Example Of Mzansi Tunnel Shuttle Project Business Plan
This paper entails a consultancy and advisory strategy to the board of directors of Anglo Synergy Solutions in relation to the Mzansi Tunnel Shuttle Project. This paper will address the main critical success factors that will determine the overall ability of the project to meet its primary objectives within the stipulated time frames. These factors include the Work Breakdown Structure of the project; the main strategic drivers involved in the project; a critical analysis of the project`s operational framework; the extent and nature of the involvement of the various stakeholders in the project; and finally, the governance and management of the project among other key underlying factors.
The Mzansi Tunnel Shuttle Project is an inter-country infrastructure railway project, which upon completion, is expected to run from Dar es Salaam in Tanzania, to Durban in South Africa. This railway line is modeled against the Japanese tilting train technology, and two possible routes have been proposed as being ideal for the project`s implementation. The first route begins in Dar es Salaam and then moves into Lilongwe and Blantyre in Malawi, then into Harare in Zimbabwe, and it finally culminates in Pretoria where it extends to the last station in Durban South Africa. The second proposed route also begins in Dar es Salaam in Tanzania and then moves to Lusaka in Zambia, then to Bulawayo in Zimbabwe. The route then moves to Gaborone in Botswana and into Pretoria in South where it then culminates in Durban.
The project will be procured by two conglomerates, AUM Ventures and Sandline Ventures. AUM Ventures is partnership comprising of Canadian and American investors, while Sandline is a partnership between six leading Emirati Banks that are led by the Abu Dhabi Investment Bank. AUM Ventures will invest $83 Billion in the project with guarantees from the South African government, while Sandline will invest $120 Billion in the project. The partnership between these two conglomerates is expected to run for $75 years, which is the proposed project`s timeline. The other main stakeholders involved in the project are the two engineering firms that have been hired to offer contracting services to the project these two firms are Emartec of Dubai and NKA-D, which is an African partnership between two leading South African and Nigerian firms.
Several issues have already emerged in relation to the proposed Railway Tunnel Project. The first issue relates to a stand-off between the financing conglomerates and the contracting engineers, with the former insisting that the project must be ready by the beginning of 2019 for it to realize financial feasibility. The engineers on the other hand, insist that this goal will not be achieved because the timeline is too strict and it is informed more by politics rather than factual realities. In this regard, the financiers have indicated their intention to levy Liquidated Damages on the engineers in the event that the project experiences any delays in its construction.
The second major emerging issue relates to the nature of the two proposed routes. The Harare Route is prone to centripetal force and it will require special rail fittings to prevent train users from experiencing discomfort. To this end, the Harare route will consume an extra $1.3 Billion, and it will require more time to complete. On the other hand, the Bulawayo Route which is not affected by such adverse effects is significantly longer than the Harare Route.
Work Breakdown Structure
The Work Breakdown Structure for the Mzansi Railway Tunnel Project is highlighted below:
The Mzansi Shuttle Tunnel Project is expected to be undertaken and completed through three main phases or stages that will act as the project`s main milestones. The completion of each phase will represent a significant percentage of completion of the project, equal to one-third of the total expected work. Each of the three phases is further divided into 5 sub-phases that cumulatively determine the core accomplishments of these phases. These sub-phases are defined and articulate sequentially, implying that that one phase or sub-phase cannot be completed unless all the other elements of the previously defined phase/sub-phase are fully undertaken and completed.
The Work Breakdown Structure of the Mzansi Shuttle Tunnel Project is highlighted above. A brief description of each phase/sub-phase is also included so as to ensure that the project stakeholders gain an in-depth understanding of the specific elements relating to the project.
Project Conceptualization Phase: Fundamental Objectives
This phase represents the foundational stage of the project in which its core objectives and needs are identified and defined. The following sub-phases are found in this phase:
Documentation of project objectives – entails the clear documentation of the above objectives so as to act as the project`s guiding pillar.
