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ILM CERTIFICATE IN LEADERSHIP AND

MANAGEMENT AT LEVEL 3

Creating value through chemistry

MANAGING WORKPLACE PROJECTS


WORKBOOK 8600 - 320
Designed and delivered by
Oakwood International Ltd

© Oakwood International Ltd. All rights reserved


 Workbook Guide Contents:

▪ Introduction
▪ Overview of 8600-320 ‘Managing workplace projects’
▪ Section One – Know how to manage a simple workplace project
▪ Section Two – Understand the financial and non-financial implications of a workplace project
▪ Section Three – Case studies
▪ Section Four - Assignment guide
▪ Section Five – Referencing guide

 Learning Outcome:

On completion of this unit, learners will:


1. Know how to manage a simple workplace project.
2. Understand the financial and non-financial implications of a workplace project.

 Assessment Criteria

1.1 Identify a simple workplace project

1.2 Use a simple tool for determining the financial viability of the project

1.3 Produce a project plan using an appropriate project planning technique

1.4 Set objectives and targets/milestones to monitor performance and review plans within the project

1.5 Use a project evaluation technique to evaluate the project

2.1 List areas where net savings can be achieved as a result of the workplace project

2.2 Identify wider non-financial implications that can result from the workplace project

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 Resources & Bibliography:

TO LEARNING OUTCOME 1: KNOW HOW TO MANAGE A SIMPLE WORK-BASED PROJECT

A.C. 1.1 Identify a simple workplace project

https://www.wrike.com/project-management-guide/faq/what-is-a-project-in-project-management/
https://www.pmi.org/about/learn-about-pmi/what-is-project-management
https://www.pmi.org/about/learn-about-pmi/what-is-project-management
https://www.apm.org.uk/resources/what-is-project-management/
https://pmstudycircle.com/2012/06/4-tools-to-estimate-costs-in-the-project-management/

Use a simple tool for determining the financial viability of the


A.C. 1.2
project

https://www.projectmanagement.com/blog-post/28697/5-Non-Financial-Project-Benefits
http://www.technologyofcommunication.com/2010/08/how-to-financially-assess-project.html

Produce a project plan using an appropriate project planning


A.C. 1.3
technique

https://www.mindtools.com/pages/article/critical-path-analysis.htm

Set objectives and targets/milestones to monitor performance and


A.C. 1.4
review plans within the project

https://www.mindtools.com/pages/article/newTMM_95.htm
https://www.lce.com/Team-Charters-What-are-they-and-whats-their-purpose-1219.html

A.C. 1.5 Use a project evaluation technique to evaluate the project

http://www.dummies.com/careers/project-management/how-to-use-a-project-dashboard-for-your-
project-progress-report/
https://www.wiley.com/legacy/wileychi/innovate/website/pages/atoz/projectevaluationtools.htm
LEARNING OUTCOME 2: UNDERSTAND THE FINANCIAL AND NON-FINANCIAL IMPLICATIONS OF PROJECTS
List areas where net savings can be achieved as a result of the
A.C. 2.1 workplace project

http://zilicus.com/Resources/blog-2013/managing-project-financials-budget-cost-expenses-billing--margin-
with-project-management-software-zilicuspm.html

Identify wider non-financial implications that can result from the


A.C. 2.2
workplace project

https://www.apm.org.uk/body-of-knowledge/delivery/financial-cost-management/

© Oakwood International Ltd. All rights reserved. Page 3


 The purpose of this workbook and how to use it
The primary purpose of this workbook is to guide you in your research, to stimulate your interest and equip
you with the knowledge needed to tackle the written assignment for this unit. The workbook contains
‘guided learning’, which are based on the requirements described in the learning outcomes (what you are
required to learn) and the assessment criteria (detailed statements against which your written assignment
is assessed). The workbook is structured to cover each of the two learning outcomes in order:

1. Know how to manage a simple workplace project.


2. Understand the financial and non-financial implication of projects

Selected reading and hyperlinks to online resources


Each section includes selected reading, or hyperlinks to online resources, which have been chosen to
provide you with a clear idea of the underpinning concepts and, where appropriate, alternative views for
you to analyse, interpret and apply as you consider appropriate. One of the key aspects of this Level 5
programme is the requirement for you to develop and practice your ability to absorb concepts and views
from literary sources, to critically analyse these in the light of your professional experience, and to
formulate and apply your own theories. You should aim to read as much as you can and develop a ‘critical’
approach to your reading. What this means is that based on your reading and research you are able to
argue with the theory and put forward your own ideas.

Broaden your reading beyond the workbook


You should read the selected reading – articles and online links; but, you should also read further, using the
suggested reading list from the previous section, to broaden further your knowledge of the subjects under
review. It is important that you show evidence of wider reading by including references to relevant literary
sources in your written assignment; this workbook will help guide you towards these additional resources.

Workbook Learning Activities


The reflective activities have been designed to enable you to consolidate your learning and to develop your
understanding.

Guided learning hours


This workbook represents approximately 7 guided learning hours. This means that you should aim to cover
the reading within the workbook and the broader reading provided through the links to the internet.

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INTRODUCTION

Purpose and aim of unit


▪ To enable the practicing and potential first line manager to manage workplace projects
▪ To apply theory in practice – embed your learning in the context of your role.

Unit content

Learning Outcome 1 – Know how to manage a simple workplace project.


▪ Basic project design principles
▪ Simple tools for financial appraisal of projects
▪ Project planning techniques (Gantt charts, Flow charts, Network planning)
▪ Use of objectives and targets/milestones to monitor performance and review plans
▪ Project evaluation and review techniques

Learning Outcome 2 – Understand the financial and non-financial implications of projects.

