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Master of Project Management

Faculty of Science & Technology



30
th
November 2010
Principles of
Project
Management
[EMPM5103]
Assignment
(Part A & B)
Name : Neoh Wen Wan

Student ID : CGS00528817
EMPM5103 Principles of Project Management
Neoh Wen Wan CGS00528817 Page 1

Table of Contents
Part A
Question 1 .......................................................................................................................................... 2
Question 2 .......................................................................................................................................... 8
Question 3 ........................................................................................................................................ 18

Part B
Question 1 ........................................................................................................................................ 23



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PART A
Question 1
The primary project success/failure criteria involve time, cost, and performance. Discuss
how these parameters may be defined as project objectives to achieve the criteria.
[20 marks]

A successful project is a project that meets the project objective in the primary
context of time, cost and performance together with satisfactory safety compliance,
effective usage of assigned resources and satisfactory acceptance and handover to client.
According to Gill [2008], time, cost and quality/performance have increasingly been
recognized as the major determinants of project success and they have been frequently
used as metrics to track the projects health. The above is further supported by Alaghbari
et. al. [2007] who states delay is the most important problems in the construction industry
and cost is one of the factors that is related to delay. In a project there are various stages of
accomplishment to achieve at different level or time of that specific project in order to
achieve the overall project success.

The main path towards the project objective is that it must support the project goals
and mission. Therefore it is crucial for the project objective to be inline and heading
toward the project goals and mission, in short it must be able to drive the project forwards
toward this direction. The project objective set must be firm, reasonable, realistic, well
defined, measurable and with timeline. This is because a project consists of many phases
such as Conceptual Phase, Planning Phase, Design Phase, Implementation Phase and
Closing Phase; here every phase is important to ensure success of the project. Hence the
project objective must be well documented for monitoring and constant alignment. This
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means that the established milestone, budget and performance must be simple and clearly
defined; dates and timeline set in the milestone must be clear and realistic; budget set
during feasibility study must be consistence with the project budget with reasonable
variance and must be all inclusive (i.e. overall difference from feasibility until
establishment of project budget must not be more that 10% difference); performance
requirement must be clearly spelled out (i.e. plastering variance level must not be more
that 1mm for any 1m length) and according with the budget provided. If all these are not
well documented then there will be a problem in setting the baseline for the measurement,
hence the degree of success of each factor that contribute to the success on project could
be monitored.

The project objective also needs to be firm, realistic and stable because this is one
way to drive project forward to achieve to goals. If it is unstable or constant changing then
it creates more uncertainty environment and no direction for achievement. It will also de-
motivate the team members into working in their best effort towards the direction of
success. Realistic objective is also required, however the definition of realistic if often very
subjective as at different level and different people have different point of view. We
understand that from the management point of view, there is a need for improvement and
always calls for a better time, cost and performance, however from the other point of view,
the workers may sees it as unrealistic objective. Hence there is a need reach to a reasonable
platform of understanding by all the team members. This process requires the ability of
convincing and influencing power of the lead person so that every team members or a
large majority of the team members have a common understanding and acceptance to the
said project objective.

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As mentioned above, there are many activities at every level and phase; hence any
excessive impact at each level and phases will have impact to another level or phases. This
may lead into a domino effect which causes project failure if left uncontrolled and manage.
In addition to these, there are also external factors such as unstable economy, soaring of
prices, shortages, government policies, act of god, etc, which may lead to a project failure.
From all the above factors, there is a need for the project objective to be measurable in
qualitative and quantitative with the timeline set for achievement so that it can be
monitored and managed accordingly towards successful project completion and meeting
the projective objective. Quantitative measurement are base on numbers or quantity such
as days or cost, as example reduce the number of days for constructing the tiling works or
reduce the cost by an amount. Qualitative measurement on the other hand are base on
quality standards or indicators such as reduce defects by certain ratio and improve value
via value management.

Delay is generally acknowledged as the most common, costly, complex and risky
problem encountered in construction projects [Alaghbari et al, 2007]. Therefore milestone
and project schedule need to be set and established at various levels to ensure the project is
delivered in timely manner. As an example there must be a dateline set for the
procurement of long lead equipments such as transformers, chillers and air handling units.
In relation for this, dateline must also be established for the complete of design to a level
that it is sufficient for procurement. Any delay at any of the datelines may have impact not
only to the delivery schedule and work progress but also may be to cost and quality
matters. Cost may increase as consideration may be taken to air freight the equipment
instead of by transported by sea to reduce the time lost while impact on quality if
alternative sources are used, for example a pump imported from Germany may have the
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same performance specification than a pump from India however the quality of the pump
may be different due the culture and understanding towards quality control that may varies
in different country.

