Week One: project Design for Quality
Synopsis of the Lecture
In a nutshell, the lecture introduces the management aspect of project design. A wide array of project design management topics is discussed within the context of project environment. In the project environment context, management is tackled through comprehensive discussion of the processes of initiation and completion as well as the tools and techniques involved in the project design management process. Additionally, project design elements such as corporate objectives and evaluation, market conditions, technology and time are tackled.
Evaluation deals with a series of evaluative questions about the project that seek to establish the rationale of the project. Corporate objectives on the other hand include the goals that the client would like to achieve while and after undertaking the project design process.
The lecture also did tackle market conditions as a major element in the project design, also analyzed within the project environment context. Market conditions according to the lecture include the demand and other factors that are critical in shaping the direction of the projects.
The lecture dealt with time and technology as main determinants of the project’s rate of change and potential for obsolescence. Other factors highlighted in the lecture include the outcome, which involves the project’s potential benefits.
What I learnt
In the lecture, one is introduced to the universal world of project design and the intricacies involved. Of particular importance however is the significance of the project environment and how the various elements that characterize it are critical to success of project design. From the lecture, it’s easy to notice the subtle yet critical interdependence of the elements in such a way that if one malfunctions, there is likely to be a ripple effect in the project design process. Finally, quality comes out as the driver of the entire process. All the elements that are tackled in the project environment process finely point to the achievement of quality and ensuring the client gets value for money. It’s a quality lecture as one gets to learn how to integrate the various elements of project design for quality realization.
Relevance to your workplace or field
The oil industry where I work in is increasingly demanding for quality. Given the destructive precedence with which natural disasters have struck various parts of the world, construction companies have no choice but improve on quality and innovativeness when building oil infrastructure. The lecture’s emphasis on quality and the ample elaboration of the elements that affect it can be perfectly applied to road construction. The environmental (green issues) perspective in the lecture is especially important considering the “destructive” nature of the oil and construction industry. All quality issues discussed in the lecture perfectly suits my company and the industry it operates in ways more than one.
One to relevant articles from literature
Conley (2008, p. 2), the main objective of project management is the completion of the project through the design phase through to implementation while ensuring that the project is within its scope, cost and schedule. The above statement may be true. However considering the project environment elements discussed within the project environment discussed above, the real objective of project design and implementation is to achieve a successful project within the time, budget and to the satisfaction of the client. Project design therefore according to Huang (1998, p.3) is to ensure human and material resources are successfully directed and coordinated throughout the lifecycle of a project design and implementation by using the best management techniques in order to achieve the desired or predetermined objectives of scope, quality, time, cost as well as participation. Effective management of the project environment is therefore critical to success of the project.
Critique of the presentation
It will be unfair to say the presentation was not on point. However, one must fault Prof Geoff Outhred for delivering a point-based presentation. Throughout the lecture, there is a compelling feeling of the need to include in-depth research albeit in summary. In essence, the presentation provides a guide to the students for study while hinting on some important clues on what they need to research on. On an upside note, the presentation was delivered with fine simplicity that made it easy for all students to understand. Some of the concepts covered are complex but the mode of delivery that includes some diagrams provides exemplary guidance that will make research and study on them not very difficult.
Any outcomes of Class Activities
Leyland p76 – a Project Design Case Study
A brief analysis on the failed project of Leyland’s passenger car, P76 that was meant to take on existing competition from established car manufacturers.
Consider that you are the Project Manager for another P76 car in the year 2011. You are responsible for managing the DESIGN of the project to create this new vehicle.
List ALL the CONSIDERATIONS you can imagine, that your PROJECT DESIGN TEAM could address as they approach the problem. Think about the design and planning of the overall PROJECT, the FACILITY (factory and (production line) for the car’s production, and ASPECTS of the car itself.
Considering the car is supposed to take on already established markets, it’s important that the team consider the weaknesses of the existing competitors’ cars. The team will look at fuel usage and efficiency of the car; people especially the niche market’s preferences, the cost to the consumer and manufacturer and marketing strategies. Because the modern customer is informed and increasingly choosy, it’s highly important that quality be the top consideration for the project. Quality will encompass directly and indirectly the considerations listed above excluding marketing strategies. Besides, the design team must consider quality on terms of comfort, safety, aesthetic value, durability and obsolescence.
