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Posted: November 15th, 2022
CSM80006 – PROJECT MANAGEMENT
2nd SEMESTER EXAMINATION — OCTOBER 2015
Establishing some large Manufacturing/Industrial complexes/estates to assist in the kick-starting of new industries
Date of submission:
1. BACKGROUND 3
Case Background 11
2.0 Questions 12
2.1 Qualities of a project leader 12
2.2 Risks to project completion 13
2.3 Communication strategy 16
3. INSTRUCTIONS 18
Aquapower Constructions Ltd (`ACI:), a large, well-established and highly regarded multinational construction company, has entered into a contract with the government of Alantica which is an emerging third world country that is building its industrial infrastructure as part of its long term plans to raise the standard of living for its people. Alantica has only recently voted to function under a fully democratic system and is learning the process of how this form of government works. Alantica is also fairly rich in natural resources and has substantial potentially rich arable but grossly under-developed agricultural land.
This contract is to build some very large concrete and earthen wall water storage complexes (with capacity to hold more than 5,000,000ML of water), which will be used to provide hydro-electric power for industry and domestic use, irrigation for potentially rich farmlands downstream, domestic water supplies to cities and towns (serving approximately 10M people) and probably tourist facilities and eco-tourism trails. The project is located in a relatively remote and underdeveloped area which this new complex will open up and create extensive opportunities for many Alantican people to establish new industries and enterprises that have the potential to substantially improve Alantica’s GNP and, hence, its overall standard of living.
It is an unusual project as it attempts to harness the power of an extensive river system, manage the eco-system carefully, ensure minimum disruption to the local flora and fauna and ensure that, on completion, it delivers the desired outputs and outcomes, particularly those related to job creation, industry development and, hopefully, the aspirational tourism potential. This latter aspect is seen to be a huge opportunity in generating large inflows of international currency and publicity about Alantica as a place to visit and do business with.
ACL is an experienced construction contractor which has undertaken projects of this magnitude before. It has an extensive world-wide skill base that it can draw on to cover all technical and construction aspects of the Project as well as the networks for accessing finance and other relevant resources that may be required to ensure that it is completed by the target date — namely, within eight (8) years from Initiation. The Project is divided into seven (7) Sub-Projects, identified has follows:-
1. Redirection of some of the major waterways.
2. Construction of three (3) concrete dams.
3. Construction of two (2) earthen-wall darns.
4. Construction of Hydro-Electric Generating Plants associated with each of the concrete darns.
5. Development of Power Distribution Systems to the downstream Industrial, Agricultural, Manufacturing and Domestic users.
6. Broadly laying out the irrigation system for the foundation of Agricultural production.
7. Establishing some large Manufacturing/Industrial complexes/estates to assist in the kick-starting of new industries.
A specialist and unique Project Team is to be established for each Sub-Project. Each is to be headed up by an experienced Project Manager with the appropriate skills relating to the work they are responsible for. Each of these Project Managers will report directly to the ACL Director who has overall responsibility for the Project and, who in turn, reports to the Minister for Public Works for Alantica. The Minister is required to provide detailed monthly reports to the Alantican Government.
All the basic planning for the whole Project has been completed, including getting all necessary planning and environmental approvals. These approvals are those required at the national level, so the whole Project is now classified as ‘Shovel Ready’ – this means that the Implementation Phase is ready to begin. Clearly, some of the seven (7) Sub-Projects need to be completed before others can commence — for example, the concrete dams need to be completed prior to the installation and operation of the Hydro-Electricity Generators although a lot of this latter work can be done off-site.
The Alantican Government has issued a number of guidelines that are common, where relevant, to all the Sub-Projects. These include:-
• All new access roads into the Project area are to be built to appropriate International Standards. This means they are required to be all-weather, durable and sealed and capable of handling loads sufficient for carrying equipment and materials necessary for construction purposes during the construction stage and whatever activities are planned to be undertaken in the area in the post construction period.
