A project is any process that is consisting of a set of controlled and coordinated activities having start and finish timelines partaken to achieve a goal or an objective conforming to the precise requirements including the limitations of time, quality, cost and resources. A project has a scope , a planned set actions, quality, resources, cost and time constraints, on the other hand project management is the application of methods, skills, knowledge experience and the processes to achieve a stipulated budget and timescale. Project management has been known to have various values of importance in the society. One major type of a project management activity is the construction project. Project management requires a finite timescale unlike other managements which is usually an ongoing activity or process. Further, project management can be defined as the art of reporting, controlling, organizing, coordinating, leading and completing a project through people and resources. In the construction management, there are some strategic challenges that do face them and they include; group goals, individual goals, procurement strategy and the overall project scope.
The technical challenges that are facing construction projects include; specifications, facilities, equipment, techniques, knowledge, bill of quantities and project contracts. The structural challenges that are facing construction projects include; workflow, work groups, authority, information flow, rules, procedure and tasks. There are also some managerial or administrative challenges are facing construction projects and they include; controlling, implementing, organizing, goal setting, assessing major contracts, scheduling or planning and assembling resources. Construction projects also face social challenges like culture or attitudes, leadership, communication, group dynamics, relations, human resources, and interpersonal conflicts. They also face environmental challenges like economical, social, political, legal, technical and environmental challenges.
Subsystems in the construction project
Strategic subsystems-procurement systems
A procurement system is the key through which the client creates conditions for thriving achievements of the projects specific goals and objectives. The use and implementation of procurement systems in a construction project are determined by several factors. Over time, procurement systems have evolved a system that is contributing to the current as well as the future health of the construction organization from transactional function. Many procurement teams have adopted strategic procurement tools that are useful in the organization decision making processes.
Application of the strategic tools into practice
Spend analysis; this is very useful tool for the identification and manipulation of a detailed spent data by provider, category, unit cost and the period of time. Spend analysis is the foundation for to other strategic procurement tools and decisions like the management, the procurement strategy and the supplier relationship. It also forms an important part in mapping of the resources and the planning process as it enables the organization to identify where financial resources are currently allocated and the future commitments. This type of a tool will be more useful if it is updated more regularly and done more frequently by the organization. In the case that this is not done, then it should be done in the early stages of the joint planning and commissioning cycle. This will allow the mangers to spend time against the results and then compare another organization providing the same service.
Collaborative procurement; many organizations should look for opportunities to collaborate on activities of procurement in all the levels like internal and external, regionally, sub regional and national. Through this kind of collaboration, multiple or similar requirements will be procured. T5he benefits of this tool include; improved financial value because of the economies of scale, bigger leverage in the construction field and also bigger loyalty of the provider and sharing the burden of the procurement. However, there is reluctance in the adaptation of this toll mainly because of the loss of the control, difficulties arising from managing the contract, time scale which is not aligned and requirements that may differ. However, this tool can be eased by putting together of procurement resources, working in collaboration with organizations that allow for such kind of collaboration, involvement of partners in the development of the requirement and processes of evaluation
Procurement plan and strategy; this is normally produced by the corporate procurement unit. This takes into account activities across the company and is linked to work the service departments. This tool is useful for commissioning a function to develop it own strategy and plans. This tool is more useful if developed with the commissioning partners jointly and based other tools like the spend analysis and the management category. The strategy involves elements like priorities and focus, skills and resources, aims of the strategy and how they will be realized, policies which are specific, the adaptation of the e-procurement and other mandates in the spilt roles and the sign offs and governance.
Category management; this is the process involving the identification of services and goods and managing them so that the financial value can be realized. It should be carried out t a corporate level and if this is not achieved then it should be conducted early during the joint commissioning cycle. Managing and challenging procurements actions in this manner will ensure that resources and channeled in areas where they will obtain the greatest vale for the money spent.
Supplier relationship management; this a crucial segment of the category management. It is a continuous process that is applied to all the current, important suppliers. It will be very difficult to understand this tool if you have never used it before. This type of a tool is useful to procure as it enables them to come up with strategies for handling suppliers to obtain the continuing value the financial input and limit the risk of performances that are poor. It therefore allows procures the best chance to focus on the exact and trustworthy suppliers. The success of this tool will depend largely on the buy-in of the suppliers and their referencing.
Value or supply chain analysis; this is a orderly mapping of the parties involved in the delivery of outputs, inputs and the results linked with provision of a requirement.
Competition; this is a good way of obtaining financial value though it is not considered as a tool of procurement systems. This a process of giving a chance to more than potential provider give out a proposal, the analyzing the proposal in a more equitable and fair manner. Competition gives buyers with different cost and quality information which then enables them to make financial value decisions and put across a more detailed and appealing proposal than as if they were being considered alone.
E-procurement; this is increasingly being adopted to streamline processes of procurement.
Standard conditions and terms of the contract; these types of tools are attached to the invitation of the tender. They are important in the sense that they reduce the chance of procures omitting important details and conditions of the contract.
Framework agreements; these are pre tendered with providers or just a provider in which they must honor their obligations of delivering the required service or good at the right time in a specific period.
