Project Management In India A Long Walk Ahead Construction Essay

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Project management is the discipline of planning, organizing, executing the activities of a project, whether the project is development of a new product, execution of infrastructure project, the launch of a new service, a marketing campaign, or even a wedding. A project is typically created once, it's temporary, to achieve specific goals. One can confidently state that "A project has a beginning and an end." A project consumes resources and it has funding limits.

The project manager is responsible for determining the nature and scope of the project. This includes a list of project deliverables, the outcome of a specific set of activities. The PM works with the higher management who wants to have the project implemented and other stakeholders - those who have a vested interest in the outcome of the project.

Planning the Project

Planning means defining all project activities. This stage consists of -

Listing all activities or tasks - how the tasks are related, how long each task will take, and how each tasks is tied to a specific deadline.

Defining relationships between tasks, so that, for example, if one task is x number of days late, the project tasks related to it will also reflect a comparable delay.

Setting the milestones, dates by which important aspects of the project need to be met.

Defining the requirements for completing the project. Identifying how many people and how much expenses is involved in the project.

Managing assumptions and risks related to the project.

Identifying project constraints. Constraints typically relate to schedule, resources, budget, and scope.

Executing the Project

Executing the project with the allotted resources, budget within the prescribed timeframe. It involves coordinating with all the people involved in the project, various departments, internal as well as external customers, performing the activities of the project as per the project management plan.

Controlling / Monitoring the Project

It is one of the key activities performed to observe and update the project plans to reflect actual time elapsed for each task. By keeping up with the details of progress, the project manager is able to understand how well the project is progressing overall. Products such as Microsoft Project & Primavera facilitates the administrative aspects of project management.

Closure of the Project

In this stage, the stakeholders and the project managers come together to analyze the final outcome of the project. It includes the final acceptance of the project and its closure.

Indian story in Project Management: Analysing every aspect of the Project Management practises in the Material Handling Industry in India and thereby analysing the reasons for failure of Projects.

Projects, executed both in the public or private sector are vital means of development and economic upliftment. They are the ideal source to generate economy, empower people, ensuring flow of goods in India. In our country, large amount of rupees are being spent across various projects to increase infrastructure in the form of roads, rail network, air network, JNURM aided urban development projects etc. Lakhs of rupees in crores are being spent today just in the public sector, with a comparatively less amount in the private sector. The project management in the private sector is somewhat organised, but it is the public sector which has suffered a lot. However, in the material handling sector, the major problem being time delays and cost overruns. Also in most of the cases, government policy changes, local politics have had an adverse impact on the viability of the projects themselves.

I have tried to do an analysis of the main factors causing time delays and cost overruns.

Analysis of major problem in project management in the material handling sector -

In the material handling industry, the major problem being time delays and cost overruns. As a result, the profitability is badly affected. Based on my experience in the material handling sector, I am briefly outlining the nature of time and cost overruns.

Late deliveries of the equipment to site

Equipment failures due to poor manufacturing quality

Equipment failures due to design related problems

Need of on-site modification due to technical changes arising out of poor order management during finalization or changes to be made in the equipment due to change in site conditions

Poor order management includes - improper estimation, change in scope, change in specifications due to customer requirement, etc.

Delays in site readiness at client side

Delays in design approvals from customer and several design changes

Site issues - environmental problems such as rains, storage issues, local mafia influence, theft, influence of local socio-political elements hampering the progress of project at site

Causes of time and cost overruns in the Material Handling Sector

Projects fail mainly because of unable to plan and estimate correctly, or fail to implement the tasks according to plan or failure causes by human factor. Listed below are the three prime causes of failure

Project formulation stage

This factor refers to initial cost and schedule estimates are not revised when more information becomes available as a project progresses. Also plans are not used correctly or used to guide the project forward, thus causing the project to fail.

Improper estimation of costs relating to infrastructural facilities at site such as storage yard for equipment, site office for site personnel, lack of transportation facilities for site personnel especially when the site is remotely located, improper estimation of unloading and erection of equipment of site.

Project implementation stage

This is caused by project scope changes, incorrect use of project methodology, major changes in the requirements and testing, and/or inspections are poorly done.