• Where possible, all work on any of the Sub-Projects is to be given to Alantican nationals, subject to them having the necessary skills to do the work. Where there are skill deficiencies, ACL is required to establish relevant training schools and centres so that, over time, a significant level of ‘skills transfer’ occurs to assist in the long term build-up of technical and management competencies in Alantica.
• The whole Project is to be conducted in a way that is sensitive and sympathetic to the local flora and fauna in that area of Alantica. A Project of this magnitude attracts world-wide attention, particularly from International Environment Groups, UN based organisations, the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF). Alantica does not want to get any of these groups off-side.
• The Project is being jointly funded by a large first World country, the IMF, a consortium of major world banks and Alantica itself. Alantica is providing 40% of the funding as it is anxious to ensure that its people get as many of the short-term benefits as possible and the country generally is put on a stable long term footing in respect of skills development, financial security, self-sufficiency in food production and attraction for world-wide tourism.
• Alantica is also concerned that its local indigenous people are not alienated by the Project and, therefore, requires extensive and continuous consultations between them and ACL on all aspects of each of the seven (7) Sub-Projects.
• It is expected there will be a number of disputes between different parties during the project. Alantica has limited experience in dispute settlement so, on the advice of the International Court in The Hague, it is establishing a ‘Dispute Resolution Centre’ to quickly resolve any dispute that may arise. It is to be independently chaired by a judge appointed by the International Court and comprise the following; the Secretary of the Alantica Ministry of Public Works, the responsible Director of ACL, an elected member of the local Indigenous Community, the Chairperson of the Alantican Chamber of Commerce and an elected member of a group representing the
Sub-Contractors working on the Project. The Chair of the Council will have a casting vote in the event of a tied decision. If a dispute is not resolved within seven (7) days of being raised by a party, it is to be referred to the ‘Dispute Resolution Centre’. The Centre has a further five (5) days to resolve the matter. Any significant stakeholder group may notify a dispute.
• As indicated above, the whole Project needs to be operational within eight (8) years with some Sub-Projects expected to be brought on-stream earlier than that. As an incentive Alantica is providing significant bonuses to ACL for earlier completion but also imposing ‘liquidated damages’ or financial penalties for late delivery.
You have been appointed to be a Project Manager for one of the seven (7) Sub-Projects and have been involved since the beginning of the Planning Phase. You may nominate which Sub-Project and give your reasons for nominating this particular one — clearly, it will relate to the area of Engineering you are specializing in. For example, if are you doing ‘Civil Engineering’ you will probably choose one of the dam building Sub-Projects. Your task is then to respond to the questions outlined in Section 2 below in the context of that specific Sub-Project you have chosen.
The following additional information is provided. Some of this information may be relevant to all Sub-Projects and some only to one (1) or just a couple and some may not be relevant at all
a) It is anticipated that there will be some difficulties during the project establishment phase due to unseasonable weather occurring in the Project area and beyond. Prolonged heavy rain has made major sections inaccessible for the large transport vehicles required to bring in the heavy construction equipment and much of the material required for construction. It is also making it difficult to begin work on the re-direction of part of the river system which is partly necessary prior to major dam construction beginning. However, the weather for the remainder of the construction period is expected to be much better, which should enable some rescheduling of the works, if necessary.
b) Due to the relative remoteness of the location, the inexperience of the Alantican government with projects of this size, the concerns of the local indigenous population that their lifestyle will be permanently changed and the general complexity of the Project, communications with all the major stakeholders are anticipated to be difficult. Additionally, there are the normal communication problems that occur on any major project – namely ensuring clarity of instructions are maintained to all parties, all staff are fully aware of their roles and accountability lines and the fact that much of the work for some of the Sub-Projects is being done off-line making the timing of delivery schedules critical.
c) Early assessments by ACL indicate that there is a limited pool of skilled Alanticans available to do the work. This means that an extensive number of training schools and centres need to be set up as quickly as possible to urgently train many locals. It also suggests that a larger number of managers need to be introduced from outside Alantica than originally planned.
