Written Assignment 2

Length: Maximum THREE A4 pages

(excluding PERT charts, references, and Linear Programme)
12 point font, 1.5 line spacing

Weighting: 7% Coursework
Written Assignment 2 must be completed individually.
Submit your assignments to Canvas on the due date by 4.00pm.
There are two submission areas on Canvas:
• A331 Written Assignment 2: Submit your full project management memo, including
PERT charts, excluding the Linear Programming spreadsheet.
• A331 Written Assignment 2 Spreadsheet: Submit only your Linear Programming
spreadsheet here.
If you have any problems submitting your assignment, email –
before the due date for the assignment.

Learning objectives
• Demonstrate proficiency in project management techniques within a contextual setting
• Identify and frame practical problems and develop solutions
• Exercise professional skill in writing memos
• Demonstrate proficiency in linear programming using Excel Solver
Graduate Profile Capabilities
This assessment will develop your capabilities in the following areas:
• Disciplinary knowledge: Graduates will be able to demonstrate and apply a breadth
of knowledge across disciplines, as well as specialist knowledge within one or more
of them, while recognising the relevancy of this knowledge within a global context.
• Solution seeking: Graduates will be able to identify and frame problems using
analytical skills to create and evaluate innovative solutions.
• Written communication: Graduates will be able to collaborate and communicate
effectively in diverse contexts using multiple formats.


Part 1: Project management – Exam revision
You are a student in ACCTG331 Revenue and Cost Management at the University of
Auckland. You want to achieve an excellent grade in the course to help your internship and
job applications over the summer. You know that exam season is always hectic and so
resolve to be well organised this semester! 1
A friend of yours, Ioanna, has always performed well in her studies even with part-time work,
involvement in university clubs, and a busy social life. You know she did well in ACCTG331
last year and ask what she did to prepare for the exam:
“What did I do? Nothing ground-breaking – I just make sure I plan my time and start early. I
keep a diary with all my work, club stuff, and so on. All I do is make some time early in the
semester to brainstorm what study I need to do and work it all out from there.” She pauses.
“One of the techniques in ACCTG331 can help with that… what was it…” She thinks. “Ah!
That’s right. Project management. Those charts. I know it is geeky of me, but why not kill two
birds with one stone and plan your exam revision like a project? So you can revise the topic
and organise your revision. And before you ask, no I am not going to tutor you!”
The ACCTG331 exam is on 13 November 2019. You will organise your exam revision as a
project using PERT techniques. Ioanna brainstorms a few activities to start your analysis.
Listen / re-listen to lecture recordings: There are 5 weeks of material with 3 hours of
recordings per week. Ioanna points out she often has to re-listen to any difficult material in
the course so you allocate an extra 30 minutes per week of material. You do not want to listen
to recordings back-to-back and so choose to do another revision activity between recordings.
Revise material and prepare open book exam resources: For the Semester Test you had
only organised slide printouts and found it difficult to hunt for material during the test. You
plan to make summary sheets for the exam while you revise the material.
Attend office hours: You know lecturers typically hold office hours 1 to 2 weeks before the
exam. You want to attend an office hour early in the study break and another office hour
closer to the exam for any further clarifications. You set aside 1 hour per session for travel,
waiting in line, and discussing with the lecturer.
PeerWise: There is a good variety of questions on PeerWise to practice quick-definitions,
applications, and calculations. And it’ll be easy to practice on the bus. As a target, Ioanna has
suggested you do PeerWise questions in 10-minute blocks, totalling 5 hours across the study
break. You identify you can start PeerWise before completing any review of course material.
Past year’s exam papers: You want to try exam papers from the past two years under exam
conditions. This means 2 hours per exam, with 30 minutes per exam to review your answers.
Time to unwind: It can’t be all work. Ioanna suggests you take a half-day off midway
through the study period.
1 Really, 100%, definitely well organised this time!

