Project Management Case Study

Posted on January 13, 2022 by Cheapest Assignment

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Project Management Case Study

Background to the project

Merck KGaA1, after several significant acquisitions, transformed its companies in 2015, having undergone a re-branding into a single Merck brand. It is a diversified pharmaceutical and Life Sciences Company founded in 1668 and has since been headquartered in Darmstadt, Germany. The business employs about 52,000 people worldwide with 11,00 in North America and Germany the same number of people. The new brand has been developed to place the company as a creative science and technology firm, as a previous study indicated that the company’s culture should undertake a transformational shift. It has also been recognized that architecture, especially in the context of the headquarters, sends a clear message to consumers, partners, the government as well as employees; hence architecture often needs to be reflective of transformational change. 

 In view of the general environment discussed in this project success, Steve and Mark were presented with a dilemma situation whether they should follow the traditional method of procurement by competitive tendering, which is likely to provide the basis for the adverse environment with all its negative consequences or they should use more modern types such as the open book contracts, which are however difficult to satisfy Merck’s corporate governance and industry. Nevertheless, they never wanted to follow an only marginally acceptable solution and agree to pursue innovative and inclusive hiring contractors. There was knowledge of some of the problems frequently present in the client-contractor relationships as a target conflict, confidence, and opportunist behaviour and attempts to define the ways to overcome them. They claimed that the problems add to the adversarial setting, and therefore, they were the inhibitors of the project’s progress. Since the OGHQ program had a very high and essential strategy with Merck, Mark and Steve never wanted to risk the project being late due to the mediocre budget or quality.  

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Reasons for the project

One reason was that the intricate architectural design was a major challenge requiring complex and fair-faced design. Concrete surfaces, large ceiling spreads, and floors were sitting on very few supporting pillars. The construction of such a complex structure of concrete cum steel without the flaws requires formwork, ironwork, and concrete works with only a high level of craftsmanship only a few contractors can produce. In such events, it is important for the project’s ultimate performance that the bidding contractors do not underestimate the difficulty and complexity and the difficulties of the required job and wrongly give too little or beyond their capabilities. Steve and Mark, therefore, concluded that tendering should not be carried out in such a situation. A trust-based collaboration must be established with the contractor for handling the project’s complexity only based on the price.

The second reason is the requirements the structural design for the tendering documents was based upon were worsened at a late stage at the time of the procurement phase, rendering numerous requirements in some parts. Styles issues related to pricing had to be addressed during the procurement process during the foundations’ timely establishment under the mutual belief that they had to be figured out a little later. Mark and Steve were optimistic that their collaborative strategy would be able to handle the difficult situation. However, an inadequate design basis would have given rise to comprehensive allegations or overpriced because of incalculable threats, which they clearly needed to avoid.

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Project objectives

Steve, Mark, and Claire placed a great deal of focus on the buildup of project awareness with prospective contractors about joining the project during the pre-contract process. However, there was a large asymmetry in information about the project and the essence of the job between the key participants who had the contract over some years and the joining bidders who were familiarizing themselves with the materials provided. With the developed strategy, Steve, Mark, and their team strived to achieve some objectives of the project with the approach of developing a shared understanding of technological and qualitative building specifications. They were to familiarize bidders with the previous design work’s planning material together with its drawbacks and obstacles. The team was to clarify technical problems and timetables on both sides and prepare the standard basis for the project’s rational and equivalent pricing. The project needed them to become acquainted with the acting individuals and establish a common understanding and trust. Frank and Claire listed 23 pre-qualified contractors to whom they gave a brief introduction to the project and called for expression of interest to be included in the bidding process. 

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Constraints, limitations, and risks

Claire explained the reasoning and circumstances of the project during the workshops, particularly the challenging timeline that was granted the highest priority by Merck and the organization of the construction sector. The design of the building and provided examples and challenges in producing fair-faced concrete surfaces were explained by Peter. However, John clarified the structural design principle, and Lilian and Paul requested input on a previously prepared plan considering site logistics and interdependencies with other contractors.  However, after the project had reached a particular stage, additional regulatory requirements were issued by the building authority in the name of unexpected explosion events. The requirements had not been identified previously; hence some sections of the tender package had to be completed by the planners. This was a big problem for Steve and Mark because they were aware that Merck would not allow any delay due to the date of the complete set.

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Leadership Structure.

Being a project manager is a demanding task that requires you to be able to manage the proceedings in delivering the objectives of the business and being able to manage the team that is working under you. Every successful project is associated with good management skills that were held by the project manager and their assistant. When the management is done well, the scope of a project is easily achieved, and the team’s motivation is kept at an optimum point. The leadership style that a project manager uses varies from managers as they tend to identify themselves with what they are doing. The leadership style used in managing a project is important and should involve traits that ensure effective, successful, and reliable project management (Alonso‐Almeida, Perramon, & Bagur‐Femenias, 2017)

Project management involves various roles and responsibilities erring played by various stakeholders in the projects. The project manager is aided in the management by the Executive project sponsors, strategy manager, and the project team. van Assen, (2018) explains the roles as below: 

Project sponsors: Sponsors are the project advocates. They are mandated with sharing the project progress reports with the rest of the leadership team and ensuring that the project is according to organization goals, mission, and visions. They also advocate for the project during the strategic discussion. They also communicate project changes due to some decisions being taken or adjustments of the budget made by the leadership level. 