Subcontracting work - Major problem being the selection of sub-contractor who is responsible for executing the mechanical and electrical activities at site. Most of the times it is observed that companies award contracts to substandard contractor due to budget constraints. The budget factor comes into picture because of the improper estimation during the project formulation stage.

Electricity problem - In most of the cases, electricity is one of the prime reason for delays and cost overruns. Power is extremely critical because considerable fabrication work is involved at site. Delays occur due to frequent power cuts, voltage dips & fluctuations in the region. In the case where the power is in the scope of the supplier, the same is being outsourced to the subcontractor. The subcontractor then in turn has budget related and fuel supply issues while maintaining the diesel generating sets.

Transportation - Limitations in the transportation facilities for moving the equipment & material within the site adds to the delays and thereby the cost overruns.

Improper lodging, housing facilities for site personnel - Especially at sites which are remotely located, housing is a major problem. As a result, most of the subcontractors labour reach late at site and leave early from the site. This has been majorly observed in North Eastern regions of India. Other basic facilities like lack of proper canteen facilities, drinking water, toilets add to the inconvenience thereby affect the morale of the site personnel.

Payment - Delays in providing labour payment at site lead to labour unrest, strikes, lockouts, etc. Delays in providing payment for project personnel for their site expenses, local material purchases also affect their morale and performance big time.

Capabilities

Engineering capabilities, expertises in manufacturing well engineered products have a greater impact on the entire project. Any in-house or on-site modification arising out of improper design severely affects the project and reputation of the organisation.

Due to lacunae in the firm's manufacturing capabilities, low skilled labour, inexperienced project personnel add to the delays.

Project managers are not trained to acquire the necessary management skills. Also, some managers are not able to apply and put the theory of project management into practice. Poor communications are also one of the human factors that cause a project to fail.

Project & Service system support

In most of the material handling companies, project management cells do not exist. And if they do, decisions are normally taken in the conventional bureaucratic ways. This is a major cause of project failures.

Indian companies still do not realise the importance of a strong professional project management division in any organisation in order to achieve the targeted results, nor do they provide the necessary support for development of a professional project management division in their organisation.

Environmental constraints

In India, most of the delays caused because of any environmental factors would be the rains. As execution of the projects come directly at sites, rains do play a major role in delaying the work and even causing a damage to the equipments. It is seen that due to improper project management, damages which could be avoided are not controlled - thereby leading to delays and loss in profitability.

Also, certain projects are put on hold after all the equipment is supplied. Even when the delays are from Client, the Client holds behind the supply payment owing to lack of allocation of funds.

Socio-political aspects

Interference from local mafia and certain elements from the local political parties add to the delays and cost overruns.

Case studies in Project Management of Indian companies

The two case studies explained below are the result of Project Management / Site Management I had done in two of the largest projects during my tenure in ElectroMech. The case studies below have been exclusively written for the Final Project of this particular XLRI PGCBM Course.

Case Study # 1

Organization: ElectroMech Material Handling Systems India Pvt Ltd

Location: Pune, Maharashtra, India.

Designation: Project Engineer

Scope of functions: Project initiation, planning, execution, change control and closing, Supervising of project progress, Procurement planning and scheduling of resources, Engineering co-ordination, Staff acquisition and team development, Vendor and Contractor development

Duration: 02/06/2008 to 07/07/2009

Client: Hansen Drives Ltd, Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu, India

Background

ElectroMech Material Handling Systems, is synonymous with cranes such as EOT's (Electrical overhead travelling), Goliath, Semi Goliath & Jib variants for a wide range. ElectroMech Material Handling Systems are one of the market leaders in India in Crane Industry. ElectroMech has considerable presence in Middle East, South East Asia and developing countries in the African continent. Electromech has joint ventures with international crane manufactures like ABUS Germany, STHAHL Cranes, Germany. ElectroMech can boast of products like Single and Double Girder Overhead cranes (SGEOT, DGEOT), Goliath and Semi Goliath cranes, Stacker cranes, ABUS Wall mounted cranes to name a few.

ElectroMech' s Double Girder Cranes (DGEOT's) installed at Hansen Drives Ltd, Coimbatore.

ABUS HB System's installed at Hansen Drives Ltd, Coimbatore

ElectroMech' s Double Girder Semi Gantry Cranes installed at Hansen Drives Ltd, Coimbatore.

