Blog Challenge 2.1 -Renovation Update

6 Month Renovation Update

In May, my family and I were given the keys to our new property in the South of Scotland. This was such a big opportunity, especially for me as it was something I had never done before. My mum and dad had renovated a couple of smaller properties in the past but this one was going to be a learning curve for us all.

We are now 6 months into the project and to follow on from my blog challenge that I did back in May, I am now doing another challenge to celebrate. I will upload this blog every Friday for the remaining 3 Fridays in November to mark our 6-month point!

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VICTORIA HOUSE PROJECT

This first blog is just a recap of what I had outlined in the beginning and comparing it to what we have actually achieved so far. Starting with…

The Bathroom

Here are some pictures of what I was aiming for in regard to the bathroom, I got a lot of my inspiration from Pinterest.

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After we moved the position of the door, I really stuck to the green and white colour palette, but I decided to keep the original wooden boards around the edge of the room after I found a picture with something similar and thought it looked really nice. We did tile a small part of the wall behind the shower, just for practicality really. I incorporated a small line of patterned tiles to break it up slightly, if you look closely you can see a little shiny blue tile that has a little swirl in the middle which was the main reason I chose those tiles because I thought it was fair cute.

The bath suite that we chose was a P-style bath, mum and dad wanted a free-standing bath, which I liked but I preferred the P-style because I just felt it fitted the room better and was cheaper! Win, win.

The Bedrooms

At first, we believed that the bedrooms were all going to be plain magnolia with the original skirting boards and doors painted white. We mostly have stuck to this, but we are going to wallpaper one wall now.

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The Chosen Wallpaper

Additionally, due to the actual struggle of stripping the really thick, embossed, floral wallpaper from the middle bedroom, we decided to leave one wall covered. After painting over it I am soooo glad we decided to leave it because it blends in so nicely with the room, it’s so subtle and just adds a bit of a feature to the room.

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Now most of the work upstairs is complete, bar a bit of painting and wallpapering to do, we moved to the downstairs…

The Kitchen

Whilst we were working upstairs, we were waiting on the plans coming through for the downstairs. If you have read my blog 6-months ago you will have seen the draft plan I made for the changes to the layout of the house, where we planned to knock the kitchen wall down to create a kitchen/diner, I also planned on creating an ensuite upstairs but we decided against it because it just took up too much space and made the bedroom sizes quite awkward. We have put an additional toilet room downstairs in the utility.

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Currently, we have had the planning permission accepted and the wall knocked down with a supporting beam in place. As well as this, we have bought the kitchen from Homebase, French Shaker style in an eggshell blue colour.

It’s going to look lush when it’s built, just waiting on the boiler to be installed before we assemble the units completely.

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The Utility/Lean-to

We settled on bricking up the porch and put in a back door and window, so it’s came together well. Next to the porch is the utility room and like I mentioned previously, we decided to use the space to install a small toilet and sink area. In the remaining space, we have a couple extra kitchen units to put in.

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Sitting Room

This room needs very little work, we have been using it as a bit of a storage room until we complete some more of the work downstairs.

Overall, we have completed most of the major work, except the boiler which should be done in the coming weeks, and then we just have painting and decorating left to do! On Friday I will be uploading my next blog which reviews our budget. Thank you for reading this update, there are more pictures in my website gallery and on my Instagram page: @huntersparkdesign

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Summary of Scope & Project Definition

This weekly upload is going to be a study blog, written to help me revise my course, Project Management BSc. Hopefully, it will also create a good overview for anyone else looking to study the same thing.

According to the APMBoK 6th edition, “Scope comprises the totality of the outputs, outcomes and benefits and the work required to produce them”. Simply put, the scope is the entirety of a project, from the beginning to the end of project, what it comprises of and the benefits realised after its completion.

Scope management is the process that is used to control the outputs and outcomes and identify the benefits. “Scope management is the process whereby outputs, outcomes and benefits are identified, defined and controlled (APMBoK 6th)”  

Without scope management, a project is at risk of scope creep, whereby the project exceeds its intended criteria and therefore increasing in cost, time, disputes, quality, etc. and can ultimately cause the project to fail. 

