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https://www.airport-technology.com/projects/saint-helena-international-airport/

Identify the impact of clients’ satisfaction on the quality of the project with the help of case study of St Helena Airport project.

Importance of Client Satisfaction in Project Management

In the project management, the clients’ satisfaction and quality of the project is imperative for the successful implementation of project (Harrison& Lock, 2017). In this regard, the present report is based on the case study of St Helena Airport project. The local government targets to increase the tourism on Island by providing easy transportation through Airport. In this context, present report analyzes the impact of client satisfaction and quality control measure on the outcome of project with the help of several studies. At the same time the recommendation has been provided to beat the negative impact.    

According to Müller & Turner (2010) the client satisfaction plays important role in the field of project management since it create base through the clarification about the requirement. By using the specification provided by the client, project manager can effectively define the project and its scope along with the allocation of resources. However, Jun, Qiuzhen & Qingguo (2011) stated that poor interaction with clients affect the progress of the project as it leads their dissatisfaction.

According to several studies, cost, quality and schedule are the key factors of project success. By considering on these factors the project manager enhances the effectiveness of the project (Müller & Jugdev, 2012; Hwang & Lim, 2012). In this manner, the clients are one of main stakeholders and satisfying them are the key practices in the project management (Papke-Shields, Beise & Quan, 2010). In this context, Ayegun, Abiola-Falemu & Olawumi (2018) asserted that the assessment of clients’ perceptions is significant for enhancing the quality standards of the projects. For this purpose, the interaction with clients is the best method which is helpful for understanding the opinion with the deep knowledge. On the other hand, the feedbacks from the clients are also supportive for considering the requirement of clients (Peppers & Rogers, 2016). However, Sebastian (2011) stated that poor interaction with clients affect the progress of the project as it leads their dissatisfaction. Therefore, the managers of the project set their focus on the communication with the clients and obtain their perspective to enhance the quality of project which further enhances the satisfaction in the clients.

There are many communication platforms to enhance interaction with clients as social media, press conferences and feedback through personalize communication channels (Binder, 2016). With the help of these communication channels, the manager ensures the engagement of clients and enhances their satisfaction towards the project. For instance, in the case of London Heathrow Terminal 2, the client engagement enhances the project capabilities to obtain the operational outcome of the project (Zerjav, Edkins & Davies, 2018). However, the consideration on communication channel increases the cost of project (Bryde, Broquetas & Volm, 2013). Thus, the project manager gives priority to effective communication channel such as social media through which manager can communicate with the large mass of clients.   

Factors Affecting Project Success

The perspectives from clients’ is also helpful for estimating the cost of projects (Doloi, 2012). The over cost of project are the main reason for the clients’ dissatisfaction.  Due to this, the understanding of clients’ perspective through several interaction mediums provide the broad view of clients’ requirement and consideration of these views in the project enhances the quality of project together with enhanced client’s satisfaction. Apart from this, the involvement of clients in the decision making of project is also imperative for the quality management of project (Flyvbjerg, 2013). For example, the ideas came from different view enhances the decision-making capabilities of management through which the management handles the work effectively related to the particular situation of project by taking appropriate decision. Therefore, the client engagement is significant for improving project quality through the effective decision making on the cost management.

The design is early stage of project wherein the project structure is ensured with help of scope, rationale and the key features of project and helpful for achieving project goals (Van Rooij, 2011). Furthermore, it influences the outcome of project by affecting the quality of the project. However, low focus on the design of Grand Canal Bridge negatively affected the quality of bridge because of the design of stairs on the bridge were odd which were inconvenient for travelers to carry their heavy luggage on the bridge. Apart from this, the glasses used on the walk way of the bridge were slippery which created causes for many injuries of tourists at the bridge (Khan, 2008). Thus, it created the dissatisfaction in the stakeholders through the low quality output. In this context, Eastman (2018) stated that the focus on project design is imperative for the gaining superior project quality through assessing the risk associated with the project. On the other hand, the controlling the risk from poor design of project adds additional modification cost in the project (Ika, 2012). Thus, the project design is accountable for project quality and the cost of project.    

The standard of project quality is maintained by considering the main factors as quality match to expectation and meets the requirement of users (Harrison & Lock, 2017). In this manner, the standard project quality enhances the safety of product with lower cost of project (Turner, 2016). Apart from this, the quality standards help managers to control the process of project in an effective manner. Similarly, the project builds according to the standard of quality decrease the chances of future losses (Kendrick, 2015). Therefore, the measurement of project quality is significant for satisfying the stakeholder from the quality output.

Effective Communication with Clients

The current study is based on the St Helena Airport project which faced several issues in context of safety concern. The issue related to safety was so significant which not only affected the quality of project but also caused major delay along with the loss of huge amount of money. For example, £285.5-million was spent by the Department for International Development (DFID) of UK but still it is not usable for the commercial airlines. The major cause of it was wind shear which increased the threat of accidents. For this purpose, cited project has been selected for its detailed study in the project management. Owing to this, the current project has been selected to assess the influence of stakeholders and quality related issues.

The project of building ST Helena Airport has several of limitations including the location and climate (Saint Helena Island Info, 2018). In this regard, the airport was built on the remote location on the St Helena Island where the construction process suffered through the poor supply of material (Oracle Aconex, 2018). Apart from this, the weather conditions at ST Helena Island are not suitable for the larger size planes because of the direction and speed of winds on the runway is changed rapidly. It has also been evidenced in the literature review that the quality of project should be considered in the advanced by focusing on its safety concern; otherwise, it has direct impact on the users of the services (Harrison & Lock, 2017). This rapidly changes in winds created poor handling of Air craft at the runway and enhances the chances of accidents.  Therefore, these are the major limitations of the current project which enhances the cost of project and negatively affect the expected outcome as operate large size airplane to increase traveler.     

