Wednesday, 23 June 2010

Application Of Project Management Functions In Small Construction Companies: Case Study Of Small Contractors In Hochiminh City

The organization of Small and Medium Enterprises in construction in Viet Nam is very simple, with a maximum of 10 office personnel including administrator, engineer, accountant or human resources. Some functions have no people to do it while some people have to do many jobs at the same time. The fact is that, SME could not hire good employees with low salary.

The boss of SME usually is engineer or foreman, they are very good in their job but they didn’t have enough knowledge about business. They do the project base on their experience and learn from their fault. They have no project management process or the process is not useful. After one project, there are no people collecting data for the improvement of the next project. Some of management concepts like quality concept are not documented and analyzed.

The small construction companies have limited resources, such as capital, labor, technical, experiences, etc, so they cannot run many projects at the same time or they cannot get big project.

Le Hoai Viet made a study which objectives were to: (1) develop the checklist to identify the project management in practice of small construction enterprise; (2) use the checklist to investigate the selected companies in order to analyze the strengths and the weaknesses of the management in practice; and (3) propose recommendation for project management improvement.

Conclusions:

The tables 1-3 below indicate the strengths and weaknesses of the three companies in project management.





Recommendation

Study suggests measures to improve the management process of the case study companies. Note that the proposal cannot be applied to other companies.

Proposed organizational structure: All three companies should apply matrix organizational chart as shown in Figure below.



Proposed costs management using WBS to divide and control costs. The company should focus to investment objectives to reduce indirect costs.

Proposed time management: using Gantt charts. The company should determine the cause of delay to take measures to resolve and avoid repeating mistakes. Doing closeout process when project finish that is the basis for the next projects.

Proposed quality management: to understand the definition of quality. Identify management is the key of quality control. Complete process of quality management and a commitment to comprehensive quality. Training for employees is the encourage solution.

Procurement management: improve management of procurement processes, which emphasizes factors response time, quality and price. Company should use retail stores and philosophy “just in time”.

In general, the management of construction projects not being narrow in scope of this study. Management of construction projects has many functions and to perform regularly throughout the life cycle of the project. A matrix project management proposes in the following detailed description below. Major difficulty is the small construction companies have too little labor, so one must do many things at once. This study gives a general picture of project management, it is as a target for the boss strives to achieve.



His thesis abstract is copied and posted.

ABSTRACT

Subject of this study is to apply project management process to small and medium construction business. These enterprises are construction contractors established in about 5 to 7 years. They all stay in Ho Chi Minh City. The bosses are those who have long experience in the construction industry. Important part of this study is to develop a checklist to identify the process of project management of small businesses in practice. Research method is to use a checklist to interview business owners directly. The results obtained in the interview can indicate the strengths and weaknesses in project management of the business. The main function is interested in schedule management, cost management, quality management and procurement management. Process of project management of enterprises have more advantages can be developed for the better. Process can apply to other companies or vice versa. For the project management process is not effective, the study recommended improvements and changes and can be replaced with a more complete process.

5 comments:

PEGGY said...

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Construction Companies said...

Every thing you are mentioned very clearly,good!
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Perry Joel said...

PMI’s Project Management Professional (PMP) ® credential is the most important industry-recognized certification for project managers. Recently I went for a PMP prep course by the training provider mentioned above, the instructor was too good and I passed with relative ease. Looking forwards to apply what I learned in PMP class in my company.

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Tag: PM205A54. Let me share all of you about #5 Tips for Project Management Success,, I hope you enjoy it

1. Plan your day using time management techniques

As a project manager, time management skills are essential because you are dealing with a wide range of tasks that demand a quick turnaround time. Planning your day will go a long way in keeping you organized and increasing your productivity. Assist your task planning by using project management software which helps you track the work of you and your team.

If you are not very tech savvy, a simple to-do list can also be a great organizational tool. Prioritize your most important tasks by putting them at the top of the list and less important ones at the bottom. Having a visual plan of your daily tasks helps to keep you on track and aware of time.

Related post: Free ebook 104 secrets to become a great project manager

2. Include stakeholders in important project conversations

While you will have plenty of responsibilities regarding the project, don’t neglect your clients.

Good communication is essential is keeping both parties informed of project progression, curtailing scope creep, and apprised of changing requirements. Some clients may have different expectations when it comes to communication, so make sure to establish the frequency and type of communication (like emails, phone calls, and face-to-face conversations) at the beginning of your project.

Establishing communication expectations early helps alleviate stakeholder uncertainty about communication frequency and delivery.

3. Regularly communicate with your team

Daily team communication helps keep misunderstandings and unclear requirements under control. Keeping your team informed in every step of the project is essential to project management success.

For example, a study published by Procedia Technology found that good communication skills were the cornerstone of project management. The study examined over 300 “construction project managers, architects, construction managers, engineers and quantity surveyors” and their successes and failures on various construction projects.

4. Anticipate project setbacks

Even the best-laid plans often go awry.

Remember that even with a high amount of planning and attention to detail, your project may still encounter some challenges. Pay attention to complaints from stakeholders or colleagues, and other warning signs, like a missed deadline or cost overrun, that there may be a problem.

Preventing a crisis will keep your project running smoothly, save you a lot of time, and keep you, your team, and your stakeholders confident in progressing with the project.

Unfortunately not every complication can be avoided. Crisis management skills are essential for dealing with the unexpected. Project managers need to be flexible and pragmatic. Improvise and make sharp decisions when needed.

Related post: 92 free project management templates

5. Stay focused on the details

A common problem project managers encounter is having the project aims not aligned with the organization’s objectives. A great project manager will strategize a plan for the project to lead back to the overall success of the business.

Know your project’s scope by heart and avoid wandering outside of the project’s requirements. It’s too easy to get lost in minor details and forget what your focus is, so a well-planned project scope is essential for success.

And final, you should use KPI to measure effectiveness of the project, here are full list: 76 project management KPIs