Projects have essential characteristics that make them create a product or service. Khan and colleagues (2014) argue that projects should be conducted within given time frameworks. This goes a long way in preventing unnecessary costs that would be caused by delays during implementation. Operations are not defined by time limits and can, thus, be carried out throughout in an organization. Workers are assigned different tasks based on their level of expertise and the complexity of tasks.
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After a project has been successfully implemented, employees are required to go back to their usual stations of work. However, they might be called upon to give some important information about the completed project when the need arises during project evaluation. Project development requires synchronization of important processes that are related to each other. The success of a project is greatly determined by how processes are aligned and executed.
Project managers ensure that all project processes are conducted sequentially and use the allocated resources. They may use project management skills not only in new projects but also in existing projects (Braglia & Frosolini, 2014). The approach ensures that high-quality products are created to meet the needs of customers.
This project will take a unique approach. It is acceptable for projects to adopt unique pathways for design and completion because different projects have different features. This task will involve the use of many methods to ensure that activities run smoothly and produce high-quality products.
The AlAin Distribution Company specializes in water and electricity. It is well established and is marked by a large distribution network of water and electricity in Abu Dhabi within the UAE. Project management concepts will be used to determine the causes of failures witnessed in the firm and provide important recommendations that would be used to prevent the poor performance by the company in the future. Also, this paper will provide a conclusion based on the major findings of the paper.
Objectives of the research
Business organizations are involved in stiff competitions that determine the level of business success. There has been a notion that persons with the highest level of expertise would be the right personnel to manage projects.
However, dynamics in the field of project management have enabled big projects to be broken down to smaller components that add up to the main project. This research aims to assess the causes of failures within the AlAin Distribution Company. It also aims to give recommendations that the firm would adapt to avoid such failures about project management in the future.
To assess the AlAin Distribution Company.
The AlAin Distribution Company has a firm foundation in the UAE. It has a wide network of distribution channels that enable it to market and sell water and electricity to many consumers. In the recent past, a significant number of foreigners have been hired by the firm. Research shows that locals are important for the running of business organizations across the world because they are readily available, and they help businesses to gain significant market shares in their areas of operations.
It is worth noting that a good number of locals are not keen on taking positions in the firm. This fact has posed a major challenge to the organization’s management. The research study will determine the reasons why the locals are not ready to work for a well-established company.
Comparison of the AlAin Distribution Company processes with key product processes
Organizations should follow the right steps of initiation to implement projects. It is at the initiation stage that managers conceptualize the objects of a project and how they would be achieved. The approaches used in the initiation stage of a project are determined by the choices of managers and the scope of the project (Hu, Kapucu, & O’Byrne (2014). Control is an important aspect of project management that enables the management of various components of a project.
Within the AlAin Distribution Company, many managers, supervisors, and administrators are not motivated to perform their daily tasks. Thus, the firm is characterized by personnel who do not work collectively to achieve the goals of the firm. Yadav and Dabhade (2014) argue that firms have a small number of managers who exhibit a high level of innovation that would be of great impacts on the organizations.
Research shows that managers who think innovatively are involved in setting long-term goals for organizations. Within the AlAin Distribution Company, many workers aim to maintain their status quo. Although the company has a large network of water and electricity distribution channels, the management does little to promote innovations that would result in improved services. Currently, the firm is characterized by a poor workforce environment.
Planning is a project management approach that assesses a firm’s activities, identifies areas that need improvement, and anticipates the outcomes that are targeted. Jeseviciute-Ufartiene (2014), the technique helps organizations to adopt the most appropriate steps for achieving goals. Also, planning ensures that resources in organizations are utilized because the management teams use effective planning techniques to acquire and share resources.
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Research shows that organizations that utilize resources have increased chances of improving their level of production. Managers are required to spell out schedules that guide project implementation. Also, project managers may use a traceability matrix to identify and control processes when a project is being implemented. The matrix is developed if managers within a firm collect stakeholders’ requirements about a project.
Hwang and Ng (2013) assert that project management planning is so important to any project because it prevents projects from stalling along with implementation. Thus, the authors propose that a project should be described and sectioned so that smaller parts could be managed independently. This way, each smaller portion of the project would have elaborate plans, and corresponding resources that be used until the part is completed successfully.
The AlAin Distribution Company does not have a traceability matrix to track processes continuously. The problems that arise in the form of poor working conditions are traced back to improper planning. This could imply that the issues were not considered during the planning stage. For example, electricity distribution cables are not erected according to standard procedures.
Thus, they pose risks to technicians repairing them. To avoid stiff competition in the future, the organization should adopt the required procedures for laying down cables. It would adopt the approaches by considering the potential risks of technicians working on electricity cables characterized by poor installations. Planning would also ensure that the right materials for installing cables are procured in time.
Execution is a management process that ensures that all process run as planned. The execution stage involves processes and human resources deployed to carry out the processes. This is a critical stage of project management that greatly drives a project and ensures that it is completed in time.
