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UNIVERSITY OF ZIMBABWE

2018 May/June Examinations

MBA528 : PROJECT MANAGEMENT

Faculty: COMMERCE

Department: GRADUATE SCHOOL OF MANAGEMENT

Duration: 3 HOURS

Examiner: DR T. ZINYAMA

Authorized Materials: Non-Programmable Scientific Calculator.

INSTRUCTIONS:
1. This paper contains Six (6) Questions
2. Answer Question One (40 marks); and any other Three Questions (20 marks each)
3. Start each question on a new page
4. This question paper comprises Six(6) printed pages

NB: DO NOT TURN OVER THE QUESTION PAPER OR COMMENCE WRITING


UNTIL INSTRUCTED TO DO SO BY THE CHIEF INVIGILATOR.

Page 1 of 6
QUESTION 1 (Compulsory - 40 marks)

Zinyama Charlotte (ZC) was formed in the early 2000s in Zimbabwe to supply quarry
equipment that required strong, robust machinery capable of crushing and screening
5000 tonnes of quarry rocks per day.

As the market developed, ZC became a leading global supplier. ZC’s production


facilities expanded from one factory site to four 4 factory sites in Zimbabwe. The main
focus for ZC became new product development and ensuring that it maintained the
quality and reliability synonymous with its brand.

In the last decade new low-cost competitors have entered the market and are starting to
reduce ZC’s market share. ZC needs to concentrate on costs if it is going to sustain its
market share leadership. ZC directors insist that it must maintain its brand image but
achieve the same quality product at a lower cost. This may involve the use of low-cost
country sourcing. Areas of concern for low-cost country sourcing are as follows:
• Poor quality product
• The passing of title
• Initial prices increasing once a commitment to supply has been made
• Orders not shipping on time and ‘premium’ transport arrangements having to be
made
• Low-cost country suppliers subcontracting work and ZC not being aware that
they have done this. This may result in poor quality.

The supply base


Mukudzei Rwodzi is one of ZC’s Supply Chain Managers and is responsible for the
procurement of the fabrications for his site. The fabrications supplier base for ZC is
mainly local. Mukudzei realises that if he is to reduce costs he needs to expand his
supply base, introduce competition and consider procurement from lower cost countries.
Mukudzei needs to review the range of fabrications and find product lines that would be
suitable for low-cost country sourcing. Mukudzei decides that the best way to do this is

Page 2 of 6
with the next planned new product introduction in 6 months’ time. Mukudzei drafts a
sourcing plan outlined in Table below.

Task Description Estimate Predecessor


duration
(weeks)
A Identify a product line suitable of sourcing 2
globally
B Gather drawings, material and finish 1 A
specification
C Determine the volumes over a medium/long- 2 A
term period
D Analyse the supplier market locally and 3 A
internationally
E Review international sourcing options and 3 D
select
F Send tender enquiry 2 B,C,E
G Visit potential suppliers 2 F
H Receive tenders 4 F
I Select potential suppliers 1 G,H
J Prototype build 6 I
K Airfreight prototype for approval 1 J
L Gain quality approval 1 K
M If approved then final negotiation and contract 2 L
award

Sourcing from low cost countries


ZC has a set time-frame of 6 months for the launch of its new product and needs to
ensure no risk of failing to meet this deadline.

The local fabrication suppliers to ZC are very financially dependent on ZC with ZC being
80% of most of the local fabricators business. Mukudzei believes that there may be
collusion between the local suppliers when pricing. It is time for change and Mukudzei
believes that low-cost country sourcing may remove some of the complacency ZC feels
they are experiencing with the local suppliers. Mukudzei must ensure that any change
to low-cost country sourcing must be seamless.

Page 3 of 6
Required:
(a) Based on the information in table above:

(i) Identify the critical path for the project. [5 marks]

(ii) Determine the planned duration for the sourcing project. [5 marks]

(b) Calculate the maximum time saving that could be made on Task H in order to
reduce the overall duration of the project (taking into account the fact that all
other task durations will remain as in Table above). Show your calculations.
[6 marks]

(c) If the maximum time saving on Task H is achieved (and Task D is reduced by 2
weeks as suggested by ZC Managing Director) calculate:
(i) The revised overall planned duration of the project. [3 marks]

(ii) An approximate start date if the project is to be complete by 01


September. [4 marks]

(d) Discuss the merits of a network diagram in project management. Use the
information in the case. [8 marks]

(e) Give examples of basic indicators that may be used by Zinyama Charlotte. The
response should include process, quality, quantity and cost dimensions.
[6 marks]

(f) Demonstrate that the indicators selected in (a) above are QQT [3 marks]

QUESTION 2
(a) A project inherently has a ‘life.’ We therefore speak of the ‘project life cycle’
made up of various phases. The management of the relevant project phases
constitutes project ‘cycle management.’ Clearly identify the phases of the project
cycle, give an induction talk to a new employee on the project you are leading, to
shed light on the relevance and core activities of each phase [10 marks]

(b) ‘Seeing the community as one stakeholder group can be meaningless.’ By


means of examples show how in your view this assertion may assist or defeat
the purpose of stakeholder analysis. [10 marks]

Page 4 of 6
QUESTION 3
(a) ‘Project teams are arguably an efficient and effective way of managing projects,
where efficiency implies performing work well and effectiveness implies
performing the right work.’ Discuss with the aid of examples how project teams
achieve efficiency and effectiveness. [10 marks]

(b) You have been asked to co-ordinate an International Conference on the


Diaspora Infrastructure Development Group (DIDG). Compile a Work Breakdown
Structure and Gantt chart to assist you in planning and scheduling this event.
[10 marks]

QUESTION 4
(a) Discuss the reasons why every project plan should be reviewed by the sponsor
before the project is launched [8 marks]

(b) You have been tasked to chair a milestone meeting for the MBA alumni
association development project. You realise that task leaders are scheduled to
report on:
• What has been done so far and how that may affect ‘you’ downstream;
• What is currently being done, how it may affect parallel tasks and how this
may affect task teams downstream; and
• What the team members downstream need from the team members who
currently work on tasks.

Put yourself in the shoes of an identified task leader and present a convincing copy
of what they would discuss centered on the three aspects above. [12 marks]

QUESTION 5
(a) For the most part, the failures in implementing project management can be
traced back to this simple misconception: that we can take shortcuts with project
management – that we can treat it casually and unprofessionally – and still have
it work. Discuss why a casual approach to project management will lead to
failure. [10 marks]

(b) You have been invited as a consultant and your client hears you talk about a ‘log
frame’ but she has never seen one. Clearly explain to her what a log frame is, its
usefulness and the limitations [10 marks]

Page 5 of 6
QUESTION 6
(a) A friend has often heard you talking about ‘defining project parameters’ but had
no courage to actually ask you on what defining project parameters are and how
the knowledge of defining project parameters can make a difference in the
implementation of a project. Explain in detail to address his concerns. [8 marks]

(b) Discuss briefly the key elements that should be captured in a concept note
showing clearly the essence of this tool. [6 marks]

(c) Explain how people outside the project team add value to the risk assessment
process. [6 marks]

END EXAMINATION PAPER

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