Surviving the Slowdown: A Current Analysis of the UAE Construction Industry

by Omar Al Saadoon

The title of this article does not suggest the fear of stakeholders in the construction industry in the UAE or any other country affected by the global downturn is wholly irrational. No, on the contrary, the fact the UAE is currently experiencing a dramatic and unprecedented slowdown in its construction industry (which apparently accounts in part for Dubai’s first budget deficit in 2009) is symptomatic of the global fear of the instability of global financial markets and the ability of banks to lend to the public and each other. It is difficult to guage the actual effect of the downturn on the local construction industry given the UAE does not publish its GDP date on a quarterly basis. [Read more…]

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Construction disputes and the economic crisis

by David Dale

David Dale discusses how the methods of resolving construction disputes are changing. [Read more…]

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Techniques to Build a Work Breakdown Structure

Break Summary Activities into Two or More Detailed Activities

Since you chose to break a summary activity into smaller activities, it does not make sense to only have one detailed activity under a summary one. If you do, the detailed activity represents the exact same work as the summary activity. This does not buy you anything. If this occurs in your WBS, you either need to: [Read more…]

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Manage Political Problems as Issues

The larger your project gets, the more you will find that the issues you encounter are more and more political in nature. The issues have to do with the use of resources, project direction, project deliverables, how the project should be run, how the project impacts people, etc. The resolution of these issues requires you to gain consensus among people that have differences of opinion. In other words, the resolution requires you to recognize and work in office politics. [Read more…]

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Perform Integrated Change Control

Large projects should apply more diligence throughout the change management process. Change does not always happen neatly. In many cases, it may be hard to understand the nature of a change and the impact to the various aspects of the project. For example a small request can come into the project that results in a change to scope. The scope change request may lead to a request to increase schedule and budget. The request might impact the types of resources that are needed on the project ands it might effect a vendor contract. The project manager needs to understand the nature of the change and how it might impact all other aspects of the project. [Read more…]

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Root Cause Analysis

Sometimes when you try to resolve a problem, you find that what you thought was a root cause is really a related symptom, not the actual cause of the problem itself. Consider the following classic example. [Read more…]

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Creating the WBS

The process for building the WBS is as follows: [Read more…]

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Project Approach

The project approach is a section in the Project Charter that describes in words the thinking that goes into the creation of the project schedule. There are two benefits to creating an approach section. First, this information will help the client and stakeholders understand how the project will progress without having to interpret the actual schedule. [Read more…]

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Collect Requirements

Most project team members like to follow the Nike creed – Just Do It! The client has a business need and the team immediately wants to move into problem solving mode. There is no better feeling than completing the solution and showing the client. Until, of course, the client informs you that this is not quite what he or she had in mind. [Read more…]

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Ensure Traceability

Traceability refers to the ability to trace, or track, requirements throughout the lifecycle and into the final solution. Tracking requirements through the project ensures that all requirements are considered as a part of design, all requirements are built into the solution, all requirements are tested and all requirements are implemented in the final solution. Likewise, the process also ensures that features and functions are not designed and built into the final solution if they are not a part of the agreed-upon requirements. [Read more…]

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