Posted at 11.17.2018
During the project planning, management and control module, we were divided into different group in order to complete the management exercise, the name in our group is Radiohead. A couple of 5 people in our group, 3 males and 2 females. We played different role in the group, corporate with the other person and made own contribution to complete the exercise. However, the final result is not satisfactory, the project to be finished in 156 day with 11k losses. The most important reason of failure will there be was not enough thinking about risk control, when was a delay or failure of inspection, the task has to stop and start again in the period after next period, because we've not booked any labour in the next period, that will cause a butterfly effect then delay the complete project and bring up the cost. In addition, inefficiency of labour is also cause failure of project as well, we thought more labour can finish task quicker but we ignored more labour can cause inefficiency that could cause task delay. Furthermore, there is some problem about team working for example, insufficient discussion; not enough participation of group member; decision-making had not been democratic etc. Within this report I am going to critically analysis and evaluating the performance of our team and every team member to be able to explore improvement of our team and help me to do better in future teamwork activity.
There were 5 people in the team "Radiohead", colleague A (Shuai Jiang), B (Yifan Dou), C (I) are males and Colleague D (Zhengfei Cong) and E (Chen Sheng) are female. Every one played different roles within the team, which 'refer to a tendency to behave, contribute and interrelate with other at the job in certain distinctive ways. '(Belbin1993, p24) Initially, colleague A was defined as an expert and resource investigator, colleague B was monitor evaluator and teamwork, I had been shaper and resource investigator, colleague D was coordinator and plant, and colleague E was implementer and team worker. There is one missing role or gap in the group which is completer finisher and there were no over-represented role or surpluses. However, most people played different role whenever we started working as an organization. I became the leader of the group become coordinator and shaper, because I got the first one who tried to motivate everyone to move on the project and assigned work for everybody, also clarify objective and organised the discussion. Colleague C changed his role from monitor evaluator to plant, because he always give us some new idea and solution for difficult problems, he also rather stays in the group to make some discussion than leave the group and explore some new opportunities. Colleague E acted such as a monitor evaluator, criticising the work and made some judgement as well. Colleague D played most different between self ensure that you practice. She was thought as coordinator and plant in the Belbin self perception inventory, but she did not contribute any idea for the project and instead just do whatever we tell her to do. Only colleague B act exactly same as what he experienced been defined before group working - monitor evaluator and teamworker. Furthermore, the group performance was influenced by the absence of a completer finisher in our team, there have been always some errors and omission has been found by tutor directly after we submitted our plan. These problems were really easy to be discovered, but nobody in the team was doing serious scrutinising line by line. Furthermore, because of colleague D transfer her role to team worker, we have over-presented roles or surplus during team working that caused inefficiency and less participation.
The model with four stages Forming, Storming, Norming and Performing has been developed in 1965 by Bruce Tuckman, which targets interpersonal relationship and task activity to be able to help and clarify team development. In 1970 he added the fifth stage to his model call adjourning. The first stage is seen as 'testing and dependence' (Bonebright, 2010, P113). In the first morning, people did not clear about "what to do" and "how to do", they highly depended on direction from the leader, while testing the tolerance of leader. In my own group, people all result from China, at this time they are more like to speak about city and Chinese food rather than the objective and define their team role and responsibility until shaper said "Come on! Let's we move on the project!" and tell them what to do next. Within the next stage - Storming, Tuckman (1965, p. 386) explained that 'group members become hostile toward one another and toward a therapist or trainer as a way of Expressing their individuality and resisting the formation of group structure. ' During the second working day, people in my group started to know one another in terms of working style and abilities, also tried showing their abilities and personality to be able to compete for positions and leadership. For instance I wanted to be the first choice of the group, but colleague E also wished to win the leadership, so we must test each other about knowledge and knowledge of project, and then find out who was simply more competent to be the first choice. In addition, there have been some conflicts for the duty as well. Group member held different view about the duty, such us approach to planning, labour allocation and so forth. Your choice was very difficult to be made in this stage by no agreement. The majority of the problem has been solved in the 3rd day, which is Norming stage. We began to discus different thoughts and opinions without prejudice and accept different judgment from other people, made consensus about roles and leadership, as well as just how of working. Finally we move into performing stage in the Fourth day. We totally centered on the task. Everyone clear about their job and responsibility, also pleased to help one another. We always organised a discussion before we submit amendment for next period and after if there is any trouble occurred. People stuck together to handle all troubles, even when we didn't achieve the exercise, we still encouraged each other said "good job" to everyone. In the last stage adjourning stage within the last day, we've completed the project though it was failed. Every group member still wants the stay in this group for group exercise in other module, because we have experienced a lot during the whole week and closely bonded. We trusted the other person and feared to utilize other folks and go through the whole process again.
