Using knowledge gained from this course Team A has demonstrated their capacity for conceptualizing the concepts and practical application of project management and life cycle phases. This paper is the compilation of three successive papers submitted and revised by Team A that includes the project proposal paper, the project planning technical paper, and the project human capital paper. In the final phase of the project lifecycle the implementation process of terminating the project will be presented in such a way that the input will be based on observations in relation to how well the triple constraints and tradeoffs were handled.
The balance between timing, budget and project specifications is used as a performance measurement to guide Team A’s future success by determining lessons learned, what might be performed differently that must be corrected with the next project, and help determine what went right with the project that must be repeated on the next project. In addition, the steps needing to be taken to return the human resources to the organization will be provided.
Background and Statement of NeedThe increasing population of Lo Ki, California has resulted in an influx of new apartments, condominiums and small homes being built with little or inadequate storage and deed restrictions limiting what can be placed in driveways and side yards of the homes. Lo Ki is a mid-sized community lacking storage facilities within proximity. This has created a need that Store -N- Lock, a California-based self-storage facility, plans to address by building a new storage facility. This facility will meet the needs and demands of the citizens of Lo Ki for storage space, in addition increasing profits for Store -N-Lock.
Building a new storage facility will require a project management team that has a clear understanding of whom is responsible for what. This management team needs a clear vision of what the facility would look like, what the costs would be, what the processes and procedures would be, what the time frame is from conception to completion, what revenue would be expected from the final project and what the payback period would be. With that being said financing would be needed with a loan that allows some breathing room during lease up. In addition, in any new type of construction the management team will need to have a good relationship with the contractors, engineers, the architects, and any stakeholders. Clearly communicating the plan and approach will be beneficial because this will provide a way for stakeholders and anyone involved in the project to have a clearly defined goal, vision and mission of what the expectations of this project are in addition to any profit and loss sharing, equity positions, decision making and exit strategies. Once this project is up and running a permanent loan can be locked in.
Project StakeholdersThe project customers include the investors and owners of the facility. These individuals have added their resources and information in order to get the project off the ground, and stand to lose the most if the project fails. The customers will hold Team A accountable for any unforeseen circumstances that might occur. These project customers have also given time and assistance to ensure that the project will succeed.
Other project stakeholders include the city of Lo Ki since permits and licensing from the local municipality is required. This project will provide revenue to the city in the form of taxes. In addition, the bank providing the financing will be a stakeholder and benefit from the interest and association with the project. The project leader and team members of the project, such as upper management, the architect, the construction team, the management team (Team A) the classmates and instructor of this Project Management course including resource managers, and line managers involved in the project that stand to gain financially from this project. Each of these additional stakeholders will stand to gain either from recognition of a successful project completed or from the benefit of having a storage facility that they can use to store their belongings.
Project Goals in Terms of Triple Constraint
The triple constraints of timing, budget and scope are being monitored daily by the project managers and the team. This is done to make sure that everything is completed in the correct order in which the network results have suggested.
At the beginning of the project Team A made sure to ask the sponsors to prioritize the triple constraints. The team wanted to ensure that what they were doing was consistent with the sponsors expectations. Initially, the sponsors stated that all the constraints were important. However, after contemplation the sponsors were able to assign weights to the constraints when they came to the realization that they are all important but not equal. After the feasibility study, and the project was deemed suitable the sponsors decided that the project in no way could go over budget. The second most important criterion was time with scope ranking last.
The timing of each project phase will keep a continuous flow of work since the network was set up to flow horizontally downward following the critical path so the project will finished in the allotted timeframe. Many areas will not take as much time as others but every task has an established and set time frame of one to 17 days. This set schedule and time frame should effectively minimize and limit problems that may occur if handled efficiently and things go as planned.
The resource was the highest ranked constraint indicated by the sponsors. They do not want to go over the calculated project. Team A will ensure that no problems will occur with the actual budget that has been set forth in the beginning phase of the project. The budget should remain the same as long as the timing is kept on track for each task and preceding event.
This will be accomplished by monitoring progress and the network in the Gannt chart. If by chance something occurs that will change the time frame of the task affecting the budget, then the budget will then need to be revisited and revised. The entire amount the project estimated to cost is approximately $2,000,000. At any time this amount could change because of changes in the project risk and risk management, project constraints with specific emphasis on the project timeline, deadlines, milestones or price increases in either labor or materials.
The scope that has been set forth is going to be effective if certain tasks are kept in the time frame in which they are set up to take place in. Within the scope enough space has been set aside for change control processes if warranted. At this point the network result has an outlook of completion of the project in four months and not to exceed $2,000,000.
