Table of Contents
Trillo Apparel Company seeks to expand its activities in the Fourth District (East) so as to meet the increased market demand for their product and in the process achieve their objectives for the current year. They are planning to relocate to a different facility, which is larger and will be able to increase both profitability and production. The new facility is located 10 miles from their current location and requires some renovation and modification before they can relocate their operations to the facility.
Considering the needs they will have to meet, relocation will require proper planning since it can lead to large loss of revenue resulting from long duration of operations being at a halt, and they can also lose some of their existing customers. Therefore, executive officials of the company have come up with a project, which will facilitate the transition from their current location to the new facility.
The project is named District 4 Move project. It describes the activities that have to be carried out within a period of 4 months to facilitate relocation. Resources required to facilitate the relocation have been described in the project, the estimates of cost and time duration for each activity have also been made.
This paper seeks to facilitate the management of the project to ensure it is a success. It identifies project management technique to be applied to help move the project to completion. It also identifies the organizational structure of the project, administration system of both teams and the District, helps identify the risks facing the survival of the project, and discusses ways of dealing with such uncertainties in case they occur during the project implementation. It also presents executive summary of the results of the project stating whether it is achievable within the given time and budget.
Trillo Apparel Company, also referred to as TAC, has its headquarters located in Albuquerque, New Mexico. It deals with apparel design and production. It has a total of 3000 employees carrying out different tasks within the company. It has four different branches named District One (North), District Two (South), District Three (West), and District Four (East). These four branches carry out their activities independently from each other and thus make different amounts of revenues. District Four commands the largest market, which keeps expanding each day.
Trillo Apparel Company sets its objectives for the year at the beginning of each year. These objectives act as guidelines being followed during the year by the employees as they seek to achieve them before the year ends. During the current year, the objectives that have been set are as follows: to increase the sales and distribution in the East owing to the continuous increase in the market for the products in the region, to improve the quality of the product in order to gain competitive advantage, increase production in District Four to be able to meet the increased demand for their products, increase brand recognition through aggressive marketing strategies, and increase the revenue collected from sales combined sales of all branches.
Following the increased demand for company’s products in District Four, there is a need to take advantage of the increased revenue capacity. However, company’s facility cannot be able to produce at a capacity that can meet excess demand created. Therefore, the company should seek an alternative way of handling excess demand for their goods fast to ensure it has captured new customers before rival companies take advantage of the opportunity. They have decided to move to another facility ten miles away. However, the facility will require some renovations and improvements before operations commence inside the facility.
Organization of the project is functional in nature. It is headed by one project manager, who oversees all project operations. All major decisions are made by the project manager. The project manager acts as an executive manager. The project manager is person who is responsible for the project operation.
People working on the project are divided into different teams depending on individual’s skills. These teams are headed by one person, who is responsible for what the team does. The team leader is a functional manager, who provides coordination and support to the team and reports to the project manager. Members of a team are responsible for implementing project's activities, each according to his own area of specialization. The figure below shows the organizational structure of the project.
Project Management Techniques
The project is managed with a help of Gantt charts named after the founder of the method, Henry Gantt. Together with his fellow student Henri Fayol, both were students of Frederick Winslow Taylor’s theories of scientific management. This method applied ad-hoc basis to manage projects with the help of two mathematical project-scheduling models known as Critical Path Model (CPM) and Program Review and Review Technique (PERT). A more advanced method of project management referred to as Event Chain Methodology is applied to manage the project. It incorporates the Critical Path Method, and another project management tool named Critical Chain Management Model (CCPM). The latter is designed to deal with uncertainties arising from managing the project taking into consideration resources available for the project. Event Chain Methodology focuses on identifying and managing events and event chains that affect project schedules. It is based on the principles explained further.
First, is the probability of risk and the status of the activity. In real life situations, no process is continuously uniform as they all are affected by external events, which are unpredictable. They can, therefore, occur at any time whether the project is in progress or not. The method takes into account the probability of an unwanted event occurring during the project period.
The second principle relates to chain of events. Some events lead to the occurrence of other events, thereby leading to creation of an event chain. These chains can adversely affect the flow of the project, and a quantitative analysis is used to determine their effect on the schedule put in place for the project. For example, a change in the requirement of an activity will adversely affect the activity coming after it.
The third one relates to critical events. These are events, the potential of which to affect the project is high compared to others. They are determined through an analysis of the relationship that exists between the event and parameters of the project such as the project cost, the duration set, or the flow of events.
The fourth principle implies tracking performance with events. Even though the project is not complete and information concerning the project duration, cost, and complete events is available, there is a possibility of getting information concerning future events of the project. Therefore, one can make forecasts about project’s future performance.
