PPMP20007 Developing the Schedule

BUGEN 5930 Business, Society & the Planet
MPM701 Written Assignment | Business process Management
January 25, 2018
BUGEN 5930 Business, Society & the Planet
PPMP20007 Group Case Study
January 25, 2018

PPMP20007 Developing the Schedule

HI6006 Competitive Strategy

PPMP20007 Developing Schedule

Part A – Developing the schedule

For part A of the assessment you must complete the following tasks and questions. Read all the questions before you commence the tasks. The schedule is to be developed in an appropriately named Microsoft Project 2013/2016 file (see the name specified below) and the questions are to be answered in a word document. Any assumptions must also be listed at the beginning of the Word document (after the coversheet).

Q1. Use Microsoft Project 2013/2016 to develop the project schedule according to the instructions below.

For this assignment, unless the specification states otherwise, you must initially allocate only one of each required resource to a task. Note that Ms. Horsell has also asked you to include the milestones at the top of the task list in your schedule.

Include the following in your schedule

  1. Project information (start date, Author etc.) and Holidays listed in ‘General Information’.
  1. A project title of “The MDC Project”. This is also to appear as the overall project summary at the top of your “WBS” in the mpp file. It must appear as task 0 with WBS number 0. All tasks should be “indented” according to the WBS structure described in the case study (see Table 1).

[See the Microsoft Project practicals for details about how to add the project title and how to make it the overall project summary]

  • A WBS column before the “Task Name” column and a WBS Predecessors column after the “Task Name” column as shown below:


Task Number Task Mode WBS Task Name WBS Predecessor Duration Start Finish Predecessors Resource Names
(no column title)
  1. The milestones are to appear at the beginning of the task list in your schedule. See the Milestone table for details. (Note that this is not always a requirement in a project schedule. Milestones can be embedded in the schedule or listed at the end). In this assignment, you are required to place them at the beginning.
  1. Horsell has also asked you to use a “customised WBS code” for the milestones. For example, if you double click on the first milestone, you can change the WBS code to M1 as illustrated in the screenshot below.
  1. Resource allocation details.
  • The critical path(s) automatically displayed in red on the bars of the Gantt chart view of your schedule

At this point there may be resource over allocation issues. Do not attempt to resolve these before answering question 2. Save this version of your schedule in PartAQ1 You will be required to submit this file as part of your assignment submission.

Q2. At this point ignore any resource over allocations. Copy your PartAQ1schedule to PartAQ2.

  1. Ms. Horsell asks you to allocate all three SE to task “2.10 User Interface development & 2.11 Database development”. Assume that with the additional resources the task still requires “6 person-weeks” (i.e. that there will be a reduction in duration as the work can be divided equally between the two resources). Highlight your changes on PartAQ2 file.
  1. What is the new duration of task 2.10 and 2.11 and has this change impacted on the overall duration of the project? Explain.
  2. If you were asked to complete the project 10 days earlier by reducing the duration of some of the tasks (other than 2.10 and 2.11), what tasks would you choose, by how much and why? Highlight the tasks that could be reduced on PartAQ2 file.
  1. Save PartAQ2. You will be required to submit this file as part of your assignment submission.

Q3. Copy your PartAQ2 schedule to PartAQ3_resources. If your schedule has any resource over-allocation issues resolve these in the PartAQ3_resources file without adding any additional resources. For this assignment, do not “split tasks” and do not allow levelling to “adjust individual assignments on a task”.

Save this “modified” version of the PartAQ3_resources file. You will be required to submit PartAQ3_resources file as part of your assignment submission.

  1. Describe how you resolve any resource over-allocation issues.
  1. Does the fact that, your project is resource-constrained; has any impact on your overall project duration and end date? Explain the changes you notice and give reasons.

Continue working with this version of the schedule (PartAQ3_resources) when you are  answering the remaining questions in Part A.

