Water Garden City


Bahrain has been an important ally of the Gulf for thousands of years, the meaning of Bahrain is “Two Seas” and is a collection of islands that connect it into a large island and has been from that day a symbol of hope and evolution. It has been a long hub of trade around the Gulf for many years as trade evolved and grew, naturally using the barter system came first trading Dates for goods.


Water Garden City shows us the idea of the origins of Bahrain and helps us know how important and beautiful water can be, as it is an essential in the project of Water Garden City, maximizing the benefit of the key asset; Water Garden City has two massive water bodies around the project acting as a Beach and Marina


Activities around the Marina and Beach will of course be water based activities and will make families and friends enjoy most of there time in the water as sports and other types of various activities; its also provides a stage for a festival or event to keep the crowd coming.


Water Garden City will also provide high-class work places as the recreation of open space system and city living environment this also encourages high levels of visitation to Water Garden City The recreation and open space system lays the foundation for the character and ambiance of Water Garden City public realm adding to both its aesthetic and financial value.

There will also be a commercial area in Water Garden City that provides business areas that embraces new ways to experience and understand a good working environment, as it will increase productivity with top grade office space and equipment that gives a good view towards Manama the capital of Bahrain, the location will help attract high standard business men, as it is an effective area, marking the gateway to the city are two iconic towers that rise above the streets of this new business district where one of the largest financial businesses will be held across the globe.


The location will be in the Seef district which is the Heart of business in Bahrain as it has the most expensive pieces of land available in Bahrain and it is also has frequent visitors from around the Gulf and other locations.









Strategic Project Management

One of the skills that every corporate executive could have is project management, but SURELY every project manager should master the art of strategy.

As our project management class unfolds, I became more convinced that we cannot design or execute projects without the proper alignment of our objectives and resources as Project Managers with our corporate strategy. After all, projects are initiated to achieve business results. Projects should then not only be managed from the operational aspect but from the business aspect as well. Getting the job done does not seem enough anymore, rather getting the Right job done is what is needed. This mindset does not come to cancel the existing ways of doing projects but to expand the projects meaning and give them a broader reason.

To help build the Project strategy one has to identify to following projects components:

  • Perspective “Why”: Defines the reason and the motivation for the project, as well the need, environment and business opportunity. This will help understand the big picture and creates motivation among the staff.
  • Position “What”: Defines the end product of the project which will be delivered to the customer or users. How could this project contributes to our product, and why the customer will buy our product and why our product is better than what is available on the market
  • Plan “How”: This part of the project strategy explains how the objectives and competitive advantage are going to be achieved. At this level statement of work (SOW) and work break down structure (WBS), Project Matrix are developed. Shall a company want to be a first-mover, “time” will then have to be a constraint and delays cannot be accepted. On the other side if a company has the objective of being a cost leader, PM working on product design teams have to ensure that “cost” is a constraint as failing to be a cost leader might put the company’s competitive advantage under threat.

In the recent increase of project based companies, this skill has become inevitable for PM. Projects objectives seem to be giving a project its short term meaning, but its alignment with the strategy extends that meaning to a longer term.

Avoiding this truth can only lead the project to failing to add real value and build a sustainable business model.

Recently i have been involved in several retail store construction projects where it was clarified to us since the early stages of the works that time is our constraint. Opening according to the set deadlines was crucial for our company not only to meet its commitments with the landlord and franchisor but also to remain ahead or aligned with the competition.

Do you agree that projects managers should dispose of great strategic skills? Do you have any project, according to your opinion, being executed without being relevant to the company strategy?

Patanakul, P., & Shenhar, A. J. (2012). What project strategy really is: The fundamental building block in strategic project management. Project Management Journal43(1), 4-20. doi:10.1002/pmj.20282

Project Strategy Components

Project management, why do we need to learn this course?

This is a critical question  for any manager  that works with new projects only in a daily basis.
A lot of workers are good at their specific field. However sometime workers need to do work outside their field and project management maybe one of these requirements.
Since I started my project management class, I have asked several managers  for examples of general uses of project management in their departments. The following are their responses:
1. Creating a project charter to explain and to see the objective of this project.
2. Developing and maintaining schedules
3. Work distribution among the team.
4. Monitoring performance of a project in terms of cost, time, and what was agreed on.
5. A general way to be organized and to encourage organization
6. Creating lessons learned documents to understand what went right and wrong

For me when I started studying project management I found out it was very helpful when it came how you need to enhance your communication skills, how to plan a project and even working with other workers from different backgrounds and also how the way they think to execute the project in hand.

