Project Activation Case Paper

Project Activation Case
Project Activation Case

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Project Activation Case

Globally, projects are at the heart of the success of any organization. Most organizations rely on the success of the individual project to eventually be successful in their other business operations. Considering the significance of project success, it is prudent to look at the project management practices being currently used by most organizations.

It is common to find that the outdated project management practices or models being used are prone to mistakes errors and eventually project failure (Burke, 2013). However, there is a new project or rather program management model that is better than the ones being currently used by most organizations.

The new model of program management focuses more on the most important areas of running a project to ensure their optimum function. Essentially, the new model provides the overall program manager or individual project managers new ways to manage, coordinate and control the activities that constitute a project.

The new model does so by ensuring that the program managers are note prone to some of the errors, mistakes or other people mistakes that they make during program management. The new model of program management has a new thing to teach the professionally concerned with overseeing project activities at the organizational country or global level.

Project Activation Case

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Looking into the significance of the projects being carried out by MEDCOM each year. Project management needs to be at the core of their activities. For an institution as large as MEDCOM, project management is one of their critical aspects that they incorporate into their schedules to ensure that the purpose of the organization is not in any way deemed unachievable. Therefore, MEDCOM should consider looking into the new project management model to find out what they have been doing wrong and what they can be able to change for a better performing organization.

The new model of project management can be explained in detail throughout this paper. However, there are some sections in the new model that are similar to other models that have been in place for a long time. Consequently, there also some other sections that do not exist in the absolute models and therefore, they need to be explained together with how they change the way people think about managing projects and programs by completely redefining project management.

In essence, managing a project is quite a limited task as compared to a program. The unique difference comes in the fact that the scope of a program is larger than that of a project. Therefore, we conclude that the definition of program management covers a larger scope than that of project management. Therefore, we are going to use a definition of the latter term to give the meaning of the scope in which these two management practices operate.

Essentially, program management is defined as the process through which a group of projects is coordinated and managed in a way to achieve the control and benefits, not achievable from managing them individually (, 2015). In simple term, the definition of program management comprises of the idea of managing several projects under one umbrella to attain certain benefits that would steer a certain organization towards prosperity, in which case it would not have been possible by the act of managing each project separately and individually.

Project Activation Case

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MEDCOM has been facing quite some challenges caused by their project management practices. According to information available. Their last projects were faced by quite some challenges that made them quite not successful in their objectives. The challenges they faces were mostly attributed to the inability of the project managers to effectively and efficiently manage a project. Essentially, the organization’s bureaucracy problem was identified as a magnification of the internal problems of the project managers.  That is quite true.

However, there is hope for this organization. After critically and carefully analyzing the new model of program management. You realize that there are some essential components of the new model that ought to be incorporated into the practices of MEDCOM when they are managing their many projects. Or otherwise, MEDCIM should consider adopting the new model to achieve project management success in every perspective possible.

The paper is going to critically evaluate the essential components that align to the project management problem at MEDCOM and come up with a recommendation on what MEDCOM should consider changing to be successful in their operations.

MEDCOM has faced quite some challenges, but the new project management model has come to the rescue. Initially, MEDCOM had been managing their project separately and individually. This meant that most of the project if not all had a sole supervisor who was the project manager. They faced likely problems that include lack of commitment, firm leadership, and sponsorship. Other problems included poor requirements management, lack of defined success metrics, and lack of integrated planning and so on.

To effectively tackle the problems or challenges being faced by MEDCOM as they attempt to effectively manage their projects. They need to use the services of an overall program manager. The program manager will be there for one reason only. To ensure that program management is done to the best of the potential being held by the organization. This includes practices like ensuring project managers communicate their achievement and setbacks right on from the start to ensure that the program goes with a certain plan (, 2015).

The deliverables of the projects need to be also communicated from the start of the project to ensure that stakeholder gets a clear picture of the benefits to be expected from the project and also know if they are in the process of being obtained or if they have already been obtained.

Project Activation Case

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The program management process also requires the right organization. The new model dictates that there are some crucial roles to be played by other parties other than project managers and the program manager (Kerzner, 2013). This crucial role would require the expertise of some professional who have significant input into the project.

Some of whom have quite critical roles that define the commitment with which various professionals would run individual projects that are coordinated in such a way that the benefits obtained are specific to the function of the organization. The required professionals include program sponsors, program managers, change manager, risk manager, business analyst, and program office manager.

The program sponsor will have the sole purpose of providing a level of authority on matters such as purpose and direction of the program as well as program funding. The success of the program depends heavily on the overall quality of the sponsors. The program managers will be tasked with integration and coordination of component projects and operations to meet the objectives of the program eventually.

The change manager’s work will be to successfully integrate the changes that the program will bring into a certain organization. The risk manager will have the responsibility of identifying the different ways of identifying and implementing the process of risk management.  The business analyst is concerned with the analysis of the scope of requirements across all projects in the program and also a quality assurance to verify some of the project deliverables.

Program office manager is the person who sets the standards for the program management practices. Seeing that every professional listed above have a specific purpose, they are therefore crucial to meeting the objectives of the projects and program as a whole (, 2015).

Project Activation Case

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Other aspects of the new model that are essential include a well-defined program architecture, managing stakeholder’s expectations, integrated program planning, systematic risk management,  evaluating possible program outcomes, implementation of the right control practices, identification of achievable benefits and requirement and lastly facilitation of effective change management in the organization.

When the above stipulated essential components of the new model, have been successfully integrated into the operations of MEDCON. Success is assured. However, after integrating the essential one need to critically analyze if the new model has delivered program success in the said organization. This can be done through some ways that include assessing if the implementation of the strategic programs has been successful of not.

Considering that success is guaranteed only if a combination of strong communication, leadership, managerial and technical skills was adopted for the program (, 2015). Then and only then will project management said to be successful in a given capacity.

References,. ‘Project Management: Executing’. N.p., 2015. Web. 5 Dec. 2015.

Burke, R. (2013). Project management: planning and control techniques. New Jersey, USA.

Kerzner, H. R. (2013). Project management: a systems approach to planning, scheduling, and controlling. John Wiley & Sons.,. ‘Expert Project Management – Ten Essential Steps To Delivering Successful Programs’. N.p., 2015. Web. 5 Dec. 2015.,. ‘Parametric Technology Corp., Resources | Twentyeighty Stratex’. N.p., 2015. Web. 5 Dec. 2015.

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Project Plan Assignment Paper

Project Plan
Project Plan

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Project Plan

Project Summary

Project name: Reviving the nuclear power plants in Sumatra

Project start date: 08th April 2016

Project end date: 20th August 2016

Project goal: The goal of this project therefore aims at reviving and averting the dangers that the people in this region may face as a result of the destruction made on the Nuclear Power Plant and the risks that are also associated with the environment within this region.

Project location: Sumatra

Project need: Resolving the problems that may occur as a result of the damages that were experienced in the Sumatra Power Plant.

Project description: Considering the effects of the earthquake that left the city of Sumatra in loses, this project aims at developing the power plant that was damaged in this region.

Project budget: The estimated budget of this project is $800,000.

Success criteria: The project will be a success in the event that the funding’s required is gained and the factors that would cause a threat to the people living in this area and the environment itself are mitigated. Also essential is to get the power plant back to full operation.

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Project sponsor:                                        Tony Guwarty

Project manager:                                       Johnson Devuti

Project team:                                             Collins Scot– Financial Officer

                                                                  Henry Trump–Plants Supervisor

                                                                  Dorothy Fins– Risk Analyst


Recently, a 9.1 magnitude earthquake hit the coast of Sumatra that was estimated to have occurred at a depth of 30km. According to sources, the fault zone is attributed as the main cause of the tsunami at roughly 1300km long, a factor that displaced the sea floor by meters. It is through this incidence that the nuclear power plants in Sumatra were damaged (Noue, Wijeyewickrema, Matsumoto, Miura, Gunaratna, Madurapperuma, & Sekiguchi, pp. 395-411.2007). It is reported that an estimated US $ 15 billion of property was damaged and close to 230,000 people reported dead

This project management plan therefore aims at resolving and averting the dangers that the people in this region may face as a result of the destruction made on the Nuclear Power Plant and the risks that are also associated with the environment within this region (Lapoint, & Haggard, pp. 73-85.2014). The plan therefore aims at restoring the power plant back into full functionality and establishing safe approaches that would mitigate such happenings within this area in the future.

Project Objectives

The objectives of this project remain in meeting the needs of the population who have over the past experienced disasters. The project also aims at adhering to the required standards in developing and reviving the Nuclear Power Plant including the time scales.

Project Scope

It is in this case essential to determine that the focus of this project management plan is in resolving the problems that may occur as a result of the damages that were experienced in the Sumatra Power Plant (Jovanović, Čolić, Dordević, & Mitić, pp. 69. 2012). The plan therefore aims at preventing damages that may be incurred in the future. The central objective lies in making the power plant fully functional including the development of safety approaches that prevent the reoccurrence of a similar incidence.

