A project is defined as a unique set of co-ordinated activities, with definite starting and finishing points, undertaken by individual or organization to satisfy specific objectives within defined schedule, cost and performance (Lester a., 2003) and a project manager could be one who has the general responsibility for the successful initiation, planning, design, execution, monitoring, controlling and closure of a project. (Projectsmart, 2020)
Qualities and Attributes of Project Managers:
The project managers must allocate time to the multiple activities in relevancy product delivery, like adequate testing, training, managing stakeholder expectations, and re-deployment of team members and materials, and therefore the future trust of the client might be at stake without right timing. (nan an, April 2019). A project manager must be aware of management skills, financial skills, must be a decent analyst and have good relations within the market to ensure effective discharge of its duties. Despite having these attributes in the personality those may add within the success ratio of a project manager there are various other qualities/attributes those are required to be a high-quality project manager and some of the areas are as follows:
Planning plays an essential role in helping guide stakeholders, sponsors, teams and the project managers throughout the project phase. A preliminary project plan should be available within the primary week that a project manager (PM) is assigned to a project. It should address the following two to four weeks of activities and requires no approval other than by the PM0 (whitten, 2000). The planning of the project includes certain steps which include the identification of stakeholders, setting goals, defining deliverables, making project schedules, risk assessment and lastly presentation of the project plan (Pellerin & Perrier, 2018). I understand that for every project manager it’s essential to possess a complete knowledge of project planning to ensure appropriate demonstration of project management skills.
For the manager, organising is the essential task to accomplish the work effectively and efficiently. I strongly recommend that the project manager must master in organizing the project arrangements and decisions. A typical project organization include the project leader accountable for the entire management of the project, the team which implement the project and finally the supreme body of the project known as project board that can take high-level decision linked to the project related (Miterev, Mancini, & Turner, 2017).
Communications, with emphasis on a project manager working remotely with project team members
In today’s environment, it is very important to possess a properly established channel of communication to manage remote teams monitoring and controlling (Ford, Piccolo, & Ford, 2017). A project manager must emphasize the utilization of technology (virtual teams/agile) in the project management concerning communication particularly in the case of managing the remote teams. To effectively communicate and control the remote teams, the important aspects to be considered include the utilization of appropriate technology, use clear messages, establishing an appropriate rapport with the team members and transparency in a team should be best. Further, the importance of time tracking and building a powerful culture addition of prime nature ( Deshpande, Sharp, Barroca, & Gregory, 2016).
Managing multi-cultural project stakeholders
In a multinational and multisite project, the stakeholders are executives, project team members, project sponsors, steering committee, resource managers etc. It is quite obvious to possess people from different cultural background and different locations who are involved in a project and a project manager must use different management skills to have effectively managed the whole project team, and these skills include the time management, keeping all stakeholders engaged, respect the authority of each team members, responsibility of each team member must be undertaken, communication must be clear, loud and understandable by all stakeholders.
Cost and Time Saving
The techniques of planning and scheduling are the prominent tools and devices which is employed to compute the project (T.Subramani, June 2014). A project manager who has a decent understanding of cost and time-saving techniques not only from a management point of view but from the financial point of view as well must be highly recommended. Different techniques to use include the maximization of output from the members, using cost and time effective tools.
Scenarios of using Advanced Planning & Scheduling Techniques:
The construction industry is an extremely dynamic sector which is growing fast and plays an imperative role in the development of Malaysia and the industry is facing a lot of challenges in completing construction projects within the estimated time and cost (Ibrahim, 2010). A total of 35 factors contributing to time and cost overrun were considered which were categorized into 4 phases of the project life cycle, namely planning, design, construction and finishing (Ismail, 2013). The figure shows the project life cycle phases,
Figure 1: project lifecycle phases (Ismail, 2013)
Every project is unique and there is no specific procedure to overcome the cost and time. Some of the most importantly used advanced information systems include the following,
Supply Chain Planning include the data system support to plan the supply chain process in totality, it’ll help the project managers to have knowledge of the supply chain models in a more comprehensive manner and thus enable them to plan similar in a better way. The process of selecting a supplier is very important as the resource should be available at the right time and right cost (Ali, 2014)
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Demand Management and Sales Forecasting, demand for the product must be managed as per the availability and price and it is the tool to set cost and schedule ( See-To & Ngai, 2018), it may also be the demands from team, labours, suppliers which may delay or cost more to satisfy the demand or to replace them. Use of information system for planning is kind of beneficial and it provides a good oversight of the demand and provides forces into the market and on this basis, a better understanding sales forecast is done more appropriately.
Planning and scheduling site visits, for construction concerns, it’s of prime importance to possess a properly managed schedule that will further ensure the compliance with projected performance and related cost targets, with the assistance of advanced tools including the usage of information system for the purpose, the project managers can perform their job more efficiently and effectively.
The project manager must strongly use the advanced techniques in the project management as these techniques will help to perform better in each aspect, resultantly project success ratio will be increased.
