costing:

There is need for advanced planning and signing of contracts with the relevant service providers. As a project management leader, it is advisable that the bill of quantities is generated where the party would take place so that the problem of pricing variations would be eliminated. In addition, service providers who support such parties should have signed their contractual agreement little earlier to be able to have a uniform price for all the supplies needed in the project (Belassi, W. and Tukel.2011. Pp, 71). Prior deliberations on the costing will equally be effective in the management of accountability issues. The planning period of the party should be organised in such a way that the team is segmented into various sub groups and each of the sub groups are mandated to organise for a specific activity. This ultimately ensures that there is someone to hold accountable when certain gaps are noticed in the system. This will enhance the accountability levels of the project (Holland and Light, 2009, pp 117).

Communication

A good communication strategy is required if the success of any project is to be guaranteed. In the planning of the party, there is needed to break down work in such a way that each group is tasked with a specific duty and within a set deadline. Further, there is need for the project leadership to be able to establish the most relevant communication channels to be used in reporting the progress of the tasks assigned and evaluating challenges that are experienced along the way. Through this level of organisation, other challenges such as scheduling and the elaborate decision making process would be solved. It is incumbent on the leadership of the project to be able to divide work and provide a clear roadmap through which the members would correspond with one another. It is also necessary that the organisational meetings for the party are done much earlier within a stipulated deadline so that by the time the party is imminent, every group or sub groups for that matter, is well prepared for any challenge that may be experienced.

Communication, group working and leadership skills required by a project manager

Communication: a good listener is required for a project manager. The manager should be able to listen to any suggestion advanced to him from the members regarding the project. A good listener is receptive to new ideas and strategies for doing things. Therefore, it is expected that if the project manager will listen more, he will not run short of strategies and ideas to be implemented in the management of the specific project. A good listener also inspires his or her team to speak often with him thus improving the communication between the team members

Group working skills: to ensure that the project at hand comes to fruition, it is necessary that the project manager plays a long as a good team player (Leach, 2014. Pp, 162). This is a crucial skill that is required especially within the context of group working skills. A team player knows how to leverage individual capabilities and exploit them fully for the benefit of the group. It is important that the project leader thus develops this skill in his or her desire to remain relevant and successful in the management of projects (Belassi, W. and Tukel.2011. Pp, 47).

Leadership skills:  a dynamic leader is able to overcome a wide array of challenges

(Belassi, W. and Tukel.2011.Pp, 44). This is a desirable attribute that is able to bring about success in a specific project. Project leaders are required to be individuals who are capable of fitting into almost every situation that arises and provides leadership on the same. Dynamic leaders find it easy to as we deal with different emerging issues and formulation strategies of overcoming these emerging issues.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

References

Adcock, D., 2000. Marketing strategies for competitive advantage.

Barney, J.B., 2011. Gaining and sustaining competitive advantage (pp. 134-175). Reading, MA: Addison-Wesley.

Belassi, W. and Tukel, O.I., 2011. A new framework for determining critical success/failure         factors in projects. International journal of project management14(3), pp.141-151.

Burke, R., 2013. Project management: planning and control techniques. New Jersey, USA.

Chen, F. and Huang, J., 2015.A study on the degree of product differentiation of the platform and            the pricing strategy in two-sided markets. Review of Industrial Economics2(002)

Christopher, M., 2016. Logistics & supply chain management. Pearson UK.

Cousins, P.D., 2005.The alignment of appropriate firm and supply strategies for competitive             advantage. International Journal of Operations & Production Management25(5),           pp.403-428.

Ehmke, C., 2008. Strategies for competitive advantage. Department Of Agricultural And Applied             Economics, University Of Wyoming.

Gilmour, P., Borg, G., Duffy, P.A., Johnston, N.D., Limbek, B.E. and Shaw, M.R., 2013. Customer service: differentiating by market segment. International Journal of Physical          Distribution & Logistics Management.

Holland, C.R. and Light, B., 2009. A critical success factors model for ERP             implementation. IEEE software16(3), pp.30-36.

Khurana, A.C., 2014. Strategies for competitive advantage in the automobile industry.

Leach, L.P., 2014. Critical chain project management.Artech House.

McGee, J., 2014. Differentiation Strategies. Wiley Encyclopedia of Management.

Mir, F.A. and Pinnington, A.H., 2014.Exploring the value of project management: linking project             management performance and project success. International Journal of Project     Management32(2), pp.202-217.

Pinto, J.K. and Slevin, D.P., 2010, June. Critical success factors across the project life cycle.        Project Management Institute.

Schwalbe, K., 2015. Information technology project management. Cengage Learning.

