Waste To Energy Incineration Process In Another Country Construction Essay

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This portfolio seeks to address the key challenges faced by an organisation in exploiting the use of its waste to energy incineration process in another country. In the adoption of an organisation structure for the project to be managed by a project manager, the need for an appropriate structure based on the peculiarities at hand has led to an informed choice of using the divisional structure or product form structure as it is sometimes referred to. For organisations that seek to have an extension of their services or products in another geographic location, this structure offers the chance of focussing the activities on the local environment conditions and there is usually a manager to whom all divisional functions are reported to and who in turn reports to the parent organisation. In this case, that person is the project manager. The interaction of different units of the project team is also explored and the management issues that the project manager is likely to encounter are looked at.

The adoption of an appropriate strategy for procurement and the appointment of the contractor to take charge of the construction process of the waste to energy plant is another issue that was addressed. Taking into consideration such factors as time limit within which the project is expected to be completed and the new environment under which the plant is to be operated, the design and build strategy was selected along with a suitable contract type for the contractor after a tendering stage.

A schedule was drawn up for the project using the pertmaster software and the accompanying logic commentary also included.

1.0 INTRODUCTION

For any organisation to achieve its full potentials and meet targets and objectives, there must be an appropriate structure in place. This structure is a part of the organisational design that is a necessary feature in determining the success of organisations.

There is usually a laid out plan showing the relationship (inter or intra) between tasks and people of different departments and units for the overall smooth running of the organisation. This systematic plan of work in an organisation is the organisational structure.

According to Dubrin & Ireland, Organisation structure "is the arrangement of people and tasks to accomplish organisational goals. It helps specify who reports to whom and who does what"

The objective of designing a structure for organisations is to harmonize the objectives, resources within a particular environment because the structure describes the relationship between different parts of the organisation and people in it. (Hannagan 2002)

­­­In a project environment, where activities are coordinated by a project manager there must be certain competencies and characteristics the project manager should possess to make the job of managing the project from start to completion a successful one.

1.1 TYPES OF ORGANISATIONAL STRUCTURE

There are different types of organisation structures and the design of an appropriate structure to meet the missions, goals, objectives and policies of the organisation is centred around several factors. Such factors are the age or size of the organisation, corporate culture, environment within which it operates, technological level, range of activities, products or services being carried out. Basically, the combination of span of control and chain of command determines the overall pyramid shape and whether the hierarchical structure is flat or tall, e.g narrower spans of control and more levels of authority resulting to taller hierarchical structures as can be found in a civil service (Mullins 2006)

These structures are varied and in some organisations there is some form of flexibility as the structures could change to meet specific needs or projects. Emphasis must however be placed in creating a balance aimed at fulfilling targets, goals and objectives and the right communication channels at achieving this. Forms of organisational structures most frequently seen are the functional structure, matrix structure, and the divisional structure. These are the traditional forms of structure. However, there are two contemporary approaches which have been borne out of the need to meet organisational need in an increasingly competitive world. They are the team and network approaches.

All these forms of structure within an organisation have their effects on employee goals and motivations and these are factors that must be seriously taken into consideration when designing structures because employee motivation and satisfaction is usually key in achieving organisational goals.

Sometimes an organisation may use different structures separately or together to function effectively.

1.2 STRUCTURE FOR PROJECT AT HAND (DIVISIONAL STRUCTURE)

This is also known as the product form of organisation structure. Based on specific targets such as a product, programme or the extension of operations to another region, departments are grouped together into divisions with the theme of aggregating different skills and specialists to solve different problems. These divisions tend to resemble a separate business and have a divisional head responsible for its operation and profitability. In large companies with an emphasis on varied products or expansion activities the divisional structure becomes requisite. However when a division operates as a separate business from another location, it is still expected to conform with the parent companies ultimate goals and aspirations but is allowed some flexibility to detail its operations to fit the locality where it runs its operations. A key feature of this form is that it tends to be able to give specific attention to enhancinfg a particular products performance or better service to a customer. It gives an opportunity to managers to show their flair and expertise without undue interference and usually comes with the benefit to employees of career progress. However, a downside to this method is that there is reduced level of control from top management of the organisation and places a burden on corporate resources as there is duplication of those resources.

