Example Project Management Essay
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Project Management Plan - Set-up of a New Restaurant
There are four main phases of project 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. Defining the project: the project objective is broken down into a series of manageable steps called tasks
2. Designing the project process: this work is performed by the Project Manager and is presented in the Gantt Chart and Network Diagram where the tasks are displayed in more detail.
The workers (or stakeholders) will actually deliver the project. The final step of developing the project management process is a continual reappraisal of the way in which tasks are planned for and implemented; this is an ongoing process that begins once the first task is under way.
Certain choices had to be made concerning the parameters to which this project subject. These are stated below.
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 hours per day. Or alternatively 8 hours per day is 100% of each worker's allocated work units.
The activity durations are presumed to be correct, although extra flexibility has been built into the plan to mitigate any time problems (see Risk Management Plan)
The Resource Costs are known and have been calculated in the Project Costings table below, however, the Fixed Costs (purchase of the building, kitchen equipment, dining room furniture etc.) are not known and so have been estimated. Any changes to these fixed costs will affect the total project cost.
The overall aim of this project is to create a fully operational restaurant as part of George Wright's business that will be prepared to receive guests for a Grand Opening day.
NB: A glossary of terms is included in this report to help explain any unfamiliar terms.
In order to achieve the project objectives the following tasks must be achieved. The tasks have been grouped into the following summary tasks: Building Work, Interior Design, New Staff, Food, Preparation for Grand Opening.
The table also shows for each task the resources (or stakeholders, represented by their initials) allocated to 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 that are described above. The Gantt Chart below neatly presents the tasks necessary to complete the project showing how the tasks are linked to and flow from each other.
There are no constraints associated with each individual task, which means that there is no date set by which a task must be completed. The only constraint or deadline is the Grand Opening day, scheduled to occur on 2 December 2005.
Gantt Chart 1
Black Bar: Groups of tasks
Blue Bar: Individual Tasks
Black Diamond: Milestone
Red Bar: Critical Task
This diagram is very useful in that it shows the dependencies between tasks by use of arrows, for example, the task 'Test Menu Items' is dependent upon the 'Create Menu' and 'Install Kitchen Equipment' tasks having been completed satisfactorily.
Table 2: Resource Costs
Table 3: Project Costs
Total Cost = 218,805
The critical path is shown in red.
The project has a new end date of6 December 2005. Although the project is starting two weeks after the start date of the pathway shown in the Gantt Chart in Section 1, the earliest possible 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 for error (whereas the previous plan had anticipated delay time built in to its schedule).
The consequences of the building alterations taking 5 days longer to complete are twofold:
1) Change of Completion Date
The completion date would be setback to the 9 December 2005.
2) Increased Costs
The increased costs would be due to the extra hours of pay that would be given to PJ Construction. This is calculated by the cost per hour multiplied by the number of extra days multiplied by the number of hours work in each day.
This would amount to:
18 x 5 x 8 = 720
There would also be an increase in the overhead costs, due to heating and lighting of the building whilst the building work was in progress.
Risk Management Plan
The PRINCE 2 Method tells us that 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 risk management:
1) Risk Identification
2) Risk Analysis
3) Response to Risk
The identification of the risks to this project is presented in the table below which states for each risk the likelihood that it will occur and the range of possible outcomes.
Table 4: Risk Register
Likelihood of Occurrence
Building alterations take longer than expected
As no other work can proceed until alterations are completed this will cause significant delays
Completing the market research takes longer than anticipated and / or does not cover sufficient ground to inform later decisions
Could delay or affect quality of many decisions and delay associated tasks
Order of kitchen equipment is delayed
Medium (although hard to define as it is dependent on an external source)
Installation of the equipment will be delayed - then affect testing of the menu items and training of new staff
One or more new staff not available on training days
Training sessions re scheduled to allow all new recruits to receive training
Food items chosen for the menu are not of an acceptable standard
'Create Menus' task must be revisited to revise the menus in order that the food is suitable
The risks shown above have the following factors in common: they have long or uncertain durations and / or external dependencies. For example, the building alteration work has the longest duration of any task in the project and is therefore seems the most likely to overrun.
The ordering of kitchen equipment being delayed is an example of a task that has external dependency: no one involved in the project can have any direct influence on how quickly the equipment is delivered. As well as the kitchen equipment, various other items will be ordered from organisations outside the scope of the project's resources, namely the dining furniture, tableware and flowers for the table displays.
The Risk Mitigation Plan can be used to prevent or alleviate the risks identified above; its aim is to reduce uncertainty and to make the team as self sufficient as possible in order to overcome any negative external factors.
The tasks have been distributed amongst the stakeholders in such as way as to ensure no one is overburdened with tasks at any one time and is therefore more able to perform to the best of their abilities.
The Grand Opening day of 2 December has been deliberately set just over a week after the final tasks are due to be carried out. This is to help ensure that any previous delays do not impose upon the all-important Grand Opening. However, if when the time comes to contact the press and design the invitations (where the date of the opening day will be declared) the project is on schedule, the Grand Opening day may be brought forward if desired.
Encourage the team that change is likely - due to likely changing external demands and the knock-on effect of the subsequent changing task schedule. The advantage of this is that long-term learning can come from recognising and engaging with this process.
It has been assumed that no one will work at the weekends, except for the very first day. If delays occur however, the weekends can be used to carry out more work although this would have two effects: the cost implication of overtime pay; and that each Stakeholder will be under greater pressure leading to the increased likelihood of errors.
Working 8 hour days only at weekends may seem a very conservative estimate of time allocation however this is a deliberate choice to allow leeway for if delays occur.
Tasks of longer duration should be closely monitored to try and foresee problems before they occur. By looking into the short-term future the probability of successful completion can be ascertained more easily and preventative steps taken.
Check lists are a useful way of ensuring nothing important is forgotten.
Ordering of kitchen equipment has been set back as early as possible to allow for a possible delay with supply of the equipment.
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