Coursework Brief for CW2 (Exam Alternative Assessment)

Content of this coursework Brief

Section Content
A Core information
B Coursework brief and requirements
C Module learning outcomes covered in this assessment 
D Assessment of this coursework
E Appendix 1

 

Section A: Core information

This assessment is marked out of 200 marks (100 marks for each part A and B)
% Weighting of this assessment within total module mark 50%
Advisable time to spend on this assessment This is an alternative assessment to an exam and our expectations are not the same as those for a typical ‘in term’ piece of coursework.

 

Accordingly:

•       for a module up to and including 60% weighting, our advice is that it would be reasonable to spend up to two (2) working days on the assessment.

•       for a module above 60% weighting, our advice is that it would be reasonable to spend up to three (3) working days on the assessment.

Word count/page length – maximum This assignment comprises two (2) parts, A and B. You are expected to attempt both of the parts.

Part A) is quantitative. This component should not be longer than 5 pages (based on A4 size) including any drawings or calculations, and explanations of no longer than 500 words in total. If you use more than 5 pages any excess pages will not be marked.

Part B) is qualitative. You should not exceed two thousand (2,000) words – you may use fewer words if you so choose to. If you use more two thousand (2,000) words any excess words will not be marked.

Footnotes, appendices, tables, figures, diagrams, charts included in/excluded from word count Included in numbers of pages/word count

 

Do note that as this alternative assessment is an alternative to an exam, it is not expected that appendices will be included. If they are, they will not be marked.

Bibliographies, reference lists included in/excluded from word count Excluded from page length/word count

 

Do note that as this alternative assessment is an alternative to an exam, it is not expected that bibliographies/reference lists will be included. If they are, they will not be marked.

Penalty for exceeding word count/page length  Yes – As above: if you exceed the specified page length and or word length, the excess content will not be marked.
Academic misconduct (including plagiarism) Academic Misconduct is defined as any action or attempted action that may result in a student obtaining an unfair academic advantage. Refer to Academic Manual Section 9: Student Academic Misconduct Procedure – 9.2 Definitions.

 

Submission date 9 August 2021

 

Submission time 10:00 (UK time)

 

Penalty for late submission Yes. Refer to Academic Manual Section 3: Module Assessment – 3.12 Coursework Deadlines & Late Submissions.

 

If you encounter problems, issues, challenges which fall under the scope of Extenuating Circumstances, please apply to your Home Department.

 

Submitting your assignment The assignment MUST be submitted to the module submission link located within this module’s Moodle ‘Late Summer Assessment’ tab by the specified deadline.

Submissions are through Turnitin.

Submissions should be in pdf format and as one document for each part i.e. one document for Question A and another document for Question B.

Anonymity of identity  Normally, all assignments are anonymous unless the nature of the assessment e.g. video, presentation, group work with minutes attached, is such that anonymity is not possible.

 

The nature of this assessment is such that anonymity is required – this assessment is anonymous.

 

 

Return and status of marked assessments

As this is an alternative assessment to an exam, feedback will be primarily linked to defined marking template.

Assessments are subject to double marking/scrutiny, and internal quality inspection by a nominated School of Management internal assessor. All results when first published are provisional until confirmed by the relevant External Examiner and the Examination Board.

No appeals regarding your published mark are available until after confirmation by that Examination Board.

 

Section B: Coursework Brief and Requirements

 

Context

This assignment comprises two (2) parts: Part A and Part B. Part A relates to the ‘Fairgrove Garden Services’ short case scenario and Part B relates to ‘CIBA Vision: The Daily Disposable Lens project (A)’ case scenario. You are expected to attempt both of the parts.

Part A carries 100 marks and Part B carries 100 marks.

  • Part A) is quantitative and is based on the ‘Fairgrove Garden Services’ short scenario.
  • Part B) is qualitative and is based on the ‘CIBA Vision: The Daily Disposable Lens project (A)’.

 

Brief Part A [100 marks]

Required

Read the ‘Fairgrove Garden Services’ short case study below and provide answers to the FIVE (5) questions immediately after the case study text.

 

Case scenario: Fairgrove Garden Services

You have recently graduated and have joined Fairgrove Garden Services Ltd, a mediumsized company in the horticultural industry, as an assistant project manager. Fairgrove’s business activities include garden design services, landscape gardening plus a small chain of 10 garden centre nurseries[1] in the South of England.

Your company has recently won a contract to renovate the country gardens at the Country Gnomes Manor private estate. The trustees of the estate are the client / sponsor, plan to open the gardens to the public (post-renovation) as a profit-making going concern. They have already begun to publicise the opening date, and have made it clear to Fairgrove that there is no scope for the renovation project to over-run. If the project exceeds the normal network duration, then a penalty of £2,000[2] per week would be incurred.

