Engineering Project Management Essay

Q1. Fluctuating workload can be caused by a resource being over committed at various periods during the lifespan of the project (e. g. when a person or other resource is over committed for the weeks beginning October 2nd, 16th and 30th). In order to resolve this issue, the project manager needs to level the workload. In order to level workload, one may use one or more of the following options: * Adjust resources: The project manager may need to reallocate other available personnel or resources to provide assistance or as a replacement for the over allocated resource.

He or she may also need to authorize overtime. * Adjust activities: If there is any available float, the project manager should use it to shift the schedules by using the late start rather than the early start times. This process extends the duration of activities. For example, rather than committing a person 100 percent for three days use him or her 50 percent for six days. * Adjust project objectives: The project manager may have to review the scope of the activity with a view to reducing the scope.

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Also, where possible, there may be a need to approach the activity in a different way. Q2. A subcontractor is an individual or business that contracts to perform part or all of the obligations of another’s contract. The general or prime contractor hires the subcontractor to perform a specific task as part of the overall project. The concept of hiring a subcontractor is seen more commonly in building works and civil engineering. Reduced cost or mitigation of project risks usually provides the incentive to hire subcontractors.

For a project schedule, the project plan can be altered to take the task off the critical path. For a project cost, the uncertainty might be off-loaded via a fixed-price subcontract. In most standard forms of building contracts, the employer selects a subcontractor, to be employed by the contractor, via a ‘nomination’ procedure. Employers opt for this option for a number of reasons, for example the peace of mind of working with a subcontractor with whom the employer is familiar, knowing that subcontractor is experienced, dependable, and, most importantly, solvent.

The employer of a nominated subcontractor negotiates the terms of the subcontract with the subcontractors and instructs the contractor to employ that particular subcontractor. Contractors do not favor this arrangement because they still assume liability for poor workmanship and defects due to goods and materials being of poor quality. Q3. Projects have stakeholders who have an interest in and may even have control over the project. Stakeholders can be defined as those people who have a stake (or interest) in the project. It is the project manager’s role to define their needs relative to the project.

Stakeholders may be people in other departments, suppliers, contractors, vendors, government agencies, management, or stockholders in the company. The perils of not involving stakeholders in project discussions far outweigh the cost of involving them because some projects fail because the needs of a stakeholder were not addressed. It is important to manage the expectations of stakeholders. If stakeholders have concerns about the project, they may be able to exert considerable influence on those who make project decisions.

The project team has a vested interest in developing a process that ensures strong stakeholder involvement in its projects. A lack of such involvement virtually ensures eventual customer dissatisfaction with some project aspect somewhere down the line. If PMs cannot get stakeholders to share project ownership, they set themselves up for eventual criticism. Projects completed with virtually stakeholder involvement (fore example, with the attitude of “Show me the results when the project is done” rarely meet stakeholders’ needs. Q4.

Stakeholder management can be defined as: ‘Managing the key stakeholders on a particular issue in order to take into account their agendas, and also to influence them in order to achieve your business (and possibly, personal) goals. ’ Stakeholders are those individuals who are the decision-makers, advisers, implementers, or recipients of the project outcome. Stakeholder management necessary for the purpose of: * helping to make critical decisions * defusing and dissolving organizational politics, and * enabling the discussion of policies.

In order to estimate where a stakeholder is positioned, you will need to see the world from the stakeholder’s perspective. Stakeholder management can be done through the use of the stakeholder analysis grid (Piercy 1991, Grundy ; Brown 2002), which identifies the key stakeholders, evaluates whether they yield high, medium or low influence, evaluate whether they are for the proposed action, against it, or neutral, examine the overall picture and devise the appropriate plan for repositioning the necessary stakeholders.

For this reason, some people are of the opinion that stakeholder management would be better referred to as stakeholder manipulation. However, in my opinion, stakeholder management is necessary for the purpose of focusing on communication strategy in order to identify which stakeholders to communicate with, when, how, and with what message. Q5. While team membership will vary from project to project, the following are the most relevant team leaders. The Project Manager, Lead Project Engineer, Lead Manufacturing Engineer, Contract Administrator, Field Manager, Project Controller and Support Services Manager.

The Project manager is the coordinator, leader, administrator and motivator of the project. While the Contract Administrator and Project Coordinator are responsible for monitoring and reporting work done on the project. More specifically, the Contract administrator is responsible for all official paperwork, keeping track of customer changes, billing, questions, complaints, legal aspects, costs, and other matters related to the contract authorizing the project.

While the Project controller keeps daily account of budgets, cost variances, labor charges, project supplies, capital equipment status, direct and indirect costs, and the like. The controller also prepares periodic reports and keeps in close contact with both the project manager and the company controller. If the contract administrator does not maintain an historical database, the controller can perform this function. In smaller, less complex projects, the monitoring and reporting work can be done by the planner; that is, the Project Manager.

Periodic reports from the Contract Administrator and Project Coordinator to the Project Manager are necessary for keeping the project plan up to date. Q6. For successful projects, periodic project evaluations are necessary to verify that work is being accomplished as planned. In addition to collecting data about costs, schedules, and work accomplished, reviews provide a chance to ensure that everything is progressing as expected. Project reviews are checkpoints along the way to ensure the project is on course.

If the project has deviated from course, the review can identify the variance (regardless of whether a team member is trying to hide the true status) and help you make the proper adjustments. Project work should be evaluated in four general ways: ongoing reviews, periodic inspections, milestone evaluations, and final project audit. Ongoing Reviews are constant reviews done by project team members as part of an ongoing quality assurance program.

Team leaders, functional supervisors, or quality inspectors perform Periodic Inspections (both scheduled and unscheduled) to ensure that project objectives are being met. This is the equivalent of having an independent third party or auditor for data collection or reporting. Milestone Evaluations are additional project evaluations performed when milestone events are reached (e. g. , at the conclusion of each major phase of the project). Final Project Audit at the conclusion of the project verifies that everything was completed as agreed upon by the client, customer, and project team.

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