The aim of this critical appraisal report is to give an analytical evaluation of the Sodor Oil Terminal Design, Planning and Construction project. The critical appraisal evaluates the project and how my team managed the project from the start to the end. The report considers all the phases of the project were managed in regard to the application of the relevant project management tools and techniques. The critical evaluation borrows from theories, project management journals, the case study, learning experiences and real-life experiences. The evaluation has established that the Sodor project was managed well and in consideration of the relevant project management tools and techniques. Supportive literature for the critical evaluation has mainly been drawn from re-known journals of project management.
Table of Contents
Title Page .1
Executive Summary . 2
Table of Contents ..3
Introduction . .4
Critical Review of how the Team Managed the Projet ..5
Critical Appraisal and Evaluation of the Project 7
I). Planning . .8
II). Monitoring and Control .. .. 10
III). Closeout .11
Conclusion . 12
References .. 14
I). Appendix 1: Baseline Plan .17
II). Appendix 2: Closeout Plan .18
(Manzoor, Ullah, Hussain, Ahmad 2011, P. 111; Ping & Ali 2011). From real life examples to the documented literature, alongside evidence-based research, it has been proved that a project cannot fail if the relevant project planning tools and techniques are employed appropriately. These tools and techniques include, appropriate planning, effective communication, working in teams, excellent problem-solving skills, change management skills, excellent execution of project strategy, Milestone checklists, Ghant chart, project reviews, monitoring and evaluation, delivery reviews and score cards among others (Baker 2006). As such, Sodor Oil Project is one that needed excellent project management skills in order to succeed.
project. Concluding remarks, together with recommendations will be given in the end. The MS Project Baseline Plan at the start and the Baseline Plan at the close out of the project will be attached in the appendix.
Critical Review of How the Team Managed the Project
The aim of the Sodor Project was to build an oil depot near Krik, Roman, on the isle of Sodor. The project was scheduled to take ninety-eight weeks. Burger & Josler, 2005).
As an initiation strategy, we scheduled regular weekly meetings and laid out our objectives as designing, planning, and constructing the oil terminal (Chan, Wong & Lan, 2005). The regular meetings were important for team-building (Bhuiyan, Islam, & Hoque, 2011, P. 62). AIDitionally, it was important to set specific objectives so that they could guide us towards achieving intended purpose. In the meetings, we discussed and emphasized the need for effective communication, interpersonal leadership skills, sharing goals, team roles and commitment towards the project. According to Huang (2013), shared leadership roles is a communal way of exercising leadership, and it is effective towards promoting the commitment of the members. After deliberations, we agreed to adopt the Huang recommendation of shared leadership. Under this arrangement, every member of the group had a chance of exercising leadership on the other members. The same idea has been supported by Murray, Sivasuburamaniam, Avolio, and Jung (2002), who argue that shared leadership enables a collaborative influence on the members of a group. For the purposes of control, we applied the team role theory as proposed by Beblin (Aritzeta, Swailes, & Senior, 2007). The application of team role theory was important to ensure that each member of the team knew their specific role. The initiative also enabled us to choose a manager and assign each member a specific role, according to their strengths, weaknesses, and professional expertise. The roles included project coordinator (manager), shaper, monitor, evaluator, resources investigator, counter finisher and implementer. The managers role included overseeing the entire project and coordinating the other members of the team, as well as assigning them duties (Baker & Day, 2006).
In line with the role of communication in the success of a project (Ramsing 2009), the team laid a strategy on how effective communication will be achieved throughout the life cycle of the project. Effective communication is necessary for every project as it enables the members to achieve the set objectives in the set timeline. According to Mazzei (2010), effective communication and information management guides in the setting up of the structures necessary for the management of the project. In this regard, it was a good decision for our team to decide to use different methods of communication that included phone calls, mails, text messaging, and others. After a review, the team agreed that we use a google group and a drop box to enable easy
, and it enabled us to follow the milestones of the project and the critical path. AIDitionally, we carried out different assessments, including environmental impact assessment and risk assessment. With the use of the Gant chart, we divided the project into different tasks that were manageable within short time periods. In line with the recommendations of Josler (2005) regarding effective planning, we strived to complete every task as per the set deadline. Our resource plan enabled us to deliberate on the needed resources and how to get them. After closing the project, we did a post-project review and closed the customer contract.
Critical Appraisal and Evaluation of the Project
According to Burger and Josler (2005), the management of a project involves planning, organizing, monitoring, controlling, and scheduling of the activities/tasks in order to achieve them in a pre-determined time. Judging from our perspective, it was pivotal and commendable that we had a project management methodology that enabled us to achieve our objectives. In this section, I will evaluate the project in line with the phases of planning, monitoring, control and closeout.
The planning phase of any project aims at organizing and guiding the project team members with a workable schedule that will enable them achieve the objective of the project (Prabhakar, 2008). According to Sudhakar (2012), a clearly set out plan also gives the sense of responsibility and accountability to every member of the project management team, enabling them to achieve the objective of the project within the set time.
With the Sodor Oil Project, we made use of the MS Project to guide us in scheduling the activities of the project from the start to the end. The Ghant chart enabled us to calculate the estimated time the project for the project. In the planning, we also made use of the critical path to monitor project activities as they were completed, and those that had challenges. Such an initiative enabled us to track any task that was derailing back on course. In line with effective utilization of resources, we came up with a budget for the project. Sun and Meng (2009) asserts that; there are changes that are likely to come up during project implementation. As such, the budget enabled us to control the resources and to take care of any upcoming costs. Lack of proper budgeting can lead to huge challenges (Latif, Baloch, Khan, 2011). For example, the Royal Navy Aircraft Carrier Project cost double the budgeted amount, leading to inconveniences with the completion of the project (BBC News 2013). Our team was cautious to carry out the appropriate cost estimates with considerations of possible shortcomings in order to avoid such problems.