Designing and Planning Overall Project
- Customer preference
- Past mistakes
- Technology update
- Technology to be installed
- Market of the car
Aspects of the car
- Aesthetic value
Week Two: Project Quality System
Synopsis of the Lecture
This lecture dwelt on the sum quality management tools and regulations that organizations have in place to ensure desired quality is met. The lecture gives an in-depth account on what quality is and how organizations have integrated the quality function to be part of management. The lecture especially dwells on the new business concept of total quality management that it describes as new business philosophy. The lecture also deals in a somewhat detailed way the development and basics of quality management (QM). In that regard, the Juran Trilogy of quality management is analyzed through quality planning, quality control and quality improvement aspects. The lecture gives separate accounts of quality management and the modern influence on it and also the TQM philosophy that is closely related to QM. One of the most important highlights of the lecture is the connection between quality and customers. The universality of the quality aspect in management and its evolution through various quality generic processes, quality planning and quality audits are dealt with. Additionally, the lecture takes learners through quality control processes and how they affect in decision making and training in a business setting.
What I learnt
After the lecture, it’s clear that quality is a complex issue that has numerous dimensions that not only overlap but also have intricate relationships that are difficult to separate. One learns that even though quality has been an important issue corporate management, completion and increased consumer awareness has forced it acquire a new meaning. Thus, the evolution of phenomena such as TQM and its importance to project management have become inseparable parameters in quality management. In so far as quality management is concerned, it’s impossible not to notice the importance that customer has acquired thus the “customer focus” element in the whole quality analysis literature.
One also learns that the evolution of quality processes is not as simple as it sounds as evidenced by the graphical representation and explanation shown in the lecture. A learner notes that there is a lot of planning under the quality management plan that involves quality assurance, quality auditing, quality control and the quality control decisions made by project managers. Through the lecture, stress on the project standards and rules is eminent as a way of ensuring quality standards are met. Through ISO quality assurance program, one gains an insight on the rigorous process on how quality is generated and maintained.
Relevance to your workplace or field
As earlier said, the importance of quality management has increased over time. In architectural field where I work, quality management has never been important as it is now. The importance of quality roads cannot be overstated. The quality aspects discussed in the lecture therefore comes in hand in fulfilling the quality standards and requirements that are needed in the making of stable roads and infrastructure like bridges.
The TQM philosophy is an invaluable aspect of quality management that I find to perfectly fit in architecture as well as structural engineering. Its principles of customer satisfaction, prevention of costly mistakes, ensuring management responsibility and its emphasis on the processes within phases is very relevant to the technical aspects of construction projects undertaken by oil companies such as ARAMCO. The quality standards expressed in the lecture come in hand especially in the building of oil transport and processing infrastructure that is meant to reduce costs both in the mid-term and short term.
Critique of presentation
To say that the presentation was well researched and delivered will be an understatement. Dr. Neville Boyd did a good job in going beyond the average level to give a presentation on quality and quality management as it’s applied in project design. Many aspects important in quality management in project design have been addressed satisfactorily. The information in the presentation has amply addressed the subject while leaving enough room and basis for further research. It’s not lost to the casual observer that the perspectives addressed apply by and large to architecture. However, much as it is a good presentation, there a feeling that the lecture concentrates on technical terms that make it somehow complex. An average student may find it clattered and complex. Others may find it confusing especially with the overlapping quality management aspects. In a nutshell however, the presentation accomplishes its main goals of delivering in-depth information on quality management as it is applied in various fields, in this case architecture.
One or two relevant literatures
According to (Hoyle, 2006 p. 1), one of the most primary considerations in the architectural and construction industry is project quality in the design phase. Meeting quality standards in project design is crucial to project success. For total quality management to be implemented Gordon & Gordon (2010) assert that assessment of quality management processes must be met (p.34).
