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Describe the 'Initial Proposal: Project Brief' stage.

This is one of the initial tasks of the PMT. The purposes are straightforward:
>To state the objectives, aims and priorities of the promoter in terms of his proposal.
>To identify how resources are to be deployed. This may include the appointment of various consultants.
>To provide an outline budget and programme for the project. This will indicate key dates for the completion of initial investigations and design studies as well as cost targets for these tasks.


Describe the 'Feasibility Study' stage.

The feasibility study has one purpose: to provide a specific conclusion. It should indicate to the promoter whether to go ahead with the project or to abandon it.
Any study has several aspects:
>Determining the extent of the demand - Although a demand has been identified, which triggers the start of the project, the extent of this demand must be established. The demand must also be estimated for future years and hence economic forecasts should be used to predict growth.
>Scope of investigations - Not all feasibility studies will be the same: the scope of the study in hand should be determined.
>Financial objectives - There are at least two financial objectives that a promoter will have in mind when a proposal is made: to provide satisfactory financial return; and to be undertaken at an estimated total cost. If it is determined that these financial objectives cannot be met then it may be that the project is unfeasible.
>Service objectives - The performance of a project should be determined and considered in any feasibility investigation. These may include the throughput or productivity of the project, or the span of the project.
>Statutory approvals - Statutory Regulations require compliance with certain procedures and the feasibility study should determine which these are and if they can be achieved. In addition it may be that a satisfactory environmental impact assessment is required along with a health and safety study.
>Information - If a good decision is to be made as to the feasibility of a project, the quality of the information provided and obtained is paramount. This information will relate to the suitability of the proposed site and will include data on the ground itself and of the locale in general.
>Public consultation - Some people will gain by an engineering project; others will lose. Recent protests over capital projects such as new roads and runways have heightened the awareness of the public consultation stage. It is worthwhile including the public at the earliest possible stage in order to both reduce objections at later, more expensive stages and perhaps provide positive ideas. If alternate schemes are proposed the public deserve a choice; any decision made should take account of their consensus.
>Recommended design - At some stage in the feasibility study there will have to be a decision made as to what is the ideal design and this will involve an evaluation of the alternatives. During the initial stages, i.e. the feasibility and design stages, it is relatively cheaper to make fundamental changes than during the construction stage. In addition, the effect on the motivation and morale of those involved if changes are made can have particularly negative results.


Describe the 'Design' stage.

Assuming that a feasibility study has recommended that a projector should proceed, the next stage in the project cycle is that of design. It is important to appreciate, however, that the services of the designer are incorporated into most of the successive stages in the project's cycle, not least of which is the construction phase.
The design stage itself has its own process or cycle of stages to achieve the required results. It could be argued that the design process begins with the feasibility study - much info used during the design process will have been gleaned during feasibility investigations.
Main parts are:
>the design brief
>detailed design
>construction support


Describe the 'Contracts for Construction' stage.

A contract is a formal agreement between two or more parties that is enforceable in law. No construction work is ever undertaken without there being a contract of some form between the promoter and the contractor. Essentially, a construction contract commits a contractor to construct the works and the promoter to pay for it. The form of contract, or the conditions of contract is a legal document that sets out the exact terms of the contract and details the liability and obligations of each party.


Describe the 'Construction' stage.

The construction stage of a project is the most expensive, labour intensive and active part of a project. The exact form of how the various parties interact at this stage will depend on the type of contract used but there are many common elements to this stage. These can be summarised by:
>Planning and programming
>Implementation (or construction) of the works (the built items)
>Health and safety
>Temporary works
>Cost monitoring
>Execution of contract
>Claims and disputes


Describe the 'Testing and Commissioning' stage.

Essentially this is the transition from the construction phase of the project to the occupation by its eventual users. It is a period of time whereby the promoter satisfies himself that the project does indeed work in accordance with his requirements that were set down in the design brief and contractual specifications.


Describe the 'Operation and Maintenance' stage.

The extent of periods of operation and maintenance will vary according to the type of project. Some parts of a project may require regular inspection and maintenance if necessary while the whole project needs adequate planning for its use.


Describe the 'Decommissioning' stage.

This is the part of a project's life cycle that gets perhaps the least attention. It is possible that there is no anticipated natural life of the constructed facility with the result that the promoter is unwilling to commit time and money to a non-planned event. However, many projects will come to the end of their working life after a relatively short period of time; good examples of this are nuclear power stations and oil facilities.