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Kiewit Corporation: A Case Study Add in library

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Questions:

You are expected to arrange an interview with a Project Manager and/or Senior Management of a firm that is involved in projects. You will then write a report on the outcomes of the interview.

Preferably, your questions should evolve around a current project or a project that has been recently completed by the interviewee.

The focus of the interview is related to a practical understanding of the working environment of the firm in managing projects, specifically in terms of unravelling the following:

a) Strategic focus of the firm, mindful of its mission and vision and core values if any);

b) The context that gave rise to the requirements for the project under consideration

c) Goals, outcomes and objectives of the project under consideration;

d) Critical leadership issues involved in project management, from planning the project to implementing and closing;

e) Project Management tools and techniques used, complemented with other in house methodology or process developed to manage projects.

f) Pitfalls to avoid, critical success factors and cultural issues that helped or hindered the progress of the project.

g) Personal competencies of the Project Manager that played a critical part in the success of the project

h) Approaches to managing the risks (both positive and negative), the usefulness of the responses developed in managing the events that arose.

i) Learning points, hints and tips for new Project Managers.
 
 

Answers:

Introduction

Project management plays an effective role for the success of any project management. In addition to this, an organization needs to implement all the tools and techniques of project management like planning, coordinating, etc in order to ensure success of the project.This assignment will highlight the importance of project management in accordance to the required competencies of the project manager. A construction firm indeed plays a pivotal role in the development of a country. In the different corner of the globe there are several institutional construction projects have sprouted up which not only demonstrates the engineering marvel, but the utmost construction ethics as well. The role of a Project Manager in order to manage all the essential and necessary issues is the most significant point that essentially helps in the strategical development of the project. This current study is going to narrate about Kiewit Corporation, one of the largest construction firms of the world. The current researcher has attained an interview with the Project Manager of this particular firm who seemed to have been responsible for the construction of Homer City, Pennsylvania.

a). Strategic Focus of the Firm, Mission, Vision and Core Value

The company, as a report of Kerzner (2013), stated, in 2012 generated a total revenue of $ 12,330 million. The Fortune Magazine has stated Kiewit Corporation as one of the forerunners of the construction companies across the globe. Application of the modern technology, mechanism and extensive technologies are the most sophisticated approaches that drive the organisation to attain intermittent success. Most of the projects of Kiewit Corporation seem to be quite prestigious and intrinsic which has added intense advantages. The strategic focus of the firm is to create products with innovative and updated version of technology. In addition to this, the name of the project manager is John Morrison and the main role and responsibility of him is to construct a city in Pennsylvania.

Mission

Innovation and keeping difference from the other projects is the mission of the organisation. The Organisation practices the essential strategies that enable the company to get developed essentially.  On the other hand, in order to provide the value added construction service having been critically partnered with customers is one of the most significant issues that the organisation literally intends to achieve. Meeting the scoring demand of the customers of distinctiveness is another issue which the organisation expects to be fulfilled. Satisfying the customers’ demand and addressing them potentially leads the organisation to develop further ways. Treating the stakeholders with utmost fairness is another issue that the company always expects to be managed. Furthermore, Bresnen (2015) of this view with days demands of the common people is changing continuously and in the construction industries are responsible of managing this extensive quality. Kiewit Corporation essentially has engaged itself in this process. It also tries to bring an utmost intricacy in fulfilling all these approaches.  The mission of the organisation is therefore literally identical which ascertains the serious factors.

Vision

Kiewit Corporation is not a construction company only, rather it can better be stated as an experienced team of engineers whose dedication and devotion striving to the utmost growth of the organisation appears to be the vision of the organisation. At the same time, the organisation is dedicated to assist the other construction companies in the same field as well. Horta et al. (2013) are of this view making the dreams reality in the construction project is the main aim and vision of the company. Assisting the clients with the sophisticated service is another issue which the organisation wants to fulfill essentially. In future the organisation aims at presenting more technical and engineering equipped projects which helps in the essential construction development as a whole. The vision of the organisation is literally intrinsic.

b). Identification of the Context and Background of a Project of Kiewit Corporation

