The Project Team Structure Construction Essay

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In order for the Project Managers to achieve the goals of the client, with respect to Time, Cost and Quality Specification we have decided to work with project teams we have a good relationship with. Base on my relationship with the Project team, we have developed a procedure of keeping records, monitoring the progress of work, time, cost control, insurance and risk management to cater for the various stages of the project (Akram et al., 2011). Other criteria for our selection are in relation to the followings; Relevant experience, Technical appreciation of project objectives, Level of available supporting resources, Creative/innovative ability, Enthusiasm and commitment, Positive team attitude, Communication skills (Akram et al., 2011).

2.0 Project Team Structure

The project team structure shall adopt the PADRE model style (Plan, Approve, Do, Review and Revise, Evaluate) (Irtishad and Maung, 2012). According to Irtishad and Maung (2012) the PADRE model is suitable for construction of this nature (Construction of 1800 Banks) with multidisciplinary Project teams, varying degrees of risk, uncertainty and large size . In constrast the Deming Model PDCA (Plan Do Check and Act) as suggested by Rittig and Simon (1993) in his article is used to manage simpler projects. He further explained that the PDCA model is operates in cyclic span which makes it a continuous process as construction projects have definite life span. Adopting PADRA model give the Project Manager better control over the project team but I am of the view that Construction projects have a continous life cycle just like the nature of this project.

Considering the banks objective with regards to the refurblishement of 1800 bank branches across the country putting into consideration cost, time and quality specification, we have decided to adopt the Matrix Structure as the organisational structure during the the span of the project. According to (John, 2003), the Matrix structure is suitable for managing an interdisciplinary project team and is perculiar to large scale construction industries. This structure is been utilised because the refurblishment covers different regions of the country as shown below in Fig 1

Fig1. Geographical-Based Matrix Organisatioal Structure as adopted by John, 2003

Due to peculiarity of this project, a mechanistic structure will be the approach used in managing this project. By mechanistic structure, it means jobs that are narrow in scope, fixed and specific roles (specialisation), people's responsibility, well known rules and procedures, clear line of authorities and decision making will be closely monitored by the Project Managers (PM) (David and Steve, 2011; Irtishad and Maung, 2012). Unlike the Organic structure which has undefined roles and scope, flexible, dynamic and non - programmable decision-making and planning process.

The mechanistic structure is the most appropriate for Managing a Construction project of this nature which can be applied for any project to succeed. Records has shown that mechanistic structure is characterised on low task uncertainty (Irtishad and Maung, 2012). For example a mechanical engineer whose services is required for the installation of Water Treatment Plant has his role and responsibility carely defined. He shall be responsible for any shortfall in actualising his duty and becasuse his Goodwill and prestidge is at stake, he shall provide the best service. In this light, the functions of all parties to this project has been recorded in the project handbook (Akram et al., 2011).

3.0 Procurement Strategy

The Traditional or Design-Bid-Build approach of construction will be adopted for carrying out this construction.This is as a result of the complexity of the nature of this project construction, defined completion date as the bank will need to carry out its operation in full capacity and the management of the bank have given a estimated budget for the refublishment exercise (Construction Excellence, 2004; Tuuli et al., 2010). According to, Martin (1988) Design and build approach is the strategy used for ordinary building projects which is not perculiar to this project due to the complexity and nature of the project.

The Design-Bid-Build approach is necessary to advert short comings during the refurblishement period with respect to time and incompletion of the project. Other reasons are thefts, potential labour shortages, disputes, and material shortages and any form of dieaster be it natural or artificial(Levy, 2012). It was postulated in Construction Excellence (2004) that this strategy is a low risk option which helps to reduce the risk of overspending, delays and faluire in the design to the minimum. This will enable us provide the best service as Project Managers as we will have only the Main Contractors to hold responsible incase anything goes wrong with the project.

In order to achieve excellent time management, two or three teams made up of a Main Contractor / Contractors and Consultant's represenatatives (Architects, Civil, Electrical and Mechanical Engineer, Quantity Surveyors) each will be stationed at different regions of the country. This will be determined based on the number of bank branches at every region. Principal members of the PM's and Consultant's team will be located centrally to coordinate, control and report progress of work report. Feedback of issues during the refurbishment period will also be relayed by stationed team members. Project coordinators, perform the roles of designing the work, preparing specification drawings, tendering out the work and monitor specific tasks from inception to completion of the refurblishement work (Hossain, 2009).

A prototype design for all the client's branches in the country has been adopted. This will help reduce cost on consultancy fee for drawings, save time as materials for all the branches are sourceed from a single supplier. Time spent on ammending drawings is alsso saved since all branch designs are prototypes that gives the bank a distinct physical identity as its own brand. Furthermore, sustainability is achieved, being that the branches are identical, the cost of operation and maintenance will be effective(Akram et al., 2011). In this case, the Main Contractors tenders base on the design of the Consultants, thus enabling the them provide tender documents against which tenders for construction works are prepared (Construction Excellence, 2004).