Decision making is very important for an organization, effective decision making procedure can produce high quality decision which, can help group to achieve its objective and provides satisfaction for group member. When we need decide that mean there is some problem need to be solved and folks held different views about the perfect solution is. Therefore, firstly we did some information collection by speak to tutor or review the handout in order to defined the situation and discover the quickest solution. Secondly, group member tried to find better solution and provided different view or added more information about the perfect solution is. Thirdly we listed all options and analysis them by SWOT, then discussed every option and lastly made the decision about it. For example, there was a huge delay on task D107 which is vital task, since it is on the critical path and would delay the complete project. In those days we must make an instant decision between continue finish the duty by ourselves that can keep us under budget but behind schedule, or a chose sub-contractor which can catch up the schedule but it would improve the cost. We analysed the existing situation and solution by SWOT, then tried to reschedule the rest of task in order to see whether there was a time surplus or not, also recalculated the budget as well. However, there is still no consensus, and then we voted for this. There were 3 out of 5 agreed to choose sub-contractor, therefore, we made decision to employ a sub-contractor. Furthermore, during the whole process of decision making, there is a new attitude between male and female that males were more vigorous then female. For me, this difference was caused by culture, because we all come from China and in Chinese culture some female are pleased to give the right of decision to male, especially when there is certainly some important decision, and then just abide by it. However, sometime this situation occur not only to female, some male also do not need to make decision, because they don't want to undertake the responsibility and don't desire to be blamed by other group member, if the decision was wrong. Furthermore, the leadership was significant in your choice making process. The decision making in my own group always are expensive of energy, because of very long time situation analysis and solution discussion. I got the shaper and leader in the group, one of my jobs was to be always a time keeper, so I made a lot of pressure on other people in order to make sure we can meet up with the deadline.
There are two types of conflict in the process of teamwork, which is functional conflict and dysfunctional conflict. According to Menon et al. (1996) dysfunctional conflict are 'unhealthy behaviours within an organization such as distortion and withholding of information to hurt other decision makers, hostility and distrust during interaction ( Thomas, 1992), and creating obstacles to impede the decision-making process ( Ruekert and Walker, 1987). ' (Bobot, Lionel, 2001) There are a variety of negative impacts on teamwork, for example it damages the partnership between group member and leader. In addition, it leads to making an incorrect decision by holding latest information or providing wrong information. Furthermore, it disturbs the effective communication within group. In the whole week of exercise there was no dysfunctional conflict whatsoever in my group, every group member made afford on making good relationship with others and willing to keep group working appropriately, also totally supported the leadership. At same time, there were many conflicts during roles selection and decision making, but most of them were functional conflict. Massey and Dawes (2007) state: 'Functional conflict is the constructive challenging of ideas, beliefs, and assumptions, and respect for others' viewpoints even though parties disagree. ' (Bobot, Lionel, 2001) For example, through the planning stage we made a lot of conflicts about critical path and quantity of labours, a lot of people remarked that we have to hire 8 labours to do the tasks on critical path instead of doing other task at same to be able to decrease the distance of project, but others hold different view about any of it, because of it could cause inefficient and increase threat of failure. Later, we argued about sub-contractors and supplier. Someone reckoned we need choose relatively expensive company because it is more reliable, but someone thought it could bring up our budget and felt there was no company provides absolute safety. In my point of view, all these conflicts were positive and helpful by helping produce more options and alternative perspectives for decision making, as well as make people become closer to each other then create better working atmosphere within the group. Therefore, it's important to make functional conflict during group working which can provides positive outcome, and try to avoid dysfunctional conflict which produce negative effect on group working.
