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Maintaining Project Management in the Built Environment

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Any opinions, findings, conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of UK Essays.

Published: Tue, 09 Jan 2018

“The UK’s construction industry has been enjoying a period of strong growth, with the infrastructure and the commercial construction sectors at the forefront of this trend.”

(Corporate watch, 2004)

The environmental groups of UK, such as the Construction Industry Environmental Forum (CIEF), The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS), Envirowise, Construction Industry Council (CIC), Defra, Environment Agency, Corporate Watch, etc. are more cautious and active to built environment specifically in the UK construction industry. Their one of the main objectives is to improve the sustainability and environmental performance of construction. Thus it need a well organized preplan and to maintain it; that means project management. Now the question come that, does it really important to maintain a project management in the built environment specifically in the UK construction industry.

· Background:

There is no doubt that the construction industries in built environment today face more challenges than in the past. The modern business environment is operating in a highly turbulent time. Demand for operational activities to achieve effectiveness and efficiency, the environment has increased the need for organizational accountability both in public and private sector. The UK construction industry is a growing sector and developing day by day. In this case project management is viewed as a tool that helps the organization to carry out selected project effectively and efficiently. This project management tool in the built environment does not guarantee the project success.

It has been seen that some project completed within the determined time and meet all requirements, but has not succeed. On the other hand, some project perceived as successful though they have failed to meet the most important criteria. However, in a project environment, the project management can provide the achievement of project and organizational goals. In addition, project management presents a greater assurance to the stakeholders that all resources are utilized and managed effectively. “Projects fail at an alarming rate. Quantitative evaluations show that as many as 30% of projects are cancelled before completion, wasting all the time money and effort spent on them. Surviving projects usually fail to deliver the full initial project scope or deliver late or overrun the budget”. (William, 2002).

Project management is very important when consequence is absence of proper project management or project management is not applied properly to the projects. Continues changes in project scope, the demand for efficient project management is emerged to maximize the resources. “Effective project management will help: meet or exceed customer expectations, maximize the use of your resources (time, people, money, space, etc.), bring the project to a successful conclusion on time and within budget, document what was done for any need of future reference, and build confidence in your team for future projects”. (Glenn ,2007)

· Aims of the dissertation:

The aim of this dissertation is to investigate the importance of project management in the built environment, specifically in the UK construction industry.

· Method of the dissertation:

The method of this dissertation is external referencing. Journals and reference books are used as the source of data to this dissertation. Materials are collected on the internet, libraries and other mediums of research.

· Results: One or two sentences indicating the main findings.

For the touch of globalization and worldwide competition construction firms are not concern with accomplish the work within the time limit and budget; and get profit, They are competing with how efficiently, accurately accomplish the project with highest amount profit as well as proper implementation of the project.

· Conclusions: One sentence giving the most important consequence of the work.

2. To assess the significance, structure and execution of Project Management in built environment principally in the UK construction industry.

Construction Industry Environmental Forum, UK says that their objectives and mission is to improve the sustainability and environmental performance of construction, by providing a cross-sector and independent forum for the exchange of new ideas and demonstration of best practice.

2.1. The objectives of Construction Industry Environmental Forum

Their objectives are –

  • Demonstrate the implementation and value of sustainability best practice
  • To identify the barriers and promote practical solutions
  • To provide briefings on the latest legislative changes
  • To showcase examples of best practice and innovation, and the business benefits
  • To assist in the production of appropriate best practice guidance
  • To promote research in sustainable construction
  • Disseminate the results of new research and guidance that can help to deliver a more sustainable built environment.

2.2. Key themes of Project Management in built environment principally

The key themes are-

  • Biodiversity and wildlife
  • Energy use and climate change
  • Performance measurement
  • Planning & urban regeneration
  • Sustainable resource use
  • Contaminated land
  • Environmental management
  • Sustainability accounting and reporting
  • The internal environment
  • Social and corporate responsibility
  • Waste management, recycling and materials
  • Procurement and modern methods of construction

2.3. Illustration

Rapid Globalization has made so much pollution that the people of the world are now cautious to build environment friendly construction. Government has imposed many rules and regulations on construction industries. This makes the construction projects more complex to do. Increasing amount of the competition in construction industries are now emphasis on the accuracy and the efficiency of work as well as the environment friendliness. So a proper management and well established plan is needed to face this situation. Thus the necessity of project management came to an question in of project management in the built environment specifically in the UK construction industry.

