Project Management Sample Assignment

Executive Summary

Every project that has to be completed within a timeline requires a proper and sustainable project management plan. In this study, the tasks of creating a sustainable project management plan and provide an analysis of the type of leadership and skills that were required for successfully completing the project has been conducted. In this project, discussions have been made on the advantages to the project developer of this property due to the use of critical path analysis. Several risks have been identified that are associated with this project and their risk scores have also been mitigated. Finally, the factors for lack of motivation within Kevin have been identified and recommendations have been provided accordingly in order to increase his motivation.

Introduction

Project management techniques are utilized by mostly every project manager in order to provide a sustainable plan for proper project management. During the planning of the project timeline the theories that are to be adopted by the leaders and the skills that will be required by them are also analysed. This is done in order to keep everyone who is associated with the project on the same page and provide proper understanding of the work environment to the leaders and investor of the project. The study involves creating a sustainable project management plan and provides an analysis of the type of leadership and skills that will be necessary for successful mitigation of this project. The mitigation of this project has been done in three parts. The first section involves creating a network diagram for the project along with the project timeline. The second part involves analysis of the risks that concerning the individual tasks of the project. During the third section of this project it is required to perform an analysis of a case study based on a project manager who has been hired recently and lacks motivation to drive the project.

Part 1

Network Diagram and critical path


Figure 1 (a): Network diagram (1)

(Source: Created by learner)

The above figures (Figure 1 (a) and 1 (b)) a detailed network have been provided that not only defines the tasks, however it describes the specified timeline allocated for each task of the project. According to the views of Ng and Walker (2008) the individual to whom each task has been allocated have also been specified for each of the tasks that are required to be performed.

Figure 2: Critical Path

(Source: Created by learner)

The above figure gives an idea of the critical path of the tasks that are required to be performed. This is a construction project that involves that involves two workers who have been selected to perform all the required tasks within the given deadline of six weeks. There are a set of tasks regarding substantial repairs to the roof and modifications to the internal structure. The given deadline of the project was for six weeks, however, the prepared timeline and critical path for the project suggests that the project will be completed within a time span of 38 days.

Advantages to the property developer in using critical path analysis

Walker (2015) says that when a property developer or a project manager is assigned to handle a multi task project for an organisation the critical path method serves as a form of mathematical algorithm of the turn of events that will be taking place. This critical path method is also used to monitor the progress of these series of events for a multi tasked construction project (Schieg, 2006). This method also serves the professionals in the field to make an estimation of the time required (cpmscheduling.com, 2019). The method of critical path analysis has been proved to be an effective tool used in the field of management in order to calculate and predict the time for completion of the project. Brioso (2015) argues that critical path method involves the analysis of a critical path in the form of a visual, graphical or a chart form. The main difference of critical path analysis and other planning methods is that, critical path method uses mapping and predicting hurdles or accidental delays in an extensive manner. These are known as critical paths.

The advantages to a project developer for using of Critical Path Method are as follows,

  • By using the critical path method it becomes easier for the project managers for creating a team and builds a network for human resources for efficient handling of a multitasked project (Lock, 2017).
  • This method helps in binding the team together and in turn motivating the human resources team for completion of the project successfully and timely (El-Shehaby, Nosair and Sanad, 2014).
  • The requirements of the project are taken into account by the critical path method well in advance so that the project could be completed in an efficient way.
  • This critical path method also helps the project developers and project managers for the determination of the duration and estimation of the exact time and cost required for the project (Chan, Scott and Chan, 2004)
  • With the help of this method assistance could be provided to the project managers in order to plan schedules, monitor tasks, and help control the project expenses
  • The convenience of the calculation of the time required for completion of the project is also provided to the project developers.
  • This method also helps them to predict and calculate the exact date of completion for every phase and anticipate any problems that might arise in the way.
  • Evaluation of the parallel activities and handling delays becomes much easier by using this method and the outcome of the tasks could be judged.
  • The project length can also be minimised by monitoring the critical path of the project.
  • The charting that is done in a critical path method also enables the project developers to determine the float time, start time, slack time and end time that is associated with every activity of the project.

Effectiveness of the idea using only two workers to complete the project

For the completion of the tasks only two workers have been assigned. These workers have been assigned with separate jobs so that the operation of the two workers does not clash. It has been learnt that there are several philosophies that can be utilized for managing a team effectively. In this case scenario there are only two workers who are responsible for completion of the total job within 38 days. The team of two have been assigned with separate tasks that are required to be mitigated. They will have no helping hands whatsoever. A project that involves construction work requires handling of heavy pieces of equipment and often times require more than one person to handle a job. Though electrical work is a job that could be done by a single person, the job of plumbing requires a helping hand. Without any helping hand the estimated timeline of the project could be excited for a longer period of time and possibly result in an incomplete project.