Preferred supplier list; this a group of potential suppliers who are capable of being included in the competitive list or process.
Sustainable procurement; this is a process whereby the organization n is able to meet the demands of the current suppliers without compromising the demands of the future suppliers to meet their own demands.
Procurement has been categories into three segments; fragmented methods like traditional procurement, fully integrated methods like build and design and the partial integration like management contacting build and design. The characteristics and attributes of procurement management methods include; more integration has the importance of the contractor’s inputs and experiences and wok can start before finalization of the design.
The technical sub system- planning
Engineering planning is an area that addresses the scope of the effort of technology required in the system development. A technical plan stipulates what to be achieved, how the engineering system will be done, the scheduling of the effort required, the resources needed and how the engineering system effort will be controlled and monitored. The results of the planning effort in the document of management involving program implementation of an engineering system includes project life cycle a phases. Technical planning may be written down in a different management or maybe included into the integrated, broad management plan (Defense Acquisition University Press, 2001). The management plan is drafted at the earliest stage during the inception of a project or idea. To be importance use, the technical plans must be constantly updated. These updates must take place before the decisions regarding the management is done.
The elements of technical plans
Technical plans include efficient information to note the document function and the methodology used in the engineering systems. The plans should incorporate the following elements;
Introduction; the introduction should include the scope of the plan providing information related to which part or segment of the picture the plans will cover. The introduction should also include the description of the system and it should include a general observation of the operational functions of the systems, be restricted to the summary of the abstract describing in details all the features that make an engineering system (Ryan, 2008). The introduction should also include the focus
Technical strategy; the major function of the strategy is to connect the process of development the management contract or the acquisition. The strategy should include; the phasing and baseline development, important systems milestone to sustain management risk and the management of the business, development s which are parallel and consideration on improvements.
Impact strategy; identification of all constraints or condition impacting on the systems should be done here. The major important points to consider here are the development of critical technologies, cost as an independent variable and the business management channeled activity or constraint that will have greater control on the strategy.
System engineering process
This is one area that is focusing on how the engineering system is designed to support the system. It include methods that are specific and the techniques employed to conduct the steps in engineering system processes, important engineering design deliberations that must be incorporated into the engineering effort and control and analysis.
The structural sub-system – Focus on communication
This is a structure that come s after procurement strategy. It facilitates the project scope achievements and its objectives. Communication in a project is the exchange specific information of the project with much stress on the creation of understanding between the receiver and the sender. Effective and efficient communication process is one of the major factors for a project to be successful. The team involved in the project should always accurate and timely information to all the people involved. Project communication involves communication that is general between team project members. The communication project uses the work breakdown structure framework which is customer focused, product focused and time limitation (Office of Project Management Process Improvement, 2007). Efficient performance of every activity of the project depends on the good communication network that is designed to connect people and a group of people. By coming up with an effective communication structure, most projects tend to create a more effective and willing coordination of activities that are diverse.
The social sub-system – Focus on leadership
Leadership is the process of influencing prowess and ability of leaders and their followers to attain a project goals and objectives. Tare many leadership theories that have been constructed over time; the leadership trait theory which explains specific attributes accounting for leadership efficiency and effectiveness to recognize a set of traits that all leaders that are successful have. The ten traits of an effective leader are; decisiveness, sociability, integrity, supervision, confidence, image building, vision and intelligence. The second theory that has been constructed is the behavioral leadership theories that explain unique styles employed by effective leaders work nature. Manager’s expectation, attitude and how they treat their employees predict and explain the performance and behavior. Contingency theory of leadership proposes a model of fredler that proposes efficient team performance depending on the effective match between the style of a leader in interacting with the followers and the extent to which the situation enables the leader to influence control the followers.
The managerial / administrative sub-subsystem – Focus on risk
Project risk management involves the process dealing with the analyzing, identification, and responding to a risk in a project by the manager or an administrator (Midwest Transportation Consortium, 2009). It also entails result maximization of events that are positive and consequence minimizing of effects that are adverse. The major processes are the risk identification, risk quantification, risk response development and risk response control. Majorly these processes interact with each other and with other areas as well (PMI Standards Committee, 1996).
Project management requires a lot of factor for its implementation to be successful. Leadership has to be core factor in this implementation. Managers must have the influence and control over their followers and must make prudent and judicious decisions concerning the project. In the procurement sector, there are some guidelines that must be met between the project suppliers and the project management. The financial flow must be smooth and the terms and condition of the project must be respected by both parties. The project planning and organization should in a manner that respects the environmental laws and the legal requirement of construction projects. Communication is key aspect of the project since a good understanding will be achieved between the major stakeholders of the project.
PMI Standards Committee. (1996). A Guide ToThe Project Management Body Of knowledge. Pdf
Defense Acquisition University Press. (2001). Systems Engineering Fundamentals. Pdf
Office of Project Management Process Improvement. (2007). Project communication n handbook. Pdf
Ryan, P, E. (2008). Overview of the System Engineering Process. Retrieved From https://www.dot.nd.gov/divisions/maintenance/docs/OverviewOfSEA.pdf
Midwest Transportation Consortium. (2009). An Integrated Risk Management