Leadership is 'the procedure for influencing the actions associated with an organised group toward goal achievement [Rauch & Behling, 1984]' (G Yukl, 2006) which is very important inside our life. Strong leadership can make a country become more powerful, make an enterprise more lucrative and make a team better. There are two different kinds of leadership, people oriented and task oriented that will be used be based upon different situation. For example, people oriented leadership always apply in the large organization or government, because in this particular circumstance, relationship with people is important to be able to achieve long-term objectives. However, task should be studied in first place in term of project, because the lifecycle of project is short and narrower focus on aimed task. Through the excise, there were 5 people in my group radio head. I got the first choice of the group. WHEN I discussed earlier, as a project manager I need to more give attention to task rather than with people, however I came across it was very difficult because in a nutshell term, we live colleague I just need to keep good relationship with other to make the milestone, but in long-term aspect we are friend and classmate we must build good friendship which really is a "intangible asset" for example, group member A had some view about method planning that need long time to figure out, so I have to avoid him and go alternative way. However, that cause he's unhappy with my leadership and tries to challenge it. This example might happen in my future career as well. In Chinese culture there may be call "guan xi" which mean relationship. If I am a project manager or need I must according to Gary Yukl's book leadership in organizations in 2006 'the leader defines and structures his / her own role and the role of subordinates toward attainment of task goal. Example includes criticizing poor work, emphasising definite deadline, assigning subordinate to task, maintaining definite standards of performance, asking subordinates to check out procedures, offering new methods to problem and coordinating the activities of different subordinate. ' maybe sometime all of these action will cause a negative "guan xi" with others, and bed "guan xi" might decelerate the project or decision making and it is impossible to corporate with same people in the future. In my point of view it is very important to balance the task and relationship especially in Parts of asia such us, China, Japanese, Korean and so forth.
In conclusion, in term of group performance I reckon my group was successful, all group member have tried their best to experience the roles in the group and made a lot of afford on making money and meet the deadline. Although we finally failed the project, we learned a lot of things from this exercise. First of all, we learned steps to make an idea and schedule for a project. Secondly, we found the chance management is vital for project manager because as Nerd said "there is no critical path and it'll always change by facing new problems". Thirdly, we understood how to define the roles in a group and be clear about responsibilities. Finally we realised that the wonderful techniques of group development can lead group to achieve their goal and objectives. It had been good opportunity for us to critically analyses and evaluates ourselves that can help us become more professional during operating project.
The word 'risk event' has been defined in project risk analysis and management guide as 'an uncertainty event or set of circumstances that, should it occur, will have an effect on achievement of one or even more of the project's objective' (J Bartlett, 2004, p. 17). In my opinion, 'risk' is a sword with two blades. On the main one hand, it is a threat for project which, may cause over budget, losing profit, project delay or low quality of product. Many of these factors will reduce the satisfaction of customer or lead to total failure of project. However, on the other hand, 'risk' may bring opportunity to the project that can make positive effect on the outcome of project. For instance, finish task beforehand, improve process of production or create add value for product. Therefore, risk analysis and management is significant for operating a project. According to Y Chong (2000) 'risk analysis is like drawing a map of potential hazards and outlining the damage they might lead to. Risk management is taking the map and deciding how to prevent the hazards. ' As being a project manager it's important to take a guess for future to be able to predict potential problems and make a plan to avoid or against these problems. In this article I am going to discuss the procedure of risk management and try to apply the process into project lifecycle in order to learn the interactions.
There a wide range of different methodologies for risk management process. For instance, Albert Lester (2007) divided the chance management process into five stages which were risk awareness, risk identification, risk assessment, risk evaluation and risk management. He claimed that 'The first three stages tend to be known as qualitative analysis and are the most importance stage of the process' (A Lester, 2007, p65, 66). Moreover, the chance management process has been developed as another five phases by John Bartlett and other authors in 2004. It offers, initiate, identity, assess, plan responses and implement response. He believes that 'the risk management process is iterative within itself, therefore the output from each phase might require a previous phase to be revisited' (J Bartlett, 2004, p 18). Furthermore, in my own viewpoint, the most specific and detailed risk management process was defined by project management institute (2008). The chance manage process has been separated to six stage what consist plan risk management, identify risks, perform qualitative risk analysis, perform quantitative risk analysis, plan risk response, monitor and control risks, but there were four stage when it was first published in 1996 that were risk identification, risk qualification, risk response development and risk response control. It is not hard to observe that there are some key term in all these mythologies such as 'identify', 'analysis', 'responses' and 'monitor'. Therefore, these are very important aspects during risk management process.