▪ Non-financial costs and benefits of change (social, environmental, human elements)

© Oakwood International Ltd. All rights reserved. Page 5


SECTION ONE – KNOW HOW TO MANAGE A SIMPLE WORKPLACE PROJECT

1.1 Identify a simple workplace project

1.2 Use a simple tool for determining the financial viability of the project

1.3 Produce a project plan using an appropriate project planning technique

1.4 Set objectives and targets/milestones to monitor performance and review plans within the project

1.5 Use a project evaluation technique to evaluate the project

A.C. 1.1 IDENTIFYING A SIMPLE WORKPLACE PROJECT

What is a project?
What is a project in project management? Simply put, a project is a series of tasks that need to be
completed in order to reach a specific outcome. A project can also be defined as a set of inputs and outputs
required to achieve a particular goal. Projects can range from simple to complex and can be managed by
one person or a hundred. Projects are often described and delegated by a manager or executive. They go
over their expectations and goals and it’s up to the team to manage logistics and execute the project in a
timely manner. Sometimes deadlines can be given or a time limitation. For good project productivity, some
teams break the project up into individual tasks so they can manage accountability and utilize team
strengths.

https://www.wrike.com/project-management-guide/faq/what-is-a-project-in-project-management/

It's a temporary endeavour undertaken to create a unique product, service or result. A project is temporary
in that it has a defined beginning and end in time, and therefore defined scope and resources.
And a project is unique in that it is not a routine operation, but a specific set of operations designed to
accomplish a singular goal. So, a project team often includes people who don’t usually work together –
sometimes from different organizations and across multiple geographies.
The development of software for an improved business process, the construction of a building or bridge,
the relief effort after a natural disaster, the expansion of sales into a new geographic market — all are
projects.
And all must be expertly managed to deliver the on-time, on-budget results, learning and integration that
organizations need.
https://www.pmi.org/about/learn-about-pmi/what-is-project-management

What is project management?


Project management, then, is the application of knowledge, skills, tools, and techniques to project activities
to meet the project requirements.
It has always been practiced informally but began to emerge as a distinct profession in the mid-20th
century.
https://www.pmi.org/about/learn-about-pmi/what-is-project-management
Project management is the application of processes, methods, knowledge, skills and experience to achieve
the project objectives.
https://www.apm.org.uk/resources/what-is-project-management/

© Oakwood International Ltd. All rights reserved. Page 6


What responsibilities do you have for project management?
The answer could be ‘none’ – you have no specific responsibilities relating to projects. Or, perhaps project
management is part of your role. However, sooner or later, your management role will involve some form
of project management – it is a specific skill of a professional manager. If you do not currently manage
projects, consider the benefits of identifying a suitably challenging project to manage for your own personal
and career development. Benefits might include:
▪ Recognition of good performance
▪ Personal pride in adding something of value to the business
▪ Growth in your confidence – you will be ready to take on more and wider project challenges
▪ Enhancement of your personal reputation
▪ Enhancement of your career prospects
▪ Monetary reward (perhaps)

However, consider the implications of accepting responsibility for a project, and failing to achieve the
required objectives. This may lead to:
▪ Loss of confidence in you – you will not be trusted with similar challenges in the future
▪ Loss of your own confidence – and morale
▪ Damage to your reputation and career prospects

So, taking on responsibility for a project has many potential advantages if you get it right. But, if you get it
wrong there is the potential for serious implications for you and your organisation.
Before accepting responsibility for, or identifying and volunteering to manage a workplace project, you
might consider the following:
▪ Is the project scope within your capability? A challenge to stretch you is okay – but if you know you will
have great difficulty in achieving the project objectives, you might want to avoid taking on the project
▪ Have you got the time (and energy) to achieve the project objectives within the expected timescale? It
is very easy to underestimate the scale of the task and how long it will take to achieve the expected
objectives.
▪ Will you have access to the resources you need to achieve the project objectives, including time,
finance, equipment.
▪ Will you be able to off-load some of your normal role tasking to take on the project management?
▪ Do you think the personal benefits of undertaking the project outweigh the potential personal pain?
▪ Will you have the full support of your line manager? Mentor? Other key stakeholders? Is there
someone you can provide advice and support if you experience difficulties?
▪ Of course, you may have no choice – the project is assigned to you to manage. However, the questions
above still apply – these are serious considerations to discuss with whomever is the ‘project sponsor.’
▪ So, in summary, before taking on a project, you should ensure that:
▪ The project objectives are within your (technical) capability to achieve
▪ You will have the energy and capacity to manage the project within the anticipated timescale
▪ You will have access to all the resources you will need to manage the project, including time, finance,
hardware and, where appropriate, a project team
▪ You will be able to manage both the project and your role, or you will be able to offload some of your
role tasking
▪ You have the full support of your line manager and other significant stakeholders for the duration of
the project.

(Leslie Jones Oakwood International 2018)

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REFLECTIVE ACTIVITY:
Consider a project you have managed recently, or perhaps one you might be required to manage, or want
to manage:

▪ How will you balance project management with your other role tasking?
▪ Are there any gaps in your technical capability that you may need to overcome to achieve the project?
▪ What additional support will be available to you to manage the project?
▪ What is the value to you of managing the project?
▪ Is there anything about the project requirements that worry you?

PROJECT PROCESS

You will find several versions of project processes. However, the following is assessed to be a common-
sense approach:
▪ Identify project
▪ Create business case including financial viability
▪ Clarify project aim and intended outcomes
▪ Clarify project scope – timelines – key deliverables
▪ Confirm resources including time, finance, project team
▪ Create project plan
o Gantt
o PERT
o Process chart
o Critical incident
▪ Implementation
o Monitoring
o Feedback
o Reporting
o Leading
▪ Complete project
▪ Evaluate key learning (to build into the next project)

(Leslie Jones Oakwood International 2018)

© Oakwood International Ltd. All rights reserved. Page 8


A.C. 1.2 ASSESSING THE FINANCIAL VIABILITY OF A PROJECT
Business case
Whether you have been assigned a project, or you have identified a project you would like to initiate and
manage, you will need to clarify and communicate the business case. There are several ways you can
structure and present a business case, but the following are certainly key headings:
▪ What is the purpose of the project?
▪ Why is it necessary
▪ What would be the implications of not carrying out the project work?
▪ What will success look like?
▪ What will be the value of the project in financial and non-financial terms?
▪ What will be the cost of the project?
▪ Cost-Benefit/Return on Investment
▪ Estimated timeframe of the project

Financial viability of a project


For a simple project, assessing the financial viability should be a straight forward process, at least in terms
of assessing the cost. Assessing the benefits of achieving project objectives in financial terms may be a little
more difficult.