The waste to energy incineration process pilot project is to be sited in Cotonou, Republic of Benin and due to the peculiar characteristics of this project a sensible organisation structure to adopt will be the divisional structure. Since it is to be co-ordinated by a project manager, operated in a different country, the division structure would be most suited since the operations are to be tailored to fit that particular surrounding. It will however be a flexible structure as it would draw on members from individual groups of divisions in headquarters to serve as heads of division in Cotonou.

THE STRUCTURE

Fig 1. Divisional organisation structure.

The above structure has been chosen because it is very necessary to focus on the local conditions within which the project is to take place. In this structure, all the functions in that locality would be reported to the division manager. (Daft, 2000) In this type of geographically based division structure, coordination is often very good which makes it easier for the project manager to effectively carry out his role as planner, controller and coordinator. Poor performance in a unit is easily identified and appropriate action can be taken to correct such in a timely manner.

1.3 HOW THE PROJECT TEAM MIGHT CHANGE

This team has been assembled by taking into consideration different aspects such as the duration and delivery expectations from the top management. Since the project is expected to attract funding from a number of sources, a funding committee has been set up which will include members from the home organisations funding team and appointees from the donor institutions who may be interested in seeing how the funds are being used. This will be linked with the finance and legal divisions that will be responsible for the accounting and financial activities of the project and making sure that appropriate steps are taken to legalise all of the activities of the project and financing. The standards and testing unit will be made up of a group of professionals that are very familiar with the regulations and standards in Cotonou and would be expected to play an advisory role to the engineering and design teams in terms of specification so that there will be no conflict at delivery of the plant and also duration of the activities can be shortened for timely project delivery. The contractor will be responsible for putting the engineering and design teams' vision to work by handling all the aspects of procurement of all materials from start to finish of project in fig. 1

Fig. 2 Construction Stage

In fig. 2, at the beginning of the construction phase of the project, there will be a human resource unit replacing the funding committee. Their presence will be to help the project manager cater to all aspects of the project team work such as employment of staff, organising training schedules and appraisal of the work at different stages.

Fig. 3 Pre- Commission stage

After the construction is completed and before commissioning, a public relations unit might be necessary to sensitize the public as regards the project so that the awareness created will drive the economic returns of the plant after commission. They will assist also with liaising with the departments that may matter in the country of deployment for smoother relations between the plant and the different bodies in the environment which they hope to operate in.

1.4 THE PROJECT MANAGER.

A project manager is expected to possess necessary skills and competencies to manage all aspects of a project from the inception to conclusion and can come from a variety of backgrounds. (CIOB 2002) In some cases an organisation might appoint someone externally or from within its ranks to act as project manager with the responsibility of planning, executing and closing of a project.

1.4.1 RESPONSIBILITY

The duty of a project manager is to provide a cost-effective and independent service, selecting, correlating, integrating and managing different disciplines and expertise to satisfy the objectives and provisions of the project brief from inception to completion to the client's satisfaction while safeguarding the clients interest at all time and where possible, give consideration to the needs of the eventual user of the facility. (CIOB 2002)

1.4.2 QUALITIES OF A PROJECT MANAGER

There are some certain qualities a project manager should posses for the effective discharge of his duties. These qualities are listed below

Inspiring

Good communicator

Integrity

Enthusiasm

Empathy

Competence

Ability to delegate

Cool under pressure

Team building skills

Problem solving skills

1.4.3 MANAGING PEOPLE

The divisional heads of the structure are more of technical specialists and may not have people management skills to work harmoniously on the project for success. The project manager must endeavour to work with and through people, who are the most important resource, rather than through the use of rules, systems, procedures and paperwork. (Mullins 2006) It is part of his responsibility to ensure that the people working on the project with him remain loyal and motivated to the job at hand. This can be done through effective job enrichment, delegation and provision of ideal work conditions for employee satisfaction.

A project manager should facilitate in ensuring that the required resources to achieve assigned responsibilities must be made available to those working on the project. It is quite often that conflicts arise within members of the project team or divisional heads. The project manager must have appropriate negotiating skills to resolve these conflicts. Communication is also an area that the project manager should pay attention to. Communication from different units must be able to flow consistently in a steady stream because it is only when there is an effective communication network that problems will be spotted early enough and avoided. The project manager must have leadership qualities as it helps to carry out management effectively.

