Project management provides an integrated framework for project organisation, planning and control which is designed to ensure the timely and cost effective productions of all products and services and maintain high quality standard of products and services to satisfy all stakeholders interest.
A process approach to project management define step by step procedures that a project manager need to take to effectively manage the project and satisfy all stakeholders interest. For instance, the Risk Management Process will tell how to identify, analyse and monitor project risks more effectively. It also describes the roles and responsibilities of each team member, when taking part in project risk management.
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A process approach starts with initiations and then goes through planning, implementation, monitoring and control and then finalisation of the project. So a project has a life where it starts and then after a finite period of time it ends. Some projects are small that only matter from some hours whereas some last for years. Because need for specialisation, most of the projects needs multidisciplinary teams. These teams members are most of the time belong to the parent organisation but some of the work are being done by subcontractors, consultants or partners. Organisations that are involved in the projects are sometime find it very difficult to coordinate with each other’s and this is the big challenge for the project manager to cope with this problem. Time pressure , limited budgets , tight cash flows and uncertainty always require project manager to make trade-offs between these factors with the implicit goals of balancing risks and benefits.
Skyscraper (Burj khalifa) World Tallest building in Dubai
Burj khalifa is the world tallest building in Dubai with 164 floors. This is an iconic building with the end of the world architecture design and wonder of steel building. With 900 rooms and home of many indoor entertainments, this project was a big challenge. After 6 years, this dream comes true with the silver tower shaped stick standing in the heart of U.A.E.
A Process Approach
A process is a group of activities that are designed to transform an input into an output. This transformation consists of the data and information, decision making and implementation and control. Firstly, design of a process must address about the data. What can be the data resources, how the data should be collected, stored, retrieved and presented to decision makers. Secondly, the presentation required to decision makers should be clear and transparent. When a real problem is too complicated to solve or some information is missing, simplifying assumption are made and model is developed. Lastly, data and model integration should be used. Data from the database should be integrated with the help of model and then information generated from the model by using data of data based should be presented to the decision makers. A Project process have different stages involve in it.Those are (1) Initiation (2) planning and control (3) closure (2)
Every project has a start point. Before start of the project, interest of certain stakeholders is discussed and need for project is finalised. There will be a variety of ideas and opinions about the purpose and scope of the project, what the final product of the project will be, and how the project will be carried out. The Project Initiation Stage is concerned with taking these ideas and intentions and developing them into a formal, planned, resourced and funded project. Burj khalifa was decided by the ruler of Dubai Sheik Muhammad. It was just a theme in the mind of His Highness Mr.Muhammad.Later that theme was discussed and decided to build that building(project).Project is not started yet. But these are the interest of certain stakeholders (3)
This stage starts with the handing over of project to the organisation or individual who will manage it.
Step 1: Project Kick Off
The project was kicked off with the handover of assignment to EMAAR (Abu Dahbi’s biggest construction Company)
Step 2: Project Objective & Scope
In order to define a project in this way, it is first necessary to clearly and explicitly define what the project is intended to achieve and what its scope of interest will be. By defining this first, a benchmark is created for assessing the quality of what is actually produced at the end of the project. So this project was discussed with the members of the government to Dubai to the part of recognition of Dubai as an international business city. The Scope of the project was high as this was $1.5 billion and it was supposed to be an icon for Dubai. The objective of the project was to present Dubai as an international city in front of world. It is also necessary to develop a process by which the project objectives can be achieved. Work Breakdown Structure is a technique to draw the structure of the process that needs to be done in the project. A WBS diagram expresses the project scope in simple graphic terms. The diagram starts with a single box or other graphic at the top to represent the entire project. The project is then divided into components, with related activities listed under them. Generally, the upper components are the deliverables and the lower level elements are the activities that create the deliverables. (4)
Step 3: Project Schedule and Budgeting
Project was scheduled to complete in 4 years but it finished in 6 years. Starting time was January 2004 and it was planned to finished in 2008.Its budget was $1.5 billion. There are different tools and technique that can be used to manage schedule and budgeting. One is Gantt chart that is around for many years. These are excellent models for scheduling and for budgeting, and for reporting and presenting and communicating project plans and progress easily and quickly, but as a rule Gantt Charts are not as good as a Critical Path Analysis Flow Diagram for identifying and showing interdependent factors, or for ‘mapping’ a plan from and/or into all of its detailed causal or contributing elements. Critical Path Analysis is another technique that is being used for the scheduling of the project. This method calculates the minimum completion time for a project along with the possible start and finish times for the project activities. Indeed, many texts and managers regard critical path scheduling as the only usable and practical scheduling procedure. Computer programs and algorithms for critical path scheduling are widely available and can efficiently handle projects with thousands of activities. (5)
Step 4: Project Organization
A South Korean company South Korean company, Samsung Engineering & Construction, which also did work on the PETRONAS twin towers and Taipei 101.