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Assumptions and Constraints

The primary assumptions of this project management plan lied in the projects funding that is assumed should come from the governments funding and international support that would be enough to fully complete the objective of this project (Zwikael, & Ahn, pp. 25-37.2011). Other minor assumptions include the availability of skilled manpower to complete the project process; another magnitude earthquake will soon follow and if the results turn out worse, the power plant owners would choose to close this plant and bury its operations.

The constraints of this project entail that escalation of the atomic reactor that would cause more damages to an uncontrolled proportion, the strong aftershocks, and the lack of skilled manpower to risk their lives in achieving the goals of this project (Klastorin, & Mitchell, pp. 68-80.2013).

Project Organization

A project manager will be selected to ensure that the sub-projects are managed with reports made to the corporate board of Sumatra Electric Power Company. The sub-projects with the project manager will therefore include:

  1. Ensuring that public relations with the governments and other agencies are conducted since this remains the crucial planning and execution approach.
  2. The handling of logistic and supply chain
  3. On-site mitigation
  4. The handling of the projects finances.

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Technical Processes

This project will therefore make use of an open method to try and develop the appropriate mitigation processes that may be essential after the process of evaluation that will be done by specialized teams of engineers and scientists (Allen, McLees, Richardson, & Waterford, pp. 1-15.2015). The fall-back approach will therefore make use of the experiences of other power plants to ensure that precautions are taken in a case where such disasters occur again.

The plan will ensure that a safety board is put in place that consists of international representatives from scientific agencies and from the government, who will design and develop appropriate mechanisms that would ensure this plan is fully functional in the prevention of human life and the environment.

Project Definition and Planning

Stakeholders Needs

To achieve the goals of this project, the plan will therefore ensure that the needs of the stakeholders are addressed in the manner below:

  1. Board of Directors-Will ensure that adequate support is provided in the development of this plant by also ensuring that the environment and the lives of the people are protected including the restructuring of a new approach in the reviving of the Nuclear Power Plant in Sumatra.
  2. Board of Directors –The board will ensure that proper modalities are developed with the aim of ensuring that this Nuclear Power Plant runs and supports the people within the vicinity.
  3. Sumatra Council-This council will ensure that developments are made within this power plant and the required supporting infrastructures are also developed for the people within this region. The board will equally ensure that the facility is safe from the destruction of human life even when earthquakes come and is also innovatively structured to meet the needs of the population.

Success Criteria

The success criteria for this project remains in meeting the criteria’s that have been developed that would see the success of the process of the project (Schmidt, 2009). Other success factors of the project include:

  1. Meeting the full standards of the project
  2. Completing the project within the stated time frame
  3. Receiving positive feedback from the community within this vicinity.

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Project Execution

Project Methodology

The project will be executed through the use of different approaches, with the Gantt chart planning tool utilized to control and report on the project (Lapoint, & Haggard, pp. 73-85.2014). The project will therefore be divided in 4 phases with each phase ending with the acceptance of the community. The projects director will therefore conduct an inspection of each of the projects phases within the first week upon receipt of the contract and a notification on this put in writing.

The Board of Directors will therefore have the mandate to inform the contractor about their joint decision in either accepting or rejecting the phases completed and also submit details on the areas that need to be improved within a period of not more than two days (Clements, pp. 345.2012). It is also essential to determine that the delays that will be experienced in completing the four phases of the project will be attributed to the contractor’s inefficiency to meet their targets and obligations within the projects time frame, a factor that would call for penalties.

  1. It is essential to note that in any case disputes arise within the project period; the Board will set up a panel of committee to review such disputes with the parties paying the costs.
  2. The community and the workers who will be working on this site will be provided with a health and safety training to ensure that they are secure in the plant.

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Project Governance

Project Structure

The project will be analyzed and structured as described in the Appendix1 with the project governance approach also implemented as detailed.

Risks and Risk Mitigation

During the process of the project, it is believed that there would be some risks associated during the process, a factor that requires the application of a risk mitigation process ad detailed in the Appendix 3.

Project Deliverables

  1. The projects deliverables will be determined as defined in the Appendix 4 that shows the work breakdown structure.
  2. It is anticipated that the project will commence on the 08th April 2016 and will be completed on the 20th August 2016 at a budget of $800,000.
  3. The contractor will therefore provide a warranty period of 5 years for the renovation.
  4. After the project period, the contractor will be expected to offer a 5 year agreement in monitoring the project after completion.

Commissioning Of the Project and its Conclusion

It is essential to determine that the Boards acceptance of the phases of the project may not be finally actualized considering the fact that this facility will also be utilized by the community, a factor that points of to the need of the communities approval of these phases.

The contractors will only down their tools when the Nuclear Power Plant is in a position to stand the calamities that may come in the near future with this tested on its ability to withstand force.

In this case, the Board will convene a meeting with the other bodies to make final conclusions on the tested facility and approve the project to validate the payment of the contractor.

The Client is the sole determining party of the outcome of the testing stage, notwithstanding the fact that the members of the commissioning team will include representatives of the contractor.

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In order to properly ensure that the project fully utilizes its functions and achieves success, it is essential that certain factors are considered:

  1. It is essential to ensure that the contractors understand the need of developing the Nuclear Plant into a stable facility that can stand calamities such as earthquakes and tsunamis.
  2. The central focus of the contractors should be in developing modalities that ensure the lives of the people and the environment are protected when such incidences occur again.
  3. Considering the fact that the community has in the past used this facility as their sources of power, it is essential that their trust is won again, a factor that will strengthen business ties in the future.
  4. Contractors should also be mindful of the fact that the use of noisy machines should be planned or incorporate the use of silencers.

Reflective Statement

It is essential to determine that the current world has been frequently faced by a lot of calamities that claim the lives of very many people in the society. Earthquakes are the trembling movements that crust the surface of the earth. These movements come with vibrations that pass through the earth in the form of waves; a factor that caused several loses within in an area (Noue, Wijeyewickrema, Matsumoto, Miura, Gunaratna, Madurapperuma, & Sekiguchi, pp. 395-411.2007).

Some regions experience tsunamis that occur as a result of the violent underwater forces that travel as tidal waves. This therefore determined the reason for the choice of this topic since many countries have over time been heavily affected by these calamities that destroy property and consume the lives of a people.

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In developing this project plan, I have determined the fact that the implementation part of this project may take quite a long time in completing. However upon going through the concepts of this study, I have identified the fact that the initiation stages and the planning phases of a project may require bit of time since this is what determined the success of a project (Parker, Parsons, & Isharyanto, pp. 552-573. 2015).

Through the projects phases, I have discovered that the element of teamwork plays a significant role especially when incorporated with communication approaches. This therefore points out to the need of the planning committee to consider these elements since this enables the objectives of the project to be achieved.

On the other hand, I have also received the relevant skills requires in developing the Gantt chart and in ensuring that the time frame is appropriately calculated (Heravi, Coffey, & Trigunarsyah, pp. 985-997. 2015). This skill will enable me to effectively plan projects in the future. However, it is also essential to note that there were some challenges that I experienced in the process especially in developing some of the charts with specifity on the Gantt chart. This therefore required an application of the project management tools.

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Allen, M, McLees, J, Richardson, C, & Waterford, D 2015, ‘Project Planning and Best Practices‘, Journal Of Information Technology & Economic Development, 6, 1, pp. 1-15, Business Source Complete, EBSCOhost, viewed 6 December 2015.

Clements, G. 2012 Effective Project Management. 5th ed. Canada: Cengage Learning International.pp. 345

Heravi, A, Coffey, V, & Trigunarsyah, B 2015, ‘Evaluating the level of stakeholder involvement during the project planning processes of building projects‘, International Journal Of Project Management, 33, 5, pp. 985-997, Business Source Complete, EBSCOhost, viewed 6 December 2015.

Jovanović, P, Čolić, V, Dordević, V, & Mitić, A 2012, ‘Implementation of Project Management in Managing Organizational Projects’, Management (1820-0222), 64, pp. 69-76, Business Source Complete, EBSCOhost, viewed 6 December 2015

Klastorin, T, & Mitchell, G 2013, ‘Optimal project planning under the threat of a disruptive event’, IIE Transactions, 45, 1, pp. 68-80, Business Source Complete, EBSCOhost, viewed 6 December 2015.

Lapoint, P, & Haggard, C 2014, ‘Design Prototypes Inc. Project Management (B): Planning The Alpha C306 Project’, Journal Of The International Academy For Case Studies, 20, 3, pp. 73-85, Business Source Complete, EBSCOhost, viewed 6 December 2015.

