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Week 4 Discussion Question

Week 4 Discussion Question


In working out your responses to the Discussion Question, you should choose examples from your own experience or find appropriate cases on the Web that you can discuss. Credit will be given for references you make to relevant examples from real companies. Please make sure that you cite and reference all your outside sources properly, as per the Harvard Referencing System. Assume the role of a project manager overseeing the construction of a 15-mile road. The work is uniformly spread over 12 weeks. Suppose the client has approached your firm and has requested an additional 3 miles to be added to the road without an adjustment to the project completion date. Among the 7 basic tools of quality, which tools would you recommend to control the quality in the given situation? Justify your choices with examples from your professional experience and list the merits and demerits of using the tools you choose. Please submit your initial response through the Turnitin submission link below in addition to posting it to the Discussion Board thread.

Dear colleagues For this week our task is to assume the role of a project manager overseeing the construction of a 15-mile road. For discussion purposes I assume that the construction has not started and then we can theoretically put this question, what if the client approached the firm and requested an additional 3 miles to be added to the road without an adjustment to the project completion date, which means that the scope increased 20% in effort but kept is schedule... As stated by Sanghera, P. (2010) Quality is an integrated part of any project. Therefore, monitoring and controlling project work includes controlling quality. If you do not monitor and control risks, the quality will be affected. You monitor the risks by looking out for risk triggers (alerts that tell you a risk has occurred or is about to occur) for the already identified risks and by identifying new risks as the project progresses. You control risks by executing the risk response plan and taking corrective and preventive actions.. The possibility of doing work with less quality with the pressure of complying the schedule in this case would be real. In this DQ case and using my previous experience I can state that since project scope changed several actions should be taken before accepting the new 3 miles. First it should be checked if there is any disposal of extra human and equipment resources (own or subcontractors) and material from suppliers, in order to complete the new project within schedule. At the same time applying the change control procedures developed, Im sure it would go throw reviewing the PMP, reviewing the quantity of work to do in each period, for sure implementing new monitoring actions and control procedures too. Recommended a revision of quality control and monitoring plan, contemplating the new scope (18 miles in 12 weeks). The Risk Management Plan should be also reviewed and made the changes needed adding a new risk category for the increased scope, and development of the mitigation strategies with the appropriate unforeseen event planning. In this example and using my experience I propose the use of a mix of Quality control tools, as flowcharts, check sheets, fishbone diagrams, control charts and Pareto charts.

In my experience for a short period during last year I have been Project Manager in a road with 100 Km in Cuando Cubango Province in Angola (Longa Cuito Cuanavale), the project is 14 month late and mainly because the machinery is not appropriate for the site conditions. One of the control measures that I implemented after using some Quality Control tools was controlling machinery maintenance, and that worked fine for some time and production increased but then all went down because the company didnt wanted to spend some extra money on keeping a constant supply of parts. In that project in Cuando Cubango, I have started by implementing Flow charts registering each and every action or task. That helped me identifying all the process inputs, outputs and actions. With this I was trying to figure out bottlenecks or breakdowns in all processes. Flowcharting all tasks gives a general picture of all process aspects, at the same time forces each section manager to understand what is expected from him/her. This forces everyone to register interdependency issues. Using that human predisposition to make the other guilty of your fail it was easy to find several problems This was a way of shed some light in to some problems within the project. - The merit of flowcharts its precisely that it allows us to consolidate procedures and processes. A common example in construction its the procedure for doing a concrete mix in the field without any laboratory testing but granting results. Identified the major problems, in my case machinery maintenance, has everyone identified has the soft spot, I implemented check sheets which helped me by collecting data and knowing the number a certain mechanical problem occurred and if when repaired how much time it took to be repaired again to the same problem. - The merit of check sheets is precisely they force the worker to confirm the procedure, a common example in construction its the procedure for rebar installation (diameter, spacing, etc) In this moment I had tried to go a little far by using a fishbone diagram, asking the workers for different causes to a problem. After all the supposed causes being identified, using meetings with workers/operators and mechanics we managed to develop an improvement plan to solve the identified problems. The Pareto Chart helped identifying the largest occurrences and making them our main objective. - The Pareto Chart is important as it graphically ranks the problems, and helps to direct our attention. While the fishbone diagram its like brainstorm in detection problems causes, its when everyone in the process gets involved. In my case, the results of those simple actions had the effect of increasing production and for the first time manage to produce what was expected in the end of the next month. The demerits of using these tools are commonly the lack of knowledge from the other participants in the project. I confess that here in Angola, where educational level is not very high, is extremely difficult to make field workers and collaborators to understand a simple flowchart. In our DQ of this week, where the tasks are recurrent a Run Chart should be used in a mitigating control procedure to be implemented. It will allow determining what tasks are fulfilling expected production outputs and the ones that dont have the expected performance and should have an intervention. The demerit is that can be effort exhaustive to get full project data, but as people say in Angola a big elephant is eaten in small pieces.

Of course Control Charts should be implemented on every test (concrete, soils, asphalts, topography, etc.). These kind of chart helps to prevent the quality of the job done and material quality. The demerit is that might be flawless when staff is not well prepared for the job or the errors are detected too late. But better late than never In my opinion and as stated by Kerzner, H.(2009), pp 893, More important than the quantitative methods themselves is their impact on the basic philosophy of business. The statistical point of view takes decision-making out of the subjective autocratic decision-making arena by providing the basis for objective decisions based on quantifiable facts. This change provides some very specific benefits: - Improved process information - Better communication - Discussion based on facts - Consensus for action - Information for process changes 1 - Sanghera, P. (2010) PMP In Depth: Project Management Professional Study Guide for the PMP Exam 2nd ed. Massachusetts: Course Technology, a part of Cengage Learning 2 Kerzner, H. (2009) Project Management - A Systems Approach to Planning, Scheduling and Controlling Tenth Edition John Wiley & Sons, Inc.