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Custom Project Management for Business and Engineering essay paper sample

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The construction of a bus station is a project that has been taken on by the British Columbia Government aiming at reducing business costs through information technology. The introduction of new forms of transport would significantly reduce the costs of maintaining the business as well as increase the effectiveness of the whole transport network as a whole. This can be done through the British Columbia governments, which can effectively fund the project due to the amounts of money required to execute the project. The business case looks at various alternatives that are consolidated in the deployments of the ministry of transport and communication. The overall approach looks far beyond the financial constraints of the project. These financial estimates are usually forecasts and are never guaranteed of occurring at the end.

Information technology has been witnessed in nearly all investment, in the world today. Investments in technology are very sensitive and should be done within strategic circles in order to lessen the probability of incidences of risks in the process of the project. The British Columbia government, therefore, requires a strategic plan that looks into the technological wants of the bus station project through its Ministry of Transport and communication. In doing this, there has to be a clear business case analysis that would provide forums for the implementation of various systems in the program.

Business Case

In constructing the bus station, the project looks beyond the finances required. This is because the financial estimates do not cover certain crucial issues in a project.  However, financial estimates are very crucial in any project. Estimates are never accurate. This is because as the project team estimates the cost of a certain program, the finances are usually not available at that moment. Therefore, there is a need to look further into the business case to find out the various scopes of the project before implementing any possible measure.  

The status of the road network in British Columbia is not sufficient in the ultimate service of all the citizens who use road transport in their activities. This means that they are not clear stations that are put up to satisfy the large population of those that use road transport. This project looks at the various materials that are used in the construction of the bus station. However, the main challenge that many projects in British Columbia face include the lack of funds that lead to a collapse of various projects.

The purpose of the British Columbia state-of-the-art bus station project is to create a middle database that can collect, store and monitor the values of a bus station in the ultimate satisfaction of the project. The bus station initiative will ensure that all the government policies are clearly achieving the objectives stated. These policies will give priority to the parameters of environmental situations that will consider the society and the economy. Road project professionals use the data collected in the monitoring and reporting of road conditions. Therefore, the release of the first system is done in one of the data collection sessions in order to find out the efficiency of the bus station system as compared to the existing stations that are commonly used.

The objectives of this project will be to reduce the cost of IT support and the cost of the project as a whole. It will also improve the situation of the road transport and enable better governance of the various procedures that are involved in the field. In so doing, the project shall implement the consistency of business reporting processes (PMI 2004). The stakeholders of the project shall be derived from the British Columbia government.. The staffs at the ministry, as well as the specialists from the Civil Engineering Project Management are also part of the project. The management of the Workplace Technology Services (WTS) will be part of the project for resource management and maintenance. Other stakeholders include the IT group from the ministry of transport and communication. The project shall require various resources that include thermal insulation, titling, lockers, Portland cement, metal railings, and plastering. These resources shall be the basis of  the budgetary committee.

The business case eventually looks at various options available and has to settle on one or two. In this case, the bus station project settled on two principal options. The purpose of this case is to help in choosing whether the new bus station project should be implemented or not. Other options have been very cumbersome to the users due to the procedures involved. However, the case does not present the view of the best option but rather gives insights on the requirements in the filed, which should be given particular attention. Self service bus station applications usually require regular maintenance and development. This becomes another burden to the stakeholders because various costs are incurred in the process. The two options that were settled were real-time remote communication via satellite and Java SWING. Real-time remote communication would avoid delays as well as the costs of maintenance. It would also reduce the delays in sending data to the main offices. The system does not have any errors in the entry process. Popup lists are a characteristic of the process and thus there will be very little hustle in the booking process.

