BPP Coursework Cover Sheet
Please use the table below as your cover sheet for the 1st page of the submission. The sheet should be before the cover/title page of your submission.
Programme MSc Management
Module name Organisations and Project Management
QAA Level 7
Student Reference Number (SRN)
Date of Submission
(Please attach the confirmation of any extension received)
Declaration of Original Work:
I hereby declare that I have read and understood BPP’s regulations on plagiarism and that this is my original work, researched, undertaken, completed and submitted in accordance with the requirements of BPP Business School.
The word count, excluding contents table, bibliography and appendices, is words.
Student Reference Number: Date:
By submitting this coursework you agree to all rules and regulations of BPP regarding assessments and awards for programmes. Please note, submission is your declaration you are fit to sit.
BPP University reserves the right to use all submitted work for educational purposes and may request that work be published for a wider audience.
BPP Business School
MSc Management with Streams
Organisations and Project Management
Coursework Assessment Brief
Spring Term 2016
Submission deadline: 23:59 hrs on 26th April 2016
Submission mode: Turnitin online access
1. General assessment guidance
• Your summative assessment for Organizations and Project Management (BMT7075) is a Coursework submission.
• The deadline for submission is 23:59 hrs on 26th April 2016. You are required to submit your assessment via Turnitin online access. Only submissions made via the specified mode will be accepted and hard copies or any other digital form of submissions (like via email or pen drive etc.) will not be accepted.
• For coursework, the submission word limit is 2,500 words. You must comply with the word count guidelines. You may submit LESS than 2,500 words but not more. Numerical tables, diagrams, bibliography, appendices, annex and headings are NOT included within word count calculations. You must specify total word count on the front page of your report.
• For coursework, please use font size 12 for body text and the typeface (font) should be Arial or Times New Roman with minimum 1.5 spacing.
• For headers and titles, please use font size 14. Your submission must have standard margins and page numbers.
• Please use English (UK) as your language in the submission.
• Do not put your name or contact details anywhere on your submission. You should only put your student identification number (SRN) which will ensure your submission is recognised in the marking process.
• A total of 100 marks are available for this module assessment and you are required to achieve minimum 50% to pass this module.
• You are required to use only Harvard Referencing System in your submission. Any content which is already published by other author(s) and is not referenced will be considered as a case of plagiarism.
• You can find further information on Harvard Referencing in the online library on the VLE. You can use the following link to access this information:
• BPP University has a strict policy regarding plagiarism and in proven instances of plagiarism or collusion, severe punishment will be imposed on offenders. You are advised to read the rules and regulations regarding plagiarism and collusion in the GAR and MOPP which are available on VLE in the Academic registry section.
• You should include a completed copy of the Assignment Cover sheet. Any submission without this completed Assignment Cover sheet will be considered invalid and not marked.
2. Assessment Brief
DBCL is an international multi-disciplinary engineering and contracting organization with interests in heavy engineering manufacture, infrastructure contracting engineering consultancy and programme/project management. Infrastructure Contracting is their largest division and represents almost 70% of their annual turnover. The Corporate Headquarters are in the United Kingdom, and it has over 10,000 employees spread across its various divisions and locations throughout the world. It has a significant presence in Europe and the Middle East, but not in North America. Its corporate headquarters in London is small. It has historically developed the business out of its experience as a heavy engineering manufacturer and Infrastructure contractor working as a tier 1 supplier to clients.
DBCL is well financed and stable, but its traditional businesses in Infrastructure Contracting has poor margins of less than 5%, and is subject to significant fluctuations in scale because it is dependent on large scale investments, often by governments.
The overall turnover of the company in sterling is £5 billion, of which Infrastructure Contracting as stated contributes almost 70%. The remaining sectors provide roughly equal proportions, with the exception of Engineering/Project Management Consultancy, which to date has contributed less than 5%, and was seen as largely peripheral to the main business. Its overall profitability was consistent but not spectacular, and it was seen as a solid investment rather than innovative or in a growth sector.
The company is relatively stable financially by comparison with competitors in the market. The market is dominated by specialist firms/providers such as engineering, manufacturing and consultancy. It is in these specialist areas such as consultancy that the sector has seen income and profitability growth in the last few years, with higher margins.
DBCL has grown its business through acquisition and mergers of organizations with complimentary engineering skills as it has expanded across the world as part of its horizontal integration approach. Its strategy could be seen as success by size!
DBCL’s various divisions have traditionally outsourced the engineering and project management consultancy advice in their areas of expertise, or provided it in a limited way through an in house team. However, this has resulted in conflicts with the external providers and poor service to the client, so the company has decided that this should be insourced completely to provide a more comprehensive service to clients and customers. The alternative was to outsource completely the limited consultancy advice already provided in house and concentrate its focus on its main businesses.