Planning is important here for time, cost and performance to meet project objective
and it involves around three level that is overall project plan (long term plan), monthly
plan (mid-term plan) and weekly or daily plan (short term). Overall plan involve each start
and completion of a phases or entire project such as dateline for completion of design,
dateline for start of construction stage, feasibility study during conceptual stage, cash flow
during construction and quality of works during construction. Mid-term plan involve
specific completion of each milestone such as Ready for Tools/Equipment move in,
ready for specific trade to start work, monthly cash flow, projection of variation order.
Weekly or daily plan (short term) involve more on time and performance as these are daily
activities for individual trades or group. Time shall involve establishing, review and
monitoring of schedules and milestone; Cost shall involve feasibility study, budget, cost
plan, cash flow and manpower/resources plan; Performance shall involve quality plan,
quality control and quality improvement. These three factors (time, cost and performance)
are actually inter-related and inter-dependent as any increase or decrease of one factor, the
other two will be affected. For example if one need to reduce the time and maintain the
performance then it will increase the cost. The relation of time, cost and performance are
further illustrated by Gills [2008].

Having the right and required resources at the right time will have helps to enhance
the cost and performance factor and unnecessary losses in cost due to idling time and
performance/quality due to extensive speed. As an example, a specific task requires a
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certain man hours complete it, there are two approached to complete the task that is add
additional resources or work extra hours; by working extra will increase the overtime cost
and may decrease the productivity and quality if it is done overboard and stress the
workers. Here the supply chain management [see Segerstedt and Olofsson, 2010], Just-in-
Time and Lean construction [see Low and Teo, 2005] concept can be used to address the
above.

To ensure that the established project objective together with the time, cost and
performance factors are achievable and move towards project success there is a need to
monitor and control all the timeline and parameter set. Essential communication and
information sharing tools such as Information Technology will help in reporting systems to
ensure efficiency and standardisation. Information Technology also helps in the
monitoring and controlling of timeline and processes set as part of the tools to achieve the
project objective. As explained by Ahuja et. al. [2008], Information Technology does not
only have benefits related to project success but also enhance effective management and
increased organizational efficiency.

Project management with the approach in planning, scheduling and controlling is a
way towards meeting the project objective and achieving project success. This is because,
establish a project objective is like establishing a target for achievement (i.e. Vision 2020);
whats more important is the approached, process and flows towards meeting the
objective.

1,400 words

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Reference
Ahuja, V., Yang, J. and Shankar, R. [2008], Benefits of collaborative ICT adoption
for building project management. ; Construction Innovation, Vol. 9, No. 3, pp. 323 340.
Alaghbari, W., Kadir, M. R. A., Salim, A. And Ernawati [2007], The significant
factors causing delay of building construction projects in Malaysia. ; Engineering,
Construction and Architectural Management, Vol. 14, No. 2, pp. 192-206.
Gill, A. [2008], An effect-cause-effect analysis of a project objective and trade-off
assumptions. ; International Journal of Managing Project in Business, Vol. 1, No. 4, pp.
535 551.
Low, S. P. and Teo, H. F. [2005], Modern-day lean construction principles : some
questions on their origin and similarities with Sun Tzus Art of War. ; Management
Decision, Vo. 43, No. 4, pp. 523 541.
Segerstedt, A. and Olofsson, T. [2010], Supply Chain in the construction industry. ;
Supply Chain Management : An International Journal, Vol. 15, No. 5, pp. 347 353.








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Question 2
A project life cycle is a collection of generally sequential project phases whose name and
number are determined by the control needs of the organization or organizations
involved in the project.
Discuss the characteristic of the project life cycle in this context and indicate the phases
that need to be taken to ensure it is used in the realization of a clients aspirations.
[20 marks]

Project life cycle consist of a sequence of project phases that indicate the start until
the end of a project. However the sequencing of phases may varies depending on the type
of project and from which level we are looking at. For example :
(A) A housing development project will look at (1) feasibility study to (2)
conceptual design to (4) construction to (5) testing and commissioning to (6)
hand over purchaser;
(B) A housing construction project (or main contractor) will look at (1)
mobilisation to (2) construction to (3) testing and commissioning to (4) hand
over to developer.
(C) In the electronic industry however the product project covers, (1) conceptual to
(2) research and development to (3) design refinement to (4) testing to
production to (5) market introduction to (6) maintaining growth such as
improvement in design when it starts to deteriorate (i.e. Honda City cars when
through a number of design improvement over a period of time before a total
new design comes out) to (7) product death or closure.

