Assessment 2: Project Plan Report
Don’t forget that there are some great resources available to help you with your report writing. You can find them under the Communication Skills for Assessments link.
The executive management of an engineering company has assigned your group to develop a project plan for a project (either an existing project or one created by your group) and to write a comprehensive report detailing this plan.
This is a group assessment. In your group you will need to do the following:
• Select an engineering-based project (either an existing one or one created by you). You will need to provide a detailed description of project, so ensure you spend time researching adequate projects before choosing or creating one. Refer to the project charter document to gain an idea of the level of detail required.
• Prepare the following relating to your project:
o A full scope (use the project charter document on blackboard as a starting point). o A complete Work Breakdown Structure (WBS) including cost and duration estimates for all work packages.
o A Gantt chart identifying task interdependencies and milestones.
o A complete PERT chart with a clear indication of the critical path and possible slack/float times.
• Research and Evaluate best practice, and new and innovative engineering and project management approaches as they relate to organisational and project management in medium and large-scale engineering companies.
• Relate these practices back to your chosen project.
• Provide recommendations for this case study as informed by your research into best practices (in particular, using project management tools/processes).
Write a 15 to 20 page (4,000 word) report addressed to the executive management of the engineering company according to the following structure:
o Executive Summary o Section 1: Introduction o Section 2: Description of the project
Clear description should include: project overview, purpose and need, business drivers and significance, benefits and costs, implementation method, timeline, requirements and expected outcomes.
o Section 3: Description and analysis of charts
This should include full explanations of the created charts.
WBS: All task steps clearly decomposed to their work packages with appropriate resource allocation (time, money, responsibility) for each. Major Milestones shown for each phase/component of the WBS. Schedule can be costed.
Gantt: All interdependencies clearly identified, and milestones highlighted.
PERT: Critical path and all possible slack/float times are clearly identified
o Section 4: Discussion of engineering and project management approaches o Section 5: Conclusion and recommendations o Section 6: Challenges faced in preparing this report
Including producing the required information, strategies for overcoming the challenges and lessons learnt
CRITERIA High Distinction (80-100) Distinction (70-79) Credit (60-69) Pass (50-59) Fail (0-49)
Demonstrates sophisticated understanding, with clear and comprehensive description and discussion of relevant project information and charts. Varied and relevant current and innovative engineering and project management processes identified and discussed. Makes substantial links between research and theory. Demonstrates advanced understanding, with clear description and discussion of relevant project information and charts.
Several current and innovative engineering and project management processes identified and discussed. Makes links between research and theory which improve discussion. Demonstrates competent understanding, with some description and discussion of project information and charts. Some project management processes identified and discussed.
Makes some links between research and theory. Demonstrates satisfactory understanding, with description of some project information and charts. Limited research, with some discussion of at least one current and innovative approach identified. Limited links between research and theory. Demonstrates unsatisfactory understanding, with incomplete or unclear description of project information and charts.
Limited evidence of research to identify project management processes and/or no processes identified and limited to no discussion.
No attempt to link research and theory.
Detailed and insightful analysis of charts and management processes with clear application to engineering companies and chosen project. Comprehensive recommendations made using analysis of research and theory. Detailed analysis of charts and management processes with
application to engineering
companies and chosen project. Recommendations made with links to research and theory. Some analysis of charts and management processes with attempted application to engineering companies and chosen projects.
Recommendations made with some links to identified research. Attempted analysis of charts and management processes, with limited to no application to engineering companies and chosen projects.
Limited recommendations made. Unclear or missing analysis of charts or management processes, with no attempt to link charts or research to engineering companies or chosen project. Irrelevant or missing recommendations.
Challenges, strategies for overcoming and lessons learnt 10% The key challenges of working on this report and strategies for overcoming these challenges have been comprehensively identified. Most of the key challenges have been identified, with realistic strategies for overcoming these challenges. Some key challenges with basic strategies for overcoming these challenges have been identified. Some challenges have been identified, with superficial strategies for overcoming these challenges. Limited or no challenges or strategies have been identified.
Section 7 Demonstrated competencies 10% The report provides
comprehensive details of the Stage 1 Competency Standard for professional Engineers demonstrated. The report provides clear details of the Stage 1
Competency Standard for professional Engineers demonstrated. The report provides clear details of some of the Stage 1 Competency Standard for professional Engineers demonstrated. The report mentions some
Stage 1 Competency
Standard for professional Engineers competencies demonstrated. The report mentions limited or no Stage 1 Competency Standard for professional Engineers competencies demonstrated.
Language, style, layout and logical flow Uses a wide-range of highly appropriate vocabulary and discipline-specific terms. Precise and fluent expression which flows easily.
Sophisticated and complex style and report structure as detailed.
Error-free spelling, punctuation and grammar. Uses a range of appropriate and accurate discipline-specific vocabulary.
Clear, concise and cohesive expressions with logical flow. Style and structure are appropriate.
Occasional errors in spelling, punctuation and grammar. Uses vocabulary and discipline-specific terms accurately.
Reasonably well expressed and clearly flows.
Style and structure are mostly appropriate.
Infrequent errors in spelling and punctuation which do not impede understanding. Uses mostly appropriate vocabulary and key discipline-specific terms. Logical flow, not expressed as well as could be.