Some of the skills a manager should possess for effective management of his staff include the following.

Leadership - In the management of people, leadership is very key in achieving success. A project manger should endeavour to have leadership skills which Sewell-Rutter argues is open to anyone with self belief and that the effective leadership principles can be acquired as they are straightforward. (Mullins 2002) In leading a team, the leader is responsible for planning the work, organisation of duties and responsibilities to achieve the objectives of the work. The morale and cohesiveness of the group as a unit must be catered to by effectively building team spirit. There is a need to sometimes address issues on a group scale and sometimes on an individual basis as this fosters trust between the manager and employee. Training should be given to individuals and praise also when due will all lead to improved employee satisfaction ­­­­­­and productivity.

Motivation - Motivation can be put simply as what drives a particular person to do something at a particular time or as Mitchell defines it "the degree to which an individual wants and chooses to engage in certain specified behaviours" (Mullins 2006)

In the attainment of goals or targets as set by the organisation, it is that innate force that can compel to act towards attainment or achieving the goal. There are various needs and expectations of certain groups as they strive to carry out duties. For some, the need to achieve or excel at duties assigned them for the purpose of self satisfaction or fulfilment has been noticed and this is referred to as intrinsic motivation. On the other hand there is extrinsic motivation which is related to how people react to their work when offered the chance of measurable and specific rewards as a bonus, promotion, and salary increase or even job security.

Different theories have been postulated to try and explain how workers are motivated. These different theories can be categorized into two groups which are the process theories and concept theories. Process theories in a broad sense consider the correlation between variables and how they initiate, direct and sustain behaviour and the major approaches under this process theory are the attribution theory and expectancy based models.(Mullins 2006)

Content theories are concerned with an identification of people's needs and their relative strengths and how they are motivated towards goals to satisfy these needs. Such theories as hierarchy of needs as postulated by Abraham Maslow, Herzberg's two factor theory and McClelland achievement motivation theory fall under this category (Mullins 2006)

Managers that have a good grasp of the underlying concepts of these various motivators as suggested by these different theories along with perception depth will be able to effectively motivate employees towards achievement of the targets of the project. Keeping people motivated from the divisional heads to the line staff will be a way to ensure that everything moves on smoothly. Some are motivated at the prospect of receiving more pay while others will be motivated by challenges of the work itself and job enrichment where employees have direct control over their work by deciding what way to carry it out and what resources to carry it out with.

Delegation -In meeting customer needs and adapting to its immediate environment, flexibility is very essential and being able to delegate authority to the lowest level as possible enhances this flexibility. It is a process through which authority and responsibilities are transferred to the positions below a manager in the hierarchy by the manager. (Daft 2000)

A project manager must have an eye on all aspects of the project but in the real scheme of things cannot get everything done alone. The divisional managers are also in the same position and it is the project manager's ability to effectively delegate that will help to ensure that the team will function as an effective unit.

A project of this nature that has a timescale for its completion necessitates delegation as it effectively manages time. In delegating, the manager should be able to assign whole tasks to specific employees who they have identified as being adequately motivated and along with the responsibility, give equal degree of authority to make decisions about how to do the job. However there must be a clear communication of expectations and specifics of the issue at hand so that the subordinate is kept on the right track. A key benefit the project manager is likely to receive by being able to effectively delegate will be the development of specialist expertise and greater efficiency which will likely enhance the quality of decision making.(Mullins 2006) Some employees lack self confidence and are unwilling to accept responsibility so as not to be criticized so it is a managers responsibility to be able to address this by being able to give incentives for performance and encourage active involvement through guidance and commendation or correction where necessary.

Negotiation - When two or more parties meet to try and arrive at the same conclusive point or solution is the theme behind negotiation. It is a structural attempt at solving problems logically with the aim of identifying and resolving a conflict or potential conflict. (Hannagan 2002). Negotiation must be done at some point in every project because people always have varying opinions on different issues and it is not likely for them to concede easily to being wrong or even when they may be right to agree to something else. It is only through effective negotiation that they are convinced to move from their initial stance.

