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PPMP20009 Leading Lean Projects Assessment 1 Answer

PPMP20009 Leading Lean Projects

Assessment Specification for

Term 2 - 2020 Assessment 1

Length: 2500 to 3000 words (excluding references and appendices)

Case Study: The Benfield Column Repair Project, Sastech Engineering Services, South Africa, 1995.

General Criteria

Individual assessment

This assessment is to be researched, compiled, and submitted individually. Students are expected to adhere to the current CQU Academic Integrity standards.


APA referring style is preferred for this assessment.

Word count limit (excluding references and appendix)

Your submission should be made as a Microsoft Word document comprising 2,500 to 3,000 words. Text length less than 2500 words and over 3000 words will attract a penalty of 5% of the allocated marks for this assessment task.  This means that, for this assessment (worth 40 marks), the mark that you earn will be reduced by 2 marks.

Purpose of the assessment

Assessments provide the opportunity for students to demonstrate their knowledge and skills to achieve the required Learning Outcomes. To do this, assessment responses need to be both clear and easy to understand. If not, the marker cannot determine that students have demonstrated their knowledge and skills. 

Assessments will, therefore, be marked according to the marking criteria/marking rubric. Failing to meet the requirements may result in 0 (zero) marks where relevant.

Learning Outcomes to be evidenced by this assessment

  • Review lean transformation framework by explaining lean approaches, project lifecycle and change management
  • Compare and contrast project management methodologies

Case Study Introduction

The case study for this assignment is the 1995 PMI Project of the Year Award winner, The Benfield Column Repair Project, Sastech Engineering Services, South Africa.

Scope of this assessment:

CQU recognizes the value of industry input into academic curricula and has decided to commission a number of industry research projects to scaffold learning in a number of units. 

You have been hired as a consultant to produce a brief study on the use of Lean principles in project management, based on the given case study.

Your submission must discuss the following topics:

  1. Using one example from the case study, explain how the following concepts of a lean framework are manifest in the case study project:
    1. The Voice of the Customer
    2. Critical Customer Requirements
    3. Critical to Quality
    4. Critical to Process
  2. Select 4 of the 8 wastes of Lean that apply to the case study and relate each waste to one or more PMBOK knowledge areas or PRINCE2 Themes. Demonstrate:
    1. How the waste was reduced in the case study
    2. What the effect was on the overall project
    3. What tools or techniques from PMBOK or PRINCE2 were applied in achieving this
  3. Teamwork is a pillar of the House of Lean. Analyze and explain how the project promoted the effectiveness of the team(s) through:
    1. The project ground rules
    2. Meeting management
    3. Communication
    4. Human resource management
    5. Supplier management (Procurement).
  4. The project described in the case study occurred in unusual circumstances, with time as its most stringent constraint. It did not follow a conventional approach or PM method. Yet it received the International Project of the Year Award from PMI, the world’s largest PM professional organization. Write a short personal reflection on:
    1. Why you think this project deserved to win this award
    2. What lessons (min. 3) you have learned from this case study.


Leading Lean Projects

Answer to question 1

Using an example from the Special Management Method of case study that is "A Policy of Accept it...Or Change it...But Never Complain About it," has been followed with the concepts of Lean framework are manifest in the case study project (Boggon, 1996). Hence, each of the lean framework concepts has been discussed as per the chosen example from the case study. 

a) The Voice of the Customer – The main purpose of the customer's voice in the concept of a lean framework is used to capture the requirement and response from the customer to give the customers with the exceptional quality service. Hence, to come across the customer's requirement, the employees of a certain organization have to work hard, and the management should encourage them regarding the same. As per the case study, it has been found that to encourage the project team, the team leader sets a policy to encourage the team to accept it or change it but never complain.  

b) Critical Customer Requirements- In the lean framework concepts, critical customer requirements are critical to quality, delivery, price, and safety (Rathilall & Singh, 2018). As per the example chosen from the case study, each individual was motivated to work for the profit advantage as a whole and not for any specific interest. This reflects the critical to the quality of progress in projects that may include meeting quality levels in the current market place and simplifying the designs of products aligning the product designs with the requirement of the customer.

c) Critical to Quality- It is said that the concept of a lean framework on critical to quality is the service or product in the view of the voice of the customer. Generally, it is used as a good proposal to recognize the critical to quality limitations as they relate to what is essential to the customer as a whole (Antony, Vinodh & Gijo, 2017). However, the case study example implies the critical to quality through innovation and creativity, enthusiasm, and commitment.

d) Critical to Process- The concept of a lean framework on critical to process are the main components input variables, and they are the procedure limitations that control other critical approaches, and those are critical to quality and critical to cost (Furterer, 2016). The process is related to the customers' requirements, which is an important factor in the development of critical to process study. The level of performance of their process should be in such a way that it should meet the customer's needs and demands. As per the example from the case study, to maintain and operate the critical to the process, the team members should be committed from the beginning of any project. Every individual from the team should be involved to meet the customers' requirements. As per the case study, it has been found that in the Benfield column repair project, each person was encouraged from the first meeting towards innovation and creativity and to work for the advantage of the project as a whole.