According to project management institute (2008), the first stage of risk management process is plan risk management which really is a consideration and evaluation about the structure of the procedure before project planning and there are a few critical things need to be considered in this stage. To begin with, the approach, tools and date resource have to be chosen for managing the risks. Secondly, clarify the tasks for people who will be engaged in this project. Thirdly, estimate the demand for resource and funds during risk management process. Fourthly, define the timing and frequency of risk management through the project lifecycle. Fifthly, category all the risk systematically and measure the probability and impact. Finally decide if the risk happens how to record and report it. Project management institute (2008) states that 'careful and explicit planning improve the possibility of success for the five other risk management process'. However, I reckon that it's difficult to make a risk management plan in this stage. Because many of these considerations are before planning the project, there may be some inaccurate date and uncertain information that will cause a low quality plan and waste of resources.
The second stage-identify risk is about find out the rick which will makes a effect on the project no matter it will bring a confident or negative impact, then record the characteristics in order to develop the responses. The folks who are mixed up in project must participate through the whole process of identify risk such us project team, stakeholders and users, because the project team there are different responsibilities for each team member so they have to clearly understand all the potential risks for take contingency action to them, stakeholders and user may define their tolerance and offer more objectives. Furthermore, the identify risk process is a continuous action during the whole project. Because the risk will appear in other stage as well, it's important to keep discover and identify new risk until the project has been completed. Furthermore, there are numerous tools and techniques have been mentioned by project management institute (2008) for identify risks, such as, check list analysis, documentation review, assumption analysis, SWOT analysis etc.
The third and fourth stages are both risk analysis processes but in various ways. One of them is qualitative method which, is about analyses and evaluate the impact and probability of risk and then prioritise them. The orders are be based upon probability of occurrence and exactly how serious impact it'll make to the project. People involve in the project have different responsibility and objectives, the level of risk can be seen differently by differing people. Therefore it is necessary to build a system for evaluating the amount of probability and impact in order to lessen the influence of bias. The quantitative analysis always after qualitative analysis, quantitative analysis is an activity to numerically measure the impact of prioritised risk. It could analyse the chance individually or estimate the total impact of risks to the project, in addition quantitative analysis can offer date to show the difference between past and now and then it can be beneficial to see will there be any improvement in risk management. However sometime the quantitative analysis is not essential to build up the responses for the potential risks, it is rely upon the time and budget.
After the risks have been discovered and analysed, the solutions and actions have to be developed to response these risk in order to avoid and decrease the negative impact or transfer to risk into opportunity, as well as prepare the contingency arrange for uncertain risk, they are known as plan risk responses. In this process, the recourse should be used for the risk with high priority and a person have to be pointed for implementing the response. In addition, as a risk manage, it is important to totally understand the current situation and capability, analyse the resource and budget in order to make certain all responses are realistic and cost efficient. Moreover, develop more options for decision making and all your choice must be agreed by everyone who involved with this project.
The final stage of the risk management process is monitor and control risks which are serious of actions for implementing risk response plan, tracking determined risk, monitor residual risk and discover new risks. In the monitor and control process, some of the chance has occurred or will occur but some of them won't happen, it important to keep tracking and make comparing between plan and reality, then to determine the difference and make some amendments for future responses to make the chance management plan better. Moreover, the monitoring and controlling of risks can provide date to judge the risk management process whether it is efficient or not.
The process of risk management provides a lot of advantage for project management for example, enhance the profitability, decrease the probability of failure and discovering opportunities for project. However, there's also some limitation or weakness for the risk management process. First of all, there are some risks can be produced by the process, because all those stages within the process are interacted with each others, if there is a mistake has been manufactured in one of them that will cause a butterfly effect to other stage and lead the process produce inaccurate risk management plan. So in term of project management, the risk management process is seen a risk. Furthermore, there a wide range of methodologies of risk management process plus they divided the procedure in to different volume of stage, some include 3 or 4 stage and other has five or six stages. But all of those methodologies need comprehensive analysis for dates and lot of paper work that might cost a lot of your energy and boost the cost of project. Furthermore, Chapman and Ward (2003) mentioned that the risks are always thought as threats to the project and the chance management process is concentrate on remove those threats, however the opportunities which can produce positive outcome for the project might be ignored during the process.
