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Avoid the Hustle

Managing International Projects

Category: Management

Learning Outcomes assessed by this assignment

1. Apply and evaluate risk assessment techniques to the selection and evaluation of international projects

2. Develop a critical understanding of cultural frameworks

3. Apply and evaluate cultural frameworks to a specific project

4. Analyse and appraise implementation concepts for international projects

Assessment Weighting

This assignment represents 80% of the module overall mark.

The task: Choose any three of the following four case studies and answer the questions at the end of each. You are expected to read more about the cases below from material available in the recommended text (Koster, 2010).

Answers should be at least 1000 words per case study and not more than 3000 words in total (excluding references and appendices), typed and in a management format. All questions have equal weighting.

Case 1: The World Bank’s global program for Avian Influenza control and human pandemic preparedness and response: Strategy and structure

Main decision takers at a global level came to the conclusion that the risk of a global pandemic needed to be mitigated. Therefore, a global response to the threat to global health was formulated in terms of the following strategies:

1. The prevention of the spread of the disease in animals in order to lower the animal origin virus load in the environment.

2. The mitigation of the effect of an outbreak in humans.

3. The help of affected populations to cope with the effects of the pandemic in case this will occur.

The need for a shared vision was identified. The representatives of more than 100 countries who participate in the program were invited to Beijing in January 2006 in order to jointly formulate a vision and a common set of activities. The vision is to minimize the global threat and risk of HPAI in humans and domestic poultry, by controlling and eliminating the virus H5N1 from terrestrial domestic poultry in Asia.

The delegates of all countries present at Beijing pledged almost 1.9 billion US$ in support of the program on a country, regional, and global level.

The overall strategy has the following focal areas where action is required:

1. Capacity building in terms of strong and sustainable human and physical resources in all countries that are capable of disease surveillance and control, policy development and socio-economic analysis.

2. Research into the nature of the virus including an evaluation of the efficacy of vaccines.

3. Analysis of the production and marketing systems of the poultry sector in the infected countries and at-risk countries, including a restructuring of the sector in some countries.

4. Development of regional policies and harmonized technical standards related to live-animal movement, compensation plans, capacity building, disease reporting requirements and poultry sector restructuring.

Read the full case in Koster (2010) pp 29-31 where it demonstrates that the global programme for Avian Influenza has numerous stakeholders who need to be coordinated and managed well. Therefore, a special Coordination Framework of the GPAI was developed. The framework aims at:

1. Avoiding a duplication of work.

2. Optimizing the use of global assets and resources.

Question: Discuss what would be the key success factors in this international project and develop a set of critical success criteria?

Case 2: R&D and production transfer from the UK to Germany

We are back with ‘Project Spree’, encompassing the transfer of the development and production of the civil aircraft engine Tay from the UK to Germany. During the whole project, review meetings were conducted on a regular basis. They were headed by the Steering Committee. All the leaders of the subprojects identified in the second level of the WBS (cf. mini case 3.1) had to report on the status of their activities, including any issues encountered and their countermeasures. The following provides an abbreviated example of the format of the report:

Status /Milestones achieved:

• Tooling available

• Five people from the UK will come to Germany to support the build

• Systems architecture defined.

Risks and issues:

• Drawing availability in Germany not 100% (promised Monday, 28 April)

• Parts shortages, e.g. gearbox.

The status was colour-coded, with green for everything on track, yellow for close scrutiny required, and red for risks/problems. The regular status meetings not only served as a control tool, but also at the same time as a communication platform for all the sub-teams. Thus, an immediate assessment of the potential impacts of the a problem on other sub-teams could be carried out, and if necessary, adequate countermeasures could be discussed on the spot.

Question: Discuss the challenges of managing international projects and how these are dealt with in the project management literature. Apply your findings to the Siemens One programme.

Case 3: EADS Astrium’s organization of projects (Part 2)

The project organization principles of EADS Astrium are:

• Matrix structure

• Responsibility in one hand (‘captain principle’)

• Strong reliance on system technology

• Strong process orientation

• Integrated teams including cost and schedule controllers

• Clear assignment of responsibilities

• Transparent assignment of budget

• Involvement of all team members in the management of cost, schedule, risk, and claims

• Strong leadership

• Great autonomy for each team member

Question: Assess the project governance structure at EADS Astrium. What are the

advantages and disadvantages of this structure? Characterize the organizational culture at Astrium. Whatimpact does this have on the project management structure?

Source: Benz (2005)

Mini Case 4: How to lead international projects

The German project manager in Brazil who was introduced in mini case 8.1 (Koster, 2010, pp224-225) had difficulties in retaining good people in light of poaching activities from competitors. One morning, his controller told his direct colleagues in the landscape office that a wall of her house had collapsed over night. The project manager overheard the conversation and immediately organized a place where the controller and her family could stay while the house was repaired. Another day, his purchaser came in several hours too late. He said that he had hit a pothole and his tyre had burst. The cost of the damage came to 500 US$ and was considerable when compared to his monthly salary of 400 US$. The project manager arranged for a special company loan for him. The controller and the purchaser felt well taken care of and developed a strong sense of loyalty to their project manager.

