Expectations 2019 and review 2018 - Focus on construction and project management

BY: Emmanuel Bruce
Mr Allan Okomeng-Mensah
Mr Allan Okomeng-Mensah

The future depends on what you do today. In that regard, what happens in 2019 largely depends on what you do today.

It is for this reason that the Springboard, Your Virtual University, a radio talk programme on Joy FM, has started a new series titled ‘Expectations for 2019 and review 2018’.

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The new series seeks to give an idea of how 2018 went and what the building blocks will be for 2019 in terms of strategy while examining the role of technology.

This week’s edition was on construction and project management.

The show, which is hosted by Rev. Albert Ocran, had Project Management Consultant, Mr Allan Okomeng-Mensah, and the Executive Director of Buena Vista Homes, Mr Kwabena Nyarko, take listeners through how the construction sector has been in 2018.


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Mr Kwabena Nyarko said construction was a major thing in the country as it affected every facet of life.

Mr Kwabena Nyarko

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Count the cost

Mr Nyarko advised individuals and corporate entities who are involved in any project to count the cost before commencement.

“If you don’t count the cost, you will end up with a loss,” he stated.

“You need to look at the various elements that will help you count the cost and make sure that you are well resourced and prepared before you commence the project,” he added.

Alignment

Statistics indicate that about 80 per cent of project management executives do not even know how the projects they are working on align with the company’s business strategy.

Touching on how critical alignment is, Mr Nyarko said developing the concept of the project from the beginning was very important.

“For corporates and individuals, you should ask yourself what it is that you are trying to achieve, and let us not forget that projects have a lifespan so you have to ensure that your goals are aligned and the project is well thought out,” he explained.

He said that was where a lot of people failed because they didn’t take time to think through their projects carefully.

“Some corporate bodies dream about a 13-storey building office without aligning it with their real goals and objectives,” he noted.

“What is our budget? What are the resources we can mobilise? Can we complete the project on time?

Are we going to use our own funds? Is the building going to reflect our goals and values? And what are those goals and values?

These are some of the critical questions you must ask at the initial stage,” he stated.

Preparation

For his part, Mr Okomeng-Mensah said the success of any project depended on preparation.

“The success of every project is in preparation. Ninety per cent of a project’s success is embedded in how well you are prepared to start,” he stated.

“If you are not prepared and you start, you will not make any progress. People will see movement but in truth you are not doing any work. If you are not prepared in terms of budget, the scope of the project, time, then you will not achieve anything,” he added.

“He who has no destination never gets lost, meaning when you get anywhere you are somewhere and somewhere means anywhere.”

Cost of bad work

He said one interesting thing about construction was that the cost of bad work was the same as the cost of good work.

He said the fact that bad work had to be reworked on meant that bad work was actually more expensive.

“People usually think that professionals are expensive but what they don’t know is not engaging a professional could be more expensive,” he noted.

How 2018 has been

Sharing his thought on how 2018 has been, Mr Okomeng-Mensah said things were gradually picking up after a slowdown in activities in 2017 due to the political transition.

Mr Nyarko also pointed out that 2018 had been much better as the real estate sector was seeing a slight uptake in sales.

“The difficult years are behind us because 2014 to 2016 were quite challenging but due to the removals of the five VAT which was slapped on real estate sales, we are beginning to see some improvements,” he explained.

He said the sector was, therefore, looking forward to 2019 with a lot of hope that things would generally pick up in the economy. — GB