Project Leader for the Office Building Construction Case Study

Excerpt from Case Study :

project leader for the office building construction project, formulate a vision statement for the team project.

According to Gray and Larson (2008) a vision is unlike a project scope statement, which includes: budget, end dates, and performance requirements, a vision involve the less tangible aspects of project performance. It refers to an image a project team holds in common about how the project will look upon completion, how they will work together and/or how customers will accept the project (p. 361-362). A simple level of a shared vision will answer the question, what do we want to create? Not everyone will have the same vision, but the images should be comparable. Additionally, vision comes in a variety of shapes and forms such as: in a slogan, a symbol and/or written as a formal vision statement (p.362).

A vision can also inspire members to give their best effort. However, shared visions bring together experts with different skills and agendas to a mutual objective. Shared visions also help motivate members to subordinate their individual agenda and do what is normally best for the project. Finally, a shared vision for a project fosters obligations to the long-term and discourages expedient responses that collectively dilute the quality of the project (Grey & Larson, 2008).

Developing a vision statement is a chance for members of the organization and/or project to come together and look at their areas of expertise and collectively decide the future of the project. The vision statement for this project must convey innovation and creativity that is essential for a contemporary workplace. The project is to use the Autodesk Inc., a company that produces software for architecture, engineering, and construction, to create a non-traditional office building using 3D technology. The project is to use the construction of the new headquarters as an opportunity for its Solutions Division to combine the latest software capabilities into building information modeling with an emerging paradigm called integrated project delivery (IPD) (Edmondson & Rashid, 2009). The project will use the IPD method to foster communication among all stakeholders during the early stages of the project.

In retrospect analyze what Phil Berstein did to foster higher levels of performance.

Mr. Berstein fostered higher level of performance by ensuring that the project design qualities stayed aligned with the project goals and within budget constraints. For this particular project it was critical that no team member lagged behind in providing the desired output. In the case, this was demonstrated when the project management team has to make the choice to terminate a vendor who was working on the Customer Briefing Center ceiling. The vendor was initially hired because of the building information model capabilities and experience working on the bench mark projects. The team later learned that the vendor will not be able to build and install the ceiling within the budget that was allocated for that element of the project. Although it was a tough decision, it was decided to relieve the vendor of his duties and hire another vendor to perform those responsibilities. The team decided this was a good decision because it was best for the project. The team eventually hired another vendor; however that vendor lacked the technical skills that the previous one attained, however they would be able to deliver the project on time and within the budget (Edmondson & Rashid, 2009). Delivering on time and within budget is ideal for most if not all project.

Another example of fostering higher level performance is when the team members must share the right mind set to meet the objectives of integrated project delivery. The managers need to empower other team members with decision making responsibilities. It is noted throughout the case that there are critical decisions that must be made. The executives should feel confident that they hired the right people to make decisions and not be afraid to take the necessary risk to ensure the project stays on track. To ensure that integrated project delivery works effectively the project implementation team must have the right mind set. In-turn they must understand what is best for the project is also best for the member (Edmondson & Rashid, 2009).

Illustrate his unsuccessful tactics to inspire the team to greater heights.

Mr. Berstein illustrated unsuccessful tactics when there appeared to be trouble with the contingency. He decided that for all future projects he will not include any savings from the contingency as part of the compensation structure. According to the case, it appeared that contingency was a bad idea, because it is not in sync with the integrated project delivery (p.70).

According to Carbasho (2008) integrated project delivery is emerging as the way to organize project teams to achieve a lean construction at a time when the industry is searching for ways to eliminate waste, cut costs, improve productivity, and create positive outcomes (IPD section, para. 1). Mr. Bernstein, wanted to use this practice because it generally fosters collaboration amongst the team by integrating all the stakeholders regardless of the levels. He also understood that developing rapport early in the project will enhance the outcome.

Bernstein also recognized that there was a problem with the contingency idea because the team wanted to ensure that if the project saved money they wanted to include it in the contingency compensation and if there was a decision to spend money they wanted it to be considered as scope change. The reason the team wanted to include the money in the compensation package is because at the end of the project the money can potentially be used as incentives and could be divided among the team players. The owner feels entitled to spend the contingency (Edmondson & Rashid, 2009).

Bernstein decided that maintaining contingency within the compensation package was not worth the trouble. Some members agreed with Bernstein while others believed if the scope of the contract was defined more accurately the contingency issue may not be problematic. However, his decision to keep the two funds separate created some conflict among the team. This type of decision and tension of maintaining a separate contingency was not favorable with the integrated project delivery approach to foster, promote open sharing of information. One member believed that having the members of the team mutually accountable is worth a whole lot more than the cost of sharing a few dollars (Edmondson & Rashid, 2009).

Create your own specific approach to managing this project

The approach that would be used to manage this project would be similar to the current approach. The integrated project delivery method appears to be the most logical and cost effective approach to use. The idea of integrating all stakeholders at one time does not appear to be anything new that project managers have not used previously. Although there were barriers along the way, this approach seemed to work well. The project finished on time and was recognized for its efforts by the American Institute of Architects (Edmondson & Rashid, 2009).

As a project manager the first collaboration and task amongst the team members would be to establish a vision statement, which involves creating a view of the desired results of your projects, which is normally shared by all stakeholders. Without a vision it would be difficult to continue on with the project of this size. The integrated approach focuses on what is commonly known as the core group of the project such as: the owner, contractor and architect/designer this type of approach can be applied well beyond three main stakeholders aforementioned. The use of the major stakeholders is a reasonable approach however this approach will also include other important team members who will be as important to ensure the project's success.

Continuing to use the IPD approach allows the owners to openly share project information and streamlines the project communications…

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