Module Code: PPMP20008

Module Title: Initiating and planning projects


Word limit: 2500 words +- 10%


The objective of this assessment is to help students learn about a range of trending topics in project management, especially throughout initiating and planning stages of projects – through conducting research. You are required to analyse two cases such as a failed project, and distil lessons learnt through answering a range of questions. The lessons learnt will inform the development process of the project plan for a new project of a similar nature (e.g. Assessment 3). Several questions will be asked in relation to the topics discussed in the unit. The questions address different knowledge areas covered in the unit (e.g. scope management, cost management, stakeholder management and risk management) in relation to project initiation and planning. Therefore, for students, it is essential to acquire a good understanding of the topics covered during the unit.

Assessment details

Two case studies are considered for this assessment. The case descriptions are provided as an attachment to this document. You must carefully read the cases and questions and answer to each question logically by using quality references from academic journals, books, PM standards (e.g. PMBOK and other authenticated sources(such as PMI and APM websites). You must clearly link theory to the case throughout your discussions.

This assignment must be delivered in a report format containing:

  • Executive summary – overview of the purpose of report, findings and lessons learned,
  • Table of content,
  • Introduction – purpose of the report, cases summaries, and the structure of the report,
  • Body – Answer to the questions by referring to relevant project management knowledge and use of techniques. Cite high quality and relevant references,
  • Conclusion – concluding each case finding and lessons learned,
  • Reference list – Harvard style,

Case Study 1 – Sydney Opera House


1. What were the major causes of project’s schedule and cost overruns? – 300 words

2. Which of them could have been addressed by proper initiation and planning and why? – 300 words

3. Were there any other stakeholders involved in poor project management? How an appropriate stakeholder engagement and management could have assisted to reduce some of the issues identified as the major causes in Q1 above? – 300 words

Case Study 2 – Destruction of Ancient Aboriginal Site – Who’s to blame!


4. Explain the importance of involving Aboriginal communities in project initiation and planning? Do you think they were the main stakeholders and had the right to be invited in the decision-making of the Rio Tinto blast project from its initiation to execution phases? Present your argument for your answer based on stakeholder management theory and provide examples from the case study. – 300 words

5. Identify other stakeholders around the blast crisis using an appropriate stakeholder mapping tool. How better communication approach and stakeholder engagement strategies using stakeholder mapping could have resolved the issues encountered by the Rio Tinto blast project? – 300 words

6. Identify some major risks and uncertainties associated with the Rio Tinto blast project. If those risks were identified at the early phases of the project, what could be the appropriate risk response strategy to manage those risks and uncertainties? Discuss your rationale? – 300 words

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