Environment and Society

Environment and Society

Assignment Information

The FiReControl project aimed to improve the resilience, efficiency and technology of the English Fire and Rescue Service by replacing 46 local control rooms with a network of nine
purpose-built regional control centres using a national computer system to handle calls,
mobilise equipment and manage incidents.

The project commenced in 2004 and was expected to be complete by October 2009. In 2007, the Department for Communities and Local Government contracted European Air and Defence Systems (EADS) (now Cassidian) to design, develop and install the computer system underpinning the project. However, the project was subject to a number of delays and costs escalated over its lifetime.

The Department cancelled the project in December 2010 after concluding that it could not be delivered to an acceptable timeframe. At the point the decision was made, the Department estimated it had spent £245 million on the project and calculated that completion would take the total cost of the project to £635 million, more than five times the original estimate of £120 million.

National Audit Office (2011)
You have been asked to write a report for the Department for Communities and Local Government to ensure that the organisation learns lessons from the mistakes made on this project.
Drawing on relevant project management theory, you should critically evaluate the project, focussing your report on two of the following areas of project management, providing clear recommendations for future projects:
1.    How projects should be selected effectively (the business case)
2.    How stakeholders were and should be managed
3.    Effective project governance
Your assignment should be presented as a report, using the following structure:
Report section
Included in word count
?    Executive summary    No
?    Introduction to the report    Yes
?    Brief background of the project    Yes
?    Main discussion on two topics    Yes
?    Conclusions    Yes
?    Recommendations    Yes
?    Reference list    No
The word count for this assignment is 2000 words.  There is a 10% word limit tolerance.  (Maximum/minimum range: 1800 to 2200 words.)
Tables, diagrams, appendices and references are omitted from the overall word count:
Sections contributing to the word count are indicated.  You may also include tables, diagrams and models.  These do not count towards the word count.  Ensure that all tables, diagrams and models are labelled, include a citation and are discussed in the text.  Appendices and reference list are also not included in the word count.
You must state the number of words used on the front cover of the assignment.
Source material

You are required to research both the project and project management theory in order to successfully complete this assignment.  As a guide, you should use a minimum of 10 separate sources, including a minimum of 3 textbooks and 3 journal articles.  An initial reading list will be provided on Moodle.  However, this should be viewed as a starting point for your research.  You should also consider material that does not appear on the list.

How to submit your assessment

The essay must be submitted via Turnitin by 23.55 on 20.03.2015. No paper copies are required. You can access the Turnitin link through the module web.

•    Your coursework will be given a zero mark if you do not submit a copy through Turnitin. Should you submit work on time but fail the assignment, you will be offered a resit opportunity but the resit mark will be capped at 40%.
•    All work submitted after the submission deadline without a valid and approved reason (see below) will be given a mark of zero. Please note that a non-submission is not the same as a failed submission; a failed submission counts as an attempt whereas an absent mark does not necessarily allow you to resit the coursework.
•    Short deferrals (extensions) of up to three calendar weeks can only be given for genuine “force majeure” and medical reasons, not for bad planning of your time. Please note that theft, loss, or failure to keep a back-up file, are not valid reasons. The short deferral must be applied for on or before the submission date. You can apply for a short deferral by submitting an Examination/ Coursework Deferral Application Form. Application Forms along with the supporting evidence should go to the relevant Student Support Office (WMG03). For a longer delay in submission a student may apply for a long deferral.
•    Students MUST keep a copy and/or an electronic file of their assignment.
•    Checks will be made on your work using anti-plagiarism software and approved plagiarism checking websites.


This assessment will assess the entire module learning outcomes and makes up 50% of the overall module mark.

Word Count Limit

Your word count includes in text citations but not the final references or appendices. If you are more than 10% over or under the word count limit you will receive a 10% penalty.

The contents of your References and Appendices are not normally given a specific mark (though they will contribute to your overall mark, as detailed in the assessment criteria). We therefore recommend that you only use Appendices for supporting material and not for the substantive part of your work.


As part of your study you will be involved in carrying out research and using this when writing up your coursework. It is important that you correctly acknowledge someone else’s writing or thoughts and that you do not attempt to pass this off as your own work.  Doing so is known as plagiarism.  It is not acceptable to copy from another source without acknowledging that it is someone else’s writing or thinking. This includes using paraphrasing as well as direct quotations. You are expected to correctly cite and reference the works of others. The Centre for Academic Writing provides documents to help you get this right. If you are unsure, please visit www.coventry.ac.uk/caw.

Turnitin includes a plagiarism detection system and assessors are experienced enough to recognise plagiarism when it occurs. Copying another student’s work, using previous work of your own or copying large sections from a book or the internet are examples of plagiarism and carry serious consequences. Please familiarise yourself with the CU Harvard Reference Style (on Moodle) and use it correctly to avoid a case of plagiarism or cheating being brought.  Again, if you are unsure, please contact the Centre for Academic Writing or a member of the course team.

Return of Marked Work

You can expect to have marked work returned to you 2 weeks after the submission date. Marks and feedback will be provided online. As always, marks will have been internally moderated only, and will therefore be provisional; your mark will be formally agreed later in the year once the external examiner has completed his / her review.