Noue, S, Wijeyewickrema, A, Matsumoto, H, Miura, H, Gunaratna, P, Madurapperuma, M, & Sekiguchi, T 2007, ‘Field Survey of Tsunami Effects in Sri Lanka due to the Sumatra-Andaman Earthquake of December 26, 2004’, Pure & Applied Geophysics, 164, 2/3, pp. 395-411, Academic Search Premier, EBSCOhost, viewed 6 December 2015.

Parker, D, Parsons, N, & Isharyanto, F 2015, ‘Inclusion of strategic management theories to project management’, International Journal Of Managing Projects In Business, 8, 3, pp. 552-573, Business Source Complete, EBSCOhost, viewed 6 December 2015.

Schmidt, T 2009, Strategic Project Management Made Simple: Practical Tools for Leaders and Teams, Hoboken, N.J.: Wiley, eBook Collection (EBSCOhost), EBSCOhost, viewed 6 December 2015. Zwikael, O, & Ahn, M 2011, ‘The Effectiveness of Risk Management: An Analysis of Project Risk Planning Across Industries and Countries’, Risk Analysis: An International Journal, 31, 1, pp. 25-37, Business Source Complete, EBSCOhost, viewed 6 December 2015.

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Project Controlling and Closing

Project Controlling and Closing
Project Controlling and Closing

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Project Controlling and Closing

Project control activities go hand in hand with project development activities so that while the work of the project is being handled, the project is being managed and monitored through the implementation of proper oversight levels. Project controls should effectively address cost controls, project planning, and scheduling, productivity, and change management (Shohreh 2015).

Project controls include data gathering, analysis, and management of process used to predict and manage the results from a project program. Project controls encompass project strategy, risk management, project scheduling, document control, forensic assessment and cost control. The project controls must be effectively implemented and managed for a positive outcome from a project.

For effective project control, ABC organization review metrics and reports to identify variances from the planned project. Variances are determined by taking the actual performance value of a project and comparing it against the planned performance. If problems are anticipated, control measures are also taken into place (Shohreh 2015). Project controls used by the organization include planning, cost management, cost estimation and cost analysis. The project controls are implemented into the project by directing other people to take corrective actions. All stakeholders are informed of the changes, and they then discuss to update the changes required in their specific sections of the project.

Project Controlling and Closing

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Project controls are managed through configuration system. The configuration system has processes for submitting changes, tracking the project for reviewing and provision of methods to approve the required changes. The system mostly includes change control system. The system has formal documented procedures that are used in the application of technical and administrative directions. Project control management involves the identification of the features of a product, applying the necessary changes, and record changes and implementation status of the project. Configuration management ensures consistency in a project by integrating all the project control elements.

According to Nick (2013), control measures include:

1.    Scope control

A scope control is implemented to identify and manage all features of a project that may increase or decrease its scope beyond the approved scope. Scope control determines when a change has occurred and managed the changes when they occur. Change in scope requires additional project resources and; therefore, all stakeholders involved in the project should discuss the change.

2.    Schedule control

Schedules are affected by funding, climate, vendors. Schedule control is characterized by determination of the change in schedule and management of the schedule. Once a problem in the schedule is discovered, it is investigated and updated.

3.    Risk control

Risk control is the process of carrying out risk management plan to take necessary precautions resulting from risks over the course of the project. Risk control involves identification of the threat, quantifying and qualifying the risk, and responding to the risk. Workarounds are tools used to assess and analysis risks as they are short term, and the response is not defined before the occurrence of risks.

4.    Quality control

Quality control is a project control measure that monitors the result of the project to determine whether they conform to the required standards. Quality control is carried out through the project by the quality control engineers.

5.    Cost control

Cost control determines if forecasted project budget has changed; manage the change through corrective actions, and then informing the stakeholders of the changes. A project is managed through revised cost estimates that provide a modification to the cost information.

6.    Contract administration control

Type of project control that ensures sections within organization performance is in accordance to the contractual agreements.


For effective project control, cost control and scheduling should be interlinked to manage better variations from the budget and schedule by integration of the two controls to look at the big picture of the project.

Some of the methods used to assess project effectiveness include cycle-time reduction, the number of processes and steps, and customer satisfaction. However, one way to assess the effectiveness of a project is to evaluate its present level of efficiency and effectiveness. Current project efficiency and effectiveness provides a complete evaluation. Assessment is done for each of the segments in the project (Nick 2013).

Customer satisfaction measures effectiveness while resources measure efficiency. By measuring customer satisfaction and resource utilization, it is possible to determine the process to focus on for improvement together with other tools and measurements.

Use of current efficiency and effectiveness allows project managers to make quick decisions, visualize outcomes and simultaneously make a comparison of the processes. The current evaluation helps in generation of discussion by stakeholders for consensus. Current evaluation of efficiency and effectiveness creates focus and coordination within projects and helps in identification of gaps for improvement. The process is done by taking all resources and rating them as per the progress of the project on the planned results (Shohreh 2015).

Project Controlling and Closing

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Project managers apply project controls to keep up with the changes that happen during the implementation of a project. The controls include cost, schedule, risks, and quality. Proper management of the controls through integration leads to successful completion of a project. Changes in the control elements are identified and stakeholders informed to apply the necessary changes. Integration of the different control elements and stakeholders is a sure way to effectively enhance project management.


Nick Gamino (2013). Tips to manage projects effectively. Retrieved from

Shohreh Ghorbani (2015). Key role of project controls in successfully managing your projects. Retrieved from

Project Controlling and Closing

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Boston University Project Management Admission Essay

Boston University Project Management
Boston University Project Management

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Boston University Project Management Admission Essay


Master in Project Management program.

Write a personal statement of why you want to  study at Boston university Project Management Masters Course specifically.

Available on campus and online, the Master of Science in Project Management degree at Boston University’s Metropolitan College (MET) is a unique opportunity to combine a broad and industry-rooted knowledge of business and management principles with a mastery of successful project-based strategies.

With its detailed and tool-based examination of a project’s conception, planning, budgeting, resource allocation, and implementation, BU MET’s Project Management program is beneficial to those with a broad range of professional responsibilities—from working on complex projects for global companies to designing IT infrastructure to completing consulting contracts. The group-oriented approach we take is closely aligned with how real-world projects are successfully completed.

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Professional Ethics Essay Assignment

Professional Ethics
Professional Ethics

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Professional Ethics


The discipline of project management incorporates ethical aspects in fulfilling the desires of all stakeholders. The project leaders’ policies are well defined by their actions. According to Gido and Clements, incisive supervisors set good examples as role models through their ethical behavior as well as their personal interaction with the coworkers in the planning, implementation, and controlling processes (Gido and Clements, 2014). These leaders can reinforce the company’s values, expectations and build leadership, determination, and enthusiasm throughout the organization. this paper reviews professional ethics in project management.

Project management is a complex task that requires ethics to make judgments and interpretation of several aspects of the project. For instance, it is difficult to differentiate between intentional falsifications of estimates from indisputable mistakes or the intended inflation of project pay-offs from actual optimism. Moreover, it is problematic to determine if unfulfilled promises were purposeful deceptions or an effective response to the varying circumstances. Such cases call for the application of the Code of ethics to come up with effective solutions.

As a professional in project management, we are charged with the duty of promoting ethical practices at the workplace. The project managers should accept the responsibilities associated with their work activities. These managers are also responsible for making decisions about the activities of the project that may be linked to considerable ethical dimensions.

Professional Ethics

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The Project Management Institute (PMI) Code of Ethics and Code of Professional Conduct outlines the ethical responsibilities for her members to uphold (Schwalbe, 2015). These code of ethics act as a guide in the course of project management and decision making especially when one is conversant with them, applies them regularly, and uses them appropriately. PMI members, as professionals in the project management field, pledge to support and abide by the following regulations;

  1. Sustain high standards of professional conduct and integrity,
  2. Admit responsibility of their own actions,
  3. Conduct their activities in an honest and fair manner,
  4. Continually find ways of enhancing their professional capabilities and
  5. Motivate their colleagues in the profession to behave in a manner that is ethical and professional.

Benefits of the PMI Code of Ethics in Project Management


One of the most important responsibilities of all project management professionals is to make sure that they exercise integrity in the project management process, their personal conduct, and the product. This can be achieved effectively by abiding by the PMI Code of Ethics and the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK) project management processes. Research by Schwalbe proved clearly that situations occur frequently in the course of monitoring projects whereby an individual’s integrity is usually challenged (Schwalbe, 2015).

In such circumstances, one is forced to make difficult decisions. Indeed, individuals with high moral standards, high personal ethics, and with appropriate training in ethics manage to make better decisions (Gido and Clements, 2014). Moreover, PMI members should report to the customers, stakeholders, or others any circumstances or actions that can be construed as a conflict of interest.