Hansen Drives Ltd, located at Coimbatore in the southern state of Tamil Nadu, India. The plant is spread over a sprawling 60 acres land. Hansen Transmissions, Belgium is the mother company and are one of the market leaders in Windmill Gear Box manufacturing. The plant in Coimbatore is one of a kind in India which is completely air conditioned, basic requirement for windmill gear box manufacturing. Hansen can boast of its world class, completely automatic warehouse, which is even operated from Belgium. The value of the project at Hansen Drives Coimbatore was approximately Rs. 30 crores (INR), comprising of 137 cranes of different variants and various capacities from the efficient stable of ElectroMech Material Handling Systems, Pune and ABUS, Germany.

The team involved in this project was the Project Manager (Mentor), Team Leader, Technical Supervisor, Project Technologists, Technicians and me as Project Engineer.

As a Project Engineer my roles and responsibilities are mentioned below but not limited,

Project planning, execution, change control,

Scope definition, Activity definition, sequencing, duration estimation

Staff acquisition, team development, performance reporting

Tendering work co-ordination - Estimation and Rate Analysing

I was responsible of the activities and actions of the following personnel at Coimbatore,

2 Technical Supervisors

4 Project Technologists

3 Technicians

15 team members from our Contracting Agency.

Organizational Structure with my position in bold black alphabets:

Nature of Work Area

I had to undertake additional work this in addition to my job responsibilities. These included the following tasks

Wrapping up of incomplete projects with cross functional skills and on time execution and completion of current project.

Articulate project planning, implementation of quality as committed to clients and strict adherence to planned time schedules and safety regulations.

Active participation in contactor development and tendering documentation and procedures.

Key Responsibilities

These steps were very useful in indicating our daily status and forecasting our project progress and success,

Assigning individual tasks and specific responsibilities to team members.

Preparing project reports, site inspection reports, weekly meetings conducted with client, contractor and team members were also recorded by me.

Preparing timesheets, getting conversant with project management tools like primavera were other responsibilities to be undertaken by me.

On site co-ordination with Client and project team including contracting agency, ensuring completion of project as per schedule.

Monitoring of quality and project progress on daily basis.

Knowledge and Skills

Gaining trust, confidence and co-operation from the client was a decisive factor to ensure on time completion of Project. After understanding the client needs and remaining proactive throughout the project completion period, the client was now beginning to entrust me with responsibilities.

Serving the client involved a whole lot of techno - commercial parameters to be adhered to. These included

Providing of general agreement drawings, combined site visits

Combined inspection of site readiness with client and contracting agency

Combined material inspection with client

Conducting weekly meetings to discuss project progress and future planning

Planning of Technical assistance and other resources that were to be provided as defined in client scope

Preparing and providing documentation related to project progress on daily, weekly, monthly basis

Follow up and co-ordination with design for site modification approval

Adhering to quality and safety policies as laid down by clients

Task Accomplishments

The challenging tasks that I faced and dealt with during the project at Hansen Drives Ltd were

There was man power crunch on site. The team size had to be increased in order to complete the erection and commissioning of Cranes as per the project schedule. This was the major reason for previous delays in completion and closing of projects. Recruiting of the technical staff was a hassle as they needed to be experienced in Erection and Commissioning of cranes. Interviewing and appointing the right candidate was an additional task, which I did quite successfully. I trained them on the work procedures, IS complying standards, conducted safety training programmes,

Documentation of daily completed tasks, daily planning and many other activities that was mandatory was not available. This caused hindrances to a large extent. Focus and emphasis were laid down on documentation of every activity being carried out at any given time and location. This helped the team in co-ordination and increased productivity. This was a major success in developing a very disciplined and dependable team.

Completion of pending points in cranes previously erected. As the crane was being utilized by client for their production purposes. This involved work to be carried out during break timings, late at night and holidays. To convince the team and the contractors to complete this was a task. We managed to pull the right strings as a team and the pending points were completed much to the contradiction of a few passive colleagues.

My sense of confidence in my team and myself proved worthy to the client and my employers as well. The efforts and hard work pooled in by my team, along with my articulate planning, scheduling and execution proved to be the root of successful on time completion of my Project.

Technical difficulties and problems faced

During the initiation stages of a new project factors that prove to be very crucial are

Client expectations, climatic conditions, geographical location of site, availability of resources and resource markets. These are some parameters that could either ensure completion of project as per planned schedule or ensure non completion of project.

