Project Management

The Three Gorges Dam on the Yangtze River will probably be finished by 2009 and will be the largest hydroelectric dam in the world. Being the present manager and being appointed by the government at the feasibility stage I am asked to write a report in order to outline the activities required to successfully manage this major project and to ensure that it is completed on time and within budget. This report will be divided into six parts beginning with an introduction and ending with a conclusion. At first should the terminology be defined.

A project is "a unique set of coordinated activities, with a definite start and finishing point, undertaken by an individual or organisation to meet specific objectives within defined, scheduled costs and performance parameters" (BS 6079-1,200:2, Material of Sunderland 2005, page 5). The individual who undertakes the organisa-tion is usually the project manager. This person plays a special role and is supported by his team. The project manager leads the project and provides vision, direction and encouragement.

The project manager takes lead in project planning to determine the schedule and budgets neces-sary to meet the project objectives and is responsible for delivering the project once the pro-ject has been approved by senior management. The project manager is also responsible for the project support team. The skills a project manager should have are defined by Richman as people skills, project management skills and technical skills. In the case of such a large project such as the building of the TGD the project manager also needs to have integration skills and great knowledge of the organisation.

All skills mentioned above will be further described within the following sections of my re-port. Generally there are two basic models to describe a project's life cycle, the generic project life cycle from Burke and the basic project life cycle from Field and Keller. My report is based on the project life cycle from Field and Keller. 2. Define In the define phase proposals are formulated, estimated and tested for feasibility. The results will be presented to the senior management in order to receive a "go" for the project which often is in the form of a contract.

The main objectives of the TGD are: ?Protection against floods ?Making the Yangtze River navigable ?Leading the water into dry regions ?Generation of energy ?Supporting the economic and regional development of the provinces 2. 1. Requirements analysis Geological conditions The relevance is given as we need an adequate material to build the dam as well as enough water to achieve a water level and finally to maintain that level. It also should be thought about a solution for the silt coming down the river in order to keep on getting a clear flush.

Ecological environment issues They include the dying of various animals and seldom fish species. The landscape around the dam could be damaged to a great extend due to the rise of the Yangtze water level. Drainage outlet could occur and therefore some of the surrounding land-scape will be flooded. Resettlement issues As described in point 2 the water level will rise and a water basin will be created. The people who live in the effected area need to be resettled as their houses will be flooded.

Every task mentioned above needs be proven by a feasibility study as their process requires to be carefully planned. This could be done by other companies as all three aspects of the re-quirements analysis have to underlie the legal regulations and all further activities need to be executed carefully. 2. 2. Feasibility study Teams should be created for every single point of the requirement analysis. The team's study should attempt to generate scenarios which are potentially acceptable solutions. The resulting scenarios and all objectives that are to

be addressed by the study should be used to prepare a functional specification that spells out a proposal's scope, objectives, financial and time con-straints, and addresses the questions of technical and economic feasibility. It is necessary to receive a cost-benefit analysis for each subject in the end. The potential project manager should already be a part of the feasibility study in order for him to get a general insight in all important aspects of the project. At this point should also be thought of any other solution that might not cause such a great demolition of the area as the project of the dam would.

As soon as all results are gathered, a proposal will be formulated and be presented to the Chi-nese government as well as to the other sponsors. 3. Plan Once we have received the final approval from the Chinese government the planning phase will be entered. To achieve the set goal from the defining phase, the project manager will have to identify and sequence the tasks, the activities critical to success, estimate the time and costs and determine the staffing. To identify all tasks that need to be done, a work break down structure should be worked out.

This WBS helps the project manager to determine the staff, identify critical activities and to forecast possible risks. However, the identified critical activities require the set up of a PSP in order to visualise them. As soon as all the quotation has been reviewed the project manager will be able to estimate the costs and the estimated time for completing the project. In the case of the TGD the timed needed will approximately be 20 years and cost 25 billion Dollars. The construction of such a huge building will also need a special working force.

