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Project Manager

Australia's online resource for project management professionals


  • Project Management and its Barriers—Joelle Jello
    Construction safety for project managers

    Project Management and its Barriers: A Case Study

    Working in an environment like Australia is not easy, the country carries with its diversity and unique styles of working. My first construction project in Australia was with one of the biggest Australian Departments. The project consisted of a 4-story building in the city that the department wanted to renovate to use it as conciliation rooms, multipurpose rooms and open space offices.
    During the project, we faced disputes in communication, cultural differences, variations in approach to work, and weak coordination. In this reflective essay, we will discuss the approach that was taken during the construction project and its different phases. We will include our organisational structure, and elaborate on the barriers that we faced until we reached completion and handover.
    We were engaged during the construction phase and starting this time we had to follow our normal project life cycle which is Initiation, planning, executing, monitoring, controlling and handing-over. We established extra team building activities, training, and supportive environment to overcome the above barriers and put us on track to the Australian construction system.

    Author: Joelle Jello
    Review status: Postgraduate assignment (University of Technology Sydney) more
  • Project and organisational barriers in the site inspection phase—Amish Trilok Joshi

    Project and organisational barriers in the site inspection phase of a solar installation project

    This paper describes the site inspection phase of a solar installation, the problems it encountered and how they were rectified at the time. The importance of the research is to demonstrate a focus on the reflective aspect of how the project phase of site inspection was managed and demonstrate improved outcomes of using the theoretical topic of managing to address barriers at the project and organisational levels, had it been applied to this scenario. In this work, I have attempted to resolve project and organisational barriers that are faced during the phase of performing initial site inspection for a solar installation project. The scope of this paper is limited to only the site inspection phase of the described project which forms a minor, albeit, a critical part of the project to assess its long term viability. The evidence researched upon is the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK) guide for project management and the theory of recognising barriers and enhancers and reducing the recognised barriers. The key barriers identified as part of the findings of the research were cultural, leadership, communication and attitude of the individual project team member. The findings I have discussed can have positive implications towards future projects undertaken by the organisation. For this to occur, the knowledge transfer of tacit to explicit knowledge, from senior management to staff lower in the hierarchy, needs to be closely monitored and documented appropriately. It is vital the organisational process assets are reviewed on a regular basis and referred to during project kick-off meetings.

    Author: Amish Trilok Joshi
    Review status: Postgraduate assignment (University of Technology Sydney) more
  • Improving project performance through tacit knowledge sharing—Katja Sinning
    knowledge understanding

    Improving project performance through tacit knowledge sharing in a multimedia project

    This paper is using a case study to analyse how a project team can improve their performance through tacit knowledge sharing. The project owner is a network trying to promote collaboration between media industry students, professors and professionals as well as cross-media collaboration. The project team consisted of students and professors from different universities’ media degrees. The project scope was to report (in form of articles and video interviews) from a festival that brings together high profile professionals working in the media industry of Germany. Through performance appraisal, a knowledge gap between the team members’ actual and optimal performance was identified. The need for performance improvement was thereby established, for which the team had about three weeks to accomplish. The approach of the project team was to train members through workshops, practice runs and a group trip. The topic of knowledge management is explored in order to understand how it impacts on performance improvement. By analysing different types of knowledge (i.e. explicit and tacit knowledge) and knowledge creation it is established that creating and transferring tacit knowledge was a top priority for this project. Tacit knowledge being internal, hard to articulate and therefore hard to transfer is analysed in regards to enabling factors. It is found that interpersonal interaction and trust are crucial factors for tacit knowledge sharing. Trust being enabled by common goals, information sharing, frequent social interaction and emotional bonds is explored. During the analysis, it is demonstrated how the project’s approach was providing these enabling factors of tacit knowledge sharing and trust, and thereby improved the team’s performance.