You have been given the task of organising the resources allocations for the renovation project for your company.

 

 

The following gives the activities, durations and resource requirements for this project:

Activity Dependency Duration (days) Gardeners needed
A None 1 3
B A 9 7
C A 10 3
D B 10 5
E B 5 7
F C 4 6
G B 9 6
H F, G 7 7
I E 7 6
J D 8 5
K I, J, H 8 8

 

Your company has 18 gardeners available for the project. Labour costs are £200 per day. Assume Monday to Friday working only. Generally, the company doesn’t encourage weekend working, although if unavoidable they will offer it at a rate of £300 per day.

In the case of resource overloads, you also have the option of sub-contracting part or all of activities to Green Trees – a local competitor – who will supply gardeners to your project. They will charge you £350 per day per gardener. These are available at this price weekdays and weekends.

The contract with Country Gnomes is on a target-cost basis. Basically, this means that your company will invoice the client for costs incurred, and it’s been agreed that this will be on a weekly basis; however, the target cost ‘caps’ (i.e., limits) the labour costs for the project to a maximum of £95,000. This means that any costs incurred over this amount will be borne by your company.

As a new project manager, keen to build your track record and career in the company, you will naturally wish to avoid any time or cost over-runs.

 

Please complete the following tasks:

Question A1. Draw the full network for the project, including free floats and highlight the critical path. [15 marks]

 

Question A2. Draw the resource bar chart and resource histogram. What does the histogram indicate with respect to the project’s resource loading? [15 marks]

 

Question A3. Re-schedule the project tasks, so that the resource utilisation falls within the resource constraints and without exceeding the baseline project duration. Presume that once a task has started it must be completed on consecutive days. Also presume that labour resources can only be allocated on a full-day basis to tasks (e.g. not on a half or quarter day basis). Explain the rescheduling methodology for your chosen option. Draw the full network, bar chart and resource histogram for your re-scheduled solution. [30 marks]

 

Question A4. In addition to your solution for ‘Question A3’, propose and evaluate TWO (2) alternative resource management strategies that Fairgrove might adopt to deliver this project given the time and staffing constraints. At least one of your options should be an alternative scheduling option to that presented in ‘Question A3’. There is no need to produce the full network etc. for this alternative. An explanation of the changes and illustrative resource bar chart will suffice. [25 marks]

 

Question A5. Which of the options that you identified in ‘Question A3’ and ‘Question A4’ above would you recommend to Fairgrove?  Explain the rationale for your choice. [15 marks]

 

Tips on Approach for Part A:

  • You should draw your network using full British Standard (BS6079) Activity on node (AON) convention.
  • If you are using software, then Visio, Excel, PowerPoint, or the drawing tools in Word are recommended. Please do not use MS Project for this activity.
  • A hand-drawn diagram scanned-I / screenshot into the main document are equally acceptable, but please make sure it is clear, tidy, and legible.

 

 

Part B [100 marks]

Case scenario: CIBA Vision: The Daily Disposable Lens project (A) (Appendix 1 outside this brief)

 

Required

Read the ‘CIBA Vision: The Daily Disposable Lens project (A)’ case study (see Appendix 1) and provide answers to the following THREE (3) questions:

 

Question B1. After three years and no progress, the Godzilla project was terminated.  Ruggiero states [page 7] “Godzilla exposed this organisation’s weaknesses (…) We had no capabilities in production engineering (…)”.

In your opinion, was the lack of production engineering capability the root cause of Godzilla’s problems or were there other problems and/or underlying organisational weaknesses that led to the failure of the project?  Explain the reasons for your views. [50 marks]

 

Question B2. CIBA’s initial efforts to develop an extended wear lens project had been frustrated, as noted by Nick Leonard [page 10], “(…) we lacked the resources or a champion to drive it through (…)”. 

In what ways might the extended lens wear concept have benefited from a champion prior to the decision to fund it as project SEE3. Explain the reason(s) for your suggestions. [18 marks]

 

Question B3. At the meeting on 2nd August 1992 [Pages 1-2, 10-13], Ciba Vision’s senior management were discussing whether to go ahead with the daily disposable lens project. Assume that they have decided, in principle, to go ahead with this project.

Walter Patton now faces the following critical decisions. Whether to:

  • develop new manufacturing technology. locate the project in Germany
  • locate the project in the US.
  • create an autonomous project team.

 

Imagine you are the project manager designate for the project.  Identify TWO (2) principal risks for each of the four options noted above, and state what you might do to mitigate them. [32 marks]

 

Your total answer for the whole Part B must not exceed 2,000 words.

