Project Planning and Control – Initial opening and operational requirement of new leisure facility


The new leisure facility has purpose built building which includes a number of activities such as swimming pool, sports hall; dry and wet changing facilities, dance studio, health and fitness provision. The building is already built and next important stage is to address the issues and implementation of initiatives to ensure that it opens on time and within budget.

Therefore, this report enclosed detail activities and initiatives to ensure the successful Initial opening and operational arrangements of new leisure facility. The activities are proposed in the light of the project management techniques with goals to apply project management principles and practices for timely opening and efficient operational management of the facility (Cobb, 2015).

Project lifecycle

Kloppenborg (2014) stated that the four generic project phases are starting the project (project charter and business case), organising and planning (feasibility, development and design), project execution (implementation and realization) and closing of the project.

The start-up stage involves defining the clear objectives, scope and terms of reference. The planning phase of the team development, quality plans, risk register as well as communication plans for the project.

However, leisure facility is completed and ready for opening that is why the concentration in the report is given to the operational design and execution phase of the product cycle. The range of factors consider at this stage includes processes management, leadership and monitoring and control of the project (Kloppenborg, Tesch and Manolis, 2014).

project life cycle steps

Design and planning

According to Gray and Larson (2014) and Lester (2015) the design stage is an important phase to develop the specific strategies in order to achieve the project objectives. The important areas include setting action plan as well as monitoring and operational plan.

Gray and Larson (2016) discussed that the important step is to deploy strategies to achieve the objective of opening and operation of the leisure centre on time and within budget. According to Shenhar and Dvir (2015) a good practice involves early management of the baseline and compares the results with baseline. The next important stage is deploying effective monitoring plans to ensure that whether objectives of the project are achieved and can we measure the results (Marco, 2016).

Operational plans

According to Heaslip (2014) the projects are achieved through the collaboration of the people and institutions. Project having best strategies and monitoring plans are unlikely achieved the objectives without human capital and financial resources.  When a project is launched it is not possible to have all resources on hand.

However, Harris and McCaffer (2013) argue that the best practices involve having a detailed plan on the resources need of the project. This is useful to ensure that what is needs and how will be procured. For examples, during opening leisure centre might not require repair and maintain services. However, with passage of time it important to have contracts or resources which ensure the maintenance and repairs for the facility (Harris and McCaffer, 2015).

project planning and control

Project Management Tools

According to Anbari, Carayannis and Voetsch (2008), good project management involves three factors which are cost, time and quality. The success of the project is measured if project is completed on time, within cost and meet the quality standards.

Kerzner (2014) added that the range of tool and techniques which contribute to successful project completion includes planning and scheduling, managing resources and budget as well as monitoring the process. The project is successfully completed based on the abilities of the project manager.

According to van Aartsengel and Kurtoglu (2013), work breakdown structure (WBS) is an effective tool for planning and scheduling of the project and breaks the project into manageable components.

Nevertheless, Srinivasan (2014) Gantt chart and CPM is useful tool for planning and recording the project progress against the schedule. CPM is valuable to highlight which activity should be started to keep project on track.

Van Aartsengel and Kurtoglu (2016) discussed that the construction of the facilities is already completed and the focus is opening and management of the leisure centre, i.e. CPM is useful to follow the activities sequences to timely open the leisure the centre. Moreover, Gantt chart will help to record the progress of the activity for timely opening and resource tracking for the leisure centre opening phase.

Implementation phase

According to Koster (2015) risk and uncertainties are high at the beginning of the project which reduces as the project progress. At the beginning of the project, the priority is to manage the final cost of the project which lowers with the progress of the project.

Moreover, Turner (2014) argues the correction cost of the project in case of error and delays increases at the later stages of the project. The leisure centre is already built and opening involves installation and completion of small activities to ensure all services re ready for the customer.

However, error or delays at this phase could add significant indirect cost to project and opening may be delay as well as cost of the project increases. Therefore, it is important that effective control is maintained to keep leisure centre opening on track (Harris, 2015).

