Project Management Methodologies: Evaluation And Continuous Improvement

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Project Management Methodologies: Evaluation And Continuous Improvement

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Project Management Methodologies: Evaluation And Continuous Improvement

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Discuss about the Project Management Methodologies for Evaluation and Continuous Improvement.

Continuous improvement plan for the Engineering and Construction Fit Out project
A  continual  improvement process, often referred to as a continuous improvement process can be defined as  those sets of continuous efforts  made by  project teams  and manager that  are directed towards the further development of the  services and  products  to be delivered to the  client at the completion of the project, or  towards the enhancement of the processes that are being utilized for  conducting the project (Barnett et al. 2016).
The primary objective of this essay is to present a continuous improvement plan to be used in a engineering and construction project.  A short discussion would be made on the background of the project, so as to provide the audience of the paper with a clear context of the essay. In the next step, references to some continuous improvement theories, as reflected in existing literary works, would be   made. This   particular section would be followed by the description of the continuous improvement plan proposed for the project.  Last but not the least, a concluding section of the essay would be presented, the section being aimed at comprehending the findings presented in the paper.
Background of the study: Defense Housing Australia or the DHA owns the property located at the 35 – 51 Queen Victoria Street Fremantle. The Toyota group held the possession of the said site previously: hence the site is also known as the Toyota Fremantle site.
The higher authorities of the Defense Housing Australia are currently aimed towards earning significant amount of revenue from their prized possession: they have expressed their interests  in  developing a residential  complex  in the said region. The tender released for   the construction of the said   complex indicate that the DHA  authorities   are  aimed at developing apartments for residential accommodations, while the  ground levels of these  apartments would be  sold out as commercial  or retail suites: the approximate  area of such  commercial sections being 13,000 to 15,000 square meters. Besides this, the tender documents also mentions the fact that the DHA aims to retain at least 60 ( which is approximately one third of  the total residential apartments being  constructed) so as to accommodate their  service personnel: the remaining  apartment and  commercial areas would be  sold out in  the open market.
The said   documents also indicate that the apartment units   having three, two and one bedrooms require to be constructed, along with parking region for private cars in the basement region.  On the other, the architectural designs  of the apartments have to be developed  in a  manner which ensures  all  commercial  suites  to  have  their frontage on the Queen Victoria Street.
Review of literature. Experts  Drost  and Chaney  (2014)  are of the opinion that continuous improvement  processes ensure   incremental enhancement of processes or  products,  which are considered to be much more effective than that  of breakthrough  improvement  processes  aimed at bringing about  drastic changes, all at one go.  The authors have also cited the  reason behind their  opinion: the  efficiency and  flexibility of continuous  improvement  methods are much effective at providing customized solutions than that of breakthrough improvement processes, as the concerns and the issues raised by the customers  can  be addressed to  when  enhancements are  included  in incremental fashion.
Researchers Kumar and Mittal  (2015) are of the opinion that every business organization, irrespective  of the domain they function  in must incorporate  simple strategies (or processes)   that   could be utilized in steadily enhancing their work  processes, thus meeting the external and internal  needs of the business in   a better  manner.   The authors identify the ‘simple processes’ to be the following:  planning an activity, performing the activity, studying the results of the activity and acting according to the said results (Duffuaa  and Raouf  2015).
Researchers Eaidgah  et al. (2016) have commented that the ‘planning’ phases is perhaps the most important part of the continuous improvement  process: organizations  require to  identify the work process  that need  to be improved to meet their  business (or  project)  goal in  a better manner.  As for example, organizations aimed at expanding their target   market need to concentrate on market domains   and the demography of   the customers whom they should target so as to fulfill the   said expansion plan (Owen  2013) .
However, the task of acting upon the plans designed and developed in the first stage is an equally important part of the continuous improvement process. Researchers Dunbar  and Sawa  (2013) are of the opinion that the while well developed and well documented  improvement   plans  are capable of   pin pointing the strategies,  activities and actions that can be utilized in bringing about incremental enhancements of   work  processes or products,  it is the  successful  completion of the ‘activity stage’ which determines the  effectiveness of  the   continuous improvement process.
