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Fire control project (Research Paper Sample)


For this case, i was expected to conduct extensive research on a given case study involving fire project in England.


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Executive Summary
This project is about Fire control. This project was initiated in 2004 but got cancelled after 5 years due to impending delays. This project looks at the reasons behind the delays. For instance, it looks at the effects of cost escalation and project complexity, which were not anticipated in the course of the project planning period. There were other issues like unclear communication and poor incentives allowed to the locals that were greatly involved in the planning and implementation of the project.
Consequently, the paper highlights what would have been done in order to deliver the project in case I was the project manager. This includes;
Developing an appropriate IT and fire control management, reducing to minimum levels over-reliance on consultancy, understanding and bringing to an end by solving any technical and cultural obstacles that are likely to hinder the project and ensuring that the end users are involved in the planning, execution and implementation of the project right from the beginning.
Fire Control Project Assignment
Section 1: Introduction
The Department for local government and communities has the responsibility for setting up the national strategic policy and offer direction for the fire and rescue operation service in England. It is also within their responsibility to manage the national programs like fire and resilience programs.
Background Information and Development Issues of the Project
There are more than 46 local authorities whose responsibility is to rescue fire and offer related services in England. These authorities are supposed to respond to fires and other such incidents as road accidents. The day to day service management is undertaken by the Chief Fire Officer. There is a local control room that handles any emergences cases from the members of the public and dispatches fire fighters, fire engines and manages fire incidents (Hensler 2011).
The fire control project was delayed for more than five years before it got cancelled. It is important to note that besides the delays, the department had anticipated to incur a total cost of $ 120 million. This was the rough estimate from a period starting the July 2004 forecasts (Hensler 2011). As at the date of cancellation of the project, the minimum amount of waste in of cash that had been spent thus far was placed at $ 469 million (Great Britain 2007).
It was the aim of the fire control to improve the resilience, technology and the efficiency of the fire and rescue services (Hensler 2011). This was to be done by replacing all the 46 local control rooms in order to create a more effective network of nine regional control centers by the use of the systems of the national computers to mobilize the equipments, handle calls and manage all of the incidents.
Research and Methodologies that Informed / Supported the Analysis
The fire control project tackled three main elements
First, the project had immense accommodation; this would see the construction of buildings that would house the control centers regionally. It was critical in bringing the services close to the people and also, helped to mitigate any possible problems and incidents of fire and traffic accidents before their effects would increase in fatality. The regional buildings were to be spread evenly across England in order to achieve regional balance and serve all the people without marginalizing any region (Great Britain 2007).
Second, the element tackled involved information technology. This was meant to deliver the equipment and computer systems that would be used to handle calls and mobilize other equipments and fire engines. This information technology would make it easy to communicate nationally and across the region in order to seek for back up support in case the incidents required so. The communication would, as well, help to liaise with the head office to pass and receive important communication in offering services to the people of England. The system was also meant to store data in a manner that allowed easy accessibility in case it was required as well kept track of the trend of incidence occurrence to form a Pareto that will show the most common cause of incident. This would, in turn, be used by researchers and government agencies to come up with possible solutions that would mitigate any of such incidents in future and by reducing possible causes.
Third, the element that was tackled involved business change. It was meant to offer support to the fire and rescue services. Also, it was meant to help them prepare them for any newer operational processes. In case of an incident, this element would be responsible for offering direction and logistics support. The element helped determine the level of operation that was required in terms of the equipments and fire engines perceived enough to mitigate the problems at hand. Another function of this element was to establish the number of personnel required within a given operation and their level of skills. For highly sophisticated operations, a higher level of expertise and skilled personnel were needed to handle and mitigate any possible harm from commencing while minor operations were dealt with the new staff in order to enhance their skills and expertise in managing any future operations. The division is also responsible for hiring new personnel and training them. The business change element would be responsible for liaising with other regional business change elements and the head office in communicating and soliciting for any support that they might require (Great Britain 2007).
The project aimed at developing regional control centers that were to be used to improve on the local arrangements by offering purpose built, resilient and secure facilities that would be networked throughout England and across all the regions. This was done so that incase of any need for back up call to other regions for support in mitigating any fire incident or traffic accident, then such help could be offered by deploying the required equipment and resources enough to mitigate the incident at hand. Each region was empowered with the same abilities and resources in terms of personnel and equipments. (Great Britain 2009).
The national Information technology system that worked in conjunction with fire control was funded by the Fire department. The funds were used to cover for the payments of the maintenance services.
Problem Analysis
The fire control project was started in 2004 and the expectation was that the program be rolled out between the 2007 and early 2009. Problems started when the project failed due to poor delivery of computer technology. There was also the issue of cost escalation over the project's life. The fire control was cancelled within 2010 after it was concluded that it was not possible to complete the project within the budgeted time frame. As at its date of cancellation, it had been estimated that the total cost of $ 245 million had already been incurred on the project. It was also estimated that the total completion of the project would require an additional of about $ 390 million extra. This was likely to push the total project cost more than five times the original estimated cost.
The fire control project was flawed right from the beginning since it lacked the support of the majority who would have played a key role in its success. The users had been segregated from the onset of the project and at its initiation they did not showcase support for the project (Great Britain 2007).
There were little clear structures set on course needed in depicting how the model would have been centrally managed in terms of call handling and support mobilization from one central place to the rest of the newer purpose built centers regionally (Great Britain 2007). The project had been criticized right from the beginning by both the fire and rescue authorities and the fire and rescue services team. It was not clear to them on how the new approach of regions could increase their service quality and efficiency capacities. There were elements of antagonism and mistrust caused by the inconsistent messages that had been passed to the fire and rescue service team about regionalization.
The department had also failed in incentivizing sufficiently the fire and rescue authorities to partner with them in the delivery of the fire control project. It is worth to mention that the local fire and rescue authorities had no obligation to use regional facilities. The department failed to come up with newer ways of communication. This was needed to allow for incentives that would be sufficient enough in encouraging them to support the delivery of the project (Great Britain 2007).
None of the members of the local fire and rescue authorities was satisfied with the department's communication methods and also, its arrangement of operations within the regional control centers. Failure, also, resulted from the fact that accountability for the delivery was not placed on the hands of the fire and rescue authorities. The fire and rescue authority had the powers to commit the available resources at their disposal and accept the operational responsibilities (Great Britain 2007).
The department also did not undertake a complete cost and benefit analysis since it over overstated the benefits and underestimated both the costs and its complex nature.
Other than under estimating the project complexity in designing a system that would have met all of the needs of the fire and rescue services, it failed to offer leadership and management capabilities (Great Britain 2009). The department had assumed that IT developments would be a simple and straight forward task that would only involve the customized components, which had ...
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