Project Control – Opening Phase

According to Saladis and Kerzner (2015) controlling the project ensures that project objectives are met through monitoring and measurement of the progress. The variances are identified and corrective action are taken to ensure timely completion of the project.

Stackpole (2013) suggest that control is based on three stages which are measuring, evaluation and correction action.

Moreover, Fortune and White (2006) controlling involves making a comparison between actual results with baseline in order to decide what to do when variance exist between the two. (Fortune and White, 2006) The selected control components from PMBOK for the opening phase of leisure centre are (Project Management Institute, 2000)

Leisure Centre opening and Control

PMBOK - project palnning and control

Project Time and Cost management

According to Meredith and Mantel (2015), it is important that project achieve the objectives with defined time and budget of the project. The three important stages of project planning include re-planning, monitoring and reporting stage. The initial stage involved preparing the implementation schedules, activity plans and budgets reviews.

Moreover, Lee and Rojas (2014) discuss that the project management tools such as CPM and Gantt charts are useful to manage the schedule and changes should be dealt with an effective response. Moreover, the cost of the project can be managed through earned value management (EVM) which is useful to measure the progress as well as the performance of the project against objectives.

EVM helps to analyse the range of variables such as the actual cost of work performed (ACWP) and budget cost of work scheduled and performed (BCWS/BCWP). Nevertheless, EVM is a single system which is useful to manage the time and cost of the project. This will ensure leisure current progress measure in terms of cost and time (Vanhoucke, 2016).

Project Quality and Risk Management

According to Levin (2014), Project quality highlights the degree to which product meets the needs of the stakeholders. The two important areas for quality control are project deliverables to meet customer satisfaction and project processes which meet the expectation of the stakeholders.

Oakland (2014) suggests that Quality control during the project execution phase is critical to guaranteeing that final product delivers in terms of time and cost meet the expectation of the stakeholders.

Tysiak (2014) highlighted that the project enclosed range of risk such as people risk, regulatory risk, credit risk, operational risk, health and safety risk or even strategic risk which could endanger the existence of the organisation.

According to Pritchard (2014), the good practices involve in the effective risk management includes systems to identify the risk of the project such as risk register. The risk register is useful to early identification and communication of the risk. This allows mitigating the risk at an early stage and achieves the objectives of the project.

Change management

According to Blake and Bush (2016) Change management is a structural approach to transition the people, teams and organisation from existing phase to the new desired position. Change management includes the tool and process which are useful to bring the change in an organisation.

The change management processes are useful to create readiness for the change, engaging the employees, raise the awareness and promote the need for change, mentoring and coaching the stakeholders. The success of the project is dependent upon the ability of the organisation to successfully adapt to the change (Senaratne and Sexton, 2014).

Additionally, Sofroniou (2014) The good practices involves with effectively implement the change in an organisation includes creating a sense of urgency, developing business case for the change and deploying the right strategy as well as communicating with the stakeholders that change is necessary.

Operational Requirement – Leisure Centre

Work plan and budgets

Cotts (2016) focus that work plans to coordinate among the team members and partners are important and they are useful to define what specific activity is need to achieve, who will achieve it and when its needs to achieve are critical to implementing the project.

For example, a work plan for leisure centre could involve a range of activities such as staff hiring, procuring inventories, pre-launch testing of all facilities as well as the provision of services to the public.

In addition, Gorgens-Albino and Kusek (2015) argue that good practise for the organisation includes the developing detail short term plan which enclosed in detail who will do it and when it need to do is useful for successful.

Moreover, cost management of opening of the leisure centre involves one off significant cost. Therefore, a budget which ensures the project does not incur an unexpected number of expenses during the opening of the leisure facility (Gorgens-Albino and Kusek, 2014).

Capacity building

Eade (2014) explained that capacity building involves the process of developing the ability of the organisation to achieve the objectives of the project. For example, capacity building includes hiring and training the leisure facilities staff, building strong partnership with suppliers, hiring volunteers and deploying enough operational staff. Employee with right knowledge and skills will enable that all facilities at leisure centre are effectively managed which enable the service delivery.