d) Alantica has an emerging union organisation which is getting well organised – it is reasonably assertive where safety concerns are apparent. They are insistent that ACL apply high standards of safety on all project sites and are demanding that there is a
union safety representative on all sites. The union also requires reasonable hours to be worked at each site, fair wages and conditions be provided and that the ‘social and/or recreational needs’ of all workers be appropriately provided for. ACL are well regarded as an employer, providing fair wages and conditions so it would appear that this area of the Project will be well managed. However, there is a small militant section of the union that is trying to gain power within the union movement and sees an opportunity to ‘flex its muscle’ on the dam sites. This information is known to ACL management.
e) As indicated earlier, planning and environmental approvals at the national level have been secured, however, the local indigenous people have not given specific clearance for the Project to proceed. Whilst they are generally in favour of the Project proceeding, they are having difficulty in coming to terms with what will be a major change to their lifestyle, which has evolved over many hundreds of years. Obviously there is a difference between the attitudes of the younger members and the elder statesmen and stateswomen with the former supporting change and the latter wanting the ‘status quo’ to remain. Clearly this matter needs to be resolved quickly and harmoniously, if possible.
f) All ACL’s Sub-Project Managers are very experienced in working in emerging third world countries and have extensive networks and contacts in the Anthropology and Archaeology fields. They have excellent reputations for managing large projects and are considered very competent and expert in their profession. However, the complexities of the mix of serious issues present, in some cases, are situations that some of them have not experienced before. Therefore the Planning Phase and early part of the Implementation Phase are critical for ensuring that the Project has a reasonable chance of being completed on time.
g) Much of the Hydro-Electric Generation equipment is built off-site but its manufacture and sourcing needs to be commenced early as possible as there are long lead-times for delivery of many of the parts which need to come from overseas. The delivery of the completed drawings is on schedule except for a couple of key components, which are proving difficult to complete. The difficulty arises from the need for the equipment to operate in fairly extreme weather conditions. This may create a need for some works to be re-scheduled.
h) The work on developing the potentially rich arable land downstream from the dam system can commence before the dam complexes are finished. This area is where there are significant opportunities for the local indigenous people to commence building their new lifestyle. However, they need to be convinced that this new Irrigation System is beneficial and will assist them to change their old ways and take up these new opportunities. They were previously using primitive cultivation techniques that had not changed for hundreds of years. The Sub-Project Manager is tasked to guide this change but is having difficulty in establishing an acceptable level of interaction with the locals — this may cause some major hold-ups on this part of the Project.
This segment of the multiphase project will be implemented last after all the other sub projects have been carried out. It is important to point out the fact that this part of the project is one of the most important since it affects the local population directly. The establishment of these industries will be dependent on the generation of electricity as well as the available of other resources. The sub-project will require technical knowledge as well as managerial skills which will supplement each other. Taking into consideration the fact that I have been thoroughly trained as a manufacturing engineer and have also worked in the manufacturing industry for quite some time, this gives me an added advantage while leading the project team to complete the project. The fact that I have participated in w number of similar projects which have all been completed successfully makes me the right candidate for tis challenge. The experience I have had in the past gives me confidence of my abilities and also that I can carry out this project to completion. This study focuses on the requirements that the project leader will be expected to have and the likely challenges the project is likely to face.
2.1 Qualities of a project leader
1. what are the main leadership characteristics required for the sub project you are responsible for? Identify them and briefly outline your reasons for each one.
