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Business & Marketing
English (U.S.)
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Management (Coursework Sample)


1- You are a construction project manager; a team member has on his own initiative, added extra vents to the attic to allow better air circulation. The project plan did not call for these vents, however, due to the geographic location the project SME agrees they are needed. What process was not followed and how would you handle this situation? 2- Your project requires a chemical engineer for 7 months but there are no chemical engineers in your project, what alternatives can you use to solve this issue? 3- During the execution of a project, the customer asks you to perform additional tests which the customer will pay for. Unfortunately, there are no resources available to perform the additional tests. As the project manager what should you do? 4- After contract award, a customer requests that some of the senior workers in the functional areas be assigned to the project team. Your priced out the project assuming the average worker would be assigned and furthermore assumed that the average worker could do the job effectively. As the project manager what should you do? 5- You have just been awarded a contract in which you told the customer that a certain employee would be assigned full time on the project. Once the project begins, you discover that the employee is splitting his time between two projects per the instructions of his functional manager. As the project manager what should you do? 6- During an interface meeting with your customer, both of you have different interpretations of the raw data. If the customer’s interpretation is correct, then the direction of the project should change. However, the customer states that they need more time to determine if their interpretation is correct. As the project manager what should you do?

It is always advisable for a construction team member to follow the details on a construction plan and it is unacceptable for any construction worker to make any alteration whatsoever, whether an addition or subtraction, without consulting. The construction team member who acted under his own initiative to add extra vents to the attic could have done the right thing, reasoning from geographical perspective of the site location but he should have consulted the architect and other senior construction stakeholders before deciding to add extra vents. However, such occurrences are usually challenging to construction managers and if this happens, the project manager should talk to the other consultants to establish if the vents should be eliminated or not. Since, in this case, the extra vents were necessary, the construction manager should summon the team member in question and categorically explain to him the possible consequences for such initiatives in the future. This is the best action since firing him will be unfair for a worker who has done the good thing but using the wrong protocol.
In a project where a specialist is needed but the company or the firm that is undertaking a project does not have such a specialist internally, there are a number of things to do. Since this project team needed a chemical engineer for seven months and is not sure if they would need him any longer, the first alternative of employing a permanent chemical engineer would be unreasonable and costly. The second alternative is for the project team to hire specialized services of a chemical engineering consulting firm for that duration, but this can be fairly expensive. However, the most cost effective alternative of getting the chemical engineers services is employing a chemical engineer on contract of about one year. Whether to renew the contract after its expiry or not will depend on whether their next project will need such services.
Lack of resources may be a drawback for project team especially when a customer requests for additional work that he is willing to pay for. At the project inception, most project teams budget for that specific project and this makes it difficult for any adjustments or additions to be possible in the course of the project. Though this customer requests for extra services for which he is willing to pay for, it may be uneconomical for the project manager to execute the extra tests. This is because a reasonable extra pay may not cover the expenses as initial acquisition of resources usually enjoys economies of scale, making it profitable. As a project manager, I would explain to the customer about resources unavailability and the cost implications of the additional tests.
Contract management can be a challenge especially when the customer wants the project manager to make changes in staffing and roles after project appraisal process has been completed and a fixed budget established. Incorporating senior workers from functional areas to the project lead team would have cost implications to the overall project and since an average worker can effectively do the work, it will practically be unreasonable to put on their place a people who may require higher remuneration. Since he is my boss, I should approach the customers issue with caution. I would categorically explain to him what incorporation of the senior workers to the project team would mean to the project cost and the overall budget. In my argument, I will let him know that an average worker can effectively carry out the assignment and if he insists and agrees to cover the extra cost, I will give in. In this way, I would have acted for the best interest of the customer and I will have maintained personal relationship with the customer.
Assigning an employee full-time responsibility means that he or she should participate in the project full-time bases. Splitting his time between two projects may make the quality of his performance in each of the two projects drop. It will be unacceptable since my project will not be getting the value of services it is paying for but will be getting less. In addition, it will be unfair since the employee wi...
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