Unit 42 Project Management for Business

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The aim of this Unit 42 Project Management for Business is to provide the learner with understanding and skills relating to project management principles, methodologies, tools and techniques that are used in business.

Unit abstract

Learners will develop an understanding of what constitutes a project and the role of a project manager. They will develop the skills needed to plan the activities required to carry out the project, including how to set up a project, how to control and execute a project, and how to carry out project reviews. Learners will also understand how the project fits into the business or other organisational environment. Organisational and human resource factors are also included.

Learning outcomes

1 Understand project management principles

  • Project management: principles; role of the project manager e.g. management of change, understanding of project management system elements and their integration, management of multiple projects; project environment and the impact of external influences on projects; identification of the major project phases and why they are required; an understanding of the work in each phase; the nature of work in the lifecycles of projects in various industries
  • Success/failure criteria: the need to meet operational, time and cost criteria, and to define and measure success e.g. develop the project scope, product breakdown structure (PBS), work breakdown structure (WBS), project execution strategy and the role of the project team; consideration of investment appraisal e.g. use of discount cash flow (DCF) and net present value (NPV); benefit analysis and viability of projects; determine success/failure criteria, preparation of project definition report, acceptance tests
  • Project management systems: procedures and processes; knowledge of project information support (IS) systems; how to integrate human and material resources to achieve successful projects
  • Terminating the project: audit trails; punch lists; close-out reports and postproject appraisals; comparison of project outcome with business objectives

2 Be able to manage a project’s human resources

  • Organisational structure: functional, project and matrix organizational structures e.g. consideration of cultural and environmental influences; organisational evolution during the project lifecycle; job descriptions and key roles e.g. the project sponsor, champion, manager, integrators; other participants e.g. the project owner, user, supporters, stakeholders
  • Control and co-ordination: the need for monitoring and control e.g. preparation of project plans, planning, scheduling and resourcing techniques; use of work breakdown structure to develop monitoring and control systems; monitoring performance and progress measurement against established targets and plans; project reporting; change control procedures
  • Leadership requirements: stages of team development e.g. Belbin’s team roles, motivation and the need for team building; project leadership styles and attributes; delegation of work and responsibility; techniques for dealing with conflict; negotiation skills
  • Human resources and requirements: calculation, specification and optimization of human resource requirements; job descriptions

3 Be able to apply project processes and procedures

  • Project management plans: the why, what, how, when, where and by whom of project management e.g. contract terms, document distribution schedules, procurement, establishing the baseline for the project
  • Project organisation: the product breakdown structure (PBS) and the work breakdown structure (WBS), project execution strategy and the organization breakdown structure (OBS) eg preparation of organisation charts, task responsibility matrix, statement of work (SOW) for project tasks
  • Scheduling techniques: relationship between schedules, OBS and WBS, bar charts, milestone schedules, network techniques, resourcing techniques, computer-based scheduling and resourcing packages, project progress measurement and reporting techniques, staff-hours earned value and progress ‘S’ curves, critical path analysis and reporting, milestone trending
  • Cost control: cost breakdown structure e.g. types of project estimate, resources needed, estimating techniques, estimating accuracy, contingency and estimation, bid estimates, whole-life cost estimates, sources of information, cost information sensitivity, computer-based estimating
  • Techniques: allocation of budgets to packages of work, committed costs, actual costs, cash flow, contingency management
  • Performance: cost performance analysis e.g. budgeted cost for work scheduled (BCWS) budgeted cost for work performed (BCWP); concept of earned value, actual cost of work performed (ACWP), cost performance indicators
  • Change control: the need for formal control of changes e.g. impact of changes on the project, principles of change control and configuration management; changes to scope, specification, cost or schedule; change reviews and authorisation, the formation of project teams, project initiation and start-up procedures


Essential requirements

Appropriate software packages must be used to demonstrate project control and reporting techniques. Packages include:

  • time and cost scheduling packages
  • documentation and procurement control packages
  • spreadsheet packages
  • graphic presentation packages.

Other packages for items such as risk analysis, project accounting and procurement control must be used to illustrate particular techniques in specific industries.

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