TOPIC: Critical analysis of a Project Management Plan (PMP)
3000–4000 words approximately, exclusive of the executive summary, tables, figures, appendices, etc. and excluding all appendices.
To carry out this assignment, it will be necessary for you to read other texts and journal articles on PM Plans to gain an understanding of their role. It is recommended that you use the e-Books and electronic journals available from the USQ Library website.
By now,you should have chosen a project for which a project management plan (PMP) (sometimes described as a Project Plan or a Project Implementation Plan) is available. The PMP is a document that should adequately define what is to be done, who is to do it, when they are to do it, etc. If you are working on a very large project, use one of its sub-projects for your assignment. If the project is too large, it may increase your workload significantly and it is not recommended. Your PMP may be a single document or it may be a compilation of several documents prepared for the project. The PMP might be a plan that you produce yourself for this assignment, or it might be a plan that you import from your workplace, or from an external source. Note carefully that a project schedule or a Gantt chart by itself is NOT a PMP.
Your submission should have TWO PARTS.
· The first part is the body of the assignment and is a‘critical analysis’ of your chosen PMP. It will contain a description of the project and a critical analysis of the structure and content of the PMP, fully supported by reference to relevant project management theory. It is not a critical analysis of the project itself, nor how it was managed. The focus should be on the PMP. Read the study materials and a wide range of other reference materials (including the PMBOK® Guide and the set text) to be clear on the purpose and content of a PMP as this topic is not widely covered in the literature. You will have to research relevant literature to complete this assignment, using the e-Books in the USQ Library.
· The second partis Appendix 1 which should be the‘Project Management Plan’ (sometimes described as a Project Plan) for your chosen project. The PMP might be a plan that you produce yourself for this assignment, or it might be a plan that you import from your workplace, or from an external source. You must state clearly thesource of the plan. NOTE: no marks are allocated for the actual PMP as it may not be original work in many instances. Any other attachments would become Appendix 2, 3, etc.
If you produce your own project management plan, it is strongly recommended that you use project management software for development of the project schedule and network. You may also use it to develop the project budget, but a spreadsheet can be equally useful. It is essential that you become familiar with the software at the earliest opportunity as it can be time-consuming to learn how to use it effectively. The course leader is not available to provide guidance on the use of the software, although other students may help through exchanges on the Discussion Board.
Remember to integrate academic theory into your assignment to support your arguments and proposals.
Provide the following:
Title page: Ensure that your document includes a normal report cover sheet or title page that would be expected of a professional document to provide details of report title, author, date, student number, etc. (this is in addition to the electronic mark sheet discussed above). This assignment is a professional academic paper so should be presented as one.
PART 1: CRITICAL ANALYSIS OF THE PROJECT MANAGEMENT PLAN
Executive Summary (200–250 words but this does not form part of the assignment word count). The executive summary comes before the table of contents. Read the guidelines and provide a formal Executive Summary with details of why the report was prepared, how it is structured, and what the important findings, conclusions and recommendations are. The Executive Summary relates to the analysis only. (SUGGESTION: this should be written last after you have finished the report.)
Table of contents: This should be a full listing with respective page numbers of executive summary, introduction, main sections, references, individual appendices, and full listing of all figures and tables.
1. Introduction (250 words): Briefly state why your report has been prepared, what project is being analysed, and how the report is structured. (Note– this may be similar to the introduction in assignment 1 if you have used the same project, but this is a new report, and you need to provide the information your reader needs to understand the report. You can use the same information in both assignments. There is no need to reference assignment 1 if you are using your original work.)
2. Project background (250 words): Your project description should describe the project and its context– what organisation is the project owner/sponsor, what this organisation does, why the project is being done, where it is located, etc. The description should contain enough detail for the reader to understand the reason behind each of the components of the plan– why it is included and its content and format.
3. Audience and structure of the Project Management Plan (1000–1500 words approximately)
3.1 Provide a critical analysis of who is intended to be the main audience of the PM plan? What do they need to know? How will they use the plan? What information needs to be provided?
3.2 What alternatives exist for the structure of a PM plan (examine and compare a range of theories and opinions here)? How should that information be provided? In what sequence? What does the theory say?
4. Contents of the Project Management Plan (1000–1500 words approximately)
Provide a critical analysis of the major sections of the plan and provide some theoretical framework for what is included in each section (e.g. Why has a project schedule been included, is it a meaningful document, was it prepared by the right people, does it contain the right information, etc.?) This explanation will be drawn from the study modules, text book, selected readings, and other sources. This discussion will probably cover most, if not all, knowledge areas covered under the Guide to the Project Management Body ofKnowledge (PMBOK® Guide) (PMI 2013) in one form or another. It does not have to be under those headings but should clearly indicate that it covers all recognised areas covered by the various Project Management Bodies of Knowledge.
5. Conclusions (250 words): Summarise your findings from the analysis of your project management plan. What did you find out about the project plan? Does it conform to the recognised theory? What aspects are important and are of significance to project outcomes? What are its strengths and its weaknesses? (Focus here on the project plan and not on the theory).
6. Recommendations (250 words): What are your recommendations flowing from this analysis with regard to your chosen PMP? What changes should be made to your PMP for this project (or similar future projects)? Address the shortcomings identified in the conclusions. Again, focus on recommendations related to your PMP and not on the project itself.
List of references: Provide a complete list of references providing full details of all citations used in the body of the assignment.
Appendices: The PMP you have analysed will be attached as Appendix 1 (see below). Attach any additional appendices that relate specifically to the analysis following appendix 1. They should be numbered sequentially in the order in which they appear (Appendix 2, etc.).
PART 2: APPENDIX 1– THE PROJECT MANAGEMENT PLAN
Appendix 1 should ideally be an actual project management plan for your chosen project and would be the sort of document that would be handed to a client/manager to illustrate how it is intended to manage the project through to completion. A project plan is often used to gain sponsor/client commitment, and should contain sufficient information to allow such a decision to be made with confidence. Make sure you understand what a project mana