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PM Assignment -Time run-overs at Prime Automotive GmbH

PM Assignment -Time run-overs at Prime Automotive GmbH


Prime Automotive GmbH are a Tier 1 Automotive Engineering Supplier, headquartered in Germany with offices throughout the world support their clients such as Ford, VW, Jaguar-Land Rover etc.

PM Assignment 2018-19 tri1-Time issues at Prime

They run projects for auto manufacturers, which range from the small to the large.  Recent projects included the cosmetic facelift for the new Land Rover and a hybrid powertrain system for VW for use in their Golf cars.

Whilst business is good, with a group turnover of €100m last year, clients have been reducing the amount of work they offer to Prime Automotive due to recent projects delivering late.  A recent project for a large client was scheduled to be finished end Q4 17 and as of August 18 is still running with a proposed finish in Q3 18.  The client is aware of issues with communication, but is not happy with project progress and has considered termination.  Prime’s programme managers have blamed the client who moved the key office from Germany to Morocco after project start, causing language and logistics issues.  The client has claimed that without the cost saving from this move, the project would be undeliverable.

Work carried out by Prime follows a competitive tender process, and they bid for work to OEMs based off of RFQs (Request for Quotation), therefore the price quoted will be the price charged for each project unless cost increases are agreed by all parties involved.  When it comes to Quality, strict rules regarding safety and ISO quality management mean that quality is rarely compromised, if at all, on projects.

You have been recruited by the CEO Hendrik Boermanns to turn around project delivery and ensure projects are controlled in regards to time and budget whilst keeping the reputation for high quality.  Hendrik believes that the project time issues are maybe more to do with scope management, but is leaving it to you to research the business, benchmark against competitors and increase competitiveness. All you know is that projects are not delivering on time, and blame is being thrown around without anyone really knowing the root causes.

As a recently qualified MBA, who has studied Project Management, you bring along your favoured books by Harvey Maylor and Dennis Lock in order to back up your presentation and report to the board on how to improve project provision.  You know already that you will need to implement systems that insure proper and accurate time estimating, monitoring and control and your report should reflect this.


You have five months to deliver the report and plan the introduction of a new time management system for projects.


Your budget for this project is €280,000. This will cover all costs for new software, hardware, travel to meetings and consultants costs.

The only costs this budget would not cover would be the salaries of any project managers seconded full or part-time to support you (if you choose to use them). They would draw their salaries exactly as usual from their unit which does not impact on your budget.


Personnel allocated for your study are: two secretaries with a salary at €3000 p.c.m. (per calendar month) each, and two consultants at €750 per day each.

The implementation of the new Project Structure

The following is an outline plan for the project, which will be expected to be written up in a Gantt Chart:

Identification of best practices of Project Management Time Delivery: you need to meet with all project managers of Prime Automotive to identify best practices and project weaknesses. This should take no more than 20 working days. This should include information about current projects, measures to control processes, and current planning and evaluation techniques.

This should be followed by Detailed Analysis of Project Management practices (10 days) and Outline of improvement initiatives (10 days) – these activities can run at the same time in parallel. Then, as soon as the next activity; Detailed Description of the new Project Standards (10 days) is complete you could start Training Plan Design (5 days).

Proposal of Project changes should be discussed internally for 10 days and can be done in parallel with the two tasks above.

Depending on your requirements, you should create up to 10 more activities and/or milestones supporting the research, creation and training of a new project quality approach.

Presentation of final report (and then a final milestone).

Please check for public holidays during the project duration.

When asked about who works on what tasks the following information was handed over to you from the consultant’s quotation (the letters in brackets stand for: S1 and S2 = Secretaries, C1 and C2 = Consultants). Please note that these are only suggestions. As Project Transformation Officer (your role) you can adapt this as necessary:

Identification of best practices of Project Management Time Delivery (no more than 20 days) (PTO, C1, C2, S1)

Detailed Analysis of Project Management quality practices (10 days) (PTO, C1, C2)

Outline of improvement initiatives (10 days) (PTO, C1, C2)
Detailed Description of the new Project Standards (10 days) (PTO, C1, C2, S1, S2)

Training Plan Design (5 days) (PTO, C1, C2)
Proposal of Project changes (10 days) (PTO, C1, C2, S1, S2)
… [add more activities as required]
Discussion of report with MD (PTO, C1, C2)
Writing-up of final report (PTO, C1, C2, S1, S2)
Presentation of final report (1 day)

Assignment Questions

In your role of the Chief Project Planning Manager you are required to develop a report (including academic references), structured along the following lines:

Part A – General overview (60%) – approx. 2,500 words

Critically evaluate the relationships between Time, Cost and Quality within Project Management. What steps can be taken to improve the quality of the product provision at Prime? What are the key strengths of a Time Management Approach? What are the key measures and tactics to implement a new approach that reduces the time problems? How will customers benefit from the new approach? How will Prime become more competitive?

There needs to be a critical, and reflective approach to the report, but as it is for the CEO, it needs focussed and direct advice with a clear plan for the business going forward.

Part B – Project Planning (20%) – Gantt Chart report (added explanations approx. 250 words)

Given the importance of your report, develop a one-page project plan in Gantt chart form. The chart should clearly indicate the critical tasks and the planned end date including resource allocation.

You need to create two variants:

First, for a 5 month duration. Include the 5 month Gantt chart as appendix Part B.1.

Secondly, suggest any tactical options to reduce the project duration to 3 months as you have heard rumours that your report might be required with urgency at an earlier date. Update your planning and include the 3 months Gantt chart as Appendix Part B. 2.

Part C – Budget creation (20%) – Budget report and approx. 250 words of added explanation

First task:

Assuming that the project will run perfectly to the schedule outlined by you in Part B.1 with all contract personnel working as defined on the tasks indicated, generate an overall budget planning for your report. Include the 2 secretaries and 2 consultants, accommodation costs at €650 per week inclusive, your own salary at €4,250 p.c.m. (per current month), all new PC hardware (total fixed cost: €15,000) and project planning software (total fixed cost: €12,000), and total miscellaneous fixed costs of €22,000. Create budget positions for meetings, travel costs and other activities at your discretion within the overall budget limit. You can include an internal web site explaining your project and quality approach, and also for training of the teams with the new project quality techniques.

Show all calculations and totals via suitable report formats. Include as Appendix C.1.

Second task:

The agreed total project budget for your report is €280,000. When you discuss this budget on your first day with the Chief Financial Officer (CFO), he is not happy. He requires that you prepare an alternative where total costs are only €210,000. Show all calculations and totals via suitable report formats, and include as Appendix C.2.


Maylor, H. (2010) Project Management. 4th edition. Pearson Education : Harlow, Essex/UK.

Lock, D. (2013) Project Management

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