At first let me explain to you what is project management?

Project management: is the process and activity of planning, organizing, motivating, and controlling resources, procedures and protocols to achieve specific goals in scientific or daily problems. A project is a temporary endeavor designed to produce a unique product or a service.

We all use project management outside work. For example, if you are planning a trip to go with your family you need to use the same steps as if it is a project. First you start to plan with your family where is the location of the trip. Second when will it be suitable a day to have the or when is everybody  free to go. Finally how much the trip well cost.

In this class I was required to do a field project in a very short time (three weeks) so I started to see if I can find a suitable group to work with which thankfully I did. Our group had a lot of great ideas to start with but due to the short of time we had to be very careful to choose the right idea with least risk in hand plus to have a backup plan in case something went wrong for the first project. Day by day thankfully the project went well because we had a very good understanding among ourselves and we did a very good job planning. We discussed the pros and cons of this project and we distributed the work based on the teams skills and talents.

In the end i learned  that project management is one of the essential courses to teach students or workers of how to achieve or implement good project and it can even be used in our day to day life.

In your opinion what will be the result if managers did not learn about project management?

Bahrain Dragon City

The real estate growth in Bahrain has always been a topic of controversy amongst us locals, mainly due to our Kingdom’s tiny geographical size and population. With all these huge projects being erected one after the other, who is actually occupying them, and are the costs justifiable? …But I digress.

Back on topic; with the steady growth in real estate in Bahrain, many great projects come to mind: “Amwaj Islands”, “Durrat Al Bahrain” and “Riffa Views”. However, one of the more recent projects, (still under development in fact), stubbornly stands out from the rest: “Diyar Al Muharraq City”.

Diyar Al Muharraq City is the largest private metropolitan development project in the Kingdom to date. Covering an area of 12 square kilometers, this huge project is split into a number of smaller, individual projects including:
Sarat Community;
Shaikh Isa Bin Salman Al Khalifa Grand Mosque;
Diyar Homes and;
Dragon City.

A project within a project, the “Bahrain Dragon City” is a multi-million district built on 115,000 square meters of land located in the southwest corner of Diyar Al Muharraq. It will consist of a shopping mall, numerous warehouses and a dining venue. The project focuses on delivering Chinese goods and services to the Kingdom in a single wholesale and retail trade facility. The developers aim to fully pre lease available space to prominent retailers from China and the Kingdom.

The project gets its name from its adoption of the unique, but undeniably gorgeous Chinese architectural and cultural references. The mall will host 700 individual retail stores, while an area of 5,000 square meters is designated to warehouses. The dining venue is a 6,000 square meter Asian-themed dining street with a car park capacity of 1,500 vehicles.

Set to be completed through 2 phases, phase 1 (which includes the Chinese themed mall) has already been initiated and is scheduled for completion by the end of June 2015. Phase 2 sets to double the size of the project to 335,000 square meters.

The project has faced some difficulties though:
Due to the exposed coast allocation, strong winds had slowed progress for a short period. Terry Carroll
-350 residential apartments are under construction adjacent to Dragon City. They need to be completed by the time the mall opens, straining the project’s time management further.
-The Dragon City has met with some disapproval from local merchants, who signed a petition against the project in 2014. They fear that the Chinese traders would eat away at their customer base and businesses.
-Moreover, if you have ever been to Dubai, the project is undoubtedly similar to “Dubai Dragon Mart”, and it admittedly follows in its footsteps. However, the success of Dragon Mart in Dubai is largely due to the energetic tourism industry in the sovereign state, coupled with the fact that in Dubai each year the number of tourists from China has grown 15-20 percent. David Macadam

With the issues mentioned above I often find myself contemplating the following:
What are the measures taken to recover the lost time and streamline time management? Is the Kingdom’s tourism industry even remotely as hyperactive as the one in Dubai to justify the costs of the project? What is to be done to win the approval of the local merchants?




http://www.constructionweekonline.com/article-32836-site-visit-dragon-city-bahrain/1/ Terry Carroll quote


http://www.thenational.ae/business/retail/bahrains-dragon-city-follows-in-dragon-mart-footsteps David Macadam quote



GCC Railway

The G.C.C railway is the long awaited  project by this part of the world, a project that would add to the collection and means of transportation in the area, which would inevitably be considered beneficial for individuals (commuting or transportation) and businesses (freight transportation). Bahrain’s ministry of transportation and communication explains, “The G.C.C Railway is envisaged as a regional integrated inter-operable railway catering to the transport needs of the Gulf Cooperation Council both in the form of freight- and passenger-travel”.

