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Guide To Bringing Projects Time On Budget

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Question:

Discuss About The Guide To Bringing Projects Time On Budget?

 

Answer:

Introduction

The proposal helped identify important management approaches Formulae SAE teams require to re-engineer and improve vehicle safety and component performance levels. The proposal highlights various aspects linked to the design, materials, and component which are used to develop the vehicle prototypes. The proposal goes ahead to highlight the teams role towards optimizing, testing and reporting specific components of the Formulae SAE vehicles. The project will require internal team approval before progressing after which the teams shall be broken in o groups specializing in individual’s components and parts. Each group’s individual proposal towards the project and components customization will be evaluated to ensure it remains within the original vehicle blueprint plan and abides to the Formulae SAE regulations (Clifton & Apostolides, 2011). The progress report shall analyse different aspects linked to the planning, design, finalization, and sponsorship, development, testing and reporting Formulae SAE vehicles. It will also explore challenges encountered during the project and how the issues were resolved.

 

Management Concepts

The Progress report focuses on highlighting the management concepts and approaches each team will require utilizing on their project so as to achieved success. Formulae SAE vehicles team management and vehicles development will expose each of the team members to a wide verity of management concerns (Ghuman, 2010).  Important management concepts each team members and team lead would be exposed to during the projects include:

  • Planning,
  • Organizing,
  • leading,
  • controlling,
  • commanding,
  • coordinating,
  • staffing,
  • reporting,
  • budgeting
  • decision making,
  • communicating and

Each of these management concepts and skills are critical towards every projects successful implementation and each of the Formulae SAE team must master these skills to develop a successful design.

Method

The project would see the implementation and use of management concepts by organizing roles linked to overall planning as whole team and single unite. To achieve this I would take on the role of the project manager in which I would need to coordinate the over team and ensure the management concepts and activities are performance as per plan (Maley, 2012). The first stage would require the team to utilize team work management concerns such as Planning, Organizing, coordinating and communicating being practices by the team as a whole. This stage would be undertaken during the initial planning each member will need to contribute towards the overall vehicles design (Baldegger, 2012). Once the overall design has been decided on the team would be broke in to groups specializing and responsible for certain sections whereby management concepts like Planning, staffing, budgeting, reporting and coordinating. Thereafter the team leads will require utilizing leadership, controlling, commanding, reporting, decision making and directing management concepts on the project so as to ensure the project meets the set time line and specifications set during the planning stage.

Summary of Activities

The Formulae SAE vehicle design and development would require being completed over a 6 months period delivering just over 180 days to design, develop, and complete the vehicles for the endurance test and data collection. Funding for the project shall be primarily from sponsorships and donations which team members must gather for their individual project responsibility and components. Surplus finances and materials shall be distributed towards other vehicles design aspects which will help reduce the financial and material burden on the overall team (Lewis, 2010). Teams shall be broken down into groups each focusing on an area of their specialization. They would be responsible for developing all components under their designation area keeping in mind it meets the oval teams design and budget as well as meets the Formulae SAE regulations.

Design

The entire team shall be involved in developing a draft of the design of the vehicle which shall take into considering different aspects of aerodynamics, weight, speed, strength, and safety. The individual team will then require developing their component designs and return the proposed design to the team design table for overall team review and approval. This will prevent designs clashing and ensure a final vehicle model design has been agreed on before any team proceeds with development of theirs. To save time and promote coordination all teams will work simultaneously on their allocated designs and simultaneously present progress reports during a team meeting this shall be held every Friday (Bhise, 2016). This will help avoid missing major developments and allow teams to highlight problems or progress on the project so as to meet the set project deadline. All finalized designed shall be blueprinted and specific dynamics and measurement gave for every component to avoid component design issues. On completion, the overall blueprint for the vehicle and all components designs shall be patented to help protect the design for future use.

 

Budget

Every team department will be responsible for locating sponsors and donors for finances, part and component donations. Sponsorship shall not be limited to finances and will also accept important vehicle parts and components (Callahan, Stetz, & Brooks, 2011).  Each team department is requested to secure additional finance and resources if possible and pool the surplus resources towards the oval all team budget. This will assist individual teams who may have experienced a budget deficit secure funding from the overall team surplus funds to ensure design and development deadlines are met. This will help support the team as a unit and ensure development goals are met.

