Management Aspects Of The Project Construction Essay

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This report discusses the management aspects for managing the construction of the billion dollar Fiona Stanley Hospital in Murdoch, Western Australia. The hospital will be a vast improvement for healthcare in Perth and within the state of Western Australia, providing first rate health services, with its ultra modern facilities. The research method used to assist me in this report includes researches over the internet which includes journal articles, books, as well as personal observations.

This report highlights various positions of management that are required to assist me in this project. The hiring of my managers will greatly depend on their skills possessed. Among the common skills that will be required are interpersonal and human skills, technical skills, management skills, and conceptual skills. These skills will also have to be relevant and matched to their specific tasks and line of work. Subsequently, the managers will be assigned to different roles which have different responsibilities like interpersonal roles, informational roles, and decisional roles. The roles mentioned can be further branched out to ten different roles. The variety of roles will have different requirements for each manager. I, being the project manager will also have to carry out functions as to plan, organize, lead, and control the project. These functions will enable me and my team to achieve our goals. Control process in this project is essential for delivering the project within the budget, and time allocated as well as maintaining the environment, and welfare of workers. Without a doubt, the construction is likely to face problems. The problems caused will impede the project's progress. The report analyses a range of possible problems resolutions from internal factors such as resource availability and sources, to external factors such as the weather. Recommendations to enhance the construction process such as selection of subordinates, preparation prior to commencement of the construction, and recommendations during the construction itself are also included in this report.

1. 0 Introduction

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Construction project management in today's modern world plays an important role in delivering an effective and successful construction project. Good project management will result in a completed project on time, to the right specifications, and within the allocated budget.

The purpose of this report is to provide information on the management aspects of the Fiona Stanley Hospital project from start to finish. The Fiona Stanley Hospital, costing $1.1 billion, is due for completion in the year 2012. The state of the art tertiary hospital will be Western Australia's flagship health facility, offering first rate health services to communities in the south of Perth and across the state. The hospital is being developed as part of a mixed-use precinct on the new southern suburbs rail line at Murdoch, alongside the private St John of God Hospital, Murdoch University and Challenger TAFE. It will be the cornerstone of a new health precinct located within Murdoch Activity Centre - an area bound by Farrington Road, South Street, Kwinana Freeway, Murdoch Drive and the Murdoch University Campus. Without a doubt, a hospital project will vary in some ways to other types of construction, thus requiring different methods of managing the construction process.

This report is assisted by a host of different research materials such as internet sites, books, magazines, journal articles and primary researches. This report includes relevant information for the project management aspects of The Fiona Stanley Hospital project for instance, organization chart and personnel, management skills, management roles, management functions, and project control management. In short this report deals with execution of the project through proper planning, coordination, and control.

At the end of the report, with reference to the information provided, some recommendations are offered to ensure the project gets carried out smoothly.

3.0 Required Management Skills

Managers are the key to a successful project. To ensure The Fiona Stanley Hospital project runs smoothly, my managers are required to possess a variety of skills. These skills can be divided into three categories being interpersonal and human skills, technical skills, and conceptual skills.

3.1 Interpersonal and Human Skills

One of the main skills, perhaps the foremost skill that my managers will need to possess is good written and oral communication skills. Communication not only occurs within the project team, but also involves the client(s) and higher authorities. My managers will be required to write reports, letters and other documents on the construction. Apart from that, good oral communication skills is also a key attribute as there will be numerous meetings held before, during and after the construction. These skills also play an important role in presenting ideas, addressing problems, and give directions to workers. These skills will be necessary because good communication ensures accurate exchange of information, hence an effective and efficient project.

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Secondly, my managers will be required to have good leadership skills. My managers will be leaders on some aspects of the project. Being a good leader involves solving problems, and motivating and maintaining a cohesive team. My managers will need to set targets and establish strategies that are achievable within the team. Apart from allocating tasks, my managers will check and control the tasks done to make sure it is done correct to the procedures and specifications. Therefore, my managers have to be good coordinators and maintain a good morale within the team.