Module learning outcomes being assessed
1. Evaluate current issues in project management and its application in the business environment.
2. Critically evaluate different tools and techniques used in project management
3. Assess the impact of hard and soft skills on the management of a variety of different projects.

Marks distribution

Marks will be allocated as follows:

Coursework element
Mark split
Research and selection of a wide range of sources  to support the assignment
(both theoretical and project information)
A clear executive summary is provided summarising the main report
Shows evidence of detailed critical evaluation of the project and integrates theory appropriately
Realistic, clear recommendations for project improvement are provided
Structure, layout and presentation including spelling and grammar
CU Harvard referencing and use of in-text citations

In addition to the above marks breakdown, it is useful for students to understand what constitutes a poor, average, good and excellent piece of work. Please refer to the guidelines below:

Assessment Criteria

Mark range    Guidelines

70 – 100%

In order to secure a mark in this range, a candidate must submit an outstanding answer that could hardly be bettered. In addition to the criteria identified below for a mark between 70-85%, an answer scoring a mark of 85-100% would show an excellent level of understanding and critical/analytic skills and originality. For example, such an answer would include new insights into Project Management which are not drawn from the literature but from the student’s own critical thinking, and which add something to the existing literature.

An essay in this range will demonstrate a strong understanding of theories, concepts and issues relating to Project Management.  There will be evidence of wide-ranging reading from a variety of valid sources (as described and presented in the marking criteria for 60-69%).

The assignment must be written in a clear, well-structured way with a coherent and seamless flow and show evidence of independent, critical thought. It must show extensive relevant reading on the subject and intelligent use of the material to present a well-balanced and well-argued assignment. For example, the student will have considered a range of relevant issues and be able to assess the strength and weaknesses of various approaches/arguments and put forward a confident and articulate view of their own.

60 – 69%    An essay in this mark range will demonstrate a very good understanding of the requirements of the assignment and of theories, concepts and issues relating to Project Management. An assignment in this percentage range will include a balanced discussion of issues central to the question, how these are addressed by different authors or sources and some critical thinking into their relative merits or shortcomings.

The answer will be contain few errors and little, if any, irrelevant material. It will show evidence of reading from a variety of sources (i.e. more than 10) but not so many sources that the discussion loses focus and becomes unclear or irrelevant. All sources should be of academic merit (e.g. books, journals, reports, media publications). Unreferenced material and information from non-credible internet sources should not be included.

All sources must be included and properly referenced in the reference list. The assignment will be well-organised and clearly written/presented overall.

50 – 59%

The answer will demonstrate a good understanding of relevant theories, concepts and issues relating to Project Management but also some areas of limited understanding or analysis.

The assignment will show evidence of research, but will, or example, provide a narrative account rather analyse and evaluate material. The assignment may be quite general in part. Some errors may be present and some irrelevant material may be included.

The essay may not be particularly well-structured, and/or clearly presented and contain some spelling mistakes and grammatical errors. A few sentences may be unclear.

40 – 49%

A mark within this percentage range will be given to an essay which:
–    shows some limited basic understanding of the subject but is incomplete.  For example, if it answers one part of a question but not the rest.
–    makes only very general statements
–    includes some factual errors or misunderstandings e.g. confusion between different companies or misuse of certain key terms.
–    shows limited use of material with limited reading/research on the topic and includes only a very small number of references, not all of which are included in the references
–    includes spelling mistakes, is poorly structured with no clear argument and grammar mistakes making it difficult to understand.
–    includes some irrelevant material.

35 – 39%
A mark within this percentage range will be given to an assignment which, for example:
–    includes only a limited amount of relevant material.
–    shows little evidence of reading/research on the topic. For example, the essay includes only very few references, and relies only on material or case studies used during the course.
–    shows only a very basic understanding of the subject.
–    is poorly presented, with an incomplete reference list.
–    has a poor structure and does not flow e.g. if there is no conclusion or new facts are introduced in the conclusion rather than introduction or main discussion.
–    contains some fundamental errors.

20 – 34%

0 – 19%
A poor fail on this assignment means the assignment submitted:
–    shows a poor understanding of theories, concepts and issues relating to Project Management and to the learning outcomes detailed in this document.
–    contains some or many fundamental errors and misunderstandings of the academic or other material used.
–    uses literature or other material which is largely irrelevant or has no academic value
–    is poorly structured and poorly presented. For example, sentences may be hard to understand and contain many spelling or grammatical mistakes.
–    contains no or few references.

Work within this mark range shows a complete failure to meet the requirements of the assignment. A mark in this range will be given for an essay which:
–    bears no link to the question chosen and shows very little or no knowledge or understanding of any of the theories, concepts and issues relating to Project Management.
–    contains no references and/or evidence of relevant reading.
–    shows little understanding of the requirements of the assignment and only a vague knowledge of the subject area.
–    includes numerous fundamental errors in the understanding or presentation of the material discussed. There is a general lack of evidence and what is provided is mostly incorrect and/or irrelevant.
–    is poorly structured and poorly presented. Spelling and grammar are poor. Many sentences are incomprehensible.