Risk Management And Work Breakdown Structure

1 Introduction

This report is to examine the theory of project management and practice of project management techniques which consist of Work Breakdown Structure, Gantt Chart ,risk management and SWOT and PESTLE analysis. Also, the report will show the personal learning experience from the module. Finally, the journal will be comment for project management analysis.

2.1Work Breakdown Structure (WBS)

Work Breakdown Structure is a fundamental project planning technique which is used in the beginning of the project. Also, it was designed to use the systematic methods to break down the whole project into deliverable units. Therefore, it is an effective technique to organize the project for each element. By using work breakdown structure, it is possible to understand the tasks and activities in the project easily which makes the structure more comprehensible. Also, the tasks are able to be conducted by different people or groups individually which improve the efficiency and easier to allocate the responsibilities (Maylor, 2005). Nowadays, Work Breakdown Structure has been admitted to the common and essential tool for project manager who need to manage and monitor the every process in the project. The process is to divide the entire project into several main stages which included many rudimentary tasks in sequence. Every task can be an independent activity (Maylor, 2005). In the work breakdown structure planning process, it needs to be noted that WBS should not be split extremely detailed which will make the structure complex. However, it has been claimed that even Work Breakdown Structure is a practical tool to utilize the project, there are still some problems. The main problem is that the task in different stages is independent to be executed but they are still in the same project (Maylor, 2005). WBS does not show the relationships of tasks between different stages. Therefore, divergence will happen in the different part of project. Moreover, the WBS does not show the time that each task execution needs (Young, 2006). Thus, project managers need to monitor the conflicts and solve the problems during the project execution. Moreover, project managers should use other tools to control the task process time.

In the product case study, WBS plays a major role to help group mates easy to break the project into two main parts. One is about Design development and another part is to focus on manufacture and launch plan. Each part has many stages which consist of several tasks. After, it is easy to identify the scope of tasks and make the content of tasks clearer. In order to avoid the conflicts happening, the tasks have been considered to find the sequences in the same states. Each task shows a key step in the project that keeps the WBS structure clear not being complicated. WBS of this project was created by every group mates. Therefore, it was clear to understand the basic elemental and tasks in this project.

2.2 Gantt Chart:

Gantt chart is a useful technique which was designed by Henry Gantt. It can be used to represent the time costing of activities in the project (Maylor, 2005). There are two main parts in the Gantt chart. Vertical part is to list the different activities in the project. Horizontal line is to show the time scale from start to end. It can clear identify the time need and time limit. By using different colour, it is easier to make viewer how to understand the time cost of tasks and the time sequence between other activities in the project. (Lock, 2007) Moreover, it is effective tool to overview the duration of each tasks or whole project. Therefore, Gantt is widely used in the project manager to manage the time need. Manager can evaluate the real activities to extend or reduce the time by Gantt chart. However, there are some limitations of Gantt chart. Firstly, Gantt chart is suitable to use on the a small amount of activities of project. If there are numerous tasks in the project, the Gantt chart will be complex. Secondly, it is inflexible to revise the time and make change during the project. Due to It will influence the other sequent tasks (Maylor, 2005). Finally, even Garnt chart can provide the time sequence of tasks, it still lack of showing the relationship of interdependence between each task (Lock, 2007). Therefore, Gantt chart is to show the time cost of tasks but does not improve the resource arrangement (Maylor, 2005).

In the case study, Gantt chart was used to arrange to time management to ensure the project that can be finished in the limited time. It is easy to draw by computer or hand and clearly identifies the order of task executions. The time cost will be influential fact in the case and Gantt chart help the project manager or group member to effectively plan or monitor project (Thomsett, 2009). It also make executors clearly understand the timeline to finish the tasks on time.

