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Differences between Managing Construction Projects and Other Kinds of Projects

Question:

Write about the Methodology for Project Management.

Project Management is observed to be extensively used in some form or the other in various business sectors (Kerzner, 2013). This is mainly because making an effective use of the project management proves to be beneficial for the business organizations to clarify the goals and identify the problem areas and risk and it also assist in isolating the activities and monitoring the outcomes (Turner, 2014). Moreover, with the help of project management, the accountability can be enhanced since it helps in isolating the works and assigning the responsibilities in an efficient manner. Thus, on the basis of the aspects, project management can be defined as a temporary endeavour that is undertaken by the business organizations that follows a specific cycle of initiation, defining, planning, execution and close for the development of a unique product or service through effective coordination of human, material and financial resources.

Thus, on the basis of the above aspects related to effective application of project management, the essay emphasizes upon the applying the project management methodologies in context to the Engineering and Construction Project Tender that has been received.

Managing an Engineering and Construction Project is observed to be different from the management of the other projects. The differences that exist between these two type of projects generally stems from the nature and the characteristics of the engineering and the construction projects (Chen et al., 2009). So for the successful management of the construction, it is important on the part of the project manager to take into consideration the differences that exist between the nature and characteristic of the construction projects and the other projects.

A construction projects is generally observed to be capital intensive and thus demands significant involvement of the management skills and effective coordination of the wide range of experts from different fields. The construction projects are generally undertaken outside and thus they are susceptible to many variables that include traffic and weather (Ghanem & AbdelRazig, 2006). While undertaking the construction project, it is important on the part of the project manager to efficiently address the geography and conditions of the project site and relationship between the project and the environment in which it is being undertaken. The construction projects are also subject to variety of laws and regulations that strive towards ensuring the public safety and the minimizing the environmental impact. In comparison to the other industries, the construction projects demands intensive use of labor and it also consumes large amount of materials and physical tools.


It has been observed that the management of construction projects has a lot in common with the management of the similar types of the projects and so the studies conducted by Burke, (2013) has put forward the fact that the much of the content of the PMBOK_Guide is directly applicable in case of the construction projects. However, even though it has been said that the management of construction projects is similar to the management of the other kind of projects in various aspects, construction project is characterized with certain peculiarities that differentiate the management of the construction project from the other projects like software development. As for example, in case of construction projects, the project managers are often changed from one phase to another phase.

Importance of Effective Project Management in Identifying Goals, Problem Areas, and Risks

Thus in order to acknowledge the differences, Project Management Institute has provided a guide for effective management of the construction project i.e. The Construction Extension – Guide to Project Management Body of Knowledge 3rd edition. This guide put forward four additional knowledge areas that include the project safety management, project environmental management, project financial management and project claim management. As per the studies conducted by Larson & Gray, (2011), it has been observed that the in a construction project, the major tasks that are involved include effective coordination of the professionals within the project team in order to enable them to put their best efforts to contribute towards the successful completion of the project. Moreover, it is also the fact that for effectively managing the construction projects, it is important to have an enhanced understanding of the design and construction processes in addition to the knowledge regarding the project management and general management. In addition, the other major important aspects in context to effective management of the construction projects include the ability to communicate effectively and the ability to efficiently manage the team. As per the studies conducted by Meredith & Mantel, (2011), it has been observed that the functions of project management in construction include specifying the objectives and plans of the project that include the preparing the project scope, budget and schedule, setting the performance requirements and selecting the participants of the project. Project management also helps in maximizing the effective utilization of the available resources by procuring the labor, materials and equipment as per the schedule and the plan that has been prescribed (Schwalbe, 2015). It also proves to be beneficial in implementing the operations through effective coordination and control of the planning, design, estimating, contracting and constructing activities throughout the process of the construction and it assists in developing effective communication and mechanisms in order to resolve the conflicts among the construction project team members.


In context to the Kerzner’s project Management, analysis of the chapter 5 i.e. the Management Functions revealed the fact that it deals with various aspects in project management that include the interpersonal influences on the project, the barriers to project team development and the ways in which the newly formed team can be handled (Turner, 2007). Thus, it provides the ways in which the project needs to follow the steps that include the planning, organizing, directing and controlling and with the help of these activities the project manager is responsible to ensure that the goals of the project has been accomplished. It provides the Douglas McGregor theory that proves to be beneficial in motivating the team members towards putting their efforts to achieve the goals of the project and proposes the Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs of theory to motivate the team members to realize their needs and move up towards satisfying their higher level needs (Wysocki, 2011). So these aspects clearly apply to the construction project and as per the analysis of the Chapter 5, it is observed that in case of projects like the construction project, one need to emphasize upon developing effective relationships in order to prevent chaos and this can also be achieved by clearly defining the goals and responsibilities of the team members (Kerzner, 2013). In addition to the above aspects, it is also important to efficiently conduct the human resource planning since the construction project is a labor intensive project.

Recommendation of the Construction Extension – Guide to Project Management Body of Knowledge 3rd Edition

On the other hand, analysis of the Chapter 21, it is observed that it deals with the project management maturity model. The analysis reveals that it becomes important on the part of the organization to be mature enough to adopt the project management techniques to accomplish the project successfully (Kerzner, 2013). So, in this context, Kerzner’s PM Maturity Model strives towards describing the characteristics of each level of maturity that includes the risks, the roadblocks and the actions required for completing each level. As per the Kerzner’s PM Maturity Model, there are five levels that include the common language, the common processes, singular methodology, benchmarking and the continuous improvement. At the first level, i.e. common language, the organizations strive towards recognizing the importance of project management and need for gaining an understanding of the basic knowledge of the project management and its terminology (Cicmil, 2006). At the second level i.e. the common processes, the organizations strive towards recognizing the need for common processes and thus the organization emphasize upon making a concentrated effort for using project management and developing the processes and methodologies for supporting the effective use of project management. At the third level i.e. the singular methodology, the organizations strive towards developing singular methodologies rather than utilizing multiple methodologies in order to achieve synergy and process control (Cicmil et al., 2006). At the fourth level i.e. the benchmarking, the organizations strive towards performing the benchmarking on a regular basis against those practiced in similar and the other industries and them develops few selected critical success factors (Kerzner, 2011). At the fifth level, i.e. continuous improvement, the organizations strive towards evaluating the information learnt during the benchmarking process and thus implements that change that is necessary for improving the project management process (Kerzner, 2013).