Step 5: Project Control Procedures
Control of every stage of the process is important as this will affect the next stage. This process will typically involve carrying out a number of tasks and producing a number of products during the course of the project. The tasks produce the products. For clarity of purpose and for control reasons it is useful to arrange these tasks in a top down structure, which progressively specify the required work in more detail. Burj khalifa tower project was divided into several small chunks and then each stage was control with a different procedure.
Step 6: Project Initiation Stage Assessment
Initial stage also defines what resources and associated time commitment are required to carry out the project. The work breakdown structure provides a basis from which this estimation can be carried out. The resource and time commitment can be used to calculate an end date for the project and an estimate of its cost. Resources needed for Burj khalifa was important to manage the flow of work. Steel was used in a very big amount which was imported from India. As the land of Dubai is mostly sand and for the safety purpose, the basement was filled with the soil from other part of the world.
The overall project schedule is not in detail to enable the allocation of actual resources to tasks, or to control progress. It is very important to produce a more detailed plan for these purposes. This detailed plan is only produced for the next stage of the project, usually covering an elapsed time of two to four months.
The way the project is managed and executed is the key to its success. The involvement of the right people for data capture and decision making is also very important. It is necessary to recruit these people at the start of the project and to define the project organization structure. It is also necessary to establish the procedures that will be used by the people in the Project Organization Structure to carry out and control the project work.
Step 7: Business Case
Finally, in order to establish a resourced and funded project, it is necessary to establish a clear and convincing business case for the project. This business case should be reviewed, and hopefully accepted by management. The business case will identify the projected benefits of meeting the objectives of the project, and balance these against the costs and risks associated with realizing these benefits. The business case can also be used as a benchmark to compare against actual results, costs and benefits in order to assess the ultimate success of the project. The Project Initiation stage is described here as a sequence of steps. In reality, once the objective and scope have been defined, many of these steps occur in parallel, and the step products are developed iteratively, since there are many dependencies between the steps. It is necessary to plan the Project Initiation stage, albeit in an informal manner. Therefore it is important to create a Project Initiation Kick off Plan scheduling the activities and resources. (6)
During this stage of the project, the focus should be on carrying out the work planned for the stage there are many project management activities that need to be carried out in addition to the project work itself .These activities are arranged into a series of steps. A step to initiate the stage, steps that are carried out on an on-going basis throughout the stage, steps that are carried out at the end of the stage and a step that is only carried out in an exception situation.
To control the follow of the process and to manage activities during the process stages, project manager should monitor and control project progress, through the use of regular checkpoints involving the project team and formal reviews with project board. Also, quality of the product and changes in the baselined products are also managed. There can be many issues that arose during the processes and those issues should be removed. The constructions of Burj Khalifa was not easy as the building moves on, the filling of concrete into the walls was a problem. The vertical method was used to put the concrete from the top. It was a risky as well as technical challenge. Also, the use of heavy machinery from the top and how to fix that machinery on the top was also an issue of safety.
Several of the activities will result in changes to the stage schedule. The Stage Manager should ensure that these changes are made smoothly, and that these changes are communicated to all concerned. Any changes made to individual work assignments should be confirmed in the regular checkpoint meetings. If there as any issue arises during any stage then stage plan will be changed to manage that deviation.
3.4 Monitoring and Control
The documents of all the processed and stages should be managed and update regularly. Electronic and hardcopy file structures are set up to consistently maintain and administer project management and development products. All documentation procedures for the stage should be established and the team should understand what these are for, how they are used, and what their individual responsibilities are.
