Project Management Assignment: Change Proposal for Walcha energy project
Task: Project Management Assignment Task:Suppose you are working on a project of an organisation. As a stakeholder of the project, you feel that the project needs some changes/revisions. The changes/revisions could be but are not limited to
- The budget
- Quality measures
- Availability of resources (both materials and manpower)
Based on these facts, your writing should cover the following key points but are not limited to:
- Identify and overview a detailed description of the proposed changes (the changes with as much detail as possible).
- Discuss the background information for the present situation and the proposed changes
- Outline the necessity of the proposed changes.
- Discuss the intended benefits of the proposed changes.
- Describe your professional developments you can achieve from this changed project.
The project upon which the discussion of the project management assignment report will be prepared is the Walcha energy project. Walcha energy project is among the biggest renewable energy projects of Australia and is located in the town of Walcha, New South Wales. The energy project is based on producing energy through solar and wind energy with pumped storage hydro to provide a new, better, and reliable source of renewable energy in new south wales. The project will be contributing to fulfilling as much as 15% of the electricity demands of the New South Wales area, and this grid will be producing more energy than the Liddell Power Station. (Farruggio and Dixon, 2019)
In this report, we will be proposing changes in the project going on in the New South Wales area. We will be outlining the changes that could be beneficial for the organization, the background information for the proposed changes, the necessity of the proposed changes, intended benefits, and the professional developments which we will be achieved from this change project
The Walcha energy project is still underway, but due to this corona outbreak, it has faced some bumps on the road. The changes which are being proposed about the project are given as follows:
Availability of resources
The first change which needs to take place is the plans related to the availability of the human resource, which is working on the project. The manpower working on the project are local skilled individuals having less or almost no experience? A lot of the work being done on the project is the local apprentices, and this is being done to save the costs of the project. Now, as there is a huge break in the project schedule because of the corona outbreak, there are fewer or no experts present to lead the project because of the transportation issues. Additionally, due to the lack of awareness on the issue, there is a crisis faced in the funding as well. According to Bloomberg, the investments in Australia's renewable energy projects dropped by 60%, and the corona outbreak could be a good reason in this too. So, the project stakeholders need to raise awareness on the issue on an international level to address the materials and manpower needs. (International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), 2017)
The project would be completed in phases, and the first phase is completing in around 2022. The project was scheduled in early 2019, but due to some external factors such as the corona outbreak and the investment crisis, it would be unwise to continue the project on the same schedules. We need to make changes in the scheduling system and make necessary changes that are more realistic and updated. The schedule should be updated based on the investment complications as well because after the break and due to the frequent changes in the energy policies, there are chances that the project could face an investment crisis and have to be rescheduled. Once the project is done, it should be flexible enough to incorporate the suggested changes. (IRENA International Renewable Energy Agency, 2018)
The project was introduced in the past few years and was expected to start in 2019. Still, the coalition government had announced 19 new energy policies related to renewable energy resources, but none of them lasted for a long time. Due to the lack of attention of the local government towards renewable energy resources, the investors started pulling back the money, which resulted in a decrease in funding. The decrease in funding means that there would be a problem in managing the materials required and hiring the manpower for the project. Additionally, things got even worse for the project due to the coronavirus outbreak. Because of all the factors provided, the project could go downhill just like the notorious cape wind project if there are no actions taken to make changes in the system. (Bhunia, Sahoo and Shaikh, 2019)
The necessity of the changes
The available resources act as the backbone of any project, and the availability of resources is hugely impacted by the investments made on the project. Now, as the investments are starting to fade away, we need to make changes quickly so that the project could continue again with the full swing as we are already running behind schedule. Similarly, scheduling helps us in setting goals and objectives, which we need to achieve, and this allows us to push our and the manpower limit to avoid any unnecessary delays in the plan. If we fail to do so, then the project could fail, just like the cape energy project. Scheduling ensures the success of the project and helps in keeping the project on track. Setting realistic time frames helps in the assigning of the resources appropriately and control any potential product errors. So, we can say that both of these changes are important and interdependent. We cannot constantly be totally precise in anticipating the future. However, due to the danger of uncontrollable elements such as the natural calamities, varying money, as well as transforming governmental plans, there is always a possibility that the first strategy that we have actually devised will need modifications.(International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), 2018)
There are numerous benefits of both the changes being proposed about the project. The first change which is being proposed is to improve the availability of the resources so that there could be a better allocation of the resources. Better allocation of the resources have benefits such as saving money, boosting productivity, improving time management, improving staff morale, and help in predicting the future project plan in the organization. Similarly, there are numerous benefits of changing and updating the scheduling after the break. Some of the benefits associated with having better and accurate scheduling in an organization are increased productivity, reduced financial penalties, better supply chain management, improved financial planning, and better project management. After the corona pandemic break, changing and updating the schedule is no longer an option; it is more of a necessity now. This is because of the big gap between the project phases. (Albrecht, 2017)
There are numerous professional development opportunities that I can achieve from this project. The first thing which I would be enjoying is the increased exposure and experience which this project changes will help me get. The increase in exposure and experience would be from things like changing the scheduling of the project based on the improved and updated guidelines from major contractors. Similarly, another change that I would experience from the changed project would be increased field knowledge and increased problem management skills. But, perhaps the most important thing which I would experience from the system would be the increased resource allocation skills while managing the availability of the resources section. This will allow me to gain the necessary experience and confidence, which will allow me to confidently and soundly make changes in my future career as a project manager. (Project Management Institute, 2017)
In conclusion, I would say that change is an integral part of successfully carrying out a project. One cannot always be fully accurate in predicting the future, and in case of new projects such as the Walcha energy product, things can go from right to wrong in a matter of weeks. But due to the threat of uncontrollable factors such as natural disasters, fluctuating currency, and changing governmental policies, there is always a chance that the initial plan that we have devised will need changes. So, while making such a plan in the first place, the project manager should be aware of the potential threats to the project, and the project manager should be flexible enough to incorporate and address the necessary changes in the product, which could change the fate of the project. A big example of such a project failing badly could be the cape wind project, which was eventually canceled due to complications and issues in governmental policies. If they would have made necessary changes, then there is a chance that they would be able to complete the project successfully.(International Project Management Association, 2015)
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