module specification

MN5076 - Fundamentals of Project Management (2021/22)

Module specification Module approved to run in 2021/22
Module title Fundamentals of Project Management
Module level Intermediate (05)
Credit rating for module 15
School Guildhall School of Business and Law
Total study hours 150
 
50 hours Assessment Preparation / Delivery
64 hours Guided independent study
36 hours Scheduled learning & teaching activities
Assessment components
Type Weighting Qualifying mark Description
Coursework 100% 40 Portfolio of project documents based on a case study. (2500 words)
Running in 2021/22
Period Campus Day Time Module Leader
Spring semester North Wednesday Morning
Spring semester North Wednesday Afternoon
Spring semester North Thursday Morning
Spring semester North Thursday Afternoon
Spring semester North Friday Morning
Spring semester North Friday Afternoon

Module summary

Projects come in many shapes and forms, from small to large, familiar to unfamiliar, simple to complex, urgent to non-urgent and widely supported to strongly resisted. Anyone undertaking the sponsorship, governance or management of a project needs to recognise that there are risks to its completion on time, to budget and to the customer’s satisfaction. They should therefore know that it may be unsuccessful in some way, or even fail completely.

It is easy to find examples of such failures; the current Crossrail project, the delayed opening of the Berlin International Airport, the chaos when Heathrow Terminal 5 opened, the government’s failure to meet its targets for Corona Virus testing, and the countless software development projects that have been late, failed to meet user needs or been riddled with bugs.

There are various bodies of knowledge specific to managing Programmes, Projects and Portfolios of Projects that seek to provide the methods and tools to manage projects successfully. These are necessary but not sufficient; they do however go a long way towards improving project success rates. Organisations like the Association for Project Management and the Project Management Institute continue to work to improve the status and competency of project managers, as well as the competency of organisations.

This module introduces students to the role of the project manager, the nature of projects and how to manage them successfully, focusing on the linear project in which the project output is clearly defined at the commencement of the project. Such projects are typical in the construction industry but can be found widely in business organisations. You will also look at the way Agile projects change the approach to project delivery to deal with uncertainty in the product to be delivered and to accept changes in requirements or circumstances.

The module aims to enable students to:

  • assess projects to determine the approach most likely to succeed
  • contribute to the design and development of effective project organisations that provide governance, assurance, support and direction to the project team
  • plan and manage simple projects using both linear and agile methods
  • prepare key project documents
  • create project plans using project management software including the use of Gantt charts
  • communicate project management plans, risks and issues effectively.

Prior learning requirements

None

Syllabus

Key subject areas to be addressed:


1. Introduction to projects and project management - LO1

  • Types of project – highly predictive to highly adaptive
  • Lifecycles and methods – linear, incremental, iterative and evolutionary
  • The Iron Triangle
  • Traditional and Agile projects compared


2.    Project Lifecycle - LO1

  • Project Stages and Activities
  • Project documentation
  • Project Management processes and systems
  • The role of the business case


3. Projects as Temporary Organisations - LO1, LO2

  • Project Sponsors, Boards and Committees
  • Stakeholders
  • Assurance and Governance
  • PMO


4. Project Requirements and Deliverables - LO2

  • Project Requirements
  • Work Breakdown Structure
  • Product Descriptions
  • Agile approach - MOSCOW


5.    Project Design and Planning - LO2

  • Estimating activity durations
  • Network Diagrams
  • Gantt Chart


6.    Resource Scheduling and Time Scheduling - LO2

  • Resource management
  • Adding resources to the Gantt Chart
  • Working time and resource availability
  • Agile Timeboxing


7.  Risk Management - LO2, LO3

  • Assessing risk
  • Risk management
  • Contingency Planning


8. Managing Projects - Progress Tracking and Reporting - LO2, LO3

  • Project information
  • Reporting
  • Earned Value


9.   Configuration Management and Change Control - LO2, LO3

  • Configuration management
  • Change control
  • Issue Management


10. Quality Management - LO2, LO3

  • Managing quality
  • Acceptance
  • Assurance


11. Project Closure - LO2, LO3

  • Determining lessons learned
  • Acceptance and hand-over
  • Benefits realisation


12. Module recap - LO1, LO2, LO3

Balance of independent study and scheduled teaching activity

Scheduled teaching will be a combination of lectures and active learning in the form of group and individual exercises to allow students to practice essential project management skills including the use of project management software. Students will require access to MS Project and MS Word during all classes.

In addition case studies and core text exercises will be used to further develop student knowledge and skills. For example, students will be expected to create a project plan for their successful completion of the module.

Online resources on WebLearn will include the weekly reading as well as additional video material.

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of this module students will be able to:

  1. assess common types of projects and determine a suitable project approach and organisation based on either Agile or Linear methods
  2. plan a project and manage the execution of the plan
  3. assess and manage project risks

Assessment strategy

Students will complete two formative assessments that are case based that require them to create key project documents e.g. a:

  • Project Brief
  • Work Breakdown Structure
  • MS Project Plan

The summative assessment will be case based and require the students to assess a project scenario and produce a portfolio of project documents based on their chosen project approach e.g. some or all of the following:

  • Justification for the choice of project approach (LO1)
  • Project brief (LO 1 and 2)
  • Project Organisation Structure (LO1)
  • Work Breakdown Structure (LO2)
  • Prioritised Requirements Catalogue (LO2)
  • Risk Assessment (LO3)
  • Network Diagram (LO2)
  • Gantt Chart (LO2,3)

Bibliography

Reading list will be made available

Core Text

Kloppenborg, T. J. and Anantatmula, V. S. (2019) Contemporary Project Management. 4th Revised edition. Cengage Learning India.
Additional Texts

Bennett, N. and Axelos (2017). Managing successful projects with PRINCE2. 6th ed. Norwich: Stationary Office
Larson, E. W., Gray, C. F., & Gray, C. F. (2017). Project management: the managerial process 7th ed. McGraw Hill Education.

Journals

International Journal of Construction Project Management
International Journal of Information Systems and Project Management
International Journal of Project Management
PM Network
PM World Journal

On-Line Sources:

www.agilebusiness.org
www.apm.org.uk
www.axelos.com
www.pmi.org
www.pmtoday.co.uk
www.projectmanagement.com
www.thepmchannelnews.com