Team A has chosen the Pure Project organizational structure. Team A gained written approval from the customer in the form of a signed charter, which became the contractual agreement and project proposal. This document will provide the directives to be established and implemented by the PM. The Pure Project Structure was chosen because this is a project driven structure and is best for construction companies (if the cost is not too vast), or a “one-time, highly specific, unique tasks that requires careful control and are not appropriate for a single functional area such as the development of a new product.” (Mantel, Meredith, 2006, p199).
Other reasons why Team A chose this organizational structure are as follows:Communications ManagementA solid communication plan is the most vital element of achieving a successful project. A communication plan is used to keep the PM and all stakeholders involved in the ongoing progress of the project. Communication management is a tool the PM of Store-N-Lock will use to convey performance evaluations to stakeholders. Evaluations are performed regularly and consistently to ensure various project objectives are completed on time and within the project scope for successful results.
The following considerations will be taken into account when meetings are scheduled:1.Project meetings communicating performance evaluations to management are somewhat flexible.
2.Management can request meetings at their discretion; however, the PM has the authority to change the requested date if needed to one that is more suitable.
3.Meetings with customers are less flexible requiring the PM to plan carefully to ensure all of the materials needed such as handouts and other literature are ready for the meeting.
Poor communication can cause bottlenecks, therefore, BETCO has taken into consideration the many elements of effective communication and potential barriers and prepared accordingly. To keep information effectively clear and concise the BETCO’s project manager has used earned value management to convey project progress throughout the duration of the project.
Earned value management combines measurements of scope, cost and schedule to measure project progress and can indicate to the PM impending problems. The PM can then act quickly taking the appropriate proactive and reactive measures to reduce the impact of these risks. Gantt charts will also be provided to all stakeholders for easier visualization and tracking of actual progress made. The advantages of effective communication using software are as follows:1.Prevents bottlenecks2.Prevents barriers to success3.Gantt charts provide clear views on constraints, timing, and milestones.
4.Gantt charts provide an easy way to revise plans and update progress.
5.Communication and the use of Gantt charts allow visualization and effective tracking.
Scheduling face-to-face meetings can be difficult: therefore, BETCO uses conference calling, emails and text messaging to stay in contact. This will allow rapid and up to the minute changes to be communicated; since visual aids will be transmitted to the needed stakeholders for review during the conference calls. Those involved, can then walk through the progress of the project together identifying any action items needing attention. The BETCO representative, the Team A PM and staff and Store-N-Lock have decided to conduct twice weekly face to face meetings for the project team and weekly conference calls for all other stakeholders.
In planning for this project understanding the combination of uncertainty and constraints based on estimation will require selecting areas of the project with the most severe constraints and the highest uncertainty. Once that is complete the PM will do a Risk Assessment exploring each task for uncertainty. “The construction industry is subject to more risk and uncertainty than many other industries.” (Flanagan, Norman, 1993). This construction job will require a multitude of people requiring coordinative efforts between several interrelated activities compounded by many uncontrollable external forces.
Some of the key areas that Team A will focus on in their risk management are as follows:The key will be coordination of different construction phases and adjustments or tradeoffs that will need to be made the triple constraints. This is especially important since they may impact the quality design and construction times. The following are a list of constraints:Project management, according to (Mantel, Meredith 2006, p. 179), is prone to the following problems:·Inadequate resources·Meeting unrealistic deadlines·Unclear goals/direction·Uncommitted team members·Insufficient planning·Breakdown of communications·Changes in goals and resources·Conflicts between departments or functionsProject success has four dimensions as quoted by (Mantel, Meredith, 2006 p.3) from empirical studies conducted by Shenhar, Levy, and Dvir (1997).
These include:·Project efficiency·Impact on the customer·The business impact on the organization·Opening new opportunities for the futureTeam A can focus on to the following areas to decrease the impact of the above issues:”Almost everything that can go wrong with project performance, cost, or schedule is theresult of uncertainty.” (Meredith, Mantel, 2006, p 541). According to (Ibbs, Kwak, 2000, Project Risk Management.) “The Risk management’s project management maturity level was the lowest among all eight knowledge areas.”The following are six areas that are impacted by risk management.
(Project Management Institute, 2000, p.128).
Other areas that can “cause a project to require the control of performance, costs, or time” were identified (Mantel, Meredith, 2006, p. 542).