Relationship with Clients, Customers, and Employers

Ethics are essential in offering customers, employees and clients honest, fair, accurate, and complete information regarding the preparation of estimates on the costs, services, and the expected results. The ethics also demand that members should disclose fully and accurately any business related or professional conflicts or even probable conflicts of interest in an amicable manner.

This is one of the most significant issues which project management professionals aim t improving.  Some institutions have a tendency of disclosing only good news and hide negatives of the business (Corey et al, 2014). This is unethical. However, when the codes of ethics are properly exercised, a culture is cultivated whereby the bearer of bad news is not punished.

Professional Ethics

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Confidentiality of Information

It is necessary for the confidentiality of privacy of the customers to be honored and maintained. Same treatment should be accorded on the clients’ identities, the assignments undertaken and any other information that may be acquired through the course of a professional relationship. However, there is an exception to this only when a customer grants permission. Ethics also emphasize that an organization should protect and respect other people’s intellectual property rights. The employees should also recognize and respect the intellectual, professional, and research contribution of their counterparts.

Ethics also encourage employees to acknowledge and differentiate between what is right and wrong. They strive consistently to serve as reference points for good conduct. In most business settings, being ethical translates to application of fairness and honest principles to the relationship between the customers and the coworkers. Ethical employees are committed to treat everyone in the workplace in the manner that they would also like to be treated.

Shapiro and Stefkovich reported that institutions that abide by the code of ethics and build more ethical corporate cultures are usually associated with benefits that flow as a result of building a reputation as an ethical organization (Shapiro and Stefkovich, 2016). Most employees have a preference of working for ethical organizations. The status of ethical business practices attracts job applicants that are better qualified and well motivated. It also promotes public relations and the moral standards of the workers.

Customers may let an organization take advantage of them once. However, they can realize that they were not treated in a fair manner just as they expected. For instance, they can be convinced to buy substandard goods or be overcharged. As a result, they cease being repeat customers of the organization. Corey et al enlightens that having a client base that is loyal is one of the most essential keys that promote long term success in business (Corey et al, 2014).

This is due to the fact that attending to a pre-existing customer does not entail marketing costs compared to getting a new customer. Therefore, an institution that maintains desirable ethical behavior succeeds in creating a more positive image in the market place. This attracts new clients. On the other hand, unethical behavior hinders the company’s opportunities to acquire new clients especially in this era of social networking whereby customers that are dissatisfied can easily spread information regarding the negative experiences they have been exposed to.

Professional Ethics

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Retain good employees

Competent and hardworking workers at all company levels expect to be rewarded and compensated appropriately for their determination (Shapiro and Stefkovich, 2016). They expect project managers to advance their careers within the company not on favoritism but on the basis of what they have delivered and achieved in the company. PMI requires that the management team should tell its workers the truth about what the company is doing, such as cases of reorganization and layoffs.

When companies adhere to PMI’s code of ethics, they become open and fair in their dealings and hence have a higher probability of maintaining the most competent workers. Workers stop being dedicated to their jobs the moment they find out that the company’s compensation methodology is not fair as they expect.   

Positive Working Environment

Employees, from the moment they have their first job interview, are expected to behave in an ethical manner. They are required to be frank with their previous experience and capabilities. Employees who exercise ethical behavior are not considered to be individuals just out on themselves but team players who have the interest of the company at heart. Such individuals will not stop at anything until they make sure that the objectives of the project they are undertaking have been met.

To do this, they develop positive relationships with their coworkers. The project managers trust such workers with information deemed to be confidential and as a result they end up being given more autonomy. Contrary, workers that are unethical and are caught in the lies by the project managers cut short their chances of advancement within the company. In most cases, they end up being fired.

A severe case of poor ethics is theft by the employees. Normally, theft in some industries costs the business huge sums of money. Take the example of a baking company where employees steal cakes and other ingredients from the freezer and storage locker respectively.

Professional Ethics

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Decision making

The PMI codes of ethics are necessary because they promote establishment of a culture whereby decisions are made based on ethics. When supervisors are having turbulent times running their projects, a strong ethical culture serves as a guide in managing any prevailing conflicts by making the right moves. The ethics are also significant as they can enhance change to be introduced successfully which at times is a challenge.

Avoid legal Problems

Occasionally, the project management team may be tempted to cut comers in a bid to acquire profits. For instance, they can ignore the safety hazards of the workers, fail to comply with labor laws or environmental regulations, or use substandard materials in their project. These activities attract severe penalties once one has been caught such as sanctions by government agencies, legal fees, and fines.

As a result, the organization develops long-ranger damage to its reputation that ends up being even more costly than the charged fines and legal fees. It is for this reason that companies are encouraged to maintain the highest ethical standards possible and take their time and ensure that all members of the company are well trained about the expected conduct.

Asset Protection

Businesses that have a strong ethical culture manage to safeguard their assets. Employees who adhere to the ethics of the workplace are in a better position of respecting the assets of the project. Such workers will not be found making personal long distance calls using business lines and neither will they use the company’s vehicles to run their personal errands.

Company property can be respected accordingly when workers are treated with respect and dignity by their supervisors. This makes them feel proud to be taking part in any project assigned to them. Therefore, it is the duty of supervisors to ensure that their team members are working in an environment that is fostered with integrity and strong ethics. It discourages employees from misusing the company’s property and increases their pride.

Professional Ethics

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Organizations are experiencing losses of millions and billions of dollars of the taxpayers’ money from time to time due to unethical behavior. Therefore, it is the responsibility of project management professionals to rise and take responsibility not only to strengthen a working environment with high ethical standards but also to serve as role models by upholding high ethics in the company. They can achieve this by promoting awareness of the significance of ethics in the institution in general.

Professional Ethics


Corey, G., Corey, M., Corey, C., & Callanan, P. (2014). Issues and Ethics in the Helping Professions with 2014 ACA Codes. Nelson Education.

Gido, J., & Clements, J. (2014). Successful project management. Nelson Education.

Schwalbe, K. (2015). Information technology project management. Cengage Learning.

Shapiro, J. P., & Stefkovich, J. A. (2016). Ethical leadership and decision making in education: Applying theoretical perspectives to complex dilemmas. Routledge.

Professional Ethics

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Comments and Constructive Criticism

Comments and Constructive Criticism
Comments and Constructive Criticism

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Comments and Constructive Criticism

Article Reviews.

Article 1.

Excellent study!  Organization project management (OPM), is a platform that defines the company portfolios, programs and projects. OPM is the primary factor that ensures that projects align with the company’s long term strategic plan and that the projects undertaken by the firm are supervised and managed as a single entity and does not interfere with each other.

            Project management is one of the factors that leads to an organization growth and development. To have a successful project, the firm must integrate its culture, innovation, organization structure, strategic plans and the portfolio management. In addition, the shareholders must be the ones spearheading the projects process by overseeing the top management responsibilities and how they are able to communicate the process or the development of the project within the company, (Kerzner, pg.87, 2013).

For the project to be successful, the company must come up with a good budget that aims to finance the project to completion.This goes hand in hand with the shareholders defining on how the project is to be financed and the project proposed must be congruent with the company’s vision and its long term strategic objectives and goals.

Project managers should seek consensus on the selection of the projects, discussion from the company ideas through the innovative processes to the completion of the project. This do include the pre development of the project, development activities and commercialization activities of an individual project.

Companies must create an innovative environment within the organization. This helps the employees to be part of new implementation of the company process and it also encourages new ways of thinking and hence new skills are innovated. Without this platform, any implementation of company changes may lead to the failure of the company’s projects since the employees have not brought up to speed with the processes.

Comments and Constructive Criticism

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Article 2.

All projects that are launched by companies do not meet all the necessary success criteria. Most of them are affected by the customers’ taste and preferences and if it fails to align with their needs, the project may fail. It is argued that having chaotic requirements and constructions reworks in between the project life cycle, the project definitely fails.

Company projects that have a good starting point, well organized and planned stages, and a forecasted end point are believed to be successful. When the firm has a credible project that is well organized and planned and there is the stakeholders’ intervention from the start point to end point, the project is forecasted to be successful.

Comments and Constructive Criticism

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To ensure this, the top management must take into consideration the project schedule, project scope, support from the top managers, support of the customers, tasks that are technical, acceptance by the clients, monitoring and feedback, communication and trouble shooting. For this to happen, the company should consider the hand off process that ensure the project transition from the inception-to-order, (ITO). In addition, integration of all the aspects of project management should be exercised in order to guarantee a successful project.

The company top management needs to implement flexible and durable changes that aims to meet the company long term objectives and goals. The company will have to implement changes like stage gate model that will help the project manager to be able to scope the project, build the business case for the product, design the project, testing and validating the product and finally taking the product to the operation phase.


Kerzner, H. R. (2013). Project management: a systems approach to planning, scheduling, and controlling. John Wiley & Sons.