Ever since the G.C.C member agreed on starting the G.C.C railway there has been many changes on the proposed completion dates. Chung, M. (2010) reports “Passengers using a pan-G.C.C railway due for completion in 2017 could be whisked along at 350 kph under a proposal for a super-high-speed network stretching from Kuwait through the U.A.E and on to Oman”.

Furthermore, recent reports have pushed the completion dates up to 3 years ahead and concluding on a completion date of 2020. The reason behind that is the fact that countries other than Saudi Arabia and the U.A.E (who are almost certain to complete their operations by 2018) are not ready or are not capable of meeting the preset target, therefore the completion date has been pushed until 2020.

The main issue here is setting unrealistic and unattainable targets that resulted in the miscalculation of such vital deadline. I personally believe that their studies did not tap into main issues such as the external factors affecting the project’s process including the political unrest that has affected some parts of the G.C.C as well as the recent decline in oil prices that forced G.C.C governments to reduce spending, which definitely will have to effect spending on the joint railway network, and in Bahrain’s case decreasing oil prices will contribute into expanding the country’s government deficit.277433812

A more accurate reading of each country’s ability to contribute to a project worth over $200 billion USD was to be essential, however, as it stands the project is in process and as in the case of many projects however small or big it has to continue in order to reach its predetermined goal unless a significant issue comes up of course.

I have strongly stressed on the inaccurate reading of the completion date of such a regional project, simply because this type of error impacts economic and political issues in the region. For example, worldwide events such as Dubai’s 2020 Expo or Qatar’s 2022 World cup definitely needs the aid of the railway transportation services but more importantly it needs a time-efficient plan that is not constantly delayed, simply because the type of operation of such railway network project reflects the future performance potentials of the above-mentioned events, it reflects economic and political stability in such area which yields foreign investments.

What impact does a delay in the G.C.C railway network have on political and economical development in the region? As soon as the railway network commences what effect would it have on transportation costs? Would the new G.C.C railway network initiate the beginning of a union or confederation in the region, what would be its benefits and/or drawbacks?











Bertha, a peach or a lemon?

Bertha is as tall as a 5-story building that runs on a 25,000hp motor and has a head weighting about 1.7 million pounds. It is the world’s biggest tunnel boring machine, costing US$ 80 million built specifically for Washington State Dept. of transportations to build a megaproject in Seattle. Hitachi Zosen, a Japanese worker, manufactured the machine in Seattle in June 2013

The objective of Seattle’s megaproject is to bring the waterfront back to life through burying a highway that runs on a structurally unsound elevated road smack in an earthquake zone and digging a tunnel that would shift the city traffic underground. This would enable Seattleites to celebrate the glory of Puget Sound.

The rapid growth in technology allowed Seattle’s megaproject to depend on one piece of engineering (Bertha), its technique is basically building the tunnel’s walls while drilling forward through installing precast concrete rings which makes it impossible for it to get backward as the hole she leaves behind is narrower than her size. The tunnel was expected to be complete in November 2015 with a budget of US$ 1.4 billion however; Bertha went through the same dilemma as many other megaprojects. Its cost went over-budget, got delay, and only 12% of her mission was completed.

In December 2013, Bertha stopped entirely after hitting a steel pipeline that was left over from an old groundwater test. Bertha was stuck in a 1000feet deep and the only way to rescue her was through digging a hole and cranes her up to the surface. Some contractors agreed with the idea because they believed Bertha became too big to fail where others argues that bertha was a lemon and should be buried where she is.

This is a common case with megaprojects where too big to fail beliefs misled  managers about discontinuing projects even though it’s going over budget, delayed and its benefits are not fully met. Considering a megaprojects as a sunk cost is an extremely difficult decision and not many managers can make.

Seattle project lacked an early contingency plan and contingency funding estimate, because it was induced by the advancement in technology, which makes it possible for one piece of engineering to accomplish this mission. These kinds of megaprojects are difficult to measure, and not having a contingency plan from the early stages would increase uncertainty even more.

If Bertha revives, it would take another four years; furthermore it would be digging even deeper under the city and expected to go through eight different ground conditions, where the same rescue missions will be more difficult and disruptive. Bertha route carry a lot of ambiguity, and not hitting another hindrances will be just a matter of time. I believe that megaprojects must tighten control over risk, and the risk of Bertha stoppage must be mitigated because of its severe circumstances, not only on its financial funding but also because it has a huge impact on the pollution. I believe technology is a key but in this case it backfires.