Emaar establish a database for the Burj Khalifa project to monitor all the process and to discuss it with all the management involved in the process to show what is going on. This enables the project manager and other staff to communicate each other more precisely and take appropriate action if there is any deviation. The whole project was broken down into small projects and whole team was divided into small project teams who control these small projects.
A Project Board of Burj Khalifa is the executive authority of a project. It authorizes the project to proceed, approve any change or if possible stop the project. It enters in to a contract with the Project Manager through the Project Initiation, Project and Stage Plans, to provide the executive support and resources required to execute a project which will deliver the specified products to schedule and budget. The Project Board should view the project as an investment intended to yield gain business benefits. Failure to achieve those benefits reflects as much upon the control exercised by the Project Board as it does on the execution of responsibilities by the Project Manager and Project Team. The Project Board meet at the end of each stage, including Project Initiation, to review the achievements of the concluded stage and authorize proceeding to the next. Project Manager schedule standing Project Board meetings at the beginning of the project. Confirm the logistics of the next meeting, namely date, time and conference room. Also, project manager report to the Project Board the results of the Post Implementation Review.This assess the performance of the new system against the objectives planned. It also identifies and captures metrics and factors that will improve the development process.PERT analysis is used to monitor the activities along with Gantt chart and CPA (Critical Path analysis)
3.5 Project Closure
Every project has a life. It starts and then after some time it ends. All good things must come to an end. Projects are designed to end at some point that is the nature of project work. Burj Khalifa project started in Jan 2004 and it finished in Jan 2010.To gain maximum benefit from a project, the project went through a formal close down.There may be some outstanding work that needs to be carried out on the products of the project.The project will have been using several lists and tracking mechanisms, such as the change request log and the issues log.These need to be formally closed.The members of the Project Organization will have learnt how to carry out this type of project better in the future, and will have a better idea of how long the various activities on this type of project will take to do.These learning’s should be captured for future use.There will be a lot of information generated during a project, and this will have been stored with varying degrees of formality by the members of the Project Organization.This information needs to be formally filed away for possible future use.By this time in the project,all project work should have been completed, and the products of the project should have been accepted by the customers.It is possible however, that the final products do not fully meet the original objectives and requirements.Before the project is completely finished, any outages in the products should be identified and evaluated.If it is decided that the outages need to be fixed, it will be necessary to set up a mechanism to carry this out.This may be by a new project,or a maintenance program.Make sure that the evaluation includes an evaluation against the Business Success Criteria that were defined during the Project Initiation Stage.However, it is also important to evaluate the overall quality of the final product in respect of its ability to meet current requirements.Review the changes that are recommended to the process used on the project. Examine each change and decide if it is likely to apply to future projects of this type.Change the standard process based on these reasons.(7)
Project in which Scheduling is not important
As all the projects have an integral part i.e. scheduling. Scheduling is an important part of any project as this break down the work in small chunks that are easy to manage. But there are some projects in which scheduling are not important. For example the project of US war with Afghanistan. War is started but there is not set schedule of procedding.Plans are changing within an hours or days but no clear schedule .There are no stages involve as everything happening as the change of weather. Although this project has a starting point and there will be an ending point but there is not set process for that.
Work Breakdown Structure
A challenging project is made manageable by first breaking it down into individual components in the work breakdown structure, or the WBS.This is a hierarchical structure that shows that main part and then its subparts.This is divided into small chunks that can easily be managed by the management as compared to whole big project. Such a structure defines tasks that can be completed independently of other tasks, facilitating resource allocation, assigning responsibilities to different people, and measurement and control of the project.
Each organization uses its own terminology for Work Breakdown Structure components according to their own needs. For example, some organizations refer to different levels as main tasks, sub-tasks, and work packages, as shown below. Others use the different terms phases, entries, and activities.
The WBS may be organized around deliverables or phases of the project life cycle. Higher levels in the structure generally are performed by groups. The lowest level in the hierarchy often comprises activities performed by individuals, though a WBS that emphasizes deliverables does not necessarily specify activities.
