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Project Management Case Study – Max Wideman’s Custom Woodworking Case Study – Part 6

September 20, 2010

Before proceeding, you should read Project Management Case Study – Max Wideman’s Custom Woodworking Case Study – Part 1,  Part 2Part 3Part 4 and Part 5.  Review of the construction phase reveals more issues and changes.  The first major issue is pouring the foundation before specifications for equipment and configuration were complete or approved.  The change in the production train specification and the equipment specifications should have been reviewed and approved before pouring the concrete.  Pouring concrete is a task that cannot be easily changed once it is complete.  All equipment and configuration specifications should have been carefully reviewed and approved prior to pouring concrete.

The second issue in the construction phase centers around the communication breakdown regarding Leadbetter’s dissatisfaction with the installation of mechanical equipment.  Instead of communicating with the EID Project Manager, Ivar Kontrak,  and assuring that all affected stakeholders were involved in resolving the issue, he went directly to the contractor, Amos Dent.   Circumventing Project Managers or Project Leads, destroys trust and credibility on a project.  It has strained relations on this project, which will lead to further deterioration of communication unless it is addressed and resolved immediately.

Difficulties with a local inspector will only exacerbate existing project problems unless they are dealt with head on.   Compliance with local, state and federal regulations is a requirement for all ethical project managers.  If changes need to be made based on the inspector’s findings, they should be identified and analyzed to determine their impact to the current project plan and change management should be followed.

In reviewing the construction phase, how would you have handled these situations?  What preceding activities should have be done to avoid these difficulties?

Next step, startup.

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