The strategy to insource was implemented through acquisition in recognition of its past experience with this approach. The project to in-source through acquisition the consultancy expertise was a decision of the corporate board DBCL was now in negotiation to acquire a large engineering and project/programme management consultancy, TBT, which has its main base in North America. TBT was considered to be the leading organization in these sectors, and DBCL considered that through this acquisition they would build competency and expertise in these growth areas. The company would in effect be insourcing/onshoring this expertise to combine with its existing limited consultancy services. The aim was to build synergies with its other operations as part of vertical integration in order to give added value to its clients and customers and improve its margins/profitability. The strategy was seen as providing the basis for long term growth of the company. It was aimed at providing added value services to a range of clients across its portfolio which covers Power, Rail, Highways and Infrastructure Contracting.
TBT, the consultancy organization DBCL is acquiring, had an unusual structure. It is based on its unique ownership arrangements, reflecting that its employees all had shares, being a private limited partnership (LLP). This created a particular culture which was very different from the traditional hierarchical Public Listed Company. The challenge of integrating these cultures was seen as a key issue in order to ensure the successful acquisition and growth in this area. It is also largely based in North America which has not been a significant market for the Company.
The project to integrate and co-ordinate these functions in support of its wider engineering global operations is considered risky because there will be staff changes, transfer of responsibilities, new organizational structures and there is the potential for short term performance impact. It was also seen as a cost reduction exercise which would lead to disinvestment in some of the traditional areas which would help finance the acquisition.
The key driver is to provide consultancy advice especially to the Infrastructure Contracting division clients, so that there will be an improved integrated service to clients and increased returns from this division.
The overall impact of the existing consultancies within the industry sectors within the firm was seen as poor as they were largely driven by the engineering/ manufacturing requirements of their division rather than the consultancy issues such as design/innovation. Thus their overall service to customers was not always seen as effective or efficient.
The key aim is to improve this service especially in terms of delivering projects/programmes. It is seen as essential by the new Head of the Consultancy division that the organisation (which is involved in an extensive portfolio of projects) improves its performance in terms of delivering on time and to budget. This was relevant for its own projects, and in working on behalf of clients, especially in these added value areas. In itself, the insourcing is a major project management task which is of critical importance to the organization.
The Company’s Highways Infrastructure team has one very large project which is currently being managed for a large client, and poses a particularly serious risk to future revenue and profit as its overall project management has been poor. It involves the design installation and commissioning of a new Highway Management system for the client, which has a large portfolio of potential projects as it is a world leader in Toll Road operations, and was contracted on a fixed price basis. Delivery was late and was overrunning in cost. It is a software issue, where the Highways Infrastructure team have faced difficulties with an out-sourced software designer but which could be managed in house through the new Consultancy service as they now have the requisite skills.
Overall, with increased competition in all its fields, the organization needs to improve business and project performance significantly. In addition to the projects discussed above, it has a number of key projects to complete in order to meet client expectations, as well as changes to the business to improve customer service and productivity. The acquisition was seen as aiding this required improvement especially in terms of Project/Programme Management
Further, a recent review of projects managed across the company using the P3M3® model concluded that the firm’s project, programme and portfolio (P3) management capability was generally at Level 2. The organization had not traditionally considered its overall approach to Programme Management but with its expanded business this was now seen as crucial because clients were increasingly requiring the highest level of maturity, Level 3, as part of their Procurement Quality Standard. Evidence of the current standard was apparent from the poor project management of the Highway Management system.
The acquisition was in itself a programme of business change which needed to be well managed in order to achieve the overall improvement in business performance.
Improvement in Programme Management was therefore considered essential to the future success of the overall business.
The key issues which are currently being discussed within the firm are:
1. Integration of the new consultancy into the business given their different culture and background. Is the proposal to set up a completely new division the right approach to maximize value for the firm and its clients/customers?
2. The company has followed a strategy of business development through acquisition and insourcing rather than outsourcing with the exception of the Consultancy Sector. The decision to insource needs to be reviewed to establish whether it fits with the core competences of the organization and fundamentally whether the risks with insourcing/vertical integration/on shoring are greater or less than outsourcing as at present.
3. How should they improve their project and programme management capability given they have to integrate this new consultancy into the corporate structure and improve performance in current projects and programmes such as the Highway Management System? This is considered important as it is seen as the key growth area for DBCL’s business.
1. Critically evaluate and review DBCL’s decision to insource/vertically integrate the Engineering Consultancy. Identify the key issues and benefits, supporting your argument with reference to evidence of insourcing/vertical integration undertaken by other organizations and evaluate their levels of success/failure.
2. Identify and evaluate the critical success factors for the successful integration of the consultancy/ insourcing project, including the major risks and how these should be handled.
3. Critically evaluate the organizations options for:
• Improving programme, project and portfolio management performance. In doing so, identify the challenges of the proposed acquisition, having researched the P3M3 model.
