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The Elizabethan Knott Garden Project Management Report

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Updated: Jun 27th, 2020

Introduction

Executives everywhere continue to face challenges when it comes to organizing and controlling company activities. The challenges arise from union demands for better worker compensation policies, increasing pressure from stakeholders, high inflation rates, high prices for raw materials and poor borrowing powers from financial institutions.

The methods used by managers to deal with these challenges in the past has mostly been implementing cost reduction programs such as lay offs and early retirements. However such tactics affect the profitability of companies because of the reduced manpower. Today, a majority of company executives are in agreement that the best way to deal with the environmental challenges is to incorporate internal company techniques that will see the proper use of corporate resources.

Project management has been identified as one of the techniques that can be used to manage a company’s resources. Project management is a fairly recent technique that involves restructuring management methods with the sole purpose of gaining better control and organization skills that will be used to manage the company’s resources. The rapid rate of change taking place in the global market due to new innovations has placed some strain on the current organizational form which has created the need for organizational restructuring.

Project management enables a company to be able to restructure its activities to be able to properly utilise its resources. The purpose of the paper is to determine the project difficulties that arose in the restoration of the Elizabethan Knott Garden at Kenilworth Castle. The project problems that have been identified are difficulties in allocating resources, inconsistent project management approaches, and poor specification requirements.

Project Management

A project is a series of organizational activities that have a specific goal or objective that needs to be accomplished within a specified start and end date. The development and implementation of a project requires several resources for it to be applied effectively for the particular situation it has been designed for; such resources include manpower, raw materials and machinery. Project management involves ensuring that the resources are properly utilised until the completion of the project. It is the organizing, planning, directing and controlling of company resources to meet the project objectives or goals that have been set out (Mishra and Soota 2007).

The project management occurs in five stages which are project initiation, project planning, project execution, monitoring and control and project closure. Project initiation involves the selection of the best project that will meet the company’s limited resources, preparation of the proper documentation and the assigning of responsibilities to a project manager. Project planning activities involve the identification of work duties and responsibilities, the amount of work that will be done, determining the amount of resources that will be needed for the project and how the activities will be scheduled.

Project execution involves the directing and managing of the team members work activities to ensure they are geared towards meeting the projects goals. Monitoring and control involves tracking the progress of the project and forming comparisons that will be used to evaluate the expected outcome to the actual outcome. Project closure involves verifying that all the project tasks have been completed after which the contract for the project is closed (Kerzner 2009).

Project management activities are said to be successful when they meet the specified start and end times, they utilize the set out resources efficiently, and the project outcome is accepted by the company. The benefits of conducting project management for an organizations projects are that scheduling will be conducted effectively, the need for continuous reporting is minimised, tools and techniques for to be used in the project are identified easily, problems that occur in the implementation of the project are easily identified, and there is improved estimations on future planning.

A company that conducts project management activities is however faced with several challenges such as organizational restructuring that is necessary for the successful completion of the project, the constant change in the technology market that sees many new innovations coming out everyday, expenses that come with undertaking projects that are complex and difficult (Kerzner 2009).

General Challenges of Project Management

Project management activities are centred on managing company resources such as finances, raw materials and human resources. This activity has however been faced with various challenges that affect the outcome of the project. Some of these challenges are the cost of carrying out the project which at times proves to be too expensive for the organization. Cost has been identified as a major challenge for most project managers because it involves considering the logistics of hiring skilled labour to carryout the work who at times might want to be paid higher than the stated amount. Cost also becomes a problem when purchasing raw materials to carryout the project. The materials needed to complete the project might not be enough forcing the project manager to go out and purchase more materials (Amalraj et al 2007).

Time is also a major challenge because the specified time to complete the project might not be enough. Projects that are complex and difficult require a longer time frame to be completed but the general time line for projects is that they are short term and they should therefore be conducted in a short term time frame of 3-6 months. This limits the amount of time for complex projects that need a time frame of one year to properly implement, monitor and control the project. The contracting of work has also proved to be a challenge in the project management process especially in a labour environment that has scarce and skilled workers. The lack of any bidders to bid on the project contracts leads to an increase in the project costs (Verma 2007).

The Elizabethan Garden Restoration Project

A Tudor garden was created in 1975 in Kenilworth Castle that incorporated archaeological gardening techniques. The garden was made by the Earl of Leicester to impress Queen Elizabeth I on her nine day visit to the castle. To be noted is that the garden has 4 quarters with low trellised wooden fences. The quarters are also composed of grass walks. The garden has a four feet high fountain made of white carrara marbles that is located at the centre of the Elizabethan garden. It has the shapes of two Athlants holding a bowl from which the water fountain flows. The design of the fountain also included the statue of Neptune, Proteus and Triton. The garden also has an aviary that is 20 feet high and 30 feet long (Clode 2009).

Challenges Faced in the Elizabethan Garden restoration Project

The garden was in need of restoration especially to its fountain, the four quarters, the aviary and the orbs. The restoration project however faced some challenges in the form of inconsistent approaches to be used in the restoration project, poor restoration specification requirements, and difficulty in allocating resources to be used in the project. The challenge of difficulties in allocating resources came in the form of allocating money to purchase the necessary raw materials or allocating money to acquire skilled architects and designers to restore the project.

