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The City Council of Portsmouth Project Management Coursework

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Updated: Jun 23rd, 2019

Introduction

The City Council of Portsmouth intends to construct a monument within the town as a way of celebrating the town’s success. The Portsmouth City Council will own and sponsor the project fully. The City Council is concerned with the projects’ successful completion.

According to Kerzner (2009), projects comprise one of the most effective ways of attaining unique outcomes. Furthermore, projects are implemented within a finite timeframe and budget. The City Council intends the project to be completed within 2 years at a budget of $ 10 million. Therefore, the City Council has clearly outlined the project’s resource constraints.

Subsequently, it is paramount for optimal project management processes to be adopted. Kerzner (2009) asserts that the successful implementation projects depend on the effectiveness with which the various phases of the project lifecycle are implemented.

Planning is one of the core components in the project lifecycle as it enhances the attainment of the set project goals. Furthermore, project planning ensures that the project is completed within the set resource constraints, hence improving its value to the project stakeholders such as the project owners.

On the contrary, poor planning increases the overall cost of the project, for example, due to delays. In a bid to succeed in constructing the monument, it is imperative to consider a number of project management planning aspects. This proposal outlines the core aspects that the contractor will consider in the process of implementing the project.

Project assumptions

In the course of implementing the project, a number of assumptions will be taken into consideration as outlined below.

  1. The City Council of Portsmouth will ensure that adequate resources are provided during the project implementation process.
  2. The project will receive approval by the necessary government authorities.
  3. The project team members will be dedicated to attaining the set milestones.
  4. The City Council will be responsible for future maintenance of the monument.

Project risks

The contractor appreciates the existence of project risks, which might affect the project implementation process adversely. According to Schwalbe (2006), projects are subject to risks originating from the project environment, which is comprised of different internal and external influences.

The external environment is comprised of different political, economic, technological, social, and environmental dimensions. Conversely, the internal environment constitutes the project team, the shareholders, and the project owners.

In the course of implementing the project, the contractor will undertake proactive risk designation in a bid to ascertain and list the involved project risks. This process will be a collaborative effort amongst the various project stakeholders.

Thus, the contractor will implement effective risk mitigation measures. Some of the possible sources of risk categories that the contractor expects to encounter include external risks, organisational risks, and project management risks.

External risks – the project implementation process might be affected by various external aspects such ownership of the proposed construction site, the existence of new laws and regulations within the architecture industry, and changes in weather. I

n a bid to minimise some of these risks, the contractor, in collaboration with the Council, must consider a number of aspects. First, the City Council must ensure due diligence in the process of acquiring the proposed construction site to minimise possible opposition from various interest groups.

Secondly, the contractor will consult the Royal Institute of British Architects [RABI] in order to understand the various legal aspects that should be considered during the project implementation process.

Organisational risks – the existence of various organisational risks such as resource conflicts might affect project completion adversely. Resource conflicts are common in projects as multiple project tasks are executed concurrently. In a bid to eliminate resource conflicts, the project scope, cost, and time will be defined clearly.

The project will be implemented within the organisation’s resources, hence eliminating unrealistic aspects by integrating the concept of budgeting to eliminate the risks of budget loss.

Project management risks – According to Heldman (2011), project management risks arise from the lack of an effective project schedule, failure to integrate effective project management methodologies, ineffective resource planning, and poor project planning.

Project scope management

The contractor will integrate optimal project scope-management practices by ensuring that only the necessary project tasks are undertaken. In a bid to initiate the project successfully, a number of aspects will be considered. First, a comprehensive document describing the project tasks to be undertaken during the construction of the monument.

Furthermore, the contractor will ensure that the project is well defined. Moreover, a strategic plan outlining the project goal will be formulated. The initiation stage will also entail defining the desired public perception of the project.

Effective decision methods will be integrated to assess the attractiveness and value of the project. The methods that will be adopted include the benefit measurement methods such as benefits contribution, comparative approaches, economic models, and comparative approaches.

