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Project Management Assignment: Project Charter For Merck Innovation Centre


Project leadership is about inspiring the project team to do their best from the outset. This requires a combination of verbal and written communications and a range of applied leadership skills. One of the foundational documents that helps “kick-off” the project is the Project Charter. This is a document that describes the entire project in a short, succinct and presentable document that can be shared with project staff or other stakeholders to commence the project in earnest. It also helps clarify the project context, the project team roles and the goals of the project.

In this project management assignment you will be requires to consider a project case study of your choice to use in order to develop a Project Charter. Though all students will receive the same case study, it is expected that each student will think about the project from their own perspective as an up-and-coming project manager. Use your own style based on your critical thinking of what it means for you to lead a project. That will help you formulate your unique Project Charter.


Background to the Project undertaken in the project management assignment
The project is being conducted for Merck, German pharmaceutical, life sciences, and chemicals group. Merck KGaA acquired a number of large businesses in 2015 and then transformed and re-branded the organization under a single name called Merck. The group is more than 350 years old in business and was founded in 1668 in Darmstadt, Germany. Currently, there are over 52,000 people that are employed by Merck in various locations worldwide. The maximum strength of 11,000 each is identified in Germany and North America (Heagney, 2016). The pharmaceutical and life sciences industry is highly competitive and the organizations that are a part of this industry are required to constantly work at the enhancement of the brand value and brand reputation. The employees need to be kept involved and engaged in the organization processes and activities.

Looking at all of these requirements and factors, Merck decided to carry out the One Global Headquarters, OGHQ program that was incepted in 2014. The program is composed of 90 different small and large-scale construction projects. One of the most critical out of these is the construction of the innovation centre. The project involves the development and construction of the architecture for Merck in Darmstadt, Germany and the innovation centre will be the heart of the entire OCHQ program. The budget that is sanctioned for the entire project is $200 Million. The construction will involve various levels and floors that will be connected with each other through the ramps. The employee interaction and communication will be prioritized in the architectural construction with the set-up of the meeting spaces and rooms. The connectivity will enable the employees placed at various levels to easily reach out to the others. The isolated workstations will also be constructed for the employees to concentrate and work on the assigned activities. The different levels will also be connected with the company restaurant that will also be a central place for the employees to connect and communicate with one another. The innovation centre construction is the most significant aspect of the entire OCHQ program (Salari & Khamooshi, 2016).

Reasons for the Project
There are over 11,000 employees that work in the headquarters of Merck. To improve the efficiency and productivity levels of the employees, it is essential that they are provided with the friendly work environment and facilities at the workplace. Also, the architecture of the office space has a lot of significance on the brand reputation and the brand value of the organization.

Project Objectives

  • O1: To have zero variances in the estimated and final values of the project budget and schedule
  • O2: To have zero instances of the worker health and safety accidents at the construction site
  • O3: To attain the compliance levels in the categories as legal, ethical, and quality as 100%

Constraints, Limitations and Risks
It is essential that the identification of the project constraints and limitations is done properly. It assists in the effective planning of the project tasks and activities and also provides the mechanism to make adequate estimations.

  • The budget that is allocated for the entire OCHQ Program is $200 Million. For each of the construction project within the program, there will be specific share that will be allotted. The budget will be the major constraint as the tolerance limit associated with the project budget will be low (Sanghera, 2019).
  • The primary contractor and the sub-contractors will be the entities that will supply the raw materials and will carry out the actual construction. The skills of these parties and their workers can be the major constraint if the effective selection is not done.
  • The health and safety of the workers will be at the top priority at all times. The variances in the safety measures or the issues of non-compliance can lead to the workplace accidents with fatal impacts. The compliance requirements will be significant for the project.
  • The compliance percentage of 100% is essential for the legal, regulatory, and ethics compliance. These can be significant constraints in the project.

The innovation centre project will also be exposed to certain risks. These risks will include the construction specific risks, as workplace accidents, environmental risks, delay in the supply of materials, etc. The contractors that will be associated with the project can also cause the occurrence of the risks. These may include the risks as the violation of contractual terms, budget overrun, conflicts, and likewise. The management and mitigation of the risks will be essential in the project.

Leadership Structure
The success of any project is highly dependent on the resource skills and abilities that are associated with the project. The leadership and management structure involved is relevant as these are the resources that have the power to make strategies and policies for the project. The decision-making is done by the project leadership and the skills along with the clarity of the roles are extremely necessary (Marion, 2019). For the Merck innovation centre project, the project will be led by Steven and Mark. The strong leadership will be essential in the project to make sure that the smooth execution is conducted.



Project Manager

PM is the resource that will directly report to Steven and Mark. The PM will also be the primary decision-maker in the project in terms of the internal team policies development, communication guidelines, meeting schedule development, etc. The teams that the innovation centre project will be present will report to the PM and the planning, estimations, and overall control of the project will be performed by the PM. The performance tracking and assessments, internal reviews, and the internal sign-offs will also be done by the PM (Quartararo, 2016). 

Quality Manager

The innovation centre that is being constructed will reflect the excellence of Merck and will have significant impacts on the employee engagement, brand value, and its reputation. Quality will be the most important parameter to make sure that the project aims are achieved with zero variances in the schedule and budget levels. The Quality Manager will be responsible for planning and managing the project quality along with the reporting of the defects. The compliance checks will also be performed by the resource. The team responsible for quality management will be guided and managed by the Quality Manager.