So, the above aspects prove to be beneficial in efficiently managing the construction project. Moreover, for effective process of the project, there exist methodologies like PRINCE2 and PMBOK. The first process in project management is Starting Up a Project and it is done before initiating the project it is related to the Initiating Process group in the PMBOK Guide (Demir & Kocaba?, 2010). This is the phase where the understanding is developed of several things, the reasons behind why the project has been undertaken and the ways in which the project fits in with the corporate strategies, the individuals who are involved in the decision making process and what would be outcomes of the project and how it would be achieved. So, in this phase the project brief is prepared and the team is appointed and the plan is developed.

The project brief and the plan is forwarded to the project Board for approval and if the plan is seemed as sensible then the project is approved (Yeong, 2011). The decision in context to the project board authorizes the first stage for directing the project process and this is the only process that carried out by the project board.

The next phase is project initiation and in this phase, a detailed planning work is carried out. The main output of the project Initiation Documentation that is not dissimilar to the project management plan in the PMBOk Guide (Matos & Lopes, 2013). It puts forward the strategies to manage the issues, changes, risks, communication and configuration together with the project plan and detailed business case. Thus, it can be said that the PID is characterized with everything that is required for the project board for taking decision of whether to authorize the project or not.

Major Tasks in Effective Management of Construction Projects

The project manager emphasizes upon performing the Managing s Stage Boundary Process before moving on to the next stage of the project and it is performed at the end of the each project stage except the final stage of the project (McHugh & Hogan, 2011). Moreover, this is the phase where the project manager strives towards revising the project plan and the business case and prepares the End Stage Report.

Once the project and next stage has been authorized by the board, controlling phase is carried out and this phase is managed by the Project Manager who tends to manage the risks, issues and manages the work done by the teams and progress is reported to the Project Board and thus takes any corrective actions (Jamali & Oveisi, 2016). In parallel to the above process, the Team Managers strive towards Managing the product Delivery process and this is the phase where the product of the project is specified by the clients are developed and tested and where required the product is handed over to the client.

So, in this context, it can be said that PRINCE2 emphasizes upon providing a brief description to the project management processes that need to be performed and it does not focus upon the development processes (Karaman & Kurt, 2015). So, this refers to the fact that the Team Manager strive towards managing the development work of the team by using the agile approaches that include the SCRUM and this is fitted easily within the PRINCE2 model.

The controlling stage of the project and the Managing Product Delivery Processes are integrated in order to execute, monitor and control the process groups in the PMBOK Guide.

Conclusion

Thus from the above discussions, it can be inferred that since the construction projects are different in various aspects from the other projects, the stages proposed by the PMBOK and PRINCE2 should be followed efficiently to achieve the desired outcomes of the project. 

References

Burke, R. (2013). Project management: planning and control techniques. New Jersey, USA.

Chen, P., Partington, D., & Qiang, a. M. (2009). Cross-cultural understanding of construction project managers' conceptions of their work. Journal of Construction Engineering and Management, 135(6), 477-487.

Cicmil, S. (2006). Understanding project management practice through interpretative and critical research perspectives. Project Management Institute.

Cicmil, S., Williams, T., Thomas, J., & Hodgson, D. (2006). Rethinking project management: researching the actuality of projects. International Journal of Project Management, 24(8), 675-686.

Demir, C., & Kocaba?, ?. (2010). Project management maturity model (PMMM) in educational organizations. Procedia-Social and Behavioral Sciences, 9, 1641-1645.

Ghanem, A. G., & AbdelRazig, Y. A. (2006). A framework for real-time construction project progress tracking. In Earth & Space 2006: Engineering, Construction, and Operations in Challenging Environment (pp. 1-8).

Jamali, G., & Oveisi, M. (2016). A Study on Project Management Based on PMBOK and PRINCE2. Modern Applied Science, 10(6), 142.

Karaman, E., & Kurt, M. (2015). Comparison of project management methodologies: prince 2 versus PMBOK for it projects. International Journal of Applied Science and Engineering Research, 4(4), 572-579.

Kerzner, H. (2011). Using the project management maturity model: strategic planning for project management. John Wiley & Sons.

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

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

Larson, E. W., & Gray, C. F. (2011). Project management: The managerial process.

Matos, S., & Lopes, E. (2013). Prince2 or PMBOK–a question of choice.Procedia Technology, 9, 787-794.

McHugh, O., & Hogan, M. (2011). Investigating the rationale for adopting an internationally-recognised project management methodology in Ireland: The view of the project manager. International Journal of Project Management,29(5), 637-646.

Meredith, J. R., & Mantel Jr, S. J. (2011). Project management: a managerial approach. John Wiley & Sons.

Schwalbe, K. (2015). Information technology project management. Cengage Learning.

Turner, J. R. (2014). The handbook of project-based management (Vol. 92). New York, NY: McGraw-hill.

Turner, R. (2007). A handbook for project management practitioners.

Wysocki, R. K. (2011). Effective project management: traditional, agile, extreme. John Wiley & Sons.

Yeong, A. (2011). The marriage proposal of PRINCE2 and PMBOK.

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