I have a wide experience in the construction and architectural industry dealing with all kinds of constructions of all structures. This has enabled me to oversee various types of building projects. When I was working as a project supervisor, I monitored employees’ performance on several structural tests in soils and concrete columns and slabs. I have worked in the project team on different tasks like project design, consultation, and tests.
Sometimes I observed these projects up to their completion, and this has given me immense experience in this area. It has also given me a competitive advantage over other project managers of my age. One of the projects that we worked on in the team was that of building a residential villa. This was a large villa, which was 8.500 square feet in measurements. It rests on 18,000 square feet of land, which has beautiful scenery of the ocean view.
The villa has three floors, nine smart bedrooms, five living rooms, and twelve bathrooms. It also has an extensive game room, a swimming pool, and an attraction recreation yard. These guidelines were given by the owner and sponsor of the project before the start of the construction of the residential villa to act as a guide to get what was required by him (Carbone & Tippet, 2004).
I did a very inclusive work of managing all the operations of the project to the end and solved all problems that arose in the project process. For instance, I ensured that all activities in the construction process were flowing well in the right schedule. This was after a tough search for the contractor with whom to work with. This was a tasking experience of managing a large number of people from different backgrounds, both in education and ethnicity but it was possible because I had the necessary management qualities. I also ensured that the necessary building materials were available at the construction site at the right time.
The project took eight months and nineteen days to complete. This was under tough supervision and monitoring quality maintenance. This prevented unnecessary chaos that accrues to substandard structures in places of residence and elsewhere. I ensured that a proper drainage system was installed in the area to prevent unhygienic conditions in the residential villa and produce a high-quality villa, hence attracting people to rent them.
My choice of the project was very appropriate since it enabled me to gain enough experience as a manager of the construction process and implement the skills learned. The project was very involving to me as a manager, as I had to be at the construction grounds almost throughout the project process as per the requirements of the exam, thus, I was able to note all areas and processes of the project step by step. It was also very technical, requiring proper and informed guidance on its operations. This meant that my presence in the undertaking of the project was very crucial for its success.
I carried out different tasks in managing the construction of the residential villa. This was in a clearly illustrated work breakdown structure. For instance, I was responsible for clearly defining what the project was meant for, whereby I worked with a contractor to do the job under the instructions of the owner of the villa. I planned the activities of the project giving details of the tasks, related tasks, and their clear durations of occurrence and deadlines. It was also my responsibility to oversee the execution of the project, and also to ensure successful closure of the project after all the construction activities had been carried out including payment of all the workers.
Detailed Description of the Project
This project involved the construction of a residential villa, which would accommodate a minimum of five families. The construction had to be as close as possible to the magnificent ocean so that the families could enjoy the beauty of the scenery. This construction was also supposed to house five living rooms, twelve baths, a large game room, a spacious swimming pool, and a yard for the family members to relax outside their rooms. The residential villa was constructed on level ground, and the necessary standards for the building were adhered to as provided by the standards assurance bureau (Project Management Institute, 2002).
I choose the project because it was very interesting and could offer a very good opportunity for me to exercise my project management skills. I evaluated the project very well before undertaking it. The project was scheduled to last for eight months and nineteen working days when everything had to be ready as planned. It was carried out by a contractor working with 54 skilled and non-skilled workers (Project Management Institute, 2002).
The project was managed in a well-detailed process, as shown in the below subtopic. This is a very clear structure of the activities, roles, and responsibilities of the project manager. The work breakdown structure was developed by the manager before the start of the project. This was to help him carry out his project management role efficiently. It also prevented unnecessary delays in the process of executing the project (Project Management Institute, 2002).
How the Project has Managed Versus How It Should Have Been Managed
The project was carried out procedurally as I directed. It was scheduled to last for eight months and nineteen days. As the project manager, I was working under the instructions of the owner and the sponsor of the residential villa. The contractor who was doing the construction acted under my instruction. Also, the workers employed by the contractor or the subcontractors acted under my instructions. The residential villa was to be used by the owner to rent out to different residents. The project involved different activities, as illustrated in the figure below (Project Management Institute, 2002).
During the second procedure, I planned the project by clearly laying out the details of the project, including the way the activities would be carried out, those responsible for different tasks, and also the deadline for each task. I ensured that all these details were given to avoid unnecessary delays and hence avoid extension of the deadline. The project was to be run by the chief contractor who worked with a team of 54 workers, both skilled and non-skilled, who helped with manual work and keeping of records.
I set out a time plan for the contractor, for each activity, from laying the foundation up to the final touches. For instance, the foundation was set for completion in five weeks of utmost, and by that time the workers were expected to start working on the wall construction (Kliem & Anderson, 1996).
