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Unit of study_

CIVL4815: Project Formulation

The aim of this unit is to develop students' ability to formulate projects through critically assessing and developing business case and project plan for a real-life engineering project. This unit is relevant for students who intend to pursue career related to project management. The learning activities focus on the project's viability and early stage planning. Strategic needs and possible project options are identified and assessed based on potential benefits, costs and the strategic context. Suitable site/route needs to be selected for the project based on technical and business considerations. Due consideration should also be given to the project's impact on environment and communities. The project's viability can be indicated using Benefit-Cost ratio as well as non-financial indicators such as number of jobs created and the number of life saved. In deriving these indicators, it is important to take project uncertainties into consideration through using techniques such as sensitivity analysis, decision-tree analysis, probabilistic modelling and Monte Carlo simulation. The objective is to justify investment to address the business needs and recommend the most appropriate response to the business needs. The early stage planning concentrates on defining project requirements and project delivery strategy. The objective is to seek approval/support for project delivery or to critically evaluate the current project plan, depending on the current stage of the project. The exercise is to develop a plan guide project delivery and transition to operation. The plan should cover, but not limited to, the feasibility analysis, project deliverables, plan of activities necessary to move the project to the next stages, procurement strategy, what's needed to enable delivery (e. g. stakeholder management plan, planning and other approvals, funding, time, control processes, community and environment management plan, marketing and sales plan, and risk management plan) and, what is required to complete delivery and transition to operation stages.

Code CIVL4815
Academic unit Civil Engineering
Credit points 6
Assumed knowledge:
CIVL3805. Students are expected to have grasped the concepts of basic financial and economic analysis and to have understood and applied basic tools for project management

At the completion of this unit, you should be able to:

  • LO1. identify objectives, tasks, data collection needs, constraints for a project and be able to critically assess project plans for the definition, procurement and delivery of the project, and transition to operation
  • LO2. identify objectives, tasks, data collection needs and issues (e.g. social, political, organisational, financial, etc.) for assessing the feasibility of a case project and explain how they influence assessment outcomes
  • LO3. prepare a project feasibility report
  • LO4. understand concepts around funding and financing projects
  • LO5. demonstrate good understanding of the due diligence process and the information needs of financiers of the project
  • LO6. identify major project risks, evaluate their impacts on project outcomes, and assess risk management plans
  • LO7. identify and evaluate the effects of non-financial factors (e.g. environmental and social) that are critical to the delivery of the project, and critically assess implementation plans
  • LO8. comprehend and relate to real-life examples the fundamental concepts in project formulation
  • LO9. critically assess the business case of complex engineering projects
  • LO10. analyse potential project solutions using economic benefit-cost analysis and other financial tools to determine financial and/or economic viability.