Regency plaza project
The Design Process
Regency Plaza project consist of 300 hotel room and 96 luxury condominiums. Kris Hodgkins has been appointed as project manager for condominium development of Regency Plaza hotel. However, she was hired when the project is near to the completion. Condominium project involves negotiations between Regency, KDS, the Boston Redevelopment Authority (BRA) and vocal neighbourhood groups.
The first challenge Hodgkins faced was the number, size and variety of condominium units can be offered (William J. Poorvu and Richard E. Crum, 2008). Farley and KDS have recommended a different view over the Regency layout. Farley recommend that Regency should build larger unit when is meant for only 72 units. Whereby, KDS recommend that Regency should maximum the unit to 96 as what is approved by the authority. Base on the recommendation from Farley and KDS, Hodgkins decided to build 96 units instead of 72 units as recommended by Farley.
During the year of 2005, Kelly awards the construction work to a few subcontractors due to the increased workload. Every subcontractor will produce a specific floor plan which shows the areas, texture and accuracy of the artwork whereby the subcontractor to be complete (William J. Poorvu and Richard E. Crum, 2008). All drawing will be review by the prime contractor support by the architects and engineering for final examination in order to obtain an approved. For each cycle, usually take up around one month (William J. Poorvu and Richard E. Crum, 2008).
A comprehensive marketing and service plan is created for the condominium (William J. Poorvu and Richard E. Crum, 2008). Every unit will be sold with a different fixtures and outlook. However, Hodgkins worry that the layout of the condominium might be modify by the buyers.
Hodgkins send a letter to every buyer, by describing that their unit has a choice of their choice or a default option if the owner did not respond by the cut off date. That is why Hodgkins also did not initiate the conversation with the individual unit buyers. Hoping that the change will be cut down (William J. Poorvu and Richard E. Crum, 2008).
There were about two hundred and fifty workers for the condominium project. However, the pace of the condominium project did not see to speed up. This is due to some of the work force have been move to hotel project as they need to catch the opening on July 15 (William J. Poorvu and Richard E. Crum, 2008).
During the project, the working relationship between Regency and Kelly turn sour. This is due to the raising cost and constant design change for the project. Paul Grogan the project manager from Kelly become extremely frustrated, due to the number of specialty items and unusual detail increase (William J. Poorvu and Richard E. Crum, 2008).
Regency project manager Jeff Cunningham is also unhappy on the hotel project. This is due to both Jeff Cunningham and Paul Grogan is fighting over labor for their project. Whereby, Jeff Cunningham project fall behind time (William J. Poorvu and Richard E. Crum, 2008).
During the project, there is some conflict between Paul Grogan and Jeff Cunningham over hardwood flooring. As informed by Jeff Cunningham, that some of the flooring is buckled due to the humid weather in June. However, Paul Grogan refused to take responsibility and claim that he has follow the industry standard during the installation of the flooring and push the responsibility back to Jeff Cunningham (William J. Poorvu and Richard E. Crum, 2008).
Finally yet importantly, the sales of the condominium pick up slow. During the pre-launch sales, it sells only 30 units out of 96 units. However, that did not worry Hodgkins as the target market for this product will pick up in the final round. What Hodgkins aim is to cut down any amended in order to gain more sales for the units itself (William J. Poorvu and Richard E. Crum, 2008).
Risk Evaluation and Management of Regency Hotel Project
Any project will presents risk elements that represent opportunities or threats that can undermine the smooth running or even completion of the project. Similarly the Regency Plaza project with its high stake of the deliverables, careful managing of risk should be top priority. Using the four stages of Risk Management framework, we shall attempt to evaluate how well risk was managed in the case Regency Plaza project.
Risk Identification: Sources of Risk
Identifying the sources of risk is paramount; detect as many as possible and should be directly related to the project objectives. Uncertainties will happen during the project runtime; hence identification of all possible of risk elements should be meticulously specified, and in the case of Regency Plaza, it can be associated with the design, development, quality, staffing, schedule and budget.
Since the Regency Plaza was a mixed use project, and being the first of its kind undertaken by the Group, they may lack the experience in running this project. This was further compounded by the complication of the size and layout of the floor plate in terms of the difficulty of designing a structure to accommodate condominiums over the hotel rooms, seated over a parking garage. Elevator core location and column spacing were essentially fixed by these constraints. At the same time issues such as length of the hallways, floor plans efficiency, room locations relationships and windows placement needed further considerations.
Schedule of the completion of the project would be tight. This was associated with successfully securing the lowest bid from Kelly Construction, convincing Hodgkins that they would cut three months off their original estimate of 32 months, provided that minimal changes to the original design and specifications were being made.
Apart from that, the marketing strategy that was put up by Hodgkins was to allow each condominium unit be sold with a package whereby default option would be automatically exercised if buyers did not respond within the cut off date, and to make things simple, Hodgkins did not initiate any discussions about customizing individual unit hoping changes would be minimal.
Based on the sources of risk identified (see figure below), it was noted that the most imminent risks that would be perceived as presenting the likely impact on the project would be associated with the condominium units. Issues such as last minute design changes, incomplete or inconsistent design specification changes, and increasing number of specialty items and unusual details made meant continuing the project becoming more difficult. Manpower deployment and requirements, internal layout of the condominium units and cost associated with these changes would therefore undermine the project planned schedule.