Project Milestones

The Formulae SAE vehicle must be completed and ready for public presentation in 180 days which makes it critical for the project to be completed within 150 Days. This will deliver a troubleshooting period of 30 days in which the final project design can be polished, turned and tested to ensure optimum results during public unveiling and endurance testing (Kerzner, 2009). Sponsors and entrepreneur representatives from the automobile industry will be the main attendants making it important for the designs to prove their capability to performance ay optimum level.

The project shall be broken down into 5 main milestones which shall be reported on a weekly basis.

  • Milestone 1 - Designs Development and focus Component identification
  • Milestone 2 – Component Redesign
  • Milestone 3 – Redesigning and Testing
  • Milestone 4 – Assembly on Formulae SAE vehicle
  • Milestone 5 – Endurance and Performance Testing & Fine Tuning
  • Milestone 6 – Vehicle Fabrication, sponsorship Adv. Display and public Unveiling

Products – Main Vehicle Components

The design will be focused towards developing a vehicle design which utilizes only the main components required to allow the vehicle to function. This is due to the vehicle design mainly being developed so as to test the performance of the vehicle and allow the automobile students to make modifications to the design with the objective of improving it. This would allow for a minimum number of components to be utilized thus allowing each team to focus on a specific component which would allow each group to develop a proposal (Jonasson, 2016). At the end of the exercise, the team would have 4 to 5 modified components which they can present to the sponsors and automobile industry as their development and improved design. The vehicle design will consist of 4 main components namely the Chassis, Engine, gearbox and suspension and steering this will allow the team to be divided into the four groups which would allow for each to develop their design after which they can decide on the most important compost to consider developing. It’s not possible to redesign the entire system but the performance of one component can be tested after which modifications can be made and tests repeated to register any improvements. This data can then be used and presented to industry leaders who may be interested in infusing the new design to their vehicles.

Meeting – Reporting Projects Progress and Schedules

The project shall be implemented by ensuring the teams meet on a weekly basis and report the projects progress. This would be important as it would also allow for the teams to raise any concerns they may have encountered a request for assistance for other team members. Milestones shall also be set on a monthly basis which would allow for the teams to report on the progress and fill in reports on whether milestones have been achieved or not. Milestones play an important role in the project as they allow the team and management to determine and track how the project is progressing and which team may be lagging behind (Wysocki, Effective Project Management: Traditional, Adaptive, Extreme, 2010). Each team will also need to present a details project progress plan with detailed graphs, tables and a Gantt chart which highlights the specific time they intend on completing the project. This is important as the team manager would be able to monitor each department’s progress and reorganize the teams focus or manpower and resources to assist the team gets back on track. The team leader manager would not participate directly in the process but would play a supervisory role in which he would need to visit each team and monitor their progress. This would allow for constant management of the teams progress ensuring the team meets its completion target and has adequate time to test the vehicles and resolve any issues that may be encountered by the team. All meeting would be recorded via audio media to help save time and efforts and recording distributed to each of the teams as the minutes of the meeting. This will ensure all information has been recorded and understood by all members (Wysocki, Effective Project Management: Traditional, Adaptive, Extreme, 2010). The team lead and manager would also be responsible for obtaining all permits required for the prototype Formulae SAE vehicle to participate in the race. This is important as the prototype will still require being insured and meet all safety standards before the vehicles can be approved to participate in the event.

Problems Encountered

It is inevitable that the project is will encounter major complications and problems have its important for all teams to be prepared to handle and resolve them. This makes it important for the team to be prepared psychologically to handle any concerns and problems they encounter. Expecting to encounter a problem is the key element to being able to successfully resolve this problem (Biafore & Stover, 2012). This makes it important for every team member to retain a cool mind while working on the project and expect to encounter problems so as to be prepared to resolve the problems. Formulae SAE vehicle prototype designs are not developed to win the race although this will develop an advantage they are mainly aimed to demonstrate the vehicles capable to maintain its performance under pressure thus proving the modifications made to the vehicles are sustainable and can be used on future designs. It also helps students demonstrate their capacity to identify and resolve automobile engineering problems which they expect to encounter on the project

 

Modifications - Proposed and Completed

It’s also critical for all teams to document their components for modification and propose modifications which they intend on making on the component to the team. This information requires being reviewed by individual’s teams and a final decision made after which the information must be documented on the overall project log which will ensure the project proposed changes are registered (Recreational, 2005). This will serve two main purposed namely

  • Set proposed project development and
  • Encourage teams to meet the performance targets.

With the information registered on a log, the teams need to continue with the development of the project and ensure all information has been properly registered relating to the project. It's important that all development and achievement are also registered as this would allow the project manager and participant demonstrate their capability to resolve a problem. It’s also very important to document failures as these can be considered for further development to help with the projects further improvement.

