Project Planning

  • Depending on your university this is typically a detailed Gantt Chart and or a Risk Assessment

Detailed Gantt Chart

  • The best way to create an excellent Gantt Chart is by creating a report structure
  • A report structure is a list of all the headings which you will use in your report
  • You use the report structure to create the milestones on your Gantt Chart
    • To create a report structure you need to have a very clear understanding of your project
    • It is much more than saying Literature Survey or Research Methods
    • You need to break every level one heading (chapter heading) down into subheadings (level two headings).
    • Where possible you need to add level three headings.
  • Once you have a structured list of bullet points based on headings and subheadings it is very quick to create a detailed Gantt chart. You can also use the structured list of bullet points as supporting evidence for your Gantt chart and in-depth planning.
  • The added advantage of creating this structured list of bullet points based on headings and subheadings is that it tells you what you need to research and write about (these links may help Understanding the Report Structure and Plan Your Literature Review).
  • For example:
    • Chapter Three – Research Methods
      • Choosing A Software Approach
        • Open source software
        • Bespoke software
        • Proprietary software
      • Professional Development Standards
      • Hardware
        • WiFi Standard – 802.11n
      • Software
        • Human Computer Interface Standards
        • PHP5 Release

Gantt Chart Top Requirements:

  1. Milestones + time scale
  2. Sub-milestones + time scale
  3. Risk level (to project) if sub-milestone fails or not achieved
  4. Task precedence\ dependency for sub-milestones

Risk Assessment

  • The risk assessment is about identifying risks and issues which will stop the project or increase the risk of it failing.
  • It is about demonstrating to the assessor that you can identify and implement strategies to overcome problems before they impact on your project
  • I recommend that you group your risk e.g. Data Collection, Resources etc…
  • It is best practice to critically reflect (at the end of the project) on the impact of the risks and how successful the intervention was at overcoming it.
IDCategoryRiskRisk LevelImpactInterventionCritical Reflection
1Data CollectionLow questionnaire responseHighThe data will not provide a representative profile of the population making it difficult to present accurate findings.
  • Over sample to increase the number of returns
  • Use an online survey tool to increase accessibility
  • Use few questions to increase time to completion
  • Use scale response mechanism to make it easier for respondents to respond

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