Ratliff (2003, p. 4) his part alludes that quality management is crucial to project success and assessments must always be taken to ensure the project is on track. He adds that the processes of quality planning, quality assurance and quality control must interact with each other as well as the processes in other knowledge areas so as to involve a big group of people to participate in the project based on the needs. Other experts seem to agree with the above view and insist that the most basic approach to quality management in the design process must be compatible with the guidelines as set by the International Standards Organization. Furthermore, quality management in the project design process must be meet standards of non – proprietary approaches such as total quality management (TQM), six-sigma, failure mode, effect analysis, cost of quality and voice of customer. Additionally, project design quality management must address management of the project as well as outcome or product of the project.
Any Outcomes of Class Activities
Weekly journal – Research & write a paragraph on each of the following;
TQM, Six-Sigma, Lean Six Sigma, Failure Mode & Effect Analysis (FMEA), Design Reviews, Voice of the Customer, Cost of Quality (COQ) and Continuous Improvement, Quality Function Deployment, CMMI.
Total Quality Management (TQM)
According to Ratliff (2003, p. 20) TQM is an integrative philosophy of management that that aims at continuously improving the quality of products, processes and services. Total Quality Management assumes that everyone has a role to play in the production of goods and services. Precisely, TQM demands that management, workforce, suppliers and customers all of whom make up the stakeholders of a process be involved in running a project. The following illustration shows a basic TQM structure.
Six-sigma management strategy can trace its roots to the phone company Motorola. It was developed in an effort to reduce the defects through minimization of variation in processes of manufacturing and business. The method uses quality management methods such as statistical methods and the creation of people infrastructure within organizations. These people are experts in their areas of specialization. They carry out a specified project according a defined sequence whose objective is to reduce the costs involved.
Failure Mode & Effect Analysis
This is a technique that is used in management to identify likely failure in a business process. The procedure helps in classifying the severity and likelihood of failures within the systems it analyses. FMEA is deployed and through the use of past experience, it’s able to point out likely failures resulting from processes like the ones under study. The catch is that the teams involved are able to design the systems devoid of failures with suing least resources. Effectively, development time and costs are reduced.
Design review involves a stage of product development where the product is tested against the requirements. The process is undertaken to verify the outcomes and the activities carried out previously and possibly identify issues before launching. In many settings, design reviews are compulsory as part of design controls, a measure that is taken to ensure only quality products are released to the market. Design reviews mainly involve, physical tests, engineering simulations and examinations or walkthroughs.
Voice of the customer
This term is mostly applied in information technology and business in reference to the process of capturing customer expectations and preferences. More often, the voice of the customer is captured through market research which avails information on customer wants, preferences, and needs. The research on voice of the customer deals with both qualitative and quantitative information and is common before the launch of new products.
Quality Function Deployment
This is a method that is used in developing user demand into design quality in the business process. The functions and methods forming quality and design are made into subsystems and component parts that are further made to particular elements in the process of manufacturing. The bottom line is QFD helps inn transforming customer preferences into engineering characteristics for products and services.
Capacity Maturation Model Integration
This is an approach that is aimed at process improvement to help organizations improve their performance. It’s useful in improving both organizational and project processes. Besides being a process, CMMI is also software that helps many organizations in process improvement
Week Three – Project Design & Quality
Synopsis of the Lecture
The lecture emphasizes on the importance of having a clear project brief before defining the design quality objective of the project. According to the lecture, the project brief should address both aspects of what is covered and what is not covered. It’s important according to the lecture to identify what the stakeholders’ expectations and individual interest in the project are. This will help in meeting the customer’s expectations.
There is also an emphasis placed on understanding the decision making process and the stakeholder approach. To understand stakeholder approach a mastery of their characteristics is crucial. They include primary which includes remembering the first part of the brief and latest which involves remembering the last part of the brief. They also include recency and stake in the ground both of which involve remembering the recent part of the brief and always comparing with something, respectively
What I learnt
From the lecture one learns of the importance of project scope and brief in the successful delivery of project goals and outcomes. Through the lecture one learns that success in projects must include full participation and dedication of project stakeholders and meeting their expectations. Also emphasized is the meeting of golden triangle of cost, quality and time besides delivering value and achieving customer satisfaction. One also learns that the project brief forms a basic part of the project scope that covers both the works that are included and excluded. Given the importance of the scope and brief as highlighted above, it’s therefore important that their development be solid so that the project design process can be thorough.