However, there are instances where the timeline of two jobs overlap such as the electrical work and plumbing work. There is some flaw that has been identified within this section of the project management plan since both the works start on the same date and both the jobs require similar kinds of actions. There might be a possibility that during the mitigation of these two tasks the workers might face some inconvenience since they have got no helping hands. All the tasks that have been assigned to the workers have to be completed alone. 

Part 2

Risk Analysis

The identification of the risks that were concerned with the tasks regarding the project is the first step towards managing the risks. During the risk analysis of the project the conditions for competitiveness has been analysed along with clarifications of the risks have been provided. Uncertainty factors were also analysed and the risks that could arise due to these factors were mitigated. According to the studies conducted by Banaitiene and Banaitis (2012) it has been found that the risks of the project can be categorized into three groups,

  • External factors
  • Project
  • Internal Factors

The external risks are those risks which are posed on the project from an outer source. Lock, (2016) argues that it is only normal that these risks cannot be mitigated by the project management team. Rather the external risks are to be mitigated by the leaders such as the project developer or the project owner (Chatterjee et al. 2018). However there are a few external risks that are associated with the project such as,

  1. Environmental factors: Dust particles will be released into the atmosphere due to drill works required during drill works and plumbing (Ali et al. 2019).
  2. Political factors and Legal factors: This project involves the internal works of a building and all construction of the structure of the building has already been completed. Hence, all the political and legal factors have already been met.
  3. Economic factors: Looking at the project it can easily be said that the building framework has already been done. The internal works of the building remains undone. There is a possibility that there might be some economic crisis in a certain market, however, unless the owner of the project stops financing the project would not face any economic crisis (Akinbile et al. 2018).
  4. Social risk: This project seems like a renovation of an existing building. A few social risks such as renovation works can produce sounds that could be disturbing to the neighbours.

Figure 3: Risk allocation structure by level in construction object

(Source: Iqbal et al. 2015)

After an analysis of the critical path of the project it has been found that the plan is not completely flawless. The project risks involve the handling heavy pieces of machinery by singular individuals. There are only two workers who have been assigned with separate tasks for completion of the project within the provided timeline. There are tasks that involve the use of electrical equipment and open wiring of the building. The worker responsible is prone to electrical shocks if he/she is not provided with the proper equipment. The general risks that are associated with electrical works are as follows,

  1. Shocks and burns when the individual comes in contact with a live connection
  2. Injuries can happen due to the exposure to arcing (Dişlen, 2013)
  3. Fire released from faulty electrical equipment can also cause burns (Adeleke, Bahaudin and Kamaruddeen, 2016)
  4. Static electricity can ignite flammable vapours that might be coming from the other construction works

The risks that are associated with plumbing works are also posing danger to the worker responsible for conducting the task. Some of the risks in plumbing work are as follows,

  1. Working at great heights (El-Shehaby, Nosair and Sanad, 2014)
  2. Working inside confined spaces
  3. One can get a serious eye injury due to the repetitive movement especially required in plumbing work (Lunenburg, 2011).

Discussion of Risk Scores

Due to some factors that influence the severity of risks associated with the project the risk score is used as a reference to calculate a score that determines the level of risk. Influenced by the studies of Noltemeyer et al. (2012) the risk score for the different tasks of the project has been by multiplying probability and impact through other factors. According to the scores of the risks analysed the risks have been categorized into five levels: “Very Low, Low, Medium, High or Very High”. The table below shows the risk scores of different tasks,

TaskProbability rangeLabelSafety
Electrical work≥ 1 in 2Very high> Fatality
Plumbing Work≥ 1 in 2Very high> Fatality
Plastering1 in 2High> 1 day work lost
Installing new kitchen1 in 5MediumRequires hospitalization
Installing new bathrooms1 in 10LowRequires medical attention
Garden1 in 10LowRequires medical attention
Change windows≥ 1 in 2Very high> Fatality
Fitting carpet1 in 100Very LowNon injury accident
Outside paintwork≥ 1 in 2Very high> Fatality

Table 1: Risk scores associated with the different tasks

(Source: Created by learner)

Opportunities Discussion

There are several ways and opportunities with the help of which these risks could be minimised. From the analysis of the risks it has been found that there are four such tasks that could cause fatality of the individual responsible for the tasks. However, all of these risks could be avoided by ensuring to maintain the following criteria,

  • While handling electrical systems insulated rubber gloves need to be used to avoid electric shocks.
  • While handling heavy pieces of plumbing equipments pulleys and cars must be used so that much of the manual labour can be minimised (Albogamy and Dawood, 2015).
  • While working at great heights proper cable extensions must be provided and the cables must be ensured of any breakage or slippage (Taroun, 2014).

