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How has the environment shaped Leighton Holdings’ operations? What do you think might have been the outcome in ‘different’ economic times? Why?
Is Wal King’s job, complex and stratospheric as it is compared to most others, indicative of what managers can expect in their roles? What roles do you perceive, relative to those discussed in part 1 of your text?
The concept of empowerment is often spoken of as the new way of doing business, instead of the old ‘command and control’ approach. How do you see King exemplifying this new approach? Why might he be an advocate of it?
What intercultural and business ethics challenges might Leighton Holdings face as it undertakes operations in the Middle East, China and India? Be careful of any of your own stereotypes that may influence your judgment.
What international management challenges do you think that Leighton Holdings faces as it does business so energetically in the Middle East, China and India?
What are the four elements necessary to form an enforceable traditional contract or an e-contract? What affect does lack of contractual capacity have on any of the three elements? How might a deficiency in contractual capacity, related to contract formation, be corrected?
What factors led to IBMs success during the 1960s and 1970s and its problems during the late 1980s and the early 1990s?
Comment briefly on the main functions of management?
Summarise the development of motivational theory making reference to both content and process theories?
Hierarchical, Divisional and Matrix: Comment on these three organizational structures, providing examples of where they might best be applied.
Describe how the following might be defined:
What is working Capital? What can companies do to help manage Working Capital?
Write notes on styles of leadership ranging from fully participative to fully non-participative with sub-ordinates, including diagrams showing the level of ability and confidence of the sub-ordinate and the urgency and importance of the task. Illustrate with a hypothetical example for each of the four leadership styles shown in these diagrams.
What are the universals of organization?
Copyrights provide authors with a monopoly.
(a) What effect would eliminating copyrights have on the price and output of textbooks?
(b) Should copyrights be eliminated?
(c) Give some other examples where patents and copyrights exist and what the costs and benefits are.
Copyrights are exclusive rights granted to the creator or author of the original work. Copyrights provide a power of monopoly to the author.
What makes software projects different to construction engineering projects?
What is the difference between process and project work? Why is there often resistance to IS project implementations?
Thomsett discusses 3 forces which are driving change in IS projects. Describe each of these forces as follows:
An IS project is composed of content within a given context. Explain the concepts of ‘content’ and ‘context’ with the help of a diagram. Which is more important and why?
An IT project manager must have a sound business case for the project, otherwise it will fail. What should be included in a business case proposal?
In the class exercise on problems with a Health Records Project, classify each problem as content, context or both. Which were the most difficult to resolve? Try to reverse engineer the business case for this project (probably better patient care due to better access to information resulting is less morbidity, mortality and saving costs such as treatment of preventable mishaps and duplication of tests). Is this business case compelling?
Explain how establishing the work breakdown structure (WBS) helps to estimate the cost of a project.
What techniques can you use to create a WBS?
Why the Microsoft Project Work Formula is problematic for non-trivial IS projects?
Project tracking is essential for ensuring that the project remains in control. What metrics should be tracked?
What are the key functions of Microsoft Project 2010?
What is the critical path of a project? Draw a network diagram and depict the critical path of a simple project.
What is the difference between the Network Diagram and Gantt chart views in MS Project 2010? When would you use each view?
What is a project portfolio management system? How would you justify the investment in such a system?
List the possible stakeholder groups for an IS project. Triage these stakeholders as critical, essential and non-essential. Explain your rationale. Use an example to give a context to your reasoning.
Why is the sponsor a critical stakeholder? How should you manage your sponsor?
How would you establish success criteria for an IS project? What are the limitations of being restricted to the traditional criteria of on budget, on time and meeting the agreed functionality and quality?
What is Thomsett’s RAP process?
Give an example of linking an IT project’s outcomes to an organisation’s goals.
What’s the difference between a project’s outputs and outcomes? Who has the responsibility for each of outputs and outcomes?