Relevance to your work or field
The importance of the project scope and brief in the architectural and technical departments of companies such as ARAMCO cannot be overestimated. The scope and the brief guide project design throughout the process. Given the finer details that the project scope and brief have, architectural processes wholly depend on them to produce master plans that are acceptable to the stakeholders by meeting the expectations on quality and value for money.
The stakeholders normally have the final say or project development and progression. The information that the lecture provides on ways to deal with them and understand them is invaluable to any architectural professional who would like to succeed in his/her career. It helps one to learn on how to balance between stakeholder preference and project demands.
One to two relevant articles from the literature
According to Ann, there are many aspects that determine success of project design and management as it relates with planning and implementation. The first step in successful project design and management is project definition. Definition of scope involves identification of the work that needs to be accomplished in order for products and/ or services to be delivered. Furthermore, the scope should include product features that define its status in the end product.
According to (Demkin & AIA 2008, p. 67), business requirements help define the scope for most projects. Furthermore, the requirements help in identifying the deliverables. He further says that the business requirements that define scope are of two types. Essentially, these product requirements translate to the features. They give a detailed account of the characteristics of the project outcomes. For instance the requirements for an oil refinery construction project will be determined by the type of crude oil that will be processed and quality of the materials that the refinery will be built with etc.
The other type of project requirements that define scope include process requirements that outline the interaction between people and products and products with other products (Cook 2007, p. 78). For instance a description of how oil moves from one point to another is a description of process requirements.
A good understanding of the above factors therefore helps a great deal in defining scope for one’s project design and implementation.
Critique of Presentation
The presentation was generally good with the literature emphasizing on the importance of project brief and scope. The inclusion of construction examples was good and helped in better understanding of the concept under study. There was a feeling however that more could have been done to include a diverse range of examples that could have covered the different areas hat different students study in.
Any Outcomes of Class Activities
A briefly explained scope of work content
Lock (2007, p. 54) says that a scope of work template must include all the following for it to be effective and all encompassing. The features include, a brief description of the whole project, a comprehensive description of the site where the work will be taking place, specified duration of the project, a list of the good and services required and the timeline or schedule. A sample of the scope of work is described below.
Name of the company
The information here include mane of the company, its ownership and the location of the project. It may also include the source of funding of the project.
This section gives some overview about the project and the company. Sometimes it may include the rationale of carrying out the project.
A brief introduction of the project is done including the various tasks that will be involved.
All the goals and aims of the project are mentioned in this section. Additionally, one can include the company’s mission statement as well as the vision.
Scope of work
This section explains how work will be planned and executed.
All tasks that will need t be performed will be outlined in this section.
A short timeline of the tasks to be completed and their estimated time are revealed in this section
Week Four: Design for Outcomes
Synopsis of the lecture
The lecture dwells on the subject of design and project management, more or less the theme in the preceding lectures. The main idea however in the project is the depreciation factor of all projects. The lecture uses the business concept of depreciating assets to highlight on the idea of capitalizing on the project while it’s new. According to Norm Jackson, the time to make the most out of a project is in its beginning. The lecture highlights on the life cycle of an asset to stress on the point of opportunity of a project in its early stages. The lecture utilizes the concept of the asset to highlight on the project elements of end life options, success rate and the cost model. To further emphasize the importance of making an opportunity out of the project, the lecture introduces the concept of system effectiveness and design adequacy. According to the lecture, the above must be observed if the outcomes of the project will be optimal.
System outcomes do make a big part of the lecture considering the other main idea is the outcomes of the project. To expound further on this part, the lecture concentrates on operational performance, technical performance, system readiness and reliability and maintainability. The lecture aims to link the above factors to the design process of the project and how critical they are in project determining project success.
What I learnt
In the lecture it’s easy to notice the subtle importance of project design to the overall success of the project. The outcome is dependent on many factors that involve many stakeholders as well as processes. The main idea, one learns from the lecture is that the time to take advantage of the project and gain maximum benefit is in its prime. That includes the time slightly after implementation is complete and the teething problems are over. Due to depreciation, it’s important the project design critically looks at aspects such as maintainability, reliability and disposal of the project.