Costs can be categorised a ‘direct costs’ and ‘indirect costs.’

‘Direct costs’ of a project might include:


▪ Cost of materials
▪ Salaries of team members
▪ Sub-contractors
▪ Travel

‘Indirect cost of a project might include:


▪ Time
▪ Effect on other projects
▪ Workplace relationships?

Benefits of completing a project can be categorised as ‘financial’ and ‘non-financial.’ ‘Financial benefits
might include:
▪ Reduced manpower costs through greater efficiency (perhaps automation)
▪ Time-saving
▪ Reduced use of other resources (e.g. energy)
▪ Cost savings due to greater safety

Non-financial benefits can be difficult to identify, but with some brainstorming, perhaps with others aware
of what the project is about, you should be able to list some. Here are some examples:
▪ Enhanced end-user satisfaction (perhaps because of introducing a more user-friendly process)
▪ Personal recognition (direct benefit to you)
▪ Team recognition
▪ Enhanced safety

You will find a few more ideas at:


https://www.projectmanagement.com/blog-post/28697/5-Non-Financial-Project-Benefits
http://www.technologyofcommunication.com/2010/08/how-to-financially-assess-project.html

© Oakwood International Ltd. All rights reserved. Page 9


REFLECTIVE ACTIVITY
Using the project example used in the previous activity, list the financial and non-financial benefits.

Costing tools
There are several costing tools (models) you can use to assess project costs. In the workshop, we explored
the following:
▪ Analogous costing
▪ Parametric costing
▪ Three-point estimating
▪ ‘Bottom-up’ estimating

Further reading on these tools can be found at:


https://pmstudycircle.com/2012/06/4-tools-to-estimate-costs-in-the-project-management/

Scoping a project
When looking to gain support and approval for your next project, it might be worth thinking BOSCARD.

The BOSCARD is a strategic planning tool used to give the terms-of-reference for new projects. It is believed
to have originated with consulting company Cap Gemini in the 1980s.

The acronym stands for background, objectives, scope, constraints, assumptions, risks and deliverables.
These headings are typical in terms-of-reference and project initiation documents.

© Oakwood International Ltd. All rights reserved. Page 10


Provide background information that includes the
reasons for creating the project and mentions the
BACKGROUND
key stakeholders who will benefit from the project
result.
Describe the project goals and link each of them
OBJECTIVES
with related, SMART project objectives.
Provide a high-level description of the features and
SCOPE functions that characterise the product, service, or
result the project is meant to deliver.
Identify the specific constraints or restrictions that
CONSTRAINTS limit or place conditions on the project, especially
those associated with project scope.
Specify all factors that are, for planning purposes
ASSUMPTIONS considered to be true. During the planning process,
these assumptions will be validated.
Outline the risks identified at the start of the project.
RISKS Include a quick assessment of the significance of
each risk and how to deal with them.
Define the key deliverables the project is required to
DELIVERABLES
produce to achieve the stated objectives.
ESTIMATES (ADDED BY OAKWOOD) Example, costs, resources required
TIMESCALES (ADDED BY OAKWOOD) Duration of project and the key stages within it

When initiating a project, it is important that all parties involved agree in considerable detail what the
project is to achieve before it starts. Failure to gain formal agreement almost always leads to some
expectations not being met.

The nice thing about the BOSCARD is it provides a quick way of delivering all the necessary project
information to stakeholders, without having to complete a full project initiation document.

It's a lot more digestible for busy stakeholders who may not have time to wade through a lengthy project
initiation document when looking for a quick, but detailed overview of the proposed project.

Next time you're seeking to gain support for a new project think, BOSCARD(ET).

Source: https://www.projectsmart.co.uk/boscard.php

Force-Field Analysis
You may find yourself in a position where you are undecided whether it is worth going ahead with a
project. Perhaps you are uncertain about the extent to which the benefits of undertaking the project
compare against the potential costs. An excellent and simple to use tool that will help you with your
decision: ‘Do we?’ ‘Don’t we?’ is the ‘Force Field Analysis.’

When we have a tough decision to make, many of us write a list of the pros and cons. Then, if we have
more pluses than minuses, we should surely just go ahead with it? Well, not necessarily. If you've ever
made one of these lists, you’ll already know the problem.

Most of the time, the pros and cons aren't equally important. For instance, you might have just three cons
on your list, but one of them might be particularly significant. More so, even, than all of the pros you've
listed. So, it's hard to make a balanced decision with a simple list.

© Oakwood International Ltd. All rights reserved. Page 11


One way around this is to use Force Field Analysis. This technique helps you weigh up the forces for and
against change and represents them in a visually clear way. Once you've done this, you'll have a more
accurate assessment of your decision.

Conducting a Force Field Analysis is easy. Take a piece of paper and think about the decision you're making.
On the left-hand side, list the forces for change. That is, the pros of the decision. On the right-hand, list the
forces against change, or the cons of the decision.

Next, go through and assign a score of between one and five for each of the pros and cons. A score of one
means that this element isn't that important. A five means it is very important.

When you score the pros and cons on the diagram, you can represent the importance of each force by
drawing arrows round them. Use bigger arrows for the forces that have a greater influence on the change,
and smaller ones for those that have less. Once you've done this, add each column up.

You now know whether it's worth going ahead with the decision.
Source: adapted from https://www.mindtools.com/pages/videos/force-field-analysis-transcript.htm (there
is a video at this address)

REFLECTIVE ACTIVITY
Using the example project covered in the previous two activities, or another if you wish, conduct a force-
field analysis as though you were undecided whether carrying out the project is viable – ‘do you or don’t
you go ahead with the project?’