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Project Management: Annotated Bibliography

Project Management
Project Management

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Project Management: Annotated Bibliography

Paul Newton (2015). Principles of Project Management: Project Skills. ISBN 9778-1-62620-958-9

Location/Source: Online. Retrieved from

Duration: N/A

Type of Delivery: Downloading

Cost: Free

This free e-book is useful as it teaches about project-management techniques in organization. The book highlights the definition of projects, some of the project management roles and responsibilities and the way projects are mapped to the same basic life structure. Similarly, the paper provides rich insights on how project-management can be organized into functional areas.

Saylor Foundation. Project management in a complex world. (2012)

Location/source: Online Retrieved from

Duration: N/A

Type of Delivery: Downloading

Cost: Free e-book

The book looks at the challenges managers and consultants face when managing complex project. To achieve this, the book provide case studies and discussing the implications of the case to project-management. This overview and complexity profile is important for students as it helps in learning a lot about specific areas of project-management knowledge.

Project management handbook

Wouter Baars: Project Management. 2009. Print

Location/ source: DANS (Data Archiving and Networked Services),

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2509 AB, The Hague

  • Duration: 6-7 days
  • Type of Delivery: Post Office
  • Cost: $ 16
  • This handbook is valuable in project-management because it provide rich content about project-management. The first section of the handbook describes working methods that can be adopted for ‘traditional Projects.’ Section two provides working methods for IT projects. The book provide practical knowledge that will enable student to understand different roles of individuals participating in a project-management.
  • Introduction to project management: Principles, Techniques and Tools.
  • UCDAVIS: Introduction to project management: principles, Techniques and Tools.
  • Location/source: Free resource retrieved from
  • Duration: N/A
  • Type of Delivery: Downloading
  • Cost: Free Resource
  • This project-management book is important for training. The text contain different concepts of project-management such as introduction, project scope, and activity planning. The paper also provides resourceful information about project monitoring and control as well as team exercise.
  • 5.      Fast Forward MBA in Project Management
  • Eric Verzuh. Fast Forward MBA in Project Management (2015). Wiley & Sons Canada, Limited.
  • Location/Source: Barns & Noble
  • Duration: 3-5 business days
  • Type of Delivery: Shipping
  • Cost: $16.51
  • This book is comprehensive guide that help students and project managers to learn the different real-world project-management methods, tools, and techniques. The book provides enough theoretical foundation and practical information to guide you in project-management.
  • Gower Handbook of project-management.
  • J Rodney Turner (2014). Gower handbook of project management. Surrey, England; Burlington, VT
  • Location/ Source: Amazon
  • Duration: 3-5 Business Days.
  • Type of Delivery: Shipping.
  • $24
  • The Gower handbook provides an overview of vital information requisite for managing projects. The handbook is created by experienced international writers and practitioners to introduce the reader to valuable knowledge and skills that are necessary to manage projects.
  • Project Management Maturity Model, Third Edition.
  • J. Kent Crawford (2014). Project Management Maturity Model, Third Edition. CRC Press.
  • Location/ Source: Barns & Noble
  • Duration: 3-5 business Days
  • Type of Delivery: Shipping
  • Cost: $ 42
  • This book by Kent Crawford provides valuable information that can help in improving the success of a project and boosting performance of the organization. The book comprehensively describes the Project Management Maturity Model (PMMMSM) to provide the reader with a comprehensive knowledge vital for improving organization’s project-management practices.

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  • Successful Project Management
  • Trevor L. Young (2013). Successful Project Management. Kogan Page Publishers. Business and Economics. 232 pages.
  • Location/ Source: Barns & Noble
  • Type of Delivery: Shipping
  • Duration: 3-5 Business days
  • Cost $ 39
  • This book covers the technical aspects of a project from the beginning to the end with practiced and tested techniques, ways to manage stakeholders, project planning, launch and execution as well as effective risk management techniques. The book is important because it assist managers to keep a balance between client’s demands, the project, the team as well as the organization.
  • Fundamentals of Project Management
  • Joseph Heagney (2012). Fundamentals of project-management. New York: American Management Association, Print book: 4th ed.
  • Location: Amazon
  • Duration: 3-5 business days
  • Type of Delivery: Shipping
  • Cost: $ 15.13
  • The book uses a simple step-by-step approach when providing information about project-management concepts, tools, and techniques. The book provide resourceful information on how to plan a project, using earned value analysis, management of project-management team and the control and evaluation process of the project. The book has been of value over the years because of its assistance to project managers on how to manage the complex process of project-management.
  • Construction project Management
  • S Keoki Sears (2015). Construction project management: a practical guide to field construction management. Hoboken, New Jersey: Wiley.
  • Location: Amazon
  • Type of Delivery: Shipping
  • Duration: 3-5 Business Days
  • Cost $ 107.31
  • This book provides guide in construction project-management. The book has been vouched for to be the preeminent guide to all aspects in the construction project-management process. The book extensively explains the critical path method (CPM) of scheduling a project among other vital information that provides solid foundation for field construction management.

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Lotschberg Base Tunnel Project

Lotschberg Base Tunnel
Lotschberg Base Tunnel

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Lotschberg Base Tunnel Project


Project management is an exercise that requires proper handling. This is because if weaknesses occur in the process of project management, a project may fail to be completed successfully. Project managers are supposed to ensure that all success measures are fulfilled. One of the success measures that stand out is proper risk management. A project that gets completed with low level of risk incidents is deemed to be successful.

This calls for the need to have proper risk management during implementation of projects. Another success measure for projects is use of suitable tools and technology. Projects are known to use tools and technology to carry out the different processes towards completion. This means that proper selection and application of tools and technology is necessary.

This essay is focusing on Lotschberg Base Tunnel project that was successful. The risks that were identified are well explained together with the management that was done. This is done properly through identification of specific risks and approaches that were used to mitigate them.

The essay goes further and gives details of the tools and techniques that were used in the implementation of Lotschberg Base Tunnel project. The suitability of each tool and technique is also explained fully. To sum it up, conclusion is drawn for the matters arising from the essay.

The project

The Lotschberg Base Tunnel project was constructed in Switzerland. The project resulted into a 34.57 km long tunnel. The Alps accommodates this mega tunnel. This project was initiated in the year 2005 and continued until 2007.

The purpose of the project

All projects are supposed to have clear goals. The project goals determine the suitable approach to use. The purpose of the Lotschberg Base Tunnel was to provide transport solution to the area of location. This tunnel was aimed at enabling growth of railway transport.

Management of risks and uncertainties

It is common knowledge that projects are full of risks and uncertainties. Some of the risks are so dreadful that they threaten the progress of a project. In cases where the project is complex, the probability of having numerous risks goes high unlike the case of simple projects, thus the need to have a working approach (Kwan 2011, p. 91).

The management of risks for Lotschberg Base Tunnel project was done through proper planning. This commenced through with definition of the strategy likely to spearhead risk management efforts. The risk strategy advocated that there should be a team mandated with risk management. In risk management for projects, it is advisable to have a reliable risk management wing (Sullivan 2001, p. 35). Additionally, the strategy for risk management during this project defined clearly the process of managing risk. The phases defined included;

  1. Risk identification
  2. Risk overview
  3. Examination of risk
  4. Mitigation of risk

After defining the risk management approach above, it was easy to manage the identified risks for the project. The risks identified for during implementation of Lotschberg Base Tunnel project were handled as below;

  1. Complexity risk

Upon identifying the risk identification approach, this is one of the noted risks. This project was a complex one thus attracting risk associated with projects of that size. This risk was associated with the probability of failing o meet the various aspects of the project. To manage this risk successfully, the risk management function started by coming up with a strategy to identify all aspects of the project.

This gave the project managers an insight into the big picture of the project. With this done, a risk management plan was created. The risk management plan for Lotschberg Base Tunnel project ensured that all parts of the project were well factored in all activities. Additionally, managing the complexity risk for this project involved identifying and clarifying the small bit of tasks that had to be handled.

This came as a way of simplifying the complex processes and activities for Lotschberg Base Tunnel project. Having created clarity of the internal tasks, it became easy for each of the risk management team members to understand their responsibility in the project without confusion related to high level of complexity of this project.

  1. Finance risk-cost funds

Mega projects are known consumers of large amounts of money. To implement complex projects, it requires proper planning on matters of financing (Didraga 2012, p. 89). According to Strazewski, L 2009, p. 82), finance risk should be handled as a priority risk. This is because poor finance risk planning leads to inadequate funds thus affecting the progress of a project. During the implementation of Lotschberg Base Tunnel project, risk related to finances was identified.

This risk was broken down into two categories. One of these categories was source of funds while the other risk category was about financial cost. Regarding the risk about sources of financing, proper planning was done to ensure that there would be no financial drought during the progress of this project. This ensured that all requirements were financed for when needed.

