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EPM 5600 Principles of Project Management : Lazy Project Manager

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EPM 5600 Principles of Project Management

Task:

Assignment objective

Working in your syndicate groups, you will investigate a Project Management scenario, using information given to develop a written report and presentation to answer questions about the scenario. The Report is to be around 2,000 words, plus a reflection (max 200 words). The Presentation should be a maximum of 20 slides, and the Presentation should run for 20 minutes, including questions and answers. The assignment constitutes 20% of the total course mark, and is group assessed. The mark comprises 15% for the Report and 5% for the Presentation.

Scenario

You are working for Adler Services Australia, a Project Management consultancy. Your company has been engaged by Katz Office Fitouts, who are currently undertaking the fitout of a medium-rise IT office building in a Sydney suburb. A team of Katz company staff and contractors, led by a Project Manager, have been performing the work. The fitout is part completed, and the Project Manager, Tony Faultier, has just left the company abruptly, moving overseas to take up a position in another company. You have been put in charge of working with Katz Office Fitouts to investigate the current status of the project and determine any corrective action required, including providing advice on replacing the project manager, and improving the performance of the project team. You are to report your findings to the board of Katz Office Fitouts, including Jim Katz, the business owner and chairman.

The building comprises four levels, and is designed to house 200 people, with 50 on each floor. Each floor provides 500 m2 of office space. Katz Office Fitouts are in charge of the entire fitout, including furnishings, plumbing, electrical and data and telecom infrastructure. 200 employees of Walfisch Software, a computer software company, are to be relocated into the building at the end of the fitout information gathering. As you begin your investigation, you find that Tony Faultier has left very little in the way of reliable records of the project. As you interview other staff and stakeholders, you are able to build up the following picture.

The Project

The total fitout budget is $1.2 million. The original schedule was for completion in a total of four months, commencing on 1 March, and completing on 30 June. It is now 1 May. At this point, the schedule states that work on the ground floor should be completed, the first floor 50% completed and the second floor 50% completed. Work on the top floor is not yet due to commence. On investigation, it is found that the work on the ground floor is only 75% complete, the first floor is 25% complete and the second floor is 25% complete. Also, the top floor is 50% complete, ahead of schedule. So far, $675K has been spent on the fitout.

You are told that Tony Faultier was seen as a lazy project manager; but the team also saw him as belligerent, even bullying, while being impatient and intolerant of others. Tony’s style was quite autocratic, and he was unwilling to listen to advice from members of the team. Katz Office Fitouts have a strict policy of performancebased salary for all staff, where bonuses are paid for performing beyond work targets. Some of the team members were aware that work on the top floor should not have commenced, and attempted to tell Tony that this was causing problems, with one case of accidental leakage from the plumbing causing damage to the first-floor fitout, delaying work; however, Tony advised them to continue with the work. It was found that he was being paid a commission by a former senior manager at Katz for completing the Board Room on the top floor early for a personal celebration. A number of the Katz Office Fitouts staff complained that some of the contract staff did not seem to have received adequate training on the specialised data cabling required for this fitout, leading to costly rework in the cable terminations.

Deliverables

You and your team are to produce a full report. You will deliver the report and present a summary of your findings to the Board of Katz Office Fitouts. This should include:

1. A brief summary of the current status of the project, including the Cost Variance and the Schedule Variance. This should also include an overview scorecard or chart of the project, comparing the scheduled tasks to the actual.

2. A list of any additional information the new Project Manager will need to source in order to produce regular, detailed status reports on the project.

3. An overview of the leadership behaviour on the project. This should use the Organizational Zoo model to represent Tony Faultier’s observed behaviour, and should also make recommendations for the preferred leadership behaviour to be targeted in the recruitment of a new Project Manager, including support and justification.

(Note that all discussion on behaviour should only be expressed using the Organizational Zoo metaphor, and should not include any personal criticism.)

Assignment Process

You should ensure that you effectively plan your work over the full time period available. It is suggested that you commence your work on this assignment starting from the end of the first lecture. You should take the following steps:

1. Start by preparing a Project Plan for your student group work. This should cover preparation of all deliverables.

2. Develop your Report as you receive the required material from the three lectures on the relevant topics.

3. Use the Group Reflection exercise (third week) to write the Reflection for your Report.

4. Complete and submit your final Report, including the Project Plan and Reflection.

5. Summarise your work in the Report to produce your Presentation for the fourth week.

Assessment criteria

The Report will be assessed using the following criteria:

Accurate presentation of current project position and reporting requirements

Understanding of individual and team behaviour and interpersonal dynamics

Writing mechanics (structure and flow)

Layout and writing quality

Effective use of images and diagrams

Recommendations and conclusion

Referencing

Team planning and reflection

The Presentation will be assessed on:

Quality of presentation, presentation skills and audience engagement

Effective use and quality of visual aids

Preparation of the technical content of the presentation and accuracy of findings

Handling of discussion with audience

EPM 5600 Principles of Project Management

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