Saturday, September 12, 2009

Are Your Project Managers Working Too Hard to Be Successful?

Are Your Project Managers Working Too Hard to Be Successful?: "
The latest Standish Group report shows more projects failing and fewer successful projects.

‘This year’s results show a marked decrease in project success rates, with 32% of all projects succeeding which are delivered on time, on budget, with required features and functions’ says Jim Johnson, chairman of The Standish Group, ‘44% were challenged which are late, over budget, and/or with less than the required features and functions and 24% failed which are cancelled prior to completion or delivered and never used.’

So what is going wrong out there? Why are your projects being challenged in this way? Are your project managers perhaps working too hard to be successful for you?

Read the rest at ProjectTimes.


Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Construction Management for Contractor : Pre-tender Stage



Stage 1: Pretender / prebidding Planning or Management
Stage 1 will always taken place after contractor received notice of tender which usually being advertised through electronic medium or convention medium that is through news paper. Notice of tender also sometime being mailed to contractor by the parties who call for the tender. This type of tender usually call invited tender.
The duration taken for completion of this stage heavily depend on the following;

  1. Type of tender: Conventional, Design and build or invited tender.

  2. Size or value of project .(Value of project most of the time is confidential by the party who call for tender .In Malaysia scenario the value of project will determine the category of contractor that can participate in the tender.

  3. Amount of information that needs to be disclosing by the tenderers.
In normal practice, the duration of the tendering process for Design and Build tender is from four (4) weeks to 3 months and usually it being break into two (2) stages which are prequalification stage and tender stage. The information that needs to be submitted during the tendering stage is the background of the contractor such as

  1. financial background

  2. current project

  3. previous experience

  4. registration as required under the condition of prequalification

  5. Plant, machineries or equipment of the contractor

  6. Professional (qualified technical and administration) staff of the contractor.
After screening by the party who call for tender, the contractor who pass the requirement of the prequalification will be notify and they are required to submit a complete tender document. This process is call prebidding stage or tender stage. At this stage, contractor will start to engage the following professional;

  1. Design team to do the design for them.

    1. Professional Architect

    2. Professional Civil Engineer

    3. Professional Structure Engineer

    4. Professional Project Manager Consultant

    5. Professional Mechanical Engineer

    6. Professional Electrical Engineer and

    7. Professional Quantity Surveyor
The design team then will come out with the tender drawing or plan that will be submitted together with the tender document. The role of the project manager is to come out with the proposed work program with the help of all parties to feed him the relevant data in order for him to develop an almost accurate work program which then resulted to the duration of construction period that is needed to accomplish to work.
Where as, for the Professional Quantity Surveyor will work on the builder cost inclusive of all preliminaries and generally item which then will be compiled to form a complete tender document.
As for Conventional tender contractor will only have to submit their pricing and background information. The background information is the same as the Design and Build prequalification stage.
Under the pretender planing or management, In general, it will involve the following stage;

  1. Decision to participate in tender

  2. Purchase of tender document

  3. Pre tender meeting

  4. Construction method

  5. Cost Estimate stage

  6. Pretender work program

  7. Decision on overall tender pricing to be submitted and

  8. Submission of the tender document.

All of the information provided above is a good practice in pretender planing or management. In actual of fact, the above mention stages and information heavily depend on the organisation it self. Different organisation have different approach on how their pretender planing or management going to be. Some of the stages might no be necessary for small scale project which intended for small scale contractor which the owner himself could be able to do all the stages. This mean that the above stages, especially the pre tender meeting is not required. Then this stage will not be applicable to them.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Top reason why a project fail

