Sustainability of a project depends on the ability of the management unit to understand the environmental factors that may pose any form of threat to its normal operations. This study sought to analyze sustainability of a new recycling plant that is meant to use plastic wastes within the United Arab Emirates.
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These environmental factors have different impact on the ability of this project to achieve its objectives. The management team must develop a deep understanding of itself, especially the corporate structure. Understanding the internal environment makes it possible for the management to formulate ways of conforming to the external forces. Corporate issues should be adequately addressed before the project can be officiated. When the project owners and the management unit have developed a detailed understanding of the internal environmental issues, it would be necessary to analyze the external environment.
When doing this, it is be important to identify some of the opportunities that the external environmental factors present. It would also be necessary to identify the threats associated with some of the environmental factors. This project of recycling plastic wastes is viable if implemented in the right manner. Not only is it focused on creating wealth for the owners, but also plays an important role in reducing pollution in the environment. It is a creative way of finding other economic benefits from wastes. This makes it easy for the project to receive support from various stakeholders in a society that has become very sensitive to issues of environmental protection.
Project sustainability is one of the most important factors that have to be considered before a new project can be approved by the relevant authorities. A project should be sustainable over a given period depending on its size, the industry within which it operates, and the financial investment that it has consumed. According to Adetule (2011, p. 62), project sustainability can be analyzed from the environmental perspective. The scholar says that the environment where a firm operates plays an important role in determining its sustainability.
For a project to be sustainable, it is important to ensure that environmental factors that have direct impact on its normal operations are factored in during its implementation process. Some of these environmental factors are always out of control of a firm. This means that there would be no means of manipulating these factors in favor of a firm. It would force such a business unit to ensure that it is flexible enough to change whenever there is a change in these environmental factors.
When developing a new project, it would be vital for the project management to develop flexible management approaches that would be conscious of the changing environmental factors. The project under focus is a plastic waste recycling plant. The project is an initiative of a group of students who are not only keen on starting a viable business unit, but are also concerned about the effect of plastic wastes on the environment. This research will analyze its sustainability based on various environmental factors.
Background of the Project
This project is an initiative of five students who were concerned about the increasing volume of plastic wastes in this city and the country at large. It was clear that plastic wastes are becoming a menace in the country, especially the thin plastic bags commonly used in wrappings. The United Arab Emirates is one of the fastest developing economies in the world. However, if these wastes are not managed properly, it can reach a point where it may interfere with the normal economic development. The focus of this project is to recycle plastic wastes to manufacture other plastic materials.
The initial cost of the project is particularly high because of the need to buy the machines to be used in the recycling process. The project members will contribute a given percentage, while the other percentage will be from well wishers who are willing to support this noble cause. The team will need to borrow some money from financial institutions in order to boost financial base of this project. The project will involve collecting of plastic wastes from the residential areas where they are commonly found. These materials would be taken to the recycling plant where they will be used to manufacture other plastic materials. The proceeds from this economic activity will be reinvested in order to expand the operations of the firm.
Analysis of the Project Environmental Context
According to Watson (1996, p. 39), business environment has become increasingly competitive because of the various changes that are taking place in the environment. Firms are currently faced with numerous challenges, which require due diligence in order to achieve the desired results. When starting a new project, it is important to understand some of the environmental factors that may affect the operations of the firm either positively or negatively.
Analyzing the environmental context of a project helps the stakeholders understand what they should expect when the project is initiated. For example, the financiers of this project would want to know the viability of the project before giving out their money. People who will be hired would be interested in knowing the sustainability of the project as a way of determining their job security.
The owners of the project should be aware of the environmental forces so that they can know how to manipulate internal environmental factors to be in line with the external environment (Dobson & Hietala 2011, p. 78). This information would be important in defining the mission and vision of the project before it is started. These environmental issues are discussed in details in this paper.
This is a new project that is about to be implemented, and the owners believe that it is a viable business that will be able to generate a lot of profit, besides reducing the impact of pollution caused by plastic wastes in the environment. The process of recycling plastic wastes can be costly and complex. It is, therefore, important to define a corporate structure that would be able to address these issues. The management structure must be very clear in order to make all the stakeholders to understand their role in this project. Below is the management structure that will be used when the project will be initiated.
As shown in the above diagram, the project management structure will be simple, with some departments being merged with others as a way of reducing cost of operations. The project manager will be at the top management unit in this project. There will be three departments, which include manufacturing, finance, and marketing.
It is important to note that three departments have been reduced into smaller operational units and put under other departments. The human resource unit was merged with the manufacturing unit to make the process of managing employees easier and less costly. The accounts unit was merged with finance, and transport unit was put under the marketing department. The three units will become semi-autonomous departments as the firm grows.
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It would also be necessary to define the leadership approach that would be used when running this project. According to Schwalbe (2005, p. 56), Theory of Transformational leadership has gained a lot of relevance in the current society. This scholar says that transformational leadership is the solution to managing employees in this century.
It eliminates the dictatorial management approach used before where a leader could not be questioned, and his or her instructions remained a law within a given firm. In its place, it creates a consultative management approach where a leader tries to understand junior employees with the view of developing policies that would be universally acceptable. It seeks to create a workplace environment where the leader inspires junior employees by identifying their potential and encouraging them to outsmart their current output.
