Project Management

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Executive Summary

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1. Introduction

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2. Project Background

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3. Critical Analysis of the Project Management Plan

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Executive Summary

Project Management Plan (PMP) is an essential document as it provides guidelines on how the project will be carried out. There are several issue that are addressed in the project management plan to ensure that all essential activities in a project are properly addressed to avoid failure. The purpose of this report is to critically assess PMP designed by Swiftco Truck Bodies for Energex. The PMP is quite important since it is the first time Energex is outsourcing design from an outsider since the utility company has been developing the body for themselves. Also, it is the first time that Energex is designing the bodies using aluminium as it has been using steel. There several issues identified in the analysis which include lack of structure, as there items are placed under wrong headings while others are mixed up. In addition, some sections like time management plan and cost management plan need to be more detailed as they are the key determinants for success or failure of a project. Some labelling are also wrongly done like using scheduling instead of time management plan as recommended by most literatures. Also, the cost management plan is labeled as cost managing. Recommendations are that thorough review should be done on the PMP to ensure that all the details have been addressed using the suggestions provided in the recommendation part.

Table of Contents

Ways this assignment can be improved: 5

Executive Summary. 8

Introduction. 9

Project Background. 10

Critical Analysis of the Energex Project Management Plan. 11

The Audience of Project Management Plan. 12

Project Scope Management 14

Project Management Plan Structure. 15

Time Management 17

Cost Management 18

Quality Management Plan. 19

Organization and Flow of Information. 19

Conclusion. 20

Recommendations. 21

References. 22

Appendix 1: PMP attached as a separate document 25

Appendix 2: Traditional success measures of Project 25


Appendix 4: Example of Critical Path Analysis. 27

Appendix 5: Earned Value Analysis Template. 28

Executive Summary. 7

Introduction. 8

Project Background. 9

Critical Analysis of the Energex Project

Management Plan. 10

The Audience of Project Management Plan. 10

Project Scope Management 12

Project Management Plan Structure. 14

Time Management 15

Cost Management 16

Quality Management Plan. 17

Organization and Flow of Information. 18

Conclusion. 18

Recommendations. 19

References. 20


Project management plan is crucial in every project as it ensures that the objects and goals have been achieved using the most effective cost possible. Besides, a project management plan is important in determining success or failure of a project as it helps in tracking the progress and any issues that are not going according to expectations (Allen, McLees, Richardson, & Waterford, 2015). The main purpose of the project management plan is to provide a baseline of what is supposed to be done to ensure the goals of the project are achieved and the expected outcomes are realized. Apart from what will be achieved PMP also involves how the outcomes will be achieved, the people who will be involved and their specific responsibilities as well as measures, reports and how the communication will be done. In other words, PMP is usually the reference document which informs the progress of a project and ensure that all the resources have been optimally utilized.

In spite of the PMP being developed at the initiation of the project, it should be an evolving document that it is continuously updated. In addition, the document should be properly examined and assessed to ensure that it is reflects all the important parts of a project. The purpose of this papers is to critically analyze project management plan for ENERGEX Project which was developed by Swiftco Track Bodies. The latter was required to design and fabricate aluminium bodies from the original steel bodies that the client has been using for years. The analysis is guided by the existing literatures and theories concerning PMP and how they should be developed to ensure that it features all the crucial details and contents that would influence decision making of the client and ensure that the idea is accepted. The report will provide the project background, project plan and provide recommendation based on the issues identified in the PMP.

Project Background

Energex is one of the major utility providers in Queensland that has a strict policy of accepting tenders from only invited suppliers. The client has several suppliers and purchasers in different industries and sectors, and applying for tenders in the company is a competitive position due to its publicity and size. One of such suppliers is Swiftco Track Bodies which has worn tenders in the last few years where it has been making track bodies. Currently, Swiftco is becoming one of the favorite suppliers and its tender share from Energex has been increasing. Recently, Swiftco has convinced Energex to outsource designing track bodies outside the latter’s company something that has not happened for Energex. Swiftco has worn the tender and it is expected to deliver 70 bodies out of the 84 that Energex wants.