Consider the Health Records Project discussed in the Week 1 class exercise. What are the project’s outputs and outcomes? Who is responsible for each? What would be the success criteria for the 2 pilot projects? Doctors represent the key stakeholder/user group. How well does this project meet their goals of efficient and effective patient care and running a profitable practice?
What are the drawbacks of traditional financial measures of project outcomes?
As project estimation error can be substantial during project initiation, how can you as the project manager assure the sponsor that you can deliver the project on budget?
Describe 3 techniques for estimating an IT project’s cost. Which one(s) would you recommend and why?
Why is a post-implementation review important?
An IT project can suffer from being over budget, behind schedule and/or under quality. If a project suffers one or more of these ill effects, should it automatically be deemed a failure?
Why is risk management so important for IS projects?
How would you define project success? Include both the objective and subjective criteria
You are an IT project manager and your project has met the mandatory functionality and quality, but has run over budget and over time. At a social event, a company director asks you whether your project was successful. What is your response?
What are the typical management issues which result in IT project failure?
Thomsett suggests that there are 2 distinctly different types of risks. Explain what he means by project and business risks. Which class of risk causes the most problems? Why?
What are the risk management objectives of ISO31000 (2009)? What are the expected benefits of adhering to the standard?
ISO31000 stipulates a Risk Management Process. With the aid of a diagram, describe this process. What are the main strengths of this approach? How applicable is this process to IT projects?
Why is it essential to communicate and consult with stakeholders when formulating the Risk Management Plan?
A key step in developing the Risk Management Plan is to identify the risks applicable to the project’s context and content. As the risk manager for an IT project, describe how you would compile a list of relevant risks. How would you ensure that a significant risk event was not omitted?
Explain the following aspects of a risk, use an example for each:
Describe 3 of the techniques used to analyze risks.
As the Risk Manager for an IT project, what criteria would you use to evaluate risks and decide which risks need to be treated?
Outline 5 risk treatment approaches. Give an example of each
What did Gerstner do when he assumed the role of the CEO in April 1993? Evaluate Gerstner’s approach to crisis management. How well did he perform as a turnaround manager? What challenges did he face as he attempted to position the company for growth?
Why do large established companies, like IBM, find it difficult to build successful and sustainable new businesses?
Evaluate IBM’s approach to leading mature, high growth, and emerging business opportunities. What are the organization design and leadership models required to manage each type of business? How should a tech company like IBM (or Rackspace for that matter) manage the innovation process?
What challenges did Sam Palmisano face as he assumed control of IBM in March 2002? Can a company like IBM be organized for both innovation and efficient operation – can it be both “big” and “small”? What advice would you give Palmisano at the end of the case?
Summarise the development of formal management theory, using Taylor and Fayol as a starting point.
Briefly Summarise factors which might influence organizational design.
Describe the ratios which can be used to interpret the financial performance of a company
The profit and loss account of a company can show different types of profit. State what these are and explain briefly why they are used.
In the Past Company X has always created invoices for goods supplied using a manual system. The cost of this last year was £50,000. However, it is accepted that these costs will rise by 10% next year and continue to do so at that rate for the foreseeable future. An alternative is available using established software. Company Y is offering a solution which has an initial cost of £200,000, with annual maintenance cost of £20,000 a year. Company Z is offering identical software on a leasing agreement costing £67,500 a year. Given that the prevailing interest rate is 5%, should company X adopt the software solutions of either company Y or Z?
Table of discount factors for a 5% rate of interest
Write Notes on Authority, Responsibility and Unity of Command in an Organizational Structure.
Describe some techniques used in operations research giving an example application for each.
Write notes on the “management science” school approach to management.
A new company has just completed its first year of trading. It was financed from £900,000 of share capital and £500,000 of long-term loans. A site was purchased of an exiting chemical plant for £700,000 (broken down into a value for the land of £250,000 and £450,000 for the plant and machinery), and modifications were carried out at a total cost of £300,000. Distribution is important and vehicles are purchased at Profit and Loss Account 100,000. Office equipment was purchased for £50,000. Straight line depreciation applies to assets at 15% per year for plant and machinery and 30% per year for vehicles.
