Discuss about the Project Organization and Project Management Competency.
The Melbourne Wholesale Fruit and Vegetable Market is a state project and hence its relocation is managed by the state government. The state government was the project owner. The state, according to the case, entered into an agreement with Victoria Fresh Markets Pty Ltd to facilitate the development of the trading floor. However, the individual leaders vary depending on the departments. It should be noted that the relocation affected three major areas or departments. There was an area related to trading floor, warehousing and fit-out leasehold. Under each of these areas, there were specific leaders. There are leaders managing the tenants and their role is to provide tenants with the financial and other information needed for sound decision making. There are also leaders under the Department of Primary Industries whose docket is to monitor project delivery methods. There were also leaders from the Department of Business and Innovation as well as leadership players from the Department of Treasury and Finance. There were also leadership players governing the Melbourne Market Authority and the Department of Premier and Cabinet.
Firstly, before focusing on key leadership attributes, it is important to note that Melbourne Wholesale Fruit and Vegetable Market relocation project adopted matrix organization system. The overall team leader was the Victoria Fresh Markets Pty Ltd. However, the company worked with different departments each with its own independent leadership. Matrix organization is a combination of the functional organizational structure, of a vertical nature, with the organizational structure of the project, of a horizontal nature, whose result provides many of the opportunities and challenges associated with the two previous styles, as well as its characteristic hallmark. it manifests in the ability to integrate areas and resources, where the functional manager provides the resources, and the project manager coordinates them (In Bodea, In Purnus, In Huemann & In Hajdu, 2016). This means that there is no single leadership attribute. Instead, a number of leadership attributes are needed in order to ensure that the different departments works towards the common goal of ensuring that the relocation project meet the three elements of an ideal project, which include cost, quality and time.
The first leadership attribute needed for successful relocation is the technical skills and expertise. Are those skills about an activity that involves methods, processes, procedures or techniques that include the ability to prepare a budget, a production program or the demonstration of any equipment. In the case of the project manager, this will mean having a general knowledge of the technology used in the project, whatever the scope (Morris, 2013). It is the starting point to understand the keys of the project, plan the operation, generate ideas and solutions and control quality and productivity. The project managers and leaders need to have technical skills related to project management (In Bodea, In Purnus, In Huemann & In Hajdu, 2016). It should be noted that matrix organizations are based on a skeleton made up of permanent functional structures and temporary project structures. The WBS (Work Breakdown Structure) and the OBS (Organization Breakdown Structure) are the most commonly used tools to ensure the proper division of labor, the style of organization, and the integration of project deliverables. Technical skills are also vital to the functional managers because such skills will enable them design the best warehouses and trading floors that can accommodate more customers.
Secondly, the relocation project could have also been successful if the leaders adopted the best communication skills. The skills will ensure that different stakeholders receive the information that corresponds to them at the right time, in accordance with a Communications Management Plan and include the art of managing the requirements of the actors interested in the company. As part of the communication process, the issuer is responsible for making the information clear and complete, adequate for the receiver to receive it correctly, as well as making sure that it has been properly understood (Thamhain, 2014).
Thirdly, the relocation project could have also been successful if the leaders adopted the risk management skills. Risk management skills could have also ensured that the relocation project run smoothly. Learning to predict and anticipate problems, seeking solutions, will increase the chances of success of a project. Experience, in this case, helps a lot (Schwalbe, 2007).
A closer look at the relocation project also reveals that there was no team building skills on the side of the management. Team building skills constitute important leadership attribute for any complex project such as the Melbourne Wholesale Fruit and Vegetable Market relocation project. Some examples of effective teamwork improvement include helping each other when workloads are not balanced, communicating in a manner that is consistent with individual preferences, and sharing information and resources. Efforts to develop the team are most beneficial when carried out in the early phases of the project, but should take place throughout its life cycle. This process is also called " team building " and some tricks of this dynamic building a team from a group of strangers: Offer "challenges" to the team; Reward and recognize the project team; Promote knowledge and communication among team members; Be a facilitator of interpersonal relationships; Find the professional commitment of team members; Situate the team physically in one place and for a certain time, so that members can easily communicate, establish personal relationships and achieve effective professional (Uher & Loosemore 2003).
Interpersonal skills also constitute important leadership attributes that could have facilitated successful relocation. The interpersonal skills of people management, known as soft skills, are of special importance for the development of the project team. Understanding the feelings of the people, anticipating the needs and motivations (In Bodea, In Purnus, In Huemann & In Hajdu, 2016). Recognizing their concerns and closely monitoring the incidents and controversies that arise, the Project Management team can greatly reduce interpersonal problems and increase cooperation among members. Managerial skills such as empathy and interpersonal influence, the promotion of creativity, facilitation and the support of teamwork are very valuable assets for good management of the Project team.
