Project Development And Implementation For Strategic Managers

Unit code: H/602/2425 QCF Level 7:  BTEC Professional Credit value: 20

Unit aim

This unit provides learners with an opportunity to develop their project management and research skills by developing a project where they plan and implement a new product, service or process.

Unit introduction

As the rate of change escalates, it is important for organizations to not just hold their place in the market but to plan to move ahead. This unit recognizes the importance to managers of having project management skills and the relevant expertise to enable this to happen.

The purpose of this unit is to give learners an opportunity to integrate all the knowledge from their program of learning by developing a project in which they plan and implement a new product, service, or process.

This unit could follow on from Unit 16: Research Methods for Strategic Managers, where a research question is formulated and researched. The fact that there are two units on research and project development and implementation in this specification recognizes the scale of work required to develop and implement a sound project. Learners can take either unit without the other but may find it necessary to start with Unit 16 if they have no experience of research methodology.

Learners need to take a full and active role in all aspects of the project, and the selection of an appropriate management issue is crucial to success. Learners will cover a full range of management activities and roles, including resource and people management and implementation of change. The result needs to be a substantial report in a style appropriate for consideration by senior management.


On completion of this unit a learner should:

Be able to develop a project specification

Project Development And Implementation For Strategic ManagersDevelopment: defining the product, service or process; research; methods of evaluating the feasibility of projects; initial critical analysis of the outline specification; selection of project option; initiating a project logbook/diary; estimating costs and resource implications; identifying goals and limitations; a value of the project; a rationale for selection; agree to roles and allocate responsibilities; developing a business case, case justification; primary and secondary sources, official sources; tacit knowledge; political dimensions, environmental scanning, market research, market segmentation

Specification: developing a list of requirements relevant to project specifications eg costs, timescales, the scale of operation, standards, legislation, ethics, sustainability, quality, fitness for purpose, business data, resource implications; project lifecycle; the added value of product, service, or process; market and customer expectations; profit margins and vulnerability; market analysis; benchmarking; stakeholder analysis; scoping process; informal contacts and networking; relationship to corporate strategy and planning; sustainability; market intelligence systems (MIS)

Project management: principles; the role of the project manager eg management of change, understanding of project management system elements and their integration, management of multiple projects; project environment and the impact of external influences on projects; identification of the major project phases (initiate, plan, execute, monitor/control, evaluate/close) and why they are required, understanding of the work in each phase; the nature of work in the lifecycles of projects in various industries

Success/failure criteria: need to meet operational, time and cost criteria, measure success eg develop the project scope; product breakdown structure (PBS); work breakdown structure (WBS); project execution strategy and the role of the project team; consideration of investment appraisal eg use of discount cash flow (DCF) and net present value (NPV); benefit analysis and viability of projects; determine success/failure criteria; preparation of project definition report, acceptance tests; requirements for termination eg audit trails, punch lists, close-out reports, and post-project appraisals, comparison of project outcome with business objectives

Project management systems: procedures and processes; knowledge of project information support (IS) systems; how to integrate human and material resources for success

Be able to plan for the launch of a project to implement a new product, service, or process

Procedures: planning and monitoring methods; operating methods; lines of communication; risk analysis; the structure of groups and collaborative working; targets and aims

Project plan: production of a plan for the project including timescales, deliverables, milestones, quality assurance systems, and quality plans; monitoring progress

Resources: economy, efficiency, and effectiveness; sources and evaluation of training and development; workforce planning; contingency factors

Cost: cost dimensions eg labor, training and development, materials, supplies, equipment hire, accommodation or space, delivery, accessing funds, overheads, administration, budgeting and cash flow, cost margins; cost-benefit analysis

Planning: identify and select product, service, or process; scope and feasibility; agreeing on the process; plan timeline; action plan; timetable and procedure; task dates; targets; milestones; review dates; monitoring/reviewing process; strategy

