Critiques Of A Manufacturing Line Transfer Project Construction Essay

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"To provide a critical analysis of the use of specific Project Management Techniques used during a manufacturing line transfer and to examine their effectiveness in achieve this projects goals"

The report identifies the Project Management tools and techniques that were used during the Manufacturing Line Transfer Project by Creganna-Tactx Medical. Each technique is examined and a discussion regarding their effectiveness achieving the project goals.

The successful techniques are incorporated into a recommended operating procedure for future projects being undertaken within Creganna-Medical.

Executive Summary

This report critiques the Manufacturing Line Transfer Project completed by Creganna-Tactx Medical and Boston Scientific. The report discusses the following statement:

"To provide a critical analysis of the use of specific Project Management Techniques studied during the course of studying the Diploma in Project Management and to examine their effectiveness in achieve this projects goals"

Following the company and project introduction, the report will be structured as follows:

Description of the Project Management Technique to be analysed and a description of how it will be analysed.

Summary of how each technique was used in the project

An analysis of its effectiveness in achieving the project goals.

The project management techniques selected are:

Communication and communication management

Planning & scheduling

Team and Leadership

Project Control

The project is described and validated as a project within this critique. An analysis of the technique being examined is completed and a discussion regarding their contribution and effectiveness in the achievement of the project goals and constraints of coat, time and quality.

The report concludes by recommending the successful techniques be incorporated into future projects within Creganna-Tactx Medical.


Statement of Objectives

The objective statement of this project report is as follows:

"To provide a critical analysis of the use of specific Project Management Techniques studied during the course of studying the Diploma in Project Management and to examine their effectiveness in achieve this projects goals"

Project Management can be described as the management of a project with the aim of balancing and achieving the three objectives of cost, time and quality. In order to analyse the each of the project management techniques used in the project it is the objective of this report to evaluate effectiveness in achieving the three objective of cost, time and quality during this project, as well as their influence on achieving the overall goals of the project.

The techniques and tools used during the transfer project from the following project management areas will be examined:

Communication and communication management

Planning & scheduling

Team and Leadership

Project Control

Figure : Time, Cost & Quality Constraints

Company Introduction

Creganna-Tactx Medical is a leading supplier of products, technologies and services to medical device and lifescience companies. Creganna-Tactx Medical is a supplier to the world's leading and emerging medical device and lifescience companies. Creganna-Tactx Medical provides a complete range of solutions to assist medical device and life science companies get products from concept to production. We specialize in design and manufacturing of delivery devices for minimally and less invasive therapies.

Creganna-Tactx Medical creates innovative medical technologies for advanced catheter and specialty needle applications. A contract design and development service is provided for outsourced product development. Components and sub-assemblies from prototype quantities to full scale manufacturing are provided including metal hypotube shafts, medical balloons, extruded tubing, braided tubing and micro moulded components.

Creganna-Tactx Medical has a matrix structure. There are dedicated project managers for the projects being undertaken. Project teams comprise of members of different functional teams, e.g. Manufacturing Engineering, Quality Engineering, Validations Engineering, Facilities, Operations, and Quality systems. The core teams are removed from day to day operations and are dedicated to the project goals and objectives. However, the functional reporting structure does changed, e.g. Quality Engineering still report to the Quality manager. Their goals remain aligned to their functional departments.

Introduction of Chosen Project

Project Introduction

The project being discussed is a transfer project of a number of product lines from our customers' manufacturing plant, Boston Scientific Cork, to our manufacturing plant, Creganna-Tactx Medical Galway.

The transfer involves 6 product manufacturing lines, which spans over 40 products, 26 shippable product and 14 sub assemblies that are consumed into the product to produce the shippable product. A listing of the products can be found in Appendix A.

The transferred products will be purchased by Boston Scientific Cork and Galway from Creganna-Tactx Medical and feed into their respective top assembly manufacturing lines. These manufacturing lines have been in place in Boston Scientific Cork for 9 years.