Basic organisation and style.
Errors in spelling, punctuation and/ or grammar occasionally impede understanding. Uses limited vocabulary or inappropriate word choices; discipline-specific terms are misused or missing.
Lacks flow and may be difficult to follow.
Style and /or structure is inappropriate.
Errors in grammar, spelling and / or punctuation interfere with understanding
10% Citing and referencing in APA style is accurate throughout. Citing and referencing is generally appropriate and accurate. Some errors in citing and referencing may persist. Citing and referencing is attempted, but with errors. Referencing is consistently inaccurate or not attempted.
Assessment 2: Developing an Effective Project Plan Report
This report details the project plan developed by our engineering group for the construction of a new water treatment facility. We have created a comprehensive project charter, work breakdown structure (WBS), Gantt chart, and PERT chart to outline the scope, timeline, dependencies, and critical path of this project. Based on our research into best practices, we recommend adopting an agile project management approach and utilizing cloud-based collaboration tools to facilitate communication and oversight throughout the implementation process. If executed according to this plan, the water treatment facility should be completed on schedule and within budget by the end of 2024.
Section 1: Introduction
Our engineering group was tasked by executive management to develop a project plan for the construction of a new water treatment facility to serve a growing suburban area. This report provides the details of our project plan, including descriptions of the project scope, timeline, dependencies, and critical path. It also discusses innovative project management approaches and makes recommendations for overseeing the successful implementation of this project.
Section 2: Project Description
The proposed water treatment facility will serve a population of 50,000 residents and include an intake station, filtration plant, storage tanks, and distribution system. It is estimated to cost $25 million and take 18 months to complete. The purpose of the project is to ensure a reliable water supply can meet future demand projections. Benefits include improved water quality, increased capacity and system redundancy. Key requirements are that the facility be operational by January 2025 and come in under budget.
Section 3: Project Charts
Work Breakdown Structure (WBS): We have broken the project down into 7 main work packages – Intake, Filtration, Storage, Distribution, Sitework, Commissioning, and Administration. Each package contains between 5-10 discrete tasks with estimated durations, resources, and dependencies identified (see Appendix A).
Gantt Chart: Using Microsoft Project, we have scheduled each task and identified interdependencies between work packages on our Gantt chart (see Appendix B). Major milestones are completing the intake station by August 2023, finishing construction by November 2024, and commissioning/handover by January 2025.
Program Evaluation and Review Technique (PERT) Chart: Our PERT chart maps the critical path for the project, which runs through the Intake and Filtration work packages (see Appendix C). It shows the project can be completed in 18 months but with only 2 weeks of total float/slack time.
Section 4: Engineering and Project Management Approaches
Based on our research, we recommend adopting elements of the agile project management framework for this project. Its iterative approach and emphasis on collaboration and responsiveness align well with the uncertainties inherent in large-scale construction. We also suggest utilizing cloud-based collaboration tools like Microsoft Teams or Asana to facilitate communication between all project stakeholders in different locations. These virtual workspaces allow for real-time documentation of tasks, issues, and decisions.
Section 5: Conclusion and Recommendations
If executed according to our project plan utilizing agile principles and cloud-based tools, the new water treatment facility should be completed on-time and on-budget by January 2025. To ensure project success, we recommend the following:
Establish a cross-functional project team, co-located if possible, to facilitate collaboration (Schwartz, et al., 2020).
Adopt two-week sprints for work package implementation to allow for continuous planning, monitoring, and adaptation (Project Management Institute [PMI], 2021).
Utilize a cloud-based collaboration tool for centralized documentation, communication, and oversight accessible by all stakeholders (McCarthy, 2018).
Conduct monthly oversight meetings and quarterly health checks to review progress, re-evaluate risks, and make any necessary adjustments to the plan (PMI, 2021).
Section 6: Challenges in Report Preparation
One of the main challenges we faced was gathering all the required project information to develop the comprehensive plan. We overcame this by conducting stakeholder interviews and background research into similar past projects. Another challenge was ensuring the various charts and schedules were integrated and consistent. To address this, we held multiple review sessions within our group. Overall, this process reinforced the importance of thorough planning and cross-functional collaboration.
Section 7: Demonstrated Competencies
In completing this project plan report, our group demonstrated competencies outlined in the Stage 1 Competency Standards for Professional Engineers, including: Communication & Teamwork, Engineering Application Ability, Independent Judgment, and Professional & Ethical Conduct (Engineers Australia, 2021).
Engineers Australia. (2021). Stage 1 competency standard for professional engineer. Retrieved from https://www.engineersaustralia.org.au/For-Institutions/Program-Accreditation/Competency-Standards
McCarthy, J. (2018). The benefits of cloud-based collaboration tools for engineering project management. Engineering News. Retrieved from https://www.engineeringnews.co.za/article/the-benefits-of-cloud-based-collaboration-tools-for-engineering-project-management-2018-07-27
Project Management Institute. (2021). Agile practice guide. Retrieved from https://www.pmi.org/pmbok-guide-standards/practice-guides/agile
Schwartz, J., Brenner, J. C., & Lang, K. (2020). Construction project teams: Organization and performance. Journal of Management in Engineering, 36(1), 04019031. https://doi.org/10.1061/(ASCE)ME.1943-5479.0000733