Q4. Write a memo (use the Memo template provided on Moodle) to Ms. Horsell providing the following information:

  1. The expected completion date of the project, assuming it commences on 5th February, 2018; The total duration of the project;
  2. An explanation of the main factors that cause the project to require that length of time and any recommendations that you might make to reduce the duration if time was a priority for the project;
  • The estimated direct labour costs for each of the resource types working on the project.

Present the costs in a table similar to the following:

Resource Cost
Planning workshop
Prototype 1 build
Prototype 2 build
Production of devices
Total project cost  

Assume that you will send the project schedule as an attachment to the memo. The information in the memo must correspond to the PartAQ3_reoources file.

Q5. Describe at least one strategy that you need to adopt to ensure that the project is completed on time.

Part B – Modifying the schedule

Mr. Production reviews your project schedule and requests that both the prototype builds also  include the participation of one engineer from electronics and one from mechanics. You will have  to update your schedule as you agree with this proposal.

You are now 1 week after the M1 milestone and the display supplier has been revised the delivery  time. This is one of the components required for the prototype 1 build (not the prototype 2 build). The delivery time is now expected to take 5 weeks. (This will impact on the duration for task 5.1.)

In addition, you are advised that the type approval and regulatory approval tests are now expected  to take only 2 weeks.

Based on the additional information given above complete the following tasks. Read all the tasks before you commence any modifications.

  1. Copy your mpp file into a file called PartB file.

In your PartB make the changes in the order given above and as you make each change note the impact relative to the “current status” (i.e. the status after the previous change) it has on the:

  • Overall project duration
  • End date
  • Direct labour costs for the project

When answering this this question, do NOT attempt to resolve any resource over-allocation issues until you have completed all the changes required (i.e. all the changes of adding 1 EE and 1 ME, changing durations of 5.1 and 4.7). Some of the issues may be resolved as you work through the changes.

You need the information about the impact of each change to answer questions 2 and 3 below.

If as a result of all the changes there are any resource over-allocation issues resolve these and note any resultant change to the project duration.

Highlight all the changes on your schedule. Save your schedule with the highlighted changes in your PartB file. This PartB file is also to be included as part of your final assignment submission.

  1. Describe the impact of each of these changes on the project duration in a table similar to the following:
Change Impact on Project duration (Longer / Shorter / No Impact By how much Explanation
Adding 1 EE and 1 ME to prototype build 1&2
Change in duration of 5.1
Change in duration of 4.7


If the combination of changes have had an additional impact that would not have occurred if a change was made in isolation you should also discuss this in your answer to this question. Similarly, if there were resource over-allocation issues that had to be resolved and resulted in a change to the duration, this should also be discussed. However, when answering this question, do NOT attempt to resolve any resource over-allocation issues until you have completed all the changes required. Some of the issues may be resolved as you work through the changes.

  1. Describe the impact of each of these changes on the direct labour costs for the project in a table similar to the following:
Change Impact on Direct Labour Costs (More / Less / No Impact By how much Explanation
Adding 1 EE and 1 ME to prototype build 1&2
Change in duration of 5.1
Change in duration of 4.7

 Part C – Tracking Progress

In this part of the assignment you are to imagine that your project is underway and that it is time to produce one of your regular status reports.

This means that your group needs to meet together early in week 10 to save the baseline and enter  the status data for your project. Your group must enter the data together and make sure that everyone has a copy of the updated PartC file. This is to ensure that everyone in the group is working with the same information when they develop their individual status report.

The individual sub-deliverable due at the end of week 10 includes the group’s version of the PartC file plus your individual answers to the Part C questions.

In week 11, you must meet to complete the group version of the Part C answers and include this in your final group submission. All previous “group” answers should already have been completed  before week 11.

Saving the baseline and entering the status data (together as a group)

Note that the fourth Microsoft Project practical is an example of what is required for Part C. Make sure that you have worked through practical 4 before attempting Part C of this assignment.