Stakeholder Analysis
Stakeholder management is critical to the success of every project in every organization I have ever worked
with. By engaging the right people in the right way in your project, you can make a big difference to its
success... and to your career. – Rachel Thompson, Mind Tools. As you become more successful in your
career, the actions you take and the projects you run will affect more and more people. The more people
you affect, the more likely it is that your actions will impact people who have power and influence over
your projects. These people could be strong supporters of your work – or they could block it.

Stakeholder Management is an important discipline that successful people use to win support from others.
It helps them ensure that their projects succeed where others fail.

Stakeholder Analysis is the technique used to identify the key people who have to be won over. You then
use Stakeholder Planning to build the support that helps you succeed.

© Oakwood International Ltd. All rights reserved. Page 12


The benefits of using a stakeholder-based approach are that:
▪ You can use the opinions of the most powerful stakeholders to shape your projects at an early stage.
Not only does this make it more likely that they will support you, their input can also improve the
quality of your project
▪ Gaining support from powerful stakeholders can help you to win more resources – this makes it more
likely that your projects will be successful
▪ By communicating with stakeholders early and frequently, you can ensure that they fully understand
what you are doing and understand the benefits of your project – this means they can support you
actively when necessary
▪ You can anticipate what people's reaction to your project may be and build into your plan the actions
that will win people's support.

How to Use the Tool


The first step in Stakeholder Analysis is to identify who your stakeholders are. The next step is to work out
their power, influence and interest, so you know who you should focus on. The final step is to develop a
good understanding of the most important stakeholders so that you know how they are likely to respond,
and so that you can work out how to win their support – you can record this analysis on a stakeholder map.

Step 1 – Identify Your Stakeholders


The first step in your Stakeholder Analysis is to brainstorm who your stakeholders are. As part of this,
think of all the people who are affected by your work, who have influence or power over it, or have an
interest in its successful or unsuccessful conclusion.

The table below shows some of the people who might be stakeholders in your job or in your projects:
Your boss Shareholders Government

Senior executives Alliance partners Trades associations

Your coworkers Suppliers The press

Your team Lenders Interest groups

Customers Analysts The public

Prospective customers Future recruits The community

Your family Key contributors Key advisors

Remember that although stakeholders may be both organizations and people, ultimately you must
communicate with people. Make sure that you identify the correct individual stakeholders within a
stakeholder organization.

Step 2 – Prioritise Your Stakeholders


You may now have a long list of people and organizations that are affected by your work. Some of these
may have the power either to block or advance. Some may be interested in what you are doing, others may
not care.

© Oakwood International Ltd. All rights reserved. Page 13


Map out your stakeholders on the grid and classify them by their power over your work and by their
interest in your work.

Figure1: Power/Interest Grid for Stakeholder Prioritization

For example, your boss is likely to have high power and influence over your projects and high interest. Your
family may have high interest but are unlikely to have power over it.

Someone's position on the grid shows you the actions you have to take with them:
▪ High power, interested people: these are the people you must fully engage and make the greatest
efforts to satisfy.
▪ High power, less interested people: put enough work in with these people to keep them satisfied, but
not so much that they become bored with your message.
▪ Low power, interested people: keep these people adequately informed, and talk to them to ensure that
no major issues are arising. These people can often be very helpful with the detail of your project.
▪ Low power, less interested people: again, monitor these people, but do not bore them with excessive
communication.

Step 3 – Understand Your Key Stakeholders


You now need to know more about your key stakeholders. You need to know how they are likely to feel
about and react to your project. You also need to know how best to engage them in your project and how
best to communicate with them.

Key questions that can help you understand your stakeholders are:
▪ What financial or emotional interest do they have in the outcome of your work? Is it positive or
negative?
▪ What motivates them most of all?
▪ What information do they want from you?
▪ How do they want to receive information from you? What is the best way of communicating your
message to them?
▪ What is their current opinion of your work? Is it based on good information?
▪ Who influences their opinions generally, and who influences their opinion of you? Do some of these
influencers therefore become important stakeholders in their own right?
▪ If they are not likely to be positive, what will win them around to support your project?
▪ If you don't think you will be able to win them around, how will you manage their opposition?
▪ Who else might be influenced by their opinions? Do these people become stakeholders in their own
right?

© Oakwood International Ltd. All rights reserved. Page 14


A very good way of answering these questions is to talk to your stakeholders directly – people are often
quite open about their views and asking people's opinions is often the first step in building a successful
relationship with them.

You can summarize the understanding you have gained on the stakeholder map, so that you can easily see
which stakeholders are expected to be blockers or critics, and which stakeholders are likely to be advocates
and supporters or your project. A good way of doing this is by colour coding: showing advocates and
supporters in green, blockers and critics in red, and others who are neutral in orange.

Figure 2: Example Power/Interest Grid with stakeholders marked

Figure 2 shows an example of this – in this example, you can see that a lot of effort needs to be put into
persuading Piers and Michael of the benefits of the project – Janet and Amanda also need to managed well
as powerful supporters.

Example
You can create your own example of Stakeholder Analysis at work – whether for your current role, a job
you want to do, or a new project. Conduct a full stakeholder analysis. Ask yourself whether you are
communicating as effectively as you should be with your stakeholders. What actions can you take to get
more from your supporters or win over your critics?

Key Points
As the work you do and the projects you run become more important, you will affect more and more
people. Some of these people have the power to undermine your projects and your position. Others may
be strong supporters of your work.

Stakeholder Management is the process by which you identify your key stakeholders and win their support.
Stakeholder Analysis is the first stage of this, where you identify and start to understand your most
important stakeholders.
The first stage of this is to brainstorm who your stakeholders are. The next step is to prioritize them by
power and interest, and to plot this on a Power/Interest grid. The final stage is to get an understanding of
what motivates your stakeholders and how you need to win them around.