 

Tips on Approach for Part B:

  • The nature of Part B is analysis and developing a reasoned argument. You should draw on relevant project management theories, concepts, and frameworks as appropriate to support your arguments / viewpoints.
  • You may draw upon course materials – lecture slides, notes, handouts, readings, module textbook(s) – you engaged with in your studying of this module.You are not expected or required to find and use new materials. However, please note that you should not be copying word for word from lecture slides, notes, handouts, readings, module textbook(s).You should capture, articulate, and communicate your views, thoughts and learning in your own words.
  • If you do provide a limited number of quotes from any materials (as mentioned above), you should cite them and provide references in the usual way.
  • There is absolutely no need to research the project or the players any further beyond the information in the case. We are looking for your analysis of the problem as given in the case, not your knowledge of the people / project in question.
  • Please do not combine your answer for each of these questions into one essay. There is no need to summarise the case. You can go straight into your answers, assume I have read the case and know the plot.

Section C: Module Learning Outcomes covered in this Assignment

 

This assignment contributes towards the achievement of the following stated module Learning Outcomes as highlighted below:

  • Explain the success / failure indicators for managing projects and how potential causes of failure might be overcome.

 

  • Demonstrate a practical working knowledge and application of project management tools and techniques and use these to identify good practice within organisations.

 

  • Demonstrate a divergent approach to problem-solving through the analysis and presentation of arguments and discussions of project problems / situations.

 

 

Section D: Assessment of this Coursework

 

Within each section of this coursework you may be assessed on the following aspects, as applicable and appropriate to this particular assessment, and should thus consider these aspects when fulfilling the requirements of each section:

  • The accuracy of any calculations;
  • The strengths and quality of your overall analysis and evaluation;
  • Appropriate use of relevant theoretical models, concepts and frameworks;
  • The rationale and evidence that you provide in support of your arguments;
  • The credibility and viability of the evidenced conclusions/ recommendations/ plans of action you put forward;
  • Structure and coherence of your considerations and reports;
  • Appropriate and relevant use of, as and where relevant and appropriate, real world examples, academic materials and referenced sources. Any references should use either the Harvard OR Vancouver referencing system (see References, Citations and Avoiding Plagiarism)
  • Academic judgement regarding the blend of scope, thrust and communication of ideas, contentions, evidence, knowledge, arguments, conclusions.
  • Each part has requirements with allocated marks, maximum word count limits/page limits and where applicable, templates that are required to be used.

 

You are advised to refer to the UCL Assessment Criteria Guidelines, located at

https://www.ucl.ac.uk/teaching-learning/sites/teaching-learning/files/migratedfiles/UCL_Assessment_Criteria_Guide.pdf

 

          

Marking Criteria (Part A)

The following criteria will be used for the Part A of this coursework:

Aspect Weight What this means
Question A1 15% Network diagram.

Drawn to full BS6079 convention.

Correct calculations.

All required items included.

Question A2 6% Resource bar chart. All required items included.
9% Resource histogram. All required items included.

Analysis of the resource histogram.

Question A3

 

6% Solution network diagram. Drawn to full BS6079 convention. Correct calculations.
6% Solution resource bar chart. All required items included.
3% Solution resource histogram. All required items included.
15% Explanation of the approach taken. Breadth and depth of insight. Strength of argument; justified well-argued assertions.
Question A4 20% Breadth & depth of insight. Strength of argument; justified well-argued assertions.
5% Illustrative bar chart. All required items included.
Question A5 15% Breadth & depth of insight.

Strength of argument; justified well-argued assertions.

 

          

Marking Criteria (Part B)

The following criteria will be used for the Part B of this coursework:

Aspect Weight What this means
Question B1.    
Main arguments 40% Relevant points identified. Appropriate use of relevant concepts, frameworks from the course / readings etc. Breadth & depth of insight.

Strength of arguments.

Conclusion 10% Justified well-argued assertions.
Question B2    
Relevant points and Quality of arguments 18% Identifies and discusses relevant points in relation to the case. Breadth & depth of insight. Strength of argument; justified well-argued assertions.
Question B3    
Risks 16% Identifies relevant risks for each of the options
Risk responses 16% Appropriate use of risk strategies, depth of insight.

 

 

Section E: Appendixes

 

Appendix 1: Case scenario – CIBA Vision: The Daily Disposable Lens project (A)

 

Please access the file with case study in the separate file marked as Appendix 1.

 

[1] See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Garden_Centre for an overview of this market

[2] This assumes a 5-day working week, and the £2,000 is incurred for every part or full week late.  So, for example, even if the project is 2 days late – the full £2,000 penalty would be incurred.