Procurement Manager

Concrete and Steel Works is one of the contractors that are identified for the project. There will be a lot of other contractors that will be involved along with the execution of the tendering and bidding processes. The resource will have the responsibility of developing and implementing the procurement management plan. The determination of the procurement risks, mitigation of the risks, contractual activities, and negotiations with the third-parties will be done by the resource.

Construction Manager

The construction activities will be planned and controlled by the resource. It will include the site inspections, development of the WHS policy, audit on the WHS measures, planning & controlling of the construction processes, and management of the construction risks. The construction workers and the contractors that will be assigned to the project will work jointly with the construction manager and the team that will be allocated. The Construction Manager will develop the weekly construction progress reports and will share the same with the Project Manager.

Project Risks and their Mitigation
The project will be exposed to a number of risks. It will be important that the management and mitigation of these risks is done effectively. Some of the risks are described and mapped with the mitigation techniques and strategies.






Workplace accidents

The lack of adequate and effective WHS measures and policies can lead to the workplace accidents, such as fall, accidents from defective equipment, etc. resulting in the temporary or permanent injuries for the construction workers. The heavy lifting of the equipment can lead to the long-term health implications.



The WHS policy shall be developed and implemented by the Construction Manager. The use of robots shall be done at the construction site for the heavy lifting and transportation of the materials. There shall be first aid facilities available at the construction site with frequent review of the equipment conditions and WHS compliance.

Environmental Risks

The changes in the weather patterns and the uncertainties resulting in rains, extreme heat, intense waves, etc. can result in the inability to execute the construction activities.



The weather patterns shall be studied in advance and must be considered during the planning and estimation processes.

Third-party delays

The contractual parties and the third-parties may cause the delays in the project which can have negative impacts on the schedule and budget.



The contractual terms must clearly specify the impacts of the delays, associated ownership, penalties, etc. to avoid such circumstances (Paquette, 2016).

Schedule/budget overrun

The unwanted delays or the weather conditions or the other project issues, such as unexpected changes or low resource productivity can exceed the schedule and the budget (Klakegg, 2016)



The use of the earned value analysis technique shall be done to constantly keep a track of the variance levels for the schedule and the project costs.

Goal Conflicts

The contractors associated with the project may have the varying goals that may not properly align with one another.



The risk shall be treated with the use of collaborative technique and effective communications, such as groups discussions, brainstorming sessions, and feedback.


Project Stakeholders and Communications
The project will have the primary stakeholder as Merck that has initiated the project and it is also the primary sponsor of the project. Merck is a pharmaceutical group that is in existence in the industry since past 350 years. There are business partners and subsidiaries attached with Merck that will also have stakes in the project. The Concrete and Steel Works is one of the contractors that are identified (Demirkesen & Ozorhon, 2017). There will be many other contractors that will be associated with the project and will have interest and contribution in the project. The actual construction will be performed by these stakeholders with the delivery of the equipment and the raw materials. The employees of Merck are the main end-users that will actually be using the architecture constructed. These will be the customers in this case. The various teams assigned for the project activities will also be the significant stakeholders.

It will be necessary that the sharing of information is properly done with the stakeholders. For this purpose, the use of meetings and reports will be done. The sponsor, business partners, subsidiaries, and the contractors will meet weekly over the web conferences and the project teams will also be part of these conferences. The project updates and progress with the sharing of the weekly reports will be done in these conferences (Corey, 2016).

Emails will be used as the primary mode of communication to keep all the stakeholder updates and engaged. For the employees, the use of social media will be done to share the project details and updates.

Project Vision and Team Culture
The Merck innovation centre is the project that will not only have positive influences on the internal employees but will also have significant external impacts. The project has the vision to offer the best in-class architecture to the employees and the visitors that shall boost the communication and interaction possibilities. It is also being done with the aim of gaining an edge among the competitors with the reflection of the exceptional architectural features and technologies used.

To achieve the project objectives and meet the vision, it will be necessary for the project team to be collaborative and work as a unit. The inclusive and cohesive culture will be essential in this project. The teams engaged will belong to varied departments and will interact with the contractors and sub-contractors. With higher levels of collaborations and integrated decision-making, it will be possible for the teams to function as one unit. This will enable the team and the leaders to achieve the project objectives. The diversity in the team shall be properly managed and must be used as one of the strengths in the project. The team diversity in terms of skills, culture, age group, and backgrounds will assist in implementing the best ideas in the project (Iheanacho, 2016).

Corey, D. (2016). Effective HR communication?: a framework for communicating HR programmes with IMPACT. Kogan Page.

Demirkesen, S., &Ozorhon, B. (2017). Impact of integration management on construction project management performance. International Journal of Project Management, 35(8), 1639–1654.

Heagney, J. (2016). Fundamentals of project management.Mcgraw-Hill.

Iheanacho, N. (2016). Intercultural communication and public policy. M And J Grand Orbit Communications, Cop.

Klakegg, O. (2016). Project Risk Management: Challenge Established Practice. Administrative Sciences.6(4). 21.

Marion, J. W. (2019). Project Management: A Common-Sense Guide to the PMBOK Program, Part Two-Plan and Execution. Momentum Press, Llc.

Paquette, P. (2016). Agile project management for business transformation success. Business Expert Press.

Quartararo, M. I. (2016). Project management in electronic discovery?: an introduction to core principles of legal project management and leadership in eDiscovery. Project management assignment United States. Michael Quartararo And Ediscoverypm.Com.

Salari, M., &Khamooshi, H. (2016).A better project performance prediction model using fuzzy time series and data envelopment analysis.Journal of the Operational Research Society. 67(10). 1274–1287.

Sanghera, P. (2019). PMP in depth?: project management professional certification study guide for the PMP exam. New York. Apress.


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