Brief: Project Management + Seminar Notes

February 12, 2014 § Leave a comment

Today we were assigned a new brief by Pete, this project focuses on project management, testing our knowledge on what we’ve learnt in his previous business lectures. We have been given two options to choose from, both of which require a project management file, showing a clear planning or resources, financial structures, and time management.

Hand in for project is the 26th March, submitting it in person at the usually lecture location [Canal Side East lecture hall], I can hand it in early, but the latest possible time is 4pm on that day (supposed to hand it in during lecture).

These are the notes I acquired from the lecture:

– Aim of assessment is to gain a better understanding of project management – all about planning.
– All justification based – rational answers, ask ‘why?’
– Must be bound in folder
– Must supply a digital copy also (to be put on a memory stick which will be passed round)

For both of these options I want to firstly get the aspect of time out of the way, then look upon  resources and finances

There’s no real word count, just required to create a detailed report

Option A / Business:

Resources – computer, programmes, desk, room (location), supplies, will my current resources (such as macbook) be enough, or will I need to upgrade? Need to discuss the costing of all of this.
– How will I initially afford all of this?
– Realistically how much work will I receive?
– What are the good/bad/ugly situations (gaining work instantly vs. no work for 6 months)?
– How many hours will I be working per week?
– When and where?
– Must plan for contingencies (saving 10% of budget for emergencies)
– Networking: talking to other businesses, establish relations, gain the benefits of networking, external input
– Must plan all cash flow
– (small business) loans
– external income e.g. part time jobs
– generation of revenue and profit
– need to understand all issues that need planning for
– Develop my unique selling point (USP)
– understand what I’m good at/strengths
– why should people come to you?
– SWOT analysis (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, threats)
– real world problems I could run into
– What’s the competition like in my local area?
– what can I offer/do to better them?
– How will I promote myself?
– portfolio; showing people, online portfolio
– networking
– Time
– how long will it take to gather all the elements for the business?
– business cards, portfolio, speaking to people etc.
– Can create a simple list of dates & actions or a graphical plan
– *action* > *comment*, *problem* > *action* > *comment*
– timeline to initially see what I’m doing
– ALL of this must have justification
– and all in a logical format
– Cover everything up until business opens at my decided date


Option B / Gap Year:

This option is considered the more difficult one, as it requires more tedious planning.

– Where?
– A to B to C etc.
– When?
– Passport & visas: do I need to get these?
– how will I obtain these?
– how long will it take? time lag
– where?
– prices?
– how long will it last?
– Funding
– travel
– jetlag
– accommodation
– MUST be realistic (as if I were really doing this)
– Can’t realistically travel to a different country everyday
– Locations of choice
– what are the implications of that destination?
– policies, rules, regulations, laws, politics e.g. calm & relaxed country such as Italy, or Egypt, where there’s lots                  of turmoil
– Insurances
– travel insurance
– item insurance (for valuables)
– Planning of:
– transportation
– journeys
– flights, airport travel > from airport to hotel + other locations of importance
– buses / trains / public transport
– Money
– required amount for stay in different countries
– overall cost
– cost of food, travel, spending money, emergency money etc.
– different currencies
– carrying money
– keeping money safe
– support/backup plan?
– Risks
– How do I fit things in?
– people
– places
– jobs
– money
– times
– events
– Leeway
– parties / festivals : how to fit it in (justify + implications) (maybe not relevant to gap year?)

The project doesn’t require the execution of the plan, just needs the plan itself – assume what’s going to happen (not dealing with it hands on)

The suggested format of the project is to begin with an introduction, then plan, explanation, resources, and finally finances. This will show I have an understanding of project management issues.


Seminar Notes:

For the introduction of the project I discuss the question that I’ve answered, then the intent of the plan is to ‘…’. ‘I’ve chosen this option, I plan on doing this type of gap year…’

Use a graphical method to display the finance (sheet) layout

Finances – Income, how to pay, how I’m meeting my goals
– What must I do?
– Resources needed, where are they coming from?
– Job
– Interferences e.g. visa’s time to obtain
– process (going places like the bank, embassy etc.)
– what are these things?
– what do I have to do?
– Where am I going to be?
– Accomodation
– Costs

What I’m doing + Where I start = fundamental

Mind map of stuff I need to do
sequence stuff – to meet a deadline (deadline for this being going abroad)
– Times (working backwards)
– Things that can be done together

Take out weekends / bank holidays / graduation / holiday / birthdays / festivals / family
Stick all of ^^these^^ days in > this is what planning is about
– Logical structure + things that will/can go wrong

How will I take my money? How do I protect it and myself?

Go over my plan several times (3/4?) to get a solid plan and understanding of it.
Get the sequence right, then justify it – money, resources etc.

Explain what I’m doing in a gap year,and how I intend to tackle it:
– am I packing on the go (buying en route)? Heavy? Light? – bag size. Am I bringing clothes to dump later to pick up souvenirs and new clothes? Electronics (?): laptop/tablet (?), phone(s), camera (multiple storage discs?)
– voluntary work?

Resource based issues that could occur + how to tackle this
– when/if bringing electronics such as camera, laptop etc. then these things need to be looked after, and monitored, as in if I were staying in a hostel then I’d need to look after it, maybe purchase a locker, have an individual room (this goes against sharing and meeting new people though) vs. dormitory? Security issues.
– uploading images to cloud/dropbox etc. to keep data up to date on not just my person, then if I lose my camera/break storage, then I’ve got it backed up
– understand the problems before I go, so I’m ready for them

Medications & vaccinations:
– What do I need?
– How long do I wait to get them?
^^all of this goes in plan^^

Who / What / When / Where / Why / How

Ask myself ‘What if?’ > for the plan/journey.

Have a plan B also, e.g. volunteer, work, work on farm? What if I don’t get a job/volunteer work I wanted?

Look and think about the wrinkles and creases in my plan and journey

Pete just wants to see a project management plan, not a business plan.



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