Part 3

Identification of the reasons for lack of motivation in reference to theories and examples

From the studies conducted by Ridley-Duff and Bull (2011) it has been found that in the present world scenario projects have become a dominant part of work in the work culture of contemporary organisation. Any slight task that has to be performed by an organisation is currently being defined as a project. There were several factors that have been identified that might be the cause for lack of motivation within Kevin. Since he has a history of giving constant negative feedback to his subordinates and is not at all compatible to work with a team. However, he has proved his worth since he has been known for his excellent technical problem solving skills.

The possible reasons that have been mitigated below as follows,

  1. According to “Maslow’s Hierarchy Theory”, several psychological factors are responsible for driving motivation within an individual (Morrison, 2010). One of the reasons from being a guest lecturer also working as a project manager for several companies Kevin might be sleep deprived. This might be one of the reasons for his short temperedness.
  2. Almost all the theories suggest that there must be positive feedback given to the workers from the end of the Project Manager so as in order to make sure proper motivation to the employees (Jato-Espino et al. 2014). However, Kevin does not only lack motivation for himself rather he fails to motivate his fellow employees too.
  3. Learning from the profession of Kevin as an ex-professor, one of the reasons for lack of motivation can be because he feels himself to be an underappreciated fellow professionally.
  4. As an aged man Kevin must have lost some of the enthusiasm he used to have during his early years.
  5. Kevin has trust issues which can be understood from the fact that he does not perform while working with or managing a team.
  6. One of the factors that might be affecting Kevin to get proper motivation could be because he lacks belief in himself (Antonakis and Robert, 2013). Being an underrated project manager can oftentimes be the reason for lack of motivation and lead to bullying of the fellow employees.
  7. Another reason might be that as a project manager his goals were overwhelming to the project owners and have been discredited for his efforts.
  8. There is also the possibility that Kevin has been in his work life for a long time and might just have been very exhausted and requires a break (Iqbal et al. 2015).
  9. Being a project manager Kevin is not able to communicate with his employees or subordinates in the right manner. This suggests that Kevin is not very good at interacting with humans. Due to his shy nature he might have also faced commitment issues from other project managers of several companies

Recommendations for Kelvin to get motivated

It is very evident that Kevin is sort of an introvert fellow and is not good at communicating with other human beings. Almost every theory such as Maslow’s Hierarchy Theory or Herzberg’s Two Factor theory suggests that as a project manager one must be able to motivate their employees without facing any kind of hesitation (Stello, 2011). Kevin has missed this part of being a perfect leader since he lacks proper motivation. For gaining proper motivation Kevin must follow the following criteria,

  • The first task he must perform is to adopt a proper leadership model that is most effective for such a project and act accordingly
  • Set goals in such a manner that they are realistic in nature to achieve
  • Organise himself
  • Be direct and act as a leader (Alshmemri, Shahwan-Akl and Maude, 2017)
  • Make sure that he has proper understanding of the workloads and due dates assigned for different tasks of the project.
  • Focus on motivating an employee rather than giving negative feedback for every wrongdoing.
  • He must be open to accept ideas suggested by his subordinates
  • He must gain proper knowledge and hands on experience on the subject matter of the project (Islam et al. 2017).
  • Kevin must focus and acknowledge the individualistic efforts of the members in his team.
  • Without offering negative feedback he must be able to understand the problems faced by an individual and motivate them accordingly.

Conclusion

Every project must have a proper project plan and a project manager with efficient leadership skills. In this study the creation of a sustainable project management plan has been conducted. An analysis of the type of leadership and skills that was necessary for successfully mitigating the project has also been performed. In the first section of this study a network diagram for the project along with the project timeline has been created that has been used to perform the critical path analysis. The advantages offered by critical path method to a project developer have also been analysed. Here it was learnt that it becomes easier for the project managers for creating a team and build a network for human resources for efficient handling of a multitasked project. In the second part of this project several risks of this project have been analysed. While the discussion of the risk scores has been done it was found that there were four tasks which were identified to have very high risks: electrical works, plumbing works, changing windows and outside paintworks. From the analysis it can be concluded that assigning only two workers for the project can prove to be hazardous and could possibly increase the timeframe assigned for the project. In the third part of this project an analysis of a case study has been performed based on Kevin, who is a project manager for an organisation who has been hired recently and lacks motivation to drive the project. Recommendations to increase his motivation have been provided according to the identified factors for his lack of motivation

References

Adeleke, A.Q., Bahaudin, A.Y. and Kamaruddeen, A.M., (2016). Moderating Effect of Regulations on Organizational Factors and Construction Risk Management: A Proposed Framework. International Journal of Economics and Financial Issues6(7S), pp.92-97.