One of the models that will be integrated includes the decision trees. Expert judgement will be incorporated in assessing the effectiveness of the project inputs. Thus, the contractor will collaborate with professionals, technical associations, industry groups, and consultants in the construction industry.

The process of implementing the project will be based on a comprehensive project charter. In this case, a signed contract between the contractor and the City Council will serve as the project charter. A well-experienced project manager will oversee the project implementation process.

The project constraints will be defined clearly in the contract. In this case, the contractual provisions will serve as the project constraints. The contractor will ensure that the project is environmentally, economically, and socially sustainable.

The contractor will also undertake an extensive scope planning by defining a scope management plan and a scope statement. The process of scope planning will entail defining the project objectives and the expected deliverables. The scope planning process will be undertaken by ensuring that the project work is decomposed optimally.

Project time management

The contractor will be focused on ensuring that the project is completed in time. Consequently, optimal project time-management practices will be adopted. First, the contractor will ensure that the various project activities are identified, defined, and documented optimally.

A work breakdown structure will be designed by breaking down the entire project into different work packages, which will be allocated to specific project team members. Thus, the contractor will increase the likelihood of attaining the desired project deliverables (Synder, 2010).

Project time management will also be achieved by undertaking activity sequencing, which involves the identification and documentation of how activities are logically related. Activity sequencing will ensure that a realistic schedule is adopted.

One of the critical inputs that will be considered during the activity sequencing process is determining the mandatory dependencies, which entails the inherent activities in the project. For example, the process of erecting the monument cannot commence before the foundation is well established. Other dependencies that will be established during the activity sequencing process include the external and discretionary dependencies.

The project manager will define the discretionary dependencies depending on the prevailing project situation. However, best project management practices will be considered. Conversely, the external dependencies will entail defining the relationship between various project and non-project activities.

Moreover, the project manager will establish milestones, which the project teams will focus on in implementing the project. In an effort to improve the “effectiveness of the activity sequencing process, the project manager will integrate the precedence diagramming method” (Schwalbe, 2006, p. 112).

Activity-on-node [AON] will be used in illustrating the dependencies between the various work packages. The main work packages during the construction of the monument include:

  1. Excavating the trenches
  2. Filling the trenches with concrete
  3. Placing the monument framework
  4. Reinforcing the framework
  5. Filling the framework with concrete
  6. Smoothening the monument
  7. Curing the monument
  8. Painting the monument

The network diagram below illustrates the precedence of the project activities.

Project network diagram

Figure 1: Project network diagram

The next step after activity sequencing will entail the estimation of the activity duration. In order to ensure that the project is completed within 2 years, according to the timeline set by the Council, the contractor will adopt the critical path method [CPM].

The CPM will be based on the project network diagram. Subsequently, the contractor will establish the expected project commencement date and finish date. The table below illustrates the work breakdown structure, the expected duration, the start time, and finish time.

Project activity Estimated duration Start time Finish time
Foundation excavation 2 months 1st Jan. 2015 28th Feb. 2015
Filling the trenches with concrete 3 months 1st March 2015 30th May 2015
Placing the monument framework 4 months 1st June 2015 31st Sept. 2015
Reinforcing the framework 2 months 1st Oct. 2015 30th Nov. 2015
Filling the foundation framework with concrete 6 months 1st Dec. 2015 31st May 2016
Smoothening 3 months 1st June 2016 31st August 2016
Curing 2 months 1st Sept. 2016 31st Oct. 2016
Painting 2 months 1 Nov. 2016 31st Dec. 2016

Figure 2: Work breakdown structure

The Gantt chart below illustrates how the various work packages will precede each other.

Project activity Project task duration in months
Foundation excavation 2 months
Filling the trenches with concrete 3 months
Placing the monument framework 4 months
Reinforcing the framework 2 months
Filling the framework with concrete 6 months
Smoothing 3 months
Curing 2 months
Painting 2 months

Figure 3: Gantt chart

Upon its successful completion, the project [monument] will be handed over to the City Council.