Kiewit Corporation in order to present a sophisticated and intense luxurious taste to the common people of Pennsylvania has taken up a project to construct a new power plant at Homer City. James (2015) is of this view that Homer City, sitting on nearly 2400 acres in Pennsylvania state is literally a prestigious project of construction. A report of Hodgson & Paton (2015) state the Homer City Power Generation Centre is capable of yielding that much power which is capable of illuminating around two million households. Kiewit Power Constructors, Power Engineers and other departments were responsible of developing this power plant project. In order to build Unit 1 and 2 of this particular power generation centre, the company seems to have used intense engineering. The project appears to use Novel Integrated Desulphurization (NID) technology that is literally congenial. At the same time, as the organisation appears to be a leader in protecting the environment, application of the intense sustainability measures is intrinsic. The steam condition of 3500 psig is literally cohesive that helps in the cognitive development of this prestigious project (Kiewit.com, 2015). Installation of 210,500 hp-boosted fans is literally affluent in order to manage the air compressors (Kiewit.com, 2015). 7 air compressors and dryer skids are the most intrinsic engineering approaches which evolved into a genuine engagement of this approach. Electrostatic precipitators in controlling the NOx emission is another potential factor that engages in better cohesion in this aspect. Less carbon emission system is also an intricate factor which engages in the organisation to become a potential construction company. The project will highlight both built and operating the power plant as well.

 

c). Goals, Outcomes and Objectives of the Project

The genuine goal of the project is to generate more energy and illumine more houses in the Pennsylvania area. At the same time, the project meets up the requirement of the electricity in this area and the neighboring as well. On the other hand the deficit of electricity is also necessarily solved which helps in cherishing the success of the project. The goal of the project is also to increase the market share of the Kiewit Corporation which may enable the organisation in attaining better cohesion in the market place. Increase of the market share by at least 10 percent in the current competitive market of US for the company as a whole is also a sophisticated approach that it wants to manage (Richman & Richman, 2011). It also targets at attaining a high margin of profit within a short period of time which ensures in the development of the site and the organisation at the same time. Another goal of the site targets to meet up the electricity deficit as a whole. It is because of the consistent electricity generation and supply in the household which helps in genuine congeniality for this project and it also ensures its success as well. In long term the organization expects to attain better profit by rendering its services to an extensive level of customers. It helps in the technical development of the organisation. In order to attain better cognizance of the organisation it leads to manage better financial orientation (Muller &Söderlund, 2015). On the other hand, it seems to be an intrinsic approach application of which appears to be the most intraoral part for the evasive development of the project and the organisation as a whole. Kiewit Corporation seems to have completed the project within their budget that leads the project to attain intense success.

It has already been stated that the plant is capable of generating an immense quantity of electricity that engages in better managing the factors. Kiewit Corporation from the Homer city power station is enabling of generating the power that is circulated incessantly in the other adjacent states like Minnesota, Indiana and others. More to be added, approach of the plant is literally affluent in order to attain a better cohesion in the marketing as well. The success of the project enables other power plants to establish and install fabric filter and increasing the switchgear. In order to attain more cautiousness, the plant has applied potential transformers and installed turbines that has enabled in engineering revolution. Less emission of carbon also helps the plant to pollute the environment little that has ensured the sustainability approach of the plant. In order to determine the necessary approaches taken by the organisation during the construction helps in attaining literal sophistication for this project.

Kiewit Corporation has also set the objectives for the Homer City Power Generating Station. It seems that the plant is effective in order to apply and achieve these objectives essentially. The objectives are:

  • To determine a consistent power supply to Pennsylvania and channelizing the surplus to the other states which helps in cutting the deficit down?
  • To attain the intense market share that would help Kiewit Corporation to make the shareholders invest.
  • To crown the organisation as one of the greatest construction companies ever

The objectives are in most of the cases are managed and intrinsically developed which maintains the organisational management approach. On the other hand, attaining the objectives is an essential issue that helps the organization and the plant to take a diversified stride in the construction and project management issues. It is essentially a congenial factor which helps in the development of the organisation. The objectives of the organisation are another essential issue, which engages in the congenial development of the plant (Cooke, Tate & Cooke, 2011). By providing a good and incessant quality of service and addressing the safety of the customers, Kiewit Corporation can expect to build the strong relationship with the customers. This expects to help the company to increase the numbers of customer in the state. At the same time it also the increase the profit level which as stated already is the long term goal for Kiewit Corporation. By combining all the short-term goals, Kiewit Corporation can expect to achieve their long-term goal as well.This can be evaluated with the following Gantt chart.

d). Critical Leadership Issues

The issues highlighted by the project manager while conducting the project is as follows:-