The following table summarises the activities to conduct, the order in which they need to be
conducted, and the time to complete each activity.
Code Activity Preceeding Time (hours)
A PeerWise – 5
B Week 7 recording – 3.5
C Week 7 review and open book resource B 2
D Week 8 recording C 3.5
E Week 8 review and open book resource D 2
F Week 9 recording E 3.5
G Week 9 review and open book resource F 2
H Office hour – Beginning of study period C, E, G 1
I Time to unwind G 6
J Week 10 recording I 3.5
K Week 10 review and open book resource J 2
L Week 11 recording K 3.5
M Week 11 review and open book resource L 2
N Office hour – End of study period H, K, M 1
O Past year’s exam 1 M 2.5
P Past year’s exam 2 O 2.5
Q Day of exam – Do nothing else on this day A, N, P 0
To hold you accountable, Ioanna will be reviewing your study plan. To make it worth her
while, she has asked you to prepare your study plan in the form of a memo. Note that Ioanna
is familiar with the technical details of PERT and Goldratt’s Critical Chain. You want to
communicate the practical importance of your analysis in a clear, accessible tone.
Prepare a memo for Ioanna that discusses the following areas. Your discussion should reflect
the fact that Ioanna is interested in how you will use the PERT for your own benefit, and so
you should discuss practical uses of information rather than theoretical concepts. For the
purposes of this assignment, make sure you are writing at a professional standard.
a) Construct a PERT chart showing the sequence of activities, early start, late start, etc.
i. In your memo:

• identify the critical path and the hours needed to complete the revision.
• estimate the date you need to start your ACCTG331 study. Explain the
factors you considered when determining this start date.

ii. Include the PERT chart as an appendix.
b) Apply Goldratt’s Critical Chain to manage your revision.
i. Discuss how you can practically apply safety time, project buffers, and feeding
buffers to manage your exam revision.
ii. Redraw the PERT chart according to Goldratt’s Critical Chain concept. Include
this revised PERT chart as an appendix.


c) Disregard Goldratt’s Critical Chain in part b). You would like to adapt Ioanna’s initial
brainstorm to fit your own study habits and semester workload.
i. Describe an alternative way to incorporate the PeerWise activity in your PERT
chart to encourage ongoing practice.
ii. Identify three types of activities (other than PeerWise) you would change and / or
add to your study plan. For example, the five lecture recording activities all count
as the same type of activity. For each type of activity, describe the change /
addition, the rationale for doing so, and the new time estimate. You must propose
at least one new activity to add.
iii. Redraw the PERT chart using the updated activities in part c). Include this revised
PERT chart as an appendix. Briefly note and highlight on your appendix the main
changes compared to the PERT chart for part a).

Suggested Memo Format
You can choose how you format your report. We expect, at minimum, the following sections:
• To, From, Subject, and Date line
• Brief introductory statement
• Discussion of PERT chart
• Discussion of Goldratt’s Critical Chain
• Discussion of adapted study activities
• Brief concluding statement
• References
• Appendices: Your 3 PERT charts for parts a, b, and c.
Appropriate academic referencing should be used if relying on source documentation to
support statements included in your report.
Learning Hub Resources
The following resources may also be useful in preparing your memo:

• Writing for business context:

• Concise writing:

• Memo writing:


Part 2: Linear programming
The North Shore Arts and Culture Society is a small not-for-profit organisation that arranges
between six and ten musical concerts and art exhibitions per year. The next event in the
Society’s calendar is its most popular – the annual Mozart Concerto Competition. Given the
calibre of the competitors, demand for tickets is high. There are six events: four qualifying
rounds, a semi-final, and a final.
The competition is staged at a North Shore concert venue, which has a seating capacity of
1200. Tickets are sold in advance as packages for either all concerts (six concerts); any one
qualifying round, the semi-final, and final concerts (three concerts); or just the semi-final and
final concerts (two concerts). These packages must be purchased at least ten days before the
first event. The price for all six concerts is $485 and the demand for this package is expected
to be 100. The price for any one qualifier, the semi-final and final is $270 and demand is
expected to be 50 for each combination. The semi-final and final package is priced at $230
and is the most popular package with demand expected to be 300.
Guests with package tickets are provided VIP front-of-the-line entrance, a special printed
programme at each concert, and complementary champagne at the final concert. Each
programme costs the society $2 to print. Each glass of champagne costs the society $4.
Concert-goers can also purchase tickets for individual events at any time, but they have to
pay higher prices. The prices and expected demand for these individual tickets are shown