Another important attribute required is teamwork. Effective management will require good teamwork particularly by the managers themselves. My managers, who are leaders in their own aspects as well, need to guide and direct their teams towards the same clear goals. As a team player, both the managers and those under the manager will work as a team to make decisions. Therefore, it is necessary for my managers to be listeners and open to suggestions by other team members. My managers will also need to instil and build trust among the team members so that there will not be any conflicts and misunderstanding within the team that may cause the fall of a project. Additionally, they will need to work with other teams involved in this project as well.

Lastly, under this category, my managers will require good delegation skills. My managers need to delegate and give responsibility and authority to his subordinates to complete a task. To ensure success in delegation, my managers have to assign tasks to the right people based on their skills and abilities. My managers have to clearly specify their intentions and goals, as well as give support in whatever way to complete the task. Aside from that, they will also have to be open for communications and keep track on the task's progress, so that everything is done correctly.

3.2 Technical Skills

One of the technical skills that will be necessary is basic knowledge in own field, preferably in construction work. The nature of this project requires good technical knowledge in construction as this is a massive construction project costing $1.1bilion. My managers will need to at least understand the overall construction as well as its technical requirements such as an understanding of the basic structural analysis and design. This will allow them to be able to put together the pieces as a whole big picture after gaining an understanding the basic construction of the hospital. Aside from that, this will also enable my managers to plan, coordinate, and delegate tasks to their subordinates.

Next on the list of technical skills is estimating. My managers will be required to be good estimators of time and money. Good time estimation delivers the tasks on time or before the project deadlines, hence saving time, money, and resources. On the other hand, money involves the price and cost determination of contracts, and resources that my managers have to estimate correctly to ensure the project falls within the allocated budget. In other words, my managers have to foresee and look ahead to plan for an accurate estimate. Another issue my managers need to foresee is their subordinates and progression of tasks. This is to make sure my managers' subordinates are up to par for the task assigned and to make any changes if the task is progressing too slowly.

Good planning, scheduling and time management is another technical skill that my managers need to possess. My managers will be required to have plans and schedules to achieve their goals. Their plans and schedule will include identification of tasks, defining project objectives and goals, and management of resources, as well as determination of budgets and timelines to complete the task. With proper planning and scheduling, plans can be made to be achieved realistically within the given timeframe as well as reducing stress and maximizing effectiveness.

Fourthly, my managers will require some knowledge in administrative procedures. This is for them to prepare reports for higher authorities, clients and various other teams and team members. The reports to be prepared have to be written in correct formats for easy understanding by all parties, as well prepared and done at the correct time. It should be readily available when required by someone. Other administrative works that will be required are record keepings of resources and amount of work done, and understanding of various contracts relevant to them.

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In a massive construction project like this, my managers will definitely need to know the business and construction laws. They have to abide by the laws as well, because if a law is broken, a halt to the project will be likely to be ordered by higher authorities. This causes loss of time in the construction, as time is a crucial factor in this project. The laws are there for a reason, and it governs the construction activities ensuring it benefits and protects all parties.

Subsequently, cost control is also an important technical skill my managers need to possess. This is another crucial aspect of the construction as to make sure it does not blow over budget. My managers will have to get an accurate estimate on potential revenue and expenses so that it fits within the budget allocated. They will review and analyse the costs on a regular basis to ensure this, and make plans when cost is expected to bust the budget.

In today's modern world computing skills has became a necessity for managers. This is no different for my managers who need to keep up with this rapid change. Documents can be prepared and presented in a professional manner with the help of a computer. Besides that, the computer can be used for a variety of other tasks like presentations, drawing out graphs and diagrams, communicating via e-mail and online conference, and many more. Without a doubt the computer simplifies a host of tasks in a workplace, thus saving us a lot of time.

3.3 Conceptual Skills

An aspect of conceptual skills is negotiation. Negotiation in a construction project management is not about winning or losing on the other side. Rather, it should be a win-win situation benefiting all parties. My managers will be required to put their negotiation skills to use throughout the life of the project. This involves negotiation within their teams, other teams, contractors, and the client(s). Among aspects that will be negotiated are scope, cost, and schedule objectives and changes, contract terms and conditions, and resource availability and utilization.

