ICT352 Project Management

ICT352 Project Management Task 2
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ICT352
Project Management
Task 2
Semester 1, 2020
ICT352 Project Management Task 2
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Assessment and Submission Details
Marks: 40% of the Total Assessment for the Course
Due Date: 5pm Monday, 18th May 2020
Submission Online – Individual Report
Assignments are to be submitted by SafeAssign.
DO NOT SUBMIT THE ASSIGNMENT TO THE
COURSE CO-ORDINATOR OR TUTOR.
The assignment will be marked out of a total of 100 marks. Once marked, ALL assignments
will be checked for plagiarism and/or collusion between individuals.
Refer to your Course Outline or the Course Web Site for a copy of the “Student Misconduct,
Plagiarism and Collusion” guidelines. Academic Integrity Information.
Note: Each student keep a copy of the assignment and this copy MUST be produced
within 24 hours of it being requested by the Course Co-ordinator. Failure to produce the
second copy of the assignment when requested may result in loss of marks or a fail grade
for the assignment.
Requests for an extension to an assignment MUST be made to the course coordinator prior
to the date of submission and requests made on the day of submission or after the
submission date will only be considered in exceptional circumstances.
ICT352 Project Management Task 2
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Case Study: Australia Forestry International
Forestry is an important sector within the Australian economy. The Australian Department of Agriculture
estimates the industry generates $23 billion in income and employs over 70,000 individuals. [Source:
http://www.agriculture.gov.au/forestry/industries]
You are a consultant working for a company named Australian Forestry International (AFI). This
company is a large owner of varied forested estates in New South Wales and Queensland – they grow and
sell trees. Their holdings include some 400,000 ha of land and they harvest the tree crop on a cycle of about
20,000 ha per year (or nearly 10 million trees a year!). They grow pine and spotted gum varieties in
plantation settings (softwood and hardwood). They have traditionally just been a grower of trees (planting,
maintaining) and outsourced all other elements of the supply chain including logistics (cutting, transport,
processing) and manufacturing of a product. An example of some forestry business components and supply
chain elements is listed below:
Source: https://www.responsiblewood.org.au/responsible-wood/chain-of-custody/
Australia Forestry International is a seven-year-old private company with roots in the American tree farming
industry with an interesting past. They used to be a state-owned organization, but the state divested their
interest in the sector and now leases the land to AFI. This has brought with it some legacy issues including a
contingent of employees ‘the old-timers’ who are used to antiquated technology, systems and a limited
range of operations on the estate. The company receives most of its revenue from domestic markets (selling
wood to sawmills, pulp mills, board manufactures, etc.) for consumer products but has recently been more
and more engaged with international markets (namely China and Korea) exporting high grade logs for
veneer and cabinet making. They desire to grow the business in the most profitable and sustainable way and
there are internal discussions as to how to do this.
Recently, a new entrepreneurial CEO, Hugh Jackman, has come on board and wants to take the business in
a new more profitable direction by deploying state of the art technology to improve management systems
(namely drones for insect spraying and unmanned harvesting equipment) while also placing a higher
emphasis on more lucrative international markets. Hugh along with their lead research scientist, Jacko, have
been strategizing ways to grow their business and increase their bottom line and market capitalization. Jacko
is of the opinion that these changes would be much more complex to implement than it’s worth and believes
the company should refocus on domestic markets and the potential for the expanding biomass market
(unmarketable tree parts) which would help streamline on-ground operations and provide an alternative
revenue stream. Their COO Bruno (a holdover from the old days with ties to the American group) would
like to see some divesting in their land holdings with a reorientation of focus on softwoods vs. hardwoods
given the cost of production. To further complicate matters, the industry has been grasping with a
devastating year of bushfires and export issues connected with the coronavirus. The team has approached
you with a suite of potential projects as they look to grow, change, adapt and improve their business into the
future.
They have asked each of you to choose ONE of the following project themes and collaborate with the AFI
management team to develop a project report.
ICT352 Project Management Task 2
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Project 1 – Incorporation of Advanced Technology into Operations
The forest sector is always changing, and businesses must adapt to maintain their competitive posture. In
line with Hugh’s vision of incorporating technology to streamline operations and save costs AFI has
requested a project be developed to provide a roadmap for technology trials, deployment and
operationalisation of data capture. It is thought that drones could be used for insect spraying and inventory
management while unmanned harvesting equipment (machines that cut down trees) could also be employed.
Additionally, an app could be developed to better capture and disseminate data and information throughout
the company, though they are open to other suggestions that will help them best change and adapt to the
industry and remain competitive. They request that this project be operational in 2 years and be financially
viable (i.e. investment required is less than project costs over a 10-year horizon). The company has allocated
75k budget to scope the work and up to a 5-million-dollar budget for full technology deployment.
Project 2 – Research and Development Into Bushfire Resilience
The latest bushfire season was one of the worst on record with much of the plantation coming under threat.
Many say that this season was 10x worse than usual in Queensland and it was 10x worse than that in NSW.
AFI has really been struggling with the business and operational ramifications of this disastrous season
(losing crops, having to change crop rotation to meet demand, varying planting schemes and timing, cleanup, etc.) and wants to develop a project to help mitigate the impacts of such extreme weather and conditions
in the future. They believe that research and development into topics such as 1) drought and fire resistant
genetically modified tree species, 2) increased use of low intensity burning on their plantations (deliberately
setting fire to the crop periodically to lower the threat of a high intensity catastrophic crop killing burns),
and/or 3) research to determine if they should forgo, abandon or relocate crops due to regional climatic
forecasts. The group expects a comprehensive research proposal (goal, methods, deliverables), thorough
reporting of results and contextualized advice (strategy, financial, etc.) and recommendations for
deployment for a budget of 100k.
Project 3 – Domestic Biofuels Market Emergence
Amid increasing high domestic energy costs and improving technologies there now appears to be markets
for harvesting by-products (material that is left over after logs are taken out – branches, tree tops, etc.). This
material has historically been burned on site before replanting. AFI has been fielding calls from businesses
asking to purchase this material to be burned for fuel, made into pellets for the export power market or to be
used as the source material for emerging biochemical products. Given this potential for an increased revenue
stream and lowering costs of replanting the group is quite keen on exploring this opportunity. As a pet
project of Jacko, AFI has approached you with a project to develop the business case for AFI and to set up a
subsidiary organization that would provide the collection, processing (chipping) and transportation of
material to end customers. The outcome of the product needs to provide a holistic view of the business
ramifications of the shift, operations and financial feasibility of the investment. This project will receive an
internal R&D budget of 40k. Along the same line they have toyed with the idea of creating a Customer
Relationship Management (CRM) app. This app could be developed to log, track and sort these enquiries
and eventual clients along with their existing clients. This project would receive a budget of 75k.
Project 4 – Export Supply Chain and Coronavirus Adaptation
AFI is an Australian company with an export business tied to Asian markets, namely China, Japan and
South Korea. These markets have been increasingly important to AFI and are generally seen to be a
lucrative and growth market for their products. As with any international business and supply chain there
are risks and rewards. With the recent coronavirus outbreak in mainland China (and other risks abroad),
AFIs cashflow and markets are being threatened as trade slows down due to decontamination requirements
and weaker than usual Asian demand. AFI has requested that you expedite a project aimed at evaluating
different markets and establishing new trade routes to further diversify their export market business. They
request that you provide a thorough market analysis, short term guidance and long-term roadmap for a more
resilient export market supply chain. This project would receive a budget of 50k.
ICT352 Project Management Task 2
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Project 5 – Western Australia Expansion

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