The skills in Project management are not secret art especially in built environment. In regarding construction project success there are some techniques that should be developed. Now let see what a project management means. “A project is some overall task which has a definable beginning and a definable end. It consists of a number of related and dependent activities, all of which utilize resources, and upon which there are imposed internal and external conditions” (Marttino, 1968)

“Project management in construction is a practical, easy-to-read guide to defining, organizing, planning, and executing a construction project so that it is completed to the satisfaction of the principal stakeholders”.( Research and markets,2004)

The Project sponsor receives the project’s due. The sponsor owns overall responsibility of directing and organizing for the project. Asides that, the sponsor resolves various issues around scope, schedule, budget, and staffing and accelerates finance for the project. Surely the sponsors want to get profit and frequent money circulation from their investment and invest where they the risk is low. To attract them project management is an attractive tool. Project management ensures optimum performance of their operation, proper use of resources and completes the project within the time limit.

2.4. Basic Elements of project

Basically the elements of any project are

  • Operations- the things organization/firm do
  • Resources- the things organization/firm use, consisting of men, money, materials, machines and time.
  • Conditions or restraints- under which organization/firm must work such as deliveries and deadlines.

Resources may be fixed, variable or combined. When resources are used efficiently, they are said to be levelled. Planning is done independently of resources consideration. The assigning of resources to a plan determines the schedule automatically. Since duration estimates are only guesses, it is important that dynamic control be maintained. Network analysis is a tool for controlling, as well as planning. “Even organizations that have established a formal Project Management Office need an executive champion, particularly when the office is understaffed.” (Don, 2007)

2.5. Life cycle of a project

Now let see how the Life cycle of a project is –

  • Project development and preliminary engineering
  • Bidding and contract negotiation
  • Engineering design
  • Purchase and procurement
  • Construction
  • Commissioning (Prasanna,P-28.8)

Figure 2: life cycle of a project (Prasanna,P-28.8)

Project management is the primary means which manipulate the organizational strategy. Projects are to be said as unique units of work that put into action the policies and strategies of an organization.

“Construction projects are directly linked with the strategic vision and mission of the organization. As far as owners or operators of physical facilities are concerned, construction projects are the means of supporting their organizational goals. Organizations are constantly faced with new demands on their physical facilities. Owners of facilities are continually re-shaping the way they design and organize their work practices, which in turn directly impacts the performance of their physical facilities.” (Michael,2004)

In the field of UK construction industry the importance and need of project management is an important issue, because all organization, whether large or small, at one time or other, are engaged in manipulating new undertakings. “These undertakings may be diverse, such as, the development of a new product or service; the establishment of a new production line in a manufacturing enterprise; a public relations promotion campaign; or a major building programmers”.(Sandro,2004)

The concept of project management is traditionally familiar with construction industry and is widely applied on projects of all sizes and complexity. The role of project management in the construction industry is to put in important value to achieve the successful delivery of projects. Project management function is applicable to all types of projects in built environment. Application of project management to the construction industry is an important component to raise the standards by setting objective standards of competence and encouraging their usage. To achieve the construction project success in the field of built environment the proper criteria should be followed. The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) said about them, “The RICS Project Management Faculty is the home within RICS for professionals who have an interest in the management of construction projects.” (rics.org )

3. To classify the project management tools and techniques and quantify their influence in the construction project success.

“There is a relationship between time and cost to perform an activity. There is a normal and crash point for both the time and cost of each job.” (Marttino, 1968)

Team building, planning, controlling and monitoring, even terminating a project all are the part of the project management function. There are many reasons for which the construction projects are often completed late and the budget exceed the expectation. However, the department of the environment working with the construction industry, that encouraged a number of initiatives to promote improvements of successful construction. Skills of the construction workforce, information technology, research all these needs to be developed to achieve the construction project success. The right process makes built environment easy and application of information technology in the construction industry become available.

