2 Stories a Day



In 2000 my family contacted a builder in order to build a home. After approximately ten months my family and I were happy to receive a two story home. This translates to approximately one story built every five months. Although this may seem common in the USA, a province in China called Dongting Lake was able to produce a 30 story building in 15 days. This feat was accomplished through a proper management plan and efficient execution. Although the building may have been built in 15 days the project was mapped and planned out long before. Project managers effectively developed an organized strategy, defined the project, estimated project times and costs, developed a project plan, and executed the plan.

The project managers involved in this undertaking understood the organization’s strategy and were able to align the projects with the firm’s mission. These managers needed to respond to various environmental factors as well as navigating resource scarcities. Managers could possibly use the SMART pneumonic to remember to be specific in targeting objectives, establish measurable progress checks, make sure the objective is assignable to specific individuals, develop a realistic idea of what can be done with the given resources, and understand the time duration to achieve the objective. This step is crucial in project management in order to lay the foundation of the entire project.

Managers properly defined the project, established priorities, and created an effective work breakdown structure. As you can see in the video, components of the building were developed off-site and were assembled on the land afterwards. This focused the project by created a plan, schedule, and budget that is able to be effectively managed at the respective organizational levels.

Many times projects may be properly defined and aligned with the organization’s strategy but when it comes to estimating the projects there may be a difference of opinions. Top-down estimates are generally made from top managers who have limited knowledge on process where as bottom-up approach is generally derived from individuals who have a great deal of knowledge of the process and can provide a check on various costs in the work breakdown structure. In my organization, we do not utilize the bottom up approach very often. When making decisions about work processes without fully understanding the work process seems to create inefficiencies in the organization. I think that process individuals should be included in the estimation as well as the development of the project plan. These individuals would be able to identify critical activities as well as provide a basis for scheduling other activities. This plan can then be managed by top management. With a proper plan, management can effectively manage various activities and deliver the project.

Execution is key to any project, especially when constructing a building. Some individuals may be worried about entering a building which was built in fifteen days, however when understanding the planning and management involved and witnessing the execution I would not be worried, would you?



3 thoughts on “2 Stories a Day

  1. Being in the construction industry, I had doubts of this actually happening until I watched the video. This was truly an exceptional project that exemplifies exactly what proper project planning coupled with coordinated execution can accomplish. While the projects that my company performs are smaller in size than the Dongting Lake Hotel, most of the same components are needed to perform a successful project large or small. Estimates are produced, planning is conducted, and the project is executed in the field.

    Being an estimator with project management experience, I can truly appreciate the efforts that went into building this impressive structure in the short timeline. While the structure only took days to build on-site, the amount of planning and offsite fabrication needed was immense. From what I could see in the video, all of these things occurred flawlessly. I would have no problem entering that building, and I would probably sleep very well knowing of all of the efforts that went into putting the roof over my head.

  2. I would be little bit worried to enter any 30 story building that was built in 15 days but not this one, especially after watching this video. It seems like the construction was well planned and executed. What I am wondering is that if there goal was to finish the construction in more than 15 days or less? Even though there goal is unknown to us I think they did an exceptional job in defining strategy, planning project, estimating time and cost, developing and executing plan. The key part was laying out effective work breakdown structure. After seeing this video, I think that if a project manager plans project properly and estimates time and cost correctly it would be really hard for any project to fail. Thanks for sharing this amazing video! It was fascinating to think and understand how the big projects like this can be completed in such short period of time with effective planning, estimation and execution.

  3. This is an excellent example of proper planning leading to perfect precision. The only part that gets me is the idea the building was built in 15 days. In truth, the construction took 15 days, but the building had to begin when the initial plans for the construction were created. The time and resources that it took to put together a 15 day construction window had to be immense. Included in that were the risk factors that the building would need to be able to withstand, as well as ensuring that the construction was indeed sensitive to the needs of energy efficiency. I would like the entire time listed so those who are decision makers in organizations would be more likely to think about these types of projects not as 15 days to complete, but 45 days total, with 15 days of construction.

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