© Oakwood International Ltd. All rights reserved. Page 15


REFLECTIVE ACTIVITY
Think of a project you might decide to manage or be tasked with managing. Conduct a stakeholder analysis.
Once you have completed this, list your conclusions in terms of how you will go about managing the project
with the stakeholders in mind.

A.C. 1.3 CREATING PROJECT PLANS

Critical Path Chart


A Critical Path Chart acts as the basis both for preparation of a schedule, and of resource planning. During
management of a project, they allow you to monitor achievement of project goals. They help you to see
where remedial action needs to be taken to get a project back on course.

Within a project it is likely that you will display your final project plan as a Gantt Chart (using Microsoft
Project or other software for projects of medium complexity or an excel spreadsheet for projects of low
complexity). The benefit of using CPA within the planning process is to help you develop and test your plan
to ensure that it is robust. Critical Path Analysis formally identifies tasks which must be completed on time
for the whole project to be completed on time. It also identifies which tasks can be delayed if resource
needs to be reallocated to catch up on missed or overrunning tasks. The disadvantage of CPA, if you use it
as the technique by which your project plans are communicated and managed against, is that the relation
of tasks to time is not as immediately obvious as with Gantt Charts. This can make them more difficult to
understand.

A further benefit of Critical Path Analysis is that it helps you to identify the minimum length of time needed
to complete a project. Where you need to run an accelerated project, it helps you to identify which project
steps you should accelerate to complete the project within the available time.

How to Use the Tool


The essential concept behind Critical Path Analysis is that you cannot start some activities until others are
finished. These activities need to be completed in a sequence, with each stage being more-or-less
completed before the next stage can begin. These are 'sequential' activities. Other activities are not
dependent on completion of any other tasks. You can do these at any time before or after a particular stage
is reached. These are non-dependent or 'parallel' tasks.

Drawing a Critical Path Analysis Chart


Use the following steps to draw a CPA Chart:

© Oakwood International Ltd. All rights reserved. Page 16


Step 1. List All Activities in the Plan
For each activity, show the earliest start date, estimated length of time it will take, and whether it is parallel
or sequential. If tasks are sequential, show which stage they depend on.

For the project example used here, you will end up with the same task list as explained in the article on
Gantt Charts (we will use the same example as with Gantt Charts to compare the two techniques). The
chart is repeated in Figure 1 below:

Figure 1. Task List: Planning a custom-written computer project

Earliest Dependent
Task Length Type
start on...

A. High level analysis Week 0 1 week Sequential

B. Selection of hardware platform Week 1 1 day Sequential A

C. Installation and commissioning of 2


hardware Week 1.2 weeks Parallel B

2
D. Detailed analysis of core modules Week 1 weeks Sequential A

2
E. Detailed analysis of supporting modules Week 3 weeks Sequential D

2
F. Programming of core modules Week 3 weeks Sequential D

3
G. Programming of supporting modules Week 5 weeks Sequential E

H. Quality assurance of core modules Week 5 1 week Sequential F

I. Quality assurance of supporting modules Week 8 1 week Sequential G

J.Core module training Week 6 1 day Parallel C,H

K. Development and QA of accounting


reporting Week 5 1 week Parallel E

L. Development and QA of management


reporting Week 5 1 week Parallel E

M. Development of Management
Information System Week 6 1 week Sequential L

N. Detailed training Week 9 1 week Sequential I, J, K, M

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Step 2. Plot the Activities as a Circle and Arrow Diagram
Critical Path Analyses are presented using circle and arrow diagrams.

In these, circles show events within the project, such as the start and finish of tasks. The number shown in
the left-hand half of the circle allows you to identify each one easily. Circles are sometimes known as
nodes.

An arrow running between two event circles shows the activity needed to complete that task. A description
of the task is written underneath the arrow. The length of the task is shown above it. By convention, all
arrows run left to right. Arrows are also sometimes called arcs.

An example of a very simple diagram is shown below:

This shows the start event (circle 1), and the completion of the 'High Level Analysis' task (circle 2). The
arrow between them shows the activity of carrying out the High-Level Analysis. This activity should take 1
week.

Where one activity cannot start until another has been completed, we start the arrow for the dependent
activity at the completion event circle of the previous activity. An example of this is shown below:

Here the activities of 'Select Hardware' and 'Core Module Analysis' cannot be started until 'High Level
Analysis' has been completed. This diagram also brings out a number of other important points:
▪ Within Critical Path Analysis, we refer to activities by the numbers in the circles at each end. For
example, the task 'Core Module Analysis' would be called activity 2 to 3. 'Select Hardware' would be
activity 2 to 9.
▪ Activities are not drawn to scale. In the diagram above, activities are 1 week long, 2 weeks long, and 1
day long. Arrows in this case are all the same length.
▪ In the example above, you can see a second number in the top, right hand quadrant of each circle. This
shows the earliest start time for the following activity. It is conventional to start at 0. Here units are
whole weeks.

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The full plan:

PERT (Programme Evaluation & Review Technique


PERT is a variation on Critical Path Analysis that takes a slightly more sceptical view of time estimates made
for each project stage. To use it, estimate the shortest possible time each activity will take, the most likely
length of time, and the longest time that might be taken if the activity takes longer than expected.
Use the formula below to calculate the time to use for each project stage:
shortest time + 4 x likely time + longest time
----------------------------------------------------------
6
This helps to bias time estimates away from the unrealistically short time-scales normally assumed.

Key Points
Critical Path Analysis is an effective and powerful method of assessing:
▪ What tasks must be carried out.
▪ Where parallel activity can be performed.
▪ The shortest time in which you can complete a project.
▪ Resources needed to execute a project.
▪ The sequence of activities, scheduling and timings involved.
▪ Task priorities.
▪ The most efficient way of shortening time on urgent projects.