Akinbile, B.F., Ofuyatano, M., Oni, O.Z. and Agboola, O.D., (2018). RISK MANAGEMENT AND ITS INFLUENCE ON CONSTRUCTION PROJECT IN NIGERIA. Annals of the Faculty of Engineering Hunedoara16(3), pp.169-174.

Albogamy, A. and Dawood, N.,(2015). Development of a client-based risk management methodology for the early design stage of construction processes: applied to the KSA. Engineering, Construction and Architectural Management22(5), pp.493-515.

Ali, M.M., Norman, S.Z., Ghani, E.K. and Haron, N.H., (2019). The Influence of Risk Management on Construction Project Performance: A Case Study. The Journal of Social Sciences Research, pp.69-75.

Alshmemri, M., Shahwan-Akl, L. and Maude, P., (2017). Herzberg’s two-factor theory. Life Science Journal14(5), pp.12-16.

Antonakis, J. and Robert, J., (2013). House 2013.’The Full-Range Leadership Theory: The Way Forward’, Transformational and Charismatic Leadership: The Road Ahead 10th Anniversary Edition (Monographs in Leadership and Management, Volume 5) (pp. 3-33). Emerald Group Publishing Limited.

Banaitiene, N. and Banaitis, A., (2012). Risk management in construction projects. Risk Management–Current Issues and Challenges. In N. Banaitiene (Ed.), Risk Management–Current Issues and Challenges, pp.429-448.

Brioso, X., (2015). Integrating ISO 21500 guidance on project management, lean construction and PMBOK. Procedia Engineering123, pp.76-84.

Chan, A.P., Scott, D. and Chan, A.P., (2004). Factors affecting the success of a construction project. Journal of construction engineering and management, 130(1), pp.153-155.

Chatterjee, K., Zavadskas, E., Tamošaitienė, J., Adhikary, K. and Kar, S., (2018). A hybrid MCDM technique for risk management in construction projects. Symmetry, 10(2), p.46.

cpmscheduling.com, (2019). CPM Advantages and Disadvantages. Available at: https://www.cpmscheduling.com/critical-path-method/advantages-and-disadvantages-in-the-implementation-of-cpm/ [Accessed on: 04-01-2020]

Dişlen, G., (2013). The Reasons of Lack of Motivation from the Students’ and Teachers’ Voices. pp.35-45

El-Shehaby, M., Nosair, I. and Sanad, A.E.M., (2014). Risk assessment and analysis for the construction of off shore oil & gas projects. Int. J. Sci. Res. Educ.

Iqbal, S., Choudhry, R.M., Holschemacher, K., Ali, A. and Tamošaitienė, J., (2015). Risk management in construction projects. Technological and Economic Development of Economy21(1), pp.65-78.

Islam, M.S., Nepal, M.P., Skitmore, M. and Attarzadeh, M., (2017). Current research trends and application areas of fuzzy and hybrid methods to the risk assessment of construction projects. Advanced Engineering Informatics33, pp.112-131.

Jato-Espino, D., Castillo-Lopez, E., Rodriguez-Hernandez, J. and Canteras-Jordana, J.C., (2014). A review of application of multi-criteria decision making methods in construction. Automation in Construction45, pp.151-162.

Lock, D., (2016). Project Management in Construction. Routledge.

Lock, D., (2017). The essentials of project management. Routledge.

Lunenburg, F.C., (2011). Goal-setting theory of motivation. International journal of management, business, and administration15(1), pp.1-6.

Morrison, K., (2010). Complexity theory, school leadership and management: Questions for theory and practice. Educational Management Administration & Leadership38(3), pp.374-393.

Ng, C.H. and Walker, D.H., (2008). A study of project management leadership styles across life cycle stages of an IT project in Hong Kong. International Journal of Managing Projects in Business, 1(3), pp.404-427.

Noltemeyer, A., Bush, K., Patton, J. and Bergen, D., (2012). The relationship among deficiency needs and growth needs: An empirical investigation of Maslow’s theory. Children and Youth Services Review, 34(9), pp.1862-1867.

Ridley-Duff, R. and Bull, M., (2011). Understanding social enterprise: Theory and practice. London: Sage.

Schieg, M., (2006). Risk management in construction project management. Journal of Business Economics and Management, 7(2), pp.77-83.

Stello, C.M., (2011). Herzberg’s two-factor theory of job satisfaction: An integrative literature review. In Unpublished paper presented at The 2011 Student Research Conference: Exploring Opportunities in Research, Policy, and Practice, University of Minnesota Department of Organizational Leadership, Policy and Development, Minneapolis, MN.

Taroun, A., (2014). Towards a better modelling and assessment of construction risk: Insights from a literature review. International Journal of Project Management32(1), pp.101-115.

Walker, A., (2015). Project management in construction. John Wiley & Sons.


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