A designated project manager was assigned to the project together with a cross functional team to support all the activities. The team consists of Manufacturing Engineering, Polymer Engineering, Validation Engineering, Quality Engineering, Production Planning, and Supply Chain. These resources provide the diverse skills, talents and knowledge required to complete the project. This project team was disbanded and returned to normal operations support when the project was completed.

This Creganna-Tactx Medical Project team structure is shown in Figure 1 below.

Figure : Creganna-Tactx Medical Project Team Structure

Each manufacturing line consists of a moulding machine, a resin dryer, a mould temperature controller, production fixturing, and inspection & test equipment.

The manufacturing lines were in place in Boston Scientific at the beginning of the project are as shown in Figure 1

Figure : Manufacturing Lines in place in Boston Scientific

The machines available in Creganna-Tactx Medical at the beginning of the project are shown in Figure 2

Three moulding machines and all the ancillary equipment required from the Boston site were transferred. The remaining product manufacturing lines was transferred onto existing Creganna-Tactx Medical machines and machines newly purchased by Creganna-Tactx Medical.

Figure : Machines in place in Creganna-Tactx Medical

In order to transfer these lines, Creganna-Tactx Medical prepared the manufacturing facility and operational & production systems to ensure the products could manufactured to the same specification as currently in place in the Boston Scientific site. All the transfer activity had to be validated to meet the regulatory requirements of the Medical Device industry.

The products being transferred were broken into two groups, which were transferred in sequence:

Group1 - Catheter Products

Group 1 Phase 1

Group 1 Phase 2

Group 2 - Rotalink

Group 1 - Catheter Products

Phase 1 - CRE Fixed Wire, Rectangular Hub & Tube, RX2 Manufacturing Line

Figure : Rectangular Hub & Tube

Figure : Catheters Group 1 Phase 1

Phase 2 - Diamond Hub & Tube, Bifurcation Manufacturing Line

Figure : Diamond Hub & Tube

Figure : Catheter Group 1 Phase 2

Group 2 - Rotalink Products

Group 1 Phase 1 planned transfer was as follows:

Begin Manufacture of Rectangular Hub and Tube products on newly purchased Machine Y in Creganna-Tactx Medical. Boston Scientific Machine 5 will continue production until Creganna-Tactx Medical validation is completed and volume production is underway.

Begin manufacture of CRE Fixed Wire products on transferred Boston Scientific Machine 1.

Begin manufacture of Trifurcation & RX2 products on newly purchased Machine X in Creganna-Tactx Medical. Boston Scientific Machine 9 will continue production until Creganna-Tactx Medical validation is completed and volume production is underway.

Figure : Group 1 Phase 1 Transfer

After Group 1 Phase 1, Boston Scientific Machines 9 and Machine 5 will be physically transferred to Creganna-Tactx Medical to begin Group 1 Phase 2.

Figure : Boston Scientific Group 1 Phase 1 End

Group 1 Phase 2 planned transfer was as follows

Begin Manufacture of Diamond Hub and Tube products on transferred Machine 5 in Creganna-Tactx Medical. Boston Scientific Machine 3 will continue production until Creganna-Tactx Medical validation is completed and volume production is underway.

Begin manufacture of Bifurcation products on transferred Machine 9 in Creganna-Tactx Medical. Boston Scientific Machine 2 will continue production until Creganna-Tactx Medical validation is completed and volume production is underway.

Figure : Group 1 Phase 2 Transfer Plan

Group 2 products were transferred as follows:

Lip Seal, Front Seal and Shuttle Seal began to be manufactured on Machine 5

Pump Rotor begin to be manufactured on Machine X

Figure : Group 2 Transfer Plan

During the project supply to the top assembly manufacturing lines must not be interrupted. In order to ensure supply, safety stock build and dual manufacturing must also be planned into the project.

