THE DESIGN AND PLAN OF A CHURCH AUDITORIUM
1.1 Background to the Study
Many projects in the world are failing to be completed according to plan due to poor project planning and problems in the planning phase of the project. The study by (Donnelly, Ivancevich and Gibson 1998) has shown the importance of project planning on projects and its influence on project success. Findings of their study have proven that higher levels of project planning effort can result in significant cost and schedule savings and poor planningalso causes for the failure and increase of the cost of a project. Stakeholders of projects would like to accomplish their projects successfully, according to their plan and schedule. But they fail to achieve what they plan due to the problem they create in the planning phase of the project. A paper by (Pedro 2013) explains that project planning is widely thought to be an important contributor to projectsuccess.
According to the research paper by (Yu-Ren and Edward 2008) well prepared project plan have an impact on the success of the projects.Many developing countries in the world are affected by poor planning in projects.Weakness in planning and implementation has been identified as one of the main reasons for the disappointing results of projects in Africa (Moradat,Merrery, Seshoka and Sally 2005). If you have no plan, by definition, you have no control, because it is your plan that tells you where you are supposed to be in the first place.
Furthermore, if you don’t know where you are, you can’t have control (Lewis 2005). African nations simply do not have adequate institutional capacity or trained personnel to plan and implement projects effectively(Lavangon 2014). Projects in Africa fail because of poor planning practices in the projects.
Nigeria’s economy has enjoyed a high rate of economic growth for the past decades (IMF 2014). So to make this economic growth sustainable she needs to deliver more electric power, roads and expansion of different infrastructural activities like building of hospitals, schools, telecommunication services and building of residential houses. These activities will be implemented through different projects and which will help for the development of the economy of the country. These projects will help for generating additional capital for the country. Nigeria as a nation is investing its scarce resources with a view of improving the living standard and socio economic condition of its citizens. These projects are designed with assumption of efficient management. Even though projects have such major contributions in the development of the economy of a given nation, most of them are failed to be completed as planned.Like that of other African countries Nigeria is also facing the problem of poor project planning. According(Tekalign 2014) project success is highly determined by the performance of the project plan prepared. Although the country is trying to make its projects successful most of them are still are either failing or delaying from their date of completion due to the problem of poor planning(Tekalign 2014).
When we come to Church auditorium, it is one of the few mega projects in Nigeria which are currently implemented by the Government of Nigeria and it is also affected by the same problem of poor project planning and which in turn is causing for delay and increasing of cost. According to( Hiwot 2012) the projects fail because of the capacity of the contractor and its level of project management skill. In the paper it is stated that the level of the knowledge of the contractors in project management determines the fate of the projects in Church auditorium. So according to her study poor project planning is also one of the main reasons for the failure of completing projects according to specified schedule, cost and quality. According (Yardley 2002) there are different reasons for projects to fail. Among this poor project planning is one of the most common one in projects. So the planning practices of the projects should be improved and be systematized so that all projects can be successful. There are no many studies conducted in the field yet in the country. So this research will help to see the gaps in the planning practice of the organization under study and will help to fill same. After assessing of the planning practices, this thesis will recommend the best project planning practices to the concerned organization and similar project running organizations.
The Research conducted by (Whitaker 1999) indicates that a project plan which is properly prepared is highly determining factor for the project’s success. (Raz and Shenhar 2003) also state activities done in the planning phase are the most important ones than the other project phases in determining the success of a project.
Poor project planning is also one of the main problems in the projects of Nigeria Different studies are conducted by different scholars regarding project planning and its impact on project success. The studies by (Wang and Gibson 2008), shows that Time spent on project
1.2 Statement of the problem
Project delay and failure to be completed as planned, is the main problem in our country as like that of the other African countries. Project performance is measured in terms of cost, time, and quality of a project. Usually projects fail due to problems in selection, planning, execution, or control phases of a project. A failure in one of the phases may result in the failure of the whole project. According to (Yardley 2002) lack of effective planning process is the main reason for project failure in developing countries. Like that of other developing countries, the planning practices and process of Nigerian projects is very poor and even projects usually executed without preparing a proper project plan. The planning processes according to (PMI 2001) are highly important, and project execution without proper/poor/ development of a project plan often causes delays, high costs and general execution problems in the project. Without a good plan and estimate, resources cannot be managed or organized, risks cannot be mitigated, dates and budgets cannot be forecasted and effective reporting cannot take place, as a result projects will fail. The lack of an implemented project plan has caused problems in all project management areas and has made it impossible for the management team to have the required control of project activities.
One of the main reasons of project failure in developing countries is lack of effective or poor project planning process (Richard 2012).
Even though there are no such enough number of studies conducted in the area in our country,So on this paper the student researcher will try to assess in detail the planning practice of the study organization.
1.3 Research questions
In light of the above mentioned problem statement, the following basic research questions were addressed:
- What is the current project planning practice of Church auditorium?
- Which project planning tools are applied?
- How much is the level of awareness among project staffs about the existing project plan?
- To what extent the project team participates in preparing the project plan?
1.4 Objectives of the study
1.4.1 General objective of the study
The general objective of this study was to assess the project planning practices in the context of Church auditorium.
1.4.2 Specific objectives of the study
- To explore current project planning practice of Church housing
- To identify which project planning tools and techniques are used in the study organization.
- To assess the awareness of the staff about the project plan
- To examine the extent, the project team participates in preparing the project plan
1.5 Definitions of terms
Planning: is determining what needs to be done,by whom, and by when, in order to fulfill one’s assigned responsibility (Kernzer 2009).
Project: A project has a defined scope, is constrained by limited resource (time, budget), involves many people with different skill and, usually progressively elaborated throughout its life cycle.(Cleland & Ireland 2002).
Project plan: A project plan is a formal approved document used to manage project execution. Project plan is also called integrated management plan because it comprises of all other specific plans (PMI 2009).
1.6 Significance of the study
Conducting this assessment has much significance for the student as well as the organization under study. The student was be able to know the actual planning practices of the organization under study and it will also help for the study organization to know what its project plan looks like by comparing with the best practice. On the other hand this study will try to show the importance of preparing a participatory project plan. Finally this research will be somehow a base for interested researchers in the area to conduct a deep study and analysis.
1.7 Delimitation and Limitation of the study
This research has the following major delimitations. Geographically this study covers only the planning practices of those housing projects located at Church city in the selected four sites. Conceptually this study tried to assess only the project planning practices of the organization under study even if there are many concepts related with project management and should be assessed. The major target population of the research was those team members of the organization who are part of the project. In the project there are project managers, contractors and professionals that are participating. So this study involved all professionals related with the project. So the scope of the study was as explained above.
Every work is done with limitations. This study is also subject to limitations as that of other researches. To address the objective of the study the student researcher tried to assess only the project plan of the study organization. There are so many factors that affect the success of a given project. Even in the specified study there may be other untouched factors by the researcher. So the student researcher suggests for further study on the area.
1.8 Organization of the research report
The thesis consists of five chapters. The first chapter includes the introductory issues about the research, what the problem in question is, the researchers purpose, brief overview about the methodology, the research objective and the research questions to be answered, definition of terms and concepts used in the study and the significance for undertaking this research. The second chapter is devoted to literature to the area under study so as to better understand concepts, theories and models related to project plan. The third chapter is devoted to research methodology in a bit more detail than what is discussed in the introduction part while the fourth chapter is dedicated to data presentation, analysis andfindings.
The final chapter (chapter five) concludes the topic under discussion with concluding remarks and recommendation.