    Author: Katja Sinning
    Review status: Postgraduate assignment (University of Technology Sydney) more
  • Learning styles in today’s business domain—Nick Dominique-Bouvat

    Learning styles in today’s business domain: a reflection

    It comes as no surprise that people have different learning styles and for the better part, it is presumably safe to state that learning styles are merely instruments to categorise different learning traits, processes and behaviours, which in turn, assist people to learn. Because learning styles has not proven any universally accepted models, it continually remains one of the most talked about and debated topics among educators and managers in the business environment. This theoretical paper aims to examine the validity of learning styles in today’s business domain, drawing specifically on the 13 families of learning style models outlined by Coffield, et al, (2004) with the purpose to stimulate debate on whether they warrant any business soundness in its principles or are they just inflated drivel. This paper does not claim that learning styles are fictionalised by their respective authors but rather to shed light if the values of their researches can be bunked, if proven to be hogwash.

    Author: Nick Dominique-Bouvat
    Review status: Postgraduate assignment (University of Technology Sydney) more
  • The importance of effective knowledge management and conversion—Alice Chivell
    Adding to the project management body of knowledge

    The importance of effective knowledge management and conversion: A reflective paper drawing on lessons learnt from a case example

    This paper highlights the challenges projects can face when there is not sufficient monitoring, planning and action taken regarding knowledge management and conversion. Explicit knowledge is seldom enough in the project management arena and tacit knowledge is also required for optimum performance. Tacit knowledge comes from a combination of experience, values, context and intuition and is not easily or readily shared. This paper uses a case example to highlight project setbacks and barriers experienced when important tacit knowledge is not effectively harnessed, converted and shared amongst the project team. Reflecting on the case example, the lessons learnt and actions taken, provides examples of how projects with knowledge conversion issues can overcome the barriers and improve performance. The paper discusses the complexities of power, insecurity and trust when it comes to harnessing and sharing knowledge and ways to address this. It explores a systematic and deliberate way to effectively manage knowledge, drawing on models and processes such as the SECI Knowledge Conversion Process. The paper concludes by discussing the advantages and disadvantages of knowledge management and conversion in projects, acknowledging that despite challenges a focus on these processes ultimately leads to performance improvement and increased project success.

    Author: Alice Chivell
    Review status: Postgraduate assignment (University of Technology Sydney) more
  • Why do projects not succeed when project governance is not formalised?—Vanessa Sore

    Why do projects not succeed when project governance is not formalised?

    Barriers exist at both the project and organisational level. These barriers influence the organisation’s aptitude to successfully implement and execute projects, as well as the overall performance and market penetration of the organisation. This paper aims to critically reflect upon the current barriers at the project and organisational level within a large Australian financial services organisation. The reflection identifies three key barriers at the project and organisational level concerning the lack of: formal project-based structure; project methodology familiarity and skilled project managers; and open dialogue prohibiting collaboration. Moreover, this reflective practice has allowed recommendations to be made to adjust governance structures to improve project performance and progress towards achieving organisation objectives. A new governance structure is recommended in pursuit of: implementing a formal project-based structure, embodying support from a Strategic PMO to bring accountabilities and opportunities amidst the organisation into line; aiding better education and appreciation of project management methodology with ongoing support from a Tactical PMO; and adopting effective communication. Thus, the paper outlines the importance of these recommendations to assure project governance ownership and liability across the organisation to achieve project success.

    Author: Vanessa Sore
    Review status: Postgraduate assignment (University of Technology Sydney) more
  • Conceptual model of performance measurement – Ali Naseri Gigloo
    Photo by Boby Dimitrov

    Conceptual model of performance measurement for power plant projects

    This study is focused on the importance of performance measurement in projects. Projects are considered as temporary organizations with specific goals and objectives. Generally, power plant projects are considered as high-tech and large-scale projects and construction of them require a great amount of financial resource, human resource, materials and equipment. Also, they are considered as one of the strategic infrastructures of a country and any delay in these kinds of projects results in huge cost overrun as well as negative social and economic impacts. So, it is important to use a robust performance measurement system to help project managers to manage them effectively to achieve goals and objectives of projects. In this study, by using literature, a conceptual model of performance measurement was developed and then by using the company vision, the KRAs of the project were identified. Also, according to the project contract, the long-term and short term objectives were identified. To assess the performance of process and systems a set of KPIs identified.