Timing is crucial to project success and since most all projects do not go as planned, nearly every time related category with the exception of governmental regulation would be considered lessons learned for Team A. In the previous section on performance, each of these areas would be considered areas for improvement and would most likely have affected the overall completion of the project. Most likely all cost related issues pertain to Team A’s project and would be considered lessons learned.
Contingency PlansManaging project risk and potential problems like bottlenecks requires a contingency plan. This will help mitigate the impact of the problem. In each phase of the construction will have milestones, which indicate that the project can move forward as planned. If problems occur with the timing of tasks and phases of the construction the plans will need to be altered to reflect either the backup resources such as time, or materials and money required for successful completion. At this point the Gantt chart will need updating and each person affected by the changes will need updated schedules. (Heerkens, 2002).
BudgetControl of cost is a concern that this team has for this project. The team believes this should be of concern to all involved. As stated in Project Management, a Managerial Approach, “Budget plays an important role in the entire process of management” (Mantel. Meredith, 2006, pp. 327). Project budgets are estimated above what is calculated to ensure that the project is covered against any unforeseen problems, mistakes and miscalculations.
“In order to develop a budget the team must forecast what resources the project will require, the required quantity of each, when they will be needed and how much they will cost – including the effects of potential price inflation” (Mantel, Meredith, 2006, pp. 327). The budget is going to cover everything that is needed including materials, equipment and salaries to be paid to the contractor, subcontractors, and the management team including the BETCO representative and the Team A PM and associates. Below in figure 1.1 are estimates of items that will be needed for the construction of the storage facility. These are estimates that will be used toward the facility construction. The figure below indicates estimates of materials; construction and other items needed items to construct the storage facility.
Figure 1Item descriptionDelivery schedule(Business days)Cost(estimate)Contractors and Subcontractor FeesMonday -Friday 7am-5pm approximately 10% of all costsCost of the management teamMonday-Friday8am-5pm$65,000Building and roofing materials$400,000Material for the walls and doors$375,000Sprinkler system$225,000Temperature Control System$150,000Security surveillance and monitoring systems $185,000Asphalt for parking and driveways$150,000Concrete Pad for Office$80,000Office Roof$185,000Office Windows$5,000Office doors $1,200Office heating and air conditioning$2,700Kitchen counters and cupboards$4,500Kitchen bathroom including sinks (2)$225Bathroom counters (2)$1,600Office computers (2)$4,000Printer and fax equipment$575Phone and answering system$1,400Office desks (2)$2,000Tile flooring for office and bathrooms$4,500Gutters$8,000As stated above these numbers are estimates. Due to unforeseen events these numbers may change but the project and upper management believe that these numbers are the best estimates for the beginning of the project.
Desired OutputsThe desired performance criteria for building a high-quality self-storage facility allowed Team A to measure the successes and failures of the project in order to recognize areas where the project team was strong and areas where the project team could improve. This ensured that the team provided the client with a product that meets their full expectations. The project performance measures include time, budget, and quality. These measures aided in ensuring that the work completed during each phase of construction is of a quality that protects the client and their customers with safe storage of belongings without compromising quality in craftsmanship or increased costs. Quality assurance is another way to provide a low-cost facility with limited maintenance in terms of repairs, upkeep, and operation. Team A also used the initial cost estimating budget and the systems development cycle to ensure that, from conception, to initiation and feasibility, the project was clearly defined and a detailed planning analysis provided an accurate schedule.
Updated Statement of Work/SMART ObjectivesDuring phase one of the construction of Store-N-Lock BETCO has made some adjustment to the statement of work. This was done with approval from the customer and added on as an addendum that can be located in Appendix A. The completion date has been delayed by eight days from the original start date set. This was because of inclement weather, resulting in equipment delivery delays and thus, causing further delays with installation. BETCO has created a SOW that mirrors the SMART requirements to ensure full understanding of what deliverables will include, what costs will be incurred and deadlines of work activities and tasks. SMART objectives illustrate that every requirement of the project should be specific, measurable, attainable, and realistic and time bound. The Following are SMART objectives for project Construction Store-N-Lock.
BETCO has been hired by Store-N-Lock to build a public storage facility with a specified start date of August 15, 2009 and a completion date of November 23, 2009. The project completion will reflect the construction of a high quality storage facility at a negotiated agreed upon cost that meets the demands of Store-N-Lock and Store-N-Lock’s target market. BETCO has created a WBS accompanied by a logical hierarchy of sequenced events and related tasks of the project scope to define and group the discreet tasks of the project and create the project map for clearer navigation and understanding by all stakeholders.
