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The Regency Plaza’s Project: Definition Phase Case Study

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Updated: Jun 14th, 2020


Project management is an ideal way through which organisations undertake various investments. Project definition is one of the various phases through which an undertaking goes before completion (Deeprose 2002). The current paper evaluates this element with respect to the Regency Plaza. The evaluation is carried out on the basis of the scope, time, and cost of the project. Like any other project, the completion of the Regency Plaza was faced with a number of challenges. The problems that emerged during the undertaking are evaluated based on their relationship to the management of the project definition phase.

The Regency Plaza Project: Scope

The plaza was set out as a complex comprised of hotel rooms and condominiums. According to Poorvu and Crum (2008), the entire complex was meant to give rise to a 22-storey structure. It had two levels of an underground parking lot. The 300 hotel rooms were allocated eight floors, while the 96 condominiums occupied the remaining 12 floors. However, a critical analysis of the undertaking reveals that the project had been over-budgeted. Effective project management entails an accurate estimation of the cost of the investment (Heerkens 2002). An undertaking of such magnitude will lag behind and encounter delays in cases where funding is not forthcoming (Larson & Gray 2014).

Project management is all about effective planning. Poorvu and Crum (2008) point out that the Regency Plaza project was behind schedule. In most cases, such mishaps are brought about by mistakes in the drawings of the project. To avoid such situations, the drawings should be reviewed at least three times prior to the actual construction. In addition, the frequency of alterations made on the project is seen as a major impediment to the realisation of the scope. A competent project management firm is needed to achieve the objectives effectively. Hodgekins was not competent enough to handle the scope of the Regency Plaza project.

The Regency Project: Time

Time is a valuable resource in project management. An undertaking should be executed within the stipulated timeframe. Unfortunately, in the case of the Regency Plaza, there were too many delays, which had a negative impact on the implementation of the project (Poorvu & Crum 2008). The time taken to execute a given project is dependent on a number of variables. For instance, the duration is taken to close the deals and the nature of workmanship both affect the time it takes to realise an investment. With respect to the Regency Plaza, the project took long due to the poor workmanship reported. In addition, the negotiations with contractors and other stakeholders took a lot of time to be completed (Larson & Gray 2014). The lapses in the management of this project were largely due to the incompetence of the human resource involved.

Project management relies on the element of time to realise effective delivery of the services. Unfortunately, the Regency Plaza was characterised by slow delivery (Poorvu & Crum 2008). Sluggish provision of services is attributed to changes in project managers. The Regency Plaza had an initial set of project administrators when it was started. However, the coming in of Hodgekins was associated with slowed delivery of services. The manager came into the picture from a background of a totally different scope of activities. The development is seen in the verbal instructions exchanged between Cunningham and Grogan regarding the hardwood flooring. The long time taken to relay this information can be attributed to the poor work done on the floors (Poorvu & Crum 2008).

The Cost of the Project

Effective project management entails a cost-effective implementation of activities associated with the investment. Project managers play an advisory role in the budgeting process. Poorvu and Crum (2008) indicate that the Regency Plaza undertaking did not involve project management in the generation of the costs. As already indicated in this paper, the budget for the project was overestimated. The costing process involves a series of meetings, which should outline the procedures to be undertaken. Unfortunately, in the case of Regency Plaza, the meetings did not give any such results. Consequently, the absence of a detailed procedure contributed to the increased cost of the project (Larson & Gray 2014).

The definition phase is an integral part of project management. At this stage, issues to do with the design layout are properly outlined to ensure the cost of the project does not exceed the set limits (Lock 2004). Unfortunately, the Regency Plaza project was characterised by design mishaps with respect to the condominiums. The need to redesign the units was informed by the profit margins that were expected from the sale. In the long run, such an undertaking is carefully developed to ensure the construction costs are low enough to maximise profits (Kerzner 2001).


Based on the case study presented, it is evident that project management enhances the achievement of construction goals. The definition stage of the Regency Plaza investment illustrates some of the flaws that result from failures in project management. In this regard, the phase allows the contractor and the project manager to rectify mistakes that touch on such issues as human resource and budgeting. The two, as indicated in this paper, have a direct link to the scope, time, and cost of a project (Kerzner 2001). Ultimately, effective project management ensures that the three parameters are synchronised to realise the objectives set out in the plan.


Deeprose, D 2002, Project management, Capstone Publications, Oxford.

Heerkens, G 2002, Project management, McGraw-Hill, New York.

Kerzner, H 2001, Project management a systems approach to planning, scheduling, and controlling, John Wiley, New York.

Larson, E & Gray, C 2014, Project management: the managerial process, 6th edn, McGraw-Hill, New York.

Lock, D 2004, Project management in construction, Gower, Aldershot.

Poorvu, W & Crum, R 2008, ‘Regency Plaza: Harvard Business School Case 391-021’, Harvard University, School of Business.

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