You need to read the min case in Koster, 2010, pp. 224-225.

Question: Discuss what type of leadership style would be most appropriate in this context and why; what would be your suggestions to build a high level of trust among the project management team?

Case Studies Source

Koster, K. (2010), International Project Management, Sage Publications, ISBN978-1-4129-4620-9.

Appendix 1: Submission of Coursework

Unless explicitly stated otherwise in writing by the module leader, all coursework on this module is submitted via Blackboard only. It will automatically be scanned through a text matching system (designed to check for possible plagiarism).

Plagiarism is the practice of presenting thoughts, writings or other output of another or others as original, without acknowledgement of their source(s). All material used to support a piece of work, whether a printed publication or from electronic media, should be appropriately identified and referenced and should not normally be copied directly unless as an acknowledged quote. Text translated into the words of the individual student should in all cases acknowledge the source.

• DO NOT attach a CA1 form or any other form of cover sheet;

• YOU MUST include your name and student ID on the first page of your assignment.

To submit your assignment:

• Log on to Blackboard at http://learning.westminster.ac.uk;

• Go to the relevant module Blackboard site;

• Click on the ‘Submit Coursework’ link in the navigation menu on the left-hand side, as advised by the module teaching team;

• Click on the link for the relevant assignment;

• Follow the instructions.

You will be given details by the module teaching team about how and when you will receive your marks and feedback on your work.

REMEMBER:

It is a requirement that you submit your work in this way. All coursework must be submitted by 13.00 (pm) on the due date.

If you submit your coursework late but within 24 hours or one working day of the specified deadline, 10% of the overall marks available for that element of assessment will be deducted, as a penalty for late submission, except for work which is marked in the range 50 – 59%, in which case the mark will be capped at the pass mark (50%).

If you submit your coursework more than 24 hours or more than one working day after the specified deadline you will be given a mark of zero for the work in question.

The University’s mitigating circumstances procedures relating to the non-submission or late submission of coursework apply to all coursework.

Please note the conditions listed below:

? You should use the same software versions as those running in the computer labs of Marylebone campus. If you use different version or different software, you will be doing so at your own risk and technical support will not be available.

? There should be no zipped files.

? Your university email address must be included in the documentation, in the event the lecturer marking the work needs to contact you.

? You should always keep a copy of the submitted work

APPENDIX 2

MARKING SCHEME (OUT OF 100%)

Specific criteria for marking

To achieve a Pass with a mark of 50% to 59% for this element, you must satisfy these criteria:

(i) REPORT

Report Structure

• Write a coherent report

• Demonstrate in writing a basic understanding of the organisation, people, and technology issues that relate to the questions; this will be done through analysis and discussion in your text.

• Include in your report appropriately selected and arranged reference material, and produce an appropriate reference section

• Occasional errors in grammar/spelling

Report Content

• Answer the questions set and discuss the issues, as required on the question page.

• Relate your final conclusions to your findings

————————————————————————————————-

To achieve a mark of 60% to 69% or over for this element, you must:

Satisfy all the pass criteria plus:

(i) REPORT

Report Structure

• Write a structured, clear, comprehensive report

• Discuss the required issues, demonstrating a depth of understanding of the project management environment

• Critically analyse, evaluate, and select current, relevant source material

• Quote sources to an accepted standard

• Good grammar/spelling (occasional slip)

Report Content

• Critically review the practical issues against the theory and literature

• Show clear relationships between:

• the task set

• your findings

• your conclusions

————————————————————————————————-

To achieve a mark of 70-79% for this element you must:

Satisfy all of the ’60-69%’ criteria, and also:

(i) REPORT

Report Structure

• Bring most of the elements of the report together into a coherent and critical whole.

• Excellent grammar/spelling

Report Content

• Show clear evidence of how your own ideas and critical thinking contribute to understanding of the topic, built on appropriate research.

• Develop a flow of arguments that progress logically from the introduction, through the discussion and analysis, into the conclusions.

————————————————————————————————-

To achieve a mark of over 80% for this element you must:

Satisfy all of the ’70-79% or over’ criteria, and also:

(i) REPORT

Report Structure

• All of the elements must form an appropriately and well-presented coherent and critical whole.

Report Content

• Show real insight into the issues, with clear evidence of analytical thinking.

• You may find that the Case studies do not answer all your questions and you may need additional information which is not adequately covered. Therefore, make intelligent but realistic assumptions if necessary.

• Please do not overuse bullet points as you are required to evaluate for the purpose of this assignment.

• In all cases, you are expected to consult and cite appropriate references to validate your work and create synthesis (include at least 4 Journal articles per case study).