Planning is essential in the inception of any project, whether it is opening a small bakery that serves a client base of 200 people or building a new mall that could cater for thousands of people. Bahrain has overseen the development of a multitude of projects in the past ten years . Amongst these projects is my favorite: the Durrat AlBahrain project. Durrat AlBahrain, upon first glance, may seem to be like any other residential project. This notion, however, is the farthest from the truth. The Durrat AlBahrain project is unique and new to the Kingdom and for that reason, it has required the project managers to approach it in a way that differentiates its product (residences) from its competitors in the field. More importantly, the project managers must keep goals of efficiency at the heart of their concerns.
The dynamics of operations management are essential to the success of this project. Operations management requires project managers to approach any project in a holistic manner, keeping in mind commitments of project completion while taking into consideration technologies, cost structures and other interrelated tasks that require highly skilled labor and planning. The team working on the development of Durrat AlBahrain, for example, must keep into mind, before the execution of the project, how they will reach out to their clients. The project management will ensure the existence of a marketing team that works as a liaison between the sales officers who conduct sales of housing units on the island and between the consumers. This specialized marketing team, which is only made successful thanks to the identification and breakdown of teams and resources (by operations management), ensures maximum reach out to possible foreign investors. With that in mind, and with a client base in mind, operation management forecasts and dictates scheduling of the project, and in doing so, ensures when things will physically be put in place. The operation management ensures that dredging companies, for example, are chosen in the most cost effective manner. Dredging companies help transport sand from different areas to help with the formation of islands. This island-building process requires an efficient use of machinery to create the most output.
This input-output framework lies at the heart of operations management. Operations management attempts to solve essential problems that address the importance of retaining the optimal amount of output for the minimum amount of input. This framework is applied throughout all phases of the project, including labor allocation, manufacturing of structures, negotiating with contractors, research and development, amongst other things. Keeping in mind the difference phases in any project, large or small, operation management remains pivotal in ensuring success. Next time anyone takes that scenic half-hour drive to Durrat AlBahrain on that lazy Friday afternoon, remember that teams of highly skilled professionals have put hours and hours of planning to make this project possible.
How do you think operations management requirements can change across different industries of different scales?