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From the above it is clear that there are no one sequence of phases that applies to
all industries and all levels and it is determine by the organization and project needs. For
example (A) and (B) above may be for same project but different level of organization and
project requirements.

In this discussion on the phases that need to be taken to ensure realization of a
clients aspiration, we will be looking at the project life cycle of a housing development
project and the sequence of phases shall be (1) Conceptual; (2) Planning; (3) Construction
/ Implementation; (4) Testing; and lastly (5) Closure. The land purchase phase which
includes feasibility study are not included in this discussion as it can be considered an
early stage phase where there may be many rounds and activities done comparing to the
successful closure of land purchase. Hence the start of a housing development project shall
be the conceptual phase after the successful acquiring of empty land. Network scheduling
techniques such as Gant Chart, Milestone Chart, Critical Path Method and Program
Evaluation and Review Technique are commonly used here. Control is another critical
factor and the control of any construction process requires the knowledge about its main
sub-processes and their main outputs, hence a better understanding of the process could
help to identify the root causes [Haponava and Al-Jibouri, 2009]. Therefore for every
phases to be effective and efficient there must be certain controlling factors embedded into
these phases. A checklist at the end of each phase and before commencement of the next
phase is one way to ensure that task and requirements at that particular phase is completed
before moving to the next phase and any major problems or constrains are highlighted to
identify the root cause and find a solution to address it.


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PHASES FOR A HOUSING DEVELOPMENT PROJECT


Conceptual Phase

To kick off the project, we need to establish the overall project schedule with detail
schedules for each phase and incorporating major milestones into each phase. Some of the
major milestones in different phases are :
(1) Finalisation of conceptual design (30% design completion);
(2) Application of developers licence and advertising permits
(3) Finalization of design and Drawings (minimum 90% of design completion);
(4) Start of Tendering Process;
(5) Start and completion of construction;
(6) Obtaining the Certificate of Compliance and Completion (C.C.C).

Upon establishing the overall project schedule, a few shortlisted architects will be
called to submit their concept design for selection. The selection of concept design process
varies from organization to organization; some involve key personnel from various
Conceptual
Phase
Planning
Phase
Implementation
Phase
Testing &
Comissioning
Phase
Handover
Phase
Defect
Liability
Period
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department (i.e. Sales and Marketing Department, Project Development Department,
Planning Department etc.), while there also some where all employees of that organization
voted for their preferred concept and a brain storming session is carried to discuss further
before the top management make their decision on which concept to select. Sometime if
the project is not of high end or complex the conceptual design is done after the
appointment of an architect without going through the various process highlighted above.
Hence simplicity or complexity is determined by the organization and project needs.

Care must be taken to ensure the concept selected will not be out dated when it is
open for sale or this phase must not take too long until a situation where the concept is
outdated or not preferred by the market when it is finalized. Here it all boils down to the
right timing and selection to ensure the project have a competitive edge that partly
contributes to the success or failure of the project. Risk assessment will also be conducted
in phase to have a feel on the risk exposure of this project on the selected concept. For
example if the piece of land is under the hill land category then to build many high rise
buildings on that piece of land may be considered a high risk project due to possible
difficulty in obtaining approval from the local authorities as there have been numerous
incidents (i.e. Highland Tower incidents) and . Therefore the selection of concepts needs to
be according to the organizations main policy in risk taking.


Planning Phase

This is an important phase as it is of high importance in determining the project
success contributes a main portion to the success of this project [Zwikael, 2009]. This
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phase shall covers the schedule, budget, specification and design refinement from
conceptual phase, development of details, major milestone identification, budget
development that is within the parameter of feasibility study, manpower requirement
schedule and project administration. The span of this phase will very much be depending
on the complexity and objective of the project and also the size of the organization.

Normally the design team consists of the architect (i.e. building architect &
landscape architect), engineers (i.e. structural, civil and mechanical & electrical), surveyor
(i.e. quantity surveyor and land surveyor) and interior designer. The size to the design
teams will depends on the size, complexity, location and type of project. For example in
certain states in Malaysia, the local authority do not require a landscape architect to do the
landscape submission, while interior designer may not be required for medium or low end
development.