Project managers in order to achieve anything through negotiation need certain negotiation skills. Patience, along with a clear perspective of their desired targets and that of the other party with good communication skills can help to deliver positives during the negotiation process.

Fig. 2 Negotiating styles

Source : The pharmaceutical journal (Vol. 273)

In negotiating, flexibility is to be adopted if anything meaningful is to be achieved. The style to adopt is usually determined after consideration of the key issues at stake and the character of who is being negotiated with. In the project, there will be negotiations between the project manager and employees, consultants, contractors on issues such as pay, work methods, meeting deadlines, e.t.c.

Teamwork - In project management there is the need for total quality management and this is enhanced by effective teamwork,. Harmonious working relationship and good teamwork improve staff morale and work performance. (Mullins 2006) Employees are a major part of the work environment and will interact together sharing skills and vital knowledge to accomplish tasks in groups.

Group work can increase the commitment from workers and allow distribution of work and its effective monitoring on completion. The assistance giving to a member by another member in correction of a mistake or addressing a work appropriately can help to minimise errors and the chances of repeating jobs. Teamwork increases productivity, quality, employee motivation and commitment.

In developing effective teams, there is a popular approach as used by Tuckman in 1965, which suggests that there are defined stages of uncertainty and exploration, to when members begin to find their feet and take position in the team and also when they begin to act as a team and produce useful work.

FORMING - STORMING - NORMING - PERFORMING

Such team work are beset with conflicts within and between teams and the manager as well as developing effective team work job details must also be able to resolve the conflicts likely to arise.

CHALLENGE 2

The project life cycle will proceed from the stage of feasibility, design, procurement & contractor selection stage to the actual construction stage before implementation & commissioning. In the feasibility stage, initial studies of the proposed site and consultation with stakeholders are done and the project manager has already assembled an engineering and design team who are to work hand in hand for an appropriate design structure.

The procurement and contractor selection stage is where the appropriate procurement strategy will be chosen to enable a method suitable to the scale of work be chosen and implemented.

2.1 PROCUREMENT

Procurement is considered to be the process of identification, selection and commissioning of the contributions required for the construction phase of the project (CIOB 2002). The different risks and responsibility associated with different projects is a determinant of what particular procurement option to go with as there are different methods available.

The different types of procurement methods or strategies as they are sometimes referred to are;

Traditional - Usually, in the traditional stage the client appoints a contractor who builds according to a defined scope of work at an agreed price which is referred to as the fixed lump sum. The design is usually complete before whatever contractors are appointed come into the scheme of things. The tender process precedes the appointment of a building contractor and is usually based on complete design information or where an early construction start is required, partial design information is given along with some provisional guidance.(CIOB 2002) the disadvantage of this method however is that designs are not easily changed or modified so as to improve cost efficiency and is more likely to result in conflicts. It is becoming more common in practice to select contractor on a two stage basis to gain some of the advantages that are usually available when there is an early contractor involvement. (Watts 2004)

Design and build - Here the contractor is appointed by the client and part or all of the design development is designated to the contractor. The appointment may be secured through a negotiation or there may be a tender process incorporating variations on the method (CIOB 2002). It is a very good method for controlling schedule and the client's cost as it transfers the risks of the project to the contractor. Since the design, if not yet completed is passed on to the design and build contractor, the design team will also be compelled to work with the contractor and this is a point for likely conflict and poor finishing.

Management contracting - In the management contracting method, a design team as appointed in the traditional method is usually provided with the management contractor who is usually experienced and in a position to guide, manage and monitor operations with his expertise. However the specialist contractors such as architects, quantity surveyors that are appointed by the client construct the building. Usually the management contractor would be give a percentage on the total project cost as a fee plus the reimbursements of all the costs that were incurred by the management contractor.

Construction management - All specialist works contractors are contracted to the client directly and the construction manager is involved as a project team member that acts as an agent and not principal, to concentrate on the organisation and management of the construction operations.(CIOB 2002) There is usually an agreed sum of money paid to the construction manager to cover the costs of all staff and overheads. It is applied when there is a need for the construction and design stages to run concurrently.