Ray Gehani, R., 2013. Innovative strategic leader transforming from a low-cost strategy to           product differentiation strategy. Journal of technology management & innovation8(2),     pp.144-155.

Sharma, A. and Lambert, D.M., 2013. Segmentation of markets based on customer             service. International Journal of Physical Distribution & Logistics Management

Shiraz, M.A.E. and Ramezani, E., 2014. IMPACT OF SUPPLY CHAIN MANAGEMENT             STRATEGIES ON COMPETITIVE ADVANTAGE IN MANUFACTURING      COMPANIES OF KHUZESTAN PROVINCE. Singaporean Journal of Business,       Economics and Management Studies2(11), pp.1-6.

Soteriou, A.C. and Stavrinides, Y., 2013. An internal customer service quality data envelopment analysis model for bank branches. International Journal of Bank Marketing.

Wieland, A. and Handfield, R.B., 2016. Supply Chain Management. In 5th World Conference             onProduction and Operations Management.P&OM 2016.

 

 

MARKING AND FEEDBACK

  • Construct an initial Network Diagram based on Normal Time and identify the Critical path in your initial diagram. You must show this as an AON diagram and calculate the early start, early finish, late start and late finish for each node. (A scanned, hand-drawn diagram is acceptable)…(30%)

 

F E D C B A
Work of no merit Activity GG is the last activity on the network but does not have the correct early finish of 162 days

The critical path (activities) are not accurately identified

Less than 15 nodes have correct early start and early finish activities

Activity GG is the last activity on the network but does not have the correct early finish of 162 days

The critical path (activities) are not accurately identified

At least 15 nodes have correct early start and early finish activities

Activity GG is the last activity on the network and has an early finish of 162 days

The critical path (activities) are not all accurately identified

Several non-critical path activity nodes are incorrect

Activity GG is the last activity on the network and has an early finish of 162 days

The critical path (activities) are accurately identified

A few of the non-critical path activity nodes are incorrect

Activity GG is the last activity on the network and has an early finish of 162 days

The critical path (activities) are accurately identified

All of the activity nodes are correct

 

 

Mark: 5/30

 

 

 

 

  • How many days will this project need to be shortened by so that the concert can take place as planned (August 31st)… (5%)

 

Since the project will take 150 days to complete by August 31st and from Part 1 we find out that the initial plan is 162 days, then the project needs to be shortened by 12 days

 

Mark: 0/5

 

 

 

 

 

  • Draw an appropriate Product Breakdown Structure for this project… (20%)

 

Good Level 1 Classification headings and several correct products listed although some missing from the list provided in the assignment table

 

Mark: 14/20

 

 

 

  • What do you see as the main benefits of including a Product Breakdown Structure and Product Descriptions in a Project Plan?… (10%)

 

Good appreciation of the benefits of a Product Breakdown Structure  but does not satisfactorily make the link between Product Descriptions and Quality.

 

Mark: 6/10

 

 

 

  • Identify five major challenges a project manager faces in events such as this one. Discuss how these challenges can be overcome…(25%)

 

I was looking for Five challenges from:

 

  • Managing time plan – good Work breakdown structure and accurate estimation of activity durations and precedences to allow network diagram and gannt chart as monitoring tools. May have to use fast forwarding, fast tracking or crashing to shorten project and keep it on track
  • Managing quality – need for a quality plan, (For example, Prince 2 uses Product Breakdown Structure, Product Descriptions and Quality Review Method). Use of quality registers.
  • Managing costs – Use of control tools such as S-Curves and Earned Value Analysis
  • Managing people – Transformational leadership required.
  • Managing risks (uncertainty)…students may also call these “unexpected events” – Risk assessment and risk and issue registers
  • Managing scope (requested changes to the plan) – Change management procedures and client signoff.
  • Communications Management – stakeholder analysis and communications plan
  • Partner/Stakeholder Management – similar to communications management
  • Resource management (e.g. project team and contractors) – similar to communications management but also need for incentivisation and contingency plans (if resources unavailable). Some project management students may also consider “leveling” of resources.

 

You identified costs, timing (schedules) and communications. Decision making and accountability were also loosely related.

 

Marking Guide

F E D C B A
Work of no merit Analysis of challenges attempted but none done well

 

Good analysis of  at least 1 challenge and how it may be overcome or managed

 

Excellent analysis of at least 2 challenges and how they may be overcome or managed

 

Good analysis of  at least 4 challenges and how they may be overcome or managed

 

Excellent analysis of 5 challenges and how they may be overcome or managed

 

 

Mark: 15/25

 

 

  • What Communications, Group-working and Leadership Skills do you believe a project manager requires to be successful?… (10%)

 

Satisfactory attempt at this question…but some points missing.

Mark: 6/10

 

OVERALL MARK: 46/100