Project cost

A number of cost items will be incurred during the project implementation process. In order to minimise the risk associated with poor resource planning and deliver the expected results, the contractor will undertake extensive cost estimation. The process of estimating the project cost will consider possible variations.

Different techniques will be adopted in estimating the project cost. First, the contractor will undertake an analogous estimation, which will entail assessing the actual cost incurred in implementing such a project. In this case, the contractor will use the case of the Spinnaker Tower in estimating the cost of the monument.

Analysing the cost of the Spinnaker Tower will provide the contractor with important insight on the cost of the project during the early stages of its implementation. In a bid to improve the “level of accuracy in the cost estimation process, the bottom-up estimation method will be used by estimating the total cost of the various work packages of project activities” (Schwalbe, 2006. p. 113).

Adopting this method will increase the level of accuracy in estimating the cost. Moreover, computerised tools such as project simulation tools and project-management software spreadsheets will be adopted in estimating the project cost. During the preliminary cost estimation process for the project, the contractor has identified a number of project activities and the estimated cost as illustrated by the budget below.

Cost item cost estimate [amount in USD]
Construction expense [cost of equipments, 6,000,000
materials and supplies ]
Expert fees [legal fees, engineers fees] 500,000
Contractor fee 3,000,000
Contingency fund 500,000
Total estimated cost 10,000,000

Figure 4: Project budget

The $500,000 allocated in the contingency fund will be use to address financial constraints that might arise from economic changes such as currency fluctuations, which might increase the overall cost of the project. Subsequently, the contractor will ensure that the project is cautioned optimally from such changes in cost.

Effective cost control measures will be implemented in order to ensure that the project cost does not exceed the budgetary allocation. Cost control will be undertaken by assessing changes in the cost baseline. Furthermore, the contractor will ensure that performance reports are developed continuously at various project stages.

Thus, it will be possible to determine how the various activities have adhered to the predetermined project budget. Integrating performance reports as one of the cost control techniques will enable the project manager to identify various issues that might affect the process of delivering the project.

Additionally, the contractor will also take into account change requests that might emanate either internally or externally. By adopting these techniques, the contractor will revise the cost estimates, and thus update the project budget. However, this process will be undertaken in collaboration with the various project stakeholders.

Quality management

The contractor will ensure that the project delivers the intended objectives. Thus, a number of quality management processes, which include “quality planning, quality control, and quality assurance” (Schwalbe, 2006. p. 84) will be considered.

One of the aspects that will be considered during the quality planning process entails complying with the construction standards established in the UK. The contractor will ensure that the entire project management team is conversant with the existing quality standards.

The quality standards and regulations will guide the contractor during the project implementation process. Additionally, the contractor will ensure that the materials used in constructing the monument meet the necessary quality threshold. In a bid to achieve this goal, the contractor will collaborate with various stakeholders in order to assess the quality of the materials and supplies to be used.

One of the aspects that the contractor will focus on during the quality assessment process entails ensuring that the materials used are environmentally sustainable. This aspect will improve the level of safety during the project implementation process and after its termination. Thus, the value of the monument to the target audience will be enhanced.

In a bid to improve the effectiveness of the quality planning process, the contractor will integrate effective tools and techniques. Among the techniques that will be adopted include benchmarking, cost-benefit analysis, and flowcharting.

Benchmarking will be achieved by comparing the project’s quality practices to those adopted during the construction of the Spinnaker Tower. Cost benefit analysis will be attained by assessing the tradeoffs associated with effective planning.

For example, adherence to quality standards will minimise the likelihood of rework, which increases the project cost. On the other hand, the process of flowcharting will entail the adoption of cause-and-effect diagrams. These diagrams will aid in determining the possible factors that might influence the project.