It is known that high levels of understanding issues facing by the governments and the industry leaders and the applicability of project management provide a theoretical framework for strategic planning and emphasize the tools for research into the economics of the industry. In the field of construction industry promoting the importance of built environment is a significant issue. Construction industry is the process that adding infrastructure to the UK built environment.

Commitment to the objective of project management is strong tool to continue and maintain a successful construction project. Excellent communication, well managed team leadership, capability to work at both internal and external levels of project management, being informed about when and how to make trade-offs and concentrating on business goal are to be said the techniques used to achieve the successful delivery of projects.

3.1. International project management

The planning exercise provides the project appraiser with the following information-

  • Determination of the major problem areas,
  • Identification of goals and a good matrix to related targets purpose, purpose to objective and objectives to fid development goals,
  • A consideration of alternatives strategies, sector allocations and programmes and a choice between them
  • An identification of alternative project

Thus the boundaries of project appraisal are determinate. (Wadhwa, Daver, Rao, -1998)

The appraisal of the project is very important which consists of the following steps.

  • Determination of expected contribution of alternatives actions to the various goals.
  • The determination of costs-benefits of the various actions.
  • The determination of a conceptual framework to monitor and evaluate the proposal action.(Wadhwa, Daver,& Rao, -1998)

So any Project investigation, analyzing, designing, implementing, and managing is done properly by the management. Management directs the project through appropriate process. The process goes through a continuous aspect as the Directing a Project (DP), Starting up a Project (SU), Initiating a Project (IP), Managing Stage Boundaries (MSB), Controlling a Stage (CS), Managing Product Delivery (MP), Closing a Project (CP), Planning (PL).( PRINCE2 2008)

3.2. Times with any project

All this processes are related with time boundaries. The time lines are-

  • Earliest start times- the earliest time at which all preceding activities can be accomplished.
  • Latest starting time- the latest time an activities can be starts without delaying the project.
  • Earliest finish time- the earliest possible time at which an activity can be completed.
  • Latest finish time- the latest time and activity can be completed without delaying the project.(Marttino, 1968)

Select time line boundaries are very important for a successful project management. Float is a measure of available time verses required time. Jobs without float are said to be critical and lie on the critical path. There are four Kinds of float-

  • Total float- differences required time and maximum time.
  • Interfering float (event slake) – the measure of float share by downstream activities
  • Free float – measure of excess time when all activities start as early as possible.
  • Independent float – the difference between required time and minimum available time.(Marttino, 1968)

3.3. Common Difficulties

There are some common difficulties that are playing as a determiner of the success or failure of the project. In a project, capital expenditure decisions are extremely important; they also pose difficulties which stem from three principal sources.

  • Measurement problem – Identifying and measuring the cost and benefits of a capital expenditure proposal tends to be difficult. This is more so when a capital expenditure has a bearing on some other activities of the firm (like cutting into the sales of some existing product) or has some intangible consequence (like improving the morale of workers).
  • Uncertainty – A capital expenditure decision involves cost and benefits that extend far into the future. It is impossible to predict exactly what will happen in the future. Hence, there is usually a great deal of uncertainty characterising the cost and benefits of a capital expenditure decision.
  • Temporal spread – The cost and benefits associated with a capital expenditure decision are spread out over a long period of time. Usually 10-20 years for industrial projects and 20-50 years for infrastructural – culture projects. Such a temporal spread creates some problems in estimating discount rates and establishing equivalence. (Chandra, 2007)

4. To evaluate the stages onto which the project management tools and techniques are applied while executing any construction project.

It is very important to evaluate the tools and techniques that are used in a project to its successful conclusion. Every steps of a project is very important. The efficiency of the management depends upon the perfect use of its resources. One fault may change the overall condition of the project.