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Instagram -@huntersparkdesign

There are 6 steps to defining a project: 

  1. Requirement management – this involves assessing, capturing and documenting the needs and objectives that are required by the stakeholders.
  2. Defining the project scope – to do this you need to confirm the key aspects of the project, such as, project objectives, deliverables, milestones, technical requirements, limits and exclusions and reviews with customer.
  3. Determining the Priorities – essentially you will need to establish what areas within the project are critical and which can be compromised if necessary. E.G. time, cost or quality. These priorities should be made clear within the development phase but can change throughout the life cycle. 
  4. Create a Work Breakdown Structure – a WBS is a hierarchical outline (map) that identifies the work elements involved in a project. This is a helpful way to plan a project because you can use it to break down the scope. It also helps manage plan, schedule, and budget as well as defines communication channels and assists in coordinating the various project elements.The lowest level in the WBS is the work packages.
  5. Integrating the WBS with the Organisation – You can use an Organisational Breakdown Structure (OBS) to do this. An OBS shows how an organisation is going to manage its work responsibility within the project.
  6. Coding the WBS for the Information System – this highlights the levels and organisational levels of the WBS, it’s work packages, and budget and cost elements.

 

The Responsibility Matrix

Using the WBS and OBS you can construct a Responsibility Matrix, RAM. A RAM is used to allocate the work packages to people, organisations or 3rd parties. A RAM can include information such as who is responsible, should be consulted or informed about certain tasks.

https://www.apm.org.uk/body-of-knowledge/delivery/integrative-management/organisation/

Thank you to the continued support on this blog series 🙂

 

Golden Gate Bridge Example

Simplified Business Case for the Golden Gate Bridge

This weekly upload is going to be a study blog, written to help me revise my course, Project Management BSc. Hopefully, it will also create a good overview for anyone else looking to study the same thing.

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In response to my last post, I wanted to share a rough draft of a simple business case. Using my University’s description of a business case, I have tried to come up with something similar, referring to the Golden Gate Bridge. I haven’t addressed all the key elements of a business case here, because I either struggled to find any research on that specific part or I wasn’t confident enough with my answer. If anyone does have any good feedback, that would be helpful. However, this is just my take on a quick task, nothing serious, perhaps as my course matures, I will be able to return to it and extend it a bit further.

Strategic Case: A solution is needed to connect the almost 2-mile gap between Marin County to San Francisco as there was no way round at the time.

Options Appraisal:

  Option Cost
1. Do nothing Minimum
2. Build a Bridge (recommended) Maximum
3. Invest in Boats Average

Expected Benefits and Disbenefits:

Option Benefits Disbenefits
Do nothing Saves cost, saves resources No direct link between Marin County and San Francisco Bay
Build a Bridge Direct link between Marin County and San Francisco Bay, opens up employment (on construction and between the 2 areas), more roads leading to less congestion. High cost, high risk construction, disapproval from business owners and civic leaders, ruin the view of the bay, obstruct ships, requires maintenance
Invest in Boats Increased access across the bay, increased revenue and employment for the shipping business Requires maintenance, will not allow car access between the 2 areas

Financial Case:
Engineers estimate of $25-30 million to construct.

$35 million in bank bonds granted

Bank of America President Amadeo Giannini, who provided a crucial boost by agreeing to buy $6 million in bonds in 1932. https://www.history.com/topics/landmarks/golden-gate-bridge

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Photo by Alexander Mils on Pexels.com

Risks of Building the Bridge:

  1. Hazardous working conditions – impacts the workers and their family’s health and wellbeing
  2. There was risk of insufficient funding after the Great Depression – may cause the bridge to remain uncompleted, or could lead to a delay in the project
  3. Earthquake – after the 1906 San Francisco earthquake there would be worries of insufficient measures to avoid bridge collapse, which would incur additional costs and endanger lives.

Time Scale:
Drawings for the bridge were submitted in 1921 and were passed in 1933. Building work was completed in 1937.

Benefits realised after one year “June 30, 1938: During the first full fiscal year, the Golden Gate Bridge serves 3,892,063 motor vehicles, carries more than 8,000,000 passengers, and in excess of 400,000 pedestrians walked the sidewalks (GGBHD Annual Report FY37/38).”

According to http://goldengatebridge.org/research/GGBTraffToll.php, the toll for the bridge was 50 cents each way in 1937, so according to above study, in the first year the bridge would have roughly earned $1,946,031.50 in it’s first year.

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If you have any tips on how to improve this, please let me know!