The last one relates to the event chain visualization. This is done with the help of event chain diagrams. They show the flow of events from the beginning to the end of the project in a more clear manner, which can be understood by a look at the diagram. It also helps identify critical events in the project. It simplifies the analysis of risks and uncertainties and their management.
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Project performance is meant to display the flow of activities from the beginning of the project to the end. It shows how activities are carried out and illustrates the end result of each activity, indicating whether the activities are running as per the time stipulated and whether they are within the frames outlined in a budget. It is carried out as the project continues.
The project manager needs to take into account some factors, which determine project’s success. One of the aspects is mode of communication to be used during project’s implementation. The mode to be used must be efficient, accurate, and fast to avoid delays among other inconveniences, which might end up affecting project's duration of completion or increase costs. With regards to this, the most appropriate modes are direct communication (such as use of cell phones) and the use of the Internet. These two methods are effective and accurate as compared to other methods.
Another aspect is the choice of teams to carry out the tasks stipulated in the project. The project manager needs to take into consideration the type of teams to select. The teams selected should be able to own up the project to avoid conflicts of interests. They also must have necessary skills that they require to carry out the activities assigned to them and must contain a reasonable number of individuals per group to facilitate easy management and control. The leader in each team must have leadership capabilities to ensure that the group is satisfactorily controlled, and is delivering the results expected of them.
Project objectives have been set and are to be achieved by the end of project’s duration. They include moving the facility 10 miles away from its current location, where there will be enough room for company’s operations, renovation of the current facility into a warehouse for the purpose of accommodating operations of the district, thereby improving the product quality. The objective is also to raise brand recognition and revenue by means of expansion, to increase sales and distribution in the Fourth District, and to decrease the losses occurring in the course of the project’s life.
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The tasks with the longest combined duration form the critical path. In this project, only two projects take a longer period of time. The framing inspection scheduled to take place from Tuesday 3/15/11 to Monday 3/28/11 (to be done by the city and county inspector) and the finish-install work schedule meant to take place from Monday 4/11/11 to Friday 4/29/11 (to be carried out by Woodcraft Carpentry). Attention should be paid to these two activities to ensure that they are endowed with necessary resources to ensure they are completed on time as stipulated. This is because a disruption on them will lead to an adverse effect on the project. A delay of permits and work off by framing contractors will not have an effect on the stipulated time line as other critical activities will continue as scheduled.
A closer observation, the city and county is endowed with the longest working time, totaling to 400 hours. It is followed by human resources, which have 272 hours. Spark electrical, east side framing PM, workers, water works among others have the least working hours (8 hours) each. The total time needed to complete the project is estimated to be 1880 hours, while the total cost is estimated not to fall below 383,000 USD.
Some contractors need more time to obtain their permits, whereas the framing and drywall contractors require double the time allocated to them since they will only make use of half of the staff required. Therefore, there arises a need to restructure the schedule to ensure that the project is completed within the stipulated time since the time provided cannot be extended. Some projects may need adjustments, whereas others may need reshuffling to ensure that the deadline has been met. This could mean reducing the duration of the critical path or undertaking activities, which do not relate but were initially meant to follow each other, for example, plumbing and electricity installation can run with the installation of dry wall to accommodate extra time. Another method known as crashing can also be used to ensure that deadline is met. It involves use of additional resources in the project, which will facilitate faster running of the project such as hiring additional labor. This incurs extra costs of the company and might also lead to a change in the critical path.
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The tasks in the project all depend on the completion of task one. It acts as the basis, which all other tasks are based on. The task has to be completed for all others to commence. In our case, there are some activities, which must be scheduled to run after the others have been completed. They include booking of contractors, which must be done early enough, city and county inspection of the building before operations are started, framing comes before plumbing and electricity installation, then drywall is installed, and then final inspection by the city and county inspection of the facility is done. The flow of activities is presented by the following table including the resources in terms of duration and money required to complete each activity
(after how long)
(amount in dollars)
|1||Project Kick-off||4 days||4 days|
|2||Project Documents||13 days||1||17 days|
|3||Status Reports/Meetings||3 days||1,2||20 days|
|4||Initial Planning Meetings with Vendors||1 day||1,2,3||21 days|
|5||Electrical Permits||16 days||1,2,3,4||37 days|
|6||Plumbing Permits||15 days||1,2,3,4||36 days|
|7||Building Permits||15 days||1,2,3,4||36 days|
|8||Framing||76 days||1,2,3,4,5,6,7||113 days|
|9||Electrical||36 days||1,2,3,4||54 days||12,000|
|10||Plumbing||29 days||1,2,3,4||47 days||15,000|
|12||Finish Work||15 days||1,2,3,4,9,10,11||105 days||115,000|
|13||Work Benches||15 days||1,2,3,4||33 days||112,000|
|14||Equipment Packing||13 days||1,2,3,4||31 days||150,000|
|15||Move||3 days||1,2,3,4,13||36 day|
|16||Procurement Closure||5 days||1,2,3,4||23 days|
|17||Project Closure||10 days||1,2,3,4,16||33 days|
The project, following this flow will take 113 days to get into completion and make a total cost of five hundred and twenty nine dollars.