• Integrating the insourced Consultancy Service into the organization to achieve the required benefits and cost savings.
4. Make justified recommendations to the firms CEO on the approach to take for ensuring successful delivery of the new consultancy division, and the improvement of P3M3 across the company including short and long term actions.
ii. Assessment Submission Structure
You should present your work as a business report. The assignment must, at the minimum, include:
• Cover page (including SRN and word count)
• A title page
• Contents page
• Analysis of the decision to insource/vertically integrate through acquisition the consultancy division including the organizational challenges.
• Analysis of the Critical Success Factors and Risks with the integration of the Consultancy Insourcing project.
• Evaluation of options
o Improving programme, project and portfolio management performance.
o Integration of the Consultancy Service.
• Recommendations to the CEO
Wherever possible you should look to support your work with examples and case studies from current academic research, consulting firms, advisors and industry associations. Also you should look to support your work with examples and case studies from current academic research, consulting firms, advisors and industry associations. In writing your paper you should refer to the course learning outcomes to ensure that your answer demonstrates that you have addressed each of them. For example, K3 states that students should be able to demonstrate “An integrated understanding of how organisational culture, the macro and micro environments evolve and influence project outcomes”.
To address this outcome you have limited information in the case study but you can make assumptions about the culture of DBCL and its macro environment. You have some insights into the micro environment. At this stage of your degree you should be drawing together theories and ideas from your other courses – Fundamentals of Project Management, Leadership and Change Management and Best Practice Frameworks. You can also draw on case studies in other companies for insights.
The references should include academic, web-based and professional sources. It is important to show that you understand the limitations of the web sources and appreciate the significance of the professional and academic ones. This is reflected on the number and the quality of the used sources. For this level, a minimum of 12-15 references is required as evidence of broader reading. References must be cited using the Harvard Referencing Style.
Any figures or graphs used in the report must have captions and, wherever needed, properly referenced. All other instructions in general assessment guidance need to be followed.
iii. Assessment Marking Scheme (available to Students)
Written assignment submission
The assignment is marked out of 100. The following table shows the mark allocation and the approach required.
Assignment Part Mark Approach
Introduction 10 marks The introduction should provide some background information, the structure of the paper and some insights into the recommendations.
Critically evaluate and review DBCL’s decision to insource/vertically integrate the Engineering Consultancy identifying the key issues and benefits. Support your argument with reference to evidence of insourcing/vertical integration undertaken by other organizations and evaluate the levels of success/failure.
15 marks For an excellent mark students should provide a well-researched examination of the issues to be considered with Insourcing/Outsourcing/Vertical Integration. Provide evidence of research into the various approaches to sourcing professional services.
Identify and evaluate the critical success factors for the successful integration of the Consultancy/ Insourcing Project including the major risks and how these should be handled.
15 marks Evidence of research into decisions to Insource and the critical success factors. Identification of the key risks facing the project in a Risk Breakdown Structure and then tabulated in an appendix as a risk register.
Creation of an appropriate risk management approach for each risk.
Evaluation of options
• Improving programme, project and portfolio management performance.
• Integration of the New Consultancy into the Organization
20 marks • Evaluate a range of options for areas such as, PM training, use of a PMO, standardization of methods and external accreditation. Use a range of sources including academic papers. Support your evaluation with examples of best practices used in other firms.
• Evaluate issues such as the resource based view of strategy, core competencies, organizational structures and business strategy in looking at what options to consider with the vertical integration of the consultancy. Again support your evaluation with examples of best practices used in other firms.
Recommendations to the CEO 20 marks Your recommendations should be based on the options that you have evaluated. Individual recommendations may apply to one or both of the areas for improvement. They should be clear, explicit and justified. You should provide an indication of the programme/project approach with the preferred sequence, timescale and critical success factors. Focus on short and medium term given the urgency of the issues.
Evidence of broader reading, knowledge, creative thinking, originality 10 marks The key to success is to research extensively to identify the most relevant material.
Format, Presentation and Use of references 10 marks Use Harvard Referencing and clearly structure your paper, using report style - titles, subtitles and a reference page. The language used should avoid colloquialisms, informal terms and jargon.
Appendix A - General Grading Criteria
Criteria Pass Grades Fail Grades
30-49% Low Fail
The work displays: The work displays: The work displays: The work displays: The work displays: The work displays:
Knowledge & Understanding
(a) Systematic Understanding
(b) Emerging Thought (a) Strong evidence of a comprehensive and systematic understanding of an extensive range of appropriate issues, concepts, theories and research (a) Clear evidence of a comprehensive and systematic understanding of a considerable variety of issues, concepts, theories and research (a) Clear evidence of a comprehensive and systematic understanding of all major - and some minor - issues, concepts, theories and research (a) Evidence of a systematic understanding, which may contain some gaps, of all major - and some minor - issues, concepts, theories and research (a) Evidence of an understanding of an appropriate range of issues, concepts, theories and research but has significant gaps or misunderstandings. (a) Evidence of a limited understanding of issues, concepts, theories and research either major and/or minor.
