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Assessment Tasks


You are free to make any assumptions necessary to complete the assignment. However each assumption must be justified and stated clearly in your assessment word document. Marks will be deducted for any unreasonable assumption or for stating an assumption and then ignoring it in your assignment.

Part A: Developing the Schedule

For part A of the assessment you must complete the following tasks and questions. Read all the questions before you commence the tasks. The schedule is to be developed in an appropriately named Microsoft Project 2013 file (see the name specified below) and the questions are to be answered in a Word document. Any assumptions must also be listed at the beginning of the Word document (after the coversheet).

1.Use Microsoft Project to develop the project schedule according to the instructions below.

For this assignment, unless the specification states otherwise, you must initially allocate only one of each required resource to a task. To clarify, some examples are given below. For example, based on the information in table 2, you should initially allocate:

One Analyst to work on task “6.1 Detailed Requirements Analysis” for 12 weeks.

One Operations staff member, one Security specialist and one Software Engineer to work together on task “5.5 Installation of the new hardware” for 1 week.

All three of the conversion team to work together on each of the conversion tasks (7.1-7.3). With this “team”, each conversion task should have a duration of 2 days.

Two members of the conversion team to work together on each of the training tasks (8.1-8.3). With this “team”, each training task should have a duration of 4 weeks.

All tasks must be automatically scheduled tasks for this assignment. Remember to make this the default setting before you begin adding tasks to your schedule.

David is required to report directly to Ms. Thurlings in the PM Office. Ms. Thurlings has asked that the following be included in the schedule:

ii.A project title of “Xyzzy Finance System”. This is also to appear as the overall project summary at the top of your “WBS” in the mpp file. It must appear as task 0 with WBS number 0. All tasks should be “indented” according to the WBS structure described in the case study (see table 2). See the Microsoft Project practicals for details about how to add the project title and how tomake it the overall project summary.

iii.A WBS column before the “Task Name” column and a WBS Predecessors column after the “Task Name” column as shown below:

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– no

































iv.The milestones are to appear at the end of the task list in your schedule. See the notes after table 2 for more details about the project milestones. (Note that this is not always a requirement in a project schedule. Milestones can be embedded in the schedule or listed at the start. In this assignment you are required to add them at the end.).

v.Ms. Thurlings has also asked you to use a “customised WBS code” for the milestones. For example, if you double click on the first milestone, you can change the WBS code to M1 as illustrated in the screenshot below.

vi.Resource allocation details.

vii.The critical path(s) automatically displayed in red on the bars of the Gantt chart view of your schedule

At this point there may be resource over allocation issues. Do not attempt to resolve these before answering question 2. Save this version of your schedule in PartAQ1.mpp. You will be required to submit this file as part of your assignment submission.

2.At this point ignore any resource over allocations. Copy your PartAQ1.mpp schedule to


i.Ms. Thurlings asks you to allocate all three analysts to task “6.1 Detailed Requirements Analysis”. Assume that with the additional resources the task still

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requires “12 person-weeks” (i.e. that there will be a reduction in duration as the work can be divided equally among the three resources).

a)What is the new duration of task 6.1 and has this change impacted on the overall duration of the project? Explain.

b)Does adding resources to a task always reduce the duration in this way? Explain your answer. (Hint: your explanation should include some discussion of the “mythical man month”.)

ii.Save PartAQ2.mpp. You will be required to submit this file as part of your assignment submission.

3.Copy your PartAQ2.mpp schedule to PartAQ3_resources.mpp. If your schedule has any resource over-allocation issues resolve these in the PartAQ3_resources.mpp file without adding any additional resources. For this assignment, do not “split tasks” and do not allow levelling to “adjust individual assignments on a task”.

Save this “modified” version of the PartAQ3_resources.mpp file. You will be required to submit the PartAQ3_resources.mpp file as part of your assignment submission.

i.Describe how you used (or how you would have used Microsoft Project) to resolve any resource over-allocation issues.

ii.Does the fact that you cannot add any additional resources to resolve resource over- allocation for this project have any impact on your overall project duration and end date? Explain why/why not.

Continue working with this version of the schedule (PartAQ3_resources.mpp) when you are answering the remainder of the questions in Part A.

4.Write a memo to Ms. Thurlings providing the following information:

i.the expected completion date of the project, assuming it commences with task 1.1 on 5th June 2017;

ii.the total duration of the project; explanation of the main factors that cause the project to require that length of time and any recommendations that you might make to reduce the duration if time was a priority for the project;

iv.the estimated direct labour costs for each of the resource types working on the project. Present the costs in a table similar to the following:

Resource Name




Software Engineers




Security Specialists


Database Specialists


Conversion Team


Total direct labour costs:


Assume that you will send the project schedule as an attachment to the memo. The information in the memo must correspond to the PartAQ3_reoources.mpp file.

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Information about writing memos can be found on the unit website in the same area as this specification.

5.Are there any tasks/activities or deliverables that you believe may have been overlooked and should be included in your WBS? You should be able to identify at least one possibility.

Part B: Modifying the schedule

You are required to make the following changes to the estimates for Tasks 6.11.1-6.11.3 (New database tasks) and 4.3 (security development):


New Resource and Duration




8 person-weeks of DB


8 person-weeks of DB


4 person-weeks of DB


6 person-weeks of SEC

In addition, Ms. Thurlings has asked you to:

assign both Database specialists to work together on tasks 6.11.1-6.11.3;

reduce the time between conversion tasks from 8 weeks to 6 weeks.

Based on the information given above complete the following tasks. Read all the tasks before you commence.

1.Copy your PartAQ3_resources.mpp file into a file called PartB.mpp file..