On the other hand, the cost risk was about the level that would be used to completion of Lotschberg Base Tunnel project . To manage this risk, the project managers ensured that aspects that would lead to increased risk were handled well. Firstly, proper stock management was carried out. This enabled the project to adhere to good practices on stock management such as equilibrium order quantity. Additionally, the project risk function ensured that the assumptions regarding finance risk were realistic. This is because each risk has to be managed through the assistance of assumptions.

  1. Communication risk

In implementation of a project, there has to be proper communication system. This means that absence of proper communication leads to unsuccessful flow of project activities. According to Jafari et al. (2011, p. 16), lack of proper project communication sometimes leads to stalled or abandoned projects. As the identification of risks for Lotschberg Base Tunnel project was taking place, communication risk was identified.

There was fear that lack of proper communication could affect this project. To handle this risk, the risk management function for this project ensured that a working project communication system was put in place. Firstly, everybody who was working on Lotschberg Base Tunnel project  was informed of the need to have proper communication. This was done with support given to those who were likely to have communication challenges. Moreover, proper management of barriers to efficient communication were broken.

To make it better, the project managers ensured that communication equipments were acquired for efficient system. To make communication risk well managed, each individual was urged to ensure that clarity of communication messages was observed. This was aimed at ensuring that the actions that were intended to be carried out were easily picked.  As the project progressed, the risk regarding communication was put away through ensuring that there was continuous improvement of the communication channels. This was supported by review of the communication related policies.

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  1. Human resource risk

Risk related to human resource for the project was also identified. One of the identified events that would lead to this risk was poor recruitment process. There was fear that the recruitment process would not be on time together with hiring of incompetent people. To manage this, the recruiting function ensured that timelines were adhered to throughout the process. Additionally, evaluation of the skills held by the potential employees was done thoroughly. Induction, monitoring and control of the successful individuals were also done appropriately.

The other risky event was the fear that some employees would abandon their duties. To manage this, the human resource management function for the project ensured that close supervision was carried out. Another identified contributor of human resource risk was project team disagreements. Whenever there are conflicts within the workforce, the human resource risk escalates (Pardo 2009, p.86).

To handle this, the human resource management group ensured that proper conflict resolution was applied. This increased the number of conflicts solved amicably. Time to time team building activities were also helpful in ensuring that the human resource risk as a result of conflicts was mitigated. To ensure that the workforce stayed on duty, the human resource function identified health and safety aspect of workplace as qualifying for management to avoid the related risk.

This was done through having health and safety experts advise accordingly. From the health and safety experts consulted proper assessment was done. This was followed by education cum advice on health and safety matters. This was made better by support of the aspects that make employees motivated and geared towards completion of their tasks.

These included attractive wages and incentive programs. Through this, the employees felt appreciated and workforce turnover was reduced throughout the project. To make it better, the working conditions were made friendlier to the workers. Proper management of working conditions ensures that the human resource risk is managed properly (Riley 2013, p.54).

  • Technological risk

Technology has become one of the greatest aids to creation of efficiency in the implementation of projects. According to Nikolova (2015, p.34), technological aspect of a project should always be considered in risk management.. The events that were feared might cause technological risk included the use of wrong technology or use of technology that is not tested yet.

To manage the risk, the issue of using the wrong technology for Lotschberg Base Tunnel project was handled through proper comparison of the project with the available technologies. This exercise led to elimination of the irrelevant technologies. To settle on the final right technology, the benefits of each relevant technology were looked at and decision was made. Regarding use of untested technology for the project, elimination was done. This led to a clear picture of the suitable technology.

  • Environmental risk

Regarding the identified environmental risk, the negative effects that the project would have on environment were considered. According to Ali, M et al. (2008, p. 56), environmental conservation is a success measure in projects. First, the physical interference with land through excavation for tunnelling was considered. Secondly, this project has part of its length constructed on the Alps thus the need to consider the effects on the beautiful topography.

To manage the environmental risk as per the identified aspects of the project, proper research and consultation was carried out. This let to proper input regarding the processes that would be friendly to the environment within the project location. Additionally, materials that are friendly to environment were used. This was followed by proper use of equipments to ensure that they maintain the stability of the environment. The processes and techniques used in a project should always help in improving life through environmental carefulness (Sharma, Pablo & Vredenburg 2009, p. 21)

  • User risk

Project users have become an integral part of project management (Huang 2010, p. 25). This is because the role they play as stakeholders is priceless. With this in mind, proper risk searching was carried out and the risk function felt that there was need to consider user risk for management. To manage this risk, proper rapport was created between the project and users. Constructive meetings were scheduled for the users to interact with the project team.

This was useful in ensuring that there was better understanding of the project progress. Additionally, proper interaction with the users created a platform where confusing aspects of the project were made clear. With clarification of confusing elements of the project, it was easy to explain some of the challenges that the project was coming through. This brought about a situation where more support was given by the stakeholders.

  • Supplier risk

Projects are usually sustained by material availability. Breakdown in material requirement was identified as an occurrence that may lead to supplier risk. According to Vivian and Shen (2012, p. 86), this is usually brought about by the fear that some suppliers may be inefficient in their supply.

To handle this, the stock management for the project was made more efficient. This included proper management of the re-order level to ensure that proper levels of stock are maintained. Additionally, adherence to supplier payment plans was done to avoid supplier unrests. To make it better, suppliers were warned against going against their contracts.

Benefits to the project from proper risk management

It is worth noting that when risk management is done well, a project benefits from it. During Lotschberg Base Tunnel project, risk management was done in a way that brought about several benefits.

  1. Budget adherence

Risk management has a positive correlation with budget movements. The budget that was set for this project did not skyrocket beyond. This was caused by various reasons, proper risk management being one of them. Eventually, Lotschberg Base Tunnel project was completed within the estimated budget one reason being there was no risk related compensation to make.

  1. Certification

During the implementation of this project, proper risk management let to certification of the various phases. It is worth noting that projects are usually halted or stopped whenever they operate under circumstances that are too risky. With this project managing its risks properly, it was easy to obtain certificates from the relevant authorities.

  1. Reduced disruptions

Whenever risky incidences occur during implementation of a project, disruptions take place. This means that the project schedule is affected among other aspects of the project. Luckily, Lotschberg Base Tunnel project saw few disruptions. This is because there was proper management of risks identified for the project.

  1. Reduced insurance premiums

This project ran to completion successfully with few incidents. This means that insurance evaluation did not find need to increase the premiums already set for various covers. Interestingly, there was an effort to negotiate for lower premiums since the project was progressing within safe operation.

  • Cost stability

As a result of proper risk management during implementation of this project, the cost involved was stable. This project operated within the cost range planned. The stability of the cost was brought about by the fact that there were no much additions as a result of response to risky incidences.

Tools, techniques and their suitability for Lotschberg Base Tunnel project

This project called for the use of reliable tools for project management. According to Loo (2009, p. 46), the need for project management tools is brought about by the complex nature involved. The tools are known to simplify activities that would have proved complex without.

During the implementation of Lotschberg Base Tunnel project, the Program Evaluation Review Technique (PERT) was used as a tool. This project management tool was applied manually in the project. It is worth noting that it can be used with the aid of computer software. PERT is a very useful project management tool since it identifies the activities that are required for a project to continue up to completion (Radek 2016, p. 14-24). This tool is known to give proper guidance when it comes controlling the flow of activities.

Through the use of PERT as a project management tool, the specific project activities were identified successfully. The identification of these activities assisted in planning better for the project. During the progress of Lotschberg Base Tunnel project, this tool of project management enabled the project managers control all processes successfully.

With the aid of this project management tool, the project managers were able to identify the time requirement for each of the identified tasks. This enabled the project managers come up with suitable schedules as per the identified timeframe of the projects. Additionally, this project tool was used in identifying the challenges that were embodied to each activity.

Proper identification of challenges facing a particular project activity is very important since it creates a good opportunity for finding solution (Sunday Business Post 2011, p. 16). Therefore, this tool enabled the project managers come up with ways of overcoming challenges facing the project.

The use of Program Evaluation Review Technique (PERT) was advisable. The suitability of this project management tool was encouraged by its ability to address several aspects of a project at the same time. It does away with instances of omissions that other project techniques have.

Importance of using suitable tools and techniques for Lotschberg Base Tunnel project

It is advisable for projects to be handled properly through use of the suitable tools and techniques. The tools and techniques used were able to bring benefits regarding the following.

The use of PERT enabled the project to run within the expected cost level. According to Engwall (2012, p. 595) says that this is because this tool for project management enables proper planning. Proper planning is known to be useful in cost management of a project.


Through the use of the identified tools and techniques, communication within the stakeholder community was made efficient. Selection of proper techniques ensures that the project system is coordinated in terms of communication.


It is worth noting that project techniques play a big role in risk management. Through the use of the suitable techniques for Lotschberg Base Tunnel project, risk management was made easy thus reaping benefits of having proper risk management for a project.