An effective Critical Path Analysis can make the difference between success and failure on complex
projects. It can be very useful for assessing the importance of problems faced during the implementation of
the plan.

PERT is a variant of Critical Path Analysis that takes a more sceptical view of the time needed to complete
each project stage.

Full article at: https://www.mindtools.com/pages/article/critical-path-analysis.htm

Gantt Chart
Think about how challenging it would be to juggle a dozen balls at once. You'd have to keep your eye on all
of them and know when to catch each one. If you missed just one, this could spoil your whole performance.
Project management is similar to this. To complete a project successfully, you must control a large number
of activities, and ensure that they're completed on schedule. If you miss a deadline or finish a task out of
sequence, there could be knock-on effects on the rest of the project. It could deliver late as a result, and
cost a lot more. That's why it's helpful to be able to see everything that needs to be done, and know, at a
glance, when each activity needs to be completed.

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You will find the full article, and a video explaining how to create a Gantt chart, at
https://www.mindtools.com/pages/article/newPPM_03.htm

Flow Charts
A flowchart is one of the seven basic quality tools used in project management and it displays the actions
that are necessary to meet the goals of a particular task in the most practical sequence. Also called as
process maps, this type of tool displays a series of steps with branching possibilities that depict one or
more inputs and transforms them to outputs.

The advantage of flowcharts is that they show the activities involved in a project including the decision
points, parallel paths, branching loops as well as the overall sequence of processing through mapping the
operational details within the horizontal value chain. Moreover, this particular tool is very used in
estimating and understanding the cost of quality for a particular process. This is done by using the
branching logic of the workflow and estimating the expected monetary returns.

A basic flowchart can help project managers most especially during the planning phase. When a chart is
created, it shows the method that the organization uses to reach a particular milestone of the project. This
will make it easier for project managers to move through the process of determining, delegating and
scheduling each task to the team members.

The best thing about this particular project management tool is that it is very easy to make and project
managers can keep a template to use again for other project planning activities. It can also be easily made
using computer software to design a customized flowchart that suits the needs of the project manager and
the project itself.

Source (and embedded links) at https://project-management-knowledge.com/definitions/f/flowchart/

REFLECTIVE ACTIVITY
Using one of the project planning tools covered above, create a project plan for a real or imagined
project. You might want to use a simple example, so you can get used to using the planning tool.

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PARETO PRINCIPLE (80-20 RULE)
The Pareto Principle, also known as “The 80-20 rule”, states that in many situations, 80% of the effects
originate from 20% of the causes. This rule has been applied to economics, criminology, software
programming, and business. And now, you’re about to see how it applies to project management.

Project Timelines
As project managers, we’re always looking for the fastest and most efficient ways to get projects out the
door. We use Gantt charts, flowcharts, and other planning methods to be able to speed through all the
dependencies and tasks in order to reach a viable product as soon as possible.

While the ratio is not always 80-20, there is a set of core tasks that generate a disproportionate amount of
work and are essential to project success. These tasks are called “the critical path”, and this is where you
should be focusing most of your energy.

Take a look at your project plan and determine which tasks make up your critical path—tasks that define
your project’s success. Focus your efforts on the critical path and see how that affects the rest of the
project.

Errors and Issues


Errors and issues are subject to the Pareto Principle as well. When doing risk management and problem
solving, chances are good that 80% of your problems will be coming from a few key issues—whether it’s a
bad line of code, a problematic vendor, or bad quality materials.

Identify your problems, then identify their sources. Spend your energy working on the causes that have the
biggest or most effects. But keep in mind that it may not involve a quick fix. They could be causing the bulk
of the problems because they are the hardest and most complex issues to solve.

Productivity
If you look at your daily work schedule, you’ll probably notice that there is a certain segment of the day
where you’re most productive—your “power hours” so to speak. These may not be consistently the same
time, but they will be nearly the same total amount. The rest of the day is probably spent in meetings, off-
site, or doing tasks that don’t push the project forward.

Identify your peak period and treasure it. Protect it. Block it off and don’t let anyone short of your CEO (and
maybe even him) trespass on it. Then, once it’s consistently followed and observed (both by yourself and
everyone in the office), work on expanding it to cover more of your day.

A.C. 1.4 SET OBJECTIVES AND TARGETS?MILESTONES TO MONITOR PERFORMANCE AND REVIEW PLANS
WITHIN THE PROJECT

PROJECT IMPLEMENTATION
Allocating tasking
For a sizeable project it is likely you will have a team to assist you in the various project tasks. There are
some obvious, and some less obvious considerations in how you go about managing the project team.

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Project Team Charter
This is document that you create and share with your project team. There are several recommended
formats for the Project Team Charter – one of them includes the following headings:
1. Context.
2. Mission and Objectives.
3. Composition and Roles.
4. Authority and Boundaries.
5. Resources and Support.
6. Operations.
7. Negotiation and Agreement.

You will find a full explanation of each of these headings at:


https://www.mindtools.com/pages/article/newTMM_95.htm
More reading at: https://www.lce.com/Team-Charters-What-are-they-and-whats-their-purpose-1219.html

Delegation
If you delegate effectively, you will reduce a considerable amount of pressure on yourself as the project
manager. However, effective delegation requires consideration and thought – you should:
▪ Identify the capabilities of each of your team members in relation to the project
▪ Work closely with individual team members to identify the extent they are prepared to be challenged
(and take controlled risks)
▪ Provide clear objectives (preferably in SMART form: Specific – Measurable – Achievable – Realistic –
Timebound)

Monitoring
You will adopt your own leadership style – perhaps adapting (Situational Leadership) dependent upon the
circumstances of the project progression. However, you should monitor the activities of your project team
– with ‘micro-managing’ (unless that is necessary). Provide feedback – your team will expect and need this.
Provide encouragement, and give praise where due. Do no be afraid to admonish if performance is not up
to the expected standard. You should be prepared to be flexible – for example, you may need to reallocate
tasks, or apply team effort to challenges. Above all, provide leadership!

