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PRJM6010 Project and People Assessment 2 Sample

Assignment Brief

Value: 40%

For this assessment you will be required to write an academic essay discussing one of the topics provided below in the light of theories and concepts discussed in the unit and their application to the project management context.

Please read the assessment instructions below carefully before attempting the essay!

Assessment Instructions for assignment help

• Please complete the essay in a Word document and upload to Blackboard via Turnitin.
• Submit Assessment 2 - week 6 (11:59pm THURSDAY 1st April)
• Word Count – 1500 words (10% leeway)
• At the top of the first page, you must have your first and last name, your student number, your email address, and the title of your essay.
• Include in-text references in your critical essay and a correctly formatted Reference List on.
• Ensure that your work contains minimal (read negligible) grammar, syntax or spelling mistakes!

Essay Requirements

You are required to write an academic essay discussing and critically evaluating one of the following topics:

• Decision making in project management
• Antecedents and outcomes of stakeholder satisfaction in projects
• Role of emotions in project management

You are required to find minimum 6 scholarly references from peer-reviewed academic journals that address your selected essay topic. References from other sources such as textbooks, reputable magazines (e.g., The Economist, Harvard Business Review) can be used as long as you have 6 (six) scholarly references. Websites are not acceptable as a reference, unless it is an online version of a reputable publication (e.g., Forbes magazine). Wikipedia is not acceptable as it has very little credibility since anyone can go in and change a Wikipedia page. 

In your essay you will need to cover two main components:

1) summaries the key themes from the academic journals on your chosen topic; and

2) discuss how this topic is relevant for project managers based on your research of the academic articles. An essential component of the essay is to demonstrate critical thinking. All information supplied in the essay should be evidence-based (i.e., sourced from scholarly references) and not based on personal opinion.

Your essay must be based on a central argument or hypothesis that is clearly outlined in the introduction. An essay is not a report, where you briefly summarize what is known about a particular topic. Rather an essay is a critical evaluation of a particular argument or a hypothesis.
A suggested structure for your essay is Introduction, Main Body, and Conclusion (including limitations). Please provide a reference list (formatted according to Chicago style) at the end of your essay.
Note: the reference list is not included in the word count!



Decision Making in Project Management


Among all the skills that project managers need to have for managing different projects, decision making is the most essential and valuable skill. According to Erdogan, Šaparauskas, and Turskis (2017, 272), proper decision making in project management is very important as it influences the success of projects to large extent. In a study, Samset and Volden (2016, 299) commented that the first phase of decision making in project management support project governance. In project governance the decisions taken by the project manager define the actions, verify performance and grant power. Hence, proper decision making is very essential. The essay aims to discuss how decision making is relevant to project managers and their significance in project management. The essay argues that decision making in project management is essential as it helps a project manager to maintain progress and compare the options available for taking the best course of action. For this purpose, the paper analyses the effectiveness of decision making in project management, its importance to project managers, and the different decision-making style that projects managers consider.

Main Body

Making an effective decision and applying them to work is the hallmark of high-quality performance within any organisation. In project management, every success, every opportunity held or missed, every mishap that happens is the result of the decision made by the project manager. Marques, Gourc, and Lauras (2011, 1058) discussed the factors on which the decision making of a project manager depends. The study identified that in project management, the decision needs to be made by evaluating the objective of the project and the current situation. On the other hand, the project manager also needs to evaluate the past present and future events that are going to happen as the consequences of the decision taken. Consideration of the above factors is essential for effective decision making. Further, Alias et al. (2016, 62) discussed the critical success factors in project management practice where they emphasised decision making as an essential CSF for the success of a project. The study state that the decisions that are taken at the initial phases of project design put a larger impact on the success of big projects than compared to the decision taken in the later phases. On the contrary, Verner, Sampson, and Cerpa (2008, 78) surveyed 24 projects and found that 88% of the projects failed due to inappropriate decision made at the later phase when it was the time to deliver the project. Thus, it can be said that effective decision making is vital not only at the earlier phase of a project process but throughout the project duration.