Single Concert Tickets

Price per

Demand per
Qualifying rounds $45 620
Semi-final $100 750
Final $150 1100

Formulate this problem as a linear programme equation and solve in Excel using the Solver
function. Submit your Excel spreadsheet directly to Canvas showing your linear programme,
the Answer Report and Sensitivity Report.
On a separate spreadsheet tab, briefly outline the results of your linear programme. This
should include details of the maximum revenue that could be earned, what the final values
represent, which constraints are binding, and what the shadow prices mean.
Organise the spreadsheet tabs as follows:
1. Outline of results
2. LP
3. Answer report
4. Sensitivity report


Please ensure you are familiar with the rules on plagiarism (reproduced in the course notes).
It is your responsibility to ensure that no one copies your assignment. If you consider
someone could have accessed your assignment without your permission (e.g., lost or stolen
USB or hard copy) prior to the due date you must contact Dr Fred Ng (
prior to submission. Failure to do so will result in penalties if your assignment is copied.
Every year we have a small number of cases where students have given copies of their
assignments to friends prior to the due date, on the understanding it will not be copied.
Be aware this is facilitating plagiarism and if your assignment is copied by someone else
without your consent (and, sadly, this happens more often than you would think) you
will also be penalised.


Assignment Rubric
This rubric will be used to assess your areas of strength and/or weakness:
Written content (55%) Weak Average Good Excellent
Overview and
explanation of PERT
analysis and key results
About 1⁄2 pg.

– Explanations are
vague and no detail
provided of results.

– Explanations are general. Only
generic results of PERT analysis
– Start date listed with limited

– Explanations specific to context.
Motivation for analysis discussed.
Results interpreted in context.
– Describes assumptions informing
how start date is determined.

As for ‘Good’. Plus:
– Emphasis on practical relevance of
analysis and key results.
– Reflects on previous revision
strategies to inform start date.

Practical application of
Goldratt’s Critical Chain
About 1⁄2 to 1 pg.

– Primarily theoretical
discussion of
Goldratt’s Critical

– Actions are described in general
terms with limited reference to
personal context.

– Actions are realistic, with details on
how the information will be used in a
personal context for time management
and learning.

As for ‘Good’. Plus:
– Identifies the use of Goldratt’s
Critical Chain at different stages of the
exam revision process.

Changes and additions to
PERT chart (20%).
About 1⁄2 to 1 pg.

– Brief identification
– Times not provided or

– Adaptations are similar in nature and
described in general terms.
– Times provided with limited

– Adaptations show a variety of
different changes and additions.
– Adaptations justified in clear,
practical terms.
– Times are supported with

As for ‘Good’. Plus:
– Distinguishes the different benefits of
activities to exam study.
– Reflects on individual study
habits/workload to anticipate setbacks
and adapt appropriately
Technical content (35%) Weak Good Excellent
PERT charts (20%).
3 appendices

– Incomplete or many errors in
different parts of work.

– Minor errors with appropriate flow-on

– No mistakes with all results clearly

Linear programming outputs and summary (15%)
Excel spreadsheet

– Major errors in different parts of

– No errors or only minor errors.
– Discussion is general/technical.

– No errors or only minor errors.
– Discusses results in context.

Presentation (10%) Needs improvement Good
Focus and audience Discussion is unfocused and content not prepared for a

business audience.

Discussion is focused on the task set and appropriate for
business audience.

Report structure Poor structure or no introduction and conclusion. Good structure and attractively presented.
Style and genre conventions Arguments need to be better justified using self-reflection,
theory and research. Language is not professional in tone.

Well-supported arguments, using a variety of sources.
Professional tone.

Editing: spelling and grammar standards Major spelling or grammar errors. Few spelling and grammar errors.