The present review shows some serious mistakes and shortcomings on part of the Woody’s management and the project team. Woody 2000 could have been a successful and smoothly executed project given proper planning was done and controls were kept in place. This was a time-bound and cost based project and there was no high risk initially. Bad planning and poor management rendered the project a risky one and brought it to the brink of failure. The review shows vital mistakes right from the initial planning stage till the completion.
The major mistakes in the project
What went wrong in the project? There can be several mistakes that can be spotted that are responsible for the project delay and failure. But all of them are connected, through the two most vital shortcomings.
- The first is lack of any, or insufficient, proper planning throughout the course of the project that was evident at a number of occasions. There was no well defined project scope, and changes in the scope and specifications were frequent that raised the costs and increased the time to completion.
- The other most damaging mistake was lack of sufficient controls and review procedures for the work in progress. There were no internal controls and reviews to ensure that each task was completed within the estimated cost and time.
The proposed strategy for the new management
The Woody 2000 project needs extensive planning and control measures for successful progress. The following analysis will elaborate how the new management can better handle the project and avoid the mistakes that happened previously. For this purpose, the proposed strategy will focus on two phases; the strategies in the planning phase, and the post planning or execution stage.
The Planning Phase
Extensive planning and study will be needed for a project of this scale. The project team and the project manager are appointed during the planning phase after careful analysis of their skills and requirements of the project.
The scope statement and definition needs be clear and direct. The project scope and planning should talk about the objective, deliverables, milestones, technical requirements, resources and limitations.
Consulting Relevant Departments
During the planning phase and defining the project scope, all the relevant stakeholders in the company including the production people will be consulted for major specifications. The reason is that production people are the major stakeholders in the expansion. Their specifications and requirements must be a part of planning process. Also, as the software and hardware needs to be installed, the people who will be operating the software later will be consulted. They must be consulted for user requirements and compatibility. All this would be discussed in the planning phase and made certain that production people must be consulted.
The quotation process
First, a detailed study and analysis is needed for the real project costs and time. Then quotations will be invited from various contractors instead of only one. In this way the company would be in a better position to negotiate with the management companies. Just a single quotation does not leave any room for comparative analysis and effective negotiations on price and time.
Special emphasis will be drawn on defining a clear and vivid project scope and the contract terms. This should be made certain that project specifications and terms will not be changed in future unless in extreme scenarios. For setting the price and estimates, fixed price contract will be preferred as it would ascertain the maximum expenditure beforehand.
Financial projection and Project Life-cycle
With the help of expert financial analysts and the company’s accountants, a dynamic financial analysis will be a key to the best estimates of cost and time. Costs and times of each milestone need be ascertained. The projected financial analysis will be done with projected costs. The expenditures will be estimated considering the important concept of project life-cycle. In a normal project life cycle, the project consumes higher costs in initial planning and execution stages. In growth and completion stages the costs are lower.
Proper care should be taken while appointing the project manger. A person with sufficient experience and knowledge of the field will be considered for this responsibility. Appointment of manger and the project team, along with the technical requirements will be planned before the project work starts.
Post completion contingencies
Many projects across different industries require post project site clearance, environmental costs and waste management. These issues are usually dealt with in the planning phase. Proper planning would make sure these costs are already accounted for in the project estimates. In the case of Woody 2000, the upgrading of the surplus paint disposal should be dealt with in the planning phase when the idea of paint shop is discussed and analyzed.
Execution and completion Phases
Internal Controls and Approval Hierarchies
The project review and control is the most vital aspect of keeping track of resources and time during the course of the project. There are certain tools and measures that are used to keep track of costs and time for project review. On every stage, proper review of the work done will be carried out. Moreover, the review and approval hierarchy and control is vital for the quality check. There should be proper person or persons specified for the approval and the approval hierarchy must be mentioned. Timely approval and review must be made certain that is vital for the timely completion of the tasks.
Segregation of duties
Segregation of duties within the project team is vital to avoid over burden over any particular person that would delay the tasks. For this purpose, software engineer will be hired to write the program for the new automated equipment, and the relevant personnel will be assigned tasks to utilize maximum time.
Task Review and Communication
After the completion of each major task, review will be carried out of the completed work. Based on this review the task will be flagged satisfactory or as needing reworking. In this regard, staff meetings and direct communication with the project manger and other relevant heads of departments is vital. Lack of communication between key personnel damages the progress of the project. The project team should be well connected, have understanding and confidence in each other. Regular meetings of project team, key personnel; formal and informal will be held for the successful progress.
Customer Reviews and Inspection
Customer reviews are important for any project and this will be part of routine during the project work. The Woody’s management will be invited for regular inspection and suggestions during the course of the project.
The performance of the project manager and the team will be evaluated on regular basis according to some specified measures. Based on these evaluations the staff will be informed of their shortcomings and areas needing focus.