I am the general manager of Wentz Mechanical/Electrical Services Inc. which has been subcontracted by ACME Construction to install HVAC, plumbing, power and lighting system for the Jackie Gaughan Multi-Cultural Center. This is a three storey building project located on the campus of the University of Nebraska in Lincoln, NE. I understand that effective project management is crucial to ensure that the project is completed at the scheduled time. It is also essential in ensuring that the project does not cost more than the initial budget. The first important step that I need to take is to closely examine the construction schedule with the important milestones that need to be completed at specified dates. With the experience that I have as a project manager who has handled similar projects, I will know if it is possible to meet the deadlines scheduled. I will also consult and discuss the issue with other professionals in Wentz MESI to determine the possibility of completing the project as scheduled as well as the exact number of the personnel required to complete the project.
I should submit a report asking for an extension of the final date of project completion due to the interruption of the project as it is scheduled. There will be a two-week delay in the start of the project due to unavailability of it to the subcontractors to make way for football season on the campus. This event will cause a major delay to the project and thus we should ask for date extensions to avoid problems in future.
As the project manager, I would also contest Spikes decision to keep subcontractors out of the progress meetings with the university and its construction manager. Some of the major decisions that affect the project are discussed and approved at these, and failure to attend them may critically disrupt the project progress and completion.
I would also discuss with Spike, ACME Construction's project manager about the major piping changes with regards to air handling and the configuration of the conduit runs in the basement. The initial project plan showing what will need to be changed seems to be in contradiction with the actual work and changes needed. The value engineering package also needs to consider the substantial changes to the building automation system. The initial weeks of the project should be dedicated to analyzing the project site to determine if everything is in line with what is expected in the projector provided in the project plan. I should take this opportunity to discuss the substantial changes, pointing them out to other subcontractors who may be affected by the same issues and preparing official reports to be submitted to ACME Construction. The reports should indicate precisely the extensive changes to the original request and make official report and request for approval for schedule deadline extension and additional budget required.
I would also take note on the issue of the high amount of ground water which will have a significant effect on our work. Since Spike mentioned that subcontractors should rely on the soil reports contained in the pre-bid documentation, his company ACME Construction should take responsibility when the report turns out to be false. There would be the need to note it on the daily report which should be made without negligence or delays. In these reports, it would be important to mention the costs associated with dewatering and the sheet pilling costs needed to ensure workers safety.
When evaluating the labor as outlined in the Job Cost Reports, I would take the time to analyze all the cost codes to ensure that they are line with what my team has planned. This is necessary to ensure proper planning and tracking of work throughout the project. In the instance where the job details and labor codes are overlapping and confusing, I would ensure that we construct others that reflect the Jobsite conditions. I would also make sure to make a report of the changes that was made to the labor codes and any additional job details missed on the original job cost report.
Instead of complaining to Spike about confusing and contradicting orders and counter orders, I would make an official report and make our allegations heard and understood. In this report I would make clear indications of the interruptions that such orders are causing to our company and how they affect the completion of our work as far as costs and delays are concerned and demand ACME Construction take responsibility for them.
I would also not allow my workers to receive orders from another person without my authority. Wentz MEP signed an agreement to complete the project according to the terms and specifications of the pre-bid contract. The University inspects or represents the owner, and as much as they have the right to inspect the work and note areas of dissatisfaction, they have no right to order workers to make any changes. To avoid future misunderstanding, they should discuss their requests with the main contractor ACME Construction as we as the subcontractors such as Wentz MEP. I would also not make any changes to the work without an official agreement signed by the owner or his representative, main contracting company and our company as a subcontractor to the project. This is to avoid any future misunderstanding, blame, failure, delays and additional costs directed to Wentz MEP.
It is important to take serious all the changes, delays, and additional costs cause by the nature of the project, ACME Construction, and the University. I would avoid being too accommodative of the other stakeholders at the expense of our company. For instance, I would not accommodate schedule changes made by Spike and ACME Construction only to have Wentz fabrication plan being impaired and on top of it be blamed for delaying the project because we have missed the milestone dates.
Carefully analyzing the Geotechnical report of the Jobsite before the start of the project would enable Wentz MEP to discover that the as-built drawings given to contractors before bidding were not in line with what is shown in the drawing after the work started. This could avoid future crisis such as cutting off the heavy electrical cable by the Went MEP backhoe operator. This would have reported to ACME Construction as well as the university early enough and thus accounted for extra costs that will be incurred in future. Additionally, when resolving this emergency, I would keep track of any additional costs incurred and make a claim to the insurance company immediately so that they could send their personnel to assess the situation and give the required compensation. Also, I would make an extensive report to ACME Construction on the disparity between the drawings provided before and after the bidding process. It is also important to make an official legal claim because what happens was not Wentz MEP fault of its workers, but it is a failure of the ACME Construction and the people who produced the report.
Throughout the project proposal, I would stick to the material specifications provided in the contract to avoid future problems. I would not use other materials or equipment not specified in the contract. On the same note, I would also not accept the inspectors or ACME Construction to make changes to the plan, materials or equipment without discussing it with me.
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