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AeU Malaysias

Executive MSc in
Project Management
Offered by
Global Institute of Project Management Project
Management Campus

Group Assignment Project Management Standards, Tools and


Techniques
Group Members: 1. M.A.M.Aaquil (MSc/2015/156) -13th Batch
2. Hussni (MSc/2014/111) 8th Batch
3. Tuan Dilshan (MSc/2015/154) - 13th Batch
4. Kithsara Godage (MSc/2015/178) - 15th Batch
5. R.M.C.P.Ranasinghe (MSc/2015/182) -15th Batch
6. M.W.N.S.Lansakara (MSc/2015/183) -15th Batch

Module Leader: Mr. P.G. Pasan Manukith


Date of Submission: 23rd of April 2016

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ASSIGNMENT
Identification of failure reason of a failed project and proposing preventive actions
1.0 Give a brief introduction to the nature of the project, define project objectives, and
discuss the reason(s) for initiating the project (20 marks).
2.0 Identify the tools and techniques used by the project team when managing the project (20
marks).
3.0 Describes how the project has failed, and identify the reasons for the failure (30 marks).
4.0 Suggest a suitable process with proper tools and techniques (preventive actions) that
should have been followed from the inspection of the project that would have made the
project a success (30 marks).
Instructions
1. Your answers should not exceed ten A4 papers
2. Font should be Times New Roman and font size should be 12
3. Line space 1.5
4. Assignment should be submitted within four weeks
5. Mention your registration numbers and the names on the cover page
6. Following pages should be attached
a.
b.
c.
d.
e.

Cover page (Module Name, Registration Number, Batch)


Assignment
Table of content
Executive Summary
Answer

ACKNOWLEDGEMENT
Our sincere gratitude goes to Mr P.G Pasan Manukith, Project Management Standards, Tools
and Techniques Module Coordinator/Lecturer who spent his valuable time and effort over
few weeks of time to give us a vast knowledge about project management standards, tools
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and practices using very attractive lecture series and very interactive discussion sessions. Our
gratitude also goes to all the colleges in Global institute of project management for their
endless support throughout the module. At last but not least we would like to express our
sincere gratitude to Dr. Madhu Fernando and staff of the Global Institute of Project
Management for their guidance and the support given to us throughout the module.

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY
The purpose of this assignment is to identifying the reasons of a failed project and proposing
preventive actions. Initially the document will give a brief introduction to the nature of the
project, define project objectives, and discuss the reason(s) for initiating the project. Then the
document will identify the tools and techniques used by the project team when managing the
project. Then discuss how the project has failed, and identify the reasons for the failure. Later
part document suggest a suitable process with proper tools and techniques that would have
made the project a success.

TABLE OF CONTENTS
ASSIGNMENT...............................................................................................................................
ACKNOWLEDGEMENT..............................................................................................................
EXECUTIVE SUMMARY............................................................................................................
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1.0 INTRODUCTION.....................................................................................................................
2.0 HOW THE PROJECT HAS FAILED.......................................................................................
3.0 TOOLS AND TECHNIQUES USED BY THE PROJECT TEAMS, REASONS TO THE
FAILURE AND HOW THE FAILURE SHOULD HAVE BEEN AVOIDED................................
4.0 CONCLUSION..........................................................................................................................
5.0 REFERENCES..........................................................................................................................

1.0 INTRODUCTION
ABC super luxury apartment complex was undertaken by a leading construction company
called XYZ in year 2007. The main objective of this project was to meet the demand of
residential facilities in the heart of Colombo. Initial plan was to setup a ten storied apartment
complex with the following facilities.

Forty eight apartments

Underground car park

Huge water sump underneath the underground car park

Swimming pool and a gymnasium in the first floor level

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And each apartment consist of the following:

Three bed rooms

Living & Dining Area

Pantry

Two bathrooms/toilets

Common utilities facilities

The contract was mutually signed by the contractor and the developer in mid-2007 to
commence the project with immediate effect. As per the contract the project was to be
completed by mid-2008, the contract period was just 10 months. And it was a multi-million
dollar project. The Employer (Developer), Architectural & Engineering consultants, Owners
who have paid advances for the apartments (Customers), Local authority officials, Sponsor,
Suppliers, Prime contractor, Subcontractors, etc. were identified as the main stakeholders for
this project.
2.0 HOW THE PROJECT HAS FAILED
The failure of this project measured only in the parameters of scope, cost and time over runs.
Other than those three parameters the project was eventually completed and utilized. The root
causes of these three parameters were.