4.1. Capital expenditure decision

Capital expenditure decision often represents the most important decision taken by a firm. Their importance stems from three inter-related reasons-

  • Long term effect – The consequences of capital expenditure decisions extend far into the future. The scope of current manufacturing activities of a firm is governed targets by capital expenditures in the past.
  • Irreversibility – The market for used capital equipment in general is ill -organized. Further, for some types of capital equipment, custom made to specific requirements, the market may virtually be no existent. Once such an equipment is acquired, reversal of decision may mean scrapping be reversed without incurring a substantial loss.
  • Substantial outlays – Capital expenditures usually involve substantial outlays. An integrated steel plan, for example, in rolves an outlay of several thousand million. Capital costs lend to increase with advanced technology. (Chandra, 2007)

4.2. Facts of project analysis

There are some factors to analysis any project. They are essential to estimate the importance of the project to the firm. According to Chandra, 2007 the factors are-

  • Market analysis – this factor determines the need of the project. That means how fruitful will be the project to the society.
  • Technical analysis – it determines the capability of the firm to complete the project.
  • Financial analysis – it determines the financial capability of the firm to complete the project as well as the profitability of the project.
  • Economic analysis – it determines the economic aspects of the project to the society.
  • Ecological analysis – it determines the biological aspects of the projects. Basically this is the most important factor to build built environment specifically in the construction industry.(Chandra, 2007)

4.3. Capital budgeting process

Capital budgeting is the tool that ensures the outcome from the project and successful conclusion of the project. It is also very important to continue the regular activity and financing. It requires identifying all parties as well as stakeholders related to this project for proper execution of management of the project. First the plan of budgeting should be made than analyze it to determine the necessity and minimize the cost. After this firm should select the priority of financing and select the source of financing. Then implement it and review the effectiveness. The process can be shown as follows. In Capital budgeting process every elements is affecting others.

5. To investigate the role, application and efficacy of project management processes in achieving the successful delivery of projects.

There are five resources to complete the project. Basically these are the elements that combine all the factors and tools to complete a project.

  • Man
  • Money
  • Materials
  • Machines and
  • Time

The building process maintains follows an identifiable life cycle at the time when important environmental impact occurs. However, this process is result to the function and rules of project management of varying degrees of formality that is liable about the procurement, control, and direction of the resources required. The function project management is practiced as it seeks to continue the explicit and implicit performance factors. “The roles, duties, and responsibilities of the project manager are examined to establish the positions during the life cycle at which the environmental impact of the building process is determined and the opportunities available to the project manager to exercise environmental responsibility whilst pursuing the satisfaction of explicit performance requirements (cat.inist.fr,1997)

Single project management provides the project portfolio management efficiency. The previous research reminds that the single project management is related with project portfolio level outcome. “A questionnaire survey with 279 firms verifies the hypothesized role of information availability, goal setting and systematic decision making in achieving portfolio management efficiency.”(Miia & Päivi, 2007, Pages 56-65)

So, reaching project management goals and portfolio management efficiency are two different hypothesized links.

Project management is known as a general issue, but most of the time so many of us get it wrong. Even if one gets it right once, the next time project is often so disappointment. The reason behind it may be unable to embed project management into all aspect of the organization and don’t learn from the mistakes. In the built environment of construction industry the organization needs to consider which projects will delivery strategic objectives.

Project management has emerged as a well-built discipline which is practiced by high level of training, certified experts as organizations have come to observe that they would not stay in business if they cannot handle their projects. However, many organizations are still limiting or reducing the application of project management to the tactical level. It is so much important for the organization to stay in the survival of the construction enterprises in built environment.

5.1 Role of Project Management

Notably, the role of project management is defined especially by the following strategies:-

  • Executive championship: high level of buy-in decision and the guidance to give support the portfolio manager. “Even organizations that have established a formal Project Management Office need an executive champion, particularly when the office is understaffed.” (Wessels, 2007)
  • Business acumen: in order to meet the organization objectives, the project managers need to take quick decision about which projects are necessary.
  • A solid project management process: leadership is an important tool to do the excellent job to create strategic portfolio in regarding project management of construction industry. the project managers and their teams should maintain and continue the practice of just-do-it.
  • Timeframes and budgets: the budget and timeframes should be within the control of project so that the projects would not set up for failure from the beginning. It is known that construction industry is sixth largest industry in United Kingdom. So, it is needless to mention the importance of successful project planning and the budgets in a timeframe. The construction industry comprises a huge amount of investment and cost that is to be said unrecoverable. Hence, if the proper implementation does not occur especially in the UK built environment then there is the possibility of a large amount of loss.

