Fundamentals of Project Management and Business Decisions Essay

Introduction / Background This case is about an important South African coal, chemical and crude-oil Company called “Sasol”. The case is developed around the Benfield Unit of the Gas Circuit as Sasol Three. Sasol is an International integrated energy and chemicals company that generates value through its proven alternative fuel technology with capable employees that provide sustainable energy solutions to the world. The company is also involved in mining, energy, chemicals and synfuels. In particular, they produce petrol and diesel from coal and natural gas.Sasol’s primary business is based on CTL (coal to liquid) and GTL (gas to liquid) technology and this differentiates it from other petrochemical companies.

CTL AND GTL plants convert coal and natural gar respectively into liquid fuels. Problem One day, a fire broke out in a regeneration column used to process hydrogen in the Benfield Unit at Sasol Three, one of Sasol’s factories. The fire caused a lot of damage in one side. Without it, a large section couldn’t function, bringing many negative effects, as it was used to process Hydrogen (main component for the chain of equipments that converts coal to oil and chemicals).Because of this, it was essential that area as soon as possible. For this a target of 47 days was set.

Issue The main issue was to put the company on business as fast as possible. Now, the first question they asked themselves was to determine the scope of the repair or simply do nothing. A damage investigation revealed that buckling in the shell of the column had caused it to bend in the middle to such an extend that the top of the chimney was 20 inches off-center, making the 70m column tilt.To devise the optimum solution, a communication link had to be setup between US and SA team which involved working very late hours because of 10 hours time difference. Therefore, a modest design focused on communication and bearing in mind the humane concerns of the entire group affiliates, exploits the willingness of the employees.

Delivery Deliverables are anything (facility, report, installation services, and equipment) produced as the result of a project or any part of a project. The deliverables of the Benfield column repair project are: welding, electrical, piping, rigging, and mechanical.Constraints A project is essentially a set of interrelated activities, with a beginning and a definite end, using limited resources to achieve a desired goal. A fundamental aspect of any project is the order in which activities are performed. And to determine the logical sequence of activities should establish the method, time and cost of each operation. For this project the time established to have the column back in service within 47 days, the budget was 85. 3 million, and the scope is to repair the Benfield column as soon as possible.

AssumptionsAssumption is a factor in the planning process that is considered to be true, real, or certain, without proof or demonstration. The Benfield column project was able to complete in only twenty-five. The manager assumes the following: all resources will be on time, with all the team working together and with good communication the project will finish on time and manager from the original fabricators of the column has the necessary knowledge and experience to repair the column efficiently with low cost and time. Mission The mission of this Project is to bring the plant back online in the shortest possible time.Using state of the art technology, implementing new methods, encouraging personnel to do an outstanding job, involving them into the Project by listening to their suggestions and reducing the cost of Project without losing quality or control. Vision To become the PMI international Project of the year, with our methods, ground rules, scopes, quality, time, risks and development management in order to earn worldwide respect and other projects can review our methods to apply them, by this we will improve our industry and will become role models on this field. MilestoneThe Project began on Thursday, March 10, at 8:00 A. M it was supposed to finish forty-five days after it begun.

Instead, the Project was handed back to production on Sunday April 3rd, at 12:30 P. M, and the Project completion certificate was signed on Friday, April 8th, at 4:30 P. M.

Fifteen days ahead of schedule. 1. ) A work breakdown structure was used in the project management of the project described n this cased. According to the PMBOK Guide, what is the concept of the work breakdown structure? • The work breakdown structure (WBS) is a method for project planning and control.In a WBS a project is broken down into its major components, referred to as modules. The project team consisted of a project manager, a senior project engineer, a cost engineer, and a planner. The total team, however, had twenty-seven members.

Within fifteen minutes of receiving the contract, the team had contracted employees from six sites in the United States, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, and South Africa and were faxing drawing from their head office, placing provisional the massive spreader shine to be used to lift off and replace the damaged and new sections.This speed of response set the standard for everyone involved. 2. ) The work breakdown structure is described as a key for the scope management of the project. Describe the process used in this project to develop the WBS. • The project completion certificate was signed on Friday, April 8, at 4:30 P. M.

—fifteen days ahead of schedule methods. Special management methods Conventional project management techniques were not sufficient to ensure that the work was carried out in the shortest possible time.Two areas were identified as requiring special attention: innovation and creativity, and enthusiasm and commitment.

Because the time frame was short, any time saved on individual tasks would have a direct effect on the overall project duration. • Materials used for the project should be of a high standard to prevent any malfunctioning of the plant. It is necessary to set the correct devices in the correct places to circumvent misplacement. Team building and integration are required for any successful project, by all members dedicating all their energy to job at hand.Proper working conditions and mechanisms need to be arranged so that all efforts direct towards the project.

3. ) The author of this case presents communications management as “the gold-en thread, which ran through the project. “If the supplier relationship were less trustful, how would this have changed the management and success of the project? • Managing a project and trusting individual is subject to lots of uncertainty and the distinct possibility of failure.Since a project is unique and usually has not been attempted previously, the outcome is not as certain as the outcome of an ongoing process would be. The project team members are often from diverse areas of the organization and possess different skills, which must be coordinated into a single, focused effort to complete the project successfully. 4. ) This project challenged the way in which things are usually done, and based its success on what were considered special management methods. Mention a couple of the examples from the project that you think reflect these “special” practices.

“On the third day, when a new supervisor joining the tram said that he would start first thing in the morning, there was an immediate uphoar…” • “A board was put up outside the command center caravan… When people performed well, their names were posted there. This was a real morale booster. ”• “Resource utilization was continuously examined to make sure that the labor and equipment… If a task had work for ten welders but only eight welding machines were available, two additional welding machines would be located. ” 5) How did the project build commitment from every member of the tem? List several reasons for this commitment.

The team members were able to get the job done because they all had what they needed to accomplish it. The project manager announced that the team members didn’t had to worry about transportation, lodging, food, working too long, communications, etc. It was all taken care of, because the goal had a common target that needed to be the first goal for everyone. They needed to know about the tasks of every other team member, and brief meetings and a communication board was held to achieve that.

With diverse resources from across functional areas working together as a team, it is not surprising that the company had such success.


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