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Project Management, the Building of the Three Gorges Dam

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Essay title: Project Management, the Building of the Three Gorges Dam

1. Introduction

The Three Gorges Dam on the Yangtze River will probably be finished by 2009 and will be the largest hydroelectric dam in the world.

Being the present manager and being appointed by the government at the feasibility stage I am asked to write a report in order to outline the activities required to successfully manage this major project and to ensure that it is completed on time and within budget.

This report will be divided into six parts beginning with an introduction and ending with a conclusion.

At first should the terminology be defined. A project is “a unique set of coordinated activities, with a definite start and finishing point, undertaken by an individual or organisation to meet specific objectives within defined, scheduled costs and performance parameters” (BS 6079-1,200:2, Material of Sunderland 2005, page 5). The individual who undertakes the organisa-tion is usually the project manager. This person plays a special role and is supported by his team.

The project manager leads the project and provides vision, direction and encouragement. The project manager takes lead in project planning to determine the schedule and budgets neces-sary to meet the project objectives and is responsible for delivering the project once the pro-ject has been approved by senior management. The project manager is also responsible for the project support team.

The skills a project manager should have are defined by Richman as people skills, project management skills and technical skills. In the case of such a large project such as the building of the TGD the project manager also needs to have integration skills and great knowledge of the organisation.

All skills mentioned above will be further described within the following sections of my re-port.

Generally there are two basic models to describe a project’s life cycle, the generic project life cycle from Burke and the basic project life cycle from Field and Keller. My report is based on the project life cycle from Field and Keller.

2. Define

In the define phase proposals are formulated, estimated and tested for feasibility. The results will be presented to the senior management in order to receive a “go” for the project which often is in the form of a contract.

The main objectives of the TGD are:

• Protection against floods

• Making the Yangtze River navigable

• Leading the water into dry regions

• Generation of energy

• Supporting the economic and regional development of the provinces

2.1. Requirements analysis

Geological conditions

The relevance is given as we need an adequate material to build the dam as well as enough water to achieve a water level and finally to maintain that level. It also should be thought about a solution for the silt coming down the river in order to keep on getting a clear flush.

Ecological environment issues

They include the dying of various animals and seldom fish species. The landscape around the dam could be damaged to a great extend due to the rise of the Yangtze water level. Drainage outlet could occur and therefore some of the surrounding land-scape will be flooded.

Resettlement issues

As described in point 2 the water level will rise and a water basin will be created. The people who live in the effected area need to be resettled as their houses will be flooded.

Every task mentioned above needs be proven by a feasibility study as their process requires to be carefully planned. This could be done by other companies as all three aspects of the re-quirements analysis have to underlie the legal regulations and all further activities need to be executed carefully.

2.2. Feasibility study

Teams should be created for every single point of the requirement analysis. The team’s study should attempt to generate scenarios which are potentially acceptable solutions. The resulting scenarios and all objectives that are to be addressed by the study should be used to prepare a functional specification that spells out a proposal’s scope, objectives, financial and time con-straints, and addresses the questions of technical and economic feasibility. It is necessary to receive a cost-benefit analysis for each subject in the end.

The potential

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