Reporting
As your project rolls out, you should report progress to key stakeholders. These stakeholders and their
specific reporting requirements will have been identified in your project plan. Be honest in your reporting –
if you are having difficulties – for example, meeting deadlines, you should report this.

‘Quick wins’
A significant project will involve organisational change to some extent. A key factor in successful change
management is the perception of success. You should build into your project plan some ‘quick wins’ where
possible – and these should be at the beginning of the project roll-out/implementation. Achieving these
quick wins will plant the perception of progress, and this will help you gather momentum.
Leslie Jones, Oakwood International 2018

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A.C. 1.5 USE A PROJECT EVALUATION TECHNIQUE TO EVALUATE THE PROJECT
PROJECT COMPLETION
Reporting/Presenting
Once your project is completed, there may be a requirement to present the outcome to key stakeholders.
The presentation might be a document – there are several formats for this. One format is the ‘project
dashboard’ – these can be created using specific software – or using Excel (there are free templates
available online). The ‘project dashboard’ can be used to the project planning stage, and during project
implementation, as well as at project completion. Here is an example:

A project dashboard is an information display that depicts key indicators of project performance in a format
that resembles an instrument panel on a dashboard. This format can convey the project's overall progress
and highlight particular problems that require further attention.

Key headings you might include in a project completion report and/or presentation are:
▪ Project aim and justification – summary of the business plan
▪ Overview of the project plan/process, including timeline
▪ Planned success criteria
▪ Outcomes compared with success criteria – to what extent did the project achieve its aims and
objectives?
▪ Key challenges encountered
▪ Key learning points – to carry over into subsequent projects

Leslie Jones Oakwood International 2018


More reading on project evaluation tools at:
http://www.dummies.com/careers/project-management/how-to-use-a-project-dashboard-for-your-
project-progress-report/
https://www.wiley.com/legacy/wileychi/innovate/website/pages/atoz/projectevaluationtools.htm

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REFLECTIVE ACTIVITY
Create an outline of a post-project report you might use (i.e. create a template)

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SECTION TWO – UNDERSTAND THE FINANCIAL AND NON-FINANCIAL IMPLICATIONS OF A PROJECT

2.1 List areas where net savings can be achieved as a result of the workplace project

2.2 Identify wider non-financial implications that can result from the workplace project

A.C. 2.1 LIST AREAS WHERE NET SAVINGS CAN BE ACHIEVED AS A RESULT OF A WORKPLACE PROJECT

In Part 1, we explored some of the potential financial and non-financial benefits that successful completion
of a project could achieve. These potential benefits should have been identified in the project planning and
scoping phase, including, where applicable, the business case.

See http://zilicus.com/Resources/blog-2013/managing-project-financials-budget-cost-expenses-billing--
margin-with-project-management-software-zilicuspm.html

A.C. 2.2 IDENTIFY WIDER NON-FINANCIAL IMPLICATIONS THAT CAN RESULT FROM THE WORKPLACE
PROJECT

Benefits Realisation Management (BRM)


BRM is covered in the workshop. As a reminder, the BRM is carried out (for more complex projects).

The first step is to estimate what the work may cost and the value of its expected benefits. These estimates
are made and refined in parallel with other planning processes for establishing the scope of work and
estimating schedule, resources and risk.

The balance of cost and benefit is analysed using investment appraisal techniques and documented in the
business case. Work is approved if it can be shown not only that the benefits outweigh the costs, but also
that the organisation cannot get a better return by investing the same funds elsewhere.

A full explanation of this is at https://www.apm.org.uk/body-of-knowledge/delivery/financial-cost-


management/

Cost Benefit Analysis


A Cost Benefit Analysis is a simple calculation (once you have the numbers) to assess whether the benefits
of a project outweigh the costs (in financial terms) – in other words, the project would be/was worth
carrying out. Identifying the costs is a relatively simple task – these will include, probably:
▪ Salary costs (project manager and team) calculated by man hours x hourly rate
▪ Cost of materials
▪ Transport costs
▪ Other resources costs e.g. fuel, power
▪ Cost of sub-contractors
▪ ‘Hidden costs’ e.g. costs of covering other tasks due to project team focus on the project

The benefits of carrying out the project can be more difficult to predict/calculate – but you will need to
attempt this, and be prepared to justify your calculation. Benefits could be:
▪ Efficiency savings – e.g. reduction in time required to carry out a task because of a new process
implemented by the project
▪ Less manpower requirements, including sub-contractors, due to, perhaps, automation
▪ Increase in employee productivity

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All of the above can be translated into financial terms.

However, it is always worth considering non-financial benefits of carrying out a project. These might
include (as covered in Part 1):
▪ End user satisfaction
▪ Enhanced reputation of the project team and the business area they represent
▪ Greater levels of employee engagement due to project success

You will find some reading on this at https://www.projectmanagement.com/blog-post/28697/5-Non-


Financial-Project-Benefits

Return on Investment
Return on Investment (ROI) is another form of cost-benefit analysis – but the outcome of the analysis is
expressed as a percentage. The calculation for this is:

REFLECTIVE ACTIVITY
Conduct a financial/non-financial benefits analysis using either the cost-benefit or the return on
Investment (ROI) model.

© Oakwood International Ltd. All rights reserved. Page 26


SECTION THREE – CASE STUDIES

Scenario 1
IT Department has just completed a critical company ERP implementation. As part of the ERP provider’s
contract, the firm will offer 90 days support of the tool. Any required support beyond the 90 day period
will incur a daily consultant rate of $1,000.00 (per day) plus all expenses.

The IT Department has contacted Recruitment to request immediate staffing support to begin searching for
a candidate who possesses the specialized ERP experience to support the newly installed ERP tool. With
the time required to identify, source, recruit an available candidate PLUS the required candidate
resignation notice period of 60 days; the Recruitment department will only have approximately 30 days to
locate a candidate before the business is forced to pay an outside consultant the daily rate of $1000.00.