Therefore could the search for qualified companies overlap with various activities of different stages. 4. Organise Even though most tasks should have been finished could some still overlap with this stage. The project manager will now assign companies (civil engineers, construction workers, etc. ) to take specifically part in one of the project's support teams. The already in the planning phase developed WBS will now help again to organise the project's course. Also should the WBS help using all resources in the most economical way and to avoid wasting.

Control tools should be established in order to complete the project within time/ budget and to ensure qual-ity. In a big, intercultural project such as the TGD should be worked in matrix teams (Field and Keller, Project Management, 2004, page 242). In matrix teams will the staff be responsible to the project manager while their functional line manager will be responsible for other aspects of their work such as routine tasks. Due to the complexity of the TGD are several tools necessary to secure, control, monitor and communicate within the project.

A company should be assigned to develop a custom software that monitors the current activities of the working force, the status of progress, the activity of the turbines, security of the dam area and a communication network. E. g. would in the case of an anomaly the system send an alert to the responsible person (engineers, line managers, etc. ) and safe all actions in a log. Such a software would enable the project manager to review the project more effectively. It should also be taken in consideration to make the software avail-able online.

This could guarantee a better communication between all individuals at anytime, e. g. in absence. 5. Execute This phase is also known as the implementation phase and the most important activities in this phase are: ? Communicating with management, client, users and others ?Reviewing progress ?Monitoring costs ?Controlling quality ?Issuing orders for change ?Managing changes At this stage of the project the project manager's main task is to review the project status, schedule and budget. In order to guarantee an adequate and satisfying work is an excellent quality management system of vast importance.

Throughout the whole construction stage should the project manager review all set targets and control the current status of work. To provide a smooth and in time workflow should the pro-ject manager receive reports from all parts of the support team. This enables the project- or line manager to control the working force concerning punctuality, work achievement, and, most important, quality. Sometimes it might be necessary to change already given orders and therefore should all reports be received weekly, in some cases even daily.

The installing of deliverables is a very important task to control the time schedule and can be set sub-ordinate targets. In the case of the TGD could sub-ordinate targets be the finishing of the concrete, stone, electricity, software work, etc.. Due to the fact that the TGD is not only sponsored by the Chinese Government but also by others, the project manager needs to report to both as they are interested in the progress (schedule) as well as in the budget discipline. At this point could the software that was men-tioned in section "4. Organise" be very useful as communication and controlling tool.

The perfect execution of the TGD construction is essential and the main interest of every sponsor. A botch job would damage China's reputation as a global power. 6. Close The final stage of the project is the closure phase. The results of the project can then be put into operation. In order to finally sign off the project manager has to present a complete documentation of the project to the Chinese government and to the sponsors and has to obtain the clients accep-tance. He has to conduct post-implementation audits and has to value his work.

Thereby should the project manager consider if the TGD project is working the way it should, if it has been completed in time and budget. 7. Conclusion Due to the complexity of the Three Gorges Dam project it is difficult to forecast the exact date of completion. So far 15 years seem to be enough but the whole project relies on many differ-ent factors but external effects can hardly be predicted. The resettlement of the people living in the area could not be as easy since they have to leave their homes and have to leave many things with sentimental value behind.

Also could environmentalists intervene the whole pro-ject due to the fact that such a great area will be flooded. How much time these steps in the project will take can only be estimated. Also should be kept in mind that the project includes various teams in which many different companies from all over the world take part. A close collaboration and communication is es-sential to keep up a smooth workflow. Anyway, most important is the project manager. For such a project should be taken into con-sideration that one project manager could not be enough and a project manager team should be found.

The skills one will need are tremendous and are hardly to be found in one single person. Also could a team guarantee a better result as responsibility could be shared as well as the thinking of possible solutions. However, all members of the team, the project manager/ the project manager team, the senior board and the support teams, need to collaborate and not only think about their personal gain in order to achieve the goal of completing the project in time.