Resource allocation

The use of PERT as a tool for this project enabled the project manager is able to manage the available resources well. This was through the ability of this tool to give forecasts for resources. This is very useful in projects since it makes planning easy.


Through the use of suitable tools and techniques for this project, efficiency was created in all activities of the project. The tools assisted in identifying the main activities for the project. Upon identification, the activities were scheduled according to the design of the project. This was merged with proper time plan that let to successful completion of Lotschberg Base Tunnel project.


Projects should be handled with a lot of care. This is necessary because it brings about identification of all aspects that need to be put under control. Risk management should be planned for whenever a project is being implemented. The project manager should ensure all aspects of risk management are put in order. This should be through assignment and investment in risk management. Additionally, the process of risk management should be defined properly to avoid confusion.

The tools and techniques to be used for a particular project should be identified in time. Testing practically or through precedent should be done. This should be supported by detailed proof of their suitability. This should be motivated by the need to gain from the benefits associated with project tools and techniques. It is worth noting that the tools and techniques used in project management require continuous review. This is always important since it enables the project managers update the appropriately.


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Ali, M et al. 2008, developing environmental impact statement (EIS) guidelines for the management of environmental quality at major projects in Kuwait, [Online]  Available at:, [Accessed 2 May 2016].

Didraga, O 2012, The importance of risk management for achieving success in it projects, [Online] Available at:,  [Accessed 2 May 2016].

Huang, T 2010, Dynamic Quality Management in Complex Construction Projects, [Online] Available at:, Last accessed 28th April 2016

Jafari, M, Rezaeenour, J, Mohammad M & Atefe H 2011, Development and evaluation of a knowledge risk management model for project-based organizations, [Online]  Available at:, [Accessed 2 May 2016].

Kwan, TW 2011, A Risk Management Methodology for Project Risk Dependencies, [Online] Available at:, [Accessed 2 May 2016].

Loo, R 2009, A multi-level causal model for best practices in project management, [Online] Available at:, [Accessed 2 May 2016].

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Pardo, IS et al. 2009, Looking into the black-box: analysis of the effectiveness of human resources strategy*, [Online] Available at:, [Accessed 2 May 2016].

Radek, D 2016, The Level of Use of Project Management Methods, Techniques and Tools and Their Impact on Project Success – Selected Region of Czech Republic, [Online] Available at:, [Accessed 2 May 2016].

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Sharma, S, Pablo, A & Vredenburg, H 2009, corporate environmental responsiveness strategies: The importance of issue interpretation and organizational context. [Online]  Available at:, [Accessed 2 May 2016].

Strazewski, L 2009, Benefits/Financial Products Fit Risk Management Strategy, [Online]  Available at:, Last accessed 28th April 2016

Sullivan, L 2001, Enterprise wide: Building a Risk Management program from the ground up, [Online] Available at:, [Accessed 2 May 2016].

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Vivian, Y & Shen, Y 2012, Risk Management for Contractors in Marine Projects, [Online] Available at:, [Accessed 2 May 2016].

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Management of Complex Projects: The Seikan Tunnel in Japan

Management of Complex Projects
Management of Complex Projects

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Management of Complex Projects: The Seikan Tunnel in Japan


Project management is one of the aspects that cannot be ignored whenever there is need to have a project. This may be for simple as well as complex projects.  Management of complex projects is demanding. This is because the complexity of the projects involves many requirements. This calls for dedication from those tasked with seeing a complex project to completion.

The completion should be within the expected standards. This essay is focusing on various aspects of mega projects. This is done through analyzing one of the complex projects that have been carried out across the globe. This essay will focus on the Seikan Tunnel in Japan.

The project

The Seikan Tunnel in Japan is a project that brought to birth a dual gauge railway line. This tunnel is 53.85 kilometers long. It is worth noting that part of this length is under water. The length of portion of this tunnel that is under water is 23 kilometers. It is interesting to learn that the portion that is immersed under water is found 302 feet below the sea level. It is worth noting that the Seikan Tunnel comes second in terms of tunnel lengths in the world. This means that it is beaten in length by the Channel Tunnel.

The project goal

Each project set for implementation should always have a goal (Huang 2010, p.28). The purpose of implementing this project was to offer transports solution to users in the location of this project. The Seikan Tunnel connects Honshi and Hokkaido Islands in Japan. The fact that it is dual carriage gives users an opportunity to maximize on efficiency. It is interesting to learn that the need to give people returning home after World War II contributed immensely in calling for a project like the Seikan Tunnel.

Additionally, the increased traffic witnessed in the route that eventually accommodates this tunnel pushed for implementation of this project to ease it. This project was meant to reduce the transport challenges facing users in this area such as ferry accidents. For example, sinking of 5 ferries ferrying about 1430 passengers increased the need for this project.

Type of project approach

The Seikan Tunnel project was implemented through the use of traditional project framework. This was through planning around the general processes of a project. The traditional approach concentrated on commencement, proper planning and design, construction, contrl and finishing of the project. This framework created ease in handling each task.

The project success measures

For a project to be successful, there are certain measures that have to be put in place (Weissenberger & Kotch 2007, p. 24). For that matter, this project had its success measures too. One of the success measures for this project was completion within the set time. This project had time set for all stages. Completion within the stipulated time would deem this project successful. As a matter of fact, it was completed within the expected time.

The other success measure for this project was continuous progress. The project was to be declared successful if all phases continued without stalling. The continuity was necessary since it means that the project would be completed within the set duration. Thirdly, acceptance of this project was the other success measure. In project management, acceptance from stakeholders is very crucial (Windapo & Goulding 2013, p.431).

This is because implementing a project that none of the targeted persons would not want to be associated with is useless. Luckily, this project received wide acceptance from stakeholders thus being declared successful.

The other vital success measure for this project was based on budgeting. This measure guided that the project’s completion within the set budget would deem it successful. The Seikan Tunnel was planned to operate with a budget of about $4.0 billion. Fortunately, it was completed with US $3.6 billion. This means that the budget was adhered to thus the project becoming successful as per this measure.

The project web

The implementation of this project saw the presence of a wide project web. This touched on the contractors, government, media, observers and multinationals among others. The Japan Railway Construction public was created to handle this project. Several suppliers were given tenders to supply the required materials. Most of these suppliers were multinational companies.

The media and observers ensured that information about the project trickled to the stakeholders. Zeng et al. (2009, p.19) say that the media is an important partner in project management. On the other hand, the government ensured that the project was properly secured and funded.

The Seikan Tunnel project organization

This project had project-based organization. This was evident from the fact that various functional sections were created during the project implementation. These departments had individuals assigned to them for the long periods of the implementation. This led to the project having defined authority from the project managers. Additionally, each and every individual in the project implementation group had tasks to handle thus need for upholding high levels of responsibility.

The Project life cycle of Seikan Tunnel

This project took a total of 43 years to be completed. Over the 43 years, the project went through several stages. Below is a matrix showing the stages and events over the 43 years of the project.

DateMain event
April 1946Surveying for the project commenced
March 1954The Japan Railway Construction public was established to oversee implementation of the Seikan Tunnel
September 1971The main tunnel construction kicked off
January 1983The Seikan Tunnel piloting was done
March 1985The Seikan main tunnel  was confirmed
March 1988The Seikan Tunnel was opened

Problem areas that had to be overcome during the project life cycle

Mega projects are known to have problems that have to be overcome for a project to be completed (Zolkos 2012, p. 21). For the Seikan Tunnel, the problem areas were found in;

  • Inadequate expertise

Expertise is one thing that each project should have (Sullivan 2001, p. 78). This means lack of adequate expertise becomes a problem that should be dealt with so that it does not disrupt a project. At some point during the implementation of this project, certain expertise became inadequate. This threatened the success of this project. In a bid to save the project from failure, the project managers moved with speed and acquired individuals who had the required expertise to drive this project to completion.

For example, the use of tunnel boring machines had to be stopped for sourcing of blasting expertise. This was brought about by discovery of hard rock that could not be bored successfully.

  • Design

The design of a project is very important in implementation. The design for this project had to be altered to make it more suitable for the project. It is worth noting that only small alterations were done.

  • Unforeseen Disruptions

The implementation of this project saw some minor disruptions. The weather and surroundings would get turbulent sometimes. The weather sometimes disrupts continuity of projects (Sharma 2009, p. 45). This would affect continuity of operations for this project. This was a major threat to the time that was set for completion of this project.

Areas of good practice in the Seikan Tunnel project implementation

In the implementation of this project, several areas witnessed good practices. These good practices led to successful completion of the Seikan Tunnel. These good practices include;

  • Environmental practices

The environment is one thing that many implementers of mega projects fail to respect (Ali et al. 2008, p.670). It is worth noting that taking care of the environment should be concern for everyone involved in implementation of complex projects (Loo 2009, p. 30). With this in mind, this project saw the environment taken care of. This was through the use of environment friendly technology. This project was implemented in a way that had efforts to see carbon emissions reduced. Additionally, the other habitats of the environment were not affected.