Reason Why a Project Fail

In everyday life there are a lot of changes that always take place. The change have become more and more significant when there is monetary value involve. This have been a big challenge to anybody and it always the case that wether we want to face it or run away from it. When oneself decide to do away with the changes and run away from the challenges, we will never going to improve or move forward but instead of being successful we are already doom before we go to the battle field. In Construction Industry the same principal is applicable.
In managing a construction project, client, consultant and contractor, all of them will never run away from facing the unique of the challenges. They always try to find a way to solve the issue. For the new comer in this industry, there is no project that is going to be the same with the other. Each of them will come with a unique problem due to the nature of this field, that is, we are dealing with human and nature which is unpredictable. Therefore we must be ready to face the challenge.
The worst nightmare for client, Consultant and Contractor and they always try to avoid is project failure. Before we go further into this topic, let us define what "Project Failure"is.
Under this scope of discussion, "Project", simply mean a construction work in whole and "Project Failure " mean construction that was done or completed or even being call off because of it does not meet the real target or purpose of it or due to the budget constrain either on the contractor side or client side.
From contractor prospective, project failure is a construction project that does not bring in positive income or profit but only losing more money and tarnish contractor reputation. The same idea goes with consultant. However for the owner or client or stakeholder, project failure means that the project which has been completed or not completed and handed over to them is a project that does not serve the correct purpose or functionality. It only becomes a waste of time and money.
With the simple definition of "project failure", now we are ready to go and dig deep inside what the root cause is of or the reason why a project fail.
The main root cause of this is failure to plan. What is the significant of planing with project failure? Project planing not just about doing the estimate budget and estimate of time required to complete a project, but it allow the owner of the project to see the following;
  1. what is the purpose of the project,
  2. The scope of work of the project,
  3. What are the degree of cost that will involve,
  4. What are the resources they need in order to make the project a successful project,
  5. The duration needed to complete the whole project,
  6. What are the rule and regulation they have to fulfil,
  7. How they can reduce the project cost without jeopardise the quality of work, and
  8. What are the risk they have to take and how to mitigate it and last but not least
  9. What is the return they will get if they invest in this project?

Even with all the listed above there is still risk that nobody can predict before the event take place. The risk that I mentioned here is risk of uncertainty that ranging from global economic to the labour of workforce issue.

Sunday, September 6, 2009


Top Vital Step in Successful Construction (Part 3): Work Program
As discussed in part 2, the important item that must never being neglected is Work Program. For this discussion, we will go through a sample of a work program as shown below.

The above sample was developed by the aid of Microsoft Project 2002 software.
The work Program above is consisting of numbers of column.
The first column is the "I" column that represent the information of the following column such as the work listed in the following column have not been started even though it supposed had been start or it also collect the status of the work in the following column wether the work is behind , on time or ahead schedule.
The Second column: Task – The column where all the job or work that required to complete a project successfully being listed. All of the listed item in this column can be organise in phases. For example; One of the main Work that need to be done is building work. Under the main work there are still another few more item that need to be completed such as Piling work, beam work, slab work, column work, roof beam work, roofing work, brickwork and many other that required in order to construct a fully functional building.
The Third Column: Duration – The column where the period or number of day/months/year that is needed to completed one task. Each task might have same number of days/months/years/ or it could also be different which highly depend on the resources that are allocated for the task. However the sample above does not show the resources allocated for each task.
The Fourth column : Start
In this column we can insert as when we want a task to start which is to be more accurate the date of the task to start. This column also being auto calculate by Microsoft project it self if the task is depend on the other task that need to be completed first before the next task can start. For example; refer to item 3 and 4 under Column ID.
The Fifth Column: Finish – This column normally being govern by the duration of each task that we insert in the second column and the dependency of the task. Let choose that we want Microsoft project to calculate and insert the finish date of a task we only need to determine and key in the duration that we need to complete the task. The next data required by Microsoft project before it can calculate the targeted date to finish a task is weather the task is independent or dependent. For example item 3 under ID column, The duration is 6 days, the start date is on 1/9/2009, therefore the finish date calculate by Microsoft project will be on 7/9/2009.
The sixth Column: % complete – In this column we will enter the percentage of a task complete when we update the status a task. If a task is already completed, than in this column we can enter the number to 100. The value of this column must be 0 – 100. 0 indicate the tasks have not yet start and 100 indicate the task already completed. However for the work Program above all value under this column is "0" due to the project have not started and the work program above is just an estimate for discussion purpose.
The next area in the work program is all the bar chart. This bar is as a result of the information that we enter in the first to the Sixth column. This is called Gantt chart. This Gantt chart will show how the dependencies between tasks are, when it starts and finish and also the important portion are the bar which are red in colour. The bars that colour red are all the critical path / task in this construction project. Delay in any of the task will resulted in the construction project not being able to be completed within the agree construction period if the is no drastic action taken to improved the output of the delay task. For example a critical task is delay, at the current situation the task only being carried out during day time, due to the result of the task being delay, the team can be push to work 24hours or resources for this task need to be increase in order to catch up with the delay.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Project management Software

This is another good Project mangement Software that manager need know. This video clip will show you How to create master work program by the aid of this computer software. Check this video out and enjoy it.