After numerous visits to client, the expectations were getting clearer and more obvious. The major factors clients were looking at were On Time completion of project, adherence to quality policies during execution of the project, safety policies were to be adhered to at any given time, documentation of daily activities.

Overshooting of allotted budget was a major issue. Keeping a tab on this was the need of the hour, to track this issue I prepared a chart of parameters like erection costs, material purchases, locally fabricated material costs and other auxiliary expenses that were being incurred on site. This helped in prioritising requirements.

This method helped to identify critical requirements and so called 'luxuries' that were to be postponed to a later date.

Contractor Review

M/S Mass Erectors

Mr. Lateef / Mr. Shafeeq

Sr. No

Reviewed Points

Out of 10

Scope of Improvement

1

Quality Of Work

6

Can be improved

2

Attention to Minute Detail

5

Can be improved

3

Experience of Work

9

20 years+

4

Completion of Work as Promised

9

Almost 80 to 90 %

5

Punctuality with Work

6

Very Punctual

6

Availability of Tools & Tackles

9

Almost all are available

7

Proactive Work Nature

7

Very proactive and fore sighted

8

Involvement for Completion

8

Quite involved

9

Overall Team Spirit

8

Very Healthy and Competitive

10

Positive Outlook

9

Positive and very practical

11

Supportive Attitude

9

Very Supportive

Case Study # 1 Analysis

The below four factors that contributed to Hansen Drives project success are user involvement, executive management support, clear statement of requirements and proper planning are briefly discussed below.

User involvement The absence of user involvement is the major cause of project failure. Even when delivered on time and on budget, a project can fail if it does not meet users' needs. In Hansen's case, the customer's appreciation and repeat orders for ElectroMech determined the project had met the customer's requirement.

Executive management support This influences the process and progress of a project and lack of executive input can put a project at a severe disadvantage. During execution of this project, continual support from ElectroMech's senior management and stakeholders ensured the success of the project.

Clear statement of requirements This refers to the base level requirements. By creating a minimal, obtainable base level of requirements and then developing those features, the effect of change will be reduced. As a result, an added benefit is that project managers are better prepared to articulate the needs and priorities of the next phase of the project.

Proper planning This is one of the keys to a successful project. By creating a project plan while undertaking project I ensured there are no deviations and continued to strive for its fulfillment.

Case Study # 1 Summary

Working in the Project Department taught me a lot in terms of technical knowledge, financial constraints and decisive thinking. Along with technical knowledge I got an opportunity to participate actively in with the commercials involved in a Project and Project execution. As the team size was large including contractor employees, it was very critical for me to be responsible, considerate and generate a healthy working atmosphere, working culture and handle manpower issues with sensitivity.

Case Study # 2

Organization: ElectroMech Material Handling Systems India Pvt Ltd

Location: Pune, Maharashtra, India.

Website: www.emech.in

Designation: Team Leader, Projects,

Scope of functions: Project initiation, planning, execution, change control and closing, Supervising project progress, Procurement planning and scheduling of resources, Engineering co-ordination, Staff acquisition and team development, Vendor and Contractor development

Duration: 1/01/2010 - 5/05/2011

Client: Larsen & Toubro Ltd, Hazira, Gujarat

Background:

ElectroMech Material Handling Systems, is one of the market leaders in India in Electrical Overhead Travelling Cranes commonly known as EOT cranes. ElectroMech has pan India presence as well as considerable presence in South East Asia, Middle East. Electromech has joint ventures with internationally acclaimed crane manufactures like ABUS Kranesystems, Germany and STHAL Cranes, Germany. Quality products from ElectroMech include Single and Double Overhead cranes (SGEOT, DGEOT), Goliath and Semi Goliath cranes, Stacker cranes, ABUS Wall mounted cranes to name a few.

Larsen & Toubro, India's leading engineering company in various sectors and diversified business units. One such is the Hazira Manufacturing Complex, Gujarat, required cranes for material handling at modular fabrication factory, ship building unit, Turbine Generator plant, Piping centre. The total value of the project was approximately Rs. 30 crores (INR).

The team involved in this project was the Project Manager (Mentor), Technical Supervisor, Project Technologists, Technicians and me.

