Project Management Issues
According to the 1. 5. 40 strategic plan for University of Australia, the university aims at being the best in the whole country, one among the top 5 best universities in the region and lastly to be among the best top 40 universities in the entire globe. For these objectives and ambitions to be realized, the project manager has to put a lot of emphasis in building of standard laboratories that will expand the universities research capacities and capabilities.
In order to match the global standards, the project manager needs to come up with a building plan that will ensure that the laboratories have enough space to cater for all the research needs -for now and the future. According to the project objectives, the university needs the following: 2 wet, well designed and developed PC2 standard laboratories – Level 2, done on the West Wing of MRFB (Medical Foundation Research Building); and 2 wet, well designed and developed PC 2 standard laboratories on the East Wing of MRFB; and last lastly a dry laboratory.
The major intention for the expansion of the laboratories is to allow more space for the research groups. The project manager needs to carry out a thorough field
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Fixed Deadline for Program Delivery: According to the demands and the details of the project schedule, the deadline for completion of the project is fixed and non negotiable. The project manager and the contractor have to follow a critical path that has been designed to ensure that the project in done and completed in the design timing that was originally laid down. Such kind of fixed deadlines tend to be problematic in most projects since many times certain activities tend to delay due to unavoidable circumstances that could be man-made or naturally motivated.
In order to solve this problem the project manager needs to observe the following: In terms of the feasibility of the project, the project manager needs to engage in proper identification of the dry and wet laboratory needs as well as the equipment needs of all the laboratories; properly allocate spaces in the expanded buildings to ensure that no mistake is made in the construction that would later on delay progress through demolition and reconstruction; carefully and properly develop a good feasibility plan that would cater for all the costs to be incurred in terms of building all the laboratories to the required design specifications.
The project manager can also develop a project management plan that will ensure that the project execution is defined, controlled and monitored. The plan can be developed through proper collaboration with relevant stakeholders in the project according to the policy of the university. The project management plan will assist the project manager in terms of clearly defining every activity within the entire project so as to ensure that all activities are completed according to specifications in the proper time (Philips, 2003: 354-365).
Cost Overrun Risks: The estimated budget for the whole research and laboratory building expansion is $8 million. This is a project of a high magnitude in which the risks involved could be high and fatal to whole project in a case whereby the risk made turns to produce negative results. There is likelihood that the project manager can underestimate the cost of the whole project. This is because the driving force of the entire project is the 1. 5. 40 strategic plan which is highly ambitious and could imply very high financial demands for realization.
In a situation like this, chances are high that there would be cost overrun risks because of lack of clear definition on procurement details. As a result it would be possible to overlook some very important elements necessary for the completion of the project to meet the strategic goals. In order to solve a problem of this kind, it is important for the project manager to conduct a proper feasibility study concerning projects of this magnitude that have been done in the recent past. This can be done through consultation with other universities that have managed to develop such kind of facilities for laboratory research.
Through this, the project manager will be able to determine all the necessary materials that are needed for construction of this kind. The cost estimates will also be determined in through the study. Next, the project manager should perform a thorough consultation with the university board as concerns the project demands and needs. This will help in determining the volume of all the requirements needed for the completion of the project. Lastly, in order to avoid cost overruns, the project manager can consult with the research groups within the university in order to determine their building and structural needs in the project.
This will help in avoiding any budget overestimation or underestimations. Contractor Experience Issues: An excellent construction work needs to be done in a project of this magnitude. This is important especially if the university is going to realize the 1. 5. 40 strategic plan. Excellent construction will also help the university to effectively compete in the global category. Because of such concerns, a contractor with adequate experience in constructing PC 2 laboratories to the required standards is important.
The right contractor for such kind of a project should have a prior experience in terms of construction of PC 2 laboratories and having worked within university a environment. The experience of the contractor is important for the achievement of the desired objectives in terms of the building standards. In order to resolve this issue, the university board should be strict in including the above qualifications in the tender notice as they source for the right contractor. This will enable them eliminate all unexpected contractors who would deliver poor quality work.
Next, the university board can also source for information from relevant sources such as internet or journals for contractors with such kind of experiences. Through this, the university will be able to clearly cut out contractors who lack the experience needed. Lastly, the university board can also source for contractor information from the other universities who have managed to construct PC 2 laboratories. Through this they will be able to get qualified contractors who will deliver to the expectations and goals of the project and the entire university.
Time Constraints: Time is a very important resource to consider in this kind of a project. This is because there is a fixed deadline for the completion of the project. There are big risks that are involved in a case whereby the results are not achieved in intended time. Any delays are risky to the university and the potential researchers within the university since they are chances of research income loss. The university also stands a chance of loosing the ability to hire and appoint researchers to cater for the research needs within the university.
As a result of the above threats associated with time, it is important for the project manager to observe the following: create a project schedule that will detail all the activities and the respective time frames so as to monitor the construction timings for the laboratories to ensure that no activity delays. Project activities that depend on the completion of other projects should be hurried so as to avoid time delays; next, the project manager needs to carry out a proper research on the institutions that have managed to accomplish such a project so as to gain a rough estimate of the amount of time it would take to complete every activity.
This will help in designing the project schedule; and lastly, the project manager needs to construct proper and effective project management teams whose key responsibilities would be to oversee time frames for every activity in the construction process. This is important because it will help in saving time that would be unnecessarily lost if the project teams were not involved. Bibliography: Joseph, Phillips. PMP Project Management Professional Study Guide. New York: McGraw-Hill Professional, 2003.