Identification and consolidation of main project stakeholders – entails the constitution of the project team of stakeholders who will facilitate its construction
Cost Benefit Analysis and corresponding solutions – entails the undertaken of financial feasibility studies aimed at determining whether the project is profitable.
Seeking approval from relevant authorities and funding from project financiers – entails ensuring that all the legal approvals are met and that adequate financing for the project is secured.
Project Execution/Development Phase
This phase entails the actual construction of the project through to its completion.
Development of initial and final project designs – entails the creation and review of the designs that will be used in the project.
Undertaking of feasibility and environmental assessment studies – entails the undertaking of various studies aimed at confirming that the project is worthwhile
Initiation of project construction –entails the actual commencement of the construction of the project according to its plans
Continuous review of project construction and development activities –entails the reviewing of the project`s milestones so as to ensure that the project remains on schedule based on the identified milestones.
Finalizing construction of main project milestones as well as sub-milestones –entails the completion of the construction phase of the project bearing in mind the time and resource allocations.
Project Completion/Delivery Phase
This is the final phase of the project which entails the conducting of tests to determine whether it will run as expected, and the eventual commissioning of the project.
Procurement and tendering of project operators – entails the identification and selection of operators who will run the project once construction is completed
Final review and check-listing of all project milestones entails confirming that all the project`s requirements and milestones have been met.
Trial running/ testing of project deliverables –entails testing the project’s capacities to evaluate whether it will work as planned.
Review of outcome of trial runs and rectification of any existing issues – entails the resolution of pertinent issues that will affect the project`s operations.
Delivery and commissioning of project to client
Strategic Drivers That Influenced the Project
The table below summarizes the strategic drivers that have influenced the project in its current state:
There are several strategic drivers that influence the conceptualization and the initiation of the Mzansi Shuttle Tunnel Project. These drivers will act as the key critical factors that will determine the overall success of the project over the short and long terms.
The first major strategic driver which influenced the conceptualization of the project is the willingness by the governments of the concerned countries to work together and cooperate in the development of the project. As previously mentioned, the Mzansi Shuttle Tunnel Project is an inter-government based undertaking which will act several countries that include Tanzania, Zimbabwe, Malawi, Zambia, Botswana and South Africa, depending on the route which will be eventually settled for by these governments. This willingness to work together is primarily influenced by the mutual benefits that the countries expect to gain from the project, once it is completed.
The second main strategic driver of the project is the availability of the physical space within which the project will be executed. This physical space refers to the actual parcels of land on which the project will be constructed according to the proposed designs. It should be noted that with the exception of a small strength along the Harare route where some adjustments will have to made to ensure that the project succeeds, the project is fairly free from any major physical barriers that could have easily prevented it from being constructed due to the existence of major natural landscape barriers.
Thirdly, the project has received significant financial backing from the two conglomerates that have pledged to underwrite all its financial costs. This ability to secure the required financing will also act as a major strategic driver because of the guarantee that the project will receive the financial resources that it will require throughout its construction. Therefore, it is expected that the project will be completed according to schedule, and that it will deliver the envisioned financial benefits to both its funders as well as the underlying countries that it will affect upon its completion.
The fourth strategic driver which will impact the project`s overall success is the availability of other stakeholders who have the capacity and availability to construct the project and deliver it as per is proposed schedule. These stakeholders include the consortium of the engineers that have been contracted to construct the project from its beginning through to its completion. These engineers possess an in depth understanding of the operation of the African market as well as the relevant experience required to undertake projects of this scope and nature. Consequently, it is expected that these engineers will duly deliver in terms of their mandates in relation to the Mzansi Shuttle Tunnel Project.
Finally, the fifth strategic driver which will influence the overall success of the project relates to eventual benefits that the project is expected to deliver to the populations of the people found in the said countries. These benefits will lead to a situation whereby the citizen of these nations will provide the required support in ensuring that the project will succeed once it is initiated. The said support in this regard relates to a number of factors, such as the passing of laws that will allow their countries to participate in the project fully without any inhibitions or prohibitions.