The schedule in this phase will also need to be established and needs to tie in with
the overall project schedule. However the situation in this phase is very subjective and a
lot of uncertainty until it reaches implementation phase. This is because of the
uncontrolled factors such as the external environment (i.e. sudden economy down turn,
change of government policies, shift of market demand, and intensive competition from
rivalry in nearby projects). Therefore the right timing is very important for this phase and
it is best to keep it as short a possible until implementation phase if the sales achieve the
required target. Reliable inputs from respective parties on the required duration for their
own task is also crucial as if everyone allows too much allowance for their task it may
ended with unrealistic schedule for this phase and may affect the entire project schedule.
In some organizations, the information flow and approval process are shorter while some
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are longer depending on the organization span, fragmentation of organization policies and
degree of empowerment to respective department or managers. All the above factors will
determine if there is a massive shift in the overall project schedule or not. Another
important aspect to look at is the financial commitments for the project such as the interest
from loan for acquiring of land and overhead as it increases accordingly with the delay.

With the schedule of this phase in place, the designers will come out with a
preliminary design (normally 30% design completed) for further analysis and fine tuning
until it reaches 60% of the overall design. Sometimes at 60% design completion the tender
is call and award due to constrain in schedule instead of using 90% or 100% design
completion to tender and award. The above approach (award using 60% design
completion) do have its risk such as high variation order that may need to be forecast as
contingency and possible of rework which will involve cost.

Among the activities in this phase includes refining the cost plan to be within
reasonable parameter of the feasibility study in consideration of the selling price or
adjusted selling price. Brainstorming session may also be carried out at the stage to extract
the inputs from Sales and Marketing Department on product improvement and societys
requirement. It is a norm that their requirement and demand would be high and exceed the
provided budget and reduced the profit margin. Here Value Management [see Haji Che
Mat, 2002] can be use to determine and justify their demand as one of the tools used
(Function Analysis) do helps in eliminating unnecessary cost and function while
maintaining or increases its value. However Function Analysis are not only limited to
improving value, it can also be used to accelerate schedule as reported by the Port
Authority of New York [1995]. All the mentioned activities (brainstorming, value
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management and function analysis) are also subjective and depending to the organization
needs as it may not be required if there is limitation of time and resources and within
budget or simple project.

There is also a need to stay focus on the design base on facts and project
requirement rather that emotional influences that can easily take over to control the
situation. This situation is critical if the top management are easily influence by emotion
and temptation. Such situation is a factor that contributes to the failure of a project. For
example if the objective of the project is to build a three star hotel as there demand in
concentrated here, we must stick to the objective, as building a five star hotel may be
luxury but does not meet the market demand and project objective.

The quality and performance monitoring tools establish must also be accordingly
with objective and level (i.e. High end condominium or medium range apartments) of the
project and must also be realistic, reasonable and according to the awarded specifications.


Implementation Phase / Construction Phase

The details and workings of this phase will be more crucial to the contractor
comparing to the developer. This is because for the developer they need to award
according to the established schedule and monitor the progress of the contractor towards
achieving the required milestone. As for the contractor they need to do the work
breakdown structure, award the respective trade packages to their sub contractors in timely
manner, establish the critical path, resources and material planning and etc. A large and
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complex project with many procedures will need more resources comparing to a small
scale project. Time factor will also have impact to the increased of resources however it
also depends on the technology used. For example using pre-cast components will reduce
time, increase quality and reduce resources comparing to conventional in-situ concrete
casting [Alaghbari et. al., 2007].

In this phase, the developer needs to monitor and manage the budget, cash flow,
milestone and quality matters. The main role is to ensure the right focus and direction of
the project objective within the required schedule. Another important role for the
developer is to manage and control the change request during implementation or
construction phase as it does not only affect the cost but also time. Hence different
organization plays a different role in different platform with different contribution towards
a successful project.

To monitor and manage the budget, milestone and quality matters, a base line
needs to be established and it must be clearly specified and measurable. Therefore a
quality plan must be established with monitoring tools such as checklist and measurable
specification such as thickness of coating in microns.


Testing and Commissioning Phase

There are basically two stages in this phase, that is the testing and commissioning
to the designers requirements and performance while the other is for approval of the
respective authorities and to obtain the Certificate of Compliance & Completion. For the
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testing and commissioning to designers requirements the extent of such activities varies
among project needs although there are some minimum requirement such as testing of
concrete strength which is carried during implementation stage. External paint may not be
always require testing and it depends on the developer or architect requirements as some
may consider product warranty to be sufficient.