Planning also involved drafting of a statement of work, a document that outlined the activities that will be carried out during project implementation. The statement of work also shows clearly had the project will deliver, and how the various tasks will be carried out. According to Sun and Meng (2009), a statement of work enables the parties involved in the project implementation to understand the various aspects of a project, including the size, duration, and the intended outcomes. Our statement of work for the Sodor project communicated to the various stakeholders regarding the aspects mentioned here. The planning phase also sets a baseline project plan, like the one we set for the Sodor Project. The baseline project plan shows the tasks and resource requirements that will guide the project implementation phase. It is important to mention here that, during the project execution phase, we reviewed our baseline frequently in line with new information.
As a very important tool in project management, we carried out a risk-management assessment for the Sodor Oil Project. This helped in the determination of the criteria needed for the completion of the project (Iyer & Reckers, 2008). Risk assessment of the Sodor project involved the definition of the sources of uncertainty, estimation of the likely consequences of the uncertain occurrence or condition, and the generation of response in regard to the expected outcome. According to Lawson (2005), risk assessment is an organized procedure that detects the degree and probability of consequences in a project. For example, the Sodor project relied on an external supplier to deliver construction materials. This was a source of risk in the case where the supplier would fail to deliver the materials. In the risk assessments, we focused on the use of new technology, the likelihood of failure of the new technology in use, the skills of the staffs, and the inexperience of any member in a manner that would be disastrous, among others.
We also did a quality assessment of the project to ensure that the vendors who supplied materials for the project met the International Standards Organization (ISO) standard. This was important in reducing the risk of project failure (Chen et al., 2005). The idea of quality assessment has also been supported by Bent (2005), who sees it as a major way of ensuring a project meets international standards. A good example of quality problems is the Wilderness AT Tire, in the year 2000, which led to the loss of 174 lives and the loss of $2.1 Billion to the company.
The nature of the project also required an environmental impact assessment. We carried out an environmental impact assessment in line with the recommendations made by Kabir & Momtaz (2013). According to these authors, such an assessment was necessary in a project like the Sodor Project in order to identify the likely effects of the project on the environment and reduce them. Indeed, it was also necessary to carry out the assessment in order to identify any unforeseen occurrences like oil spillage, which could occur due to leaks from pipes and would be disastrous to both human and aquatic life. An example is the famous Shell oil spillage at the Niger Delta, Nigeria, which affected both human and aquatic life. Further, it was necessary to conduct an environmental impact assessment in consideration of public and private health policy, both locally and internationally (Fischer & Jha Thakur, 2013).
- Monitoring and Control
Monitoring and control are important activities while the project is being implemented. According to Hamza (2009), monitoring and control enable the project management team steer up the project according to the plan. Through monitoring and control, the team assesses the progress of the project frequently in order to respond whenever here is needed. measures on time. In the Sodor project, the management faced challenges in the beginning, especially with the issue of selecting the suppliers. However, the management applied the
The role of monitoring and control of the Sodor Project was very evident in the success of the project. As supported by Chen et al. (2005), the process of monitoring and control enabled the management team to push suppliers and other responsibility holders to complete their tasks as scheduled. Such a measure enabled us to complete the project as per the set timeline. Challenges with the Jetty design also arose because we had chosen a vendor with a rating of 2. However, we evaluated the likely effects and aIDed payments to have the materials delivered on time as a measure of protecting the quality and the plan. The management team also strived to assess, and compare the progress to the baseline plan
III. The Project Closeout
A project needs a proper closeout after implementation in order to identify the lessons and register the teams motivation. According to Thomas (2011), the manner in which a project is closed out matter a lot because it determines whether the project meets its requirements or not. In the case of the Sodor Project, our team carried out a post-project assessment in consideration of the budget, set time and completion timelines. This was aimed at making sure that the project was completed fully, within the set time and as per the estimated resources (Huang 2013). The post-assessment also enabled our team to identify small tasks that had not been attended, and we attended to them immediately (Gudiene, Ramelyte, Banaitis 2013). The closeout was, however, a good opportunity to learn from the project. We made sure that we documented everything that took place in the whole process, since this would be necessary for future reference. Indeed, we did a final briefing session for the project and made came up with a report highlighting all the activities of the project, including the challenges we encountered and the recommendations for future projects. After the report, we did a project closure of the contract with the customer and delivered a final closeout baseline plan to them. The report showed that the project cost us 5,465,100.00 pounds. We made a profit of 1,895,900.00 pounds. We completed the project three weeks before the set time, which was a bonus on our side. After that, we did a celebration event to acknowledge the contributions of each individual in the groups achievement.
In sum, the critical appraisal of the Sodor Oil project shows that the project was carried out well as per the requirements of a successful project management. In this project, the project team considered the nature of the project that they were to undertake, and that made part of their planning. Monitoring and control. The management team considered the importance of project management tools and techniques as they embarked on the project. In the whole process, we worked as a team, and we instituted all measures to ensure that our teams were effective. We also reinforced the need for effective communication among the members of the project team. AIDitionally, we made sure that each member was conversant with their specific roles in the team. In the planning, we made use of the relevant tools such as the MS Project, the Ghant chart, and others. In the monitoring and control, we carried out various tasks, including the environmental impact assessment, quality assessment, and risk assessment. On post-assessment, we realized that we completed the project three weeks before the set time, and we recorded a significant profit. We carried out the closeout well and closed the contract with the client. In truth, the Sodor Oil Project was managed well.
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Appendix 1: Baseline Plan
Appendix 2: Closeout Plan