Answer to question 2

As per the case study, four wastes of Lean, which have been applied in the project, are transport, inventory, motion, and waiting. Hence, each Lean waste is related to the PMBOK knowledge areas that consist of project time management, project cost management, and project communication management.

  1. As per the case study, it has been found that four wastes of Lean, i.e., transport, inventory, motion, and waiting, had been applied to the project. However, in order to reduce this waste, the management needs to control the unnecessary use of materials, tools, inventory, equipment, or products. Excess inventory is sometimes considered waste as it can cause overworking in process, over-purchasing, or producing products than the customers' requirements and will impact project time management. Hence, unnecessary movement of equipment, people, or machinery is also the waste in motion. Waiting for material or equipment is the waste of waiting, which directly affects project cost management and communication management (Oldman, & Tomkins, 2018). Therefore, the waste was reduced through a onetime inventory considering the project time management and cost management and cost were also reduced through using methods like value analysis. 
  2. After analyzing the overall case study, it can be said that the effect that was on the overall project was beneficial for the project and the project team, where they create a benchmark by completing the project within 25 days. The overall project offers a good suggestion of what the project team has achieved, and the project exist on in the outline of build-up lessons and knowledge learned to be practice on all upcoming projects. The Project Management Body of Knowledge has been reflected in the whole project where each department had a vital role and also come up with effective outcomes. 
  3. In achieving this, the tools and techniques that have been applied in the case study from PMBOK are managing risk, selecting and decision making, planning, and project management, understanding the cause and effect, understanding the solution, and implementing the solutions (Abd Elhameed, 2018).

PMBOK Tools and Techniques

Fig 1- PMBOK Tools and Techniques

Sources- (Self-created)

Project management is the use of information, proficiency, tools, and techniques to the project's performance to achieve the goals of the project. As per the case study, in order to achieve the project goals, they had used the PMBOK tools and techniques. With these tools and techniques, the project had focused on cost management, time management, quality management, risk management, human resources, and team development management, procurement management, and communication management (Jamali & Oveisi, 2016). After analyzing all the aspects, the project has been carried forward and was completed with a good indication of what they had management and their team have achieved, as well as understanding and lesson learned to be practice on all upcoming projects.

Answer to question 3

a) The project promoted the teams' effectiveness through the project ground rules by giving the project a priority of being scheduled driven. The project was a success in regards to the effort of the team between Sastech and Sasol Operations as partners assisted by CBI and Sasdiens. The CBI was under contract to replace the vessel and fabricates along with the piping, electrical, rigging, and associated work performed by Sasdiens. The removal and cutting of the column’s damaged sections was a combined operation of Sasdiens and CBI. The project ensured commitments at all levels as all the project teams carried out their work procedure with proper coordination. The team of Sastech comprised of 27 members that included various department engineers. The project ground rules ensured proper authorization of technical decisions and process decisions with the goal of achieving the plan before scheduled time through teamwork. This project sets an example for future projects by displaying the best skills of teamwork. The project at the very beginning aimed at getting the commitment of everyone involved, and it was achieved in several ways. The positive spirit in completing the project formed a committed team and had several previous accomplishments leading to the project's overall achievement. 

b) Meeting management promoted effective teamwork by scheduling regular meetings before and after the start of the work. In the project’s initial stage, two workers were overheard as they said that they had lot of time to complete the project, whereas the actual target was to complete the project before the scheduled time so that they get the credit for their work. This incident gave a reason to conduct a meeting where the supervisors were asked to inform their team before scheduling project completion. The result of this meeting was spectacular. After passing this information from the supervisors to their respective teams, people started coming up with ideas that would eventually save time. The enthusiasm made in the employees made the goal a dominant culture. The meeting management ensured setting up a board outside the center that was updated twice on a daily basis. The meeting ensured that the project team visited every crew twice daily for encouragement and feedback. Therefore, the meetings were managed very efficiently that gave rise to tremendous encouragement and enthusiasm amongst the team members because it was ensured that every performance would be noticed and appreciated accordingly.

