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MBA7024 Delivering Successful Projects
Assessment type – Individual Essay
Learning outcomes addressed in this assessment:
- Inform the project selection process as to the risks associated with particular project contexts, types and approaches.
- Synthesis learning – key concepts, theories and techniques – from other MBA (particularly core) modules and apply to the critical analysis of both project failure and success on a case-by-case basis.
- Develop strategies and adapt practice to increase the likelihood of delivering successful projects
You are required to write an essay that explores the relationship between a project manager’s leadership ability and project success.
Leadership, project management, role of project manager, soft skills, technical skills, risk, complexity, uncertainty, project success, project failure, agility, adaptability.
You must follow an essay format – Introduction, Body and Conclusion. All sources must be cited and referenced using the Harvard referencing system. There should be at least 15 peer reviewed academic references (academic journals) e.g. Project Management Journal and the Journal of International Project Management as well as professional and other publications/internet sources.
It’s important that you are critical rather than descriptive in your discussion. In academic terms, critical analysis means considering the claims of theorists, governments, authorities and so on, what they are based on, and how far they seem to apply or be relevant to your context.
References – Your attention is drawn to the need to acknowledge all sources of information by clearly referencing all material using the Harvard Convention.
The Assessment Process…
Meeting of Internal Examiners…ourassessments for this module are weighted at 20 credit points at Masters Level. All assignment are double blind marked by two members of staff (internal examiners), who will meet to agree a final mark.
This meeting is to agree the mark awarded between the two markers and discuss standards, particular problems and general issues arising. These recommendations are passed to the External Examiner.
Assignments and Internal Assessor’s Reports sent to the External Examiner…
The External Examiner looks at a sample ofMBAassignments paying particular attention to any which are graded: distinction, fail or borderline distinction or fail. The External Examiner also assesses consistency of marking and considers the overall standards compared with similar students on similar programmes worldwide. The External Examiner may wish to discuss general or particular issues with the module team and has the authority to recommend the up-grading or down-grading of any or all marks. The External Examiner may also recommend the oral examination of any student.
The Examination Board…
Final examination marks and the awarding of degrees are decided at this meeting, with the External Examiner in attendance. Marks are provisional until this meeting. This is why grades can on no account be discussed with students until after this meeting when final marks are agreed.
Assessment and Assessment Criteria…
Assessment criteria indicate the dimensions against which internal and external examiners will assess your work. It is important to realise that your work will be assessed as a whole, not as a simple summation of these categories.
The enclosed marking pro-forma indicates an allocation of marks for various sections and each section contains an outline of the qualities we expect. There will be penalties for an over or under-length piece of work. This could result in your assignment being awarded a mark equivalent to 10% below its worth. Penalties on length may seem harsh but part of the academic exercise involves discipline on how to succinctly present the material you wish to include.
KEEP AT LEAST TWO BACK-UP COPIES OF YOUR WORK IN DIFFERENT PLACES.
‘Computer problems’ or lost work are not valid excuses for late hand-in
Project Management Case Studies Module – Marking Scheme
he following are to help you understand how marks are apportioned across the various assessment elements:
Essay Model Answer:
A essay should be developed that encompasses general management theory on leadership styles and competences; project success and failure – particularly as they relate to the project manager; project management leadership style and competence; the linkage between project management leadership and the project environment and how uncertainty and complexity are impacting upon the need for soft skills development, particularly leadership and impacting upon project success; the relationship between project manager as leader and the project team; the ‘traditional’ focus of project management education and methodology on the development and application of ‘hard’ technical skills.
We are looking for students to understand and articulate the linkages between project environment, project method and leadership and in particular the demands that places upon the development of softer skills – a move away from the traditional focus upon hard, technical project management skills. They should be able to critically review the literature relating to project success and failure and synthesise that knowledge to extract those ideas and concepts relating to leadership. It’s also important for students to recognise the impact of project type and level of complexity, uncertainty and risk across the project lifecycle.
Poster Model Answer:
Each group should identify a project that fits the criteria for ‘mega-project’. These criteria may vary depending upon the source, so the students will need to rationalise their choice. They should provide a background to the chosen case that enables the reader to clearly understand the context, and project characteristics, key stakeholders, key risks etc. Of particular interest will be the role of government as a sponsor/stakeholder of the project.
They must go on to identify the success/failure criteria they have formulated and the rationale for their inclusion and should indicate how these projects have failed and why – using the criteria as a framework for that analysis.
Next they should make recommendations for how the performance of the project might have been improved with specific and explicit reference to project management theory, methodology and documented best practice for that project type.
Students should demonstrate creativity in the way they choose to represent information on their poster, with use of appropriate graphics and the development of models.
It should be clear that the case study, analysis and findings are evidence-based by reference to appropriate sources. These sources must include at least fifteen high quality academic sources (journals) as well as professional and other publications/internet sources.
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