On completion, it is necessary for the prototypes to be tested and their projected outcomes recorded to help determine the actual performance as compared to the projected performance. Once again this data will play an important role after the completion of the project as the data can be used and presented to the professor as direct demonstrations of the engineer’s performance and capability to resolve problems. This is the main intention of the project as it allows professors to evaluate and assess individuals based on their capability to research, locate current issues and develop solutions which can be used to help boost performance.

Issues Encountered During the Reporting Period

Simply developing and improving a design does not demonstrate of proof an engineer’s capability to resolve problems thus making it critical for the engineer to also register and log their problems and complications in the same manner. This is vital and must be done on every project as it documents the problems encountered and allows the individual to recollect on their experience. In addition to this, it also allows the individuals to demonstrate their practical capabilities to perform on the project which is a critical requirement in engineering. Engineering students cannot rely on theoretical approaches as this can lead to serious complications related to project implementation. It is vital for the engineer to be able to review a project from a practical perspective and also consider developing important approaches for its development and improvement (Rakos, Dhanraj, Kennedy, Fleck, Jackson, & Harris, 2015). The Formulae SAE vehicle prototype designs and races are aimed at allowing students to expand their vision with relation to practical implementation and demonstrate their capabilities. This makes it important to utilize this opportunity to also demonstrate each individual’s performance and ability to contribute possibility in the future toward vehicle designs.

Project Progress Update

With the proposed project developed I have moved along to assemble the team and also presented the proposal to the program coordinator for approval. Senior members have also began approaching sponsors regarding the proposal of which we have received several interested parties willing to sponsor the project once approved by the project coordinator. We have also approach the Formulae SAE who has provided us with the prototype vehicle specification which must be followed when designing the Formulae SAE vehicles. This has allowed us to determine important specification thus allow us approach sponsors for funding and other forms of assistance towards developing the Formulae SAE vehicle.

 

Conclusion

With vehicles remains an important form of transportation in the modern world, young engineers will need to revaluate the current design and come up with new designs which will deliver better performance as well as address serious complications being experience by automobile manufacturers. Factors like pollution, congestion and other important points must all be carefully addressed as the concern is only growing more alarming each year and the permanent, as well as the environmentally friendly solution, must be found.

 

References

Baldegger, R. (2012). Management in a Dynamic Environment: Concepts, Methods and Tools. Heidalberg: Springer Science & Business Media.

Bhise, V. D. (2016). Ergonomics in the Automotive Design Process. Boca Roton: CRC Press.

Biafore, B., & Stover, T. (2012). Your Project Management Coach: Best Practices for Managing Projects in the Real World. John Wiley & Sons,.

Callahan, K. R., Stetz, G. S., & Brooks, L. M. (2011). Project Management Accounting: Budgeting, Tracking, and Reporting Costs and Profitability. John Wiley & Sons.

Clifton, M., & Apostolides, A. (2011). Progress Report. eStar Books.

Ghuman, D. K. (2010). Management: Concepts, Practice & Cases. New Delhi: Tata McGraw-Hill Education.

Jonasson, H. (2016). Determining Project Requirements, Second Edition: Mastering the BABOK® and the CBAP® Exam. New York: CRC Press.

Kerzner, H. (2009). Project Management: A Systems Approach to Planning, Scheduling, and Controlling. New York: John Wiley & Sons.

Lewis, J. P. (2010). Project Planning, Scheduling, and Control: The Ultimate Hands-On Guide to Bringing Projects in On Time and On Budget , Fifth Edition: The Ultimate Hands-On Guide to Bringing Projects in On Time and On Budget. McGraw Hill Professional,.

Maley, C. H. (2012). Project Management Concepts, Methods, and Techniques. Boca Roton: CRC Press.

Rakos, J., Dhanraj, K., Kennedy, S., Fleck, L., Jackson, S., & Harris, J. (2015). The Practical Guide to Project Management Documentation. John Wiley & Sons.

Recreational, D. M. (2005). Design Modifications and Recreational Enhancements to the Wyoming Valley Levee Raising Project at the Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania River Commons: Environmental Impact Statement.

Wysocki, R. K. (2010). Effective Project Management: Traditional, Adaptive, Extreme. John Wiley & Sons.

Wysocki, R. K. (2010). Effective Project Management: Traditional, Adaptive, Extreme. Indianapolis: John Wiley & Sons.

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