There is a significant element of risk, as the relocation and replication of this manufacturing line must be completed in compliance with defined procedures. If the team fails to meet the criterion the manufacturing lines will be unable to produce product required which will affect the business goals of both companies.

Project Validation

There are established conditions that must be met before a series of activities can be considered a project. The purpose of this portion of this report is to define these conditions in relation to the project being critiqued and to explain how the project fulfils these conditions. To quality as a project in the Project Management context this meets the following conditions.


This project has a defined scope to transfer the manufacturing lines in place in Boston Scientific Cork to Creganna-Tactx Medical manufacturing facility in Galway.


This project is large and spans a time frame of one year. The overall aim of the project is quite simple, but in order to achieve this aim there are many complex activities to schedule and execute. This project involves two distinct companies with different systems and procedures based in different parts of the country. The complexity is increased by the fact that not all the manufacturing lines are being transferred directly. New lines must be created in Creganna-Tactx Medical to replicate the manufacturing lines in Boston Scientific. In order to ensure supply, dual manufacturing must also be in-place which increases the intricacy and complexity of the project.


This project is unique in that this type transfer has never been undertaken by either organisations previously. The project will never be repeated exactly.


The project team in Creganna-Tactx Medical are unfamiliar with the product lines, manufacturing procedures and equipment used to produce the product. Added unfamiliarity is this project team has not been involved in a transfer of this size before.


This project has a defined duration, with defined assigned resources. These resources will be released on the completion of the project back to their functional managers.


This project will go through distinct and identifiable phases of

Definition - when the project will be fully scoped and planned

Execution - when the project activities will be completed

Commissioning - when the project team will hand over to the regular operations group in the Creganna-Tactx Medical organisation.

Communication and Communication Management

In this section of the report the communication tools and techniques used during this transfer project will be explained, during the introduction, and evaluated for their effectiveness and influence in achieving the three objectives of cost, time and quality during the project, in the critique.

Communication & Communication Management Introduction

Communications is the lifeblood of organisations. It is an essential process in the world of project management. Communication is essentially the effective and complete exchange of information from one person or persons on a project team to other person or persons. Effective communication means that each and every project team member should be fully apprised of the project status at all times.

The flow of accurate and useful communication throughout an organisation and project teams is essential for:

Keeping people on good terms with each other

Keeping people informed and motivated

Encouraging a sense of co-operation and openness between staff

Helping staff to realise that everyone in the company needs to have the same goals.

Communication also takes the form of regular updates to the assigning party as to status of the project and/or specific components of it.

Project communications plays a key role in keeping all members of the project management team on the same page. Without communication among all team members, project managers and project stakeholders there can be a breakdown in processes which could have a negative impact on the final product. First of all there should be communications planning to determine what information needs to be communicated to all the stakeholders, including project team members. As with most planning in project management, the communications planning process should take place on the commencement of a project if at all possible.

The information must be made readily available to the stakeholders and generated in a timely fashion. Performance must also be accounted for by reporting the project status, measuring progress and forecasting. Communication with project stakeholders must be managed so that all requirements are met and issues are promptly resolved.

Effective communications management ensures the communications needs and expectations of the entire project are met. Communications planning and management can involve specific technologies, formats and schedules and also prescribes the responsible individuals for the specific communication.

It is critical to complete the communication planning and management process as it determines

the type of information that will be communicated,

the team members and interested parties who are to receive said information,

the exact means in which this communication will be made to them.

Effective communication covers lots of activities that are essential when transferring information. To have an impact communication needs to be direct, clear, specific and honest.

Communication & Communication Management Critique

During the transfer project communications between the project teams in both sites had to be carefully managed in order to ensure the project goals were met.