“According to the latest figures (April 2003) from the Office of Government Commerce statistics, 569 PFI contracts have been signed in the UK, 418 of which are already operational. The combined capital value of these contracts is £53 billion, although the value of individual projects ranges from under £1 million to over £1 billion. In the construction and property sector, the scope of PFI has been wide-ranging, including roads, bridges, sewage treatment plants, waste incinerators, hospitals, schools, prisons and office accommodation. But despite the large number of projects procured to date, the effectiveness of PFI is still subject to considerable debate.” (emeraldinsight,2008)

  • Requirements analysis: most of the cases it has been viewed that the organization does not follow and meet the proper requirements. This lack leads to a risky result for any type of organization.
  • Stay the course: the benefit of project management is that it helps to stay in the course when the objectives and goals are determined. Whatever the task is, whether it is difficult or easy, staying in the course makes it possible to fulfill.

6. To identify the importance and need of project management with the augmentation of scope and complexity of construction project.

It is strongly recommend that the benefit, challenge, objectives, goals, strategies all should be selected in a systematic manner for the better outcome. Furthermore, the stages of project management are to be considered and implemented in a normal procedure. The following diagram shows the stages involved in project management.

The above figure suggests that at first the organization would focus on what would be their task and strategy that already mentioned. Then the next step would be to emphasize on how those task and strategy can be implemented. To implement successfully, the organization must have to consider the following criteria in accordance with their objectives:

Adequate formulation: the project management helps to formulate the required data and information adequately and make the function more reliable.

Sound project organization: sound project organization means how smoothly and efficiently the organization can run. When the proper project is implemented then the organizational activities become functional and easy to retain.

Proper implementation planning: whatever the plan is should be implemented properly. The organization needs to follow the right way to make their plan of project effective and desired. It is strongly recommended that the right thing at right way would be implemented at right time and obviously at the right place.

Advance action: advance action needs to take before going to consider about any project success. Good project management thinking helps to identify and recognize the advance actions those are needed to run in the built environment of construction industry. The success or final outcome of the effort depends mostly on the proper advance action.

Timely available of funds: the project management plays a major role in regarding budget issue. The budget issue is equaled important for achieving the desired success. Barriers are involved when the project is maintained and run. Available of funds is one thing that formulates the process of a successful project outcome.

Judicial equipment tendering and procurement:

Better contract management: management is to be defined as planning, controlling, organizing and implementing the functional activities. Contract management is the field where all things related with the planning, controlling, organizing and implementing. The more managed contract, the more desired success can be gained. However, project management to success of construction is similar with blood to a body. “Communication on projects between owners and contractors can sometimes be difficult”. (ehbrunjesassociates.com,2004). In UK construction industry, the external environment is very competitive and challenging. At every step, the organization has to face these challenges and only proper project management can make these challenge completed.

Effective maintaining: the well maintenance of project is the heart of successful construction project. In the perspective of UK construction industry, effective maintaining can lead to a high level of success.

“Project Management is not a catch phrase dreamed up by some marketing director. It is a well-developed body of science with its own processes, technologies, certified professionals, trade associations, and body of literature. So far, lawyers have not been a part of that world, but that is about to change”. (Donald,n.d)

The importance and need of project management with the augmentation of scope and complexity of construction project cannot be ended in words.

The development of project management within a construction industry related organization allows the management teams to work in partnership. Proficiency, locally, nationally or globally the implementation of project management bears some legal and ethical importance.

The contribution of project management to a modern developed country like UK is a considerable topic. It is a formal methodology used to ensure that the projects would be completed on time and within the budget. However, project management is used historically in the construction industry, where methodology is firmly established.

In the area of project management ability, making decision in a changing environment is the major concern. The rapid growth of project management is to be stated as an indication of a change in business function throughout all organization. It is implemented in construction industry to bring about change in organization platform so that they can lead change in organization.

The trinity of project management is time, cost and quality (content or scope). All these things are the major objective function on a project. “The importance of effective project management is by no means restricted to new plant development and construction”. (Brian, n.d) For careful management, maintenance and plant outage work is necessary, especially for in light of growing competitive pressures.

Project management in today’s UK construction industry is faced with the challenge whereby the essential roles and functions they are performing witness a gradual shift in focus. To continue and retain their professional competency, application of project management in construction adapt to the changing environment by depending on effi


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