Critical Analysis of a Project Management Plan
In this assignment you are using a variety of relevant and reliable project management
literature to critically analyse your project’s document known as the ‘project
management plan’ (PMP), in the format of a professional report. This is a critical
analysis of the documented ‘project management plan’ not the project itself nor how
it was managed.
Note: Include your project’s PMP as Appendix 1 in your report or as a separate file in
your assignment submission through the study desk. ‘Project Management Plans’ are
also commonly called a ‘Project Plan’ or ‘Project Implementation Plan’. Note
carefully that a project schedule or a Gantt chart by itself is NOT a ‘Project
The PMP for your chosen project would be the sort of document that would be
handed to a client/manager to illustrate how it is intended to manage the project
through to completion. A PMP is an important document for achieving successful
project outcomes, and is often used to gain sponsor/client commitment, and should
contain sufficient information to allow such a decision to be made with confidence.
Make sure you understand what a PMP is before you select a document for analysis.
The document might be an existing plan from your place of work or from another
source if you don’t have access to one from your workplace. Either way, the source
should be clearly indicated.
Word count: 3000 – 4000 words approximately (excluding executive summary,
figures, tables, appendices and reference list)
The structure of your report (assignment) should be as follows:
Title page (report title, course details, author details, due date, etc. in the style of a
Provide a stand-alone summary of this report for senior managers: why this report
was prepared, how it is structured, and what are the important conclusions and
recommendations. (NOTE: some of this information will be repeated in the
introduction as well.)
Table of Contents / List of Figures / List of Tables
• Refer Communication Skills Handbook for details of style
1. Introduction (250 words)
Briefly state why your report has been prepared, what project is being analysed, and
how the report is structured. (Note – this may be similar to the introduction in
assignment 1 if you have used the same project, but this is a new report, and you need
to provide the information your reader needs to understand the report. You can use the
same information in both assignments.)
2. Project background (250 words)
Your project description should describe the project and its context – what
organisation is the project owner/sponsor, what this organisation does, why the
project is being done, where it is located, etc. The description should contain enough
detail for the reader to understand the reason behind each of the components of the
PMP – why it is included and its content and format.
3. Contents of the PMP (2500 – 3000 words)
Now provide a critical analysis of each of the major sections of your PMP and
provide some theoretical framework for what is included in each section (e.g. Why
has a project schedule been included, is it a meaningful document, does it contain the
right information, etc.?)
This explanation will be drawn from the study modules, text book, selected readings,
and other sources. This discussion will probably cover most, if not all, knowledge
areas covered under the Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge
(PMBOK® Guide) (PMI 2013) in one form or another. It does not have to be under
those PMBOK headings but should clearly indicate that it covers all recognised areas
covered by the various Project Management Bodies of Knowledge.
It is strongly recommended that you do use sub-headings in this section to signpost
your critical analysis.
4. Conclusions (250 words)
Summarise your findings from the analysis of your PMP. What did you find out about
the PMP? Does it conform to the recognised theory? What aspects are important and
are of significance to project outcomes? What are its strengths and its weaknesses?
(Focus here on your PMP document and not on the theory).
5. Recommendations (250 words)
What are your recommendations flowing from this analysis with regard to your
chosen PMP? What changes should be made to your PMP for this project (or similar
future projects)? Address the shortcomings identified in your conclusions. Again,
focus on recommendations related to your PMP and not on the project itself.
It is expected that you would find at least 12 quality references (including journal
articles) to form part of your critical analysis. These should be resources you have
actually cited in your essay.
The PMP you have analysed will be attached as Appendix 1 (unless it is a very large
document, in which case, it can be submitted as a separate file in your study desk
submission). Attach any additional appendices that relate specifically to the analysis
following appendix 1. They should be numbered sequentially in the order in which
they appear (Appendix 2, etc.).
As a general guide, you can follow the formatting guidelines for reports as outlined in
the Communication Skills Handbook:
Summers, J & Smith, B 2014, Communication skills handbook, 4th edn, John Wiley
and Sons Australia, Ltd, Brisbane.