CSM80001 Project Costing Assignment - An executive summary

Final Assignment -

The Circumstances - You are employed by a company in Australia and the CEO has decided that the company should bid for work in a new area of business. The CEO requires a briefing document to outline the risks of contracting for work in the new area, recommendations to minimise these risks where appropriate, and the anticipated costs, resources and timing to prepare a typical bid for a contract.

What Is Required In This Assignment?

You are to prepare a report to the CEO which will go to the company board as a briefing document. The briefing document must have sufficient background supporting data to give the CEO confidence about the result, but only the executive summary will go to the board.

The report will contain the following parts:

1. An executive summary to go to the Board.

2. A risk assessment summarising the major risks of contracting this work and your recommendations on how to reduce these risks.

3. An estimate of the costs to prepare a bid for a contract of this type and value. The estimate is to be summarised in a table by department (rows) and work phase (columns & total).

4. A schedule (prepared in MS Project) for the bid preparation. The Schedule is to identify the work phase and department for each activity.

5. An appendix summarising your background research on three projects. (A summary is required for each project and articles should be referenced rather than printed out. The summary is to focus on the risks encountered and how they were managed.)

You will research and examine three (3) projects for the type of work for which the CEO considers your company should consider bidding. The projects must be of a similar type and size that would be considered by the company.

You should choose projects that relate to the field of study for which you are enrolled (e.g. civil infrastructure, production engineering, electronics, etc.) and are of a similar magnitude. A list of some suitable (mostly civil) topics is suggested in Item 2 attached. That list is not extensive and you may choose other topics, provided you have the agreement of the lecturer.

For the purposes of this assignment you are to choose three (3) projects of the same type from a topic related to the course that you are doing.

Report on New Business Opportunities -

The CEO has instructed you to prepare a detailed report to evaluate new business opportunities for contracts in Australia. When the CEO has reviewed your report and agrees with its content it will be presented to the company Board of Directors with recommendations to them to bid for this new work.

Your task is in parts, as detailed here:

Part 1: Executive summary to the Board

This part of the assignment is in the form of a 1 page (of text) summary plus suitable attachments summarising the significant risks (a before & after risk chart & a list of risks with recommended mitigation) involved with executing this type of contract work, and a summary of the cost, and schedule (summary by department) to bid for the work. The attachments should not cover more than four pages.

Part 2: A risk assessment summarising the major risks of contracting this work.

The risk assessment and recommendations for mitigation must be summarised and reference made to significant difficulties reported in the press about existing contracts of this type. The attachments to the report will include a professional risk assessment for a typical project in this area and include a risk management plan (of not less than 10 risks ranked by significance, showing the treatment of risks) and a before and after risk matrix (of the 6 most significant risks).

Part 3 & 4: An estimate of the costs, and a schedule to prepare a tender bid for a contract of this type.

For this you need to:-

  • Establish a budget estimate on an 'Excel' spreadsheet for yourself (you are the bid manager) and project team involved in bid preparation:
  • Plan and schedule activities and resources to complete the report in the time allocated. Schedule to be prepared using 'Microsoft Project' software.

Part 3 Estimate Preparation: Additional information for this item

You have been advised that suitable sized contracts range from $400 million to $1 billion and the total cost to prepare a bid for such works is expected to be 0.05% to 0.1% of the contract value and take 5 months to complete. Note: that a competent estimate of bidding costs for this work will fall within this cost range.

Establish a budget estimate on an 'Excel' spreadsheet: An hourly cost rate for each of the individuals and departments assigned to the report preparation is to be used as the basis for the estimate.

Refer to the table below for a list of staff, annual salaries and resources on the team.

Annual salary is the total paid salary per year excluding statutory superannuation payments.

  • Each employee receives 4 weeks Annual Leave, 2 weeks Public Holidays, 2 weeks Sick Leave annually, plus a 17.5 % loading on their base salary during Annual Leave and long service leave (13 weeks after 10 years of service). Note that company policy is to make provision for the full amount for sick leave and long service leave even though employees may not take the full amount of this leave.
  • Statutory loadings (superannuation (9.25%), payroll tax (5%), workers compensation insurance (1%), other insurance (6.5%)) as a percentage of total salary paid to employee.
  • Ignore in the calculations any severance pay based on period of service.
  • Salaried employees do not receive site allowance or overtime payments.
  • Add business unit overheads at the rate of 15.5% of the direct costs.
  • List any estimated costs for travel and accommodation separately.

Note: As in most organisations, the costs for the CEO salary and Board of Directors fees are paid for out of company overheads and profit and so have zero cost in your estimate.



Annual Salary

Bid Coordinator

(Your Name)


Bid production manager

Lucy Wang


John Cavenor


Design Engineers (5 No.)



Construction Engineers (2 No.)







John Robinson


Planning Engineer

Annabel Nguyen


Lead Estimator

Chen Wang



Janice Ng



Andy Akdogan



Alan Woden


Clerical Support

Joanne Snedden


Chief Executive Officer & Board



Background Research and Report -

To prepare the report you need to undertake a literature review of key aspects of this proposed new field of activity. Your report is to include brief information on three (3) projects. All of the projects must be in Australia. The projects reported upon must have been constructed after 1990 and preferably had significant delays, cost overruns and other risk occurrences and be of a similar size and complexity.

The purpose of this information is to inform the CEO of your company of the key aspects of the proposed new field of activity.

Background Analysis of the Projects - Prepare a brief analysis in your own words of each of the three (3) projects that you have chosen. Paragraphs of text copied and pasted from articles or downloaded from the internet are not acceptable.

The analysis should include for each project a summary of:

  • Names of the Client, Project Manager and major construction companies
  • a description of the project, location(s), start & finish date.
  • Project delivery system(s) used (see Chapter 2.4 of your notes).
  • Key construction methods & temporary infrastructure required to carry out the works.
  • $ value of project, converted to today's dollars (Aust. Bureau of Statistics indices or equivalent foreign indices to be used for escalation over time).
  • Risks encountered on the project such as risks that contribute to cost & time overruns and any contractor response to the risks.

The analysis should then list for each risk or group of risks,

  • A description of the risks the project encountered
  • The schedule, cost and other impact of each
  • As best you can discover, what caused the impact and what could or should have been done to treat (mitigate, avoid, transfer etc) the risk.

Attachment:- Assignment Files.rar


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