Project Management Assignment: Project Planning for Cross-River Rail Project in Brisbane
Task: Individually, you are required to prepare a 1600 word report on project management assignment in which you are to analyse the success and failure factors of a major Australian project by considering its ethical compromises.
The concept of “Project planning” focused in this respective report on project management assignmentis characterized as a process that enables a project to be completed within the specified deadline (Zhang et al., 2019). Additionally, this completion is required to be executed based on the identified and provided requirements in a project. The generic importance of project planning corresponds to the identification of the ways for ensuring the success of the project coupled with reduction of the chances of failure through risk analysis. This study aims to explore the project management stages of the cross-river rail project in Brisbane. The mentioned rail project focuses on easing the rush on the current rail network of South East Queensland (crossriverrail.qld.gov.au, 2021). For effective analysis, a three-phased approach has been considered in this report. An attempt has been made to explore the IPECC phases such as initiating, planning, executing, controlling and closing that forms a part of the project management body of knowledge.
Analyse in detail both the steps critical for your chosen project's success and the critical pitfalls that could have lead to its failure, Relate the specific success and fail factors to your nominated project and do not just describe a generic theory or simple definitions.
The success of any project is based on eight steps that work cumulatively. The corresponding eight steps are:
- Understanding the scope
- Starting of the project
- Implementing task prioritization and documentation
- Managing already agreed upon scope (forbes.com, 2021)
- Keeping all stakeholders in the loop
- Escalating issues as required
- Keeping the focus on the core process of the project
- Wrapping up of the same
The cumulation of the mentioned eight steps has complemented meeting the relative success criteria of the project. Evidence corresponds to starting of the project in August 2017 while developing major worksites such as Boggo Road, Albert Street and Roma Street among others by the end of 2019 (crossriverrail.qld.gov.au, 2021). The current phase of construction has its success in the form of managing the agreed-upon scope critically. Evidence corresponds to acknowledging the possible disruption and deciding in mitigation of the same.
Figure 1: Changes at Albert Street
(Source: crossriverrail.qld.gov.au, 2021)
Additionally, one of the core success pillars of the project could be attributed to understanding the scope of the project coupled with prioritizing work in a streamlined manner. Evidence of inclusion of specific scope corresponds to a reduction of the congestion on the current rail system in Brisbane through unlocking the existing bottleneck due to the single river crossing.As such, additional benefits have been stated in the economic aspect of employmentaspect with the promise of better commute (crossriverrail.qld.gov.au, 2021).
On the contrary, one of the major critical pitfalls that could lead to the failure of the project is the health and safety threat at the working site. For example, the potential release of silica dust at dangerous levels has contributed to stopping construction across the majority of its sites in recent months (Dennien, 2021). This disruption due to the health and safety of the workers and the adjoining residentshas contributed the issue to becoming politicized. In the event such issues and unforeseen circumstances are not adhered to, the successful fulfilment of the project may be hindered. Additional pitfalls for the stated project could be attributed to the occurrence of corruption and under-delivery of projects. This is because the above-mentioned setback occurred due to cost-cutting by the contractor by not watering the rocks excavated leading to the emergence of silica dust at the worksite.
Overall, in this project, it could be identified that major success factors of the project correspond to the inclusion of meticulous planning. This is because, through dedicated and controlled approaches, even all relevant stakeholders have been communicated with possible changes that would come with the project. Evidence corresponds to motorists, cyclists and pedestrians that would have to modify the current movements to cater to construction requirements and a more robust rail transport system. Additional evidence of planning could be attributed to the watering of excavated rocks to reduce dust particles which have been put off for reducing lorry load. Similarly, major failure factors could be attributed to corruption and delivery of the project without agreed-upon directions resulting in possible contract violation. This may lead to an increase in project cost and an extension of the project timeline.
For each of 5 IPECC stages, you are to analyse the success and failure factors for each of those stages. You are required to analyse of at least one success criteria and at least one failure criteria for each stage. If you are unable to identify success or fail criteria for a particular stage, you are required to postulate at least one criterion; but it must be based on sound theory and your knowledge of the case study.
IPECC is an acronym that reflects the collection of five process groups in the following manner and order:
The initiation stage is associated with a feasibility analysis of the project. Additionally, the project charter is created in this stage. The success criteria in this stage correspond to the feasibility analysis. This is because the concerned project focuses on generating five-point growth as:
- Economic growth through job creation and benefits exceeding 1.9 billion AUD over cost
- Unlocking the bottleneck through another passage line
- Better commute through a higher number of trains
- Transport Integrationthrough connection to Sunshine Coast, Ripley, and Flagstone (crossriverrail.qld.gov.au, 2021)
On the contrary, failure in the initiation stage could be attributed to risk assessment and mitigation. This is because technical risks could be identified. However, risks such as the current pandemic forced lockdown and the emergence of dangerous levels of silica dust could not be predicted. This may cause the project to fail because of extreme cost overrun.
