Project management has become an important undertaking for most organizations in the modern world as they allow them to manage their resources and increase their productivity effectively. Turner & Townsend, headquartered in the United Kingdom, is one of the companies that offers project management services and consultancy to organizations all over the world. One of their recent clients was the University of Exeter which had a project of constructing a new business school. Just as other projects, construction of the school took into consideration three key aspects for it to be successful. These were the budget, schedule, and scope of the project. Additionally, the project manager had to manage the conflicts that arose during the different phases of the project using various techniques such as smoothing, competing, and collaborating. The major objectives of the project were to enable the University of Exeter Business School deliver its vision through creating a state-of-the-art educational facility, to build good relationships among the project team so as to manage the difficulties that arose throughout the project timeline, and to work within the set time frames so as to meet the demands of the stakeholders. Eventually, through effective project management skills, Turner & Townsend was able to deliver the project on schedule and under budget, while exceeding the expectations of the client.
Application of the Concepts and Principles of Project Management in the Project
Turner & Townsend applied various concepts and principles of project management in order to make the construction of the new Exeter Business School successful. The key concept applied is the triple constraints of quality, cost, and time. The quality or scope of a project is a clear and specific statement that defines the desired results of the project (Bowen et al., 2012). The project consisted of construction of a new business school for the University of Exeter with the completion date set for January 2011. The second constraint is cost which defines the money and effort that are needed in a project to make it successful (Bowen et al., 2012). The budget of the project was 14 million with the team consisting of Turner and Townsend Project Management staff, the University of Exeter architects, and consulting engineers. Finally, time defines the amount of time that is needed for completing each project task (Green, 2006). The project management team developed a project execution plan that catered for different work streams hence ensuring that the overall goals of the project were met. By understanding these three project constraints, Turner and Townsend was able to plan the project better, analyze the project risks, and properly equip themselves in balancing any adjustments made to the project.
Apart from the triple constraint concept, Turner & Townsend also applied the 4 Ps principle of project management. The four Ps are people, product, process, and project. People are the primary resource of every project. Therefore, a well-conducted team will ensure that the project is successful (Turner, 2016). In the case of Turner and Townsend, the project management team ensured that they collaborated with the project team and the client hence was able to solve complex problems and make key decisions that ensured project success. The product was the new state-of-the-art business school building. Before planning the construction of the building, the project management team established the product objectives and scope as well as identified the technical constraints. With such information, it was possible to define a reasonable cost, project schedule and amount of risk involved. The process model used for the project was to ensure effective teamwork and consultation, ensuring that there is a no-blame culture within the team. Finally, the project contains everything about the development techniques to be used (Turner, 2016). The project manager needs to take the necessary steps while taking into consideration some common warnings in order to make the project successful. The proactive dialog between different stakeholders ensured that the project was eventually successful.
Time Management Plan
For a project to be completed successfully, there must be control of the various activities as well as ensure that they are completed on schedule. Therefore, the project team needs to have a clear picture of what is to be done and know when each of the activities needs to be completed (Kerzner, 2013). One tool that does this effectively is the Gantt chart which outlines all the tasks that are involved in a project against a timescale. The Gantt chart below outlines the tasks to be completed within the first fifteen months of the project.
ACTIVITY 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15
Set out site Inspect building site Level site Set out string lines Excavation Excavate over site Excavate footings The Gantt chart was an important tool in ensuring the success of the project. The various features of the Gantt chart offered three key advantages to the project team. First, the Gantt chart kept the project team on track by providing a visual timeline on when to start and finish specific tasks. Secondly, it enabled every project team member and stakeholder to be on the same page. Finally, it enabled the project team to allocate resources to various tasks of the project effectively.
Work Breakdown Structure
Apart from the Gantt chart, the work breakdown structure is also a valuable tool in project management. It sets the foundation for the various activities involved in the project (Haugan, 2008). The work breakdown structure is represented as a subdivision of the various project tasks with the lowest level being a work package or activity. The efficiency of the work breakdown structure greatly determines the project success.
Construction of the Business School Building
The work breakdown structure was important for the project mainly because it was an efficient tool for the project management team to plan their work efficiently.
Payback period is the time needed to recover all the costs of an investment. It is an important determinant of whether an organization should undertake a project since longer payback periods are usually not desirable (Gido and Clements, 2014). The payback period of the project had an uneven cash flow. Therefore, the cumulative net cash flow was used to determine the payback period using the formula:
Payback period = NCC + AVTC
Where NCC is the last period which had a negative cumulative cash flow, AV is the absolute value of the cumulative cash flow and TC is the total cash flow.
The project had a short payback period hence offering various advantages to the institution. One of these advantages is that a short payback period implies that there would be a quick inflow of cash. Secondly, it reduces the risks that might be caused by changing economic conditions. Finally, it allowed funds to be available to be used in other projects.
Quality Management Plan
Another important aspect of project management is the building of a quality management plan. The quality management plan is a definition of the acceptable quality level and description of how the project team will deliver this level of quality (Wysocki, 2011). Quality management activities guarantee that the products are built to agreed standards, the project team and the stakeholders perform the work processes efficiently and that there is proper identification of non-conformances and taking appropriate corrective actions. The quality management plan contains the following components: quality objectives, quality standards, key project deliverables, quality roles and responsibilities, and quality control and assurance activities (Wysocki, 2011).
Project Process Process Quality Standards Quality Assurance Frequency
Refine project charter 100% compliance with framework. Audit charter updates Once per each phase of the project
Refine project plan 100% compliance with framework. Audit plan updates and task estimation Once per each phase of the project
Approve each project phase 100% compliance with framework. Audit stage checkpoints Once per each phase of the project
Review the project 100% compliance with framework. Audit project reviews Once per each phase of the project
Proper communication about various aspects of the project in different stages is important in ensuring that the project is successful. A communication plan makes this process easy as it provides all the stakeholders with appropriate information about the project. The plan defines the persons who should receive specific information, the time they should receive the information and the communication channels that will be used in delivering the information (Meredith and Mantel, 2011). The diagram below shows the communication plan which made the project successful.
The project manager to develop all the internal and external messaging infrastructure. The project team will assist in delivery via networks such as direct communication with the client.
0Communication Infrastructure The project manager to develop all the internal and external messaging infrastructure. The project team will assist in delivery via networks such as direct communication with the client.
Facilitate collaboration between the project team and the client.
Gather appropriate information that is useful to the project.
Identify areas which need improvement.
Message Turner & Townsend working in partnership with the University of Exeter to construct a new business school therefore provide the institution with additional world-class facilities.
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