The project of ST Helena Airport has many risks from the political parties, privatization, infrastructure and category of the airport. In this manner, the government of UK paused the construction of airport without giving clarification. This situation created uncertainty in the project progress and accountable for the delay of project. Apart from this, the first test flight revealed that the infrastructure of airport is not supportive for the flight take-off and landing because the airport was built on the cliffside (Buckley, 2017). Thus, poor infrastructure prevented the commercial use of airport. These issues created the enhancement in the completion time of construction which increased the cost of project. In this context, several studies also evidenced that projects are generally approved at the initial stage and the influence of stakeholders cause significant changes. However, ignorance to major risks and warnings associated with the project waste the employed resources as well as time (Ika, 2012).

Project Design and its Impact on Project Quality

The project was implemented at the remote location of South Atlantic Island which creates the logistic problem in the construction process because of inconvenience in the transportation of material (Oracle Aconex, 2018). In this context, the Air Safety Support International certified St Helena Airport to Category C airport which means the use of airport has many risks in related to takeoff and landing purpose (Saint Helena Island Info, 2018). Apart from this, the negative publicity of the project impacted the project bidder mind negatively and created the causes for delay in the construction process (Venter, 2016). Therefore, the risk from political uncertainty, infrastructure and negative publicity influenced the quality of ST Helena Airport project negatively. This has been shown in the literature review that without considering the views of stakeholders and their convenience project cause higher level of dissatisfaction among stakeholders (Peppers & Rogers, 2016). This further causes lower acceptance and this has been noticed in case of St. Helena project.   

The St Helena government signed the contract with Basil Read Ltd for overcome the impact of above-mentioned issues through the improvement in the infrastructure of airport with additional facilities (St Helena Govrmenet, 2018). In the same manner, for minimizing the impact of wind shear, the planes had to carry limited travelers because light weight plane are easy to handle on the wind shear (Smith, 2017). Further, for reducing the complication related to operating the project on the remote location, the contractor of project ‘Basil Read’ integrated their supply chain and imported all the material and other equipment from South Africa (Oracle Aconex, 2018). Apart from this, the problems related to wind shear were not solved properly because the location of runway cannot be changed (Buckley, 2017). Similarly, the budget of airport project was not maintained properly and increased cost of project up to 285m pound because of political issues paused construction process for two years (Watton, 2017). On the other hand, according to below mentioned figure, the demand of St Helena Airport was not increased after the completion of construction till 2018.

Figure 1 Arrival to St Helena by mode of transport, by quarter

(Source: St Helena Government, 2018)

However, Ayegun, Abiola-Falemu & Olawumi (2018) asserted that schedule, perception and timeline expected by the major stakeholders is the crucial in increasing the success rate of the project. This is because stakeholders’ perception related to quality and safety can provide the right direction to the project. Therefore, the St Helena government and the contractor solve many of the issues yet many issues left unresolved.     

Measurement of Project Quality

As per the above discussion, it has been found that project of St Helena airport was greatly affected from the natural environment of the location. This caused major dissatisfaction among stakeholders since the airport was quite risky where passengers less likely to use the same. This indicates that it is necessary to carry out the initial research and find the safety concern so as to select the right location for the construction of the project. Also, it was found that view point of experts, stakeholders or government should be considered in the advanced through which the risk related to waste of resources can be reduced to a great extent. In this regard, it is recommended that, the focus on the selection of location for project is most important because it is necessary to operate project in effective manner. Apart from this, it is also recommended that the project manager should improve the infrastructure by additional changes such as wall for stopping winds or can built another runway to overcome the problem which occur from wind shear. These solutions can helpful for building safe airport for commercial use.   

Conclusion

On the basis of literature review in above report, it can be concluded that the clients’ satisfaction is important to streamline flow in the project. Similarly, the focus on the project measure is helpful for controlling the quality of project. Apart from this, on the basis of case study, it can be concluded improper research related to location and without considering the view of stakeholders the projects get failed. This further increases the risk of users and accordingly it might increase the overall risk. At the same time, resources go waste; however, prior study through the inclusion of experts can provide the significant outcome for proceeding the project. It has also been concluded that quality measures should be priority for the purpose of increasing the satisfaction of different stakeholders. This proves to be effective in completing the project successful manner and offering quality services to users. Apart from this, risk assessment, proper design and quality parameters are crucial which determines the success of the projects like St. Helena airport. Although, the quality of above-mentioned airport construction project could be improved through the focus on the additional changes in the infrastructure. Therefore, the low focus on the project’s outcome quality increases the cost of project.

Ayegun, O. A., Abiola-Falemu, J. O., & Olawumi, T. O. (2018). Assessment of Clients’ Perception and Satisfaction with Project Quality Delivery in Nigeria. Journal of Sustainable Construction Engineering and Project Management, 1(1).

Risk Factors affecting the St Helena Airport Project

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Bryde, D., Broquetas, M., & Volm, J. M. (2013). The project benefits of building information modelling (BIM). International journal of project management, 31(7), 971-980.

Buckley, J. (2017). ST HELENA: HOW TO FLY INTO THE 'WORLD'S MOST USELESS AIRPORT'. [Online]. Retrived from https://www.independent.co.uk/travel/africa/st-helena-flights-how-to-get-there-airport-wind-shear-airlink-ticket-price-is-it-dangerous-a8130011.html.

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