During the first year sales totaled £4,200,000, stock of products totaled £150,000. Raw materials purchased were £2,000,000 and raw material stock at year end was £200,000. On average through the year 5 weeks credit was given and three weeks taken. Total production, administration and sales costs totaled £1,500,000. Interest on long term loans was 7%. Provision for tax should be 25% and a dividend of 20% of profit after tax will be declared.
Prepare the year end: Profit and Loss Account, Cash Account, and Balance Sheet.
A company produces two products
A: 1600 sold per week at ₤9 each, direct unit cost is ₤2.50.
B: 7000 sold per week at ₤5 each, direct unit cost is ₤4.20.
Company overheads = ₤9000 per week
Show the profitability of each product if the overheads are distributes
In proportion to the turnover
50% to A and 50% to B
Briefly discuss the implications.
Write notes on working capital?
Describe the role, relationship and potential conflict between a line manager and a staff manager.
Describe giving reasons, organizational structure that would be most appropriate in each of the following cases
1. A small manufacturing company operating from a single site employing about 50 people
2. A large manufacturing company with a number of sites and products employing about 10,000 people
3. A consultancy company which undertakes engineering design and safety studies for various clients employing about 100 people.
Discuss delegation. What are the benefits and potential drawbacks?
Explain what is meant by “job evaluation”. What are the basic principles of the points factor system of job evaluation?
Maslow and Herzberg originated two theories regarding the motivation of people in a work environment. Describe and compare both of their approaches to this subject.
Describe the role and powers of a Health and safety inspector.
Write notes on “visible” and “hidden” costs of an accident.
Explain the difference between financial and management accounting
Describe three ratios which can be used to interpret the financial performance of a company.
Describe the fixed cost, variable cost, break-even point
Explain the significance of depreciation and compare straight line depreciation with the reducing balance method
Briefly discuss the difference between authority and responsibility
RUP uses an iterative approach such that each phase has a complete lifecycle. Explain with the help of a diagram.
What are the major milestones for each of the 4 development phases of RUP?
During the ‘Elaborative’ phase of RUP, the ‘Architecture’ milestone is developed. Explain how the architecture assists with estimating the cost of the project, mitigating key risks, validating the tool set and gaining stakeholder buy-in.
What are the main activities in RUP’s ‘Construction’ phase?
What are the common pitfalls in using RUP?
How would a RUP project plan differ from a plan using a conventional Waterfall or engineering approach?
Consider the Health Records project we looked at in the Week 1 Exercise and the identified problems. Imagine that you are a time traveler and you are in a position to advise the original project manager(s) at the planning stage. You suggest a RUP approach as the project can be deemed complex and high risk. Outline a RUP style project plan. Explain how the key risks have now been treated. Now step forward in time. How did the project turn out?
What is IBM’s Rational Method Composer and how would you use it to help manage an IT project?
Why does RUP need to be finetuned for COTS projects? Why is RUP still relevant for a COTS project?
As a new project manager, you have been asked to consider using the AS4071 structure for your software development project plan. What aspects of this template would you change? Why?
What’s the difference between management and leadership? Give 3 examples of each.
What is management by walking about? Why does it help in gaining stakeholder support for a project?
A project manager needs to ‘lead by example’. Explain how this can be done. What are the characteristics of an effective project manager?
As an IT project manager, how would you ensure that your team remains motivated?
What are the 5 stages of team development and how do you accelerate your team through the early less productive stages?
What are the main attributes to look for when recruiting a new team member?
Why is conflict inevitable in a project team? How can it be managed?
Numerous IT projects are staffed with ‘virtual’ teams. How do these virtual teams differ from traditional teams?
Draw an EVA Cost/Schedule Graph. For this example, assume that there are significant differences between the 3 constituent graphs.