As there were two distinct companies involved in this project it was vital that communication did not add additional risk to the project. To combat this communications were managed in a very deliberate manner by the project manager. At the beginning of the project a communications matrix was issued to both sites, which detailed the contact person of the various departments. See Appendix B

There were also clear guidelines set out for the project team in Creganna-Tactx Medical detailing the escalation paths for issues that could arise. This deliberate pre-planning ensured that the project team members were aware of the communications plan and their role within this communication plan.

Many types of communication methods were used during the project

verbal communication - during conference calls and directly with project colleagues

written communication - in the form of meeting minutes, validation plans and validation reports

visual communication - using charts and visual aids to show project progress.

At key milestones of the project, which were identified during the planning phase, a Steering Team review of the project was scheduled. This forum was used to focus on high risk issues that required input from the steering team as the higher level stakeholders in the project.

Formal weekly communication in the form of a conference call between the project teams served as a project progress update for both project teams. This forum served to highlight critical issues that required immediate attention by either or both teams. Formal meeting minutes were issued as an output from these conference calls.

There was a lot of informal communication between the project teams. In order to ensure the project team members in the Creganna-Tactx Medical facility were contactable & to ensure responsiveness to the project team in Boston Scientific, Creganna-Tactx Medical equipped all team members with a portable phone. This ensured that during the beginning phases of the project when the project team members were not situated in a fixed location the team members could be contacted.

Communication & Communication Management Summary

Overall my assessment of the communications & communications management within the project overall were managed well. The teams on a personal level got on well which helped the informal communications between the two sites. The formal meetings and issuance of minutes ensured expectations of the project managers and other team members were clear. Actions assigned were given commitment dates and owners. As these actions and minutes were discussed weekly this ensured the schedule was managed effectively.

The weekly status conference calls were well attended by both teams, this forum was used successfully to assign tasks and deadlines that were not captured during the project phase. It was also used successfully to resolve problems that were in danger of causing the project schedule to slip.

Risks identified during the project were all evaluated with the project teams involvement. Contingency plans were determined and the effect on the overall project in terms of cost, schedule or quality was assessed. High risk issues which were determined to have an effect on cost schedule or quality were raised at the formal steering team reviews. The steering teams used the information communicated to determine the course of action required.




Planning & Scheduling

In this section of the report the planning and scheduling techniques used during this transfer project will be explained, during the introduction, and evaluated for their effectiveness and influence in achieving the three objectives of cost, time and quality during the project, in the critique.

Planning & Scheduling Introduction

The planning of any project is the foundation of the project management process. Management of projects requires that planning be very detailed and be carried out by people who are capable and familiar with the project being undertaken. The planning process follows a logical approach by detailing

what is to be done,

who is to do it,

how it is to be done &

in what order.

Planning is about putting all the activities to be completed into a sequence and order that makes sense and that will achieve the project goals. The planning process requires that the project plan is understood, documented, kept updated and distributed to the project stakeholders.

Scheduling is the estimation of the resources required to carry out the activities detailed in the plan and consequently determining the duration of the plan. The planning and scheduling process are so closely related that it is common to find the same person carrying out these functions.

The planning process is usually begun by the project manager as soon as the project has been assigned. It is usually used to clearly specify the fundamental elements that are expected to occur part of the project including, but not limited to, the project scope, the project management plan, and the specific content of and schedule of project activities that are expected to happen.

At the initiation of planning the project team should ensure the project objectives have been established by the project sponsors. A listing of the objectives that have been prioritised is necessary. The order of these objectives is influential in shaping the strategy to be used in achieving the project goals.

The project charter refers to the formal document that is issued by the individuals that are responsible for sponsoring the project. It serves the specific purpose of providing formal approval for the project to go ahead. It also provides the project manager with the authority to apply predetermined resources to the project activities. The project charter should be developed at the onset of the project; however, there are some instances in which the project charter may be modified at a later date with the approval of all stakeholders involved. It is essential however if changes are made that all parties be provided with a newly dated charter.