Part 2: Multi Constraint Planning:
Multi Constraint Planning:
Planning in large, complex and concurrent construction projects is highly complicated due to excess pressure to complete project with utmost coordination at different levels in different departments those are supposed to perform interdependent activities ( Albey, Uzsoy, & Kempf , 2016) without sacrificing cost time and quality, and without an advanced planning there is a strong tendency for weak collaboration across supply chain and operation at the workface. (Eknarin Sriprasert, 2003). More the complexity of the large projects, more will be the constrains and these constrains are identified into 4 types namely contract constrains (Time, Cost, Quality, Special Agreement), Physical constrains (Dependency, Space, Safety, Environment),information constrains(Availability) and Resource Constrains(Availability, Capacity, Perfection, Continuity) (Vukovic, 2020).
While applying the usually used building information model commonly known as BIM it has been observed that it is not sufficiently responding the challenges in relation to huge projects (Jun, Wei, Shuai, Chenglong, & Zhihe, 2015), so to respond these challenges there is a need of multi scale approach that will coup with the problem of less coordination among different workgroup that may led to a project failure or cost overrun (Solovey & Halperin, 2016). To fulfil this need multi-constraint planning has been introduced which is basically a multi-scale BIM (Berger & Lo, 2015) with the use of this model on virtual models it has been witnessed that it led to more collaboration in the construction projects thus in turn caused a more successful project implementation (Hübner, Kuhn, & Kühn, 2016), which will be beneficial for each associated stakeholder of the project.
Applicability - Construction Sector:
I use this approach in the context of construction sector as it is the sector that use project management in a very wide scope (Si, Halburd, Nasiri, & Bell, 2016), the applicability of the multi constraint model has been witnessed with the use of empirical evidences. It has been found that model has certain values as well as constraints (Harrison & Lock, 2017). Various studies have been conducted (Wimmler, Hejazi, Fernandes, Moreira, & Connors, 2015), (Qiu, Dong, Zhao, Zheng, & Li, 2015) and (Arashpour, Wakefield, Blismas, & Minas, 2015) to prove the usefulness of multi constraint model and it is in use at a wider level in different project management. A glimpse of value hold by this model and constraints there against is hereunder,
It makes the management of complex project more easy and effective in comparison to traditional methods, as it covers the multi-scale approach which consider each independent, dependent and interdependent activities in relation to any project like mechanical, electrical and plumbing in large scale projects.
Enhance the reliability of construction schedule as it account for the activities to be performed by different departments and synchronize those properly (Hu, Zhang, Yu, Tian, & Xiang, 2016). This synchronization will help in performing the activities in a manner that no activity overlap other and smoothen the overall work and avoid hasty yet useless efforts.
It can satisfy the various potential constraints including but not limited to physical, contract, resource and information those can be occurred due to non-implementation of proper project management model at the initiation stage.
It will help in managing the cost and to avoid the uncertainty in the cost that may result a cost overrun which may ruin the whole project particularly from financial perspective as increase cost that may cause due to lack of properly implemented model to address different layers of operations, will create an adverse impact on the whole project.
Besides values there are certain constraints which are associated with the use of multi-constraint planning model, some of them are as under,
Despite having various values for the project managers, the use of multi-constraint model may be lied under certain constraints those may make it difficult to use the same or if use may lead to compromised results (Dawood & Sriprasert, 2006) These constraints mainly include,
Activity dependency, some time activities are dependent in a manner that one activity cannot be determine until the completion of other, so it may cause problem in account for the same at the time of planning due to higher factor of risk in ascertaining the true quantum of activity and related cost and resources.
Limitation of working, for any project the working area is limited thus it will also limits the scope of considering the layers in a multi-constraints planning and there might be some unforeseen situation during implication that was not consider due to limitation at the time of planning.
Resources, is the foremost important aspect to be consider, it is essential to use the skills of professional to develop a multi-scale model and it will add in the cost of project further sometimes it will also become difficult to find the right skill set for the purpose (Beşikci, Bilge, & Ulusoy, 2015). Another important aspect consider is that resources are costly and project has to bear the cost of engagement of high level skill set with the project planning process.
Limited information, usually before initiation of project there are certain risks which are not under consideration and at the same time this limitation may lead to a compromised multi-scale model. Further there might be certain unattended areas where information may not be available in the true sense and it limits the ability of project manager to adjudge the same.
These constraints limits the usefulness of multi-constraint model for huge and complex projects, however despite these issues the multi-constraint planning is a widely used technique in the matter of complex projects where number of activities need to be performed in order to complete the task (Ibadov, 2018), as suggested by the use of genetic algorithm can provide the maximum possible efficient schedule that can termed as constraint-free schedule, which will improve the productivity of the projects and make them more certainly profitable for the stakeholders. So due to these inherent benefits the use of multi-constraint planning is getting popularity especially in the case of huge complex project related matters where activities are huge in number and have different characteristics. The main focus or reason to use this model is the coverage of each aspect in a comprehensive manner for the usage of project manager.
- Webster, F. M. (1993). PM101: project management. PM Network, 7(9), 20–25.
- Communications problems result from the significant loss of communications ability caused by the removal of visual cues from the communications link.
- When it comes to communication, it is important to deliver information in a manner that is understood by the receiver, which means we need to get past the receiver's filters and ensure that the individual understood the intended message.
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