It’s important to note that in this regard, the project is compared to an asset that loses its value over time hence the need to put in place measures to mitigate this loss of value. In other words, project design underpins the whole process of project management and it’s the determinant to meeting the desired deliverables. The deliverables as said above must be reliable, maintainable and must meet the technical standards set by stakeholders.
Relevance to your work Place or Field
It’s important that architects employ the all round view when designing structures. That way they are able to address unforeseen challenges that may hinder optimal operation of the project in the long-term. Also important is the need to design projects in such as a way that they don’t become obsolete, and in ways that they can be easily managed and modified according to the prevailing situation. Most important however is the need for architects to design projects that meet the standards desired and that produce the deliverables that are needed. In the construction of oil structures for instance, there is a great deal of creativity, research and vision that is need because of the immobility of the structures and difficulties involved in modifying them. Maintainability and long-term survival to meet changing demands of the dynamic oil industry are essential in the architectural designs of the oil infrastructure.
One to Two Relevant articles from Literature
According to Ratliff (2003, p. 32) outcomes are the positive changes and benefits that result from a project’s work. Some outcomes are clear while others are obvious and measurable. Other outcomes on the other hand may be difficult to observe and measure. Lock (2007, p. 90) says that outcomes depend on the nature of work being done and can be immediate, intermediate and long-term.
When designing for quality in any field including architecture and engineering its important that project managers consider guiding principles as laid down by Cook (2007). They include utility, shared ownership, transparency, decision and action oriented credibility and flexibility.
Critique of presentation
The presentation is wide and in-depth and rightly so. However, its complexity is so much that the learner easily gets lost along the way. There is an overemphasis on the asset concept which somehow loses meaning on its connection with project design and management. The explanations given on the bits on outcomes and maintainability and reliability are quite in order. There is an open failure to adequately connect the two concepts of asset depreciation and project deliverables and depreciation. Overall, there is need to reduce the amount of information that is given in explain asset management and depreciation and instead concentrate on project design, utilization, maximization, maintenance, reliability and revamping. That way, the presentation will be more clear, coherent and on point in delivering the main point-project design and outcomes.
Any Outcomes of Class Activities
Investigate one topic in Detail
Managing expectations is basically, learning or deploying measure to control what people expect from you. Expectation management, according to Banerjee & Anastasia (2011, p. 88), can be done on the levels shown in the pyramid below.
Banerjee, T. & Anastasia (2011, p.176) say that if one promises to under deliver and over delivers, then customers are bound to be surprised. He adds that customers‘s expectations can be easily managed through suspense. The ease with which one places his/her customers in suspense will determine how their expectations are managed. Satisfying, sacrificing and surprising are not the best ways to manage customers’ expectations.
Week Five: Value Management
Synopsis of the Lecture
This lecture is chiefly about one of the elements of the project environment tackled in lecture one. Value management is comprehensively explained in the lecture through definition, types, the process, phases, information and functional analysis.
The different types of value are presented regardless of their association with project design or note. The main aim of the lecture at this stage is to introduce to the learner the concept of value and its importance to everyday life. According to the lecture, understanding this section is important to understanding the whole value element in project design.
The lecture also dwells on the value management process, a basic process through which an engineering or architectural professional learns on how to determine value of a project in project design. Besides the value process, the lecture also deals with the project phases that include information, functional analysis, creative/speculation, evaluation of options, and planning/ final reporting. Information in the lecture about these phases pretty much sums up the necessary training that a project design professional needs to ensure the project meets its acquires its value in the long run.
What I learnt
From the lecture, it’s clear that value is an important aspect of the design process. The most important lesson for any learner in the lecture is the importance of understanding values and its meaning to project design process. An appreciation of the importance of value is primary to project design and implementation success. The lecture also points out to obstacles that exist in the way of value development including management decisions, corporate pressures and human weakness.