Major Stakeholders Involved in the Project
The table below summarizes the major stakeholders that are involved in the Mzansi Railway Tunnel Project:
There are several major stakeholders who will ultimately influence the overall success of the Mzansi Shuttle Tunnel Project once it is initiated. The roles played by each of these stakeholders will significantly influence the conceptualization, actualization, commission and operation of the project as time goes by.
The first major group of stakeholders that will be involved in the project are its financiers. As previously mentioned, the project will be underwritten by two main conglomerates that are the AUM Ventures and Sandline Ventures. These conglomerates will provide the required financing, which will guarantee the completion of the project as per the schedule contained in the project`s prospectus. Consequently, these financiers have signed various contractual agreements that are geared towards protecting their investment in the project. Key among these agreements is the Liquidated Damages contract, which will see the financiers levy charges on the engineers in the event that the project is delayed.
The second major group of stakeholders is the consortium of engineers who have been contracted to undertake the actual construction of the project. This consortium is comprised of two leading engineering firms, which are the Emartec Group of Dubai and NKA-D group from Africa, which is a partnership between NKA Engineering from South Africa and Dangote Enterprises from Nigeria. To protect their interests in the project, the engineering consortium has also signed several contractual agreements with the client in this regard. These agreements include exclusivity contracts that will guarantee that the engineers will not be subjected to unfair competition from other firms during the life of the project.
The third major group of stakeholders who are involved in the project are the governments of each of the countries that will be affected by the project upon its completion. These are the governments of Tanzania, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Malawi, Botswana and South Africa. The inter-country nature of the Mzansi Shuttle Tunnel Project will also require these governments to sign various contractual agreements relating to the project. These agreements include a partnership cooperation between the governments and the stakeholders, and among the governments themselves, thus, allowing for the initiation and the undertaking of the project.
The fourth major group of stakeholders who are involved in this project is the citizens of the countries where the project is expected to run. Although these citizens are primarily represented by their governments as partners in the projects, they have the ability to stop or alter the project through popular means such as the use political or legal channels. Therefore, these citizens must be continually consulted by their governments so as to ensure that they fully consent to the proposals and envisioned benefits that will be realized by the project upon its completion.
Lastly, a combination of various other smaller stakeholders involved directly or indirectly in the project will also play a significant role in its overall success. These stakeholders include the employees who will be contacted by the engineering consultants to construct the project, and the suppliers who will provide the required inputs in the project among several other similar stakeholders. Despite their relatively smaller stature in the project when compared to the bigger stakeholders such as the financiers, this group of individuals and entities will also play a pivotal role in the success of the project since they will be responsible for most of the grass root work which is contained in the project.
Mzansi Tunnel Shuttle Project Network Diagram
The project network diagram for the Mzansi Tunnel Shuttle Project is illustrated in the figure below. From this diagram, it can be clearly seen that the project will entail 3 main phases which represents its conceptualization through to its completion. These phases are the project conceptualization phase, the project development/execution phase, and finally, the project delivery/ commission phase.
The diagram above also highlights the existence of a critical path which, if followed is likely to result in the lowest amount of time used in completing all the major aspects of the project.
This critical path is comprised of the combination last 3 activities of each of the phases into a single path that depicts the foundational, construction and completion elements of the project. This critical path in this case entails the seeking of approvals from the relevant authorities and funding for the project; the finalizing of the construction of the project based on its main milestones as well as its sub-milestones; and finally, the delivery of the project as well as its subsequent commissioning.
This project is expected to face certain issues and problems that will significantly address its progress if they are not identified in time and dealt with accordingly. Key among these problems is the inability of the project to secure the required funding to undertake it. This problem may still exist despite the presence of the two financing conglomerates, AUM Ventures and Sandline Venture who may pull out of the project because of their own personal issue.