All these testing and commissioning procedures and requirement must be spelled
out clearly during tendering and before award as some may have high cost impact. Hence
the more testing and commissioning activities, it will play a part to ensure a better end
product but will have more impact to additional cost if it goes beyond the parameter of the
market norm or project objective. With these testing and commission activities being
carried out to the development prior to hand over, it will ensure that the purchaser obtained
a quality end product.



Hand Over or Project Closure Phase

For a housing development project, the hand over of units to purchaser does not
means the project is closed unlike some products without warranty period which closes
upon the death of the product. Here in housing development project there is a final account
settlement to make and there are also defects liability period ranging from 12 months to 24
months. Hence for a housing development project to be successful its must also hand over
the units with minimum defects and attend and resolve defects in timely manner to ensure
customer satisfaction. In short a project success means that all the followings must be
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within the require parameter (budget, performance, duration, safety and customer
satisfaction).

2050 words


References

Alaghbari, W., Kadir, M. R. A., Salim, A. And Ernawati [2007], The significant factors
causing delay of building construction projects in Malaysia. ; Engineering,
Construction and Architectural Management, Vol. 14, No. 2, pp. 192-206.
Haji Che Mat, M. M., [2002], Value Management : Principles and Applications. ; 1
st

Edition, Pearson Malaysia, pp. 43-50.
Haponava T. and Al-Jibouri, S. [2009], Identifying key performance indicators for use in
control of pre-project stage process in construction. ; International Journal of
Productivity and Performance Management, Vol. 58, No. 2, pp. 160 173.
The Port Authority of New York [1995], Recovering the World Trade Centre from
Terrorist Bombing. ; Cost Engineer, 1
st
January, pp. 10 17.
Zwikael, O. [2009], Critical planning processes in the construction projects. ;
Construction Innovation, Vol. 9, No. 4, pp. 372 387.



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Question 3
The word Planning is often used as a yardstick of the difference between the good
project manager and the poor project manager.
Discuss how project managers manage planning of the project.
[20 marks]

The usage of Planning as a yardstick to judge a good or poor project manager
may not be an entirely accurate tool for judgement as abilities of project manager does not
relies on planning alone. There are factors that may contribute towards a good project
manager such as leadership qualities, interpersonal skills, usage of right tools at right time,
change control and management skills, implementation skills and abilities to handle
external environment effectively. There may be an occasion where plans set by a project
manager is very good but the project still fails due to other reason such as top management
interference and extreme external environment. However when people make their
judgement, it will mostly be base on the success of a project.

To have a good management on planning, a project manager must possess also the
management and leadership skills such as technical skills, human skills and interpersonal
skills. This is because a project manager also requires the input, feedback, support and
commitments from other parties and sub-ordination to produce a realistic, good and
reliable plan. These skills are required especially to manage the unforeseeable factors such
as external environment and the differences human factors.

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For a project to be successful, it involves not only project planning but also project
objectives and project execution. The project objectives need to be firm, reasonable and
realistic while the project execution needs to be controlled, monitored and managed.

Project planning involves around planning for schedule development, budget
development, project administration, organization and recourses and conflict management.
All these have to be according to the project objectives and also taken into consideration of
external environment factors such as forecast of market, competitive situation and
foreseeable change of government policies. Baselines are required to be established for
schedule and budget monitoring purposes. Forecasting in schedule, budget and resources
plan will see and predict how far we can go on the plans. It can also serve as an early
warning devise to see if the plans are within the projected parameter and helps to improve
planning. Testing of assumptions behind the forecast with alternative data available can
reduce the tendency of under estimate or inaccurate assumptions. Normally forecasting are
done in budgeting and cash flow to prepare for funds if the available are not sufficient such
as loans or factoring. All this involve cost and therefore forecasting must be as accurate as
possible to avoid losses in cost due to interest or opportunity lost.

It is important for a project charter needs to be in place as it will provide the details
of a project such as project scope, project summary, project description, project risk and a
clear statement on the authority, limitation and boundary of the project. All the above
information are the starters towards planning as it will serve as a direction for
advancement. Therefore the project organization span and structure together with a clear
roles, responsibilities and authority distribution and resources planning must be in place.
When the boundary, scope of work, responsibilities, authorities etc. are clear, the team
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members will not be confused and disagreement or grey area will be reduced. Once these
are clear to an acceptable level, action plan and action program can be establish to identify
and delegate who is doing what and how it is done in the specified duration. Resources
planning can further be fine tuned with the action plan and action program in place.

