The implementation segment is where you and your project team really do the project work to construct the deliverables. Project implementation is the stage where visions and plans become a certainty.
Pre-requisites for successful project implementation: What can be done to minimize time and cost over-runs and thereby improve the prospects of the successful completion of the project? While a lot of things can be done to achieve this goal, the more important ones appear to be as follows –
Adequate formulation: often project formulation is deficient because of one or more of the following shortcoming:
- Superficial field investigation;
- A cursory assessment of input requirements;
- Slip-shod methods used for estimating costs and benefits;
- An omission of project linkages;
- Flawed judgments because of the lack of experience of expertise;
- Undue hurry to get started;
- Deliberate over-estimation of benefits and under-estimation of costs.
Sound project organization: A sound organization for implementing the project is critical to its success. The characteristics of such an organization are:
- It is led by a competent leader who is accountable for the project performance;
- The authority of the project leader and his team is commensurate with their responsibility;
- Adequate attention is paid to the human side of the project;
- Systems and methods are clearly defined;
- Rewards and penalties to individuals are related to performance.
Project implementation planning: Once the investment decision is taken and often even while the formulation and appraisal are being done, it is necessary to do detailed implementation planning before commencing the actual implementation. Such planning should seek to:
- Develop a comprehensive time plan for various activities like land acquisition, tender evaluation, recruitment of personnel, constriction of the building, erection of plant, arrangement for utilities, trial production run, run, etc.
- Estimate meticulously the resources requirements (manpower, materials, money, etc.) for each period to realize the time plan;
- Define properly the inter-linkages between various activities of the project;
- Specify cost standards.
Advance action: When the project appears prima facie to be variable and desirable, advance action on the following activities may be initiated:
a) Acquisition of land,
b) Securing essential clearance,
c) Identify technical collaborators/consultants,
d) Arranging for infrastructure facilities,
e) Preliminary design and engineering, and,
f) Calling of tenders.
Timely availability of funds: Once a project is approved, adequate funds must be made available to meet its requirements as per the plan of implementation, it would be highly desirable if funds are provided even before the final approval to initiate advance action.
Judicious equipment tendering and procurement: To minimize time over-runs, it may appear that a turnkey contract has obvious advantages. Since these contracts are likely to be bagged by foreign suppliers, when global tenders are floated, a very important question arises. How much should we rely on foreign suppliers and how much should we depend on indigenous suppliers?
It should focus sharply on the critical aspects of project implementation. It must lay more emphasis on physical milestones and not on financial targets.