Level 2

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91355: Select and use planning tools to manage the development of an outcome

Updated February 2017. This document has been updated in its entirety to address new issues that have arisen from moderation.

Selecting planning tools

Students should select planning tools considered as best suited to their individual practice, and that allow for managing the development of the outcome such as developing an initial plan and recording evidence to support any revisions to the plan. Different planning tools may be useful for different stages of the practice.

For Achieved, students are required to select planning tools by reviewing existing planning tools. This involves considering various tools from past and current practices that could be used to plan and manage different aspects of their project. For example, identifying the tool that could be used to schedule the project (project stages), communicating with stakeholders or reviewing progress, gathering/storing/collating information, or setting and managing the budget and time.

Merit and Excellence require students to inform the selection of tools by analysing existing planning tools. This involves reviewing past and current practices to make a detailed examination of how the features of the tool will enable the student to plan and manage (review) the scope (which comes from the brief), time, budget, stakeholders, resources, and data/information for project development in the social and physical environment in which their project would be constructed.

Project Management

Project management involves planning, organising and controlling of the project scope, time, resources, and budget.

Students are required to establish the scope (project boundaries) of the project, and make initial predictions (an initial plan) regarding time, budget, and other resources. At this level, students should consider risks when making initial predictions. For example, the student uses their class timetable and school calendar to allocate time for each key stage, and allows time for sick days, unplanned school activities, unavailability of materials or equipment.

As project progresses, these initial assumptions should be reviewed in an ongoing manner. Decisions to change should be recorded and necessary modifications made to the existing plan.

Students must have a suitable brief, including specifications, against which the project scope could be established. As the project progresses, managing in and out of scope attributes is essential in ensuring that the project is completed on time, within the budget and with available resources.

For example, while other attributes than those initially described in the specifications maybe added during development of the outcome, it may make the project out of scope due to available budget, time and resources. Alternatively, students could revise the scope, cost, resources, and time estimation for the project.

At this level, students are expected to manage all resources such as time, money, materials and components, tools and equipment, software and hardware, stakeholder interactions, specialist knowledge and skills, and research information.

Critical review points

Critical review points are sometimes thought of as milestones. They should be planned at a point when important decisions need to be made, or where corrective actions can be taken (if problems arise) and the outcome can be completed on time. That is, critical review points may alter the path the project may follow.

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