2.3 Risk Management

Project risk management is an essential part of project management that ensure the result and the profitability that are correctly produced by processes. There are variety of uncertain fact and risks in the project (Young, 2006). The aim of risk management is to reduce the risk to treat the project and minimize the influence. Moreover, most risks are not unexpected and uncontrolled. In other words, the risk can be indentify and quantify to be controlled. There are many risk identification methods such as key risk symptoms, External source, TCQ analysis and assumption. By using quantification techniques, the risks can be measure and demonstrate by likelihood, effect, hide-ability (Maylor, 2005). Thus, it can be estimated or avoid. By Adjustment to alter the possible result is another scheme. In addition, insurance is a feasible method in the modern society. Therefore, risk management processes include the identification of the risk, quantifying the risk, prioritising the risk, developing the strategy and taking the action. Most of risks which include positive risk and negative risk can be shown and controlled after these analyses (Harries, 2010). Even though process through these steps, the project managers still need to concern about any other influential facts happening and ensure the project as expectation.


In case study, the risk management was considered to the one of main assignment conducting from beginning to the end. In the barnstorming meeting, the possible risks were list by group member from high risk to low risk and measure the probabilities of occurrence by scale. To quantify the risks make it easy to tell what is most risky or what most possible fact to impact the project is. Thus, pre-preparing the strategy and solution for each risk to minimize the impact to our project are crucial for the result.


Swot is a strategy analysis tool to identify the internal and external facts to the project and organization. It is widely used in the strategy planning work (Haughey 2010).There are four main parts in the SWOT model which includes Strengths, Weakness, Opportunity and weakness. The internal part of SWOT model consists of Strength and Weakness. Project Manager and members can evaluate the current strength and weakness of organization to the project. To list the realistic fact and group ability to appraise the condition are the necessary for planning project strategy. External analysis is made by opportunity and weakness (Bianes P. et al, 2008). External issues will be the influential facts to influence project strategy. It needs to consider that the competitors’ activities and society issues relate with project development. However, external environment has variety of issue which is completed. Therefore, in order to clarify the environment, PESTLE analysis is effective model to investigate it. PRESTLE consist of Political, Economic Social-culture, Technology, Legal and Ecological. However, it has been admitted that SWOT framework has been popular in the business and some of disadvantage that has been claimed and need to be overcome (Haughey, 2010). Firstly, there is no any process to re-thinking whether the output strategies are practical or not. Secondly, there is no priority in the framework. It is hard to tell the importance of each strategy. However, SWOT framework has little problems that need to consider and improve. It is still an useful model for strategy analyze. Therefore, using SWOT and PESTLE to determine the situation can explain the current situation clearly but project managers need to pay more attention to make the decision cautiously.

To use SWOT and PESTLE in the case study, it is clear to distinguish the internal and external conditions to the organization. Use PESTLE in the case study, it is easy to collect the environment issues which are relative with product and future trend. By analyze the facts, the strategy can be considered to unsure the strategies that there is no conflict to the environment. SWOT model is an efficient methods to plan the strategy. Using strength to analyze with external fact and output the strategy to overcome treats. Also, it can use external facts to supply internal weakness. Therefore, project manager can understand the organization and circumspectly plan the efficient strategy to achieve the aim of project.

3 Project management skill and contribution to the group

In the project management, there are many techniques and skills to help project members to manage the case study. Every technique and skill has the particular use to develop the project. Also, each practice of framework was discussed by the team members corporately. How to use the theories is the challenge to the team.

The techniques are useful to improve the project and the skills help the work productively. For example, WBS is a practical framework that was not known by the team until the session. It was effective to divide the oyster key project into several tasks. The content of tasks was created by the group mates and the information was searched from the internet and designers in the field which is about the product design that will make the tasks of oyster key project close to the real design project. It shows the skill of solving problem. How to use internal source and external source to solve the problems was learned in the project. Due to the team have no design background that is the challenge to plan the product development process. Use external source is crucial to overcome the tasks. The project process has been considered by the team to show the main stages and activities. In order to keep the WBS clear to be understood, there is no extremely detailed tasks on it and every activity on WBS is vital in the project. After using WBS, the team understood what the main stages in this project are.

Moreover, Risk management was another new knowledge for the team. It was seen the crucial part of the project that monitor the whole project from beginning to end. By assumption to list the possibility, it is relative with the analysis skill. How to find the potential risks from the project process relate to the skill of analysis and organize data.

