A failed project can result to a loss of opportunity as well as revenue. Moreover the failed project may fail to achieve the set objectives consequently leading to diversion of resources. Though the Sydney Opera House was considered a success, it failed to meet the success metrics of the traditional project manager. Once a project fails to match with the traditional metrics of success, it is considered as a failed project. This paper will use a project management perspective to analyze the building of a New Sydney Opera House.
The paper will address the best communications plan and describe the special skills for project management that could be applied in the building project. Good management is paramount for the success of the project as well as project manager. Other matters of interest will also be looked into. Establishing a capable organization This project needs an organization that can effectively identify as well as address issues concerning the project to give facilitation and support the achievement of the outcomes of the project.
To establish an organization fit for this project, there is need for wide consultation with the stakeholders to know about their needs and ideas so as to determine where and how the project management office will fit in the project. There is need to review the skills and gaps that existed in the previous project that led to its failure and then incorporate people who are able to close the gaps. In other words the office ought to know their purpose in the project and what is required to be achieved.
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Depending on the project management office, documentation issues such as processes of project approval, recruiting, training as well as funding management are needed. The organization ought to incorporate better timeframes and reporting mechanism. The project management office should have diverse reporting responsibilities. As the building project progresses, the role of scope may change while at the same time new methodologies coming up. As a result the organization should be in a position to welcome new changes to avoid failure.
Good people always make a perfect organization. It therefore means that the success of this project should recognize the capabilities and talents that exist in different people. The organization should be made up of people who truly believe in what they do. The design manager, construction manager, project architect or construction engineer should be an individual who can well supervise the project effectively. These are people who can work properly with the project manager meaning that they ought to have the same focus for the achievement of best result (Young, 2000).
Special project management skills Managing the four elements This project will ultimately be successful if the project manager simultaneously manages the four major elements of the project which are time, resources, money and most significantly scope. The elements are interrelated and hence ought to be managed effectively. The manager should possess skills to manage the project scope which outlines the definition of what the intended project is purposed to accomplish. Any change in the project scope is likely to bring changes in time, resources or budget.
If the project scope is purposed to build the Sydney Opera House with a budget of $ 10 million, the project manager is supposed to do so. However, if the scope of the project changes then a smart project manager will not agree to the changes if the budget is not adjusted (Reh, 2010). Creativity The best project manager ought to be very creative and enjoy the complex challenge of locating everything that may go wrong and plan to avoid mistakes. The project manager must train himself to work within tight schedules while at the same time managing resources and produce results within the budget and on time.
Every one would agree that planning is the single activity that the project manager should engage in completely to achieve the set goals. For this project to be successful, it is important to have a systematic, detailed plan that is involved in team work. This is the absolute foundation for building the New Sydney Opera House. In absence of this, risk becomes many, money is spent unwisely, time is spent improperly and consequently projects loose the track. A project manager should be a strong leader with adequate skills for planning effectively and this will lead to benefits in the project’s lifecycle.
A strong plan that is well detailed would lead to building a realistic managed schedule and subsequently resulting to effectively approximating and managing resources set for the project (Woodward, 1997). Effective communication The project manager needs to have a vision and also possess the ability to articulate it. The manager should empower the stakeholders to experience the vision. The manager in addition ought to have special skills in communicating with the team members. There should be precise communication concerning the goals, performance, responsibility, expectations as well as feedback.
There is great value placed in directness and openness (Campbell, 2009). The manager ought to posses skills in negotiating and applying persuasion where needed and this would lead to success of the team along with the project. Effective communication generates explicit guidelines purposed for accomplishing the results. The project manager ought to be committed and demonstrate ethical practices. The leader should always be positive and show enthusiasm and this would lead to being optimistic.
The manager ought to be empathetic and not sympathetic. The project manager will be competent if he is in a position to inspire, model, enable and encourage the team members. Team building skills ought to be present in the manager as this will hold the team together for the purpose of attaining the set goal. The manager ought to know and integrate the appropriate leadership style in each level of team development. Finally, a good manager ought to have excellent skills for problem solving (Woodward, 1997).
Handling of new ideas and technological development Insightful implementation The project management team needs to have thoughtful planning and insightful implementation incase new ideas as well as innovative developments that influence the resources, scope and budget come up. Above all there is need for the management team to make consultations with the stakeholders. The team ought to understand the new ideas and upcoming technological development and how they affect the budget, scope and resources that had previously been set for the project.
The team ought to know that everyone involved in the project understand the need for incorporating new ideas and technological development. To accomplish these there is need for face to face communication so as to handle sensitive matters that may arise as a result of the technological developments. The initial step is for the management team to understand the position of the project at that very moment new ideas come up or during the technological developments. Next, the management team should state the point where the project is expected to be at a particular time and what measures are needed to get there.
The team should then plan to achieve the target applying proper achievable measurable stages. The management team is required to communicate as early as possible and very openly (Baker, 2008). Learn ways of accepting change Incorporating new ideas as well as technological development in the project means that there are going to be changes in the budget set, scope and resources allocated for the project. The management team can not decide when new ideas ought to come up but the good thing is that they may learn on ways to manage them.