Project methods, tools and techniques

Managing a project means that you are applying the knowledge, skills and tools to various or specific activities in order to convene the needs of the stakeholders. This is usually done through aspects such as scope, time and quality. Ongoing operations of a company can all be referred to as projects. There are two main project management methods that can be used in this project. These include the PMBOK and PRINCE2 methods. PRINCE2 method is widely used in the UK by the private sector in managing various projects. Its main features include business justification, a defined organizational structure, a product based approach and puts emphasis on dividing the project into manageable stages. It also offers flexibility in the appropriate levels of the project. In the execution of the bus station project, the PMBOK method would be appropriate. This method revolves around various procedures and other knowledge areas. The basic procedures include initiating, planning, executing, monitoring, controlling, and closing of the project. These processes overlap during the program and are said to interact all along the phase of the project. These processes are described best with the use of the inputs, outputs and the techniques applied. The PMBOK method, however, extends its operations to various knowledge areas that are crucial in the efficiency and the success of the project. These knowledge areas can be highlighted as follows: 

  1. Project Integration
  2. Project Scope
  3. Project Time
  4. Project Cost
  5. Project Quality
  6. Project Human Resource
  7. Project Communications
  8. Project Risk
  9. Project Procurement

Each of these knowledge areas has various steps that are necessary for its success. For example, project integration involves project plan development, project plan execution and change control.  At this phase, the elements of the project are carefully merged together to bring out smooth coordination in the project (PMI 2004). Project plan development refers to the very initial step in the process. In the bus station project, the analysis of the need to reduce delays was the step at which the project was planned. Execution of the project refers top carrying out the project procedures to achieve the set goals. Overall change control influences the factors that ensure the changes in the project are real and beneficial. It also determines the changes that occur and manage them. This step requires integrity in the project plan.  The bus station project in British Columbia requires all these steps for changes in the system to take effect because the project is as equal as any other project that any company can undertake. Going out to the field is actually the project execution. If changes are noted in the process, then the last step in project integration is applied to ensure the changes are the required ones. In all the procedures of project integration, there has to be the inputs, tools and outputs in the project.

Project scope management refers to the various ways that ensure inclusiveness in the project. This implies that all the required components and principles are necessary for inclusion in the project. This knowledge level has various steps that include initiation, planning, definition, verification and change control (PMI 2004). At this level, the project scope refers to the various features that are included in the project. The bus station needs a system where people just sit and wait for a bus without worrying on the availability of space. Other stations will be able to communicate to the station in order to find out the number of people waiting for a bus. It will be linked to other bus owners and ensure people are picked at their desired time. This then means that an operator is required meaning there has to be formal training for the operation of the station.  No papers are to be carried because the purpose of the project is to eliminate the paper work. The project ensures that the data is analysed immediately it is collected.

Time management in the PMBOK method requires various activities such as the definition of the activity, sequencing, estimating the duration of the activity, developing a schedule and controlling the schedule. These procedures interact together and involve other procedures from other knowledge levels as outlined in the PMBOK management method. Similar to other knowledge levels, this level has inputs, techniques and outputs. Cost management includes the completion of the project within the available budget (PMI 2004). It entails resource planning, cost estimation, budgeting and cost control. The costs of the resources needed to the project are essential and are the building blocks of the cost management level. The cost of the project product should also be analysed in order to motivate the approval of funds form the stakeholders. Organizational policies are very crucial in the execution of the cost management knowledge level. The bus station project works within a specific budget that ensures the expenditure assures the return on investment once the structure is fully adopted by the entire organization.

Project quality management only deals with the quality of the project outcomes. The knowledge level includes three main quality procedures that are crucial in ensuring the level supports the project fully. Quality planning, assurance and control are the basic principles that are used in quality management of the project. International Standardization Organizations (ISO) are applied at this knowledge level.  ISO certification usually addresses the project and it products. Quality procedures in product management involve meeting the expectations of the customer, meeting the project schedule as well as maintaining the standards of the company. Human resource management involves the workforce within the project period. It involves planning the company, acquiring staff and developing a reliable team.

The bus station project focuses on various people who are the key to its success. The process requires leading and communication in the fields so that the effectiveness can be realized. Delegation, motivation, and mentoring are crucial in the procedure because they help in dealing with the people effectively. In ensuring that the team remains united to carry out the various projects that may arise in the future, there has to be team building, which enables the workforce to deal with conflicts within the project period.  Performance appraisal is a crucial element in maintaining the continuity of a project. However, the ultimate goal for all these procedures is aimed at managing people during the project period. The progress can be reported in the Gantt chart as indicated below.