The third phase  of the said process  is  associated with the  evaluation  of the activities performed in stage  one and two: researchers Kaupp  and Frank  (2015)  are of the opinion that  studying the changes incorporated in the system  (due to the actions performed in  stage1)  provides  a  valid evaluation  of the   said  actions (along with the plan   that identified it). The authors have utilized an example for supporting  their  comments: an organization  that is aimed at   improving the safety levels in the manufacturing  units requires study the impact of the continuous improvement  plan being used to do so.  Exerts Kaplan  and Atkinson  (2015) have commented that an  enhancement in the safety levels of  the factory would indicate  a successful  implementation  of the plan: whereas  a decrease (or no alteration) in the  safety  level  would indicate that the  said   plan  has been ineffective.
Once an evaluation of the  initial improvement plans and that  of the  actions taken for implementing  it has been conducted,  it  is needless to say that  the issues or problems identified by  the evolutionary study needs to be  worked upon.   According to April and Abran  (2012), in case the results of the actions taken are found to be favorable for the organization (or project) in consideration, the very same  plan  can  be continued to be put in to use. On the other hand,  in case  the  implementation of the said plans is  found to have generated  unfavorable  results for the  organization in  concern,  a revision  of the said plans becomes essential (Dessinger  and Moseley  2015) .
Authors Carver  and Klein  (2013)  have pointed out the factors that are essential for the successful implementation of   continuous improvement plans, a  full fledged  commitment   of  the   higher management being the first and  foremost  criteria. Next in line lies  the fact that all employees of  the organization ( or the entire   project team  in case a project is being considered)  should be  provided with  the  opportunity of  sharing the  opinion  about the  processes that need to be changed and  the manner   in which these processes can be changed for  better. The authors have also mentioned the fact that employees or project team members participating in the   improvement plan requires to be made aware of their roles and responsibilities in the said   process: besides which the authors advocate the utilization of proper management methodologies for  overseeing the performance and the contribution   of the employees in the said process. 
On the other hand, researchers Ulhassan  et al. (2015) consider the incorporation of well strategized and well documented communicational plans within an organizational infrastructure (or a project team) is essential for the successful implementation of a well drafted continuous improvement plan.  The authors have also emphasized on the fact   that providing the employees with appropriate skills trainings sessions also increases the chances of the improvement plan being successfully implemented.
Along with the above mentioned factors,  the incorporation of  the standardized quality assessment systems and efficient  performance measurement systems  are also  considered   to be  essential for  the effective utilization of  continuous improvement plans (Kamal,  Williams   and Liddle  2014).
Proposing a continuous improvement plan. This section of the essay is aimed at developing   a continuous improvement plan for the project aimed at developing the residential apartments (and the commercial sites) at the 35 – 51 Queen Victoria Street Fremantle, in a accordance to the plans provided in the DHA tender.  Since the project is still in the initial stage, the primary objective of the continuous improvement plan would be to decide on strategies and actions that   would be essential  for  the  success of  the project.  Thus, the  very first  activity that  needs to be performed  requires the project management team to research  on the factors that   have  led to the success  or failure  of similar projects: the entire effort  being aimed at documenting  the “to do” and “not to  do”  lists  of   the project. Besides this, the research work should also unveil the current trends in similar projects, along with the issues and   problems that teams handling similar  project  have  experienced.  The team requires to emphasize   in the lessons that can   be learnt from such projects, besides making an assessment of the current status of the project.
The participation of all members of the project team in identifying the processes that need to be improved, along with the other changes that might be   incorporated in the project, would put an end to the planning phase.
The plans developed in stage one needs to be acted up on in stage 2: and appropriate evaluation metrics should be utilized in this stage to measure the efficiency of the plans being acted upon.   In case   the plans being used are found to be less effective than what expected,   a change management process need to be conducted,  including the  identification of  the  changes that  need  to be included, their successful implementation, managing the process  of  incorporating the change and including  the change in a sustainable manner.
It is needless to say that the changes being incorporates would require further evaluation: thus resulting in a cyclic process.
