China Sustainable Cities Program is a massive project that is meant to turn around the current structure of the cities of this country. After years of being considered the world’s leading country in environmental pollution, China has decided to make a move that would see have a transformed society. This project is meant to ensure that the cities are self sustaining and able to meet the international safety standards.
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Procurement and contract management is one of the important factors that have to be considered in this project. Contracts should be issued based on merits. It is important that the project management team considers both legal and health concerns as measures of determining the best firm to award contracts. One of the strengths of this project is that China is a country has a huge human resource base and therefore it should consider exploiting it maximally.
This move by the government of China was seen as a transformational leadership. It is therefore necessary that quality measures are considered when putting up the project. Various measures of quality should be employed. The human resource involved should also be properly managed to ensure harmony in the projects.
China is one of the fastest growing economies in the world. According to Lieberthal (1995, p. 67), it is also one of the largest manufactures of various products targeted at both developing and developed nations. Because of the large manufacturing companies in this country, it was named the leading country in the world in air pollution. It emits the highest percentage of carbon into the air, causing air pollution (Campanella 2008, p. 85). This would in turn pollute rain water and this cycle of pollution would continue.
China has the highest population in the world. Most of its cities currently are over capacitated, a fact that has been attributed to the poor urban planning. As such, the government has seen it wise to design cities that are able to meet the demands of the current population and the expected growth.
The cities have been planned to meet the needs of the expected population growth of this country. According to Zhou (2006, p. 78), the cities are planned in such a way that it would satisfy the demands of the future population despite the limited space that is available in these cities.
In this effort, there is also the need to ensure that the cities are free from carbon pollution. Zhao (2011, p. 34) explains that the cities are to be sustainable in two main fronts. The first front is that they should be able to absorb China’s expected large population for the next fifteen to thirty years without any problem of limited housing facilities.
The other front is that the cities should be free of pollution. China still expects to be the leading manufacturer in the world. However, it is making an effort to produce these products at limited pollution rates (Berlatsky 2010, p. 89). The cities should completely be free from any form of pollution.
This paper seeks to critically analyze china sustainable cities program in international project management field, with a view to ascertaining its strengths and weaknesses.
Procurement and Contracts Management in China Sustainable Cities Program
Low (2000, p. 56) explains that procurement is one of the most important factors to consider in coming up with the major projects. In China Sustainable Cities Program, there was a need to develop a procurement strategy that would see to it that this project is made a success (Joseph 2010, p. 41). The concerned individuals in this government investment must properly manage the contracts.
Principles and approaches
According to Zhang (2010, p. 67), it is very important to ensure that major project are awarded to firms and individuals who have the capacity to perform the required task in the best way possible. The approach taken in selecting the firms to award various tenders would depend on the track record. Lye (2010, p. 54) says that China Sustainable Cities Program is a project that is geared towards achieving the best infrastructure within China’s major cities. Procurement must therefore be done professionally.
Legal factors should also be considered in the procurement process. According Benn (2002, p. 29), when awarding contracts to such massive projects like this, it is highly recommended that the legality of the contracted firms is confirmed.
The firms should be legally viable to carry out obligations that they are assigned (Martine 2008, p. 39). It should be based on merit and should be done transparently. The entire process of the project should be based upon the laws of the land. Rules and regulations of different arms of the government should be adhered to.
Health and safety
The program aims at coming with cities that are sustainable. As Meng (2010, p. 27) says, one of the leading factors to consider in coming up with these cities is health and safety procedures. The project management team has the mandate to ensure that the contracted firms have the capacity to ensure health and safety of the cities upon their completion (Chang 2000, p. 37). The whole process of developing the cities should also be characterized by health and safety procedures.
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As Wright (2008, p. 19) says, the process of awarding tenders should be done in a free and fair manner if success is to be achieved. The tendering process should not be based on some favoritism standards. The award should be given on merit irrespective of any relationship that could be there between the tendering board and the concerned firms.
