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EPM5600 Principles Of Project Management

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You are working for ProCon Services Australia, a Project Management consultancy. Your company has been engaged by Vella IT Office Fitouts, who are currently undertaking the fitout of a medium-rise office building in a Sydney suburb. A team of company staff and contractors, led by a Project Manager, have been performing the work. The fitout is part- completed, and the Project Manager, Tony Faultier, has just left the company abruptly, moving overseas to take up a position in another company.

You have been put in charge of working with Vella IT Office Fitouts to investigate the current status of the project and determine any corrective action required, including providing advice on replacing the project manager, and improving the performance of the project team. You are to report your findings to the board of Vella IT Office Fitouts, including Jim Vella, the business owner and chairman.

The building comprises four levels, and is designed to house 200 people, with 50 on each floor. Each floor provides 500 m2 of office space. Vella Office Fitouts are in charge of the entire fitout, including furnishings, plumbing, electrical and data and telecom infrastructure. 200 staff of Ferrari Software, a computer software company, are to be relocated into the building at the end of the fitout.

Information gathering

As you begin your investigation, you find that Tony Faultier has left very little in the way of reliable records of the project. As you interview other staff and stakeholders, you are able to build up the following picture:

The Project

  • The total fitout budget is $1.2M.
  • The original schedule was for completion in a total of four months, commencing on 1 March, and completing on 30 June. It is now 1 May. At this point, the schedule states that work on the ground floor should be completed, the first floor 50% completed and the second floor 50% completed. Work on the top floor is not yet due to commence.
  • On investigation, it is found that the work on the ground floor is only 75% complete, the first floor is 25% complete and the second floor is 25% complete. Also, the top floor is 50% complete, ahead of schedule. So far, $675K has been spent on the fitout.

The People

  • You are told that Tony Faultier was seen as a belligerent, even bullying, project manager; but the team also saw him as being somewhat lazy in his own work, while being impatient and intolerant of others.
  • Tony’s style was quite autocratic, and he was unwilling to listen to advice from members of the team.
  • Vella Office Fitouts have a strict policy of performance-based salary for all staff, where bonuses are paid for performing beyond work targets.
  • Some of the team members were aware that work should not have commenced on the top floor, and attempted to tell Tony that this was causing problems, with one case of accidental leakage from the plumbing causing damage to the first-floor fitout, delaying work; however, Tony advised them to continue with the work. It was found that he was being paid a commission by a former senior manager at Vella for completing the Board Room on the top floor early for a personal celebration.
  • A number of the Vella Office Fitouts staff complained that some of the contract staff did not seem to have received adequate training on the specialised data cabling required for this fitout, leading to costly rework in the cable terminations.

Your Presentation and Report

You are to produce a full report, which you will present to the Board of Vella Office Fitouts. Your report should include the following details:

A brief summary of the current status of the project, including the Cost Variance and the Schedule Variance. This should also include an overview scorecard or chart of the project, comparing the scheduled tasks to the actual.

  • A list of any additional information the new Project Manager will need to source in order to produce regular, detailed status reports on the project.
  • An overview of the leadership behaviour on the project. This should use the Organizational Zoo model to represent Tony Faultier’s observed behaviour, and should also make recommendations for the preferred leadership behaviour to be targeted in the recruitment of a new Project Manager, including support and justification.
  • An overview of the existing team environment, with recommendations for changes to work processes and policies to establish a more cooperative environment, where team members will feel more able to share their knowledge of project risks or problems, and contribute to improvements in project performance. This should also be supported with some analysis.
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