Next, my managers have to be good in decision making and problem solving. As leaders in their own aspects, my managers will have to be decisive as his or her team members see her as a leader. Whenever a problem arises, my managers will have to identify the problem and its cause. They will then select the best alternative to resolve the problem, whether it is best to solve it themselves or address the problem to a higher authority. A problem no matter the size has to be resolved immediately, as it may disrupt the construction process. My managers should also be able to foresee opportunities and capitalize on it.

4.0 Management Roles

Managerial roles can be divided into three categories: interpersonal, informational, and decisional.

4.1 Interpersonal Roles

Interpersonal role is a supportive role for the informational and decisional role. It involves working with people and ensuring information is provided.

In events of formality, the manager as the figurehead represents the organization legally and socially to those outside of the organization. This role is important as it presents the manager as a symbol status and authority of the whole organization.

Next, the liaison role involves interaction and communication from within and outside the organization to gain valuable knowledge, information, and favours.

Lastly, the leader role is defined as relationship between the manager and his subordinates. This role includes motivating, communicating, and portraying a good influence for subordinates.

4.2 Informational Roles

Informational role involves processing, evaluating, and analyzing information before it is distributed. This is to ensure the information given out is accurate and applicable.

Monitor is an informational role is concerned with receiving and collecting information. The manager has to be regularly aware of information available both inside and outside of the organization. The manager will also have to make use of his interpersonal roles to make network contacts and obtain information from there.

Secondly, is disseminator. This role is the transmission of information from the manager to subordinates and higher authorities within the organization.

4.3 Decisional Roles

Decisional roles involve making choices after assessing the situation thoroughly. It can be subdivided into four categories.

Firstly, is entrepreneur role. In entrepreneur, the manager will indentify and initiate changes for the organization. This is to improve the organization's performance.

Secondly, is the disturbance handler role. This role involves the manager to handle threats and disturbances that may affect the organization. The manager will have to strive to take corrective action to resolve the situation.

Next, is the resource allocator role. In the resource allocator role, the manager will decide how resources such as money, labour, and capital will be utilized.

Lastly, will be the negotiator role. This role requires the manager to represent the organization to negotiate with various people.

5.0 Management Functions

The key management functions I will have to carry out before and during the project are planning, organizing, leading, and controlling.

5.1 Planning

Among the main management functions that I will need to carry out is planning. I, as a manager will have to plan and set my priorities, objectives and goals. Planning prior to execution is fundamental as I will have set myself a target to aim for as well as objectives to achieve my goals in this project. Planning also answers the question to what, how, when and why resources (labour, capital, natural resources) are used.

5.2 Organizing

Organizing is also a basic aspect of management function that I will need to carry out before and during the project. Organizing involves preparation and organization of resources. For example, I will have to select only necessary. Mismanagement and poor organization of resources causes a loss in time and cost.

5.3 Leading

I will need to lead my team before and during the life of this project. Being a leader, I will have to motivate my subordinates. This is to guide my team to achieving our goals. I myself have to be influential to inspire my team in achieving our goals.

5.4 Controlling

The fourth function is controlling. This involves me monitoring and evaluating worker's performance to ensure it is in line with the objectives and goals specified. Cost, being a crucial factor in this construction, is something I will have to be constantly aware of. Therefore, as part of the controlling function, I will have to readjust the usage of resources whenever necessary.

6.0 Project Control Management

Project control management has to be implemented in every construction project. This project is no different. Good project control management detects errors and takes curative actions so that the project's scope, cost, and schedule are on the right path. The core project controls to be applied includes quality control, change and variation control, program management, cost management, risk management, environmental management, and health, safety and welfare.

