Managing Construction

Real World Problems

Whenever there is a disaster in construction either physical or financial it is often found that there is not one but a number of different causes which have contributed to the event.

You have already been taught about Risk Management in projects but to a large extent this has been about the management of individual risks. Identifying, evaluating, responding to and monitoring multiple and interdependent risks presents a bigger challenge. Sometimes the problem starts out as an area of uncertainty and individual risks may only emerge during the project as more relevant information becomes available.

To illustrate the significance of the construction sector, in the UK last year there was a serious fire in a West London residential block called Grenfell Tower in which around 80 people were killed. In January this year the large UK building contractor and services provider Carillion became insolvent (i.e. failed financially). Both of these events arose from multiple causes.

Term Paper Brief

A) Noting briefly these two UK examples, IDENTIFY and SUMMARISE AT LEAST TWO OTHER EXAMPLES of construction project problems that have arisen from the combination of multiple risks, risk interdependency and uncertainty. You are not limited to the UK in selecting these other examples.

Having presented summary case illustrations of such problems you are then required to:-

B) CONSIDER and OUTLINE how project-based organisations manage the problems and challenges illustrated through the case examples you have selected. Your consideration must involve the citation of respected sources, such as peer reviewed academic comment, official reports, or similar authoritative sources.

You are then to reflect and, in the final part of your essay, you are to:-

C) CONSIDER (drawing on your chosen case examples) where, in order to avoid future problems, strategic intervention is required including, if necessary, the allocation of significant funds. Your reflection should consider whether you have determined that the problems should be solved principally through initially addressing:
• Legal and regulatory improvement,
• Technological improvement,
• Process and/or system improvement,
• People and their skills and attributes

Your paper should attempt to answer the above questions. As previously stated you should base your reasoning on peer-reviewed literature in academic journals and books primarily based on such literature. Where you are required to use real world examples you may refer to trade literature and newspaper articles.

In some of the academic literature, especially on financial risk management you may encounter some quite complex mathematical models. Generally you should ignore the ‘heavy mathematics’ and concentrate instead on the general approach used by the authors.)

A key learning objective of this assignment is for you to develop and demonstrate your ability to learn through the use of cumulative reflection, and so the last part of the essay will be for you to reflect on the major learning that has been achieved in the way:
1. You think project-based organisations need to improve
2. You personally have attempted and completed this assignment.

You should refer to your Programme Handbook to ensure that you comply with relevant requirements including File Format, Word Count, Timeliness of Submission, Plagiarism and Originality of Text. The Term Paper will be marked electronically and therefore you only need to submit a file to MOODLE. No hard copies of your text are required.

Apart from the usual marking scheme shown for Term Papers in your Programme Handbook, there is no set allocation of marks between sections A), B) and C). Part of the learning for this assignment is for you to construct a well-balanced paper using the 3,000 words available. You will find this very helpful when tackling your dissertation later.

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