Since we identified the critical path as the one with the longest combined duration of time to be completed, the following activities form the critical path: project kick-off, project documents, status reports/meetings, initial planning meetings with vendors, electrical permits, and framing totaling to 113 days. This becomes the actual end-time of the whole project and, therefore, exceeds the stipulated time of 85 days with 28 days.
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Status Report at the end of the Stipulated Time for the Completion of the Project at the End of the 85 Days
After the end of the period stipulated to carry out the project, there were tasks, which have already been completed. These tasks included project kick-off, project documents, status reports/meetings, and initial planning meeting with vendors. Moreover, contractors requiring permits have already obtained them, plumbing has been carried out and inspected, electricity has been installed and inspected, and workbenches have been built, inspected, and signed-off, and equipment for the new warehouse has already been parked and signed-off. Everything was set to be moved to the new facility.
However, some activities have not been completed. They include framing, drywall installation, and finish work since the time needed exceeded the time available. These activities needed to be completed and, therefore, more time needed to be added to the project for its successful completion or rather a put crash the project to reduce the time taken to complete the project.
Project Risk and Change Management
The project faces the risk of failure before its completion due to delays occurring during project’s life. Project manager took a risk of foregoing 250,000 USD in 5 days to facilitate the transition from the old facility to the new facility, which will increase the revenue with additional 1,000,000 USD per year. Considering the returns, the risk of losing 250 000 USD is worth taking. In this case, the project manager can also avoid the risk. There are several methods of risk management. These are risk transfer to a third party, who in case of uncertainty them burden is transferred to the person, decreasing negative consequences of the risk and embracing some or all effects of the risk.
In this project, the project manager has embraced all risks as they have not been transferred to a third party and the project cannot be canceled due to its high expected returns. However, there are ways in which the project can be altered to ensure that uncertainties do not affect the project adversely. One of the ways is crashing the project. Even though it increases the cost of the project, it helps meet the stipulated deadline of completion. This will help the company tap the unused potential in good time, and eventually meet almost all priorities set at the beginning of the year.
A way that shows that the project manager has accepted uncertainties of the project is by having an open ended budget. This shows that there is no financial constraint on the manager, and thus it will be possible to utilize more money to ensure that the project is completed in time. Therefore, on realizing the effect of uncertainties, project manager will approach the financial department to request funds to hire more labor to complete the project as per the stipulated time.
Project and Administrative Teams
Teams are divided according to the tasks included in the project. They are grouped as follows:
Communication and information team. This team handles all the information that relates to the project. It conveys a message to workers and managers in good time as necessary.
Scheduling and plan management team. This team takes care of the time and schedules activities and tasks within the project. In this way, it ensures that each activity has been carried out according to the time stated and are used to make changes in the schedule where necessary.
Human resource team. This team caters for human resources available for the project. They take care of recruiting, training, and assigning salaries according to the amount payable to each individual.
Data entry and project follow up team. This team takes care of all data that needs to be presented in a softcopy form, and thus are responsible for making entering the data into the computer such as accounting information. Also, they make follow up on the progress of the project on a step by step basis.
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The project can result to a success depending on the changes that the project manager decides to implement. Depending on the resources endowed to him, the manager can decide to shorten the project’s actual life by hiring more labor or maintain the project’s actual life. More labor would mean that activities are carried out as per the stipulated deadline or a shorter period.
From the project, it is noted that contingencies can arise even when not expected, and there is a need to take into account the probability of one occurring in the course of the project. Proper measures to protect the project from adverse effects of an uncertainty should be put in place. These might involve additional money apart from the budgeted amount to take care of extra needs not budgeted for in the project.
Prior communication and arrangements should also be made, for example, where the contractor does not have sufficient time to carry out tasks assigned to him due to other responsibilities that he holds in a different location. This creates inconveniences to people involved in the project as it delays its continuity, especially where the task is along the critical path.