  • Communication breakdowns: In Kiewit, some miscommunication happened between the employees of the organization, and then it can create a massive disaster for completing the task of the company. The manager of the company (Kiewit) should communicate properly with their team members in the organization. If the communication is not clear between the upper level managers and the lower level managers, then it will create a chaos in the organization. However, the project manager demonstrated good leadership to minimize communication breakdowns.
  • Unrealistic schedules: In the construction site, everything is schedule as per the given orders of the management. If the managers of the company have changed any schedule to accomplish the task within a current changed deadline, then it will create problems for the team members of the organization (Hwang & Ng, 2013). Then the junior employee of the organization cannot cooperate with the managers. In this case, project manager reflected good leadership for the given issue by making appropriate scheduling of the project.
  • Unclear goals and senior executive direction: At Kiewit, the senior managers of the company did not give proper direction to the junior employee of the organization. That will create a mishap in the organization without any proper goals and objectives. The senior executive of the company should give a proper direction to the junior employee of the organization, so that they can cooperate with the managers to accomplish the goals. . In this case, project manager reflected good leadership for the given issue as he has clear goals. He had implemented short term and long terms goals to demonstrate clear goals.
  • Inadequate planning: There is a major problem faced by the employee of Kiewit. In any organization, planning is necessary for each step to follow the necessary rules and regulations to accomplish the task. The managers of the company should make adequate planning so that they junior employee of the organization follows that plan accordingly. If they do not have any proper plan to follow, then it will be very difficult for the organization to increase their growth in the market (Kiewit.com, 2015). The project manager implemented tools of planning in the given case.
  • Goal and resource changes: In this company lot of conflicts are happening. Because of the managers of the company continuously changed their resources and goals of the company. If the managers of the employee changed the resources without any prior notice then it will create conflicts between the managers and employees of the organization. The managers of the organization should change their goal and resources but they should inform prior to the team members of the organization. The project manager developed a contingency plan to develop resource changes.
  • Uncommitted team members: Having the fear of death in the construction site some people of the organization are not committed to their work. If the employees of the organization are not committed to their work, then the objectives of the company will not be fulfilling. The managers of the company expects from their team members cooperation and commitment towards the goal of the company so that they can help to accomplish the target of the company. However, there are several safety practices of the organization. One of the safety practices of the organization is to ensure an effective health of all of their workers effectively. In addition to this, the organization has a safety manager that will ensure the safe nature of their workers. This code of ethics helps the organization to prevent themselves from uncommitted team members in the activities of the project. Project manager did not implement good leadership skills. He could have taken more steps to make all the team members effective.
  • Inadequate resources: Kiewit has some problem in resource planning. They do not have proper resources to supply. If adequate resources are not, there in the organization then the objectives of the organization cannot be, fulfill in the near future. The resources can be anything materials, human resource etc. The company should supply the raw material and labor at proper time so that they can accomplish their task efficiently. The leadership of project manager has failed due to inadequate planning of resources.
 

e).Tools and Techniques Used in the Project

The tools and techniques of project management that is use by Keiwit are following:

Cost management- In case of cost management, the organization used the tool of CPI to manage and allocate the costs of their required resources. This further helps the organization to minimize their operational activities.

Schedule management- The organization utilizes the tool of schedule management by minimizing the total amount of slack times and effective utilization of resources. In addition to this, they also implements schedule management by critical path analysis of all their respective activities.

Scope management-  Kiewit implements the tool of scope management by effective means of allocation and division of tasks with proper allocation of resources.

Risk management- The organization implements the tool of risk management by prioritizing the risks in accordance to their possible impact to the particular project.

f). Success Factors and the Cultural Issues in the Project Management

In the project of Homer City, there are some cultural factors in the power generation site of Homer City. In the power generation site, there are many workers working in the project. The workers of the power generation site have come from different cultural background from different place. As the workers of the project come from different cultural background, there are some conflicts in the work place among the workers of the project. To deals with this situation, the project manager of the project should take some responsibilities to minimize the conflicts among the workers of the project. That is why; the project managers of the project took initiative to control the internal factors and the external factors of the Homer City power generation project.

In this particular situation, the project manager of the Homer City power generation site should provide proper guidance to the workers of the project to minimize the cultural conflict among the workers of the project (Mascia, 2014). The manager of the project should provide proper training to the workers to give proper sense to the workers working in the power generation site. It has been observed from the other power generation site that there is a conflict among the workers due to different cultural background of the workers. The management team of the project and the team working in the power generation site should be matured enough to maintain a proper ambience in the work place and to work efficiently in the site by behaving in proper manner. It has been found in the Homer City power generation site that there is a cross cultural conflict among the workers of the site working in the site. For this particular conflict, the manager of the project has failed to manage all the workers working in the power generation site. This cross cultural conflicts hampers the working efficiency of the workers and also in the decision making factors by the workers of the power generation site of Homer City.

