|Type of paper:||Dissertation results|
|Categories:||Planning Strategic management|
A crucial aspect of any organization that is willing to maintain stability in the future and the Habitat for Humanity of Greater Vancouver (HFHGV) is not an exception (Dentz, Alaigh, & Dadia, 2016). Both the interviewees and the literature highlighted that strategic planning plays an essential role in promoting performance management. While four of the builder interviewees highlighted that executive managers should meet on a regular basis for enhancement of strategic plan effectiveness, analyzed articles pointed out that one of the most important features of the plans constitutes reporting of the project progress. For example, Hannover Research (2014) articulated that constant reporting on progress of projects is important progress that helps in sustaining the momentum of the project, and this is often highlighted in meetings. Even so, there were gaps in the interviews in that three builder interviewees did not provide opinions on how a strategic plan should be measured or monitored.
Also, according to the builder interviewees and analyzed literature, aligning strategic plan goals with the operational outputs is vital to project success. For instance, while the interviewees pointed out that HFHGV had a 5-year strategic plan characterized by a purpose, vision, mission, and values, there is a strategy for HFHGV to serve five families per year via the mobilization of community partners and volunteers to build affordable housing, four scholarly works highlighted that strategic planners must put in place outputs that highlight opportunities and realistic expectations and the action steps for each goal must provide information pertaining to what the anticipated outcomes are. This means that current and planned operational outputs must be put in place and utilize a strategic plan in charting the course for the organization. Therefore, based on the interviews and literature, organizations, including HFHGV should have a well laid strategic plan that features current outputs and expectations via a vis futuristic outputs. Therefore, it can be derived from literature and interviews that each output must be measured and monitored in accordance with applicable goals, which averts the risk of not meeting strategic goals and objectives. For instance, interviewees highlighted that HFHGV had a strategic plan that outlined the necessary goals to be met in a 5-year period while literature stipulated the need for reasonable expectations. Therefore, according to the respondents, it is clear that developing a strategic plan is instrumental in coming up with initiatives and objectives, as well as the work plan while four scholarly works pointed out that strategic planning is for effective performance management.
Project Management Methodologies
There were major similarities and differences in primary and secondary data. According to the project managers from HFH Edmonton, they used a proven approach that can be customizable to HFHGV project requirements, such as ideal tasks for volunteering, including landscaping, flooring, fencing, and painting. This highlights the essence of collecting organizational best practices or lessons learned from projects for future project implementation and prevent the reoccurrence undesired events. On the other hand, secondary data for one article supported agile methodology, which is a flexible, iterative, and build process. However, while the article supported agile methodology, which does not incorporate preplanning, a second scholarly work supported scrum methodology, which entails improved project delivery that uses perfectly tuned processes and principles. Besides, according to the primary data regarding project management methodology, interviewees highlighted their preference to use a sequential set of steps that follow a five-phase approach, or rather, step-by-step multi-phased approach, which was inclined to literature review findings.
Even so, there were gaps in the interviews in that opinions differed in regards to how an organization such as HFHGV can implement project management methods, which was evidenced by the fact that five of the builder interviewees recommended the use of project management processes and procedures while two builder interviewees preferred a less formal approach by relying on the project team's decision making the ability rather than a formal procedural process. According to HFH Edmonton project manager, however, using this customized methodology will be more beneficial to HFHGV in matters of efficiency, organizational consistency, reduced costs, labor requirements and project risk as it already proven to be effective in HFH construction projects. Other gaps identified in the primary data include the fact that participants supported the significance of utilizing multi sequences while secondary data supported project planning, while also paying close attention to environmental demands and not pre-planning. Additionally, according to secondary data finely tuning principles and processes was of importance to project implementation, which is further supported by primary data where participants supported a step-by-step multi-phased approach to project management.