The project scope management plan also will provide information and assistance in determining exactly how the actual scope of the project will ultimately be controlled in the management process by the project manager. The actual project scope management plan can be a very formally written document.

The project schedule is a fairly broad and all encompassing document, must truly be understood in order for all members of the project staff to effectively manage the project in a capable manner from start to finish. The project schedule typically will include all elements of the project from the pre-planning stages of the project through all ongoing project processes that may take place during the active project period, to any and all project related process that may occur at the commissioning stage of the project. The project schedule keeps careful track of any and all planned dates for the performance of particular schedule activities, as well as any predetermined dates that are expected to be met and followed up on in regards to the implementation of any particular project milestones.

Over the course of a project, it is up to the project manager to establish that previously determined and derived schedules that may need to be modified and or tweaked in one way or another in order to accommodate unscheduled events.

However, when the project manager seeks to initiate changes, it is important that they adhere to the previously determined schedule management plan. The schedule management plan is the document that determines the criteria for developing and maintaining the actual project schedule, and represents a subsidiary of the project management plan as a whole. This schedule management plan may be a highly formalized document, or it could be very informal in some cases as well.

Planning & Scheduling Critique

At the beginning of the project, during the definition phase the project manager developed the project charter. This project charter defined:

Vision, objectives, scope and deliverables (i.e. what we have to achieve)

Stakeholders, roles and responsibilities (i.e. who will take part in it)

Resource, financial and quality plans (i.e. how it will be undertaken)

Project considerations including risks, issues, assumptions and constraints

Following development the Project Charter was circulated for approval to both steering teams. Following approval detailed planning began. The resources assigned to the project, from both sites, were convened to determine the list of activities, work break down, that had to be executed in order to meet the project deliverables. Following the development of this list of activities, the sequence in which they has to happen, together with the time required for each task were added to the project plan. The dependencies for the activities were then added. The responsible project team member was also added. The project schedule did not use the resourcing or resource levelling within MS Project.

The output of the detailed planning phase was a detailed project plan that had a specific end date. This detailed plan was circulated to the steering teams to ensure it met the requirements. A number of iterations of this process were undertaken to gain approval.

Once agreed the project plan was circulated to the entire project team and each team member was given responsibility for their assigned tasks.

Figure : Project Plan Top Level

Each week, at the project meeting the tasks completed were marked complete.

The involvement of the project teams ensured technical personnel who were assigned to the project activities, those who knew the process in both facilities were given the opportunity to give input to the project plan. This proved to be invaluable to the success of the project in terms of timeline, cost and quality. The technical owners were better able to judge the time involved in the activity list.

Planning & Scheduling Summary


All activities and durations were detailed which allowed the project manager to estimate the resources budget of the project accurately.


By ensuring all activities and durations were detailed the output of the project could be anticipated. The quality of the project execution as well as the quality of the product could be


All activities and durations were detailed which allowed the project manager to estimate the project duration accurately.

Team & Leadership

In this section of the report the team and leadership techniques used during this transfer project will be explained, during the introduction, and evaluated for their effectiveness and influence in achieving the three objectives of cost, time and quality during the project, in the critique

Team & Leadership Introduction

The term project team is used to describe the individual and unique members of the project team who are directly involved in any or all project management related activities. The project team is the entire grouping of individuals, from many different functions that may factor into the ultimate staffing of a project from start to finish. The project manager, a member of the project team, is the single point where all efforts of the cross functional project team are brought together. The project manager relies on the cross functional team to be accountable for each particular area of expertise. In order for the project to be successful, the team must participate throughout the entire duration of the project.

The project manager on projects with smaller scopes, the project manager may actually not be a distinct and separate individual from a project team member but rather may be an additional function of a project team member.

As part of that newly anointed project managers initial responsibility they may be charged with the task of filling out the remaining positions available within the project team as a whole. This can include selecting specific team members with the specific tasks in mind, or rather, merely selecting a balance of team members with the idea of assigning specific tasks later. On other project the team is pre selected and the project manager has little or no influence on the selection of the team.