Good decision making involves the consideration of several other factors that can lead to the success of the projects. Too and Weaver (2014, 1392-1397) conducted a study to analyse the different features of a good decision-making process in project governance. The study showed that while decision making, the project manager must be focused on the objectives of the project and analyse the relevant data and information required for achieving the objectives. Organisational and project constraints are essential factors that need to be considered while decision making. This would make the decision realistic for the project situation. Moreover, Heagney (2016) stated that the risks that are associated with the decisions should be identified and a proper risk-mitigating approach should be implemented. The project manager must also follow a reasonable process that is fair and constant for achieving the desired result. While making decisions, the project manager should keep in mind that he has to respect the ideas and opinion of the team members while making the final decision. Bouwmans et al. (2017, 73) in their study found that a major reason for team conflict in project management happens because the project leader or manager do not consider or value the opinion of the teammates for making decisions for the project. Hence, participative decision making is also an essential component of the decision making process in project governance.

Decision making capability of a project manager put a considerable impact on the deliberate value of the benefit delivered. The decisions are mostly based on the information feed collected by the project manager. In research work, Eweje, Turner, and Müller (2012, 641) analysed the impact of information feed utilised by decisions makers in project management. The study showed that there is a positive correlation between decision-making practice and business performance. Ureña et al. (2015, 14) have found that the main challenge in project management is unreliable, inadequate or misleading information served to project managers, due to which there arose a conflict between the planning, policy and decision making. Hence, the project manager must consider an alternative approach to get complete information for decision making. The authors have suggested an approach to get complete information for effective decision making in project management. In the initial stage, projects managers have to discard the information that is incomplete in nature and process only those pieces of information that are complete, which means the information provides a complete set of data. In the second phase of the approach, project managers should penalise the experts who have provided incomplete information. This practice will discourage the supply of misleading information for future projects. If the missing data are essential for decision making, project managers should try to collect the data and complete the values for decision making (Ureña et al. 2015, 16). Thus, it can be seen that the decision made by project managers must be based on a complete information feed and discourage any misleading information supply.

Project managers are responsible for coping up with the decision-making activities like identifying, selecting, classifying and ranking. Each activity is associated with a certain risk if the desired outcome is not attained. In this regard, Ebrahimnejad et al. (2014, 950) identified a few decision-making tools that can assists managers to mitigate the risk. The first tool identified is Multi-Attribute Decision Making also known as MADM. This tool allows the project management team to access an effective framework for evaluating multiple and conflicting criteria (Liu, et al. 2019, 880-885). An important type of MADM is compromising programming which is widely used for real-life decision making. As several methods are having different constraints and characteristics, it is impossible to use them for making decision s in project management (Ebrahimnejad, Mousavi, and Seyrafianpour 2010, 576-577). Therefore, the researcher considers innovating an effective tool has would base on the fuzzy theory. The fuzzy MADM technique is used in decision making when the project manager faces several options and indicators for making an effective decision for the project’s success. Under the fuzzy theory, the decision-maker can use his knowledge, judgement and experience for deciding project management (Farsijani, Nikabadi, and Amirimoghadam 2015, 90). However, Abdel-malak et al. (2017, 329) criticized the fuzzy MADM approach as it is difficult to handle by some project managers as it involves assessment of numeric and logical values. Nevertheless, the effectiveness of this approach cannot be denied for decision making in project management.

There has been much debate over decades regarding the base of decision making in project management. As researchers have highlighted many facts, the decision-making process has become easier as project managers use peer theories for making decisions for projects’ success. The project managers are responsible to have a process that enables the whole team to decide rationally on the different facets of the project. They must consider the facts, values, means and ends that will help to make an appropriate decision throughout the project process. The decision models that consider the above-mentioned facets are Maslow’s pyramid and the Pareto principle. B. Soni and R. Soni (2016, 259) suggest that a project manager should understand the different need of the resources that are associated with the project. The decision based on the need’s hierarchy is generally accepted by all the team members. This makes the project successful as all the participants contribute with the full potential obeying the decision of the project manager. Besides, Ivan?i? (2014, 633-639) suggested that by using the Pareto principle, the project manager can prioritise the challenges and find effective solutions for resolving such. The project manager can use the 80/20 measurement scale for finding out the accurate issue that might hamper the project. Hence, it has been proven to be an effective theory that can be considered while decision making in project management.