It is best that an environmental analysis is done together with the setting of the
project objectives in early stage. Early identification of external factor will help to
improves planning. Here there is a need to identify and list down all the possible threats
together with a list of strategies to encounter the threats. A brainstorming session will help
to obtain inputs from the project team. This will also address the conflicts among project
manager, functional manager and program manager. Team work, co-operation and
commitments among team members (i.e. project manager, respective functional manager
etc.) are essential for plan development because without these, their inputs in timely
manner for the development of plans will affect its progress and accuracy. The schedule
must also take into consideration of the Work Breakdown Structure and organization
structure as these will contribute to the organization span and height, cost and time factor.
The more components of each, will results to the increase of complexity and
fragmentation, hence the right combination and size to suite the project is important here.
However it does not mean that simple Work Breakdown Structure and organization
structure is not applicable to a complex project, it is the degree of ability to manage and
control that we are looking at here, together with the risk that arises from this arrangement.
These have to be according to the overall organization policies. SWOT analysis can be
applied here to determine the required organization structure as it is an analysis tool for
looking into the strength, weaknesses, opportunities and threats. The details of this four
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components may also be listed down to see any possible strategies to turn the opportunities
into contributions towards the project success.

A project manager normally relies on the scheduler to develop the project schedule.
Major milestone is normally being provided by the project manager and the scheduler will
developed the details from there. The input of information and assumptions made by the
scheduler must be realistic and reasonable. The extend of detailing in the project schedule
will depends on the work breakdown structure. Normally a reasonable duration is provided
for the scheduler to come out with the baseline schedule. Then forecast schedule and
regular updates is done to monitor its progress. Any delays can be highlighted and
attended to with alternatives and solutions.

A project manager should behave as a manager and must not involve too
detail in task of others such as resources allocation and planning should be left to the
functional managers responsibility and discretions. For example, a project manager needs
to be more concern of the resources allocation and planning by the functional managers
that comply to the project needs instead of being involve in how the allocation or plans
comes about. Project manager must set goals for the supporting planners and the goals
must also be established before a plan to avoid rework. In short leave the assigned task to
those who are good at that area and concentrate on management and drive the team
towards achieving the project objective and success.

Planning can be considered one of that important factors that contribute towards
project success. Some of the tools and guideline highlighted above can be used by a
project manager to manage planning. However these alone may not be very effective and it
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requires the interpersonal skills and leadership skills of the project manager to drive this
process forward toward a reliable, effective and efficient plans.

1,140 words
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PART B
Question 1
Quality management is increasingly been seen as a primary project management
objective. There are six quality management concepts that should exist to support every
project. Encik Ismail Ibrahim is a project manager for XYZ consultants. He has been
asked by his management to submit a report of the Project Quality Management Plan
(PQMP) for a proposed 40-storey Grade A Office building located at Jalan Sidek,
Kuala Lumpur.
Define and elaborate the six quality management concepts in the PQPM of the above
chosen project.
[40 marks]

In todays competitive business world, the competitions among each other are very
intense and more challenging to secure and capture the market share. Clients or purchasers
are often demanding better quality because in many construction projects, clients often
find themselves paying high prices for defective works that do not satisfy their needs
[Low, 2005]. The habit, begin with the end in mind by Covey [1989] can be adopted as
one of the mindset towards quality commitment. Quality can contribute partly to customer
satisfaction as if a customer receive quality product with no defects and satisfy their needs
they would be happy. Therefore quality can be considered a cornerstone of competitive
strategies for organization to widen and secure their clients [Low, 2005]. It is also good
that these six concepts are embedded in the corporate culture. Major listed development
companies in Malaysia such as IJM, Sunrise, Sunway City, Gamuda and Hunza views
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quality seriously and each have their commitments towards quality by having the six
quality concepts in place.

The proposed project is a 40 storey Grade A office building located at Jalan
Sidek, Kuala Lumpur. This prestigious project is in a strategic commercial location and the
shall be targeting reputable organization to be their major tenants. The uniqueness modern
design is the main attraction for this project and therefore quality plays an important role to
ensure its attractiveness. It would be a waste for such a potential project to be affected
because of the quality provided. Therefore the below six quality management concepts that
is (1) Quality Policy; (2) Quality Objectives; (3) Quality Assurance; (4) Quality Control;
(5) Quality Audit and (6) Quality Program Plan needs to be establish to ensure success for
this project.