Stakeholder perspective and leadership
Lastly, the case shows that there were no motivational strategies during the relocation. The activities of construction of equipment are very diverse, from the dedication of five minutes in a meeting of revision of the status of the Project to an experience outside the place of work, by means of the hiring of professional trainers, designed to improve interpersonal relationships. Some activities that must be carried out as a team, such as the preparation of the Project's EDT , can serve as team development activities. If they are planned, structured and facilitated properly, they can increase the cohesion of the team. It is also important to promote communication through informal activities, in order to foster interpersonal trust and establish good working relationships. One of the models used to describe the development of a team is Tuckman's development model, which establishes five stages of development through which teams can pass (Morris & Pinto, 2010).
Including all stakeholders in project decision making is vital in any project. The case of Melbourne Wholesale Fruit and Vegetable Market relocation project clearly reveals that all stakeholders were not involved. Firstly, it is important to note that the stakeholders are the interest groups in a project. It can be constituted by any group, individual or organization that is affected or forms part of it, being harmed or benefited from it (Morris, 2013). Key stakeholders in Melbourne Wholesale Fruit and Vegetable Market relocation project included the tenants, the owners of the project, the partners and suppliers, the administration of the company, employees, government and even social interest groups. Stakeholders influenced the success of relocation project in many ways. Firstly, the tenants significantly affect the project. The case reveals that management of market tenants was not done appropriately. Suppliers and partners also influenced the success of the project. The case shows that there were shortcomings in the procurement of the trading floor. This is because suppliers and partners were not actively involved in planning process. Community represented another important stakeholder. The case shows that there was some doubt whether the views and interests of the whole market community were represented appropriately. Generally, it can be deduced that leaders did not do their best to integrate and involve all stakeholders in the project decision making processes.
One of the leadership lessons from delivery of the relocation project is that project management is a delicate art that sustains its success in two very robust columns: hard skills and soft skills. The "hard" are those related to the technical part, such as knowing how to make the constitution certificate, the register of interested parties, the project management plan and managing the different tools and techniques such as the breakdown, value earned, making an organization chart, etc. The "soft" ones are the ones that must be taken to achieve effective results with the people and the project team. These are negotiation, conflict management, leadership, giving feedback, teamwork, influence, among others.
They call them "soft" because there is no last word, they are not rigid, nor are there standards, they are "guides". You can learn guides and techniques to negotiate, but using the same techniques for the same situations, the same result is not guaranteed. It is necessary to apply these skills according to the situation, its development and to combine them with the human side.
I also learn that in order to achieve a successful project outcome, the Project Director must be proficient in managing the interests of multiple actors throughout the project management process, from its inception to after its construction.
If I am a project director and have been assigned a complex tasks such as Melbourne Wholesale Fruit and Vegetable Market relocation project, I will do everything I can to ensure that all the different stakeholders are coordinated. I will also subcontract some of the activities that are complex and require specialized personnel.
I will also ensure that objectives and goals of project are clear. It is apparent that without clear and concrete objectives, neither the project director nor the rest of the actors will know when the project has fulfilled its objectives. Furthermore, even if the project is a success from the director's or company's perspective, unless the project does not meet the objectives of the stakeholders, the actors will not be satisfied with the project outcome
The challenges related to the relocation project can be explained by different project management theories. For example, the theory of Thamhain proposes that the project leader needs three types of skills, which include leadership skills, technical skills and administrative skills (Thamhain, 2015). On the other hand, the theory of Posner proposes that a project leader should possess communication skills, skills to organize, teamwork skills, leadership skills, confrontation skills and technological skills (Kouzes, James, Posner, Barry & Bozarth 2010).
In Bodea, C.-N., In Purnus, A., In Huemann, M., & In Hajdu, M. (2016). Managing project risks for competitive advantage in changing business environments. Hershey, Pennsylvania IGI Global
Kouzes, James M., Posner, Barry Z., & Bozarth, Jane. (2010). The Challenge Continues, Participant Workbook: Encourage the Heart. Pfeiffer & Co.
Morris, P. W. G. (2013). Reconstructing project management. Chichester : John Wiley & Sons
Morris, P., & Pinto, J. K. (2010). The Wiley Guide to Project Organization and Project Management Competencies. New York, NY: John Wiley & Sons.
Schwalbe, K. (2007). Information technology project management. Boston, MA: Thomson.
Thamhain, H. J. (2014). Managing technology-based projects: Tools, techniques, people and business processes.
Thamhain, H. J. (2015). Management of technology: Managing effectively in technology-intensive organizations. Hoboken, N.J: Wiley.
Uher, T. E., & Loosemore, M. (2003). Essentials of construction project management. Syndey: University of New South Wales Press.
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