Project Management Assignment: Project Investigation Of Broken Welds
Task: A manufacturer of mountain bicycles designed an automated system for welding bike frames. For 3 years, the system worked nicely, handling about 1000 frames per shift. Production was schedules for two shifts per day. The system was designed to weld the frame and then to check the quality of each weld. The welded frames were then transported to another plant for assembly.
Recently, a few of the frames had failed. Careful testing showed that a foreign substance in the welding rod purchase from an outside vendor possibly contributed to the failure. When checked, however, the rods conformed to the specifications- given to the Purchasing Department and guaranteed by the vendor. The Chief Engineer ordered the Producation Department’s Project Leader, Alison Passette, to create a project immediately to find out precisely what was causing the failures and to find a way to solve the problem. This project was to take priority over all other projects in the department.
Alison was familiar with the Chief Engineer’s tendency to overreact to any glitched in the production process, so she decided to determine the impact of the proposed project on all other projects in the department. She also discussed the problem with Ken Kelsey, one of her welding experts, who felt sure he could solve the welding problems by determining what foreign substance, if any, caused the problem. He could then set up a system to detect the presence of the substance and reweld the affected frames. Of course, he added, they would also have to change their specifications for the welding rod to eliminate the chemical responsible for the failures.
Consider the above case scenario and prepare a project management assignment answering the question below:
What information does Alison need to determine the probable impact of Kelsey’s proposed project on the other projects in the department? Should her findings affect her decision about Kelsey’s project How?
Question: What information does Alison need to determine the probable impact of Kelsey’s proposed project on the other projects in the department? Should her findings affect her decision about Kelsey’s project? How? As mentioned herein project management assignment, every task has a distinct deliverable targeted at effectively addressing requirements or goals. The “Project Management Institute (PMI)” has defined a project in the “Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK Guide), 5th edition” as “A temporary endeavor undertaken to create a unique product, service, or result” (Project Management Institute, 2021).In the given case study, a mountain bike company has experienced some dysfunction in the automated welding machine for bike structures. It was assumed that the dysfunction was caused due to some unknown component of the raw materials used for welding the structures. Allison is the Project Manager who has been instructed by the Chief Engineer to launch a project in the investigation of the matter. Kelsey is responsible for this project. Allison must also perform another project of redoing the broken welded pieces.
Kelsey would require to find out the following information:
The quantity of welds to be recuperated–
The company have already received some welded structures that have failed the quality testing. From further investigations, it was decided that the welding machine did not have a fault but the materials used in the raw material for the cycle structures may have led to the dysfunction. Kelsey suggested that he have designed a project that would identify the composition of the raw materials that caused the dysfunction and therefore alter the company standards for raw materials to be obtained in the future. Although this project sounds important to be adopted in order to eliminate the chances of dysfunctions in the future, it is more important to decide the immediate necessity of the project proposed by Kelsey (Jafarzade, Akbari, Abedin, 2018). This can be decided by finding out the number of welds that need to be redone. As several welds have been reported to be faulty, it is important to know how many welds were exactly broken. If this number is substantially high, it would be able to significantly lower the general production rate of the company. It might be necessary to get the broken welds redone on a more urgent basis in order to maintain the standard production rate of the company. If there are many welds to be redone, diverting a portion of the workflow into finding the cause of the dysfunction instead of repairing the impact of the dysfunction would not be the most prudent thing to do. This is an example of prioritising projects that project managers must perform to maintain the general functioning of the organisation.
The expense of recuperating faulty welds–
Expenses and budgeting is another crucial part of project management (Rani, Dharyan, 2021). Every company or organisation have a limited amount of revenue that can spare on the different ongoing projects within the company or organisation. Budgeting must be done on the basis of this. It is also important to note that the priority of a project also dictates the budgeting of the project. This implies that if a project is decided to be more important than it would be allotted the required expenditure of it even if that means putting other projects on hold for the time being to accommodate for the company’s budget. In this case, knowing about the costs of the welds to be redone is therefore important. It would provide Allison with an estimation of how much expenditure is necessary for repairing the dysfunction, which would, in turn, inform her of the amount of monetary resource she has to spare on Kelsey’s project. It has already been established that the prioritisation of the repair project is to be determined on the basis of the extent of the dysfunction, in case the repair project is decided to be of more importance, the cost of this project would be a major determiner about the sanctioning of Kelsey’s project.
Time required to finish the proposed project of Kelsey–
Time management is an essential key to project management (Ng, 2019). In the given case, the project manager Allison already has two projects, a repair project and an investigation project (Kelsey’s project) that she has to compare and prioritise. Kelsey’s project is undoubtedly crucial and must be carried out eventually as the Chief Engineer of the firm have requested for it and that it has a definitive positive effect on the production quality of the company. The time required for Kelsey’s project would help Allison determine whether it can be delayed or done on a top priority basis. If the project takes a long time, Allison would probably be obligated to sanction the project to be performed parallelly.
Revenue and other resources like work-power and raw materials necessary to conduct Kelsey’s proposed project–
Resources necessary for a project form the key determinants of the decision-making process about the prioritising of projects (Shin, Lee, Yoon, 2018). Kelsey’s project is extremely crucial and requires to be carried out at some point to eliminate the possibilities of the same dysfunction in the future. In the long term, it is capable of saving the company a lot of revenue. However, an assessment of the requirements of Kelsey’s project would be helpful for Allison to decide when to sanction the project.
The importance of other projects and their priority over each other – Extent of other projects being affected if the resources are allocated towards Kelsey’s project
Allison's observations might influence her choice of Kelsey's proposal. If her studies indicate that starting Kelsey's planned project is more financially sustainable and significant, she will come out in favor of it. Before reaching a judgement regarding Kelsey's idea, Alison will have to examine the opinions of the chief engineer as well as other supervisors (Meredith et al., 2014).Essential goals and tasks are progressively being accomplished in businesses currently through the usage of projects. Consequently, a distinct type of role is forming to cope with the high range of specialties, concurrently running, and frequently connected projects in organizations. This project management-oriented role has been established in order to better align projects with the company's strategy and goals, as well as to merge and consolidate project management methodologies for the expanding number of active projects (Silvius, 2017).
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Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK Guide), (2021). Retrieved 1 November 2021, from https://www.pmi.org/pmbok-guide-standards/foundational/PMBOK.
Rani, P., &Dharyan, S. (2021). Implication of Budgeting on Contemporary Project Management. In Contemporary Challenges for Agile Project Management (pp. 183-200). IGI Global.
Shin, J., Lee, S., & Yoon, B. (2018). Identification and prioritisation of risk factors in R&D projects based on an R&D process model. Sustainability, 10(4), 972.
Silvius, G. (2017). Sustainability as a new school of thought in project management. Journal of cleaner production, 166, 1479-1493.