MetricsMetrics BETCO will use are project timelines, earned value management and Gantt charts. These metrics will be reviewed in the beginning of each task, during each task and at the end of each task and phase. The will be beneficial for the PM since problems and bottlenecks and foreseeable threats can be evaluated, brainstormed and mitigated to allow for flexibility whereby better decisions could have been made. These metrics will also be used to communicate performance progress to stakeholders.
Project AchievabilityProject Construction Store-N-Lock is a very achievable project for BETCO as they are experienced in this field with solid relationships established with numerous contractors and subcontractors. BETCO knows standard timelines of completion for individual processes and based upon these the complete timeline outlined in the timetables and deliverables statements is an achievable and manageable task for BETCO with this project type. The project is realistic since BETCO has substantial experience in many types of construction projects. With their expertise and relationships with subcontractors BETCO has a vast array of resources for many types of projects. To stay within the agreed upon completion date BETCO is using a project timeline to specify completion dates for each objective to be achieved throughout the three month and one week timeframe for completion of the entire project. The SOW indicates the completion date to be August 23, 2009.
Task and Performance Schedules, Responsibility and Resource Availability MatricesTime is money and time is of the essence in project management. Because of this, time is used to sequence events, ensure that each event occurs within the specified timeframe and is used to compare the completion of events with the time allocated for each task. If each phase of a project is not completed within the scheduled time frame bottlenecks can occur and the project runs the risk of going over budget. The effect on the scope of the project would compromise quality as corners are cut to get back on schedule. Constructing a storage facility required that a detailed cost estimation and budget follows the WBS. (Everett, 2007).
The schedule of resource allocation required detailed cost schedules and forecasts so that the project manager was able to analyze the pattern of expenditures and permitted enough time to make adjustments to the schedule for each phase of construction. All work packages were scheduled with enough time to complete the preceding phase and to cover for any uncertainty and lack of accurate information (Everett, 2007). These unforeseen occurrences may be because of inclement weather, delivery delays, or labor issues.
The PM and Team A staff have set up a task schedule to assign each task with enough time to be completed, and organized in such a way as to identify the predecessors of the tasks, when applicable. AGantt chart is attached with this paper identifying the critical path through the network. Table 1 on the next page includes the task schedule for the project.
E: Execution responsibility. Stakeholder is responsible for getting the work done. Not necessarily a decision maker, but drives the group to make decisions in a timely manner.
A: Approval authority. Has final approval on accepting the outcome of this activity and makes decisions.
C: Must be consulted. As work is performed this stakeholder contributes information. Does not make decisions but is asked for input prior to decisions.
A good communication plan is essential for appraising the project progress to various project sponsors and executives. With this communication, the project managers ensure all staff is meeting acceptable progress goals toward the final product. This is basically meant to communicate and cover important variables of the project – time, cost, scope, and parameters of deliverables. Other objectives are to provide clarity of the progress with the continuation of the project, so that the management and team can engage in early corrective action when the performance of the project alters considerably from initial plans. As with the project of Store-N-Lock, set schedules of work will need to be executed by the builders. Whenever things go awry, a corrective action plan should be set in place to get the project back on schedule. To avoid this type of confusion or mishap the project manager is to set out standards that are to be followed.
Overall, the project went well. The team went one week over the projected completion date, as enough time was not allocated for every step of the project. Though the project stayed within budget, many resources that were necessary for the completion of the project were not included in the budget. However, the project budget manager allowed for enough funds at each phase of the building to cover the additional materials and resources needed.
Conflict amongst the team was the most challenging aspect of the project. Learning Team A did not clearly define the roles and responsibilities of each team member until the final week of the project. As a result, communication breakdowns and personality conflicts abounded throughout, and decisions were not made quickly and effectively. Learning Team A also lost a member of the team early in the project, which nearly created bottlenecks and tasks had to be reassigned to cover the workload. Despite these issues, Learning Team A was able to overcome these obstacles and persevere. Team members were willing to compromise as each task came due and were willing to help his or her fellow teammates with any problems or concerns.
Network Results and Triple Constraint
Towards the middle of the project the sponsors made a few demands as to the budget and the scope but the project manager called a meeting. This meeting was set in order for the project manager to inform the sponsors of the triple constraints and how they are supposed to be managed and how to manage them efficiently and effectively.
At the end of the project and after reviewing network results the team realized they had gone one week over the time that was scheduled per the Gantt chart. Not enough time was given for each portion of the project the needed to be completed within the four month timeline. Each task was done efficiently but the timelines that the team had set forth were not thought in enough detail. The problems and breakdowns that occurred within the group may have been a contributing factor to the problems in the timeline.
