Archive for the ‘Project Management’ Category

Introduction and Implementation of Total Quality Management (TQM)

Total Quality Management is a management approach that originated in the 1950’s and has steadily become more popular since the early 1980’s. Total Quality is a description of the culture, attitude and organization of a company that strives to provide customers with products and services that satisfy their needs. The culture requires quality in all aspects of the company’s operations, with processes being done right the first time and defects and waste eradicated from operations. (Read more..)

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Being a Client

A successful project requires a good client. Each project is unique and to achieve the right design outcome and design quality a strong team of designers need to work with a strong client group with focus and leadership. Delivering a capital project from start to finish is complex and challenging but also hugely rewarding. The role of the client is fundamental to its success. (Read more..)

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Root Cause Analysis

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.
A plant manager walks past the assembly line and notices a puddle of water on the floor. Knowing that the water is a safety hazard, he asks the supervisor to have someone get a mop and clean up the puddle. The plant manager is proud of himself for “fixing” a potential safety problem.
The supervisor, however, is suspicious. He is not sure why the puddle is there. It wasn’t there yesterday. He wonders what caused the puddle to be there today. Therefore, he looks for a root cause by asking ‘why?’ He discovers that the water puddle is caused by a leak in an overhead pipe. He asks ‘why’ again, and discovers that the pipe is leaking because the water pressure is set too high. He asks ‘why?’ again and discovers that the water pressure valve is faulty. He asks ‘why?’ again, and does not get a further answer. The faulty valve is the root cause of the problem. So, the valve is replaced, which solves the symptom of water on the factory floor.
Root cause analysis is a way to identify the ultimate cause of a problem. In the example above, there were many opportunities for solving the wrong problem. First, the plant manager could have ordered more mops to be available on the factory floor. The supervisor likewise could have ordered that the overhead pipe be replaced. However, these solutions would have ultimately been wasteful and they would not have solved the problem since they only addressed symptoms – not the problem itself.
Root cause analysis is usually accomplished by asking a series of ‘why’ questions. Just as the example above illustrates, you ask yourself ‘why’ a problem exists. Then you come up with one or more causes. For each of these causes, ask ‘why’ again. If you can answer that question again, then the first answer is probably a symptom brought on by the more fundamental cause. Continue to ask ‘why’ for each answer until you can no longer generate a logical response. This lowest level is likely to be a root cause and is what generates the observed symptoms. You may discover more than one root cause through this analysis.
When you have identified the root cause(s), put an action plan in place to solve the problem. The symptoms should go away as well.
tenstep

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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Procurement Methods for projects

There are various methods of procurement which can be broadly classified under the following headings:
Traditional
Design and Build
Two Stage Tendering
Public Private Partnerships / Private Finance Initiative
Management Contracting
Construction Management
Framework Agreements

There are various methods of procurement which can be broadly classified under the following headings: (Read more..)

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Analyzing Failure on Projects

Success and failure are integral to individual and corporate growth. Success is relatively easy to handle. Few individuals or companies fail to appreciate and gain confidence from successes. On the other hand, we are not usually equipped to deal with failures. (Read more..)

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Completion and Occupation of projects

The requirements for defining when the project is practically complete should be included in the contract requirements, including requirements for testing, commissioning and handing over the building. Prior to handover the Client should ensure that he is ready to take over and manage the facility with regard to such issues as: (Read more..)

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Construction Safety Management