6.1 Quality Control

Quality control is inspecting and evaluating the work done. In this project control, I will implement quality controls that have to be followed strictly. To do so, I will set the quality controls in accordance to the client's requirements and then organize my resources. With the resources of right quality, the task will be executed according to plan. If it does not meet the specified standards, corrective measures will be taken.

6.2 Change and Variation Control

It is common that change and variations happens in construction often. The change and variations may come from the client, project team or an unexpected occurrence. In the unwanted circumstances of a change or variation, I will have to notify and consult my project team on the problem and potential solutions. Solutions will have to be within the schedule and cost indicated without compromising on the client's requirements.

6.3 Program Management

The program and schedule will be created in agreement with both the client and the project team. Realistic programs and schedules will be developed in proportion with the quantity and types of resources used. Aside from that, potential setbacks during the project is also considered and included in the schedule. These setbacks will be rectified and corrective actions will be taken during the life of the project.

6.4 Cost Control

The main objective of cost control is to ensure the project is delivered within the allocated budget. To control the cost, I will have to assess and observe regularly during the life of the project, the cost to date. This will then be compared to the initial budget and expected future costs. Corrective actions will be taken if necessary so that there will not be a budget bust in the construction.

6.5 Risk Management

One aspect of project control that I will have to apply in this project is risk management. I will have to identify and understand the potential risks involved in this project. The risks have to be foreseen early because it may cause a loss of time and cost. Anticipation of the risk's occurrence allows me more time to decide on how to face, reduce or avoid the particular risk.

6.6 Environmental Management

Environmental management is also a control I will have to apply. Impact to the environment due to the construction will have to be evaluated and controlled. Higher authorities especially planning authorities set laws to be conformed and have the right to impose fines, restraints, and stop work orders to those that do not abide. This will cause unnecessary loss in time and cost as well. Therefore, I will ensure my project team understand and comply with the environmental laws.

6.7 Health, Safety, and Welfare Control

Health, safety, and welfare are not to be ignored in this construction especially to those directly involved in the construction of the building. I will have to apply this control as to make sure that all aspects of health, safety, and welfare are in accordance to the state's construction regulations. Mishaps that occur in construction are mostly due to negligence of the regulations. Besides that, safe construction methods are to be discussed with the personnel involved prior to execution. Regular monitoring on the safety on those on the construction site will also be necessary.

7.0 Envisaged Problems and Resolutions

7.1 Availability of Materials

The availability of materials is a problem envisaged in this construction project. A project of this size and nature will require large amounts of construction materials such as cement, timber, sand, and steel just to name a few. All the types and amount of material are uncertain and may not be available within the state; hence sourcing it can be a difficulty. Availability of the materials can greatly affect the construction schedule by causing delays. Careful planning and organizing of the construction's program can overcome this issue. A well-planned schedule allows me to know when the materials are needed so that I can place an order for it earlier to reduce wait and avoid disappointment.

7.2 Specifications

Specifications specified by the architect and engineers may also be a problem. This is due to some specific tasks that require special skills and expertise due to its complexity. Other than that, some specifications may include materials and finishes that have to be customized instead of off-the-shelf materials that come straight from the factory. These specifications have to be done right the first time or else it will incur increase costs and delays in the construction. To overcome this, I will have to get clarification on the specifications how construction procedure before taking necessary action like hiring specialists.

7.3 Availability of Resources

The availability of resources is without a doubt a major concern in this construction. A modern state-of-the-art hospital like this may require new machinery to complete some tasks. Special skills may be required to perform certain tasks as well, and this demands for expertise in labour. The economic conditions will also affect the number of labourers as there may be other jobs that pay more compared to a construction labourer. This problem again can be solved with proper planning and organizing. Through this, I will be able to identify the resources needed earlier, giving me sufficient time to make arrangements to obtain the resources.

7.4 Economic Situation

The economic situation before and during the construction is a problem that has to be foreseen. When the economy faces inflation, naturally the cost will increase. Resources like material and labour will increase in price. Apart from that the currency exchange rate is also a major factor. If resources are sourced outside of the country, the currency exchange rate definitely needs to be considered. If the foreign country of import has a strong currency compared to our Australian Dollar, there will be increased costs in the project. I will have to foresee and make judgments of the economic situation and act when there is an opportunity to reduce the cost. But, my initial budget will definitely have to take consideration of the economic situation, quoting a maximum possible cost acceptable to the client.