Mismanagement at the beginning

Contractual binding and obligation made on impracticable or unrealistic


assumptions

Unaware of good practices of the project management

Lack of knowledge in proper tools and techniques of project management

Scope was not correctly identified or underestimated in terms of size, cost and time

3.0 TOOLS AND TECHNIQUES USED BY THE PROJECT TEAMS, REASONS TO


THE FAILURE AND HOW THE FAILURE SHOULD HAVE BEEN AVOIDED
In next few sections we discuss the tools & techniques used by the project team, the reasons
for the failure of this project and how the failure should have been avoided.
Scope Management
Working closely to the customer or the users, project manager identifies what is needed by
the project. Therefore project scope is what a project manager commits to deliver early stage
of a project. All parties of the project including client, contractor and the consultants should
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agree to the project scope and it will be recorded with the project documentation. According
to the PMBOK Guide Fifth Edition project scope management includes the processes
required to ensure that the project includes all the work required and only the work required
to complete a project successfully. Following are the project scope management processes:
1. Plan scope management
2. Collect requirements
3. Define scope
4. Create WBS (Work Break down Structure)
5. Validate scope
6. Control scope
As with scope management we have identified the following failures in this project.
Some of the stakeholders were in a hurry to start this project without a proper plan and a
design. The project manager assigned for this project was not in a controlled position to
manage the stakeholders effectively and efficiently due to his inexperience. With this
situation the project manager was unable to do a proper and detail identification of the scope.
This led to scope creep during the project execution stage and ultimately it affected the other
constraints such as time, cost, quality, etc.
During the execution stage lot of changes were happened. But we found that most of the
changes were not really required, but the project manager has accepted those changes without
considering the time and cost constraints. And some of the changes were not documented
properly. The project manager should have formed a change control board to handle these
kind of changes, so at least he should have stick to the critical changes only. If there was a
change control board, the individual change requests should have not come in to the project
as it happened during this project.
This situation occurred due to the inexperience and the incapability of convincing the project
sponsor and the other key stakeholders about the correct situation about the project. As a
responsible project manager he should have told the stakeholders before starting the project
they should spend more time on identification of the scope properly and during the project
the changes should be controlled. This situation should have been avoided if the project
manager was competent in project management concepts and best practices.
Time Management
Project Time Management is the processes required to manage timely completion of the
project. Following are the processes involved in the project time management:
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1. Plan schedule management


2. Define activities
3. Sequence activities
4. Estimate activity resources
5. Estimate activity durations
6. Develop schedule
7. Control schedule
According to the PMBOK Guide Fifth Edition, a project is a temporary endeavor
undertaken to create a unique product, service, or result. The temporary nature of projects
indicates that a project has a definite beginning and end. As with the definition it clearly
states the importance of time management. So as a responsible project manager he/she should
be much more concerned about the delivery time of the project.
This project was behind the schedule for various reasons. After a careful study, the reasons
for the project delay was identified as below.
1) Assigning unrealistic durations for the activities.
This was happened in several occasions. One occasion was in the middle of the project when
they were required to purchase a special equipment from a supplier and expected the delivery
of those equipment one week before the project activities get started, but the supplier could
not deliver the equipment on time due to the unavailability of the said equipment. And the
suppliers answer was their shipment got delayed unexpectedly. Due to this the project got
delayed. So as the project manager he should have identified this risk before the project get
started. If he was not known much about this special equipment, he should have consult the
senior engineers and experts before scheduling these activities of the project. At the same
time he should have looked in to alternative suppliers who can deliver the equipment on time.
Also he should have consult the people who were working on those activities to get an idea
about this special equipment and based on their response he should have set the durations.
Same time he should have checked the previous projects for similar activities to get an idea
before scheduling the project. According to the PMBOK Guide Fifth Edition the Project
Manager is responsible for creating a realistic schedule.
2) Unskilled resources were used for some of the activities was another reason for delay.
It was identified that some of the inexperienced and inefficient resources were assigned for
some of the critical path activities. These resources could not complete their portion of work
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on time due to lack of experience in their relevant area. Due to this the project got delayed.
To avoid the situation the project manager should have identified the critical path activities
and should have assigned the most experienced resources to do the job rather than assigning
less experienced resources.
3) Another reason was the lack of knowledge in monitoring the project management tool
which was used to prepare the schedule.
The project manager was not aware of some of the features of the project management tool
which was used during the project. If he knew about the critical path, he never assigned the
less experienced resources to critical path activities. Also he should have known the below
mentioned to avoid the delays in the project.

Float/Slack this is the amount of time that a schedule activity can be delayed or
extended from its early start date without delaying the project finish date.

SV (Schedule Variance) this is a measure of schedule performance expressed as the


difference between the earned value and the planned value. It is the amount by which
the project is ahead or behind the planned delivery date, at a given point in time.

SPI (Schedule Performance Index) this is a measure of schedule efficiency


expressed as the ratio of earned value to planned value. If SV=0, it indicates that the
project is on time, if SV>1, it indicates that the project is ahead of the planned
schedule and if SV<1, it indicates that the project is behind the planned schedule.

Critical Path the sequence of activities that represents the longest path through a
project.