In the beginning of this project, the product of the project needed to be decided. A suitable product was hard to be found that can be agreed by every group mate. Therefore, the situation needed to use communication skill to make a common decision. The author offered the idea about personal experience of need for design product. It was from the perspective of design innovation to improve the human life. It was convinced by other two of group mates. Then, the rest of group mates show their opinion to the idea. It was the communication process to make the different opinion integrate the common decision. In addition, the author is willing to provide the personal working experience to help the group in the process. The opinion from working experience provide the project to improve the integrity of the project which include planning ability to the WBS and Gantt chart, time management, Risk assumption and strategy planning. Meanwhile, the rest of group mate showed the ability of organizer that can efficiently manage the information and document. The rest of group showed the ability of cost estimates. All of these skill make the project more complement to achieve the aim of project.

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3.1Personal Learning and applying in the future

Project management is a useful model in the DMU. Honestly, it will be the one of the practical model for postgraduate study in this year. Many techniques and skill have been learnt by session. Case study help the author understand how to practice the techniques in the field. The advice of tutor is helpful to conduct the process of project. Moreover, the most important learning of this model to the author is that how to be a successful project management. Inspiring and leading the group to the common aim is the duty of the project manager. It also relate with the team-building skill. By communication and negotiation skill to produce the effective plan have been the required skills for a manager. During the module, time management is important to ensure the work can be finished on time. In addition, there would be some risks to impact the project. Besides risk management, manager personal ability to handle the pressure is also important. It will be helpful to train the ability to face pressure. Moreover, most of future works can be seen as a project to manage and operate. For instance, risk management can use to evaluate the any decision in the future that is not only in business. The problem solving skill can be the methods to deal with any problem in the life. Thus, the learning from project management will help to benefit the work in the future.

4. Brief Critique of academic journal

4.1 Journal 1 “Is more information technology better for new product development?”

4.11 The aim of research

This article shows that the relationship between information technology department and new product development department. There is a growing number of companies which invest a great deal of money on information technology to improve the product quality and reduce cost. The article is to show does the information technology help the product development successfully and how the cooperation works between these two departments. (Durmusoglu et al. 2006).

4.12 Prior literatures

Prior literatures identified that number of study which are about the internal communication to new product development departments have been examined (Durmusoglu et al. 2006). Porter and Millar (1985) as cited by Durmusoglu et al. (2006) that computer technique is the effective tool to assist the new product development such as product functions, cost reduce and produce speed. Boutellier et al. (1998) as cited by Durmusoglu et al. (2006) that project manager also expected the information technique to support the project team. Meanwhile, they can share information, creativity and personal networks to each other.

4.13 Research method

The research method was used in this research is survey to collect data. The questionnaires were sent to the top managers of information thchnology department and new product development department of 21 companies. These companies are in the 14 industries such as farm equipment manufacturing, automobile parts and supplies manufacturing, hand tools manufacturing etc (Durmusoglu et al. 2006). This approach was effective to get the depth perspective from the magagers.

4.14 Finding

The finding show that information technology department support the new product development that can enhance the new product flexibility but also increase the cost. Moreover, the two department managers have the common perception to share the knowledge and information to each other. Finally, even though the Information technology can enhance the product development process, it did not totally equate the increase of sales or outcome to new product (Durmusoglu et al. 2006).

4.15 Future use of the research

This research reveal that the corporation of information technology and product development department. It also shows the influence of support by technology department. Moreover, cost increase is the main facts that need to be considered in the future. To control cost and increase flexibility will be the concerning issue in the product development process in the future .

4.2 Journal 2 “The association among project manager’s leadership style, teamwork and project success”

4.21 The aim of research

This research is to investigate the relationship between project managers’ leading style and the influence of teamwork to the project outcome. There are variable of sub facts to impact the project performance like the team size, project type and industry sector(Yang & Huang & Wu 2010).

4.22 Prior literatures

Turner and Muller (2005) as cited by Yang & Huang & Wu (2010) that he impact of project managers’ leadership style to project performance was ignored in the most of past study. However, there are some study which mention about project managers’ leading style. Kendra and Taplin (2004) as cited by Yang & Huang & Wu (2010) leadership behaviors will be the influential reason to the project. Moreover, DuBrin (2004) as cited by Yang & Huang & Wu (2010) that leadership is an achievement to conduct by communication.

