Example Project Management Essay
Project Management Plan - Set-up of a New Restaurant
There are four main phases ofproject management: defining the project, designing the project process,delivering the project and developing the process.This Project Management Plan is concerned primarily with the first two steps:
1. Definingthe project: the project objective is broken down into a series of manageablesteps called tasks
2. Designingthe project process: this work is performed by the Project Manager and ispresented in the Gantt Chart and Network Diagram where the tasks are displayedin more detail.
The workers (or stakeholders)will actually deliver the project. The final step of developing the projectmanagement process is a continual reappraisal of the way in which tasks areplanned for and implemented; this is an ongoing process that begins once thefirst task is underway.
Certain choices had to be madeconcerning the parameters to which this project subject. These are statedbelow.
. The general working times are as follows:
. Weekdays from 8am - 12pm and 1pm - 5pm
. Calculations are based on an 8 hour day and 40 hour week
. The only exception to this is the first day of the project,Saturday 1 October 2005
. Each worker (resource) will only work up to a maximum of 8 hoursper day. Or alternatively 8 hours per day is 100% of each worker's allocatedwork units.
. The activity durations are presumed to be correct, although extraflexibility has been built into the plan to mitigate any time problems (seeRisk Management Plan)
. The Resource Costs are known and have been calculated in theProject Costings table below, however, the Fixed Costs (purchase of thebuilding, kitchen equipment, dining room furniture etc) are not known and sohave been estimated. Any changes to these fixed costs will affect the totalproject cost.
The overall aim of this projectis to create a fully operational restaurant as part of George Wright's businessthat will be prepared to receive guests for a Grand Opening day.
NB: A glossary of terms isincluded in this report to help explain any unfamiliar terms.
In order to achieve the projectobjectives the following tasks must be achieved. The tasks have been groupedinto the following summary tasks: Building Work, Interior Design, New Staff,Food, Preparation for Grand Opening.
The table also shows for eachtask the resources (or stakeholders, represented by their initials) allocatedto it, the task duration and the scheduled start and finish dates.
The Critical Path Method (CPM)is a way of creating a logical sequence of the work tasks and activities thatare described above. The Gantt Chart below neatly presents the tasks necessaryto complete the project showing how the tasks are linked to and flow from eachother.
There are no constraintsassociated with each individual task, which means that there is no date set bywhich a task must be completed. The only constraint or deadline is the GrandOpening day, scheduled to occur on 2 December 2005.
Gantt Chart 1
Black Bar: Groupsof tasks
Blue Bar: IndividualTasks
Black Diamond: Milestone
Red Bar: CriticalTask
This diagram is very useful inthat it shows the dependencies between tasks by use of arrows, for example, thetask 'Test Menu Items' is dependent upon the 'Create Menu' and 'Install KitchenEquipment' tasks having been completed satisfactorily.
Table 2: Resource Costs
Table 3: Project Costs
Total Cost = 218,805
The critical path is shown inred.
The project has a new end date of6 December 2005. Although the project is starting two weeks after the startdate of the pathway shown in the Gantt Chart in Section 1, the earliestpossible Grand Opening day is not delayed by two weeks but a mere four days.This is because the project is now more tightly scheduled with no room forerror (whereas the previous plan had anticipated delay time built in to itsschedule).
The consequences of the buildingalterations taking 5 days longer to complete are twofold:
1) Changeof Completion Date
The completion date would be setback to the 9 December 2005.
The increased costs would be dueto the extra hours of pay that would be given to PJ Construction. This iscalculated by the cost per hour multiplied by the number of extra daysmultiplied by the number of hours work in each day.
This would amount to:
18 x 5 x 8 = 720
There would also be an increasein the overhead costs, due to heating and lighting of the building whilst thebuilding work was in progress.
Risk Management Plan
The PRINCE 2 Method tells us tha tone of the fundamental principles of risk management is that risks should be considered and modifications made to a particular course of action in order to remove or lessen the impact of those risks.
There are three areas to riskmanagement:
3) Responseto Risk
The identification of the risksto this project is presented in the table below which states for each risk thelikelihood that it will occur and the range of possible outcomes.
Table 4: Risk Register
Likelihood of Occurrence
Building alterations takelonger than expected
As no other work can proceeduntil alterations are completed this will cause significant delays
Completing the market researchtakes longer than anticipated and / or does not cover sufficient ground toinform later decisions
Could delay or affect qualityof many decisions and delay associated tasks
Order of kitchen equipment isdelayed
Medium (although hard to defineas it is dependent on an external source)
Installation of the equipmentwill be delayed - then affect testing of the menu items and training of newstaff
One or more new staff notavailable on training days
Training sessions rescheduledto allow all new recruits to receive training
Food items chosen for the menuare not of an acceptable standard
'Create Menus' task must berevisited to revise the menus in order that the food is suitable
The risks shown above have thefollowing factors in common: they have long or uncertain durations and / orexternal dependencies. For example, the building alteration work has thelongest duration of any task in the project and is therefore seems the mostlikely to overrun.
The ordering of kitchen equipmentbeing delayed is an example of a task that has external dependency: no oneinvolved in the project can have any direct influence on how quickly theequipment is delivered. As well as the kitchen equipment, various other itemswill be ordered from organisations outside the scope of the project'sresources, namely the dining furniture, tableware and flowers for the tabledisplays.
The Risk Mitigation Plan can beused to prevent or alleviate the risks identified above; its aim is to reduceuncertainty and to make the team as self sufficient as possible in order toovercome any negative external factors.
. The tasks have been distributed amongst the stakeholders in suchas way as to ensure no one is overburdened with tasks at any one time and istherefore more able to perform to the best of their abilities
. The Grand Opening day of 2 December has been deliberately setjust over a week after the final tasks are due to be carried out. This is tohelp ensure that any previous delays do not impose upon the all-important GrandOpening. However, if when the time comes to contact the press and design theinvitations (where the date of the opening day will be declared) the project ison schedule, the Grand Opening day may be brought forward if desired.
. Encourage the team that change is likely - due to likely changingexternal demands and the knock-on effect of the subsequent changing taskschedule. The advantage of this is that long-term learning can come fromrecognising and engaging with this process.
. It has been assumed that no one will work at the weekends, exceptfor the very first day. If delays occur however, the weekends can be used tocarry out more work although this would have two effects: the cost implicationof overtime pay; and that each Stakeholder will be under greater pressure leadingto the increased likelihood of errors.
. Working 8 hour days only at weekends may seem a very conservativeestimate of time allocation however this is a deliberate choice to allow leewayfor if delays occur.
. Tasks of longer duration should be closely monitored to try andforesee problems before they occur. By looking into the short-term future theprobability of successful completion can be ascertained more easily andpreventative steps taken.
. Checklists are a useful way of ensuring nothing important isforgotten.
. Ordering of kitchen equipment has been set back as early aspossible to allow for a possible delay with supply of the equipment.