As it has been indicated in the segment above, this is one of the most important parts of the entire project and will be the main evaluative component on the success or failure of the project. As the project leader in this sub project, I cannot afford to put the reputation of the team as well as the company in jeopardy. The success that a company gains from large projects becomes the benchmarks for evaluating the dependability of a given company and this also has a great influence on the future of the company. As the leader in this sub project, a number of qualities which will be in the form of both leadership and interpersonal skills will be required to manage a project of this size. Some of the main leadership qualities that will be necessary include:
a. Problem solving skills: This will require the project manager to be knowledgeable in matters related to decision making. It is normal for projects to encounter unprecedented problems in the course of their implementation. It is important that the project manage should be able to analyze the problem and make impromptu decisions that will offer an immediate solution so that the work can go on.
b. Ability to work as a team: The project leader should be a team player especially in a project of this magnitude. The project team will be composed of members with different backgrounds, skills and abilities and it is their duty to complement each other. The project leader should be able to motivate the team members to work harder and appreciate the work they are doing.
c. Visionary: The project leader should be able to envision the scope of the project and translate this to his team. The vision of what the ultimate goal of the project is likely to be will be the leading factor in motivating the team to work towards the set goals.
d. Ability to command authority: The project leader should also be charismatic and a person who commands respect and ability. This will give the project team confidence in his leadership and also make them feel secure as they work within this sub-project. The fact that the project Is being carried out in a foreign country will require that he interacts with persons of high status and this character will be key in the success of a project leader.
e. Background of manufacturing: Since this project is oriented within the manufacturing docket, it is important that the project manager has prior knowledge about manufacturing either through training, experience or personal ventures. This will help him understand the requirements of the sub-project in a much better way.
f. Strong organizational skills: This is important in ensuring that the sub-project runs according to schedule and the team carries out its tasks effectively. Good organizational skills include ability to plan, schedule and document the project specifics.
2.2 Risks to project completion
2. What are the significant issues and/or risks for the successful completion of your sub-project? List these and indicate what plans you need to implement immediately to minimize the impact of the three most serious ones. How would you measure the success of your plans? Would any of these plans been prepared during the planning phase in your preparation for the project?
The success or failure of a project during its implementation is subject to a number of issues which affect the project either directly or indirectly. Project managers must be wary of these issues so as to avoid case of the project ending prematurely, overshooting the schedule or failing to end at all. It is therefore crucial that project managers put plans into place starting from the point of commencement of the project to the time when the project is handed over. Some of the issues that affect the success or failure of the project include:
a. Goal and vision: Failure of the leadership and the team members of the sub project to understand the goal of the project can be a major cause of failure in the project. The same problem can be incurred when the project specific are not well documented. This may lead to misalignment of the project goals and the objectives causing a total failure of the project.
b. Leadership: The project leadership is key to the success of the project. Behind every successful team there is an effective project leader. If the team leader is weak and cannot command any authority among the project team members, the end result will be loss of direction among the team members and the project may fail to complete.
c. Stakeholder’s engagement: Stakeholders are the main supporters of the project. They are the people who are either affected directly or indirectly by the project. If the project manager fails to involve them in the project implementation, there is a likelihood that the project may end up failing.
d. Team dynamics: There are a number of factors that are known to affect the performance of a team but there is need to have them controlled. Failure to manage the team dynamics will lead to competition and infighting within the team and the project may end up failing.
e. Architecture and design: The architectural design of the project is key to the success of the project. The design should be realistic, achievable and within the scope of the project. This will be important in achieving the project goals.
f. Project tracking: This involves being at par with the progress of the project activities. Failure of the project manager to keep track of the progress of the progress can lead to failure of the project to meet its objectives.
g. Decision making problems: Decision making is key to any project. However problems may arise when poor decisions are made by the project managers leading to unprecedented problems. This can be minimized through consultative decision making.
Three of the most crucial issues include: Goal and vision, team dynamics and project leadership. The issue of goals and visions can be solved through consultative planning, proper documentation and background checks on the project components. The issue of team dynamics can be resolved through proper leadership within the team. Finally, the issue of project leadership can be addressed through having a project leader who is visionary and commands authority. The success of the plans can be determined through the quality of the end product (industries) and the feedback from the client and the stakeholders. These plans must be put into place during the planning phase of the project.
