Analysing Project Management And Operations Construction Essay

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Generally, a project can consider being a series of coordinated undertaking of interrelated activities undertaken to accomplish a specific goal or end result. A project is temporary, having specific start and finish date for example INDAH GEMILANG Site commence on 24 NOV 2009 and to be completed by 23 MAY 2010 approximate 18months (546days). During these 18 months of construction, different parties of building team have respective start & finish date for the same project they undertaking this will be illustrated usually in the progress report in the form of bar chart. A project said to be unique because it has never been attempted before, or because of unique client specifications, just as example in INDAH GEMILANG Projects which is a mixed development comprising 44units Semi - D and 82 units Terrence houses where every unit even with the same type of unit's construction method and unit design are considered unique due to the site condition.

Project Objectives

Construction Industry and its professions present two types of management issues:-

Problem of managing firm

Problem of managing projects

This is because, Project consumes people's efforts. And the objectives of each member always contradict to each other.

Each firm has objective express in terms concerned with efficiency such as:-

Increase Productivity

Improve Services

Maintain existing client

Attracting new business

Employer & Contractor's view

Base on need (foreseen) and on the capital and time available to meet that need.

Profit anticipated; seize time and opportunity and cost effectiveness.

Designer's Team view

Prepare drawings & specification fulfills employer's budget and needs.

Exceeds own expectation and aim to create uniqueness, which will represent team's design skills.

Integration between the needs of both individual firms and the needs of project will arise.

Project Management's Objective, which should be also the objectives of the firm involve in the project, should be same objective with the client. And this directly related to the project which is Role of Project Manager is to give idea & overlook every team member's needs and steer the team to achieve desire goals :-

Function satisfaction

Maximized & efficient utilization of resource

Coordination, control ensure in completion time

Completion within budget

Develop effective communication

Value of Money

Hence management of construction projects requires knowledge of modern management as well as an understanding of the design and construction process. Construction projects have a specific set of objectives and constraints such as a required time frame for completion. While the relevant technology, institutional arrangements or processes will differ, the management of such projects has much in common with the management of similar types of projects in other specialty or technology domains such as aerospace, pharmaceutical and energy developments.

Generally, project management is distinguished from the general management of corporations by the mission-oriented nature of a project. A project organization will generally be terminated when the mission is accomplished. According to the Project Management Institute, the discipline of project management can be defined as follows:

Project management is the art of directing and coordinating human and material resources throughout the life of a project by using modern management techniques to achieve predetermined objectives of scope, cost, time, and quality and participation satisfaction.

By contrast, the general management of business and industrial corporations assumes a broader outlook with greater continuity of operations. Nevertheless, there are sufficient similarities as well as differences between the two so that modern management techniques developed for general management may be adapted for project management.

The basic ingredients for a project management framework may be represented schematically in Figure 1. A working knowledge of general management and familiarity with the special knowledge domain related to the project are indispensable. Supporting disciplines such as computer science and decision science may also play an important role. In fact, modern management practices and various special knowledge domains have absorbed various techniques or tools which were once identified only with the supporting disciplines. For example, computer-based information systems and decision support systems are now common-place tools for general management. Similarly, many operations research techniques such as linear programming and network analysis are now widely used in many knowledge or application domains. Hence, the representation in Figure 1 reflects only the sources from which the project management framework evolves.

Figure 1:  Basic Ingredients in Project Management

Specifically, project management in construction encompasses a set of objectives which may be accomplished by implementing a series of operations subject to resource constraints. There are potential conflicts between the stated objectives with regard to scope, cost, time and quality, and the constraints imposed on human material and financial resources. These conflicts should be resolved at the onset of a project by making the necessary tradeoffs or creating new alternatives. Subsequently, the functions of project management for construction generally include the following:

Specification of project objectives and plans including delineation of scope, budgeting, scheduling, setting performance requirements, and selecting project participants.

Maximization of efficient resource utilization through procurement of labour, materials and equipment according to the prescribed schedule and plan.

Implementation of various operations through proper coordination and control of planning, design, estimating, contracting and construction in the entire process.

Development of effective communications and mechanisms for resolving conflicts among the various participants.

In the Contract side of this GEMILANG INDAH Site the site Manager of this project also face the similar challenges and task with the project manager from the Employer (SEBATO DEVELOPEMENT Sdn Bhd).Which he also required ensure that all the builder's work completed within 18months starting from 24 Nov 2009, therefore he required to coordinate the respective sub-contractor from various tread to ensure the project completion are meet with efficient resource and within fixed time frame.