Quality Policy
This is document is a statements of principles of the organizations commitment
towards quality that include a statement from the top management pledging full support for
this policy. With this policy it will embrace the organizations reputation and quality
image to the public. Here this can be used as one of the selling point to potential purchaser.
Here the top management must be committed and be responsible to see that this policy is
carried down to the bottom level of the organization. Ensuring commitments right down to
the main contractor, sub- contractors and suppliers for this project will help further in
strengthening enforcement of the policy with promotion of consistency throughout the
organization and across the project. It will also help to reduce the chances of top
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management shifting towards profit instead of quality during the project implementation
stage.

A quality policy normally states quality objective, the level of quality acceptable to
the organization and the responsibility of the organizations members to execute the policy
and ensure quality. Specific guidelines such as independent department looking into the
quality matters (such as quality control, complains and response in timely manner) with
direct reporting to the top management may also be stated in this policy show the
seriousness of organization towards quality monitoring. This will enhance the confident
level of the potential purchaser and public towards this organization and can be used as
marketing tool.

The quality policy must also be reasonable and achievable, any over commitment
in the policies or unrealistic policies will contribute to disaster of the organziations
corporate image in the eyes of the public. Reference to certain requirement from reputable
agencies (such as compliance to FM Global fire safety requirements and committed to
Quality Assessment System in Construction QLASSIC by Construction Industry
Development Board) will also help to express the commitment.

Quality Objectives
As a guide, quality objectives must be obtainable, clearly define with specific
goals, simple and understandable and with specific deadlines in place. Obtainable means
that it can be achieve within the specific period mention such as setting up a task force to
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within a specific time look into prevention of water leakages defects and to provide them
with full authority to instruct the design team to incorporate their requirements in the
design. Water leakages is a very common but most hassle and costly problem in nearly all
most highrise building in Malaysia even though many steps have been taken for
prevention.

Clearly define mean that the objective are specific and stayed focus such as to
implement the quality control personnel ratio by a specific time (i.e. by end of the year or
before the start of construction) towards quality control such as one QAQC personnel for
every to 20 units of office can also be set an objective. These are measurable objective
which is clearly define and is easily understandable.

Specific and right timing also plays an important role for the objective. This is
because right timing contributes to results and performance. For example the purpose of
having the QAQC personal ration is to monitor and control the quality at site, therefore the
objective must be achieve before the construction starts as if it is set to be achieved during
handover period it does not serve much purpose since the intention is to do it right first
time.

Quality Assurance
This part is basically administrative processes and procedures to assure that the end
user or purchaser the product they bought, in this case is the office units are fit for its
purpose and within the specified guideline for its required performance. This function will
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attempt to ensure that all the project scope, cost and time are fully integrated to achieve the
required performance. The basic here is the compliance to local authority requirement and
this is assured by the appointment of professionals for the design and submission for
approval to the local authorities. The quality assurance shall be subjected to the level of the
specific product, say if you purchase a fan you cannot aspect it to perform the duties of an
air conditioning units where both purpose it to blow air and reduce temperature but the
level of coolness in different due to the performance requirement.

Here independent laboratory testing and certification such as SIRIM will provide
certain level of quality assurance but it is also subject to frequency of samples send to
testing. Raw material like sand are very subjective on the quality as it is a natural product
where there are uncertainty on the quality even though it is from the same location. Sand
related materials such as cement and sand brick therefore may have uncertainty of quality
as the one of the main ingredient that is sand have variable in quality. Therefore constant
testing with reasonable samples are required to assure its quality.

The International Organization for Standardization (ISO) is also a tool for quality
assurance, as the ISO 9000 series is a quality system standard. The ISO 9001 defines the
model for quality system in design, produce and installation of product or services whereas
ISO 9002 is a quality system model for assurance in production and installation. All these
tools will generally for the purpose of maintaining the performance measures, hence data
collected can be used to for the cycle of continuous improvement as higher baseline could
be set to enhance quality.
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It is the duties of the project manager to work with his team members to determine
the process that is required to provide assurance to the end user or unit purchaser. His team
support is required to determine the process because it do requires technical skills input
from the respective professionals in the design team. Input from sales and marketing will
also be helpful as it would help to synergise the type of required assurance with the end
users perspective point of view. Technical people will have their perspective point of
view which many not be the same or align from the purchasers or end user.

Quality Control
The purpose of quality control is to ensure that the specified organizations quality
objectives are met and the output conforms to the overall quality standard and quality plan.
Among the activities here are monitoring, identifies the root cause and reduce or
eliminated the problems, reduce variability and increase efficiency. The level and degree
of control are very much depending to the level of quality we are looking at as it is very
wide. There is a need to identify the types of control and the coverage required for control
as control coverage for all not feasible and involves time and cost.