Risk Response Development
With the likelihood of those risks affecting the project, Hodgkins should be well aware of developing a contingency to better manage those risks in order to respond to any adverse events that could underpin the project completion. Furthermore, the marketing strategy of Hodgkins had not taken into much account of the buyer inputs on the condominium interior design customization. Instead, she continues to made assumptions that minimal changes would be anticipated throughout the project.
For example, she did not make any provision for any design changes to the individual unit of the condominium assuming that buyers would be agreeable to the option that was attached with the sale of the unit. As noted, design changes had halted some of the construction works because it had to make modification to the base building construction work such as electrical, mechanical, plumbing or fire safety systems. All these would further pushed scheduled completion and inflate the already thin budget. Construction workers would be stretched between the hotel and condominiums in order to accommodate these changes.
Risk Response Control
Failure to put any contingency plan in place meant that Hodgkins was not able to manage and response to the risk events occurring during the project life cycle.
The assumptions made by Hodgkins during the planning stage of the project resulted in the project incurring additional cost and delayed with the expected completion of condominium units pushed in order to accommodate the opening of the hotel on July 15, hence construction works had to be concentrated on the hotel during May and June.
It is understood that Project Manager is one of the most powerful but frequently overlooked influencers of successful project management. Its responsibilities are to deliver quality services within a specified budget and schedule to attain customers’ satisfaction. Doing the right thing at the right time is critical in meeting the objectives of a project. Below are the roles and responsibilities a project manager should adopt, con-currently, we look at some of Kris Hodgkins’ roles as a project manager.
A project manager has to construct a clear plan that covers every hinge and area from the objectives of a project to work processes, and to evaluation of a project, penning them down. The objectives and direction need to be provided by the project manager and communicated to the rest of the project team members, who have to be actively involved in all work processes. After these are achieved, the project manager has to review the plan with the client and then, move on to set up a project management information system, to monitor the progress of the project commencement. Kris did not make room for any contingency plan when Kelly Construction original delivery schedule was 32 months. For any area to go wrong, it will snowball and affect the project.
This function of the project manager will involve arranging for time schedules and allocation of resources to ensure the smooth flow of work processes. The priority of projects and work processes will have to be put in order of priority too. The project manager will also have to list out team members’ job scopes and responsibilities. With duties and resources allocated, project team members will then be able to work more effectively, to achieve better results. By purchasing items that required long lead time such as elevators and marbles, Kris showed that she is very well organised with her project’s material.
As mentioned above, the project manager will have to plan and implement a management information system that allows for exchange of information and checking of work processes so that the actual progress of the ongoing project can be monitored and kept in control. Various aspects of the project such as time schedule and costs will have to be constantly monitored and maintained within manageable limits or boundaries. The collected data from the monitoring system will have to be discussed regularly at meetings too, to evaluate if the project should be continued, adjusted or put to a halt. This will allow for early identification of problems which is an essential part of controlling. Kris display good controlling skills over Kelly Construction by retaining 10% of their pay request to ensure timely deliveries.
It is important for a project manager to be able to give clear directives and motivation to guide the team towards completion of a project. To achieve this, roles and responsibilities, and expectations will have to be made known as early as possible and reminded of at appropriate timings to give a little ‘push’ to the team. Another important point in leading is a project manager should work on establishing team work, involvement, participation and collaboration amongst team members. A good leadership may include encouraging participation in problem solving and decision making and sharing credits or fruits of labour when possible. A project manager should appreciate and leverage on the diversity of a team.
A project manager should provide and, or ensure there are channels of communication for effective exchange of information. This will help to reduce potential conflicts. Kris did not initiate any meeting when she sent out the letter containing packages to buyers over customising of unit and assume minimum changes. When there is no communication, conflicts will arise.
A project manager should not focus only on himself but recognise team members’ individuals skills, talents and work efforts. These can be leveraged on and be made use of to complete a project. The project manager will be ‘killing two birds with one stone’ by giving the appropriate recognition, encouragement and motivation to the team member and making use of this skills and talents to complete a project. To motivate a team member, empowerment may be given to him. This will boost one’s confidence. Providing appropriate and valued incentives will motivate team members to work harder. Giving credit and feedback to member, when possible will also be appreciated.
A project manager is most probably the most experienced of all and should guide the team to identifying and anticipating customers’ needs and wants. Accurately reading signs give off by potential customers will help the team build stronger customer relationships. Customers’ concerns should be answered as well, with the proper procedures put in place. The ultimate goal should be working to exceed customer expectations.
Conclusion on whether Kris Hodgkins is a good project manager?
A project manager should get the right people for the right jobs. Handling interpersonal relationships well and leveraging on it will help strike a balance in managing organisation’s and members’ interests to breed harmony and improve productivity. Considering the case of the project was delay, over budget and slow on unit sales (30 out of 96 units). We can conclude that Kris did not make quite a good project manager.
William J. Poorvu and Richard E. Crum. (2008): ‘Regency Plaza’, Harvard Business School, 9-391-021, 9-11.