Land Usage Optimization
All interviewees preferred the construction of townhomes to apartments, and this was due to internal experience, less complexity, and volunteer friendly. While the interviewees were unanimous in the selection of townhomes, they also highlighted the benefit of apartment construction in that they are beneficial and appealing to municipalities because they house more people. In contrast, secondary data showed preference towards building apartments over townhomes as the construction of apartments offers more benefits compared to townhomes (Waterston, Grueger, & Samson 2016). Even so, both the primary and secondary data were unanimous that the in constructing both townhomes and apartments, experienced project team is paramount, which encompasses skilled architects, contractor, cooperative owner, and corresponding subcontractors (Waterston, Grueger, & Samson 2016). While Leviten and lake (2016) highlight that apartment construction takes less time, Waterston et al. (2015) argued that land for new townhouses is diminishing, which is exacerbated by site location selection. Therefore, there is a sharp contrast between secondary and primary data. For instance, Walks and Clifford (2015) and Turner and Townsend (2017 articulate that apartments are less expensive and sophisticated owing to fewer approvals and sanctions, which is further supported by Potts and Ankrah, (2014), who opine that building apartments is more economically viable compared to townhouses in equal land parcels. In support of apartment construction as opposed to townhouses, Condon and Canada Mortgage & Housing Corporation (2011) stipulate that they are characterized by fewer utility costs. Therefore, from the literature review, it is clear that apartment construction requires less land space in comparison to townhouse construction. Therefore, based on the analysis, the contrast between the primary and secondary data was the subsequent preferences to both townhouses and apartments.
Construction Techniques and Technologies
According to the primary data, there was support for HFH in the identification, evaluation, and comprehension of construction technologies and techniques for projects by cost, efficiency, as well as volunteer build options, which included prefabrication technology. For instance, seven builders opined that prefabricated construction allows for cost reduction, quality, speed in the process of construction, as well as efficiency. However, HFH interviewees were concerned regarding the elimination of volunteer opportunities from prefabricated construction techniques. The interviewees highlighted the need for project-specific volunteer involvement, which according to primary data helps achieve project efficiencies and an opportunity to need strategic goals. In congruence with the primary data, secondary data provided evidence of the benefit of prefabricated technology. Jordan (2011) and Schoenborn (2012), in support of the primary data, opine that prefabricated building allows for 19% saving costs. Similarly, (Fixr, 2017), Schulze (2017), and Homeadvisor (2017) also agree that prefabricated technology saves costs on a massive scale, especially in Vancouver, which implies that applying this technology leads to quality, efficiency, increased construction speed. According to secondary data, prefabricated construction provides a work environment that is safe, efficient, and consistent (Ziv, 2016). However, despite the huge backing of prefabricated technology, it has its limitations. For instance, Ziv (2016) highlights that there are shipment complications, as well as a high cost of transportation.
The primary data also underscored three techniques for construction, which include computer-aided design (CAD), lightweight steel framing, and prefabricated construction. The interviewees agreed that CAD allows the creation, modification, optimization, and analysis of designs and that slab-on-grade foundations were the preferred method in situations involving soft ground conditions as opposed to traditional basement foundations where four interviewees emphasized their family benefit. On the other hand, secondary data was also similar to primary data in that using a slab-on-grade improves the quality of living as the floor can absorb and retain heat, minimize costs, and lowers the environmental damages ("Canadian Mortgage & Housing Corporation," 2010; Kosgrove & Reynold, n.d; Kosgrove& Reynold, n.d). Besides, in congruence with the primary data, secondary data from the literature review also supported the use of CAD. For instance, Kibet (2016) highlighted that of six CAD sources reviewed supported the usefulness of the technology. Besides, from the secondary sources, CAD technology improves the quality of designs and reduces errors, while also allowing for increased productivity (Yaqoob, Ahmed, Hashem, Ahmed, Gani, Imran & Guizani, 2017; Lee & Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives, 2016).
Interviewees also preferred asphalt shingles as the preferred roofing material. Similarly, secondary data supported the use of asphalt shingles due to cost reduction and flexibility ("The Gypsum Construction Handbook," 2014). However, while primary data did not offer challenges for using asphalt shingles, secondary data did, which include decay due to weather changes, wind affects them, needs maintenance and are not environment-friendly ("What Type of Underlayment Should I Use When Installing Shingles?" 2017). While interviewees did not take into account of the synthetic tiles as a roofing material, secondary data provided significant information. Secondary data highlighted that they lead to more cost savings, authentic looks, easy installation, and reliable (Clawson, 2015). Even so, synthetic tiles are not time-tested compared to older conventional shingles (Clawson, 2015). Besides, according to secondary data, due to the high cost of metal roofing, it may not be preferred for HFHGV projects. Additionally, secondary data highlighted Built-up Roof and membrane systems (BUR), but are more expensive to install compared to shingles. Even so, they are waterproof, need low maintenance, and can last longer (Rodriguez, 2017), but installation is much slower compared to asphalt shingles, hazardous, prone to damage, and a higher cost of its installation compared to asphalt shingles.
Interviewees preferred traditional wood framing according to the seven builders while lightweight steel framing was supported by five builder interviewees. In contrast, secondary data highlights...
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