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4.23 Research method

The questionnaire-based were conducted in this survey. There are four section in this survey which include project manager’s leadership style, teamwork, project performance, and personal information. The respondents composed of project executive, superintendents and higher level project leader Yang & Huang & Wu (2010). Therefore, the respondents from different work position to answer the questions which make the finding more objective.

4.24 Finding

The finding in this research show that the leadership style might influence slightly. Also, teamwork is the most significant influence to the outcome. Moreover, different type of project show the different relationship with the group mates (Yang & Huang & Wu 2010). Even the feeling is hard to correctly measure, the finding still show that the teamwork is really influential in the project.

4.25 Future use of the research

This report demonstrates that manager need to communicate with the group members and to develop the common attitude to make teamwork work effectively.

4.3 Journal 3 “Cost targets and time pressure during new product development”

4.31 The aim of research

The research is to find the impact of cost target time limit to the project. Quality is the main fact to be compare with the two restricted conditions. The outcome of project was tested in this research to find the effective method to product development.

4.32 Prior literatures

The cost-oriented product was expected by past study. Fisher (1995) as cited by Everaert & Bruggeman (2002) that define the target costing is that planning the reducing cost method in the beginning execute the expectable process to cut the cost. Moreover, Kato (1993) as cited by Everaert & Bruggeman (2002) show that human play a main roles in the new product development and time reduced plan in the project management has been the source of pressure to most engineer.

4.33 Research method

The research was conducted in the laboratory to test by experiment. The experiment use the haphazard two-by-two factorial design which to compare the test result. One laboratory was given the cost charge, time limit restriction. It was designed to simulate the real customer requirement. Also, if the engineer only finished the project on time but quality was not achieve the requirement, there is no any rewards (Everaert & Bruggeman 2002). By this method, it is easy to tell the impact of restriction to the project.

4.34 Finding

The finding is that the products which were developed by cost target project did not show the poor quality and reduced. In addition, in the time limited project, engineer have to spent more time to develop the product that result the cost reduced aim were not reduce as expectation(Everaert & Bruggeman 2002).

4.35 Future use of the research

In this case, it shows that it have to be considered the impact of time limit to the cost target. If the restriction is too much, it is hard to reach the cost target aim.

4.4 Project portfolio management for product innovation

4.41 The aim of research

The aim of research is to establish the standard of test to evaluate the suitable use of product portfolio which can be conducted for product project or service project.

4.42 Prior literatures

Andersson (2000) as cited by Killen & Hunt & Kleinschmidt (2008) that most of companies have noticed to practice the portfolio management to organize the resource to create the profitable outcome. Dye and Pennypacker (1999) as cited by Killen & Hunt & Kleinschmidt (2008) that current product portfolio widely practice on R&D management and pioneering projects. Therefore, Project portfolio has been used in the industry and need more explanation to show the scheme of effective use.

4.33 Research method

The research is conducted by survey in Australia. There were 166 organizations in this research who receive the mail to answer the questionnaire which consist of 88 questions. Those companies use project portfolio to manage their new product develop projects (Killen & Hunt & Kleinschmidt 2008). This sample method is suitable to compare the practice of portfolio from different industries.

4.44 Finding

There is no significant difference of Product portfolio use in this research. However, it has been found that even the companies has used the product portfolio, many companies do not have enough time to conduct the product portfolio completely (Killen & Hunt & Kleinschmidt 2008). Therefore, time limit is still a obstruction to practice product portfolio management.

4.45 Future use of the research

Most of product portfolio methods were design by the past environment and the use process is not flexible. Therefore, it need to improve the new Product portfolio methods to be suatible to use in the current business environment.

5. Conclusion

Project management not only is theory, but also useful to practice in the business world. Furthermore, most of business cases can be seen a project to manage and planning. Many techniques of project management are suitable to be used in analysis. Meanwhile, the techniques and skills are also crucial to a project manager and academic journal would be the another source for managers to acquire the knowledge.

After learning the theories and practice in the case study, being a successful project manager would an expected aim to be achieved.

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