OTHER SOURCES

http://goldengatebridge.org/research/dates.php

http://goldengatebridge.org/research/GGBTraffToll.php

https://www.history.com/topics/landmarks/golden-gate-bridge

Week One at University

This weekly blog is going to be a study blog, written to help me revise my course, Project Management BSc. Hopefully, it will also create a good overview for anyone else looking into studying the same thing.
16th September – spent learning about what makes a project and how it differs from a programme or portfolio.

Programme – a collection of projects all under one umbrella, can be associated with bigger changes over long periods of time, based on a strategic vision

Portfolio – Oversees the projects and programmes to ensure they contribute to the business strategy, ensures that daily business is continued, managed at different levels within the organisation

A project is different from everyday business because it has a defined start and end date, it has a different team of people using different skills, a budget is set in place and it is unique but most importantly, it delivers an output. Business as usual however is very repetitive, the team is well established, and the projects output typically should benefit the organisation.

A PROJECT creates OUTPUTS for the organisation which leads to OUTCOMES that BENEFIT the organisation.

Project                                                                                           Business as Usual

Susceptible to change                                                                    Optimising and reducing cost
Delivered within a specific budget and timescale                   Continual improvement
Risk                                                                                                    Do not want any risk
Creates an output                                                                           Creates outcomes

The difference between a programme and a portfolio is the portfolio ensures that the work taking place is meeting the needs of the organisation and the programme is to make sure that projects are all taking place correctly.

In summary.  Portfolio management is about doing the right projects, to deliver an organisation’s strategy and objectives. Project and programme management is about doing projects right! https://www.apm.org.uk/news/projects-programmes-and-portfolios-so-what-is-the-difference/

17th September – Spent learning briefly about project life-cycles and focussing mainly on the project scope, including work breakdown structures.

A project scope is a definition of the full extent of a project, including its benefits and constraints. It is fundamental to the project as it clearly communicates the end result for the key stakeholders so there will be no false expectations. 9 elements of Project Scope:

Project objective – Acceptance criteria – Deliverables – Milestones – Technical requirements – Limits and exclusions – Constraints – Assumptions – Review

To manage the scope efficiently you would firstly collect the project requirements and define the scope to utilise a Work Breakdown Structure:

A WBS defines the activities that need to be completed on a project and estimate the time and resources needed to achieve them, it’s main purpose being to communicate a logical structure of the work that needs to take place to complete the project. This is helpful in scope management as it focuses on deliverables that means you can monitor and control the project.

Project Life Cycle

A project flows in phases which allows it to be managed more easily as it creates natural check points and therefore allows planning and control to be more effective whilst also maintaining a consistency across an organisation.

Typical project life cycle has 4 stages:
Defining: Goals, tasks, specifications and responsibilities
Planning: Schedules, resources, budgeting, risks and staffing
Executing: Status reports, changes, quality and forecasts
Delivering: Customer training, transferring documents and lessons learned

After these stages are complete the output should create benefits and these are realised during the extended life cycle.

September 18th – Learning about business cases and their importance for outlining the project and also touching on stakeholder management.

A business case is evidence supporting why a project should or should not be undertaken, it does this by outlining the benefits, costs and the risks of other solutions and provides a basis for the preferred solution. It is used to provide justification for financial commitment from sponsors and will provide baseline for benefits to measure against, also it will help make decision making clearer.
A business case can achieve this by outlining the alternative options and outlining the preferred solution, highlighting the benefits and disbenefits or the project, estimating timescales and costs as well as the risks and other factors such as the scope and success criteria.
Author – Project Manager                       Owner – Project Sponsor

Stakeholder Management

Stakeholders are the people who are involved in a project or are affected by it and it is important that we manage these people for many reasons, including, the can help to define the success of a project and they could cause problems for the project if they oppose it. The 4 steps to managing the stakeholders are as follows:
– Identify stakeholders (people performing or affected by the work, owners, shareholders, customers, statutory or regulatory bodies)
-Assess their interest and influence (how will they be affected by the project, will they support or oppose the project, what influence do they hold)
-Develop communication plans (a dynamic plan is often included in the project management plan)
-Engage and influence them (it is important to communicate to all stakeholders to avoid any false expectations, based on their engagement with the project you can determine how often to approach them)

Benefits Management: Identification, definition, planning, tracking, and realisation of business benefits. (APM, 2012)

My Project: Victoria House