The project is crucial for both companies for two main reasons. The first reason is that Energex has been designing its track bodies from steel and it is the first time that it will be using aluminium which is one of the areas of expertise for Swiftco. The second reason is that it is the first time that it is the first time that Energex has entrusted an outside contractor to design their track bodies as this has always been done internally. The fact that Swiftco has managed to convince Energex to give them the tender of designing the aluminium bodies is quite an accomplishment and it is crucial that it delivers quality bodies. Besides, the price of aluminium is more expensive than steel which means the project plan should demonstrate how the company is planning to keep the cost as low as possible without compromising on quality.

Critical Analysis of the Energex Project Management Plan

As indicated in the introduction part of the paper, the purpose of this report is to critically analyze the contents of the project management plan for Energex Project and also assess its structure and other important factors such as audience and the strategy of achieving the goals. Other factors that will be analysed in the paper include the PMP time which is a critical factor in the success of a project. Also, cost is crucial in this analysis, especially since the company will be using aluminium which is a more expensive material hence it is crucial to assess how Swiftco will manage to control the costs. Further, bearing in mind that Swiftco is an external designer, it is crucial to analyse the scope as described in the project management plan. The purpose of the critical analysis is to provide recommendations on how to improve the PMP and ensure that the best outcomes possible have been achieved.

The Audience of Project Management Plan

Knowing the audience is an important part of the project management as it involves knowing the key players in the project including their responsibilities. In other words, the audience is about the parties to the project and stakeholders and also the representatives and their expected roles in the project (Berényi, 2014). Proper description of the audience is not only important to the client but also to the project designer or developer as each actor will know what they are expected to do and how their performances will be evaluated (Angeleanu, Keppler, & Eidenmüller, 2016). The audience can be either parties who are interested in the outcomes of the project and play a role in its execution (Varma, & Kumar, 2016). Lack of proper identification of the audience has been argued as one of the major cause of project failure as responsibilities will collide and it will be difficult to measure the performance of the stakeholders or individuals in a project.

Properly addressing the stakeholders’ section and giving details about their responsibilities is crucial as they are people who determine the success or failure of a project Angeleanu, Keppler, & Eidenmüller 2016). Although immediate team members are among the most crucial people in a project there are other stakeholders that should be involved in the project management plan who include the suppliers and subcontractors. Also the government can be part of the stakeholders as it has a role to play in the project even if it is not a direct one. It is the duty of the government to provide proper regulations in matters to do with environmental issues and all other regulations that are crucial for completion of the project. All these details about the stakeholders are crucial to ensure that they are not the reason for delaying the project. Besides proper utilization of stakeholders can be an important part of a project and hence it should be well detailed in the stakeholder section of the project.

In this case the PMP for Energex Project, the audience or stakeholders are clearly outlined and it is easy to look at the plan and understand who is responsible for doing what in the project. The guide that has been provided in the project management plan makes it possible for the key actors to understand their individual responsibilities. The main issue about the PMP is that it focuses more on the individual audiences and misses the part of other interested audiences such as the two organizations that have entered into the contracts. In addition, the part of the audience should be more detailed unlike in the Swiftco PMP which highlights only one responsibility per stakeholder in the project. In other words, the PMP for Energex PMP focuses mainly on the project team members and ignores other key stakeholders who might have important roles in accomplishing the project. Apart from missing the subcontractor part in the stakeholder section, the government responsibility is also missing.

The other crucial information that is missing in the project is the end consumer who is the most important part of the project. The reason of including the customer in the project part is because they are mostly concerned with project cost, quality management, and the procurement plan. For this project, Energex should be given the first priority as they are the ones who want to know about the specifications and how the requirements will be met. However, although the customer is mentioned all over the project, they are not included in the stakeholder section which is a weakness on the part of the PMP. The other crucial audience in a project is the project manager as it is their responsibility to ensure that all the requirements in a project are meant. Also, it is the responsibility of the stakeholder to ensure that all the stakeholders’ responsibilities are clearly outlined based on individual strengths. There is not project that can be done without a stakeholder which means they should be among the first actors in the stakeholder section of the project plan management. This important audience is another crucial item that is missing in the Energex project as it just mentions the name of the project manager. The whole of the responsibility section that is supposed to give the details and responsibilities of the stakeholders mostly focuses on the people’s names rather than identifying their responsibilities.

