Project management is an important aspect of every business or organizational endeavor. There should be a detailed plan, key performance indicators, and skilled personnel to ensure that a project sees its satisfactory completion. ‘The Woody 2000 Project is under scrutiny in this case and will be examined paying attention to the areas of facility’s start-up and closure.
Early warning signs on how the project was initiated
To begin with, it is important to re-examine the mistakes that were committed during the project initiation. At the time of project initiation, the mini-economic boom was a good opportunity for management to cash on, and the managers were justified on the timing of the project. In the contrary, however, they failed to address critical issues before the commissioning of the project. (Project Closeout, 2001). First, there were no clearly defined goals for the project in line with the company’s mission. This led to conflict within the top management that almost derailed the project.
Secondly, even after the final decision had been made to go on with the project, Spencer Moneys lacked project managerial skills, and this was further worsened by the lack of competent project staff or team members (Introduction n.d.).
Third, there was the lack of unilateral support for top management which had conflicting interests as seen in their often heated board room deliberations. Lastly, there was poor planning in terms of budgeting, laying down proper time frames, assigning responsibilities and regarding other critical planning issues. To add on that, there were no clear channels of communication between top management with other project team members, in addition to lack of consultation with the targeted clients. These early warning signs indicated that the project could not provide any guarantees for success in the near future, in spite of these shortcomings, the project manager carried on with project execution.
Project execution and control
According to the best practice, there should be a well set mechanism of execution and control that includes issues of management of key components (CSSQ), control and monitoring of risks, management of execution and ensuring the project gains acceptance from the various interested parties or the stakeholders who are to be always considered for project success. (Project Management 2008)
For instance, a new member, Ian Leadbetter, was not well oriented in the company’s affairs and there was a lack for the review in the materials to be used in the project. When it was discovered, the new designs were needed, and the new team member was absorbed more in changing the system of operating, which was the train component of the project, than in the overall management of the project. For sure, this was a serious violation of project management procedures.
There was lack of a definite schedule to be followed in the project, and by not defining the project scope; the construction team had to come to terms with the error when there was need for expansion arising from lack of planning on the part of construction.
The execution was also not well managed; the areas of control, solving of some burning issues, communication channels and transition, among others, lacked necessary leadership and coordination. For example, we are told that when the lead team mangers were on leave, a junior staff neglected the approval of the required drawings for certain critical equipment, thereby delaying the delivery for two weeks which further compromised the overall project’s schedule (Startup n.d.).
Performance success indicators
The Woody 2000 project failures could have been eliminated if the management had enlisted key success indicators to act as a yard stick for the various activities. The best practice classifies the key success factors into five broad categories in terms of project management, team, scope and timeline, as well as organization and external environment. The project’s quality should never be overlooked at any costs because it may have a negative effect on customer response in terms of buying decisions.
The project should have, therefore, had evaluation criteria after completion or during closure. This paper adopts the four key components of measuring project performance which include cost, schedule, scope and quality.
First, the schedule was a major indicator in this case. The project relied on the economic boom at that period and was to change with time. In addition, it depended on speculations on the issue of free trade opportunities that were to arise. It was, therefore, important that the project followed its schedule in order to benefit from the boom that was the main reason that brought the project’s idea in the first place.
Secondly, the cost was to be the next issue brought to a focus. The initial financial estimates should have catered for adjustments due to changes in interest rates or inflation. The project manager simply allocated cash distributed in an undetermined ratio throughout the project on a pure speculative approach rather than consulting experts on project finance. The rest of the indicators were to be followed in no particular order of preference.
Introduction: The Custom Woodworking Company – Woody 2000. n.d. Web.
Project Closeout. (2001). In NYS Project Management Guidebook (pp. 265-298). New York: New York State Office for Technology. Web.
Project Management. (2008). In Public Procurement Directorate (Ed.) Public Procurement Best Practices Guide. (pp. 1-145). Republic of Cyprus: Treasury of the Republic of Cyprus. Web.
Startup: The Custom Woodworking Company – Woody 2000. n.d. Web.