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Strategic Project Management - Essay Example

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Strategic Project Management

According to Robert Black, the project management consisted of the Clerk and Chief Executive of Parliament who was the Principal Accountable Officer, and the Project Team, which was led by the project director. The legal client was the Corporate body but it delegated the function of completing the Holyrood Building Project to the Clerk. He emphasized that project management was responsible for managing and delivering the project.
This paper will feature a review of the reasons for the delays and cost increases of the project. The depth to which the project management was to be blamed for the setbacks will also be analysed. It will also give recommendations on what should have been done by the project management so as to avert the setbacks and finally the lessons that project management should learn that are relevant to management of public sector projects.
Robert Black in his report of June 2004 listed the main cause of the delays to the project as the production of detailed design variations and the late supply of information during the construction. He however sighted other factors that contributed to the delays.
One factor was the choice of construction management as a method of procuring the project. The Auditor-General commented that construction management is unsuited for most building projects in the public sector. He however sighted that construction management was not necessarily the wrong choice in the Holyrood case. It was only unfortunate that in the Holyrood case project management did not implement construction management fully in accordance with usual practice. The experience and expertise in construction management was not present in early stages of the Holyrood project and therefore the risks and challenges were not fully appreciated by the client and project management.
Wanna [2004] described this program as a very tight and far too ambitious construction program. This is so because in construction management the design is incomplete and uncertain when construction starts, so the risk stays with the client. The different forms of contracting are intended to transfer risk to those best able to manage it. The client must manage design development and get a project team that has professionals who are experienced in this construction method. Another major factor was the challenge of construction. This was due to the difficulties associated with the construction of such a complex and unusual building on a densely developed site. It was also expected to be completed against very tight deadlines. It was extremely challenging both in engineering design and construction terms. Lord Fraser, in the Holyrood Inquiry, highlighted that there had been many references to the "complexity of the design" as a factor causing programme overruns. The third factor was the fact that there was no room for slippage in the original timetable, which was very compressed and very challenging to deliver. The original timetable was not adjustable or had no allowance for any delays hence was hard to work with. These factors hindered the architect and some trade contractors from delivering some critical elements of work on time.
At the root of the project slippage ...Show more


In 1998, the Scottish Parliament Corporate Body required the new Scottish Parliament house to be build by mid-2001. However, it was not completed until 20 months after with the cost having doubled from 195 million in September 2000 to 431 million in February 2004…
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