Communication during the project period is crucial to the company and to the project team. The project team undergoes various procedural communication patterns that reliably report on various monitoring and auditing procedures. According to the Project Management Body of Knowledge, communication entails planning, distributing information, reporting on the performance of the project and eventually closing of the project phase.

Managing risks is one of the key knowledge levels in the project management body of knowledge. This means that the risks associated with the project are identified and quantified. Later, the project team responds to the risks and comes up with response plan that controls the risk. Risk mitigation and control are very important. The project has reported various risks that may be a challenge to its implementation and operation. Project procurement is the last knowledge level in project management, according to the PMBOK. It requires the determination of what to procure, the potential sources of the product to be procured, obtaining bids, choosing the selected seller, managing the correlation with the seller and completing the contract with the purchase of the product. The budget was as follows:

 

% total

Cost per sq. Foot

Cost

Construction Total

 

$101.63

$1,219,500

Contractor Fees (GC, Overhead, Profit)

25%

$25.41

$304,875

Architectural Fees

6%

$6.1

$73,170

User Fees

0%

$0

$0

The Estimated total

 

$133.13

$1.597,545

Ultimately, the PMBOK is an elaborate method of project management and ensures all the crucial points in the project are implemented. Some levels overlap with others while several entities remain constant. However, general project management requires a plan, organization, staffs, execution and control of the operations. Financial organization (budgeting) is crucial in circles of financial accountability in a project. 

Monitoring and control

Monitoring refers to the collection and reporting of information that regards the project. This information is very useful to project managers for purposes of evaluation (Wysocki 2006). Control on the other hand is the use of activities of monitoring in bringing performance to the project goals (Couillard 1995).  There are various reasons why project should be monitored on a daily basis. The unpredictability of project outcomes leads to a state of doubt that later leads to measures of monitoring.  Monitoring also occurs due to the deviations and changes in various pans in the project phases. The bus station project requires close monitoring because advancement in technology if happening at a faster rate, leading to the extinction of various forms of communications systems. The entities that are monitored in a project include the machines, the materials, money, time as well as performance. There are inputs and outputs that are usually monitored in the project.

Inputs

Outputs

Time

Costs

Money

Progress

Resources

Beginning of the job

Use of materials

Completion of the job

Tasks and duties

Technical changes

Performance of machines

Variation order

Monitoring occurs at the end of the project and at times regularly during the project. It can be done anywhere. Monitoring can occur in the field, at the head office or on the spot of the construction (Burke 2003). The main tools in monitoring are critical ratios, Gantt charts as well as earned value analysis. Monitoring can be done through meeting between the stakeholders or by the use of Gantt Charts which are useful in providing the overview nature of the project. Critical ratios can be calculated and reported for analysis. Monitoring seeks to find out the problems affecting the project, the anticipated problems or the required resources in the project execution. Monitoring also provides information that may be useful in the project. It reports on timeliness and assesses the possibilities of having the project completed early.

Strategies for Risk Management

Managing risk literally means relocating the risk to a different party or avoiding the effects of a certain type of risk. In managing a risk, there are various aims that should be formulated in order to maintain a flow less project without obstacles. These include integrating the risk into the project procedure by responding to the various social and environmental requirements. Injury should be prevented because any form of damage increases the cost of the risk.   A good risk management strategy identifies analyses, manages and monitors risks as elaborated in the diagram below.

Risk management is an integral part of project planning and therefore, it will be in the decision-making procedure. The adoption of the above strategy ensures that strategic plans are embedded in crucial; decisions regarding risks and consequences. The strategy is based on British Columbia’s culture and the structure of its leadership. Managers will identify, understand and evaluate the risks that may be affecting the company in various circles in order to ensure the project succeeds and enhances production and efficiency.

Conclusion

 

Project management is a serious procedure that involves various considerations for its success. Therefore, the approaches that are undertaken are very useful in determining the usefulness of the various level of knowledge as far as project management is concerned. The Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK) is very crucial in underlining the best practices that are useful in a successful project. The bus station project can be very unique if it passes all these project procedures and undergoes serious monitoring and control. 

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