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Strategy Manager: Responsible for ensuring that the organization’s strategic plans are aligned with those of the organization. They prepare a high-level report to the leadership team. The strategy manager acts as a portfolio manager for strategic projects. They sit in the project management office, where they are mandated with strategic plans. 

Project Manager: is the ringmaster of the project. They are mandated with coordinating efforts and using resources with clockwork precision. They create the project plan and assign the roles to members of the team. They also determine how the project will be tracked and measured. They manage the budget and report on whether the project is financially on track or overspending. 

Project Team: They are the experts that are involved in the development of the project. The team collects data and provides context from “boots on the ground.” The combined effort of the team is used in moving the project ahead. 

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Project Risk and Their Mitigations.

Project management, from the time it starts to the time of implementation, faces a lot of risks. In our case, the project faces a lot of risk on the basis of procurement. Procurement risk is the most recurring risk that should be taken into deep consideration when working on a project. One evident risk is carrying out a poor need analysis. Without adequate knowledge of a project’s needs, it becomes very hard to acquire the needed resources.  The resources that are purchased may end up not being enough or too many resources. To mitigate this risk, the organization needs to perform an in-depth analysis of the requirements that should involve all the possible experts to air their views and state their requirements in various work points. 

The project is also faced with inefficient contract management. For optimal acquisition, the organization should get into contracts with suppliers of materials and resources needed for the project. The construction project is a very demanding one, will require a lot of contracts to be signed. If the contracts are managed poorly, it will lead to losses for the organization or the delivery of substandard products (Widianti, Harihayati, & Sufaatin, 2018). To mitigate the risk, the organization should perform a background check on the companies that have applied for tenders. If the company does not want companies to apply tenders, they may analyze the companies they have worked with before and determine the best. The project manager and the team need to come up with the best contracting strategy. There are other risks that include delayed requisitions that end up creating a false emergency and the procurement strategy being inappropriate. The company should agree on desired outcomes & objectives with the client, seek offers again, and incur extra management effort. 

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Project stakeholders.

Saunders, Gale, & Sherry, (2016) says the project stakeholders are the government, contractors and subcontractors, suppliers, top management, employees, project team members, and the resource manager from our project and case studies. The level of communication between each stakeholder is different depending on the information that is shared with them.  The engagement of the stakeholders in the project is very important in maintaining the health of the project. 

To effectively communicate with them, you need first to identify them and what kind of impact each stakeholder has on the project.  Then, stakeholders should be created, which will help determine the kind of communication needed with them as by Butt, Naaranoja, & Savolainen, (2016). For instance, communication with top management is different from that of team members. Analyzing their portfolio will help in the determination of the communication objectives between the project manager and the stakeholder. The final step in communicating with stakeholders is the creation of a communication plan from the data obtained and the delivery of activities.  For effective communication, it should be carried out early, and through the use of the right communication channel. An important thing with communication with the stakeholder is the choice of a spokesperson. For instance, communication between the project and the government can use the top management as the spokesperson on behalf of the organization and the project. 

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The vision of the project and the Team culture to establish.

The development of a new brand in Merck was the driving side for the new design. The design’s visions were to place and illuminate the organization as an innovative science and technology company. The company wanted to change the architecture to send a message to the customers, partners, community, and employees as a transformative change in both the operations and the organization’s culture. To achieve the goals and vision of the project, it becomes important to develop a culture that will be accepted by all the team members. 

The project is perceived as a combined effort and entity where every personnel required to adhere to the group norm as set by the group would be a perfect culture. The project manager meets up with the team, and together they come up with various operational rules and official rules that each member of the team should follow. The team culture should be based on teamwork and respect for each other. The project should not be taken as a competition but as a chance to develop each other while delivering the best possible project on completion (Ni et al., 2018). The culture should give every member a chance to raise a concern and give a suggestion allowing them to exchange ideas for the betterment of the project.

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 References

Alonso‐Almeida, M. D. M., Perramon, J., & Bagur‐Femenias, L. (2017). Leadership styles and corporate social responsibility management: Analysis from a gender perspective. Business Ethics: A European Review26(2), 147-161.

Butt, A., Naaranoja, M., & Savolainen, J. (2016). Project change stakeholder communication. International Journal of Project Management34(8), 1579-1595.

Ni, G., Cui, Q., Sang, L., Wang, W., & Xia, D. (2018). Knowledge-sharing culture, project-team interaction, and knowledge-sharing performance among project members. Journal of Management in Engineering34(2), 04017065.

Saunders, F. C., Gale, A. W., & Sherry, A. H. (2016). Responding to project uncertainty: Evidence for high-reliability practices in large-scale safety-critical projects. International Journal of Project Management34(7), 1252-1265.

van Assen, M. F. (2018). Exploring the impact of higher management’s leadership styles on lean management. Total Quality Management & Business Excellence29(11-12), 1312-1341.

Widianti, U. D., Harihayati, T., & Sufaatin, S. (2018, August). Risk project management analysis. In IOP Conference Series: Materials Science and Engineering (Vol. 407, No. 1, p. 012087).

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