The breaking down of a project into its component parts facilitates resource allocation and the assignment of individual responsibilities. Care should be taken to use a proper level of detail when creating the WBS. On the one extreme, a very high level of detail is likely to result in micro-management. On the other extreme, the tasks may become too large to manage effectively. Defining tasks so that their duration is between several days and a few months works well for most projects.(8)
Below is the work breakdown structure used in construction and related to Burj khalifa
(9)Case study about scope-cost-time integrated model with work breakdown structure http://cife.stanford.edu/online.publications/WP115.pdf
Gantt Charts are very useful project management tools that is used mostly in scheduling and budgeting. The Gantt chart is named after US engineer and consultant Henry Gantt (1861-1919) who devised the technique in the 1910s.
Gantt charts are excellent models for scheduling and for budgeting, and for reporting and presenting and communicating project plans and progress quickly. Gantt chart can be constructed by using MS Excel. Every activity has a separate bar. Create a time-line for the duration of the project.Colour can be used to show the time blocks to denote type of activity (for example, digging, piling, concreting, finishing, etc.). A Gantt chart can be used to keep track of progress for each activity and how the costs are running. In Burj khalifa project, Gantt chart helps to manage step by step activity. The time blocks around can be moved to report on actuals versus planned, and to re-schedule, and to create new plan updates. Costs columns can show plan and actuals and variances, and calculate whatever totals, averages, ratios, etc., that you need. Gantt Charts are probably the most flexible and useful of all project management tools, but remember they do not very easily or obviously show the importance and inter-dependence of related parallel activities, and they won’t obviously show the necessity to complete one task before another can begin. Project planning tools naturally become used also for subsequent project reporting, presentations, etc., and you will make life easier for everyone if you use formats that people recognize and find familiar. (10)
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Critical Path Analysis
Critical path analysis / method are an effective way to analyse complex projects.CPA represents the critical set of activities to complete a project. Critical path helps us to focus on important activities which are critical to run the project. Once the critical activities are identified, we can devote good resources and prioritize the same accordingly. CPA also gives us a very good basis for scheduling and monitoring for progress.One of the most important thing it does is allows the project manager to concentrate on important activities.
This method takes the longest time then the other methods.
(11) Mind Mapping Case Study to Support Gantt chart method
CPM models the activities and events of a project as a network. Activities are presented as nodes on the network and events that signify the beginning or ending of activities are presented with lines between the nodes. The above is an example of a CPM network diagram. (13)
Success of Burj Khalifa Project
Burj Khalifa was not just a project. It’s a milestone in the history of Dubai which enhances the projection of Dubai in the modern world. As we land on Dubai airport, this tower welcomes you with its shinning image from Arabian Sea. It’s a design of human intelligence which satisfied all its stakeholders with nothing below then positivity. As this is the tallest tower, the gravity was an issue which was solved with the design. The success of the project is that it is the only highest man made tower on the earth which was completed finally in 2010. Secondly, the world famous designer ARMANI opens its store in the tower. Also, the world famous business is going to open their offices in that tower.
Project management of a powerful field with its knowledge of managing from a small activity to massive project.This field is very interesting in the sense that it provides step by step approach to finish a particular job. I researched many case studies from a construction to the Deli Olympics, from Football World cup to Cricket World cup events. I did not mention these events in my assignments but I try to find similarities of managing these projects. Although there are not much difference between the methods used in these events but there are certain requirements that are required for a particular projects. I am working as a manager in a retain chain and I observe these methods of project in my work indirectly. I am very much interested in project manager in my future and I found these approaches useful for the implications of my job role. I understand from this module that as a project manager how can I initiate, plane, control, monitor and close my projects.
Before this module, I was not aware of the role of project manager. I was taking this job as a normal person job that just purchases material and give it to employees and just look around. But after understanding this module and its different aspects, I come to the point that project management is an important field in every aspects of human life from inside a living house to an international consignment. The interest in this role to me is the different stages those are involved in this field.
As a project manager the changes that I will make in my approach are
Documents all the activities
Work Break down into small chunks
(12) Case Study of baking a loaf of bread to support Critical path analysis
Manage each stage separately
Communicate my plan with my staff effectively
Evaluate each activity
Monitor each activity
Control of the workflow
Case study about scope-cost-time integrated model with work breakdown structure http://cife.stanford.edu/online.publications/WP115.pdf
Mind Mapping Case Study http://www.matchware.com/en/forms/mindview2%20case%20studies/case_history_form.pdf
Baking a Loaf of Bread Case Study http://tutor2u.net/business/production/critical-path-analysis.htm
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