Restoring the architecture of the garden needed a considerable amount of money in the sum of three million pounds that would be used to purchase expensive carrara marbles to restore the 18 foot high fountain as well as the aviary and the carved arbours. The restoration exercise also required experienced architects and designers that had the professional skills of designing, constructing and restoring historic architecture.

A talented garden designer was needed to oversee the garden restoration exercise while at the same time liaising with the historical architect to ensure that the restoration is done properly. The project manager was faced with the task of deciding on whether to allocate money for the purchase of carrara marbles or hire architects and designers for the garden restoration exercise (English Heritage 2010).

Another challenge that faced the restoration project was the poor specification of requirements for restoring the fountain, the aviary, and the fences in the quarters and the orbs. The project specifications for restoring the aviary were too big and the garden fence requirements for the four quarters were lower than their original form which shows that the elements of the composition of the garden were out of scale. The specifications for the obelisks were also too high and the lawn fringed paths were not made to look historically accurate. The garden requirements ended up lacking the outlook of a medieval or renaissance garden (Turner 2009).

The other challenge faced during the restoration exercise was the inconsistency in approaches that would be used to restore the garden; various approaches exist on how to properly conduct project management. The challenge posed to the project manager is to choose the approaches that will best meet the project schedule, resources, and the project goals or objectives.

The project saw the incorporation of many project management techniques which created a lot of inconsistency in the activities that were supposed to be carried out at a particular time and with particular resources. All these challenges necessitated some changes in the project management plan in the form of more budgetary allocations to purchase the required raw materials as well as hire skilled architects and designers to restore the project. The tools and techniques to be used in the project management activities also had to be changed.

Project Management Methodologies

The project management methodologies that can be used to deal with the problems highlighted above are methodologies such as the adaptive project framework, the feature driven development methodology, the rapid application methodology and the rational unified process methodology. The adaptive project framework is a useful project management methodology because it views the scope of the project as a variable that operates within the specified time allocated for the project and within budget constraints. This framework allows for adjustments to the projects time schedule, costs, materials or resources to ensure that the maximum business value is achieved.

This methodology will be useful in the project management of restoring the garden because it is mainly focused on the fact that change is a progressive activity to a better solution (Alexandrou 2010). Another methodology that can be used is the feature driven development methodology which views a system used for building systems in a project is important for the development of larger projects. It also states that a simple well defined process works best when performing project tasks. This will be useful when it comes to dealing with the issue of poor project requirements in the restoration of the Elizabethan Garden (Alexandrou 2010).

The rapid application development method asserts that projects can be carried out faster than the allocated time while at the same time ensuring that the work done is of a high quality. This is possible when the project manager and the project team follow a strict schedule that refers to design improvements. This method can be applicable to the garden restoration especially when it comes to the aspect of collecting the exact measurements for the quarter’s orbs, the aviary, fountain and the fences.

The rational unified process methodology is another technique that can be used by the project manager restoring the garden. This approach lets the project manager take into account the changing project requirements in a situation the specific measurements are not known. It also ensures that the project elements are integrated in a progressive was while at the same time reducing identifying risks during the integration process. It also caters for the easy identification of common parts as they are being designed or reconstructed when compared to identifying these parts during the planning stage.

Project Management Tools and Techniques

Project management techniques are ways that are used to gather project information and communicate it to the project team so that activities can get done properly and effectively. There are very many techniques that can be used to deal with project management problems or activities. One example of a technique that can be used to deal with the challenge of inconsistent project approaches in the garden restoration project is the business change analysis technique.

This technique ensures that there is an integration of all change activities into a total business change program which will see operational, technological and managerial changes taking place to meet the goals and objectives of the project. The critical path analysis is another useful technique for dealing with project management problems because it identifies the critical and non critical project activities that should be undertaken with respect to the laid out project plan (Andler 2010). The cycle time analysis tool is an especially important technique because it is useful for measuring the amount of time that will be needed to complete the project as well as the amount of resources that will be used or needed for the project’s completion. This method will also be useful in the allocation of resources for the garden restoration exercise as well as determining which methodological approach will be suitable (Kendrick 2010).

Conclusion

Every project exercise experiences challenges at certain points of its execution. The main point that needs to be considered is that overcoming these projects will mean that the execution and implementation of the project has been a successful exercise. Project managers should therefore deal accordingly using the different techniques so as to overcome these challenges as they arise.

References

Alexandrou, M. (2010) Project management methodologies. Web.

Amalraj, J., Hernani, C., Ladouceur, K. and Verma, A. (2007) Project management: Challenges and lessons learned. Web.

Andler, N. (2010) Tools for project management, workshops and consulting: a must have compendium of essential tools and techniques. New Jersey: John Wiley and Sons.

Clode, S. (2009) The new Elizabethan garden at Kenilworth Castle. Web.

English Heritage (2010) The history of Kenilworth castle and Elizabethan garden. Web.

Kendrick, T. (2010) The project management tool kit: 100 tips and techniques for getting the job done. New York: AMACOM.

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

Mishra, R.C. and Soota, T. (2007) Modern project management. New Delhi, India: New Age International Publishers Limited.

Turner, T. (2009) Kenilworth castle Elizabethan garden restoration. Web.

Verma, K. (2007) Project management challenged and best practices for enterprise packaged applications. Project Management Journal, Vol. 9, No. 8. pp 4-19

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