Project Constraints

Definition:

Constraints refer to limitations, restrictions, or barriers faced by project team members as they begin work on and development of a project. These restrictions and barriers may be significant and may affect ultimately the entire course of direction that a project takes, or they may be little more than minor inconveniences. Constraints can also affect many different elements of a project. Constraints that effect the ability to properly manage and/or delegate time can be referred to as a schedule constraint. Schedule constraints can potentially be managed by utilizing team members who have more open schedules, or potentially rearranging meetings and due dates to more convenient times. Cost constraints are also a common barrier to success faced by project teams. Often times, a budget is what it is and cannot be expanded beyond a predetermined amount. Most difficult, often times, is when a cost constraint and time constraint are in direct opposition to one another. For example, a particular element must be completed on a specific day in order to meet a deadline of some kind, however in order to meet that deadline rush charges must be expended, which do not fit into the budget due to cost constraints.

The Triple Constraints of Projects: Quality, Cost and Schedule

The challenge of every project is to make it work and be successful within the Triple Constraint; the Triple Constraint being quality (scope), cost (resources) and schedule (time). These three elements of a project are known to work in tandem with one another. Where one of these elements is restricted or extended, the other two elements will then also need to be either extended/increased in some way or restricted/reduced in some way. There is a balancing of the three elements that only when fully understood by the Project Manager, allows for the successful planning, resourcing and execution of a project. At the end of the day, these are the key elements of a successful project and these are the things that will determine whether or not you have successfully managed a project.

Scope/Quality

The scope of a project (often called the Scope of Work) is a clear, specific statement as to what has been agreed to be preformed/achieved in a particular project. In other words, the scope expressly lays out the functions, features, data, content, etc. that will be included in the project at hand. You could also say that the scope clearly expresses the desired final result of a project. In GEMILANG INDAH, the Architects and Client are strict and have very high expectation on the quality and finishes of its product, and this creates problems for Contractor if the quality and progress by the sub-contractor of are not closely monitored.

Resources/Cost

This second element of the Triple Constraint is known as either Resources or Cost. Resources always cost money so the two are interchangeable in many ways. When we talk about the cost of a project, we are talking about what needs to be applied or assigned to the project in terms of money and effort in order to make things happen. This can be resources like manpower/labour, it can be materials needed for the job, resources for risk management and assessment or any third party resources that might need to be secured. For this site (GEMILANG INDAH), they might face problems in coordinating labours and work men due to the size of the site and limited experienced site agents to coordinate especially on the finishes work of the units.

Time/Schedule

Time, in project management, is analyzed down to its smallest detail. The amount of time required to complete each and every component of a project is analyzed. Once analysis has taken place, those components are broken down even further into the time required to do each task. Obviously from all of this we are able to estimate the duration of the project as well as what and how many/much resources need to be dedicated to that particular project. For our site, there are more than 120units to be completed in just 18months time of construction period, therefore many of the treat could easily pose as critical path when any delays on the structural and plastering works etc.

Prioritizing the Triple Constraint

One of the first tasks a project manager of a brand new project is faced with is the prioritization of the Triple Constraint. This can only be done by communicating with the client. Whether the client understands project management or has ever heard of the Triple Constraint, in their mind, they already know what is most important to them. As project manager, is to find this out. This is usually done by asking them a series of very, well-worded questions. Master the skill of balancing the Triple Constraint and it will naturally begin to keep track of all aspects of project management and he will begin to understand what to look out for and at what stages of a project you should

Client Concerns and Priorities

Generally, when a client approaches the project manage about a project, they are very clear about what is important to them. In some instances the priority is the bottom line. 'I do not want to pay over x amount of Ringgit, make it happen'! Other times, a client has a launch date that they feel they can not miss under any circumstances. In these circumstances it is very clear that the primary way that they will judge whether a project is a success or failure will be based on whether or not the project manager are able to meet the deadline.

Educating the Client

If client does not have a good understanding of project management and its related issues, which is often the case, project manager will have the task of educating them, at least on a basic level. Clients often need to be made to realize that, if a project is to be completed at a certain level of quality, then a certain amount of time and money need also to be invested in the project. A project that has time restrictions will need to increase the resources assigned to it or have the quality or scope reduced. The well known Triple Constraint formula is Cost * Schedule = Quality.

The Right Balance

By understanding the Triple Constraint and the ramifications associated with adjusting any one of its components, project manager will be able to plan the projects better, analyze project risks and protect his company from the problems of unrealistic client expectations. Project manager will also be properly equipped to balance out the triple constraint when any adjustment has been made to one or more of its elements. By mastering the Triple Constraint, in many ways he masters the project himself.

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