Project Scope Management

Scope management is an essential part of a project as it defines what needs to be done and maps the journey of delivering the expected outcomes (Rungi, 2014). Clearly defining the scope is crucial as it gives details of what needs to be done at what stage and helps the project managers to allocate resources and responsibilities to the team members in the project (Holmlin, 2016). Literature defines scope as the deliverables in a project based on the project requirements or the features that should be address by the outcomes of the project. The scope is what determines the accomplishment of the project to deliver the final product or service that the consumer is expecting at the end of the process (Alla, Pazos, & DelAguila, 2017; Telukdarie, & Shongwe, 2017). In the modern triple constraint diagram, scope has been included as one of the pillars in the success determinant of a project (see Appendix 2 Figure 2). The figure indicates that time, cost and scope are determine the quality of a project which means changes in any of the three will have a significant impact on the quality. Consequently, it is essential to ensure that the scope section is well detailed to ensure that every aspect of the project is addressed and nothing has been left to chance. The scope part of the project should clearly include planning, controlling and closing of the project so that the project team can understand what they are expect to do at each step of the project.

For Energex Project, the scope section has proper details as it provides information on what needs to be done. The scope section is clearly defined in phases with each phase defining what will be done. The main weakness about the scope part is that it only indicates the deliverables or activities that will be done at each phase but does not include the controls that will be put in place to ensure that mechanisms are in place to avoid any avoidable surprises. Besides, it would have been better to ensure that the processes involved in the project management are properly labelled to avoid confusion. Also, having clearly separated planning, control and closing parts in the scope section is important as it will help identify the boundaries, sub-phases and goals to be as well as tasks necessary to achieve the goals. Although the scope in the Energex project is outline according to the phase, it is somehow mixed up and it is not easy to identify the sub-phases or the goals of the project. In addition, the boundaries of the project have been omitted which is a very crucial part of the scope.

The scope part is an essential part of the project and it should be prepared by someone who has adequate knowledge of what needs to be done and the capacity of the organization executing the project. According to experts in project management, the most appropriate person to design the scope of a project is the project manager in consultation with the key stakeholders such as the client and the top management in the organization. No matter what the methodology that is used in a project management plan, it is the responsibility of the project manager to define the scope statement to ensure that the boundaries are clearly identified. Although the deliverables and expectations might be indicated in the background or introduction part of the PMP, it is crucial that the scope statement is clearly indicated in the scope part of the project. The Energex has no clearly define scope statement and it goes directly into what needs to be done without defining boundaries.

Project Management Plan Structure

This is one of the most complicated part to critique in a project management plan as there is no standard structure for PMP and it depends on the designer or developer. Each PMP has its own structure based on the type of the project and what the owners would like to address. In addition, the lack of a standard structure is due to the fact that the plan keeps evolving at different stages which means there are several changes usually done before the project is completed. This continuous changing nature of the PMP makes it difficult to be accurately be designed before inception of the project hence the problem with having a definite structure. In spite of lack of defined structure, PMP is crucial hence the project planners should design it before the project starts so that it can provide a road map of what needs to be done and at what stage. Due to the importance of this plan, the structure is usually determined by the authors and the main stakeholders or top management as they understand what is required. The designers of the plan determine the content which they will consider useful in the evaluation of the project as monitoring and evaluation is a continuous process throughout the process.

In spite of lack of a standard structure, some items are crucial to be included in the plan. One of such items is monitoring and evaluation. Morning and evaluation is essential as it gives the project developers and opportunity to keep track of the project and also identify any unpredicted risks in time so that they can be addressed. PMP is a document that is used as a guide or handbook on how every step of project management will be carried out (Allen, Alleyne, Farmer, McRae, & Turner, 2014). Although planning, monitoring and evaluation can be defined in a different document, including it in the PMP is essential as it will form the baseline and also provide the guideline on how the project team will ensure that everything is going according to plan. This part of the plan is missing from the structure which means that there is no proper guideline on how this task will be carried out.

Apart from lacking the monitoring and evaluation plan the PMP is well structured as it clearly indicates the deliverables, measurable in each phase, the resources to be used and even the skills required for the completion of the project. Another crucial factor included in the Energex Project PMP is risk factor. It is not possible to complete a project without having risks involved and it is crucial for them to be predicted at the beginning of the project. The structure also includes important factors like project scheduling which describes which activity will executed at what stage which means it provides proper guideline. The main problem identified with the structure is that most items are mixed up or put under the heading even though they are supposed to be separate or separated where they are supposed to be under one heading. A good example is the case of introduction and background sections. Although the two sections are important in the PMP, it would have been easier to just put them under project overview since the information in the introduction is too brief.

