SECTION 1 (35 MARKS)
Choose ONE key idea or practice from project management to teach to your colleagues in a way that will help them understand how to approach the project effectively and plan your conference (at either the initial or detailed planning stage). Note that this should be a topic that you consider important and relevant to this project; it does not necessarily have to be one of the Core Concepts defined in our unit. But if you do not choose one of our defined Core Concepts, you must show how your chosen topic is related to one or more of the unit’s Core Concepts. Explain and illustrate your idea or practice with suitable examples.
Where relevant, refer to specific project management literature (using Harvard style) so that your colleagues know that your knowledge comes from credible sources, and where they can find out more.
Explain clearly why this idea or practice is important to understanding how to manage projects, and how it can be used in planning this particular project. (Remember that your colleagues may not have a clear understanding of what a project ‘is’.) Draw attention to any problems, weaknesses, or alternative viewpoints your colleagues should be aware of to ensure they have a well-rounded understanding. Mention any important related concepts you think they should be aware of, and which you may need to teach them about in detail later on. In particular, briefly show how your chosen idea or practice relates to one or more of the unit’s Core Concepts.
You do not have time or space to teach your colleagues everything they need to know about project management, so you will need to choose your idea or practice wisely, and focus on this one topic that you believe will be most useful to them at the planning stages of the project – you can always provide more guidance to them later. Your topic could be a specific theory, model, framework, or method that you consider to be important enough that your team mates should understand and be able to apply it in managing this project together, initially in the design phases. You could take a more theoretical focus to help your team understand how to plan the project; or it could be a more practical method or tool specifically relevant to project planning. Depending on which topic you choose, you may also first need to briefly define or explain other concepts on which it depends, to ensure it ‘makes sense’ to your colleagues in the context of managing this project.
Note that in Section 3 you will be asked to teach them a ‘method’ they can apply in implementing this project; this should be a different topic from the one you explain here in Section 1 (where the focus is planning). So for Section 1 you may wish to focus more on theory, and in Section 3 more on application/practice. But the two topics can be related to each other if you wish. Either topic could be the same one you used in your group coursework; but you are likely to need to give them a different treatment for this new audience – second and third year management students who need to put your ideas into action right away.
SECTION 2 (20 MARKS)
Explain to your team how you should prepare the proposal to the head of school. In doing so, also outline what will be in the document, its purposes, and how you will assemble its contents. Note any possible problems or challenges you might face in producing this document. Support your explanation with reference to suitable academic or practice sources. Note that you are not being asked to actually create this document; but in outlining its contents, you should illustrate what would be in it by using brief examples from this case.
SECTION 3 (35 MARKS)
You are optimistic that your proposal and initial plan will be accepted and the project will be approved to move into more detailed planning, and then implementation – i.e., starting the process of resourcing then running the conference. To prepare your team for working together in implementing your plan, teach them ONE project management ‘method’ (an approach, process, tool, or technique) that you have learned, and that you believe will be useful in implementing the project together as a team. This must be a different topic to the one you chose in Section 1, but it may be strongly related to it: in Section 1, the focus was on the planning phases; but in Section 3, the focus is on application during implementation (‘delivery’ or ‘execution’ of plans). So, for example, your topic in Section 1 could be the theory or principles behind a particular methodology, while in Section 3, your topic could be a specific tool from that same methodology.
Help your team understand this method by illustrating with examples of how it can be used,citing relevant academic or practice literature. Be sure to explain any problems or challenges in using your selected method effectively. Note any connections to related topics that your colleagues should be aware of, for future reference, including any links with the topic you chose in Section 1. Also make clear how your chosen topic relates to one or more of our unit’s Core Concepts. Again, you only have time to explain one useful method to them, so choose wisely, and focus on the method that you believe will be most useful in implementing this project when you reach the implementation stage. Be sure to explain to them why you believe it will be an important method to use, illustrated with specific examples from this case.
SECTON 4 (10 MARKS)
Conclude with a closing argument that draws your team’s attention to factors or principles that you consider to be essential in managing a successful project. These can include the two topics you have already written about, but should (briefly) go further to draw your team’s attention to other important and related project management ideas that you may be able to teach them about later. If you have not done so in Sections 1 or 3, make sure you make clear how your chosen topics relate to one or more of the unit’s Core Concepts. Again,draw on relevant project management theory or practice literature to support your position,citing suitable sources.
In writing your report, focus on teaching the topics to your team mates; do not spend unnecessary text on ‘writing your way in’ with a wordy introduction, unless this helps you make your arguments to your colleagues. In parts, the report may be ‘essay-like’ in style, but you may use bullet or numbered lists if this helps convey your ideas. You may wish to use tables or figures to help you illustrate your points. Include your reference list at the end using Harvard style.
To summarise your goal for this report:
In your answers, if necessary, state any assumptions you are making about the specific case, for example if you believe there is important information missing that you think is necessary to answer fully.