Different procurement strategies are selected based on their suitability to the project at hand. The Waste to energy project at Cotonou will adopt the design and build strategy as it has some certain characteristics that make it attractive for the project. An example of this is that since the contractor will bring in additional design experience it will be a plus for the design team already on ground. The fact that the project has a timescale of 24 months is indicative of a need to be timely in every aspect of the project and the design and build will be appropriate since the contractor can commence construction before the completion of the design.

2.2 TENDERING

In contracting, there is a preceding stage which is very important known as the tender stage. The contractor before given the job would usually be selected from a list of contractors who have also submitted a bid for the work which contain details of what they can do and what it will cost to do it. There are different types of tenders and the project manager or awarding client is usually at liberty to choose that which he deems fit for the work at hand. Different types of tendering usually seen are;

Open tendering

Selective tendering(Single and two-stage)

Negotiation

Joint venture

For the project at hand, the two stage selective tendering will be used. This is also known as negotiated tendering and in the first stage there is a selection of a limited number of contractors who may be selected on the basis of their experience on the job to submit bids. In the Cotonou project, the project manager will depend on the local building authorities to assist in drawing up this list. This stage is to establish a level of pricing for subsequent negotiation in the second stage and, based upon a minimum amount of information about the layout and design of the works supplied to the contractors, for competitive selection. (Murdoch, Hughes 2000). The information supplied them enables them to have an idea of what the works are going to be like and what likely costs they would incur in carrying it out. The second stage is when the pre-contract process is completed and the clients consultants, work with the chosen contractor on the final designs and schematics for the whole project.

The contractor acts as a guide for the design and engineering team of the project on what is likely to work or not and will come up with a bills of quantity for the work. It is at the end of the second stage that contracts are drawn up after an agreement on estimated and negotiated prices by the contractor and client.

This method offers flexibility to the Cotonou project as the full scale of work cannot be ascertained before selection of the contractor and the need for the project to be delivered on time.

2.3 THE CONTRACT

There are different types of contracts such as fixed price, cost reimbursements and measurement.

In Measurement, the contract is based on measurement of work on completion. The extent and types of works are well defined and known. The rates applied to the types of work can be used to price changes. This type of contract initially requires a detailed design of concept or work.

Cost Reimbursements, are contracts that are usually based on the costs of labour and materials for overheads and profit, which could include a cost plus fixed fee, cost plus percentage or value-cost contracts. They are mainly suitable for small projects or very urgent work which cannot await completion of the drawings. These types of contracts provide an incentive to the contractor to enlarge the scope of work and delay completion.

Fixed Price contracts are contracts where on completion of the work payment is made in a lump sum. In practice there is provision for payments in batches at intermediary stages of the project and the final payment is deemed the lump sum. However the risks for the contractor if high due to the nature of work it will impact likewise on price as the price for such jobs will be also high. The financial outcome is not fixed as promoter has to pay for unforeseen circumstances and if changes are required after commencement of works it is usually expensive. This type of contract is suitable where detail and extent of work is known.

Since the extent of work for the energy plant has been established along with the contractor, the method of contracting to be chosen is the fixed price lump sum contract. With the contractor working alongside the engineering and design team, and using the design and build procurement strategy, i feel this will be a very suitable mode of payment as the project manager seeks to minimise risk and achieve timely completion of the project by an experienced contractor.

In the construction stage, the project manager must be very active in monitoring several aspects of the project such as contractor performance, progress of the project, cash flow, project cost plan amongst others. This will help to foresee potential crisis and resolve them before they occur. Change to the plan is usually abhorred by a project manager as changes that occur during the construction phase and especially when nearing completion could mean disaster as much of the already completed work will have to be scrapped and restarted. (Lock 2007)

CHALLENGE 3

3.0 SCHEDULING

Project scheduling is an essential part of planning a project. It is the process of producing a display of the future time-related intentions of the project participants and can be used to compare actual progress with predicted progress.

Poor planning or the absence of any plan at all will result in the project being less than satisfactory. It could lead to an excessive duration of the project and even low morale amongst the management team and workforce. Insufficient attention to risk is also a consequence of no plan and the wrong materials could be in the wrong place at the wrong time.

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