In this planning stage, I also identified different constraints to the construction process and provided ways to mitigate them. These constraints included resources, especially money that was required to fully accomplish the project, and the time required to complete it. This was the budgeted amount available for the construction process. I had to manage the time well to make sure that the project was through by the end of eight months.
To ensure this, I had to be very strict on the time allocated for each activity in the construction process. The third constraint was the scope of the project since the construction project had very many tasks to be carried out. The scope entails all that must be done to produce the project’s result. The contractor was, therefore, constrained on how to manage the multiple tasks effectively, and within the time frame. The above constraints occurred, as shown in the following triangular figure. (Project Management Institute, 2002).
All the three constraints are competing in nature whereby an increase/decrease in one of the constraints leads to a considerable change in the other two constraints. For instance, a tight schedule means that the scope reduces and the cost of the project rises. Therefore, I had to monitor the three constraints well to ensure that they balance and bring out the results as I had planned at the beginning of the project.
It was also my responsibility to ensure that all the activities that I had planned were implemented in the right way and at the right time. In this stage, I had also to ensure that high-quality standards were maintained to avoid substandard results in the long-run. I coordinated all the resources; people, time, and money to ensure that they worked together in unison and produce the desired fine final result. It was also my responsibility to ensure that all the tasks that were undertaken and that plans were in compliance with the end product that was targeted (Kliem & Anderson, 1996).
I monitored and controlled the construction project to note and make sure that the activities involved were flowing smoothly and in a sequential and planned manner. This was to enable me together with the construction team to identify any potential problems in the execution process and solve them in a good time to avoid distractions from the main target. It involved measuring the continuing project activities, monitoring the variables of the project like cost and scope for compatibility with the management plan. This also helped to properly identify the corrective measures to solve any emerging issues and risks.
The task of monitoring and controlling the project was a bit involving and sometimes required a lot of knowledge that I did not possess, therefore, I did not cover it adequately. This was especially the part of cost-benefit analysis, value benefit analysis, and expert surveys. I had to apply effective control systems on cost, communication in the construction process, risks, quality, time, and human resources, among others (Kwak & Anbari, 2008).
The final task in managing the project was the closure of the project, which included acceptance of the work done by the residential villa owner. It also entailed the presentation of the drawing of the building constructed together with the lessons learned in the construction process, challenges and problems, and how they could be solved. This came after finishing the construction, closing the project, on approval by the owner of the residential villa, and after making all necessary payments to the contractor. It also involved getting standards assurance and approval from the responsible authorities (Project Management Institute, 2002).
The project was terminated after the construction of the residential villa. It was successful since the residential villa building was completed and all debts accruing to the project were settled. All the workers who were involved in the project were very satisfied that it was completed successfully. The building was termed as very useful by the users and the builders were recommended for other related works. The contractor and I as the project manager were involved in the post-project briefing to the owner of the villa so that they would be able to instruct the users of the facility to ensure that it is properly used.
Assessment of the Strengths and Weaknesses of the Project Management
I was able to co-ordinate people of all levels in the construction process, ranging from the skilled to the non-skilled workers. I ensured that the tasks assigned to every worker were done well and remained popular with everyone. I was self-motivated and did not get distracted and bored in the process of managing the project since it gave me self-fulfillment. This contributed to the smooth running of the work and ensured that it was completed within the set time since there were no discontinuations due to any form of failure. As a project manager, I maintained a good working environment for all workers in the construction of the residential villa.
There were no unnecessary distractions, and conflicts were properly settled, immediately they arose. I carried out proper planning for the project and managed the time well, such that no activity was done past its deadline. This includes preparing the work breakdown schedule, whereby I carried out my roles accordingly, which boosted my performance. As a project manager, apart from being mindful of my fellow workers, I was task-oriented. This contributed to the completion of the project within the set time duration (Project Management Institute, 2002).
As a project manager, I did not effectively involve other team members well in the overall task performance. I was very sure that I would do it alone without the help of other people in my team. I would have been more efficient in my management if I involved people than just giving them guidelines on how to achieve high-quality results. I provided an inadequate explanation of ideas and changes in the process and deadline.
It was my responsibility as the project manager to provide all the explanations to the team that was carrying out the construction of the residential villa. This would help them by improving their skills and knowledge rather than blindly following instructions. Another weakness that I noticed in my management of the project is the inability to motivate people to continue working in support of the project. This would ensure fulfillment and faster achievement of the goal(s) and also finishing the project within the set deadline (Project Management Institute, 2002).
Assessment of the Project Outcomes and Shortcomings
The project closure was before the deadline and was completed efficiently as noted by all the workers and stakeholders. This is owed to the good management skills coupled with good co-operation from all the parties involved. The result was very appealing to the owner and sponsor of the residential villa, and he recommended the good teamwork maintained by all the participants in the projects. The residential owner also commended the good management skills portrayed by the project manager throughout the project. The outcomes were mostly positive and supportive of the work done by the construction team. There were generally no major shortcomings in the project.