Transformational change and leadership in china sustainable cities program
Change Principles in Projects
The Chinese government has seen the need to develop cities that are able to respond to the requirements of the environment. For some time now, the leadership of this country has always been challenged to show leadership and cut down on its pollution rates (Kalman 1998, p. 34). This project is seen as its positive response towards this challenge.
Transformational change and leaders
The development of these cities is seen as a transformational approach by transformational leaders of this country. Wang (2009, p. 28) says that transformational leadership is the key ingredient towards transformational change. This massive project is a clear pointer that the government has considered the need to transform this country for the better.
Quality assurance in projects
This project is one of its kinds. Quality assurance is always easily done when there a benchmark upon which it is done. As Visser (2010, p. 90) says, quality would be based on some set standards. However, because of uniqueness of this project, quality assurance would be based on the expectations of the project. It would be judged on how well it satisfies the expectations of the designers, the government and society in general.
Managing risks in projects
Midler (2009, p. 30) argues that risk management is a factor that should be considered in such a massive project. The project management should clearly spell out risks that are likely to be experienced in coming out with such projects and the best mitigation measures. According to Terrill (1975, p. 34), risks in such projects are unique to a given area as they are always shaped by such factors as environment and social structure of the society among others.
The role of People Management in cross cultural teams
This project has attracted human resource from various regions. As such, it is a fact that the human resource working on the project vary in cultural practices (Perkins 1999, p. 18). The project management team should make an effort to ensure that this team work cohesively, without letting the cultural differences factor in when implementing the plan. According Chasek (2000, p. 26), the team should be allowed to practice their cultural practices independently without any prejudice.
Performance & Earned Value Management in China Sustainable Cities Program
Earned Value Management in Projects
Earned value management would be one of the key considerations in this project. In this massive project, the main aim is to have a city that is self sustaining, a city that is able to absorb the growing population of China and maintains the environment clean (Knapp 2000, p. 78). The earned value should be based on this expected value of the project.
Origin and application
Song and Woo (2008, p. 95) say that Earned Value Management is a tool for measuring project progress and performance. It originated in United States in 1960s as a financial analysis tool for large projects. This tool came to existence because of the need to evaluate the performance of large projects. It was a measure to ensure that large government or institutional projects run as per the plans of the concerned individuals.
The main techniques in assessing projects using earned value management tool is by determining the Project Value of the completed project. The perceived value of the project would be determined based on the cost of the project (Knight & Song 1999, p. 88). The value of the completed project should reflect on the cost of the project.
Key consideration and issues relating to Earned Value Management
Some of the key considerations of issues relating to Earned Value Management include the simplicity or complexity of the implementation of the projects. As Dauvergne (2008, p. 81) says the analysis can be done based on simple implementation where emphasis is only based on technical performance.
Alternatively, it can be based on intermediate implementation which involves integration of schedule and technical performance. The last approach would be advanced implementation which integrates the technical performance, cost and schedule of the project (Knox & Marston 2012, p. 68). In each of the three approaches, there is uniqueness that the concerned individuals should be observant of.
Performance management-360 degrees appraisals
360-degrees appraisal, also known as 360-degree feedback or multi-rater feedback or multi-source assessment is an appraisal procedure of the human resource by the immediate members of an employee. In this project, the contracted firms have the obligation to meet the expectations of the Chinese government in constructing the new model of the city.
Day and Ma (1994, p. 69) argue that such firms would need to ensure that individual employees who are tasked with various duties in the firm perform their duties as per the expectations. There would therefore be a need to conduct appraisal of the employees at regular intervals.
The project management team can involve the locals to give a feedback of the entire project, individual sections of the entire project and even the performance of single individuals of the project (Ferroa & Chan 2002, p. 67). The feedback would then be used to determine the path for the project. If the feedback is negative, the project management team may need to go back to the drawing board and define new paths.