Although there was a significant amount of time that the project went over the intended time frame, the team was able to stay within the budget that was stated at the beginning of the project. At the beginning of the project the sponsors made it known that the budget was the most important of the triple constraints. In no means was the project to go over the $2,000,000 mark. The project manager and the team made certain that no matter what occurred with the time constraints they would ensure that the budget would remain the same.
The project manager did not want to change anything within the scope of the project. At one point towards the middle of the project the sponsors decided they wanted to change the most important constraint to the scope. This did not go over well with the project manager. The sponsors and the project manager had to sit down and have a meeting concerning what was going to occur. The sponsors believed that there could be changes made within the budget in order to make changes in the scope, and the project manager let them know that was not going to occur. Some instances like this made it difficult to remain in the allocated time frame.
Steps Taken to Return the HR to the OrganizationAn element of project termination is the return or reassignment of project team members within the organization. Construction projects are able to handle this issue with more ease than other types of projects. In this current age of increased development and BETCO’s good reputation in the business, contracts for construction projects are acquired on a regular basis. This allows the company easily to reassign their project team members to other projects in their areas of expertise.
Upon completion date BETCO and the Team A project manager have conducted a meeting with the project team and customer. They have discussed any future follow up needs and provided the appropriate contacts for the customer. A private internal meeting for project team members has also been conducted to discuss the strengths and weaknesses that occurred during Construction Store-N-Lock. The construction of Store-N-Lock was a success with only a slight delay in the completion date. The building met the customers’ expectations and because the delay in completion was minimal Store-N-Lock was satisfied with the results. After all the end details were addressed the project team members received an appreciation and recognition lunch and received much kudos.
Input for Future Projects
For future projects, Learning Team A will learn from the experience that this project provided. From the onset, the team will need to select project roles for each member and have clearly defined conflict resolution and change control processes in place. There will also need to be a communication plan to ensure that every member of the team understands what is expected from them and are able to communicate effectively with other members. This will aid in faster decisions to be made. Team members must understand that the team should be open to innovative ideas and use critical thinking skills. Each member of the team will also need to be committed to the project as well. Meredith and Mantel (2006, p.595 4) have outlined key factors that need to be considered when starting the next project.
These factors include:·Identify problems earlier·Clarify cost, performance, and time relationships·Improve the process of risk identification and management·Identify mistakes, correct them, and avoid them in the future·Reconfirm the project team’s interest and commitment to the project·Improve processes for organizing and managing projects·Provide an amiable environment where project team members can work creatively togetherLessons LearnedThe most important factor affecting this project was a need to clearly establish roles and responsibilities in the beginning charter. By firmly establishing these early, the team could have saved a many of the initial stages of storming which preceded the norming. In addition, this would have helped to identify the hierarchy of leadership and helped to prevent duplication of work, eliminate conflicts and expedite decision making.
Other areas that were difficult included a few of the essential elements of construction materials that were left out in the initial estimation phase, like the insulation, and gutters. Although, this impacted the budget the additional cost did not cause the project to go too far over a normal distribution or standard deviation of price increase to be problematic. In the next project the SOW and WBS would need to be finalized before the budget and schedule were completed and finalized.
The project went as planned with only minor problems and trade offs of the triple constraints, between time, budget and performance. Although, potentially there were areas where bottlenecks could have occurred if things did not run on schedule and as planned. The monitoring of the milestones and critical path in the network helped to keep the project on track. Team A will continue use performance measures, networks and Gantt charts since these contributed to the project success.
Overall, the things that Team A would do differently next time is to clearly define roles and responsibilities, and to make sure that they use the same list of construction phases and supplies and add to this for the next project if need be. In addition, in the future the WBS and SOW need to be completely correct before the budget and schedule are completed, which could help prevent having to make some tradeoffs between the triple constraints. Contingency plans or change control processes always need to be set in writing to ensure that a definite path would be taken when tradeoffs between the triple constraints are visible.
Overall, the project team (Team A) and PM accomplished the goal of opening Store-N-Lock, a self-storage facility in Lo Ki, California with the use of exceptional planning and team communication. The initial planning was systematically and carefully thought through and allowed for the project to run very efficiently. Communication is the main obstacle in a team project and without it a project may not come to fruition as initially intended. Ensuring that the proper resources are on hand and a designation of team members play an enormous part in the success of a project. With that being said, Team A has overcome all obstacles and have met each goal to make Store-N-Lock a success. With this success and experience, Team A is sure to tackle any project with confidence and extreme efficiency.
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