Political issues should be analyzed in order to determine the impact they may have on the normal operations of the project. According to Nagarajan (2005, p. 78), before starting up a project, it would be necessary to determine the political goodwill. Political leaders have direct impact on the sustainability of a project. In this project, the owners feel that they shall get full support of the leaders.
One of the most sensitive issues in the political environment today in this country is the need to protect the environment. The political leaders have been very vocal in urging other arms of the government to find ways of maintaining a clean environment. The focus of this project is not only on creating wealth, but also on reducing plastic pollution, which is almost becoming a menace in the country. Given the fact that this firm will offer more employment opportunities to the youth, it would be very likely that the political class would want to support it.
Another assuring factor about the political issues is that the political leadership of this country has not been acting against business startups, especially those that are initiated by youth. In fact the leaders have come out strongly to encourage young entrepreneurs to try various business projects. This means that the project may get some support from the political leaders. The political environment also defines the security and safety of business entity. As Harvey (2005, p. 90) observes, a business unit cannot thrive in an environment that lacks security. The Emirati government has maintained political stability and security that would enable this new project to start off without any form of fear. This gives this firm an edge towards achieving its objectives.
The economic environment is another factor that would have to be analyzed before the project is initiated. According to Hamilton (2004, p. 87), the economic environment plays a pivotal role in the success of any project. The economic environment would affect this project in a number of ways. One of the ways that this project will be affected by the economic environment is in terms of accessing funds. When there is inflation, Davidson (2003, p. 67) says that governments always encourage banks to avoid giving out loans as a way of reducing the currency flow in the economy.
This will limit sources of finance that is available for this project. Inflation will also have the effect of making the cost of production to shoot. Raw materials will be costly, and employees will demand higher salaries. This will force the firm to charge higher prices for its products, a fact that will have the overall effect of reduced sales for this firm. Consumers will also try to limit their purchase of this product in an attempt to regulate their expenditure in response to the changing economic factors. In United Arab Emirates, the economic environment has remained relatively stable despite the recent recession that was experienced in many parts of the world.
In fact, the City of Dubai has become one of the leading economic hubs in the world, attracting a lot of traders from the third world countries. This stable economic environment will enable this project to be successful. With the increasing relevance of Dubai as a world’s economic hub, the products made from this company would easily get the right market. It would be necessary for the management of this project to come up with measures that can help mitigate economic challenges. Although the economy of this country is currently stable, it may not be easy to predict what economic environment would be like in future. In order to ensure that the project remains sustainable even in such cases, coming up with a management strategy that would address such issues may be necessary.
It would be necessary to ensure that physical issues relating to this project are adequately addressed. For instance, the management would need to ensure that the physical location meets the requirements put in place by the government regarding industrial positioning (Baker & Martin 2011, p. 78). This means that the plant should not be located in a densely populated residential area.
The plant must have all the equipments needed to operate a plastic recycling company. The materials used must be readily available in locations that can easily be accessed. It would also be prudent to ensure that the physical location of the project is a place that can easily be accessed by various means of transport. The location must have roads that would link it to the market and sources of raw materials.
Every project always has some specific objectives that should be accomplished when it is properly implemented. Usability issues refer to the benefit that such a given project would yield to the owners or any other stakeholder who is directly engaged in its implementation. In this project, the usability would be analyzed from two perspectives. The first perspective would be how successful the project is in eliminating plastic wastes in this society. The second perspective would be how relevant the products of this firm are in meeting market demands, and in achieving the intended profit. The products should be of good quality in order to attract a pool of loyal customers.
The ecological issues in the Emirati society have attracted a lot of attention from many stakeholders who are concerned about the future of our environment. Measures have been put in place by environmental agencies and the national government to help reduce pollution of the environment. Although this project focuses on eliminating plastic wastes from the environment, its operations should not expose the environment to further damage. The national government has given a set percentage of carbon that a given factory is permitted to emit within a given period of time.
This new project must find ways of operating within the set standards in order to avoid facing litigation. According to Blanchard (2004, p. 98), sustainability theory lays a lot of emphasis on the planet as one of the most important pillars of sustainability. This theory holds that a business unit cannot achieve sustainability without protecting the environment where it operates. When a firm fails to protect the environment, it may not be able to support its activities. As one of the three pillars of sustainability, it would be important to ensure that this project runs with a clear focus on how to ensure that the environment is safe.
Project sustainability depends on environmental factors that have direct or indirect impact on its normal operations. Understanding these environmental factors makes it possible for the firm to come up with ways of managing them. First, a firm should understand its internal environment in order to determine its capacity and limitations in the market. The corporate structure is vital in defining leadership of a project. This project’s corporate structure has clearly been defined. When the management has developed an understanding of the internal environment, it would be necessary to analyze external environmental factors. The focus should always be on how the internal environmental factors can be manipulated to ensure that they are in conformity with the external environmental factors in order to achieve success.
List of References
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Blanchard, B 2004, Logistics engineering and management, Pearson Prentice Hall, Upper Saddle River.
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