7.5 Industrial Relations

Industrial relations is a key problem in this construction. The construction industry works hand in hand with a number of other industries particularly the transportation and manufacturing industry. In other words, the construction industry is dependent on these industries. When one of our industrial relations falls or collapses, it will cause setbacks and delays in the construction of the hospital. This problem can be solved by anticipating the economic situation particularly shortages.

7.6 Weather

Weather is an important factor in the speed of construction. The weather change is beyond our human control. Typically, during the wet period especially winter, progress will be slow. This is due to the discomfort to the workers because of the cold weather. Wet trades such as painting, plastering, and concreting also will not be able to be carried out during the wet period. Therefore, the program schedule will have to include allowances for unpredictable weather.

Figure 7.1 Weather conditions of Perth, Western Australia throughout the year

7.7 Complaints by Neighbours

Complains by neighbours of the construction site will also cause a problem. Neighbours, particularly those direct neighbours, will have to deal with some inconveniences. Among inconveniences mentioned are change of traffic patterns, and noise and dust. Notices can help reduce disturbances. For example, notices when there will be a substantial amount of noise and dust pollution, so that neighbours can prepare to avoid this. Besides that, vehicles used in construction that may cause traffic problems will operate mostly on off peak hours when there are fewer vehicles. Regular sweeping and cleaning of roads and surroundings to remove construction debris will also be carried out.

7.8 Construction Theft

Construction theft is a hot issue nowadays. Without a doubt, this construction site will be a target for thieves due to its construction nature that uses a lot of expensive materials like steel. This is because steel and most metals can fetch a high price in today's market. Apart from that, construction equipments and machineries are also hot items that get stolen all the time. Thievery can cause a substantial amount of money loss. This problem can be resolved by informing and rewarding surrounding neighbours and construction personnel to lookout for unauthorized intruders. Fencing and signage will be erected to keep out unauthorized personnel as well. Materials and equipments are to be stored safely. Materials will be locked away in storage rooms and containers. Vehicles and machineries will have their keys and batteries removed when not in operation, and are parked defensively.

8.0 Conclusion

This report has highlighted a substantial amount of management aspects form start to finish of the Fiona Stanley Hospital construction. In order for this project to be executed hassle-free and smooth, the management of this project has to have people with the right skills that are capable of handling this billion dollar construction. Therefore, without a doubt, a manager's role today especially in the construction industry is a very demanding job. With the right set of skills, my managers and I have to perform various roles in the managerial aspect and perform functions to plan, manage, coordinate and control the project. Problems that may arise have to be foreseen in an early stage to reduce its impact on the construction. The problems that arise also have to be addressed professionally and acted upon rationally.

8.1 Recommendations

Subsequently, there are a few recommendations that will ensure a well-delivered project. These recommendations are as listed below:

Careful selection of the project team will greatly help in the construction. Appointment of the project team has to reflect the experience, qualifications, and skills required. Those hired must also show enthusiasm and commitment to the job.

Early preparation to plan, control, and coordinate the project is recommended. By preparing early, potential problems can be sorted out, and the project schedule, strategies, roles, and responsibilities can be clearly defined.

Doing research prior to the construction is also recommended. The research may include site analysis and investigation, and market surveys. The information from the research can be used for planning of the projects program and may be able to identify problems early.

My managers and I have to oversee the construction progress on a regular basis. This is to keep us aware of the development and at which stage the construction is at. My subordinates are also required to report back to their superiors or me regarding their progress and problems they may encounter. Hence, team meetings should be held as often as possible.

Offering incentives such as salary bonuses to my subordinates are recommended. Incentives such as this drive and motivate my subordinates to be more productive by completing tasks ahead of schedule and producing quality output. Completing the project ahead of time will be able to save costs.