The management team should not under any circumstance resist any change as refusing will lead to not incorporating better strategies that could probably make the project better than it could be under the initial plan. The management team should realize that the quicker the realization the quicker the transition. The team should understand that what they consider difficult can also produce positive results. Time should not be wasted in on what the team does not like but the focus should be on the potential benefits underlined in the new ideas and development in technology.
When new ideas come up, the management team should create a list on what should be done to incorporate the new developments (Baker, 2008). The more prepared the team is, the less the new ideas and developments are likely to overwhelm the whole project. New ideas will not only affect the management team alone but everybody involved in the project is affected as well. As a result, in considering the new ideas, the team ought to mind the effect anticipated to all people involved in the building project. Many ideas along with technological developments may come up at the same time and hence bring confusion if not handled well.
Managing too many new ideas at one particular moment may result to project failure. It is hence important that the team manage one idea at a time to ensure appropriate flexibility. Incorporating too much change may affect the budget hence instead of building the New Sydney Opera House for $ 10 million, the project may end up consuming about $ 100 million. This may happen because of utilization of more resources than it was planned for. Moreover, incorporating too many ideas at the same time may lengthen the period of the completion of the house and this would be linked to project failure.
Incase a technological development that may seem complex in incorporating arises; the management team ought to exercise patience and try to learn on the best way of employing it. The management team should not allow the new ideas overcome the project but instead the project should overcome the ideas and developments in technology. Finally, the management team should not be too comfortable with the upcoming ideas but instead should choose wisely what is best for the project depending on what has already been done and accomplished (Baker, 2008). Communication Plan Monthly progress report
In building a New Sydney Opera House there is need for creating a document that shows the stakeholders who need to be informed on issues concerning the project and the manner in which they will get the information. The best mechanism that could be used in this case is monthly progress report that describes the performance of the project, milestones accomplished and work planed for the subsequent period. The management team should not make a mistake of creating the project plan at the start of the work and never revisit it, review it or even revise it throughout the project (Borysowich, 2008).
Memos and status report A good communication plan for this project will involve using some formal communication activities. Memos and status reports ought to be utilized in this project as they will give the stakeholders an opportunity of raising new issues as well as anticipated results that probably were not expected in the first place. The project manager should ensure that the status reports and memos are true and tough. One key to engagement failure is relying on reports and memos that are not true.
The status reports opens a forum for sharing experiences, resolving concerns and problems and providing suggestions concerning issues that affect the project (Borysowich, 2008). Project meetings Project meetings are significant in this kind of project. A kick-off meeting is necessary since it helps the project team get the formal orientation and form a common understanding among the team members. The meeting should be run well, have time contracts, clear agendas, create an opportunity for open exchange and ensure team participation.
The project manager should use the agenda to enhance discussion and to encourage every stakeholder participate and this will help form a status report from everybody consequently building an overall vision. The project needs to incorporate formal meetings since this is the corner stone for the success of the project. The Committee meetings are necessary for monitoring progress and making important decisions on what ought to be done so as to complete the project. A very effective approach on improving communication for this kind of project is setting up a conference room or an office tat can be used for holding meetings.
In the office, information regarding the mission statement for the project, current status along with scheduled information is posted on the walls. This will ensure that all involved in the project are aware of the work that is ahead and how much has been accomplished (Borysowich, 2008). Building healthy relationship with committee As the project manager, it is important to build healthy relationship with the committee members as this will determine the success of the project.
To accomplish this it is important to establish internal as well as external networks and good skills are important in listening and creating rapport. As a manager I would understand that the interests of the committee are similar to mine and therefore maintaining confidence with them will lead to success and not failure. There is need to development of a healthy sense of community in the project team. Formation of a healthy culture might assist in winning the minds and hearts of the committee.
In this kind of project, the most important thing is to create a community in the project team that has common purpose. A good culture does not deal with the manner in which the committee responds to inquiries but it entails treating the members with respect and listening attentively to their point of view. However, it does not mean to accept everything that the committee proposes but involves showing respect on their ways of thought. A good culture will inform the committee on the set expectations and give them the guidelines on matters that are important at a particular time.
Much focus should not be put on technical information hence forgetting the people involved (Young, 2008). Conclusion The success of this project highly depends on the capability of the management team. From the start good planning concerning the resources, scope and budget should be made and the management team should try as much as possible to stick to the set plan. There should be healthy relationship between the management team and the stakeholders. In addition, good communication plan ought to be utilized for the success of the project.
This project involves many people and unless all are aware of the mission, goals and objectives of the project, success may be very far away than it can be comprehended. It is hence important that everybody concerned with such an important project actively play his/her role well so as to achieve the best. The management team ought to have ways of managing risks as they are part of any project and the best way they are managed, the better the outcomes. A successful project requires a skilled project manager and an effective team that is committed to working together.
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