The essay argues that decision making in project management is essential as it helps a project manager to maintain progress and compare the options available for taking the best course of action. For the analysis, it can be concluded that there are essential factors that are needed to be considered while deciding on projects’ success. The essentiality of complete information has been highlighted in this essay as it is the realm of good project governance. For obtaining important information and data, the best approach that project managers can consider is fuzzy Multi-Attribute Decision Making. Besides, consideration of important theory such as Maslow’s need hierarchy theory and Pareto’s principle should also be considered for effective decision making.


Abdel-malak, Fam F., Usama H. Issa, Yehia H. Miky, and Emad A. Osman. 2017. "Applying decision-making techniques to Civil Engineering Projects." Beni-Suef University journal of basic and applied sciences 6, no. 4 (December): 326-331.

Alias, Zarina, E. M. A. Zawawi, Khalid Yusof, and N. M. Aris. 2016 "Determining critical success factors of project management practice: A conceptual framework." Procedia-Social and Behavioral Sciences 153 (October): 61-69.

Bouwmans, Machiel, Piety Runhaar, Renate Wesselink, and Martin Mulder. 2017. "Fostering teachers' team learning: An interplay between transformational leadership and participative decision-making?" Teaching and Teacher Education 65 (July): 71-80.

Ebrahimnejad, Sadoullah, S. Meysam Mousavi, Reza Tavakkoli-Moghaddam, and Mojtaba Heydar. 2014. "Risk ranking in mega projects by fuzzy compromise approach: A comparative analysis." Journal of Intelligent & Fuzzy Systems 26, no. 2 (January): 949-959.

Ebrahimnejad, Sadoullah, Seyed Meysam Mousavi, and Hamed Seyrafianpour. 2010. "Risk identification and assessment for build–operate–transfer projects: A fuzzy multi attribute decision making model." Expert systems with Applications 37, no. 1 (January): 575-586.

Erdogan, Seyit Ali, Jonas Šaparauskas, and Zenonas Turskis. 2017. "Decision making in construction management: AHP and expert choice approach." Procedia engineering 172 (January): 270-276. doi: 10.1016/j.proeng.2017.02.111

Eweje, John, Rodney Turner, and Ralf Müller. 2012. "Maximizing strategic value from megaprojects: The influence of information-feed on decision-making by the project manager." International Journal of Project Management 30, no. 6 (August): 639-651.

Farsijani, H., M. Nikabadi, and H. Amirimoghadam. 2015. "Six sigma project selections using fuzzy network-analysis and fuzzy MADM." Decision Science Letters 4, no. 1: 87-96.

Heagney, Joseph. 2016. Fundamentals of project management. New York, USA: Amacom.
Ivan?i?, Valentina. 2014. "Improving the decision making process trought the Pareto principle application." Ekonomska misao i praksa 2 (December): 633-656.

Liu, Yating, Hengjie Zhang, Yuzhu Wu, and Yucheng Dong. 2019. "Ranking range based approach to MADM under incomplete context and its application in venture investment evaluation." Technological and Economic Development of Economy 25, no. 5 (July): 877-899.

Marques, Guillaume, Didier Gourc, and Matthieu Lauras. 2011. "Multi-criteria performance analysis for decision making in project management." International Journal of Project Management 29, no. 8 (December): 1057-1069.

Samset, Knut, and Gro Holst Volden. 2016. "Front-end definition of projects: Ten paradoxes and some reflections regarding project management and project governance." International journal of project management 34, no. 2 (February): 297-313.

Soni, Bina, and Ramesh Soni. 2016. "Enhancing Maslow's hierarchy of needs for effective leadership." In Competition Forum 14, no. 2 (July): 259.

Too, Eric G., and Patrick Weaver. 2014 "The management of project management: A conceptual framework for project governance." International Journal of Project Management 32, no. 8 (November): 1382-1394.

Ureña, Raquel, Francisco Chiclana, Juan Antonio Morente-Molinera, and Enrique Herrera-Viedma. 2015. "Managing incomplete preference relations in decision making: a review and future trends." Information Sciences 302 (May): 14-32.

Verner, June, Jennifer Sampson, and Narciso Cerpa. 2008. "What factors lead to software project failure?." In 2008 Second International Conference on Research Challenges in Information Science, pp. 71-80. IEEE.

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