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Unit: Processes in K&B projects

Section: Key stages

MSFKB3001: Identify processes in kitchen and bathroom projects

Competencies covered

MSFKB3001: Identify processes in kitchen and bathroom projects

Project plans

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It's often tempting to hop straight into a new project as soon as you get the go-ahead for it.

But as every experienced contractor knows, there is no substitute for careful planning.

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A sound project plan can save you a lot of grief further down the track, and help you complete the project on time and on budget.

Forward planning lets you predict problems that might occur and take steps to avoid them before they happen.

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It also enables you to coordinate the different aspects of the job, especially the separate trades and the various stages that need to be completed in a particular sequence.

Set out below are the main steps involved in developing a project plan.

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1. Define the objectives

Obviously, the overall objective of the project will be to satisfy the client's needs. But exactly what are those needs, and are they in keeping with the budget allowed, the timeline proposed, the workers on hand and the materials available?

These objectives will become the deliverables for the project - in other words, the things that you must 'deliver' to meet the client's requirements.

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2. Develop a project schedule

The project schedule lists all of the tasks that need to be carried out to achieve the deliverables. It should include the people involved, the number of hours (or days) required for each section of the job, and the sequence that the tasks need to be done in.

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There are various software packages available for developing project schedules. They contain electronic templates with different fields for entering tasks, durations and resources. Once you have entered the data you can generate a timeline and then modify the time allocations to get the most efficient schedule.

If it turns out that your deliverables can't be achieved under the existing arrangements, you may have to renegotiate the details with your client. The main aspects you might need to vary are:

  • the deadline for final completion

  • the total cost of the project

  • the scope of the project.
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3. Develop supporting plans

Depending on the size and scale of the project, you may need to develop various supporting plans to control particular parts of the job. These would include:

  • Human resources plan, listing the details of the tradespeople and other workers involved, and describing their roles, responsibilities, contractual arrangements, and so on.

  • Communication plan, showing who needs to be kept informed, and the process workers must follow to report on their progress and any delays that have occurred.

  • Risk management plan, identifying things that could go wrong and ways of reducing the risks.
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Learning activity

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We've said that a Risk management plan may need to be developed as one of your supporting plans, particularly if the project is a large one. But even on small jobs where you don't need a formal risk management document, you should still think about the potential risks while you're planning. This will help you to look ahead and nip problems in the bud before they cause too much damage.

Think of a typical project that you're likely to be involved in, or maybe even one that you're working on at the moment. What are some of the main things that could go wrong? How would you stop them from happening - that is, what control measures could you put in place?

Here's some suggestions on possible risks in a project:

  • cost blow-outs

  • time delays

  • poor workmanship or mistakes

  • misunderstandings with the client.

Write down your answers and share them with your trainer and other learners in the group.

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