Please outline a project plan to initiate:


▪ Scope of search process
▪ Collecting job description requirements from the hiring manager
▪ Time frame to locate candidate, schedule interviews, negotiate offer
▪ Cost the search process (advertising, social media, etc..)

Scenario 2
A Plant (pick any one) needs to hit their design rates but it is found that there is a bottle neck in the Plant
e.g. a reactor, a heat exchanger or even a pump. This prevents them increasing rates.

The engineer discovering this would assess/calculate the loss in assumed rates and thus revenue and
present this to the Director. The Director would then appoint a Project Manager to Initiate a Project to
install, say, a Reactor and the Director would become the Sponsor. The Project Manager would compile a
Business Case and SOW and based on the Business Case the Project would either proceed or be killed if
benefits do not exceed the Capital required to complete the Project.

If the Sponsor receives Board support then he would ask the PM to develop a Project Charter with broad
details of the Project (objectives, rough schedule, cost, quality, stakeholders and business case). This
Charter MUST be signed by all the Board as further down the line it is guaranteed that their input and
support will be needed.

The PM would then develop a detailed Project scope and from this he would develop the schedule. This
would include lead times for design and build new reactor, shutting down Plant to install new Reactor and
then installing new Reactor and any associated piping and equipment modifications and installation. Finally,
he would also schedule Plant commissioning, start-up and rate trials. He would liaise with the rest of the
Sadara “train” to plan minimum “train” disruption and maximize other plant shutdown opportunities to
carry out opportunity work.

From this the PM would work out total cost, budget, and capital outflow for the business.

© Oakwood International Ltd. All rights reserved. Page 27


SECTION FOUR – ASSIGNMENT GUIDANCE

UNIT AIM
As a reminder, the aim of 8600-320 is to enable the practicing and potential first line manager to manage
workplace projects.

PURPOSE OF THIS WRITTEN ASSIGNMENT


This written assignment will enable you to demonstrate your knowledge, understanding and learning based
on the Learning Outcomes and associated Assessment Criteria in the context of your organisation and role.
In writing the report, you will need to use your notes from the workshop, and this workbook as reference
material.

HOW TO WRITE THIS WRITTEN ASSIGNMENT


This written assignment is not a business report. You are not required to write narrative, although you can
do this if you wish. What you do need to do is consider very carefully each of the assessment criteria and
provide some notes in the appropriate sections in the template below. You can use bullet points or short
paragraphs to demonstrate your knowledge, understanding and learning.

HOW THIS WRITTEN ASSIGNMENT WILL BE ASSESSED


Your written assignment will be assessed by the Student Marking Team at Oakwood. However, during the
Professional Discussions, which will take place at the end of the programme once you have completed all
your written assignments, the ‘Assessor’ will use your written assignment, and the details you have
provided in your PAL Log, as the basis for discussion for this unit. For this reason, it is important you provide
as much detail as you are able covering each assessment criteria.

USE OF SUPPORTING MATERIALS IN YOUR WRITTEN ASSIGNMENT


Use your Workbook to provide supporting reference material. Although the focus of your written
assignment is practical covering what you do, what you know and understand in the context of your role,
you should still demonstrate your understanding and learning of underpinning theory. Where you have
used reference material from the workbook – for example by quoting or interpreting and idea – please
ensure you acknowledge this with a reference. You will find guidance on simple referencing at the back of
your workbook.

© Oakwood International Ltd. All rights reserved. Page 28


SECTION FIVE – REFERENCING CONVENTIONS USED IN WRITTEN ASSIGNMENTS

In order to avoid any suggestion of plagiarism (using someone else’s words as your own) it is important that
you acknowledge all sources of research material that you have used in your assignments. When quoting
directly from a source, or adapting to suit the requirements of your assignment, you must provide a clear
indication of where the words used came from. You should provide a clear reference at the point in your
narrative where you have used or adapted the words from the source. The source then needs to be
identified again at the end of your assignment narrative in a ‘Reference List’.

If you are familiar with the Harvard Reference method, or other accepted forms of referencing used in
academic papers, you can use these. Similarly, if you are familiar with the conventions for using footnotes,
you can use this method of referencing. However, if you are not familiar with some of the more complex
models of referencing you should use the method devised by Oakwood, which is explained below.
Whichever method you use, please ensure that you reference at the point where you use the source in
your narrative, and also in the Reference List at the end.

Oakwood referencing method


Oakwood’s referencing method is essentially a cut-down version of the Harvard Referencing method. It
takes account of the fact that, for the purposes of your Level 5 written assignments you are likely to draw
upon the following sources for research:
1. Textbooks
2. Factsheets – e.g. CIPD and ACAS
3. Web-based sources

Examples for each of these sources are as follows:

Textbook:
▪ In the text:
The line managers’ role is thus vital to facilitate learning (Hutchinson 2007)

▪ Reference list:
Hutchinson, S (2007), Learning and the line. The role of line managers in training, learning and
development, CIPD.

Factsheet:
▪ In the text:
Such a process should flow from business strategy, and its aim is to produce a plan for the organisation to
make sure there is sufficient capability to sustain business performance. (CIPD factsheet: Identifying
learning and development needs, April 2015)

▪ Reference list:
CIPD factsheet: Identifying learning and development needs (April 2015)

Web-based:
▪ In the text:
The uses of neuroscience depend on the question being asked. www.theguardian.com/.../neuroscience-
david-eagleman-ray)

▪ Reference list:
www.theguardian.com/.../neuroscience-david-eagleman-ray)

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General guidance:
▪ Never pass off someone else’s words as your own: if in doubt, use a reference!
▪ Aim for between 3 – 5 references in an assignment between 500 and 1500 words; a few more for
longer assignments
▪ Any references used in the narrative text must be listed as shown above in the reference list at the end
of your assignment
▪ Do not include details of sources in your reference list if these have not been included as references in
the narrative
▪ Avoid overlong quotations – keep to 1 – 2 sentences.

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