As a Team Leader my responsibilities were

Project planning, execution, change control,

Scope definition, Activity definition, sequencing, duration estimation

Staff acquisition, team development, performance reporting

Contractor development

Tendering work co-ordination - Estimation and Rate Analysing

10 t Double Girder EOT being erected at Larsen and Toubro, Hazira, Gujarat, India

50/15 t Goliath Crane erected at Larsen and Tourbo, Hazira, Gujarat, India

50/15 t Goliath Crane erected at Larsen and Toubro, Hazira, Gujarat, India

Organizational Structure with my position in bold black alphabets:

Nature of Work Area:

I addition to my job responsibilities the following tasks constituted to my additional work description

Articulate project planning, implementation of quality as committed to clients and strict adherence to planned time schedules.

Wrapping up incomplete projects with cross functional skills and on time execution and completion of new projects.

Active participation in contactor development and tendering documentation and procedures.

Ability to build and maintain condusive and cohesive networks with clients, consultants and contractors.

Key Responsibilities:

Assigning individual tasks and specific responsibilities to team members.

Preparing project reports, site instructions, site inspection reports, weekly meetings conducted with client, contractor and team members were also recorded.

Preparing timesheets, getting conversant with project management tools like primavera were other responsibilities o be shouldered by me.

On site co-ordination with Client and project team including contracting agencies, ensure completion of project as per schedule.

Working in sync with the sales, design, purchase, production and quality divisions to ensure changes carried on site are acceptable and comply with IS standards.

Responsible for implementation of Uniform Reporting System in the projects division.

Responsible for implementation of new formats to ensure smoother operations.

Monitoring of quality and project progress on daily basis.

Knowledge and Skills:

In order to complete the project on time, it was necessary to gain clients confidence, trust and co-operation. After understanding the client needs and remaining proactive throughout the project completion, the client was now beginning to entrust me with responsibilities.

Serving the client involved a whole lot of techno - commercial parameters to be adhered to. They included

Providing of general agreement drawings, combined site visits

Combined inspection of site readiness with client and contracting agencies

Providing assistance for structural alignment to client

Combined material inspection with client

Conducting weekly meetings to discuss project progress and any technical assistance required

Preparing and providing documentation related to project progress

Providing technical assistance to contracting agencies for site modification

Follow up and co-ordination with design for site modification approval

Adhering to quality and safety policies as laid down by clients

Involved in preparation, co-ordination and providing of test certificates, operation and maintenance manuals as per purchase orders.

Task Accomplishments:

The list of challenging tasks that I faced and dealt with during the project at Larsen & Toubro were

Completion of pending points in cranes previously erected. As the crane was being utilized by client for their production purposes, crane was not provided for the completion work. This involved work to be carried out during break timings, late at night and holidays. To convince the team and the contractors to complete this was a task. We managed to pull the right strings as a team and the pending points were completed.

There was man power crunch on site. The team size had to be increased in order to complete the erection and commissioning of EOT Cranes as per the project schedule. This was the major reason for previous delays in completion and closing of projects. Recruiting of the technical staff was a hassle as they needed to be experienced in Erection and Commissioning of EOT cranes. Interviewing and appointing the right candidate was an additional task, which I did quite successfully. I trained them on the work procedures, IS complying standards, conducted safety training programmes, ensuring medical fitness of each candidate met the work requirements

Documentation of daily completed tasks, daily planning and many other activities were documentation that was mandatory was not available. This caused hindrances to a large extent. Focus and emphasis were laid down on documentation of every activity being carried out at any given time and location. This helped the team in co-ordination and increased productivity. This was a major success in my team development initiative.

My sense of confidence in my team and myself proved worthy to the client and my employers as well. The efforts and hard work pooled in by my team, along with my articulate planning, scheduling and execution provided greater dividends.

Technical difficulties and problems faced:

During the initiation stages of a new project factors that prove to be very crucial are

Client expectations, climatic conditions, geographical location of site, availability of resources and resource markets. These are some parameters that could either ensure completion of project as per planned schedule or ensure non completion of project.

After numerous visits to client, the expectations were obvious. Timely completion of project, adherence to quality policies during execution of entire project, adherence to safety policies at any given time, documentation of daily activities, documentive proof of tasks completed, complying with completion dates as committed for pending activities.