  1. Copy PartB to PartC. Save the baseline for this version of your project in PartC.
  1. Assume that it is now 25th May 2018 and that you have data about when tasks actually started, their duration (which must be consistent with the start date and the status date, i.e. they cannot have a start date and a duration that takes them beyond the 25/05/2018). Assume that you have also collected data about the estimated remaining duration for all the tasks that have commenced (but not yet finished). If a task has been 100% completed assume that you know the actual start date and actual finish date.

Assume that status reports are produced every two weeks and that all the earlier status reports have been completed according to this fortnightly schedule. Given that 25/05/2018 is the end of week 16, you should record the status report number as “8” when you complete the status report for this section of the assignment.

In your PartC file (in which you have saved a baseline)

  1. Set the status date to 25th May 2018 and include a solid, purple status date gridline in your project to ensure that the status date is clearly visible in your Gantt Charts. View the Tracking Gantt chart.
  1. Enter some status data.

Follow the instructions in Microsoft Project practical 3/4 to enter the status data (i.e. for tasks not running according to schedule use the “mark on track” drop down list to select “update tasks” option to enter start dates, actual durations and remaining durations).

Assume that tasks 1.1 and 1.2 are 100% complete and that they started and finished at the times scheduled in the baseline.

For the purposes of this assignment you are to invent your own data about the status of the other project tasks. This means that you have to enter status data about the other tasks that you would expect to have started by the status date. (Use the status date gridline you created in part (a) to identify tasks that require status information.)

For tasks that should have been started by the status date you are to enter reasonable data about their start date, actual duration (up to the status date) and estimated duration remaining (or completion date).

You are free to enter data to make tasks finish early or late or enter data about the remaining duration that means a task is expected to take either more or less time than originally estimated. It is also acceptable to have some tasks that are tracking according to their original duration estimates, but not all tasks.

Save your changes in PartC and use this file to answer the status report questions below.

Status Report

Based on your group PartC file each member of the group must complete and submit their individual attempts at the following tasks before meeting to produce the final group solution.

  1. Based on the current status of your project, you are to produce a status report using the template provided in Appendix-A of this document. (It is a similar format to “exhibit 13.1” in the textbook). Make sure that you complete all sections of the status report.

Detailed explanations for why tasks are not tracking according to their original estimates are not required for this assignment as the data you entered is “fictitious”.

However, in this section you must indicate which tasks are responsible for your project status being better or worse than planned.

For the “major changes or issues” and the “risk watch” sections enter “no change”.

Peer Assessment

The aims of this peer assessment are twofold:

  1. To provide information to the markers to help with their assessment of student work
  1. To give students feedback to help to improve their skills when working as part of a team.

With regard to point 1, although there are regular peer assessments scheduled as part of this assessment item (weeks 7 -10), it is also important that you alert your tutor as early as possible if you are experiencing problems within your group (for example, if a team member is not attending meetings or is coming to meetings unprepared). If there are problems, it is your responsibility to contact your tutor and discuss any issues as early as possible.

In terms of point 2, it is important that the feedback be used in a positive way. It should only include “constructive criticism”, i.e. it should:

  • Provide positive feedback so that the team member understands what they are doing that works well.
  • Provide constructive criticism, i.e. advice about how a team member could improve their team work.
  • Be polite and positive.

The Peer Assessment Forms are available on the unit website in the same area as this assignment specification.

Final Group Submission

The final group solution with the MPP files and assignment answers must be submitted in the electronic submission system on Moodle by one member of the group. It is important that only one member of the group submits the work. Otherwise, Turnitin will produce a very high similarity score for your work.

The final group submission is due at the end of week 11 (exact date and time shown in Moodle).

The final group submission is to consist of following individual files:

  1. A Word document with the coversheet/title page (shown below) and the group answers to all the questions in Part A, Part B and Part C.
  2. The following set of files in ZIP:
    1. mpp
    2. mpp
    3. mpp
    4. mpp
    5. mpp

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