Quality audits will be undertaken by reviewing the extent to which the various project activities have complied with the set quality standards. The audits will be an effective method of learning.

With regard to quality control, the contractor will examine the project activities continuously in order to determine whether they have complied with project requirements. Control charts will be designed in order to evaluate the extent to which the project outcomes have complied or deviated from the preferred outcomes.

Human resource management

The contractor recognises that the successful completion of the project will depend on the input of the project team members. Therefore, the contractor will ensure that best human resource management practices are adopted. Organisational planning will identify the necessary project roles and responsibilities by adopting a project organisation chart.

The key stakeholders in the organisation chart will include the project sponsor, the project steering committee, the project manager, and the project team. The project steering committee will be charged with the responsibility of providing strategic advice during the project implementation process.

Subsequently, it will be possible to implement the necessary project changes. The contractor will preside over the project steering committee. On the other hand, the project sponsor’s [Portsmouth City Council] responsibility will involve providing the necessary funding and financial support during the project implementation process.

The project manager’s role will involve providing effective leadership to the project team members. Additionally, the manager will make sure that the project sticks to the set timeframes and budgets. Other responsibilities that will be undertaken by the project manager include:

  • Tracking and reporting the project’s progress
  • Managing and resolving project risks.
  • Planning and managing the project

The involved team members will be expected execute the different project tasks. The contractor will ensure that the project team members are highly qualified and experienced with regard to the construction activities. In an effort to enhance the project outcome, the project manager will ensure that the project team members understand the various project interfaces.

In a bid to achieve this goal, the project team members will be trained on the interpersonal interface, organisational interfaces, and technical interfaces. Subsequently, the likelihood of developing a high level of collaboration will be attained.

In addition to the above human resource management practices, the contractor will focus fostering team development by investing in team building activities such as task delegation and involvement in off-site team building activities. Moreover, an extensive reward and recognition system will be incorporated.

For example, the project team members will be compensated fairly and equitably. Another aspect that will be integrated into the reward program includes an insurance program, which will ensure that the project team members are covered from safety hazards while undertaking their duties.

Communication management

According to Schwable (2006), communication constitutes a critical element during the project implementation process as it enhances collaboration between the project team members. Ineffective communication might affect the project’s outcome due to lack of synergy. Schwable (2006) further argues that project activities are interrelated.

In order to enhance communication during the project implementation process, the contractor will develop a broad communication plan, which will outline the communication requirements. In a bid to improve the value of communication, the contractor will ensure that information flows freely amongst the project team members by eliminating bureaucracies that arise from adopting of a rigid chain of command.

Thus, the contractor will enhance the effectiveness with which performance reporting is undertaken. Furthermore, the communication plan will foster knowledge and idea sharing amongst the team members.

Procurement management

The contractor is cognisant of the fact that the extent to which the project is completed within the set timelines will be subject to how well the procurement process is undertaken (Westland, 2007). Thus, extensive procurement processes will be integrated.

Some of the aspects that will be considered during the procurement planning process include material and equipment ordering, receipt, appraisal, and approval. The selection of the materials and equipments supplier will be based on an extensive criterion, which will mainly focus on the quality of their materials and their compliance with procurement contract requirements.

The contractor is of the opinion that an effective implementation of the above project management aspects will ensure that the project is completed within the set timeline and budget to satisfy the target audience.

References

Heldman, K. (2011). PMP; project management professional exam; study guide. Indianapolis, IN: Wiley.

Kerzner, H. (2009). Project management a systems approach to planning, Scheduling, and controlling. New York, NY: John Wiley and Sons.

Salvendy, G. (2001). Handbook of industrial engineering; technology and operations management. New York, NY: Wiley.

Schwalbe, K. (2006). Introduction to project management. Boston, MA: Thomson Course Technology.

Synder, C. (2010). A user’s manual to the PMBOK guide. Hoboken, NJ: Wiley.

Westland, J. (2007). The project management lifecycle. London, UK: Kogan Page.

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