2.3 Communication strategy
3: Communications are clearly a major issue. Broadly outline ACL’s communication strategy for the project. Then in more specific detail, define the communication strategy for your particular subproject identifying who are the most important stakeholders. Why are they the most important and what criteria would you use to assess the effectiveness of your strategy?
The project objective in this case is to establish some large Manufacturing/Industrial complexes/estates to assist in the kick-starting of new industries. The main stakeholders in this project include the Alantican government, the people of Alantican and the local authority mandated with regulation of the environment. This subproject is the last phase of the multiphase project that is headed by an overall project manager. Under him are heads of each subproject. Communication is key to the implementation of any given project. A strategic mode of communication that allows all the stakeholders to have access to information will be established. Communication within the project will be carried out through emails, team project meetings, phone calls for urgent issues and weekly briefings on the progress of the project. The subproject leader will handle all the issues that he is in apposition to give solutions and the issues that are beyond him will be referred to the overall project manager. It is important that all the stakeholders are kept informed on the progress of the project until it is completed.
The issues to be addressed include the progress of the project and any concerns among the team members. Each of the stakeholders will have a unique role to play. First, the Alantican government will be tasked with providing the funds necessary for the completion of the project; the local population will be the direct beneficiaries of the project. The environmental regulatory authority will be responsible with ensuring that the industries remain adherent to the required environmental standards. A combination of these factors will influence the quality of the end product. The effectiveness of this strategy will be determined through the quality of the end constructed industries and the feedback from both the stakeholders and the client.
a) All uestions must be answered – specific marks are allocated to each question and, where relevant, to the components of each question. Therefore, it is imperative that you read the background carefully before you commence your responses to any of the questions.
If you wish to create additional background material to assist in preparing your responses, you may do so. However., you must clearly outline what additional background information you have created at the very beginning of your response and prior to answering any of the questions. Some of the provided material on Pages 1, 2, 3 and 4 may be irrelevant and some may require interpretation -where you believe interpretation is necessary you are to provide your understanding or interpretation of it.
b) References are to be used with the author and source clearly stated and included as a bibliography at the end of your paper or in footnotes. References should not be limited to class notes.
c) This examination is worth 30 marks. Your total response to all questions should not be more than 1500 – 2000 words. Longer responses are unlikely to improve the quality of your presentation. In many cases a ‘dot point’ approach can be and should be used.
d) Completion and delivery of a hard copy is to be no later than 5.00pm, Friday 13th November 2015. As advised at the beginning of the Semester, late delivery will incur loss of marks as outlined below:-
1-3 days late: 5 marks.
Later than 3 days: Additional mark deducted for each day.
e) The examination is to be done in your own time with no collaboration with any other person, particularly your fellow students. Plagiarism and/or copying of any form are considered serious offences by Swinburne University of Technology and, if detected, usually result in immediate disqualification.
f) A hard copy of your examination response is to be delivered to:-Box 85 — ‘Project Management CSM80006’
81h Floor, Advanced Technologies Centre (ATC Building), Burwood Rd., Hawthorn, 3122
g) NOTE: Only a hard copy will be accepted and marked. Do not send an email version – IT WILL BE IGNORED. Acknowledgement of receipt of your examination will not be provided.
h) GOOD LUCK WITH THIS EXAM
AND YOUR STUDIES OVERALL.IN PARTICULAR, I WISH EACH OF YOU A SUCCESSFUL CAREER AND THAT YOU REALISE YOUR FULL POTENTIAL AND LIVE HAPPY AND FULFILLING LIVES SHARINGYOUR UNIQUE AND SPECIALTALENTS AND QUALITIES WITH YOUR COMMUNITIES.
Charland, T., Advanced Project Management Techniques Handbook, 2000.
Dinsmore, Paul., (Editor) The Ama Handbook of Project Management, McGraw-Hill, 2003.
Grey, Stephen., Practical Risk Assessment for Project Management, Wiley Series in Software Engineering Practice, 2005.
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