The planning stage corresponds to the iterative process that would complement the project charter. The success criteria in this stage could be attributed to the application of project timelines and meeting the same. For example, starting construction in 2017, the nearly 5-year period presented almost delivery of the overall project as stated by the governing body. On the contrary, the possible failure criteria, in this case, could be attributed to the checkpoint assessments. Evidence, in this case, corresponds to the poor planning in financial and technical aspects regarding Boggo Road Railway. The disruption caused due to poor checking of the project and planning resulted in the potential additional cost of 2 million AUD per day for the station inclusive of all (McCutcheon, 2020).
The third stage of project execution corresponds to starting of the construction and development of the rail system. The success criteria in this segment correspond to rapid construction executed by the governing body and multiple contractors to meet complete the project as soon as possible. This is because, not only the construction has modified rail travel arrangements, the same has been applied to motorists, cyclists as well as pedestrians. On the contrary, corruption could be considered a failure criterion. This is because if corruption occurs during project execution, the net outcome may get hampered. Hypothetical examples relative to this project would be using cheap material in construction that may not hold the ever-increasing load due to higher passenger count in the coming future. Evidence of such corresponds to stripping of the duties of the cross-river rail of Jackie Trad post the CCC ruling (Lyat, 2019).
The controlling aspect focused on managing the project and ensuring proper quality is delivered (Zhang and Hu, 2020). The success criteria, in this case, would be explored in terms of measurement of actual execution against planning. This results in the identification of the pace of the work to be undertaken coupled with making changes in the executing process to meet changing requirements. On the contrary, failure aspects correspond to the exploration of the possible poor analysis of budget and cost estimations. For example, the rail system is projected to be open not before 2025. However, 69% of the contribution of the consortium is already spent (Parnell, 2021). Unless such budgetary aspects are brought under control, such aspects could lead to the failure of the project through abandonment.
The last stage is a closure that is characterised as delivery of the project coupled with the closing of finances and reflecting on lessons learned. In such a stage, the success criteria correspond to an effective meeting of all parameters and checking by the client. On the contrary, core areas of failure correspond to not meeting the testing and performance parameters for which the project has been designed. Minor technical errors may compound to make the project a failure at the last stage of the project management aspect. This is because, in such construction projects that would haul heavy loads both in tonnage and electricity, extensive testing is essentially required as mandated by the ATSB (atsb.gov.au, 2021). Failure of such at the final stages of testing may derail the entire project.
Integrate the ethical considerations into each of these steps and show how ethical considerations may impact the success or failure of the chosen project
The application of ethics in a project influence the success or failure of the same. The core reason corresponds to the association of positive public interest with the project coupled with the actual usage of the same post-completion. For a rail project of such enormous size, extensive ethical consideration is required as extensive criticism of the project may lead to the abandonment of the same resulting in loss of infrastructure, finances without meeting the requirement of the public in terms of transportation.
In the steps associated with project success, one of the major ethical considerations includes incorporating environmental sustainability during the planning and risk assessment of the project. Evidence of such incorporation corresponds to adhering to the Infrastructure Sustainability Council of Australia (ISCA) (crossriverrail.qld.gov.au, 2021). Incorporation of such ethical considerations would ensure that all aspects of the project meet the overall requirements and specifications as identified in the project charter.
On the contrary, not implementing ethical aspects such a providing optimum wages to the construction workers including releasing of compensation against any form of mishaps during the work may lead to failure of the project. In most cases, compensation to the workers is not provided which may lead to the occurrence of litigation against the government and the contractor responsible for the project. For example, in the event silica dust caused lung cancer to the construction worker at active sites, compensation should be provided on ethical grounds. The major advantage apart from restricting project failure would be reducing the influence of unions. The overall outcome could be attributed to the streamlined flow of work without hindranceat least from the human resource department coupled with the health and safety departments of the government. Hence, ethical considerations would eventually lead to project success.
In executing the study, it could be summarized that for the considered rail project, multiple success and failure points exist. As such, the area of implementation varies due to changes in the construction machinery and legal hassles associated with the same. Additionally, it could be concluded that IPECC has both success and failure variables relative to each stage. This overall enabled meeting the scope of the project, as well as targets as success variables, could be optimised using quality management principles. On the contrary, failure variablescould be explored to modify the risk assessment of the project and control the same. Similarly, the success and failure of a project are dependent on ethical aspects and considerations are undertaken. This is because in the event a project becomes unethical, the net target market may not use the project resulting in a loss for the developing organisation and the local government.
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