Earned Value Management should not be used as a single tool for the analysis. This is because of the risk involved. This approach has been lauded as being a very appropriate tool in the analysis of the financial viability of the project, and other financial factors. However, the risk comes in that it does not cover quality of the project.
Robbins (2007, p. 39) says this approach would give the right budget for the project but it is not an assurance on the quality. For this reason therefore, the cost of the project would be correctly determined, but the result may be dissatisfying. This main undoing of this approach has been the reason why it has been recommended that this tool should be used in conjunction with others to ensure a complete assessment and quality assurance.
Quality and compliance issues
China Sustainable Cities Program is a major project that would require a close monitoring to ensure complete compliance to quality issues. The government looks forward to having a project that meets the specifications that were put in place. Because of the amount of investment put in this project, it would demand that the project satisfies all the conditions put in place.
Conversely, the people of China who are expected to stay in these ultra-modern cities have their own expectations that should be met upon completion of this project. The project management team must therefore employ the right quality management tools to ensure that the project comes out with the right quality.
Human Resources and Conflict Management in China Sustainable Cities Program
The HR role and function
Human resource has a pivotal role in the development of China Sustainable Cities. This massive project requires skills manpower to ensure its success. These ultra-modern cities require a lot of skills in order for them to become s reality (Fook & Gang 2010, p. 62). The role of human resource would not only be in the construction and quality management, but also the auditing and inspection duties.
Negotiation and conflict management
Conflict management is one of the most important functions in any set up that have individuals who, in one way or the other are expected to differ in thoughts. According to (Glaeser 1987, p. 39), negotiation is the best way through which such conflicts can be resolved. In this program, there should be a clearly spelt way in which the human resource should relate. Management of conflicts should be done using negotiations or any other appropriate means (Inoguchi, Newman & Paoletto 1999, p. 32).
Teamwork cannot be avoided in such a massive undertaking. This project would have a number of professionals and individuals performing different duties all geared towards the achievement of a sustainable city. Different departments should work in close coordination with others to ensure uniformity. Overlapping of duties should be avoided at all the stages (Hodges 1970, p. 47). The entire team should work having in mind the objective of the entire process.
Knowledge management and the learning organization
Human resource is always in a continuous learning process. Knowledge management is therefore a factor that any organization would have to consider in order to ensure effectively of its human resource. The team involved in this project should have a rough idea of how the project would look like upon completion. This may call for some in-service training (Liauw, L 2008, p. 27).
China sustainable cities project is one of its kind. It is geared towards ensuring that China has cities that would be in a position to absorb the growing population of this country. The project is meant to ensure that this country has cities that are pollution free. Though very costly, this huge project is a move by the government to ensure that this country makes an effort in ensuring that this country adheres to the environmental protocols put forth by international bodies.
To ensure that this project is a success, there is need to ensure that several measures are put in place. The success of this project would start from the procurement. It is from this that the project would get quality products that would be used in various stages. For this reason therefore, the project management team should ensure that it employs an appropriate procedure in the procurement procedure.
The project management team should ensure professionalism in conducting their duties. Transformational leadership is one of the most important factors that should be considered when implementing this project. People employed to work on the projects may come from different regions. However, it is important to manage them in such a way that they would be in a position to work as a unit, without having their difference in culture as a barrier.
This project is one of the major undertakings of China as a country. It is one of the moves that are meant to ensure that various cities of this country are not only able to absorb the population of the country, but is also eco-friendly. Success of the project is therefore given a lot of priority. Some of the factors to consider in ensuring success include the following.
- The project management team should consider outsourcing local firms to perform these duties. Although some phases of the project may require outsourcing of international firms, most of the duties should be done by the locals. This would not only lower the cost, but will also result in quality performance because they would have a feeling that they are developing their own country.
- To ensure quality of the entire project, quality assessment should be done at close intervals. The team should develop stages that assessment would be done. Any issue raised at each stage should be addressed before moving to the next stage.
- The project should be conducted with international standards in mind. Because of the financial consequences involved in the project, various arms of the government should be involved.
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