When discussing the responsibilities of various associates involved in project management, team members play a crucial role. Team Members will be assigned duties that assist in accomplishing the overall goal of the project. These assigned tasks and duties are important to the overall success of the project and must be done in a timely manner to ensure compliance with the project plan's timeline. Team members will be expected to keep project management apprised of their progress. Depending on the needs and organizational structure of the project, team members may be instructed to report directly to the project manager after completing tasks. The many tasks that the project is comprised of are each important pieces of the whole project. Some projects may require team members to perform tasks for the project while still accomplishing their regular assigned duties.

Leadership can be defined as the process of social influence in which one person can enlist the aid and support of others in the accomplishment of a common task. Leadership in a project management context is the process whereby one person influences others through communication and action, in order to help the group achieve its goals. It is an active hands-on management skill that:

Clarifies what needs to be done by setting clear goals,

Inspiring and encouraging other to do it by influencing through communication and action , and

Gaining the commitment of all group members to give their best towards the achievement of the goals.

Above all it is the ability to get others to go along with you and to do willingly what you want them to do. Leadership is primarily an inspirational process relying on a personal and active approach to getting things done. Leaders use visions to create excitement in the workplace. Leaders get close to other people and positively influence their attitudes and opinions

There are many different leadership styles. Different work situations and individuals require different leadership styles. An effective leader is one who can best adapt their style to the requirements of the situation and individual.

Leadership is about adapting the leadership style to the situation while maintaining a balanced approach over time. To help maintain this balance the leadership responsibilities in three main areas:

Task - making sure that the job gets done and that results happen

Team - building up and maintaining team spirit and cohesion

Individual - attending to the needs of individuals and ensuring that they are understand how they fit with the team and the requirements of the tasks.

Figure : Leadership Responsibilities

These three areas of leadership responsibility are not separate and independent of each other; rather they overlap and complement each other as shown in figure above.

Team & Leadership Critique

Team & Leadership Summary




Project Control

In this section of the report the project control techniques used during this transfer project will be explained, during the introduction, and evaluated for their effectiveness and influence in achieving the three objectives of cost, time and quality during the project, in the critique.

Project Control Introduction

Control refers to the particular practice that entails producing considered and deliberate comparisons of the actual performance with what was expected performance. Project control is generally achieved in four stages:

Predetermining the performance standards - performance standards are defined and expressed in terms of technical specifications, budget costs, time schedules and resource requirements

Measuring actual performance

Comparing standards with actual performance

Taking necessary corrective action

It is a cyclical process that happens throughout the project phases and lifecycle.

Figure : Project Control Cycle

Control also refers to a methodical method of analyzing the variances that develop as a project progresses. Control can also refer to the practice of assessing the trends that may develop during an activity or task during the lifetime of the project, as well as a systematic assessment of all potential alternatives and a determination as to what corrective action should be taken in order to steer the project into the direction that is more beneficial to the realization of the end goals and results that are expected from the project.

The project management term of monitoring and controlling refers to the processes that are implemented by the project team and the project manager for the purpose of taking a careful and thorough measurement of the project execution and completing a thorough monitoring of the team's project execution to date.

The purpose of the project team's implementation of monitoring and controlling processes includes a retrospective view in hopes of potentially implementing corrective action in the event that any action of this type is deemed necessary. This can be the case when any particular phase of the project has taken a wrong turn or has possibly fallen behind schedule in regards to the execution elements.

The function of monitoring and controlling project processes is essential to maintaining an efficient and effective workflow throughout the project.

Project Control Critique

At the beginning of the manufacturing line transfer project, the baseline of the project was detailed, specifically in the project charter and the project schedule. This was agreed by both companies. Through the execution of the project the project management and project teams regularly monitored the project in reference to the original baseline. Scope and milestones were

Project Control Summary