Methodology: research eg library, internet, sector data sources, pure and applied research, developmental, longitudinal, interviews, questionnaires, survey, case study; research and development; concepts and theories; terminology; validity and reliability

Organizational structure: functional, project, and matrix structures eg consideration of cultural and environmental influences; organizational evolution during the project lifecycle; job descriptions and key roles eg the project sponsor, champion, manager, integrators; other participants eg the project owner, user, supporters, stakeholders

Control and coordination: the need for monitoring and control eg preparation of project plans, planning, scheduling, and resourcing techniques; use of work breakdown structure to develop monitoring and control systems; monitoring performance and progress measurement against established targets and plans; project reporting; change control procedures

Leadership requirements: team roles, motivation and the need for team building; project leadership styles and attributes; delegation of work and responsibility; techniques for dealing with conflict; negotiation skills

Human resources and requirements: calculation, specification, and optimization of human resource requirements; job descriptions

Be able to implement a project

Implementation: market or pilot testing; leadership, delegation, and motivation, team building, roles; stages breakdown; developing specifications, Gantt chart, PERT/CPA modeling, quality control and analysis, Total Quality Management (TQM), quality chain, milestone charting, auditing; feedback systems, communication systems; time management, progress meetings, corrective measures, variance analysis, bottlenecks; contracting; pricing policy; differentiation; market positioning and strategy; packaging, promotion, and advertising; distribution costs; branding

Project management plans: the why, what, how, when, where and by whom of project management eg contract terms, document distribution schedules, procurement, establishing the baseline for the project

Implement: proper use of resources, working within agreed timescale, use of appropriate techniques for generating solutions, monitoring development against the agreed project plan, maintaining and adapting project plan where appropriate

Record: systematic recording of relevant outcomes of all aspects and stages of the project to agreed standards

Project organization: the product breakdown structure (PBS) and the work breakdown structure (WBS), project execution strategy and the organization breakdown structure (OBS) eg preparation of organizational charts, task responsibility matrix, statement of work (SOW) for project tasks

Scheduling techniques: the relationship between schedules, OBS and WBS, bar charts, milestone schedules, network techniques, resourcing techniques, computer-based scheduling, and resourcing packages, project progress measurement, and reporting techniques, staff-hours earned value and progress ‘S’ curves, critical path analysis and reporting, milestone trending

Cost control: cost breakdown structure eg types of the project estimate, resources needed, estimating techniques, estimating accuracy, contingency, and estimation, bid estimates, whole-life cost estimates, sources of information, cost information sensitivity, computer-based estimating

Techniques: allocation of budgets to packages of work, committed costs, actual costs, cash flow, contingency management

Performance: cost performance analysis eg budgeted cost for work scheduled (BCWS), budgeted cost for work performed (BCWP); concept of earned value, the actual cost of work performed (ACWP), cost performance indicators

Change control: the need for formal control of changes eg impact of changes on the project, principles of change control and configuration management; changes to scope, specification, cost or schedule; change reviews and authorization, the formation of project teams, project initiation and start-up procedures


Be able to evaluate the outcomes of a project

Criteria: purpose; targets and achievement; sequencing success or problems; critical analysis; feedback from stakeholders; the significance of the project; application of project results; implications; limitations of the project; improvements; recommendations for further consideration

Evaluation: planning; objectives; focus; benefits; successes; difficulties; recommendations; analysis of results and planned procedures; use of appropriate evaluation techniques; application of project evaluation and review techniques (PERT); opportunities for further studies and developments

Interpretation: use of appropriate techniques to justify project progress and outcomes in terms of the original agreed project specification

Be able to present the outcomes of a project

Presentation: eg formal written format, by viva voce or oral presentation, diagrammatic or graphical figures

Record of procedures and results: relevant documentation for all aspects and stages of the project

Format: professional delivery format appropriate to the audience; appropriate media

Methodology: presentation eg IT, audio, visual aids, time, pace; delivery critique of the methods used in the project; recommendations eg using the findings, recommendations for the future; areas for future research

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