Task Description: Internal Memo
This week we’ll be investigating how a project reacts to risk, how risk monitoring and control interacts with the other themes we have looked at during the course, and how how a change control process can be followed in a project.
The steps you should take are:
Go back to your week 7 weekly assignment where you created a risk register for your case study project.
Select ONE of those risks that you identified. We strongly suggest that you pick a risk which includes a ‘change’ as the root cause.
Then imagine that the risk has come true. When you wrote the risk register, it was all ‘what if this happens…’ and now you are pretending that that ‘what if’ has happened. Your potential bad situation, or nightmare, is now a reality.
Write an internal memo to your project sponsor, which should detail the following:
Who the memo is to and from (fake names are fine)
A short introductory paragraph explaining the background of the risk, including what the root cause of the risk was, what you predicted might have been the effect, and then what has actually happened, ie how close were your predictions to what actually happened.
What you, as the project manager, are going to do to manage the situation – this should follow the steps involved in change control, including references to any change control documents (such as a request form, or register) that you have used. So this should include how the change has been reviewed for it’s impact, whether it was approved or rejected, how it was implemented and communicated.
When it comes to ‘managing the situation’, think about what impact the risk could have on all of the different themes we’ve explored – cost, time, procurement, stakeholders, communications, quality, and human resources.
We appreciate that this is a made-up scenario, and there is some imagination involved in coming up with the risk in the first place, and then whether your (fake) predictions match what happened in the (fake) reality. Please note that we are not marking you on whether your risk predictions were correct, it would be completely ok if the report said something like
“The project predicted this would happen…. but instead this slightly different thing happened…”. We’re assessing how well you respond to that item, and how you can demonstrate your understanding of how the elements of a project (the themes I listed earlier) are monitored and controlled, and how also much all those various themes are related to each other.
You should pay particular attention to:
Formatting – An internal memo is NOT an essay paper. It’s a type of internal report. So use sub headings where needed, clear language and short simple to follow sentences and paragraphs. Use the professional polish and branding etc that you have starting using in the last few weekly assignments. summary writing tips
Structure – The steps above in instructions will help you when deciding on the structure of the memo. And so will the marking rubric which is at the bottom of this page here in Canvas.
Lastly, how do I write a project memo?
And what even is a memo? Spoiler: It’s not related to Nemo the fish. It’s a memorandum, this is a form of a report used for internally recording important things like an issue (which is sort of like what we’re doing in this assignment), someone’s viewpoint where it different from other key viewpoints, advice to an internal colleague etc.
It is similar to a letter, only a letter is normally to an external person, whereas a memo is almost always internal to an organisation – that’s why it’s an internal memo between a project manager and their project sponsor. You are expected to do some preliminary research online to see what a memo typically looks like and how it is presented.
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