During the implementation of this project, eco-friendly materials were used. The project managers ensured that material selection was proper to avoid those unfriendly to environment. The suppliers were informed that they should adhere strictly to the specifications forwarded to them.

For example, water was not contaminated in any way. The soil was also prevented from effects of corrosive processes.

  • Human resource

Human capital is usually the backbone of a project (Pardo et al. 2009, p. 31). Human resource management during the implementation of The Seikan Tunnel project was excellent. It is worth noting that the best practices in the management of human capital were put into use. This made the project managers have the best of their time when implementing this project.

The working conditions for the employees for this project were made good. Each one of the employees was made to work under conditions that respect human dignity. Additionally, matters of employee safety were handled properly. This was through ensuring that standards related to safety of employees were adhered to. The procedures regarding the use of tools and machinery were put in a way that protected the employees better.

To make it better, the human resource function ensured that the employees felt appreciated. This was through recognizing exceptional performance during the implementation of this project. The employees were given attractive incentives. This boosted their morale thus increasing the level of output.

  • Accountability

This project was able to be declared full of accountability. The project managers were found to have taken care of the allocated resources. This means that after taking stock of what was allocated to them; auditors were satisfied with the use of all resources that were offered for use during implementation of this project. There were no cases of mass corruption reported as is the case when other major projects are being implemented. Proper records were available for any interested party to go through.

  • Innovation

The Seikan project was one of the projects where innovation is known to have played a major role. This project saw the project managers coming up with new ways of doing things. The processes and equipments used had creative aspects that led to increased efficiency.

User participation in the project

Users of a project are the stakeholders. These are the people who are beneficiaries of a project that is being implemented (Ling et al. 2015, p .45). During the execution of this project, the users had full participation. The project managers ensured that there was freedom for the users to interact with all stages of the project. This was arrived at for the purpose of reducing the negative impacts of criticism as a risk in project implementation. The users had full access to all information regarding the designs and progress of this project.

This brought about wide acceptance. The project managers would listen to the perspectives of the users. This was necessary for the purpose of building on the plan that the project was based on. From the fact that users participated well, the project management became more geared towards completing it. This is because the users became source of assurance that the project was necessary for them.

The users had a huge influence of standards set for the project. It is worth noting that many mega projects end up not fulfilling the expectations of users due to project managers who disregard the standards agreed for the project. This did not happen during execution of this project. The users were keen when looking at the design and other documented standards. This close monitoring put pressure on the project managers to a point of making the implementation of this project follow rules to the letter.

The users were able to succeed in getting the expected standards through arranging meetings. They would discuss deeply about the progress of this project. Each one of the users would give contributions for the benefit of the meeting. The fact that the meetings were consistent made the user participation strong.

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Core capabilities or competencies involved in implementation of the Seikan Tunnel

During the implementation of this project, there were evident core competencies. These competencies are always credited for the success of this project. One of the core competencies is the integration of technology into the project implementation process. Technology is known to increase efficiency in projects (Meyers 2013, p.65). Technology was widely used to drive most of the processes for the project.

Information was managed through the use of the best information handling technological platforms. This made it easy to use and execute the project from an informed perspective. Additionally, technology was integrated into the communication bit during the project. Technological involvement in the communication channels for the project was a major plus for the project.

The second core competence during the implementation of this project was proper project management. It is worth noting that the project managers were quite skillful. This led to proper execution of all aspects of the project.

Another core competence for this project was proper risk management. Risk management is a very important aspect to consider while handling projects (Sridhar 2011, p.63). During the execution of this project, risk management was done efficiently. This led to reduction of negative effects of risks that were identified. Qiao (2007, p. 14) says that proper risk management reduces project hardships.

Another key competence factor during the execution of this project was proper management of human capital. The human resource management function for the project is credited for having done its job properly. All the time that the project was continuing, all matters related to the affairs of the workforce were handled as expected. This reduced unrests and disruptions from the workers for the project. Strazewski (2009, p. 34) says that mitigation of employee related risks is very important since it makes project implementation successful.

Broader issues affecting megaprojects; The Seikan Tunnel in focus

Mega projects are usually faced by several broad issues. Theodore (2014, p. 88) says that broad issues affect projects are usually caused by the fact that numerous processes and operations take place. Generally, the complexity of mega projects brings rise to issues that have to be managed. These broad issues include;

  1. Risks

Risk is always present in all projects, whether minor or complex. However, the risk level in major projects is much higher. This calls for a very solid risk management function for complex projects. During the execution of this project, several risks were identified. One of the identified risks was about the project design. There was fear that the design would show some weaknesses towards the end of the project life cycle.

This made the project managers become apprehensive throughout the project. To mitigate this risk, the project handlers ensured that the designers of the project kept confirming the reliability of the project design. Additionally, the project managers made several consultations with experts in design to try and get assurance. At the end of the project, only immaterial alterations were made to make the project design a success.

The other risk that was identified by the risk function for this project was high labor turnover. Generally, complex projects are known to be full of work. Many a times workers tend to burn out or opt out due to poor conditions at work (Suriyamathi et al. 2013, p. 54). This identified risk did not affect the project since proper human resource management was done during the project.

To do away with this risk, all project employees for the project were treated as per the international labor standards. This was through ensuring that remuneration to the employees was as per the expected standards. Additionally, payments to the employees were disbursed on time to avoid workforce unrest. To ensure that the risk does not disrupt the project continuity, the project managers ensured that the conditions at work were up to the expected standards. This made employees work properly thus avoiding negative effects of high employee turnover risk.

  1. Decision making

For projects to be completed successfully, decision making should be done in an efficient way. This is because decisions that are made determine the level of achievement to be expected. Proper decision making in projects leads to continuity of projects in proper ways. On the other hand, if decision making for a project is poor, negative occurrences will affect the plan towards successful completion. For complex projects, decision making is usually very difficult.

During execution of this project, several challenges occurred during decision making. It is worth noting that complex projects call for many decision makers. Therefore, the process of decision making becomes very complicated and slow. The decision making process for this project was very hard since managers were many. The many decision makers took long time for decision making. This is because they had to consult each other. Opposed suggestions by some of the decision makers took more time for the purpose of discussions and explanations as to why certain opinions could not be upheld.

  1. Cultural

Cultural differences usually affect mega projects. This is because the many employees are required for complex projects are drawn from diverse cultures. This brings about cultural diversity within the workforce in a project. This was the case during the lifecycle of this project. The project managers brought in individuals from various cultures. This was caused by many reasons, need for expertise being one. With cultural differences, attitudes towards tasks approaches were different. This created some sort of sluggish participation from laborers. As a result, the project time was consumed in the process of harmonizing the cultures.

  1. Labor

Labor management is the other broad issue that affects mega projects. This happens to be a very sensitive issue since complex projects are usually labor intensive. Therefore, the project handlers should always ensure that labor matters are managed in a way that does create stability of the workforce. During the life cycle of this project, the workforce was well handled. This means that project was able to continue without alarming cases of workforce dissatisfaction. The minor cases of complains that were forwarded were amicably settled.

  1. Political

The politics prevailing in areas where complex projects are being held affects the continuity. It happens that in areas where there is political instability projects tend to stall or become abandoned completely. During the lifecycle of this project, the political waters were cool. This gave this project an opportunity to continue without disruptions. It is worth noting that the political leaders within the geographical location of the project did not want to interfere with the project. The instances that saw the political leaders enquire about the project were all friendly. This gave motivation to the managers of the project thus pushing for completion.

  1. Criticism

It is common practice for people to criticize projects. It is a global thing for people to spoil the image of mega projects (Riley 2013, p. 91). This is always through trashing those projects on basis of prioritization. During the execution of this project, criticism was identified as one of the risks.

The criticism directed towards this mega project was based on the fact that the amount of money used could be used for other projects that are better in terms of meeting the needs of the common citizens. To ensure that this did not affect this mega project, the project managers ensured that proper public participation was done. The project managers created a system that made all stakeholders aware of what the project was all about.


Management of complex projects is known to be quite demanding. Therefore, the people in charge of such kind of projects should ensure that proper planning is done. The goal of the project should be the guiding tool for all processes. To make it better, the life cycle of mega projects should be monitored to ensure that it does not get disrupted. The stakeholders should be managed well to ensure that the project continues with understanding. All challenges should be handled with sobriety and efficiency. It is worth noting that good practices should be priority when drawing the strategic plan for complex projects.

Risk management during project implementation should be done in a good way. This calls for the need to have a reliable risk function during the life cycle of a mega project. All risks should be identified and mitigated properly to ensure that the project does not become disrupted.


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