Construction Safety Management
A GENERAL OUTLINE OF RESPONSIBILITIES FOR JOBSITE SAFETY RELATED TO “CONSTRUCTION” WORK
The following material outlines the basic responsibilities for jobsite safety related to various projects when performed by a General Contractor and various sub-contractors in the construction industry. This construction work might involve the construction of new facilities, facility maintenance, re-build, or modification. While the basic concepts of jobsite safety apply in every case, the degree of responsibility for jobsite safety assigned to the various parties involved depends on the nature of the work being performed and the degree to which necessary knowledge and resources are or should be reasonably available to them.
RESPONSIBILITY OF THE “PRIME” OR “GENERAL” CONTRACTOR FOR OVERALL JOBSITE/WORKPLACE CONSTRUCTION SAFETY
The serious nature of common construction jobsite hazards typically involved in such work, in terms of the relatively high frequency and severity of worker injuries, should dictate special efforts by top construction management to establish and conduct conspicuous, high quality safety programming for the benefit of all persons at their jobsites.
Because workplace safety is so important in regard to construction work, it is essential that initial responsibility for overall jobsite safety be clearly accepted by one party with the authority to initiate and accomplish what is required to achieve jobsite safety.
In terms of effectiveness, safe working conditions at construction jobsites are best achieved when the prime or general contractor assumes his rightful leadership role and takes primary responsibility to (a) establish, (b) coordinate, (c) monitor, and (d) generally manage the overall basic safety program content and structure for all parties and persons at his jobsite. Undefined authority among the parties involved related to jobsite safety is not a workable arrangement for such an important matter that literally effects the life and limb of each and every worker on the jobsite.
It is a logical conclusion that the prime or general contractor should assume initial and overall safety responsibility and safety program leadership at his jobsite. He has primary and overall authority and control of his jobsite. He ultimately controls access to the construction site. All persons performing work at his jobsite are either his employees or have been directly or indirectly hired or controlled by him. In addition, the prime or general contractor will, in various degrees, direct, supervise, coordinate, or monitor the progress of the work and perform various inspections to assure that the work complies with provisions of the contract and associated plans and specifications.
For these and other reasons, on a construction jobsite, the prime or general contractor possesses a singular responsibility to conduct specific jobsite safety programming. This programming should establish and provide a workplace free of recognized hazards which have the potential to cause serious injury to workers, or other individuals, at the jobsite.
When warranted by circumstances, the prime or general contractor may assign certain specific safety activities to other contractors. These contractors will then share a corresponding responsibility for jobsite safety.
DELEGATION OF SAFETY RESPONSIBILITY BY A “PRIME” OR “GENERAL” CONTRACTOR TO A “SUB” CONTRACTOR
When a prime or general contractor engages one or more sub-contractors, the sub-contractor should have a verifiable, high quality safety program. When the prime or general contractor assigns certain safety management responsibilities to a sub-contractor, reasonable adherence to state-of-the-art prudent practice holds that such a sub-contractor shall be deemed to have joint responsibility for jobsite safety. That is, while responsibility for jobsite safety may be shared with a sub-contractor, the prime or general contractor retains overall responsibility.
To illustrate this point, consider the following comparison. When a prime or general contractor delegates construction tasks to one or more specialty sub-contractors, a reasonable and prudent prime or general contractor will continue to monitor the delegated work to ensure compliance with his directives and the project plans and specifications. Certainly the party that hired the prime or general contractor reasonably expects this.
In a similar fashion, due to the importance of jobsite safety, when a prime or general contractor assigns safety responsibility and associated performance to one or more specialty contractors, a reasonable and prudent prime contractor will continue to monitor the work assigned to ensure compliance with reasonable state-of-the-art safety practice and any specific safety requirements contained in the project plans and specifications. The prime or general contractor can never relinquish his overall leadership role to ensure that a reasonable, state-of-the-art safety program is established and conducted at the jobsite.
RESPONSIBILITY OF SUB-CONTRACTORS
If it can be timely arranged or the opportunity is offered to specialty craft sub-contractors, they should actively participate in the development of the overall project safety program established during pre-job safety planning sessions conducted by the prime or general contractor, so that hazards specific to their trade are addressed. Regardless, sub-contractors have the responsibility to (a) actively participate and adhere to the safety program advanced by the prime and general contractors presented to them during pre-job planning sessions, (b) establish and implement their own safety program relative to general safe work methods and specific craft hazards not requiring assistance, cooperation, or coordination with others, (c) utilize communication procedures established by the prime and general contractors to discuss safety issues as they arise, and (d) coordinate their craft activities with the prime and general contractors and other sub-contractors as such work might relate to the safety of all workers and other individuals at the jobsite.
© Nelson & Associates, 1993

The following material outlines the basic responsibilities for jobsite safety related to various projects when performed by a General Contractor and various sub-contractors in the construction industry. This construction work might involve the construction of new facilities, facility maintenance, re-build, or modification. While the basic concepts of jobsite safety apply in every case, the degree of responsibility for jobsite safety assigned to the various parties involved depends on the nature of the work being performed and the degree to which necessary knowledge and resources are or should be reasonably available to them. (Read more..)

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Create Staffing Management Plan

The Staffing Management Plan describes your overall approach for acquiring and managing human resources on your project. The types of information to include in this plan include: (Read more..)

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Configuration Management

There are two major definitions for configuration management.

  1. It can be a term given to the identification, tracking and managing of all the assets of a project. This definition would be especially relevant on software development projects where the “configuration” refers to the collection of artifacts, code components, executables, etc. The items that you will track under configuration management are called “configuration items” in the Capability Maturity Model (CMMI). These configuration items can be interpreted quite broadly to include things such as: (Read more..)

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Individual Performance Should Be Linked to Project Results

Have you ever been on a project that missed all of its commitments for cost, schedule, and quality? Although it may seem counterintuitive, there are a number of projects that have major problems, even some that are cancelled, on which the team members all receive great reviews and the project manager is promoted. (Read more..)

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