The range of capacity building skills involves technical skills, managerial skills, financial management skills and employee of the organisation. The human resource department is an effective element which helps to build the capacity of organisation through hiring and training the right staff (Taylor‐Powell and Boyd, 2013).

Project Control

Monitoring and Feedback

Marasini and Dawood (2016) propose that monitoring and feedback are important components for project control through evaluation of the results to ensure that project objectives are achieved. The good practices involve the continuous evaluation of the data to monitor the performance and progress of the organisation processes.

Furthermore, Sarshar, Haigh and Amaratunga (2014) Monitoring the results provide useful insight on the processes and ensure the success of the organisation in the long-term. The feedback process will highlight whether certain activities are not achieved and what are the factors behind the success or failure of the project.

The variance analysis helps the organisation to adapt the change management process accordingly. The best practises include regular reports and information sharing with stakeholders (Jugdev and Muller, 2015).

project control cycle
project control cycle

Communication and Reporting

Gido and Clements (2014) discussed that communication is an important tool and it ensures information is shared and members understand the requirement of the project. The communication enable the internal and external stakeholders the requirement of project. It is important that needs of the various stakeholders are understood and information is delivered according.

For example, in leisure centres based on the number of services, it provided that each department understand their roles and responsibility as well as results is communicated. The large structure and complex processes of the leisure facility required clear communication to deliver quality services (Cheung, Yiu and Lam, 2015).

Moreover, Kerzner (2013) added that external stakeholders are important such as members, community and service providers to satisfy them with output of the leisure centre as well as supplier provide the accurate supplies.

The best practices includes determining the information needs of the stakeholders, prioritizing the audience, identifying the best medium and deliver the communication product which satisfy the need of stakeholders.

Skills and competencies of project manager

Zulch (2014) highlights that the skill and competencies required by the project manager include hard skills such as knowledge, technical as well as soft skills like interpersonal skills which are necessary to successfully achieve the objectives of the project. The skills of managers are shall able to support the people and project processes at every stage of the project management.

Ingason and Jonasson (2012) elaborated that the soft skills of the manager such as communication, leadership and ability to successful deploy the change are useful to implement the project. For example, leisure facility requires strong leadership skills to ensure the timely launch and management of the operation after the opening of the centre.

According to Bredin and Soderlund (2013), the hard skills are critical to effective design and evaluate the outcome of the project. In addition, development of detail operational plans and setting vision and direction for the project is a critical part of the hard skills of the managers. On the other, to effectively implement the plans and strategies to achieve the results are possible through using the soft skills.

project manager - role and communication

The role and responsibilities of the project manager include project deliver on time and budget. Project manager ensures that project is effectively resources as well as the relationship with project stakeholders is managed through communication and reporting. The responsibilities of the project manager comprise of project team management and motivation, coordination among the partners, develop project plans, maintain project performance and progress as well as provide regular reports (Shahhosseini and Sebt, 2014).

Conclusion and Recommendations

To successfully open the leisure centre on time and within budget, the focus should on the implementation and control of the project. Control of the project activities will ensure that project activities stay on track and cost remains in control. The project management tools such as Gantt chart and CPM will help to monitor the progress of the project.

Moreover, EVM is useful to monitor the performance and progress of the project which gives better control of the resources and complete project on time and within budget. For operational requirement, it is important that work plan and budgets are prepared to manage the operation of the leisure centre.

A work plan for leisure centre could involve a range of activities such as staff hiring, procuring inventories, pre-launch testing of all facilities. At last, not least, continuous evaluation of the performance and feedback is critical for success of the project.

Based on the analysis, the recommendations are

  • Management should control the project activity using CPM and Gantt chart to ensure timely opening and cost control.
  • Work plans, budgets and capacity building are fundamental to acquire resources and skills for the operations of the facility.
  • The focus should be on monitoring and evaluation of the performance to avoid project delay and cost overrun of the project.


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