Cost management
Project Cost Management is a method that uses technology to measure cost and productivity
through the full life cycle of enterprise level projects. This encompasses several specific
functions of project management including estimating, job controls, field data collection,
scheduling, accounting and design. Beginning with estimating, a vital tool in Project Cost
Management, actual historical data is used to accurately plan all aspects of the project. As the
project continues, job control uses data from the estimate with the information reported from
the field to measure the cost and production in the project. From project initiation to
completion, project cost management has an objective to simplify and cheapen the project
experience. Project Cost Management is one of the ten Knowledge Areas outlined in the
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PMBOK Guide Fifth Edition. It is used during the Planning and Monitoring & Controlling
Process Groups.
The four processes in this knowledge area:
1. Plan Cost Management
2. Estimate Costs
3. Determine Budget
4. Control Costs
Project cost management is a very important aspect of project management and every project
consist of several types of cost components such as direct cost, fixed cost, overheads, etc. and
each part of cost providing different type of important factors to the project. One major aspect
of cost area is ultimate performance of project depends on actual cost against budgeted cost
and saw many projects are failing due to poor cost estimating and in effective cost control
procedures during the project. Changes to the cost is having direct impact to the final
outcome of the project and viability of the financial feasibility and end of the day it should be
effect to increase the return on investment what investor is agreed at the time of investment
on project.
When considering the cost management, the major failure was that the project could not
complete on budget. At the end of the project they were at a loss. The main reasons were the
scope changes and duration changes as mentioned above. Besides that they didnt have
contingency reserves to account for cost uncertainty. The project manager was not aware of
the tools and techniques for estimating costs was another reason where they could not
complete the project on budget. One of the techniques he should have used is Reserve
analysis. According to the PMBOK Guide Fifth Edition, cost estimates may include
contingency reserves to account for cost uncertainty. Contingency reserves are often viewed
as the part of the budget intended to address the known-unknowns that can affect the
project. For example as mentioned above some of the critical path activities could not
complete on time due to assigning of incapable resources. To complete that activity another
resource was allocated and it led to rework. For such situations the contingency budget
should have used if it was allocated when the initial estimation was done.

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Estimates may also be produced for the amount of management reserve to be funded for the
project. Management reserves are an amount of the project budget withheld for management
control purposes and are reserved for unforeseen work that is within scope of the project.
Management reserves are intended to address the unknown unknowns that can affect a
project.
Quality Management
In any project the level of quality should be maintained to ensure that the project
requirements, including product requirements are met and validated. A lack of attention to
quality means more rework or defects. The more rework you have to do, the more time and
money you are wasting, and the less likely you are to meet the project deadlines and cost
baselines. But with a focus on quality, you can spend time preventing, rather than dealing
with problems. So it clearly states the importance of maintaining the level of quality
throughout the project.
According to the PMBOK Guide Fifth Edition, project quality management consist of three
processes which are used during the Planning, Executing and Monitoring & Controlling
Process Groups. The three processes are:
1. Plan Quality management
2. Perform Quality assurance
3. Control Quality
When considering the quality management, we have identified a situation where it failed its
quality standards when the employer finds that the concrete does not meet the clearly stated
quality requirements for concrete strength in the contract. Lack of attention to quality in this
situation needlessly added considerable risk to the project, which resulted in a great amount
of rework and additional expense. To avoid such situations the project manager should have
taken the following steps.

Quality should be considered whenever there is a change to any of the project constraint.
Quality should be checked before an activity or work package is completed.
He should have spent time trying to improve quality.
He should have determine metrics to be used to measure quality before the project work

begins.
He should have put in place a plan for continually improving processes.

Require weekly status reports that include:


Project start and completion dates.
Which milestones youve passed.
Percentage of the project that is complete.
Any accomplishments worth mentioning.
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Important meetings attended.


Any threats or potential risks to the projected timeline.
Description of any problems youve encountered and resolved.
Personnel or equipment limitations.
Budget status.
Build an effective team by considering:
Employee skill, experience, participation ability, the projects they are already

working on, and morale.


Pair newer resources with mentors.
Set a realistic schedule and stick with it.
Establish concrete, clear goal planning in project management.
Ensure senior management ownership and leadership from the beginning.
Require effective engagement with project stakeholders.
Ensure adequate skills and proven approach to project management and risk

management.
Pay attention to breaking developments and implementation into manageable steps.
Evaluate proposals based on long-term value rather than price to secure delivery of

business benefits.
Maintain connectivity with the industry at senior levels.
Ensure effective project team integration between clients and the supply/resource
chain.

4.0 CONCLUSION
In this case study, we would like to propose the following as recommendation in order to
improve the scenario.
The PM should have been identified during the initiation process.
S/he should possess the competent skills of Project Management as per recommended
the PMBOK and should been practiced efficiently and effectively
Top management should have made the PM to be involved planning process to
identify the scope, and risks factors before determining the time frame.
As per the time constrains the adequate and efficient resources should have been
employed in a timely manner
Budget should have been done by the expert and reserve/ contingencies would have
been obligated depends on the degree of risk.
Standard tools and techniques of Project management should have been utilized to fix
up time frame.

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5.0 REFERENCES

1) PMBOK Guide - Fifth Edition. (2013). 5th ed. Project Management Institute.
2)

Project Scope Management http://preparepm.com/notes/scope.html

3)

Project Time Management http://preparepm.com/notes/time.html

4)

Project Cost Management http://preparepm.com/notes/cost.html

5)

Project Quality Management http://preparepm.com/notes/quality.html

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