According to Chapman and ward (2003) 'an appreciation of the prospect of risk management in projects must be grounded on the clear knowledge of the nature and scope of decision making involved in project management. A natural framework for examining these decisions is the project life cycle (PLC)'. The life cycle of project has been split into different numbers of phases, Adam and Brandt (1983) introduced the life cycle as four phrases that include conceptualization, planning, execution and termination. There are lots of theorists support this concept such as Pinto and Selvin (1988), Cleland (1999) and Chapman and Ward (2003). Furthermore, Stuckebruck (1981) and Kerzner (1995) defined the project life cycle with five phases which contain conceptualization, definition, production, operational and divestment. Moreover the PMBOK 1983 divided the project life cycle more into another four phases that are feasibility, acquisition, operational and disposal (J Wu, D Leifer, 2006). There is no right or wrong for these theories, they described and explained the project life cycle in various way. I'd like to use the idea developed by Chapman and Ward in 2003 to go over the interaction between project life cycle and risk management process, because Chapman and Ward broke down the four phases more specifically into eight stages in order to find the foundation of uncertainty and facilitating the management.
According to Chapman and Ward (2003), the conceptualization phase has been developed to conceive stage. The original objectives have to be defined in this stage that mean to take into account what will produce and what benefit can be earn by delivery the product. The objective in this stage is not a clear plan but a vague idea about the concept and purpose. The stakeholders should be engaged in this stage, because they will provide different views about the objective and the consensus have to be made for continue this project if there is someone not agree the objective, the project might be suspended or terminated. Therefore the sufficient support and resource allocation for the idea must be obtained in order to have further consideration and refine the objective. Through the conceptualization phase, the program risk management stage for risk management process need to occur as well to be able to get ready the further risk management and also help the stakeholder to do decision making for whether continue this project or not.
The second phase is planning that was divided into design stage, plan stage and allocate stage by Chapman and Ward (2003) in this stage, the essential design take place at a strategic level in order to learn what should do for achieve the objectives as well as build a standards for evaluating and developing the existing design. When the look stage has been complete the project will move to the next stage-the plan stage. The resource based plan need to be produced in order to show the resource requirement, amount of period and how design will be excited. Furthermore, more folks and organisation will be involved for develop the targets and milestone need to be developed. The third stage for planning is allocate stage which is making decision for involved parties and individual and allocating the tasks and task between them. Compare to the former stage the allocation have to be more detail for the inner resources and contracts. In my opinion, the planning is the most crucial phase for risk management and most of stages from risk management process happen in this phase such as identifying risk, qualitative and quantitative analysis, risk plan response. The resource and time are limited by the project, so it is necessary to define and analyse the risk during planning stage as well as develop the responses for those risk. In case the risks have never been discovered in this phase, it will be are expensive of time and resources to respond the risks in later phase.
After the whole planning phase has been completed, the project will forward to execution phase or execute stage. This stage is approximately implementing and realise the plan which was stated in previous phase. In addition, monitoring the process of production, also make adjustment to budget, schedule and resource allocation. In term of risk management, it's important to tracking the determined risk and monitoring residual risks. The contingency decision have to be made when the new risks have been learned and determined and then take appropriate contingency action to dealing with those risks.
The finally phase in project lifecycle is termination as Chapman and Ward (2003) mentioned which consist three stages, deliver, review and support. The deliver stage is about verifying the project performance and comparing the actual performance with designed performance and objectives. Following the verification and comparison there's a review stage in order to audit the complete procedure for project management. In the auditing many problems might be discovered that have to be recorded and make sure it will not happen again in the future. The ultimate stage is support stage which is about 'basic maintenance and liability perception development of support evaluation' (Chapman and ward 2007). The analysis and review for the risk management process will happen in the termination phase in order to verify the efficiency of the process.
In conclusion, there a wide range of methodologies of risk management process have been introduced this essay and various theorist divided the risk management process into different stage. In this essay, the procedure has been split into six stages what include plan risk management, indentify risk, perform qualitative risk analysis, perform quantitative risk analysis, plan risk response and monitor and control risks. The idea has been found in this essay about the risk management process was developed by project management institute (2008). One the other hand the chance management process can reduce the risk in and improve the probability of achievement for the project. But in another and hand there are some limitations and weaknesses of the existing risk management process. Therefore, the methodology have to be consistently modified and developed to be able to provide better performance for risk management. Furthermore, the project lifecycle has been introduced and discussed in the later part of the essay. There's also many theorists held different view about the phase of project lifecycle. The four phase project lifecycle has been found in this essay which developed by Chapman and Ward (2003). It offers, conceptualisation, planning execution and termination. Furthermore, the risk management has been applied directly into project lifecycle and critically discussed the interaction and relationship between them.