c) Communication played a vital role in promoting teamwork for project completion. Communication is the heart of a project's success. In the initial stage of the project, several important people were not considered for the purpose of communication, and ultimately a situation occurred where an inspector went home without clearing the urgently required goods. This incident gave a serious implication regarding the importance of communication that highlighted a high number of missing people from the communication list. The improved communication channel involved all the teams that covered vendors and contractors, peers, management, and subordinates. Communication management ensured that the feedbacks were mostly verbal and was given once every day so that there is no unnecessary time-consuming paperwork. This ensured that the teamwork was progressive along with emphasizing on communication across all departments to avoid barriers and obligations. The communication was continuous at all levels, and the working process was very transparent because of it. Sasol Mechanical Maintenance and Production was notified regarding the work before it was actually operated in the unit. All these communication factors ensured that the chances of error and risk were drastically minimized, and it was a major factor for the before scheduled completion of the project.  

d) Human resource management promoted effective teamwork through various management procedures. Human resource management must ensure the peak functioning of every team. The project workers were not required to worry about the transport arrangements and working conditions. The human resource department recognized the massive hierarchal gap between the team members, as, on certain occasions, the participants from the site laborers to factory managers and some low-level members of the team were not willing to contribute to such a big company. Thus, human resource management ensured the careful selection of meeting attendees. The human resource department promoted effective teamwork by ensuring that the hourly paid team members and contractors were provided with accommodation and lunch packs along with strict control in the overtime hours. The various teams in the project work were properly addressed with all kinds of facilities required to ensure their dedication to the work. The meetings conducted by the human resource department involved specific briefing about the problems of various workers in terms of working night shift and other issues. A welder in the project work was working the night shift and could not sleep during the day time because of the noisy children in his apartment, and the human resource management ensured that his shift was accordingly organized. Therefore, human resources contributed massively to developing an environment of teamwork. 

e) Supplier management or procurement management is an essential component of teamwork. In the Benfield column repair project, there were only two main contractors. One contractor was for repairing the column's pressure envelope, and the second contractor was for ancillary related works like replacing and removing piping, rigging, cranage, and scaffolding.  All the necessary steps for contract management and conventional procurement were strictly followed for a short period on an informal basis. The installers and fabricators of the creative column, CBI was asked for a target price. The remainder of the work was given to Sasdiens because they were on-site, and their rates were based on the government's target pricing. The project's risk was reduced as the buyer was keeping a dairy for a record of various procedures on his desk. Supplier management was aggressive and ensured that no one could take advantage of such a vulnerable situation. Therefore, the suppliers were added to the team, and it gave miraculous results. Several suppliers worked even during e weekends, at night, and even during holidays. Therefore, the supplier management promoted teamwork immensely.

Answer to question 4

a) The Benfield column repair project deserved to win the 1995 PMI International Project of the Year award because of its approach to completion of the project. The workers' morale was boosted through various measures such as setting up a performance board in the project areas to motivate the workers and prevent bureaucracy in terms of completing the project. This approach set an example for future project works and laid the foundation for collaborative teamwork in project completion. Their solutions were successful in attaining the primary objective, i.e., completion of the column repairing before the scheduled time. The way they improved their workers' morale that enhanced productivity throughout the project made them a deserving recipient of the prestigious award. Their approach to visiting sites during night shifts and the project supervisors allowing the artisans with complete freedom in completing the project without nagging them developed a new concept of high-level project work. In a way, they revolutionized the concept of project completion by highlighting the factors lacking in various aspects of communication, suppliers management, human resource management, meeting management, etc. Despite facing various challenges in the evaluation phase, they successfully managed to implement the required strategies for attaining the best results. Lastly, their effort to ensure the fact regarding the comfort of project workers made them a trendsetter in the field of project work. Therefore, this project deserved the prestigious award because of its unconventional approach that made way for other big project works.

b) The Benfield column repair project has taught several significant lessons for future project completion. The project's record time completion teaches that teamwork is an essential component regarding the completion of a project. The project established communication as the heart of any project work as lack of communication could cause disruption and ultimately lead to failure of on-time project completion. The Benfield column repair project was completed in a record ten weeks, and it was possible through various measures that included motivation of the workforce by taking care of their comfort and appreciating the performances. It is learned that appreciating performance influences workers to perform with dedication, and it generates positive vibes in the team's working environment. For any project work, it is essential to improve communication among the workers, as this will ensure smooth work operation. It has also been learned that when a project is critical, there is a requirement of giving more importance to the project work as compared to the priorities of one's personal comfort like in the case of the Benfield column repair project where the supervisors canceled their holidays for the sake of project completion. The project also teaches never to leave out any project-involved person from the loop of communication. Otherwise, it might result in serious troubles like the Benfield column repair project's procurement inspector who left for home without clearing the urgently required goods. This happened, as he was uninformed about the goods' arrival. Therefore, there are plenty of lessons learned from the Benfield column repair project. 

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