The Project Environment

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2.0 THE PROJECT ENVIRONMENT

2.1 The Projects: Projects are products of ideas initiated to fulfill a need or exploit an opportunity.

The Project Environment also known as Project World are the external factors influencing projects.

The single most important influence on any project is whether or not it is being carried out by Public Sector usually undertaken by government to provide public service or Private Sector usually undertaken by individual companies or consortia to make a profit.

In the past, clients have taken many of the risks, recently; alternative types of procurement strategy has been introduced, depending on the attitudes toward the risk analysis usually adopted in the project life cycle.

2.2The Project Constitution: this also influences a project; it’s a set of rules stating the roles and responsibilities of team members and stakeholders. It could either be simple or complex depending on the nature and size of the project. The constitution is important because the client is responsible for making the key decisions and any constraints on his ability to do so must be clearly stated, as client decisiveness is crucial to the speed and success of the project.

2.3Project Organization: means the way in which the project implementation team is established and who the participants are. It could either be single-discipline or multi-discipline projects depending on nature and size. To minimize risk and ensure the objective of improving the chances of successful delivering of project on time, to budget and to specification; clients in the building industry – especially developers have moved to other forms of procurement rather than the traditional method that often split responsibility in an unrealistic and arbitrary way. It is observed that single-discipline project has lesser risk to multi-discipline project, as individuals are more aware of risk than group of people.

2.4Project Phases: These are the various stages of project life cycle, project stages are: Pre-feasibility stage, Feasibility stage, Design stage, Contract/Procurement stage, Implementation stage, Commissioning, Handing Over and Operation stage. Different parties may be responsible for different stages; the client is largely responsible for the pre-feasibility stage and if decision to proceed is made, then a consultant, usually an Architect or Engineer is appointed to conduct a feasibility study. The objective of which is to compare alternative ways of implementing the project. If at the conclusion of this feasibility stage; the project is viable, considering the costs, benefits and risk, then the other phases now continue.

2.5Effects of Project Phase on Risk: As project is divided into a number of separate phases, it is therefore required that at the end of each phase, an appraisal is made and assessment of the risk involved in proceeding with the project, therefore making the management of risk a continuous process spanning all the phases of the project. Due to the dynamic nature of risk; a risk assessment must be carried out at the end of each phase prior to proceeding to the next phase.

Generally speaking, the earliest phases of the project are concerned with value management to improve the definition of design objectives; the design stage is concerned more with value engineering to achieve necessary function at minimum cost; and the construction phase is centred on quality management to ensure that design is constructed correctly without the need for costly rework.

It is important also to know that each phase will contain a number of key assumptions made to allow the project to continue. As the project progresses, firm information will be available to replace these assumptions. Sometimes, this information will differ from the original assumption which it supplants. It is therefore important to reassess the project and see if this fundamentally changes the basis for the previous work...
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