Expected benefits of the continuous improvement plan. The discussions made in the sections above indicate that a wide range of management techniques and processes are used so as to ensure the systematic implementation of continuous improvement plan.  Needless to say all these efforts are aimed at reaping the benefits available   from such processes. Authors Jurburg et al. (2015)  have made an attempt of enlisting the most remarkable benefits of using a continuous improvement plan within an organization: the fact, that   the improvement of the business process eventually lead to an increase in the   financial profit of the organization in concern, tops their list.   The other organizational benefits include improvement   in the levels of client satisfaction, along with the increased job satisfaction of the employees leading to high staff morale (Hutchins 2012) .  Authors Yang,   Lee and Cheng (2016) have pointed out the fact that one of the very primary benefits of implementing continuous improvement plans is that the communication strategies utilized for inter organization   processes also improve the communications with the other stakeholders associated with the   project, thus resulting in the enhancement of the relationship that currently exists among them. Last but not the least, researchers Boltić  et al. (20116) point out the fact that the incorporation of the said plan would   also result in effective planning and utilization of resources available for the resources.
In the light of the discussions  made in the paper, it  can thus be   concluded that the  incorporation of a    simple continuous improvement plan consisting  of  a “plan-do-check-act” routine  would be extremely beneficial   to the DHA project in  consideration, both in terms  of  financial gains  and quality  of  products developed. The mangers of the project are thus being recommended to take the advantage of the  plan depicted in the paper and utilize it in an optimized  manner.
April, A. and Abran, A., 2012. Software maintenance management: evaluation and continuous improvement (Vol. 67). John Wiley & Sons.
Barnett, M., Carter, R., Murray, R. and Tiep, B., 2016. Long Term Management Of COPD Via A Clinical Guidance System: 14 Years Of A Continuous Improvement Model. In C66.’WALK THIS WAY’-UPDATE ON EXERCISE TESTS AND PULMONARY REHABILITATION (pp. A5729-A5729). American Thoracic Society.
Boltić, Z., Jovanović, M., Petrović, S., Božanić, V. and Mihajlović, M., 2016. Continuous improvement concepts as a link between quality assurance and implementation of cleaner production: Case study in the generic pharmaceutical industry. Chemical Industry and Chemical Engineering Quarterly, (00), pp.19-19.
Carver, C.L. and Klein, C.S., 2013. Action Research: A Tool for Promoting Faculty Development and Continuous Improvement in Leadership Preparation. International Journal of Educational Leadership Preparation,8(2), pp.162-177.
Dessinger, J.C. and Moseley, J.L., 2015. Confirmative evaluation: Practical strategies for valuing continuous improvement. John Wiley & Sons.
Drost, D. and Chaney, J., 2014. Core Course Outcomes Assessment and Program Continuous Improvement Using an Integrative Business Plan –an Empirical Evaluation. Developments in Business Simulation and Experiential Learning, 28.
Duffuaa, S.O. and Raouf, A., 2015. Maintenance System Performance, Productivity, and Continuous Improvement. In Planning and Control of Maintenance Systems (pp. 281-310). Springer International Publishing.
Dunbar, M. and Sawa, M., 2013, January. Use of Benchmarking to Identify Areas for Continuous Improvement among ABET-accredited Occupational Safety and Health Educational Programs. In ASSE Professional Development Conference and Exposition. American Society of Safety Engineers.
Eaidgah Torghabehi, Y., Maki, A.A., Kurczewski, K. and Abdekhodaee, A., 2016. Visual management, performance management and continuous improvement: a lean manufacturing approach. International Journal of Lean Six Sigma, 7(2).
Hutchins, M.D., 2012. Hoshin Kanri: the strategic approach to continuous improvement. Gower Publishing, Ltd..
Jurburg, D., Viles, E., Jaca, C. and Tanco, M., 2015. Why are companies still struggling to reach higher continuous improvement maturity levels? Empirical evidence from high performance companies. The TQM Journal,27(3), pp.316-327.
Kamal, S.Z., Williams, J. and Liddle, J., 2014, April. Continuous Improvement of Assets Through Existing and New Digital Oilfield Technology. In SPE Intelligent Energy Conference & Exhibition. Society of Petroleum Engineers.
Kaplan, R.S. and Atkinson, A.A., 2015. Advanced management accounting. PHI Learning.
Kaupp, J. and Frank, B., 2015. Approaching the Loop: A Brief Review of Effective Practises in Continuous Program Improvement. Proceedings of the Canadian Engineering Education Association.
Kumar, A. and Mittal, V., 2015. Minimizing the Rejection of Lever Combination Switch by removing the problem of Erratic continuity in Assembly line using Continuous Improvement Process.
Owen, M., 2013. SPC and continuous improvement. Springer Science & Business Media.
Ulhassan, W., von Thiele Schwarz, U., Westerlund, H., Sandahl, C. and Thor, J., 2015. How Visual Management for Continuous Improvement Might Guide and Affect Hospital Staff: A Case Study. Quality Management in Healthcare, 24(4), pp.222-228.
Yang, Y., Lee, P.K. and Cheng, T.C.E., 2016. Continuous improvement competence, employee creativity, and new service development performance: A frontline employee perspective. International Journal of Production Economics, 171, pp.275-288.

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