    Author: Ali Naseri Gigloo
    Review status: Postgraduate assignment (University of Technology Sydney) more
  • Synergy between tacit and explicit knowledge—Andrew Dahal
    reflection construction

    Synergy between tacit and explicit knowledge: Key to effective project management, a case of Nepal

    In projects undertaken in a country like Nepal, specifically in the construction sector, the idea of knowledge management has been a burning issue for a considerable amount of time. Standard project management practices in Nepal being at the early stages, the idea of accommodating tacit and explicit knowledge with a view to assisting project managers and their team in better managing the projects is proposed which is also viewed as being able to set an example for the upcoming project leaders. Significant number of researches have shown the benefit of synergy between tacit and explicit knowledge in case of project setting and also in organizational setting as well. Despite the differences that occur among the subject matter experts working together in projects, consideration of how knowledge is acquired and how the context of the situation could play a decisive role in people applying their knowledge into action paves a way for effective project management. The paper focuses on the reflection of an event that had occurred in a construction project in Nepal and addresses how consideration of use of both tacit and explicit knowledge would have helped to improve the situation. Also the paper briefly highlights the mindset of project managers in a high-power distance culture and its effect on the execution of projects.

    Author: Andrew Dahal
    Review status: Postgraduate assignment (University of Technology Sydney) more
  • Improve Performance Through Reflective Practice and Knowledge Sharing In Project Management—Shan He
    reflection writing journal

    Improve Performance Through Reflective Practice and Knowledge Sharing In Project Management
    It becomes increasingly crucial for organisations to make improvement in such a competitive environment. Being adaptive to the changing market can be acquired through enhancing competence of organisation members and improving the collaboration of whole organisation. Therefore, reflective practice can be perceived as an efficient and simple approach for either organisation or individual to promote performance improvement and learning process while knowledge sharing can provide an easy access for members to exchange knowledge information and make improvement.

    This paper will focus on how reflective practice and knowledge sharing enable organisation to improve performance and learning. Reflective practice can be applied through many tools and techniques, which need to be tailored within different organisational context. With respect to knowledge sharing, the most challenging aspect is the process of converting tacit knowledge to explicit knowledge, where can create a collaborative and dynamic environment for organisation to make improvement. There will be a project case that author involved with during working experience to illustrate how the project was managed using reflective practice tools while advantages, problems, lessons learnt are identified through the application of reflective journals. An improved outcome will
    be demonstrated if the ‘Gibbs reflective cycle’ could have been applied into the project.

    Through the reflection analysis of the project case, it is found that reflection becomes effective when applying theory into practice and knowledge sharing can bring an improved outcome. In organisation, learning to make improvement comes effectively from reflecting on experience.

    Author: Shan He
    Review status: Postgraduate assignment (University of Technology Sydney) more
  • Communities of Practice—Chenxi Zhu

    Communities of Practice
    The aim of this essay is to describe how a community can approach a project goal and what project knowledge is shared in an architectural project. The knowledge exchange is a social process contingent on histories in project management. It indicates the tacit knowledge and explicit knowledge in the architectural area and also how these transfer and how to spread from the individual to team.

    First section of this article is to introduce the background of the project. This architectural project is a serious and great Chinese government project. The requirement of this government project is to build a community building on a public site with a limited space areas of building. In this project, there are some issues to influence the project delay or out of control because of the situation of project. Some of these are related to the communication and some of these are related to the leadership.

    The second part indicates some reflection of this project and how to solve some problems, and it also presents the how to make a combination of the different culture knowledge. I explain some previous factors that influence this project. Simultaneously, it presents the methodology of the knowledge transferring and sharing, because this project is transfer from another team in the architectural company. This section also shows the influence of leadership. A good leadership led the project success.

    Overall, the main issues are included the leadership, communication and knowledge sharing. In the
    conclusion, all issues belong to the whole community.

    Author: Chenxi Zhu
    Review status: Postgraduate assignment (University of Technology Sydney) more