The manager of the project of Homer City power generationshould maintain a proper rescheduling and structuring the plan of the project and to implement their work according to the planning of the project by the administration of the project. This will help the administration of the power generation team to do better implementation of their planning in the site of the power generation. The administration of the project should use latest technology to generate power which will help the workers to work smoothly and effectively in their work place. This will also help the administration of the project to beat the leading power generation companies in the competitive market of power generation domain (Social responsibilities for the management of megaprojects, 2015). The managers of the project should maintain a proper rules and regulations in the working place for their workers in the site which will help the workers of the power generation sites to work effectively and efficiently. This will also help the workers to create many innovative ideas and to take decisions regarding the power generation issues in the project.

 

g). Personal Competencies of a respective project manager of the given project of Homer City Power Generation Site

There are six competencies and attributes of the manager of the project of Homer City Power Generation City. These are good communication, planning, leadership, team building, patience and problem solving skills. This competencies and attributes of the manager of the project will help the management of the project to reach the level of success for the power generation site. The manager of the power generation site has plenty of knowledge and skills and patience to reach the level of success for the power generation site. This personal skills and knowledge of the manager of the project will help the management of the project to complete their work in time by using all the resources allotted in the power generation project. The manager of the project has arranged many meetings among the workers of the site to take decisions regarding the working procedures and working planning of the project. These strategies of the manager of the project will motivate the workers of the power generation site to work effectively and efficiently. This strategy will also help the manager of the project to make the planning of their working procedures and working steps of the power generation project to evaluate all the procedures of the project (Social responsibilities for the management of megaprojects, 2015). The manager of the project demonstrated leadership and planning skills through monitored, controlled, measured and planned all the strategies to implement their innovative ideas and technologies to use in the project to reach the new level of success by beating all the leading power generation companies in the global market.

The personal and professional competencies of a project manager are to ensure proper and effective tools and techniques of planning activities and management of a project.  Another competency of the project manager is tolerance of stress and customer service orientation. The project manager also ensures effective analytical skills for effective utilization of resources. The management of team is another personal competency of the given project manager. In addition to this, another professional competency of the project is to ensure the timeliness of the activities of the work of their team members.

The manager of the power generation project has provided a new level of ambience in the work place of the site for their workers. In this way, he has reflected good communication and problem solving skills. This ambience of the work place will motivate the workers of the project to work effectively and efficiently in the work place while generating power. The manager of the project and the management of the project can overcome all the complexities involved in the project by solving all the problems involved in the work place and in the power generation site (Kiewit.com, 2015). The managers of the project can minimize these complexities by using the personal skills and knowledge of the manager of the project. This personal skills and knowledge of the manager of the project will help the management of the project to complete their work in time by using all the resources allotted in the power generation project.

h). Risks

Approaches to managing the risk:                        

There are five key risk factors, which every organization has to face in the business activities. Those are following:

Development Risk

In this construction, company (Keiwit) the managers of the organization manage the risks by taking safety measures. The company should take safety measures to develop a project (power plant). The managers of the company should take the necessary steps to develop the project without any hassle so that they can lower the risks. The manager has taken different safety measures to decrease the risk in the construction site in order to mitigate the risk.

Financial risk

The financial risk is the main factor in the construction business. If proper material and equipment is not there then the company cannot run their business. The company will face the financial loss.  The company can mitigate this risk by investing in the proper share. The company can increase their profitability by making more projects in the end and incur several sources of funds in order to nullify the risk. The manager has developed a contingency plan in order to mitigate the risk.

Growth risk

Every company wants to achieve their target to maintain the growth of the company. If the company already achieve their profitability level then should continue to do so in the future. They just cannot sit back constantly. They should make some strategy to so that they can continue to achieve their target in the future. The project manager could have taken  a strategy in the change management process so that they can maintain a certain standard and quality to develop that change in the management process to eliminate the risk.

Generation of power

The company should use the new technology to decrease this risk in the construction site so that the company can accomplish their project on time to eliminate the given risk. The project manager evaluated this risk through demonstration of knowledge.

Time management

In the construction business, the company has to maintain the time to accomplish their project. Time management is the big factor in the construction business. If the project is not give on time then the company can face loss. The project manager has managed this risk by accomplish the task prior to deadline. The employee of the organization should be cooperative to each other so that they can accomplish their task within a given deadline to mitigate the risk.

These types of risks are facing by every company. They can minimize the risk by taking the respective measures of every risk. The company will minimize the risks in the manufacturing sector by taking these measures to increase the growth of the company.

 

i). Responsibilities of the New Project Managers

The key learning points for a project manager that needs to follow by them to excel in the organization. Those key points are following:

1) The manager first chooses the right project for the organization, which will make the company profitable. The manager should understand the project objectives first, so that the employee of the organization can help to accomplish the project smoothly. The new project managers should analyze the return of investment or the cost benefit analysis to calculate the profit of the company (James A. Crow4r., 2015).The project manager of Keiwit Corporation has cleared out the objectives effectively.