Time Management

This part of PMP is crucial as it defines how the time will be apportioned between activities in the project and the duration that the whole process is expected to take (White, 2017). Proper time management is crucial in a project as it is one of the major success determinants of the project hence it should be clearly addressed in PMP (Parker, Parsons, & Isharyanto, 2015; Khattak, Ur Rehman, Mustafa, & Khattak, 2016). Usually, the time apportioned in the PMP is more than the expected time of completion to cater for any unexpected delays. However, the purpose of time management in the PMP is to show beyond what duration that is not acceptable. The PMP should indicate any expected delays and if things go according to plan, when the project is expected to be complete. Although time is important to complete a project sometimes delays usually happen due to unpredicted occurrences.

For this Energex PMP the time management has been adequately addressed including the schedule chart. The main problem noticed however is the labelling which a major problem throughout the PMP. The guidelines of designing a PMP indicate that the label for this section of plan should be time management plan. On the contrary the Energex PMP has time management plan has been labelled as project scheduling. Although the contents of the scheduling show the time management plan, it can be confusing to the audience since the proper name or the phrase time management is not included.

Cost Management

Apart from time and quality, the other critical factor in determining success of a project is cost, hence these three items should be properly addressed in the PMP (PMBOK, 2017). Cost estimation is usually done at the planning stage of a project to help in determining the budget and resources that will be used for completion of the project. The main purpose of this section of PMP is to determining the cost of every activity in the project and ensuring that the costs do not surpass the budget (Xue, Wang, & Man, 2015). Cost management plan is a broad section of PMP and involves several items used to determine the outcomes and costs of achieving the expected deliverables. Some of the most crucial items in the cost management plan include control thresholds, performance measurement, units of measuring the expected outputs, levels of threshold and reporting formats and any additional details. For the Energex Project, this part is included in the structure which is a good thing. The main issue however, is that the section is too brief and it is missing a lot of crucial information such as performance measurements, control thresholds, units of measurements. In addition the reporting format that is supposed to be in the cost management plan is put under a complete separate heading making it look like separate item. The section is also labelled as managing cost which is not the standard name indicated in most literature and it is supposed to be cost management plan.

One of the most effective methods of measuring costs in project management plan is by using earned value management which is a method recommended by PMBOK. Eanred value is broad and has a lot of details and tools that can be used in measuring project costs hence ensures that cost management plan is properly detailed and that all costs crucial for the completion of the project. Some of the details that are included in the earned value management method include cost variance, schedule variance, schedule performance index and cost performance index. Experts in PMP indicate that the four mentioned details are usually enough in most typical projects as they provide detailed information.

Quality Management Plan

Time, Cost and Quality have been the most important determinants of success or failure of a project. The connection between cost, time and quality has been illustrated through diagram in appendix 2 Figure 2 which shows the triple constraint in project management plan. Adjusting either of the three corners would result to changes in the two others hence it is important to ensure the triangle remains balanced at all times This puts quality in the same category of importance as time and cost which means proper details should be included in this section PMP to ensure that the key stakeholders and the client understands how quality is going to be assured throughout the project. Some of the most important items included in this section of PMP are quality plan, quality assurance, quality control as well as independent verification and validation. Each of these items of quality management plan are performed at specific stages in project execution and they should be addressed in PMP as it is the manual the guides how the project is going to be executed. For the Energex PMP, the section is too brief and it lacks proper information on quality management. The section just indicates that there will quality management plan and the information is too generalized to identify any specific criteria that will be used to ensure quality is achieved. In addition, the section is labelled as quality plan hence it is not easy to understand whether it was mean to address the whole quality management plan or is only that specific item. Also quality management plan is better put under separate subheading as it is a critical item in PMP. Like in several other sections in the paper, quality has been combined with reporting which makes it confusing or seem like it is not being given enough attention that it requires.

Organization and Flow of Information

Any document including PMP is only useful to the audience if it is well organized and the information is flowing well where the reader can understand the content without struggling. A well-organized document makes it ensure for the audience to know where to locate certain. Lack of proper organization can cause confusion to the reader as it is the case of Energex PMP. For instance, the quality management section is labelled as reporting and quality yet there is another part of the PMP labeled progress report. This causes confusion on what kin

January 19, 2024

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