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Project Planning and Knowledge-based Management

posted Mar 17, 2022, 10:16 PM by jeffery jim
Yesterday, I alone faced close to twenty senior participants (from Lead Consultant, DEDC, PMC/ICE, JKR) when I presented my work program for Pan Borneo work package. 100 activities mainframe and we labored out a fruitful discussion which leads to serious discussion on critical path.

The discussion did not even talk about rubbish such as relationships and so on. It is never the issue when projects are above RM300 million. It was dwelling around geotechnical and geological issues which forms bases of critical path and risk management. Material science is important as pedogeology and hydrogeology of argillaceous and melange soils may cause possible delay as it is stipulated in great details about suitability of materials for road construction, mainly forming the embankment.

1. When talking about project planning especially Microsoft Project, one needs a few days of explicit education and tutorial to grasp the basics of operation and reporting. It is easy when it is actually not.

2. There are differences between a software operator and a real professional planner. A software operator will just do what the project director want and the professional planner will take the lead and envisage the project direction and time.

3. In order to lead and envisage, one must have sufficient knowledge and here comes the most important components of knowledge-based management. First is the explicit knowledge and second, the tacit knowledge. With or without mentor, one must learn the trade in order to apply all of these into the work program.

4. Work planning is a phase of planning which is so essential where 80% are planning on paper, while the rest is programmed into the work program. Then we have 80% technical planning and the remaining 20% tactical planning.

5. Tacit knowledge takes precedence in 80% of the planning works which incorporates technical and tactical planning which usually comes with experience and experimentation though experience. The logic of the work program and the bases in Schedule Basis Memorandum will be invalid definitely without prior knowledge. Not only it is invalid to the eyes of other parties but will also run down the construction sustainability, depending on elements of the construction trinity; cost, quality and time.

6. Tacit knowledge will be the core in tactical planning which camouflage the whole work program which introduces leeway for contractual advantages and command for defensive and offensive moves when administrating a contract. It is so detailed that it often covers legal conditions to establish prima facie and/or to subjugate a party into omission through court injunctions. Some of the great moves are ejection of party or parties out of the contract.

7. Technical planning and execution in building a work program is usually the smaller part of the overall planning which links activities or tasks and to include the cost and other construction-related information.

8. Hence, without proper knowledge, planning and its components, a project will not be successful in delivering all deliverables until the end of the project.