2) The project objective should be clear to the employee of the organization like the manager of Keiwit Corporation.

3) The new managers should plan the project and distribute the project among the group members of the organization.

4) The project may use by using the graphs and data with respect to the project guidelines which the given manager did not implement.

5) The new managers should choose the right people for the project and should prepare a work breakdown structure so that every individual can involve in the project like this manager. The employee should learn by their own how to take control over the task and accomplish the task with efficiency.

6) The manager has chosen the right person or selecting an expert to help them in the project plan. Experts can complete their work with less time and more efficiency.

 7) After clarifying the objective of the project, the cost structure of the project should be very practical and reasonable so that the company can make the profit after finishing the task.

8) When a company gives approval for a project then it was the responsibility of the manager of Keiwit Corporation to look after the project properly, which he did. So, the new managers can make the company more profitable.  The project manager

9) The manager has maintained the quality of the project so that the company can make some profit from that. The manager should test the equipments that needed for the accomplishment of the project. The employee should remember the goals and the objectives of the project so that it will create a reminder for accomplishment of the task.  The new managers must take a note of that.

10) The manager has prepared for the unexpected risk so that the team members can minimize the risk with efficiency. This is a learning tip of new managers.

11) The human resource management take the responsibility to supply the require employee to accomplish the task. The project manager has chosen them and use their skills and knowledge to complete the task.

12) The manager has been ready with the require resource and the employees to start the task efficiently.

13) In every organization, communication skills are very important to maintain the relationship with other employee of the organization. The project manager has utilized the good communication skills that help to assign the task to the employees and make some important decisions for them.

14) The manager has used a proper life cycle to maintain a data sheet of the project. The company should choose the efficient manager to make the right decision about the task and the employee of the organization.

15) The manager of Keiwit Corporation has taken feedback from the employee of the organization so that he/she can understand the employee’s point of view.

These are the learning tips for new managers.

Conclusion

It can be concluded that the tool of project management plays an effective role for the success of the project of Kiewit Corporation. In addition to this, with the help of the interview of project manager, there are several learning points with respect to the project. These learning points are related to risk associated with the project, project manager competencies and all the success factors required by the project. Therefore, the interview with the given project manager is of great essence for the accountability of the project.

 

Reference List

Kerzner, H. R. (2013). Project management: a systems approach to planning, scheduling, and controlling. John Wiley & Sons.

Hwang, B. G., & Ng, W. J. (2013). Project management knowledge and skills for green construction: Overcoming challenges. International Journal of Project Management31(2), 272-284.

Horta, I. M., Camanho, A. S., Johnes, J., &Johnes, G. (2013). Performance trends in the construction industry worldwide: an overview of the turn of the century. Journal of Productivity Analysis39(1), 89-99.

Bresnen, M. (2015). Institutional development, divergence and change in the discipline of project management. International Journal Of Project Management.

Cooke, H., Tate, K., & Cooke, H. (2011). Project management. New York: McGraw-Hill.

Hodgson, D., & Paton, S. (2015). Understanding the professional project manager: Cosmopolitans, locals and identity work. International Journal Of Project Management.

James A. Crow4r.,. (2015). Agile Project Management.Springer International Publishing.

Mascia, A. (2014). Project manager: leader, influencer e conflict manager. PROJECT MANAGER (IL), (20), 19-23. 

Müller, R., &Söderlund, J. (2015). Innovative approaches in project management research.International Journal Of Project Management33(2), 251-253. 

Richman, L., & Richman, L. (2011). Successful project management. New York: American Management Association.

Social responsibilities for the management of megaprojects. (2015). International Journal Of Project Management.

Kiewit.com,. (2015). Homer City Units 1 & 2 AQCs Project. Retrieved 1 July 2015, from https://www.kiewit.com/projects/power/aqcs/brayton-point-unit-3-dfgd-2-2/

Kiewit.com,. (2015). Homer City Units 1 & 2 AQCs Project. Retrieved 1 July 2015, from https://www.kiewit.com/projects/power/aqcs/brayton-point-unit-3-dfgd-2-2/

Kiewit.com,. (2015). Kiewit : Construction, Engineering and Mining Services. Retrieved 1 July 2015, from https://www.kiewit.com/

Kiewit.com,. (2015). Kiewit : Our Projects : Power. Retrieved 1 July 2015, from https://www.kiewit.com/projects/power/?ccm_paging_p_b2516=2

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