I prepared the formats as required by the clients. Ensured that formats were updated on daily basis, reviewed the progress and kept the clients in loop with the progress. The clients were satisfied with the project progress and the documentation.

Overshooting of allotted budget was another issue. In order to keep a tab on this I prepared a chart of parameters like erection costs, material purchases, locally fabricated costs and other auxiliary expenses that were being incurred on site. This helped in prioritising requirements, needs, haves and good to haves.

This model of functioning enabled us to cut down on unwanted expenses.

Team Members an integral part:

Success is a relative term. In projects the success or failure depends on the Project team with valuable inputs from the entire organization. Assuming the numerous issues present in all departments, bottlenecks is a factor that has to be considered during project planning. I have come to learn that issues exist and will continue to do so. But what counts is the team that has the baton in the hand, could write a success story of an unsuccessful one. As a team, every individual pooled in their best efforts, and that is why team members are an integral part of. My team did enormously well to complete tasks assigned to them with quality as expected by clients. Not come across too many clients who appreciate the quality of work. Especially when it comes from a world class organization like Larsen & Toubro it makes the team ecstatic. The key is co-ordination, follow-up, planning and execution, qualities I possess and put to good use

Case Study # 2: Analysis

Issues contributing to L&T project management success

Issues

Description

Activities

Project focus

Time, budget and quality.

Focused on achieving these broad goals.

Planning

Engage in planning - detailed and systematic.

Planning and re-planning.

Sense of urgency

Limited time, money, and other resources.

Regular status checks, meetings, and reminders are essential.

Use a time-tested, proven project life cycle

Use standard models to build into project plans.

Identify the best project life cycle.

Visualised and communicated in vivid detail

Avoid vague descriptions.

Focused in the same direction.

Evolve gradually to succeed

Involvement of users in cost and time estimation and risk management.

Maintain a controlled evolution.

Fight for time to do things right

Do it right the first time.

Demonstration and why it is necessary?

Matched by equivalent authority

Project outcomes.

Acquire and coordinate resources, request.

Acquire the best people

Get the most skilled, experienced and best qualified.

Identify the right team members.

Actively set priorities

Strategies, establishes criteria.

Choose the right team members to prevent multi-project log jams.

Case Study # 2: Summary

Even though I have previous experience in erection and commissioning, Projects did give a whole new dimension to look forward to. Along with technical knowledge I got an opportunity to play an active in with the commercial aspects. This gave me vast and invaluable information of the tendering process and I look ahead in anticipation for bigger projects in terms of value and volume. As a Team Leader I learnt role specific duties and the criticalities of co-ordination, scope and role definition, execution and precise communication. Keeping a tab on allocated budgets helped me to optimize available resources and funds. As the team size was large including contractor employees, it was mandatory for me to be responsible, considerate and generate a healthy work atmosphere conducive for work.

Recommendations for improving Project Management in India.

As seen from the above set of literature and case studies, our research points to substantial benefits from successful project management. Better project management requires strengthening project man­agement capabilities at all stages of the project life cycle. The pre-investment stage involving project identification, formulation, appraisal, and sanc­tion is clearly the stage that provides the greatest scope for improvement.

Pre-Investment Investigative Work

More scientific pre-investment investigative studies need to be undertaken for large/complex projects. To achieve this, long-term association is necessary between public sector consultancy com­panies and research institutions. Pre-investment studies should focus on opportunities available, a global state of art review of trends, likely plant size, technologies, locations, environmental im­pacts, approximate value of investments involved, and process feasibilities. Such studies should be widely disseminated and discussed to generate creative project identification.

Project Preparation, Appraisal, and Investment

Capital cost estimation needs to be realistic. Spe­cial data bank/libraries need to be set up giving time and cost estimates for various activities in completed projects in major sectors. Cost esti­mates should take the likely impact of anticipated inflation and escalation clauses, likely revisions in administered prices and wage rates, and exchange rate fluctuations. The estimates should reflect to­tal system costs including those in linked projects and development expenses for land acquisition, approach roads, water supply, and geological and geophysical investigations at site. For closely-held technologies, expenditure on purchase of informa­tion from abroad will have to be included. Risk analysis should be undertaken regularly to im­prove the forecast of estimated cost at completion (EAC).