(b) Sustained excellence in the application of thoughts and practices at the forefront of the discipline (b) Precise and well judged application of thoughts and practices at the forefront of the discipline (b) Some clear evidence of the application of thoughts and practices at the forefront of the discipline (b) Clear evidence of an understanding of thoughts and practices at the forefront of the discipline. (b) Unclear or imprecise understanding of thoughts and practices at the forefront of the discipline. (b) Significant gaps in the understanding of the debates at the forefront of the discipline.
(a) Analysis, Synthesis & Evaluation
(b) Numerical Analysis
(d) Independent Research
(a) Consistently precise, accurate and reasoned analysis, synthesis and/or evaluation; addressing issues with insight or originality (a) Consistently precise, accurate and reasoned analysis, synthesis and/or evaluation addressing all issues, some with creativity (a) Precision, accuracy and clear reasoning throughout the analysis, synthesis and/or evaluation addressing all issues appropriately (a) Broad levels of precision, accuracy and reasoning in analysis, synthesis and/or evaluation, and addresses all key issues (a) Errors which affect the consistency of the analysis, synthesis or evaluation and/or key gaps in the issues addressed (a) A lack of precision, accuracy or reasoning in analysis, synthesis or evaluation with significant gaps in the issues addressed
(b) Numeric analysis that is complete and free from errors with application of methods that may be insightful or original (b) Numeric analysis that is complete and mostly free from errors with fluent and appropriate application of methods. (b) Numeric analysis that is complete and mostly free from errors with relevant and effective application of methods. (b) Numeric analysis that is mostly complete and free from significant or critical errors with appropriate application of methods. (b) Numeric analysis that is mostly complete but contains errors with significant effect, or methods that are applied inappropriately (b) Numeric analysis that is incomplete or contains errors which have critical effect, or methods that are applied inappropriately
(c) Extremely strong and consistent argument making a convincing whole with evidence of originality. Impressive dexterity in the use of information gathered to support the argument. (c) Extremely strong and consistent argument that convincingly addresses issues including uncertainties and conflicts. Excellent use of information gathered which to support and further the argument (c) Evidence of an argument that is generally convincing with a good internal consistency and addresses most issues. Very good use of information gathered to support the argument. (c) Evidence of an overall convincing argument but may have weaknesses, gaps or inconsistencies. Clear use of information gathered but may have some weaknesses in the integration into the argument. (c) Evidence of a consistent argument but may have weaknesses, significant gaps or be unconvincing. Clear use of information gathered but may not be sufficient to sustain the argument. (c) Lack of consistency or structure in the argument. Serious weaknesses in the integration of evidence and/or no awareness of the limitations or weaknesses of the research.
(d) Independent Research
(d) Evidence of an innovative or original use of extensive personal research which has been thoroughly critically evaluated both conceptually and methodologically (d) Substantial research and evidence of an innovative use of a wide range of personal research with clear and consistent critical evaluation both conceptually and methodologically (d) Clear evidence of considerable personal research and the use of a diverse range of appropriate sources but may contain problems with consistency in the conceptual and methodological critical evaluation (d) Appropriate use of a wide range of personal research which is critically evaluated for key conceptual and methodological issues although this may not be consistent throughout (d) Evidence of a range of personal research but evidence of methodological or conceptual evaluation may be limited, inconsistent or inappropriate (d) Over reliance on very restricted range of personal or secondary research much of which may not be evaluated and may not be directly related to the question or area
(c) Use of Language (a) Excellent structure and presentation (a) Excellent structure and presentation (a) Good structure and presentation (a) Adequate structure and presentation (a) Adequate structure and presentation (a) Poor structure and presentation
(b) Precise, full and appropriate references and notes. (b) Precise, full and appropriate references and notes. (b) Full and appropriate references and notes with minor or insignificant errors (b) Good references and notes with minor or insignificant errors or omissions (b) Competent references and notes but may contain inconsistencies, errors or omissions (b) Poor references and notes with multiple inconsistencies, errors or omissions
(c) Subtle use of language expressing highly nuanced thought with clarity and precision to a level appropriate for submission for publication. (c) Precise use of language expressing complex thought with clarity, accuracy and precision which furthers and enhances the argument (c) Clear and precise use of language allowing a complex argument to be easily understood and followed (c) Generally clear use of language sufficient for arguments to be readily understood and followed (c) Generally understandable use of language but significant errors in expression affecting overall clarity (c) Serious errors in the use of language which makes meaning unclear or imprecise