The Main contractors have been given the responsibility to handle the construction and outsource the electrical and mechanical engineer works to other contractors and source for sub contractors. The Electrical and Mechanical Engineers and Sub contractors will work in-line with the drawings and specifications given to the Main Contractor which will be closely monitored by the Consultants (Architects, Civil, M&E Engineer, Quantity Surveyors) while representatives of the PM will ensure that the work is going as planned. This mode of operation has been chosen to enable us pay more attention to the actualisation of the client's brief. Owing to the fact that the project covers the country, it will be better the Main Contractor bears part of the project risk as we have ensured they are well insured by reputable insurance companies with the issuance of Performance Bond and Advance Payment Gurantee (APG) from reliable Banks for those that require funds in advance to commence work.

4.0 Communication Methods

When communication process is misinterpreted, inaccurate or diluted, the relevancy, adequacy, efficiency and effectiveness of that communication dimishes (Konelio et al., 2009). According to Konelio et al. (2009), the results of inaccurate communication process hampers the credibility and integrity of project managing a construction of this nature and the structure of the project team. Periodically, ''construction professionals are brought together via projects and interact on an individual and group level using variety of communication" and effective communication between the project teams will enhance the ability for all parties to work together (Christopher and Stephen, 2007).

Communication methods during the refurblishment period will take the form of site meetings forthnightly. This was postulated by Christopher and Stephen (2007) that ''site based meetings were chosen because they offered a regular event, with relatively stable group membership, providing opportunity to collect data from the workplace''. Konelio et al. (2009) opined that the PMs in Samaons were favourable to meetings and planning for improved communication.

Workplace in this context has to do with activities taking place on site. Information and data gotten from the Main Contractors during site meetings are very necessary because it would be benchedmarked with the strategy (feasibility Studies) which would have been evaluated in terms of Time , Cost and Quality. Another method of communication according to Emmitt and Gorse (2007) is the digital transmitted information. Communication through this medium are very fast, save time, save cost. Vague and unclear plans and specification documentation are transmitted between PMs, Consultants and Contractors for clarification. This mode of communication is know as Field Information Memo (FIM) (Sidney, 2000). In order words, FIM is a communication medium used in communicating details that need better clarification.The disadvantage for the last two (2) examples tends to outweigh the advantages in that the receiver might not understand the information. Moreso, instructions and querries communicated via digital transmission to a contractor might be ignored. Based on this Christopher and Stephen (2007) stated that task-based information is very effective during site meetings. During Site meetings, task given to contractors will have to be accounted for and ensuring that they are working as planned.

Issues and problems that would lead to conflicts in Project Managing a construction of this nature is inevitable. Conflicts are best resolved during site meetings therefore it is pertinent that the Project Manager has the skill to resolve conflicts when it occurs. Christopher and Stephen (2007) referred such form of communication during site meetings as socio-emotional communication. He postulated that there was need to balance relational and task-based issues as this will help the Project manager to solve conflicts during meet and uncontrolled escalation of conflicts will definitely hamper the progress of this project.

The centrality of Principal Consultants and Project Coordinators in networking with their representative at different regions of the country is of importance. This is every enssential in achieving the goals of this project with relation to cost, time quality. Structural positioning in networking to and from a point must be achievable. Emergency site meetings may be very necessary as Consultants need to communicate some crucial information to contractors urgently and still meet up with deadlines. According to Hossain (2009), the most centralised position in terms of betweenness by individuals will be more satisfying and participate more in task solving. That is to say, the PMs will be satisfied with their mode of organisation and the contractors will be eager to be involved in task resolution due to effective communication as a result of a good centralised structure (Hossain, 2009).

5.0 Monitoring and Reporting Cost and Progress

According to Saad (2003), in construction, due to it's complexity and numerous uncertainties, there is a high probability that there will be divergence in plans in relation to cost, time and even quality might be compromised. He stated further that deviation in plans is as a result of physical changes which leads to variation and increment in cost and inflation rates. Therefore, it is pertinent that the cost of this project be closely monitored due to it's complexity and owing to the fact that the project cuts accross the country.

Traditionally, the mode of monitoring the cost is by comparing the information of the estimated budget to complete the refublishment as against the actual amount utilised at that point in time (Cash Flow Analysis). That is to say, the cost incurred during the refublishment period as well as the estimated total cost are compared based on the physical structure during the construction period (Mohd et al., 2011; Saad, 2003). This method is known to have a defect. According to(Mohd et al., 2011), that though the actual cost and planned cost are compared, it does not describe the performance of the project as well as the performance of its future trends of the project. The Earn Value Analysis (EVA) and Activity Based Ratio (ABR) were suggested by Mohd et al. (2011) and Saad (2003) respectively as techniques that will determine the future trends and performance of the project while the actual costs and estimated budget are compared.

From experience, the major method in monitoring and reporting the progress of this refurblisment is with the use of Programme of Work (POW). The POW is an application used to monitor the stages of the project and compare it with the propsed completion date of the project. Also the Request For Information (RFI) and Request for Clarification (RFC) are documentations made between Projevt Managers, Consultants and Contractors as regards unclear specifications, dimensions and plans are used to monitor progress of work (Sidney, 2000). According to Sidney (2000) the prompt or slow response to RFI / RFC by any of the construction team indicates and reveals the progress in the performance of the project. Find below in Fig 2 and Fig 3 samples of a POW and RFI.

Fig 2. Sample of a POW as adopted by a Contractor in Nigeria

Fig 3. Sample of RFI as adopted by a Contractor in Nigeria.