Relevance to our work place
Value management is as important as other aspects that have been tackled in the previous lectures. The project design process in oil companies such as ARAMCO is very value dependent. Architecture being the main engine of project design must incorporate all aspects of value management. Given the interdependence of the elements of the project environment, architects will find it useful to learn about value management. Knowledge about value management will come in handy especially when architects are designing projects that will last in the longrun. This is done through understanding of the concept of asset depreciation.
One or two relevant articles from literature
According to Kaufman (2009, p. 12) value management involves the systematic review of all the important functions of a project to ensure value for money is realized. Kaufman (2009, p. 16) on the other hand defines value management as the service that helps in maximizing the functional value of a project through concept management from initiation to completion. It also involves commissioning through audit examination of the decisions using the owner/ developer’s value system as basis. Value management involves an overall view of the facility or project function and also its capital as well as recurrent costs. Standing (2001, p. 55) says that value management completion is mandatory in many projects management. It’s normally undertaken after the completion of Investment Evaluation. Value management studies can be done at any phase of a project cycle of the capital investment process.
Standing (2001, p. 60) concurs with the lecture information through the assertion that value management is composed of various phases including, the informational, objectives, functional analysis, creativity, evaluation, development and reporting and recommendation phases (2001, p. 5).
Critique of the presentation
The presentation delivers the information on value management is a systematic and simple manner that is quite appealing. There information is well researched and coherent hence easy to understand. However, there is an overemphasis on the aspect of value while management is left out. After the presentation, one has a feeling that there as a bit of disconnection between the two perspectives- value and management. However, due to the elaborate discussion of value a learner can easily connect the two elements of value and management to make meaningful understanding out of it.
Any outcomes of Class activities
Value Management Case Studies
An examination of two case studies carried out by Constructing Excellence firm.
Constructing Excellence (CE) carry out value management programs in all projects they are involved in. tools such as interviews and reviews are used in value management by the firm where they evaluate the project requirements and available ways of achieving them. According to the firm, the value management process is conducted according to the level of risk associated with it. As shown in the table below for instance, value management is an absolute necessity for projects that have high value and high risk. For strategic security and tactical profit projects, there is need but stakeholders have to really insist on the procedure to be undertaken. For the tactical acquisition projects, value management is really not necessary.
Source: Lock, D. (2007) Project management. NY: Routledge.
In all its value management exercises, CE employs the services of value managers and facilitators.
Some of the case studies where CE has been involved in value management include Value Management in London Underground and Value Management in Pizza Hut UK. The London project required improvements that were aimed at improving passenger comfort and the functional running of the station. The project aimed at incorporating asset improvements while minimizing disturbance. Due to the reductions in capital, there was need for savings on the implementation of the project.
An intensive workshop of value management was carried out that helped the client to slash expenditure by half while a significant portion of the intended benefits were achieved.
In the other project, CE was undertaking refit project for Pizza Hut. The project involved huge costs (Pizza Delivery Units) at an estimated/budget value of £145,000 each, amounting to a programme value of over £3.5 million) that needed value management. After three workshops of value management, the cost opf the project was reduced to a total of £14,000 per project was saved, equivalent to £350,000 capital cost on the whole programme (CE 2004, p. p2).
Banerjee, T. & Anastasia, L.S. (2011) Companion to Urban Design. NY: Cengage Learning.
Conley, A. (2008) Design for quality: the case of open source software development. NY: Routledge.
Cook, M. (2007) The design quality manual: improving building performance. London: McGraw Hill.
Demkin, A.J. & AIA. (2008) The architect’s handbook of professional practice. NY: Macmillan Publishers.
Gordon, M et al. (2010) Total Quality Process Control for Injection Molding. Burlington: Infobase Publishers.
Huang, G.Q. (1998) Design for Quality: Principles and Techniques. London: Sage Publications.
Hoyle, D. (2006) ISO 9000 quality systems handbook. NY: McGraw Hill.
Kaufman, J. (2009) Value Management. NY: Thomsons Learning.
Lock, D. (2007) Project management. NY: Routledge.
Ratliff, T. (2003) The laboratory quality assurance system: a manual of quality Control. Berlin: Springer
Standing, N. (2001) Value Management Incentive Program: Innovations in Delivering Value. London: Sage Publications