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Section 3.1 Exam Questions

Paul Naybour Paul Naybour

Published: 23rd July 2012

Just starting in this world of APMP and thought I’d write answers here for advice, thank you.

1. Explain the term project:

A project is a unique, transient endeavour undertaken to achieve a desire outcome. (Are you given an indicaiton of how many marks each question is worth in the exam? For example I would go into a more thorough answer on this if I thought it was for more marks, or just provide this as an answer for 1 mark?)

2. Differentiate between a project and business as usual; make 5 points in your answer:

A project introduces a new product or a change in product wheras business as usual seeks to reproduce the same item.  A project produces the product in a finite, set time period whereas in business as usual the products are repetedly produced for an indefinite amount of time.  Subsequently, for a project the plans and specifications that are put in place are bespoke and unique.  During business as usual operations the working practices are procedural in order to achieve continuity.  In a project the deliverables are produced once wheras deliverables are repeatedly produced during business as usual.  The project has a discrete number of steps – a project life cycle wheras business as usual follow a product life cycle for the product, from build to disposal.

3. Explain the problems an organisation may have in implementing a project way of working:

 (again not sure how many marks this would be worth)

There are 3 main areas which may cause problems for an organisation when implementing a project way of working – these are people, technology and process. 

People: People may be resistant to change in the organisation.  Those that are not under direct control of the project manager may also be hard to motivate and may have other obligations to other projects and so they may not prioritise according to your project.  Influencing people both within and out of your direct control can be problematic. 

Technology: The introduction of new technology brings with it risks – such as late delivery, directly affecting the project in terms of cost and time.  Further, staff will require training (which they may resist) and the technology may not work as planned. 

Process:  The governance process or indeed lack of can cause problems.  Without set processes and control in place everyone may adapt different approaches and the team will lack stability.  Further the project manager needs to know key interfaces within the organisation, such as HR, in order to manage the project effectively.  In contrast however, if there are strict rules in place such as investment approval, the project manager could find this frustrating although they are necessary in order to manage risk. 

 

I hope to cover 3 sections a week – is it okay to post answers to the exam questions for each section within this forum?

 

Thank you, Charlotte

  1. Student says:

    Paul

    Thank you for that – I’ve changed my mindset now somewhat. Thank you.

  2. Paul says:

    Charlotte

    Each question is worth 50 marks and typically they ask you to describe five points in your answer, each point must be 2-3 sentences including an example. So this answer (below) is too brief to get the marks required. It needs to say

    Differentiate between a project and business as usual; make 5 points in your answer:

    1) A project introduces a new product or a change in product wheras business as usual seeks to reproduce the same item. For example a project would produce a new IT system and roll it out in the business, where as business as usual would be operating that IT system day in day out.

    2) A project produces the product in a finite, set time period whereas in business as usual the products are repeatedly produced for an indefinite amount of time. For example a roll out of an IT system would have to be completed by a particular target date where as operations of that system would be on-going.

    3) Subsequently, for a project the plans and specifications that are put in place are bespoke and unique. Each project is different in implementation detail so needs a bespoke approach to implementation.

    4) During business as usual operations the working practices are procedural in order to achieve continuity, the aim being to continuously improve the work. Projects are about change, so may be in part procedural (such as a change control procedure) but fundamentally involve the creation of new operating practices.

    5) In a project the deliverables are produced once whereas deliverables are repeatedly produced during business as usual. For example a project to build a new school will implement a unique design where as a factory to produce washing machines will produce the same products day in day out.

    I hope this helps you get an idea of the structure of the exam answers required and the level of detail they are looking for.

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