The assignment involves the application and evaluation of project management tools and techniques to a construction project case study in order to achieve optimal and effective use of resources. This will instill in you an appreciation and understanding of project management tools and techniques. By developing your critical awareness of the limitations of the tools and techniques, this assignment is also designed to develop your ability to select, use and evaluate project management tools and techniques in general.
You are required to plan the construction project by assembling Gantt charts, resource aggregation charts and performing earned value analysis (EVA), to achieve the most optimal use of both time and resources. You are then expected to appraise the use of network analysis in construction projects. You are required to consider the uncertainty inherent in construction projects by making use of both program evaluation and review technique (PERT) and modelling using random numbers. This will lead you to reflect on how the above approach could be incorporated into Monte Carlo simulation.
Using Microsoft Project
A construction company wins the tender to build a multi storey office block which is to be the new headquarters of a large organisation. The basement of the multi storey office block is to be constructed of in-situ reinforced concrete, while the frame is to be structural steelwork (See section 1.0 in attached project brief for details of construction). As the manager for the construction company in charge of planning the above project to the nearest 0.5 days , you are required to carry out the following:
• Assemble a Gantt chart no.1 for the construction of the substructure and frame for the above office block (assume all activities are sequential eg the whole base slab has to be completed to be able to start work on walls). (Gantt Chart 1)
• Create a resource aggregation chart no.1 for the project. (Resource Histogram)
• By means of another Gantt chart no. 2 and resource aggregation chart no. 2, assess the effect of overlapping activities by constructing the building in two halves, and introducing another team of steel fixers and joiners just for the walls. For example, once half of the base slab is constructed, other elements (walls, columns, etc) can start on that half while the rest of the slab is being completed. Assume piling and blinding is done as in Gantt chart no. 1 (NOT in two halves). (Gantt Chart 1) & (Resource Histogram)
• Appraise the use of network analysis in the scheduling of construction projects. (400 word max)
• At scheduled completion date on Gantt chart no.1, the basement is found to be only 75% complete. The labour allocation records show a total of 350 man-days have been used so far. Use EVA to assess the metrics and predict final duration and resources in man-days for the basement .
• Appraise the use of EVA in construction projects. (400 word max)
• With respect to the Gantt chart no.1 assembled in the first step, use information given in the attached project brief, and random fields generated in Excel, to propose optimum and pessimistic durations. Assess the progress of the project using PERT analysis, estimate of expected duration and probability of achieving completion two days before this duration.
• Justify the importance of the above analysis and recommend how it can be used with Monte Carlo simulation. (300 word max)
Support your arguments with citations from a variety of sources as required, using the APA format 7th edition (2020) referencing convention. See here for further guidance.
For clarity, the word count starts from the introduction and ends with the conclusion.
This assignment tests whether you have achieved the learning outcomes of the module:
LO1 : Assemble and apply a wide range of project management tools and techniques
LO2 : Critically appraise the use of a wide range of project management tools and techniques
LO3 : Justify appropriate project management tools and techniques for different scenarios
Indicative Grade Criteria
The following descriptors will be used to assess your assignment work:
A* As below plus:
• Very high quality professional documentation.
• An exceptional project management report which is concise; clearly applying knowledge to offer appropriate solutions.
• Extensive references and/or bibliography, using subject convention.
• Presented in a highly professional format with excellent structure and no errors in the charts, diagrams, grammar, spelling or punctuation.
A As below plus:
• Thorough completion of project documentation and showing evidence of considerable research beyond recommended textbooks and the internet.
• An excellent project management report, written and presented in a professional manner with work showing insight into and critical evaluation of the relevant project management tools and techniques.
• References and/or bibliography presented according to subject convention
• Well presented, well structured, good organisation with few or no errors in grammar, spelling or punctuation. Presentation of diagrams and/or tables follows required format
B As below plus:
• Adequate completion of project documentation and showing evidence of research beyond recommended textbooks and the internet.
• A project management report written in an appropriate format, which answers the task set in a thorough, thoughtful and competent manner, with few errors or gaps in content, explanation or accuracy
• References and/or bibliography usually presented according to subject convention
• Well presented, clearly written, few errors in structure, organisation, expression, grammar, spelling, punctuation and presentation / use of diagrams and/or tables
C As below plus:
• Partial completion of project documentation with some evidence of research beyond recommended textbooks and the internet.
• A report which strives to answer the task set, but may not be in an appropriate management format or may have omissions in content
• Attempts made at research beyond recommended texts with attempt to present / use references / bibliography according to subject convention
• Generally follows instructions regarding organisation, expression, grammar, spelling, punctuation and presentation / use of diagrams and/or tables
D • Adequate descriptive work that attempts to focus on and show basic grasp of the topic
• Limited research using mainly provided material. Attempts to use and/or present references / bibliography according to convention
• Limited prose style attempting to following instructions regarding organisation, expression, grammar, spelling, punctuation and presentation / use of diagrams and/or tables
Fail / E Anything which is inadequate in most or all of the following: length, content, structure, organisation, expression, discussion, explanation, accuracy and relevance. Work in this range attempts to address the question / problem but is substantially incomplete and deficient. Serious problems with a number of aspects of language use are often found in work in this range and the work may be severely under/over-length.
Fail / F No serious attempt to address the question or problem, and/or manifests a serious misunderstanding of the requirements of the assignment. Acutely deficient in all aspects