DBN609 Project and Financial Management Assessment 1: Case Study Assignment
  • Question / Requirement

Assessment Guideline

Answer the following providing analysis justified with relevant academic sources or company information:

Section 1

[Learning Outcome 1 – 10 Marks]

Case Study 1- Leading a Project as a New Project Manager Lee was a newly hired project manager at XYZ Ltd. She has previous experience working on project teams, but had never led a project on her own. She has only been with the firm for two weeks and has spent a week of that time in onboarding. Her manager, the head of operations, has just assigned her to a rather large project. The project is to evaluate the current processes in use within the organization specifically focused in two areas: new service development and client engagement. Lee was told to select who she needed to work on the project and reach out to the managers of both groups to get the project started. The Problem: While excited about the opportunity, Lee realized she had a few challenges ahead:  She has had no time to establish relationships within the organization  She knew very little about the effective use of project management tools and techniques including network diagram, critical path method and Gantt chart.  She realized that it may be difficult to engage the departments in the initiative given the project she was asked to lead  She was concerned about selecting team members when she did not yet know much about the others in the organization (their skills and knowledge and expertise) Lee needed to start the project fairly soon. She didn’t have the luxury of taking time to build relationships and get to know people before the project had to begin.

Using the information provided in the case study, write a brief summary including the following:

1. Importance of having a project manager leading the project (1 mark)

2. TWO major leadership challenges faced by the project manager in leading the project (4 marks)

3. Analyze TWO fundamental project management responsibilities Lee has to undertake in leading

the project to overcome the problems faced (1.5+1.5=3 marks)

4. Propose and examine any ONE leadership style of the project manager that suites best to the challenges faced by Lee (2 marks).

Section 2

[Learning Outcome 1- 15 Marks Total]

Case Study 1- Leading a Project as a New Project Manager Lee has been working on various project management tools and techniques to ensure the success in leading this project. Your task is to complete the following activities that will enable Lee to be better prepared to lead her first large project within the organization and to help her to overcome the challenges faced.






Event Planning














Public Relation





Tendering Process





Event Production





Decor Design

10 Days



Audio Visual Prep





Cat & Demo





Final Fashions Items





Press & Guest Invitations





Setting Up Of Structure





Final Drill




Based on the project activities for XYZ Ltd. given above, calculate the following:

1. Draw the complete task network diagram (3 marks)

2. For each stage in the project, calculate the following – (1 mark each, 5 marks)

a. Earliest Start Time (EST)

b. Latest Start Time (LST)

c. Earliest Finish Time (EFT)

d. Latest Finish Time (LFT)

e. Slack times

3. Illustrate the critical path on the task network diagram you constructed for task 2.1 (1 mark)

4. Assuming the project start on the 4th March produce a Gantt Chart based on the table provided (2 marks)

5. Analyse the usefulness of the techniques used in Q 1, 2, 3 and 4 in overcoming the challenges faced by Lee (as discussed in Section I) to help her lead the project effectively (4 marks).

Section 3

[Learning Outcome 2 – 10 Marks Total]

Case Study 2 – Norfolk & Chance Ltd

Norfolk & Chance Ltd embarked upon an optimistic project to develop a new product for the marketplace. Their researchers made a technical breakthrough and the project appears to be in the development stage, more than being just pure or applied research. The product is considered to be high tech. If the product can be launched within the next five months, Norfolk & Chance expects to dominate the market for at least eighteen months until their competitors catch up. The marketing department has stated the product must sell for not more than $160-$170 per unit to be the cost-focused market leader.

Norfolk uses a project management methodology for all of its multifunctional projects. The methodology has six life cycle phases:

1. Preliminary Planning

2. Detailed Planning

3. Execution/Design Selection

4. Prototyping

5. Testing/Buyoff

6. Production

At the end of each life cycle phase a gate/phase review meeting is held with a project sponsor and other appropriate stakeholders. Gate review meetings are formal meetings. The company has demonstrated success many times by following this methodology for managing its projects. At the end of the second lifecycle stage of this project (detailed planning) a meeting is held with just the project manager (PM) and the project sponsor (PS). The purpose of the meeting is to review the detailed plan and identify any future problem areas that will require involvement by the project sponsor.


PS: ‘I simply do not understand this document you sent me entitled ‘Risk Management Plan.’ All I see is a work breakdown structure with work packages at level 5 of the WBS accompanied by almost 100 risk events. Why am I looking at more than 100 risk events? Furthermore, they’re not categorised in any manner. Doesn’t our project management methodology provide any guidance on how to do this?’

PM: ‘All of these risk events can and will impact the design of the final product. We must be sure we select the right design at the lowest risk. Unfortunately, our project management methodology does not include any provisions or guidance on how to develop a risk management plan. Perhaps it should.’

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PS: ‘I see no reason for an in- depth analysis of 100 or so risk events. That’s too many. Where are the probabilities and expected outcomes or damages!’

PM: ‘My team will not be assigning probabilities or damages until we get closer to prototype development. Some of these risk events may go away altogether.’

PS: ‘Why spend all of this time and money on risk identification if the risks can go away next month? You’ve spent too much money doing this. If you spend the same amount of money on all of the risk management steps, then we’ll be way over budget.’

PM: ‘We haven’t looked at the other risk management steps yet, but I believe all of the remaining steps will require less than 10 percent of the budget we used for risk identification. We’ll stay on budget.’

Adapted from: Kerzner., H. (2013). Project Management Case Studies (4th ed.). John Wiley & Sons.

It is clear from the case study that the project manager of Norfolk Ltd. does not have an effective risk management plan.

1. Identify and examine the shortcomings of the current risk management plan (2 marks)

2. Make two recommendations to improve the existing plan. Explain both recommendations (8 marks)

Section 4

[Learning Outcome 2 – 15 Marks Total]

Case Study 3 – Liberty Ltd

Liberty Ltd. is a New Zealand IT company based in Queenstown. They provide outsourcing IT services in the areas of helpdesk support, network management, installations, upgrades, procurement, customer relationship management, data analytics, business continuity and application development.

Recently, the two senior partners Geoff Norfolk and Michael Hope produced a risk management impact versus probability matrix of seven of the major risk factors that impact on the successful leading of new projects for Liberty Ltd. In order to produce their risk management impact versus probability matrix, Geoff and Michael used the following four metrics:

• Asset = Impact in terms of what they were trying to protect for Liberty Ltd.

• Threat = Severity in terms of what they were afraid of happening for Liberty Ltd.

• Vulnerability = Probability how could the threat occur to Liberty Ltd.

• Mitigation = Likelihood what is currently reducing the risk for Liberty Ltd.

Geoff and Michael then produced the following rating system (Figure 2) based on six levels to further assist them in producing their risk management impact versus probability matrix.

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Figure 1 –Liberty Ltd Risk Management Impact ‘v’ Probability Matrix

Finally, Geoff and Michael used the rating system in Figure 2 to rate the impact versus probability of the seven major risk factors that impact the successful leading of new projects for the company (Figure 2).

Figure 2 – Liberty Ltd Impact ‘v’ Probability Matrix – Seven Identified Risk Factors

1. Select THREE of the risks listed in figure 2 and suggest ONE most appropriate risk management strategy from those covered in this course. (3 marks).

2. Justify your choice of risk management strategy and explain how you would look to manage each of the four risks (12 marks, 4 marks for each risk).

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