The major challenge was that some sub-contractors did not supply the building materials in a good time. However, this problem was solved by immediately contacting another subcontractor to supply the raw materials. This was possible because the suppliers had not yet been paid for supplying the materials and so it was easy replacing them with other reliable suppliers. There was also the issue of changes that I made on the schedule of the project. For instance, the project had to start a month later than scheduled due to the change of the suppliers of the building materials. This frustrated the chief contractor and his very prepared workers, but they were able to understand the importance of the delay and start their work later after the brief inconvenience (Winston & Hoffman, 2005).
There was another problem whereby the owner of the residential villa changed the architectural drawings after they had a final agreement with the contractor. This caused unnecessary delays since the contractor had to look for new workers and train them on how to work with the new design. This problem, however, lasted just for a while, and the management was able to fix it is a good time before it caused a delay in the time scheduled for the project (Project Management Institute, 2002).
The Relationship between Success of the Project and Its Management
The project was completed within the set period. This was due to the proper management skills of the project manager and the self-motivation aspect that he portrayed throughout the project duration. The project manager was very committed to fulfilling his task and acted as a role model to all the workers who followed his spirit of working and achieving the set targets and goals. The project manager had proper interpersonal skills and was able to set up a good channel of communication to and from everyone in the project.
For instance, he ensured that every work related to each other cordially, and conflicts were resolved before they became too complex to the extent of leading to the failure of the organization. He initiated workers’ motivation procedures, whereby all workers were paid according to the hours of work they committed to the work. Some bonus was also enjoyed by those who were skilled and those who completed their tasks in good time and started new tasks since this speeded up the completion of the project.
The project manager was time conscious. For instance, after learning about the delay in the delivery of the building materials, he immediately replaced the suppliers of materials. This helped in the completion of the project within the set deadline. Time management by the manager was one of his most effective strategies. The project manager contributed to the success of the project by selecting a qualified team to work with.
The contractor employed was very knowledgeable and was able to adjust to changes in the architectural drawing and train his workers on the new proposed design of the building. The teammates with whom the project manager worked also contributed, to a big extent, to the project success especially its completion within the set time and its high quality. The quality was testified by the workers themselves and also the direct users of the project or the occupants of the residential villa. They were the major contributors to the success of the project (Winston & Hoffman, 2005).
Conclusions reached after conducting this study
This study has been very useful in helping me implement the management skills that I had earlier learned in the lecture. It has broadened up my mind and opened up the capability for me to work as an efficient project manager in the future. This has been a very interactive study for me, and as such improved my interpersonal skills, putting me in a position to work in any organization. From the study, I have concluded that the success of any organization and project is mostly dependent on the manager. This is the one who influences every member of the organization to work in a certain direction and monitors their moves.
They do this to ensure that every act is directed towards the fulfillment of the target. The project managers can thus lead to the success or failure of the project depending on how they accomplish their management role. If, for instance, they isolate other members from the decision making role, then this will lead to failure of the project/organization (Project Management Institute, 2002).
The project manager must act as a link between all the workers in the organization, and the mediator when the need arises. This conclusion emanates from the shortcoming that occurred in the project, whereby the building materials were delayed by the suppliers. To solve this problem, the project manager replaced the supplier with another more reliable one. This shows the interrelationship between the project manager, the suppliers, and the contractor. This example is very useful in the actual operations of an organization in that members of an organization are not supposed to work in isolation from each other (Project Management Institute, 2002).
There should be unity to achieve a common goal, which should motivate any member of the organization to do anything that contributes to the success of the organization, regardless of their different roles. The manager is thus the engineer of a positive change and achievement of the goals of any organization. As such, they should play their part well to ensure the success of the organization or any project.
In the event of failure of the project/organization, they are the ones to blame. Also, in case of the success of the project, the project manager receives the highest and the best recommendations. This puts them in a better position to be entrusted with another task to manage and oversee its execution. They enjoy a bonus of commission from the initiator of the project for doing their work well. These are just but a few benefits of being a successful project manager of any organization or project (Project Management Institute, 2002).
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Kliem, R., & Anderson, H. (1996). Teambuilding Styles and Their Impact on Project Management Results. Project Management Journal, 16(1), pp. 1-8.
Kwak. Y.N., & Anbari, F.T. (2008). Analyzing project management research: Perspectives from top management journals. International Journal of Project Management, 27(2009), 435–446.
Project Management Institute (2002). The underlying theory of project management is obsolete. Newtown Square, Pa.: Project Management Institute.
Winston, M.D., & Hoffman, T.H. (2005). Project Management and Libraries. Journal of Library Administration, 42(1), 51–61.