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Improving project management at DHV Shanghai : a structural analysis and comparison of DHV practice with the Prince2 method

Korver, A. and Seesing, D. (2007) Improving project management at DHV Shanghai : a structural analysis and comparison of DHV practice with the Prince2 method.

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Abstract:This paper states the results from my research in cooperation with Daan Seesing, on the improvement of project management practice within DHV Engineering Consultancy Shanghai. Shortly we will describe the process of the research and the important recommendations in this summary, if you are merely interested in the results we refer to either the recommendations or the appendix for the end‐results presented to DHV. Our first challenge was the lack of a real ‘problem’ within the organization that needed direct research. After a first interview with our mentors we came to the conclusion that overall project management practice could possibly be improved. To see how this practice could be improved, first a structured analysis had to be made. The structured analysis was made using the knowledge of recent literature on different methods like PMBOK and Prince2. Beside this theoretical PM knowledge also knowledge of the context was acquired, to see things in the right perspective. Using the knowledge mentioned above and combined with the characteristics of normal practice at DHV, a framework was set up in order to gather and analyze information on all relevant aspects. The main chapters of this framework exist of the project phases in a typical DHV project; the Feasibility Study, Program of Requirements and Initial Design, Design (Preliminary and Detailed Design), Tendering, Construction, Testing & Commissioning and Hand‐over. Beside these eight phases used in common practice a ninth ‘General’ chapter was added to the framework, covering all information used throughout several phases or aspects which cannot be placed in a certain phase. Within each chapter, a subdivision is made on the six main knowledge areas as they are used in the PMBOK method; Scope, Organization, Communication, Time, Cost and Quality. After the framework was constructed information about project management practice at DHV Shanghai was gathered using semi‐structured interviews with project managers, site visits and information from the local intranet. The general impression of project management at DHV was positive. Projects are managed thorough, though not always optimal structured. The difficulty on finding structured documentation on a specific subject was a possible improvement which came across right away. Other points of improvement were conducted through a comparison of the current practice with the project management method Prince2. Possible improvements that derived from this comparison are mainly on the field of procedures. The set up of overall quality procedures, Health Safety and Environment procedures and a structural project evaluation are examples of the suggested improvements. Another challenge was the non‐optimal access to available knowledge. As we already analyzed and structured the information on current practice we used this information to set up a Project Management Manual. This manual contains all information on different processes, methods and techniques used by project managers during the execution of projects. A second improvement that has already been implemented during our time at the company was the revival of ShareWork. This internal knowledge database did already exist, but both the structure and files were outdated. Together with the effort of DHV staff a new ShareWork was set up containing a new structure and new up‐to‐date files. By linking the manual and ShareWork, this database is now used as a knowledge referring backbone for the Project Management Manual. Finally a knowledge manager and file manager are appointed to keep this knowledge base up to date.
Item Type:Essay (Bachelor)
Faculty:ET: Engineering Technology
Subject:56 civil engineering
Programme:Civil Engineering BSc (56952)
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