The management should be updated continuously so that processes that are not being executed as planned can be rectified. This stage is aligned with evaluation and assessment processes that ensure that resources are allocated to run processes and that they are completed in time.
A project manager should be involved in the day-to-day monitoring of project execution. Through the involvement, a manager can assess project schedule, risks, and initial project plans. It is the work of the project management team to update stakeholders on the progress of a project. Stakeholders should be aware when things are running smoothly and when problems are encountered. In case more funds are needed to execute a project, stakeholders would play an important role in approving more funding for a project.
Research shows that proper alignment of project resources increases the chances of executing processes smoothly. Project team leaders should be servant leaders who lead by examples. They should also be dynamic and think rationally when conditions require critical decisions.
The AlAin Distribution Company does not have dynamic leadership that responds to changing times about execution of projects. As a result, haphazard methods are used to execute projects within the firm. Projects are not closely monitored, and they stall because problems occur before they could be detected. Also, the management of the firm dose did not let stakeholders know the problems encountered during the execution of projects.
Monitoring and controlling
Monitoring and controlling are used during implementation of a project to provide crucial feedback that helps the management to know whether a project is running smoothly or not. The stage helps managers to assess the risks, costs, and issues that are encountered during the execution stage and their impacts on the overall processes in a project. To assess the progress of a project, project outcomes are aligned with stakeholders’ expectations or objectives. Appropriate tools are used to monitor and control projects.
The stage also requires proper documentation and provision of responses that are used to inform the management about project dynamics. Kerzer (2013) asserts that monitoring aims to determine the level of project success or deviation from expected outcomes. The monitoring process has some sub-entities that are conducted independently to assess the progress of a project. The monitoring sub-entities are assigned different durations of time and funds to be conducted.
Results obtained from the entities are combined to give a big picture of a project. If some problems are found during monitoring, then it would be important for corrective measures to be adopted to solve problems and prevent them from impacting the project negatively in the future. Corrective mechanisms also enable managers to bring projects on track. Project controlling is aimed to save costs associated with running projects.
Khan and colleagues (2014) support the idea that project controlling tools are utilized to promote the efficiency and productivity of employees in organizations. This is particularly the case when large projects are undertaken. Thus, project gains are based on the choice of the tools used in projects (Marcelino-Sádaba, Pérez-Ezcurdia, Echeverría & Villanueva, 2014).
About the case study, there are no effective mechanisms used to monitor and control projects within the firm. Project outcomes are rarely assessed, and there is a huge financial implication of finances because money is spent on projects that do not have important outcomes that be assessed through monitoring and controlling. Also, potential workers are not interested in seeking jobs in the organization. This has made the company have a significant number of foreign employees who could be paid higher salaries than local workers.
Actual problems and solutions via a project management perspective
It is evident from the above scrutiny that the company is facing problems that make the environment not conducive for local workers. The poor working conditions make locals have bad perceptions of the firm. Also, the company has not implemented safety measures that promote safety among employees. Parker and colleagues (2014) argue organizations promote safety so that a conducive environment would be established for employees to discharge their duties effectively.
Organizations that adhere to safety measures are concerned about the health of workers. If workers are in good health, then they would not have high rates of absenteeism. Also, they would work effectively to improve the performances of firms.
Also, firms would incur fewer labor costs because they are not forced to incur costs associated with part-time workers and unplanned workforce. Planning, execution, and monitoring issues have impacted the firm negatively by stalling projects and crucial outcomes that would improve the organization’s performance.
Conclusion and recommendations
The AlAin Distribution Company well established in the UAE. It specializes in distributing water and electricity. Due to its large size, the firm is characterized by complex management structures that aid the aid to manage distribution channels. However, the firm is faced with many problems with project management. First, the firm does not have proper structures for initiating projects. Projects that are not well-initiated stall during implementation.
Second, inadequate project planning approaches are used in the firm. Projects that have poor plans have limited chances of being implemented successfully. Third, managers within the firm do not have effective mechanisms to execute projects. Thus, projects are not implemented following standard approaches that would promote successful implementation processes. Fourth, project monitoring and controlling mechanisms used in the firm are not geared toward realizing excellent project benefits.
Based on the problems, the following recommendations would be proposed to solve them:
- The organization should endeavor to provide a conducive working environment. This would be achieved by assembling the required tools to enable workers to work professionally.
- The firm should adhere to safety measures that would promote safety among employees. Monitoring and control measures should be adopted at the management level. The measures would ensure that projects are reviewed periodically and adopt corrective measures when problems are identified.
- The management should align planning and execution objectives by reviewing the strategic plan.
- Employees should be motivated to work for the firm. This would be achieved by offering workers rewards based on their excellent performances. Also, they would be motivated by providing allowances on overtime. Also, employees would be motivated to work for the company by increasing their monthly salaries based on their performances and level of expertise.
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