In your PartB.mpp make the changes in the order given in the tables below and as you make each change note the impact it has on the:

overall project duration

end date

direct labour costs for the project

relative to the “current status” (i.e. the status after the previous change).

When answering this this question, do NOT attempt to resolve any resource over-allocation issues until you have completed all the changes required (i.e. all the changes to 6.11.1- 6.11.3, 4.3 and the change in time between the conversion tasks). Some of the issues may be resolved as you work through the changes.

You need the information about the impact of each change to answer questions 2 and 3 below.

If as a result of all the changes there are any resource over-allocation issues resolve these and note any resultant change to the project duration.

Highlight all the changes on your schedule. Save your schedule with the highlighted changes in your PartB.mpp file. This PartB.mpp file is also to be included as part of your final assignment submission.


2.Describe the impact of each of these changes on the project duration in a table similar to the following:


Impact on project duration

By how much



(longer, shorter or no







Change in person-weeks required for tasks












Allocation of both DB specialists to tasks








Change in person-weeks required for task 4.3




Reduction in time between conversion tasks




If the combination of changes have had an additional impact that would not have occurred if a change was made in isolation you should also discuss this in your answer to this question. Similarly, if there were resource over-allocation issues that had to be resolved and resulted in a change to the duration, this should also be discussed. However, when answering this this question, do NOT attempt to resolve any resource over-allocation issues until you have completed all the changes required (i.e. all the changes to 6.11.1- 6.11.3, 4.3 and the change in time between the conversion tasks). Some of the issues may be resolved as you work through the changes.

3. Describe the impact of each of these changes on the direct labour costs for the project in a table similar to the following:


Impact on direct

By how much



labour costs




(more, less or no







Change in person-weeks required for tasks












Allocation of both DB specialists to tasks












Change in person-weeks required for task 4.3




Reduction in time between conversion tasks





Part C: Tracking Progress

In this part of the assignment you are to imagine that your project is underway and that it is time to produce one of your regular status reports.

This means that your group needs to meet together early in week 10 to save the baseline and enter the status data for your project. Your group must enter the data together and make sure that everyone has a copy of the updated PartC mpp file. This is to ensure that everyone in the group is working with the same information when they develop their individual status report.

The individual sub-deliverable due at the end of week 10 includes the group’s version of the PartC.mpp file plus your individual answers to the Part C questions.

In week 11, you must meet to complete the group version of the Part C answers and include this in your final group submission. All previous “group” answers should already have been completed before week 11.

Saving the baseline and entering the status data (together as a group)

Note that the fourth Microsoft Project practical is an example of what is required for Part C. Make sure that you have worked through practical 4 before attempting Part C of this assignment.

1.Copy PartB.mpp to PartC.mpp. Save the baseline for this version of your project in PartC.mpp.

2.Assume that it is now 8th September 2017 and that you have data about when tasks actually started, their duration (which must be consistent with the start date and the status date, i.e. they cannot have a start date and a duration that takes them beyond the 8/9/17). Assume that you have also collected data about the estimated remaining duration for all the tasks that have commenced (but not yet finished). If a task has been 100% completed assume that you know the actual start date and actual finish date.

Assume that status reports are produced every two weeks and that all the earlier status reports have been completed according to this fortnightly schedule. Given that 8/9/17 is the end of week 14, you should record the status report number as “7” when you complete the status report for this section of the assignment.

In your PartC.mpp file (in which you have saved a baseline)

a)Set the status date to the 8th September 2017 and include a solid, purple status date gridline in your project to ensure that the status date is clearly visible in your Gantt Charts. View the Tracking Gantt chart.

b)Enter some status data.

Follow the instructions in Microsoft Project practical 3 to enter the status data (i.e. for tasks not running according to schedule use the “mark on track” drop down list to select “update tasks” option to enter start dates, actual durations and remaining durations).

• Assume that tasks 1.1 and 1.2 are 100% complete and that they started and finished at the times scheduled in the baseline.

For the purposes of this assignment you are to invent your own data about the status of the other project tasks. This means that you have to enter status data about the other tasks that you would expect to have started by the status date. (Use the status date gridline you created in part (a) to identify tasks that require status information.)

For tasks that should have been started by the status date you are to enter reasonable data about their start date, actual duration (up to the status date) and estimated duration remaining (or completion date). Do not have all tasks starting and finishing exactly according to your original estimates and make sure that your changes do not violate any predecessor constraints

(i.e. do not start a task before the predecessors have been completed). Aim to enter data so that you can see a cost and/or schedule variance that you can then interpret and explain in your status report.

You are free to enter data to make tasks finish early or late or enter data about the remaining duration that means a task is expected to take either more or less time than originally estimated. It is also acceptable to have some tasks that are tracking according to their original duration estimates, but not all tasks.

Save your changes in PartC.mpp and use this file to answer parts c, d and e below.

Status Report

Based on your group PartC.mpp file each member of the group must complete and submit their individual attempts at the following tasks before meeting to produce the final group solution.

c)Add additional columns to show the CPI and SPI in the earned value table of your PartC.mpp file. Include a screenshot of the top of the earned value table of your PartC.mpp file in the Part C section of your Word document.

For example, if asked to do this for the Microsoft Project practical 4 schedule, you would produce a screenshot similar to the following:

d)Based on the current status of your project, you are to produce a status report using the template provided in Appendix 1 of this document. (It is a similar format to “exhibit 13.1” in the textbook). Make sure that you complete all sections of the status report.

Detailed explanations for why tasks are not tracking according to their original estimates are not required for this assignment as the data you entered is “fictitious”.


However, in this section you must indicate which tasks are responsible for your project status being better or worse than planned.

For the “major changes or issues” and the “risk watch” sections enter “no change”.

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