There must be a guideline set for the coverage of control and shall be to the
required areas. These will provide a basis for decision regarding any possible corrective
action. Care must be taken as too less of control coverage will affects the quality. To
derive at the basis for decision, the guideline set must be measurable so that any corrective
action or redo can be compared to the quality standard and being monitored.
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To measure we need tools such as measuring tape, leveller, total station, rulers etc.
These tools needs to produce accurate readings, there needs to be calibrated and approved.
The frequency of calibration and inspection must also be monitored so the at anytime the
tools is in good condition to produce accurate reading. Using the right tools also is an
important factor, for example using a normal leveller to measurement flatness of a flat slab
is of no benefits as the results produced by the leveller is not prcised enough to judge its
flatness.

Upon identification of the non conformance of quality, the project team must act to
restore back to the required quality standard. Hence everyone must be committed to these
and must not be influence by the additional time and cost. One of the way to ensure that
corrective action of non conformance is taken in timely manner is to establish a system
with automatic escalation to upper level until the top management if it fails to be corrected
within the specific period of time. This is an effective way of handling non conformance of
quality. Quality control must not be seen and treated as barrier but instead it should be
looked at as a continuous improving tool with the intention of upgrading ones capabilities.

Detail documentation of all process are important so that it can be traceable and
monitored. Establish a checklist system for inspection is a way to track and monitor it.
The checklist system should not only cater for the technical perspective point of view but
must also focus what customer is looking for in quality. For example hair line crack in wall
plastering may not be a serious matter for technical people but purchaser may view this as
a serious matter due to the aesthetic appearance. Therefore if a building is using pre-
engineering design for steel structural works, then the intersection areas such as between
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steel column and brick walls must be carefully design and treated so that there are not
continuous crack over a period of time. Here the design quality must also cater for
reducing cracks and not only to structural and loading requirement.

As an encouragement towards better quality, rewards can be a motivation tool for
achievement of quality objective. Rewards do not comes alone as it needs to be paired
together with penalty to be effective. Rewards and penalty may be in many forms such as
monetary, recognition or gift. Adoption of Six Sigma, Lean Construction and Kaizen will
help to improve quality by improving the process. These are related to the quality control
of a product.

Quality Audit
Quality audit is a quality evaluation to an organization and is being carried by
independent qualified parties appointed by the organization. Quality audit generally
ensure that the planned quality for the project are met with its product fit for its purpose
and safe to use. It will also ensure that the data collection and distribution systems such as
checklist used are accurate and adequate. That means the criteria set are generally
measureable. Hence it serves as a checker for the quality procedures and policies set by the
organization. Quality audit will also ensure that in the event of non conformance is
detected, proper corrective actions are taken to restore it. For example in this project, wall
claddings are used and gap in between each cladding panel must be consistent to the
requirement as it will affect the aesthetic appearance.

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If an organization is committed towards quality, publishing the quality audit report
by the independent auditor to the respective purchaser will further enhance their trust
towards the organization. This can be used as a marketing tool to promote the product and
in this case is the office units. However this strategy must not be used if the organization
are not committed toward quality as it will do more damage to the organization.

Quality Plan
A quality plan is normally done by breaking down the project objectives in work
breakdown structure to a stage that specific quality actions can be identified. These quality
actions must then be documented and implemented in a sequence that it will meet the
customers requirements and expectations. This can be done by identifying the projects
internal and external customer and then extract their expectation on the project and
establish a process to produce the features expected and desired by the customer. A survey
have been carried out to potential customer or purchaser and the result show that a high
percentage of the potential purchaser have high expectation of environment friendly or
green building then designing to achieve the Leadership in Energy & Environmental
Design (LEED) certification will enhance the attractiveness of the building. Most
reputable corporate organizations are committed towards environment hence this can be
one of the selling point for this project.

Bringing in supplier or specialist in at early stage may be one of the process to
ensure quality. If this office building is going for FM Global approval, then it is good to
have the FM approved supplier on board as their participation at early stage will contribute
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further towards quality. Hence a quality plan serve as a road map to delivering a quality
product, in this case is a quality building for its customers or purchasers.
.
2,320 words


References
Construction Industry Development Board website www.cidb.gov.my
Covey, S.R. [1989], The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. ; Free Press.
FM Global website www.fmglobal.com
Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design (LEED) by U.S. Green Building Council
www.usgbc.org/LEED
Low, S. P. [2005], Strategic quality management for the construction industry. ; TQM
Magazine, Vol. 17, No. 1, pp. 35 53.