The second major risk that the problem is likely to face relates to the emergence of delays in the course of the project`s construction. These delays may be attributed to the existence of controllable as well as uncontrollable factors in the course of the project`s construction. Uncontrollable factors include natural calamities such as adverse weather which may significantly delay the project. Controllable factors relate to a number of issues such as the existence of conflicts and disagreements between the various stakeholders involved in the project.
Structures and Methods Used in Governance and Management of the Project
The primary governing stakeholder in the Mzansi Railway Tunnel Project is the South African Government. This authority is bestowed on the country because it was responsibility for conceptualizing and formulating the project from the onset. The primary objective of the South African government in formulating the project was support its tourism activities, to encourage trade between the concerned nations and to provide a new transport corridor for its citizens. Ultimately, the South African Government hopes to enjoy financial benefits from the taxes that will be levied on the users if the railway line upon its completion. The diagram below demonstrates the leadership and governance structure which will applied in the administration of the project:
According to Dismore (2011, pg. 22), there are several methods and systems that can be used in the effective management of a project whose size and depth is similar to the Mzansi Shuttle Tunnel Project. Key among these methods is the declaration of the scope of the project prior to its commencement (Dismore, 2011, p9. 23). This definition and clear articulation of the scope of the project will provide the required framework which will guide the various stakeholders on the overall objectives of the project. Consequently, the activities that each of these stakeholders will be involved in going forward will be re-adjusted to ensure that they conform to the requirements and overall scope of the project. This readjustment by all the concerned stakeholders will result in the attainment of the goals and objectives of the project within the allocated timeframe, and using the available resources efficiently (Dismore, 2011, pg. 25).
The second method which can be used in the effective management of a project such as the Mzansi Tunnel Shuttle Project is the identification and establishment of both critical and non-critical paths (Resch, 2011, pg. 137). The critical path refers to the combination of the project`s main activities which results in the accomplishment of the project`s objectives within the shortest time period (Resch, 2011. pg. 137). On the other hand, the non-critical path refers to the combination of a project`s sequence of events which results in the longest time spent on these processes (Resch, 2011, pg. 138). The identification of the critical path will lead to an efficient and appropriate utilization of the time and monetary resources that are available to the project.
The third method which can be used by the management of a project in its effective execution entails the used of the combined data in making key decisions as the project progresses (Dinsmore, 2011, pg. 34). This combined data relates to the information which has been collected by the various stakeholders who are involved in the project. In the case of the Mzansi Shuttle Tunnel Project, the combined data can be derived from the information in the possession of the consortium of engineers as well as the financial conglomerates that are involved in the project. By combining this information, it will be possible for effective decisions to be made by the project managers based on this combined data going forward.
According to Resch (2011, pg.148), the fourth method that can be used in the effective and efficient management of the Mzansi Shuttle Tunnel Project is the emphasis on the management of the project as opposed to the management of its plan. In this regard, the management of the project entails the implementation of the project, which is then adjusted as the project moves forward so as to account for numerous changes that are encountered as the project moves forward. In this regard, the project management approach is not a static process, but rather an ever changing venture which is affected by different factors as time goes forward (Resch, 2011, pg.150).
The fifth method which can be used in the management of the Mzansi Shuttle Tunnel Project is the application of a collaborative approach to the management of the project (Dinsmore, 2011, pg. 40). This collaborative approach entails the combination of the strengths and capacities of each of the concerned stakeholders into one operational framework, which is expected to yield key synergies that, are likely to push the project forward. This synergy will enable the project stakeholders to complement each other`s strengths and weaknesses, and to make decisions that are likely to impact the project positively. Furthermore, the fact that the stakeholders come from different backgrounds will enable them to bring different perspectives and ideas to the table in relation to the efficient running of the project.
Dinsmore, P. C., 2011. The AMA Handbook of Project Management. NJ: AMACOM
Resch, M., 2011. Strategic Project Management Transformation. NJ: J. Ross Publishing
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