A definite time schedule should be set up for the pre-investment stage of the project as, our analysis has shown, this stage is subject to inordi­nate delays. Agencies involved in issuing permits/ clearance for foreign exchange, import licence, and custom clearance should be involved in ap­praisal to minimize the risk of delays in obtaining clearances. Scarce construction materials such as steel, cement, and petroleum, oil, and lubricants need to be planned along with the DPR to enableadvance procurement action.

Organization Design for Effective Project Implementation

The choice of organizational structure should be in accordance with the nature of the project, its size, complexity, and type of process technologies involved (Kerzner, 1984). Centralized policy formulation with decentralized implementation appears best suited for large project. The organizational structure should provide for scheduling and monitoring, contract manage­ment, materials and equipment procurement, on­ site coordination and control, and information processing.

Adequate powers should be delegated to en­able on-the-site decisions and thereby minimize avoidable delays. They should include powers to sanction extra items, deviations in contracts, etc. The incentive/reward system for project personnel, particularly in remote, inaccessible, and backward areas, needs to be improved.

Consultants and their Appointment

A directory of Indian and foreign consultancy or­ganizations needs to be developed with informa­tion on their field of specialization, projects hand­led, and past record.

Criteria have to be evolved for performance evaluation of design/consulting firms. They should include overall reliability and accuracy of cost estimates.

Implementation

Contract Management. A two-part bid system (one for technical and commercial terms and the other for price) should be preferred. Realistic escalation clauses need to be incorporated in the contracts. The contracts should contain effective bonus/pen­alty clause for rewarding completion of work ahead of schedule and stringent penalty for schedule slippage's. It will be advisable to consult vendors/contractors in framing specifications/inspection standards particularly where custom design and manufacture is involved.

Project Scheduling and Monitoring. Computer-based network analysis methods need to be used for project scheduling and monitoring. PERT/CPM techniques and their extensions should be adopted as a regular feature for time, cost, and resource allocation analysis. More use should be made of S-curves, LOB, and other techniques for monitor­ing and reviews

Multi-level network systems should be adopted for integrated project scheduling and monitoring at various levels such as master project, func­tional, and work package levels. Such networks should be prepared for each major contracting firm. In drawing construction schedules, it would be preferable to involve contractors/vendors and detailed engineering consultants so as to ensure commitment. Project personnel should be deputed to major vendor's workshops to keep track of prog­ress and follow up. It would be advisable to intro­duce a dual scheduling system for projects (on the lines of RATS and CATS). A project management information system should be introduced to en­able effective project monitoring and control at various levels.

Construction. There is an urgent need to modern­ize and update construction technologies in India. Agencies with the capability are very few. New capacities for construction equipment should be created or imports allowed where necessary.

Research and Documentation. There is a need to research into appropriate project management models for large projects and on specific issues like effect of project uncertainties. Proper documentation of experience and data generated in project planning, execution, and commission­ing phases, indicating the problems encountered, remedial actions taken, and lessons learnt, would be valuable.

Human Resource Development. Perhaps the most neglected area to date is the development of hu­man resources for project management. There is no institution in the country offering a specializa­tion programme in this field. Programmes are scarce even in construction management.

Efforts in post-experience training in project management are also limited. Specific courses in project management are not found in graduate or undergraduate curricula of universities and other institutions. Appropriate training and develop­ment measures are, therefore, a crying need of the hour to eventually man the projects with well-trained personnel.

Conclusion

This report discussed about project management success and failure especially in the material handling sector, the project classification and the factors that contributed to project success and resulted in project failure. The top three factors that cause project success are: user involvement, good planning and estimations, good leadership and team members' technical skills. Applying good project management practices would help to avoid failure factors in the material handling industry, and leading to project success. The two case study outcomes and the feedback of various project management professionals, stakeholders, senior management reflect a match on some of the factors that caused project success.

However, the above report also determines there is hardly any formal project management systems in place in the Material Handling Industry which can incorporate the project management functions to attain the goals. Even though there are certain organizations which have a PMO in place, most of the companies are still PERSON DEPENDENT. Also, poor planning and scheduling are the main reasons of project failure. Other important issues that must not be neglected are the quality of the team leaders and team spirits among the team members.

No matter what, the above still makes us think if there is a long walk ahead for Project Management in the Material Handling Industry in India? I strongly feel there is.

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