Human Factor in Project Management

Some of the critical factors in the success of any implementation project are hardly affected by technology but the personnel at work. It is imperative to have the right staff and explicit strategies at hand in decision-making and project management. To achieve success, clear definition of roles, determining how decisions are reached, and ultimately having a clear comprehension of how the outcomes are critical for consideration. In essence, this presentation seeks to elaborate the role of human factors in project management success. Human factors play a huge role right from the start including the pre-planning stage through implementation to production status (Lacey 15). Aspects of human factors relate to the interpersonal skills of the workforce involved, the abilities to coordinate activities for a common goal in the midst of competition, conflicts, and status. From a personal perspective, the team-centered approach is critical to success from the start.

Primary factors, which determine the involved person centers around politics in the institution. The challenge to success involves navigating these murky waters deciding when to bring on board all parties and keep track of time and budgetary limits. Breaking through fixed ideas is a critical success factor in the implementation of any project. Among the fixed ideas in managing projects is the concept that success chiefly depends on finding the perfect technology solution to the problem. Additionally, another fixed idea is the notion that adherence to procedures is crucial because it is the normal way. Numerous opportunities in system implementation are lost because of the failure to evaluate the current processes and check for better working methods.

If success is measured on the parameters such as working within the budgetary limits and on time, then human factors management chiefly underpins the success of any project implementation. Project leadership bears a lot of pressure especially due to the management of the human factor. In an article on the criteria of successful project management, Rhonda Brandt identifies several talents sets that are essential to project leadership to ensure success. They include among other things: decision-making based on analytical and systematic thinking, organization abilities in cases of conflicts, motivation, effective communication, idea generation, and innovation. Also on the list is the ability to consider the ideas of others and combine dissimilar thoughts.

A successful project manager identifies key individuals with the right talents required to carry on the project through various phases and milestones. The individuals execute their responsibilities within the set timeframes mostly because they understand their roles. Basing allocation of roles in project implementation should be based on individual talents rather than on position. However, this is tricky because the worst threat to the success of any project is the institutional politics that may result in an involvement of inappropriate people hampering success (Reece and Rhonda 11). If politics appears to threaten the project, creativity is highly advised such that you bring on board assorted personnel to meet political requirements. A good communications plan is needed to ensure that communication with the larger community is ideally in the best way. The primary goal is to encourage a sense of ownership by everyone in the institution. In conclusion, the above factors underpin the significance of having in place a fortified project team with the right skills set.

Reece, Barry L, and Rhonda Brandt. Effective Human Relations in Organizations. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Co, 1990. Print.

Lacey, David. Managing the Human Factor in Information Security: How to Win Over Staff and Influence Business Managers. Chichester, England: Wiley, 2009. Print

Green project management

Green project management is all about considering environment and thinking green throughout the project and decision making process. Project manager plays an important role by applying “green” concepts to the project plan. For example, project manager can add a section for “environmental concerns” to the project charter. Under this section, he can add the project’s old equipment that could be recycled or re-used instead of burying them in a dumpster. Based on that, project manager should consider “seeking recycling company” as a project task.

Another example is issues management. In order to apply “green-think” to the process, project manager should add “environmental impacts” to the issues list. Project manager might include the impact of the tasks that are required to be done in the evening, like energy required to run air conditioning, extra electricity, lighting, water, etc. project stakeholders might take a decision to delay the project one or two days just to avoid working on evenings and reduce the resources.

Also project manager can establish green project management by following the suggested tips below:

  • Schedule projects appropriately and build the team adequately so that he minimizes the overtime and the added energy
  • Consider enlisting freelancers and sub-contractors who work from home, this might reduce energy consumption
  • Include recycling quotas in the team incentive program
  • Require documentation and reports to be submitted digitally, this might reduce paper consumption
  • Use network storage to share documents between stakeholders instead of distribute papers or CDs

A few examples of “green-think” KPIs could include:

  • Time saved
  • Energy reduced
  • Tons of Waste reduced
  • Gallons of water reduced

Based on the above, greening a project can help reduce the budget , reduce the time needed to complete a project, support the project team and increase a company’s reputation.

Source: http://www.greenprojectmanagement.org/the-gpm-blog/317-kpis-for-adopting-sustainability-strategy-and-objectives


Forgetting the Most Important Document

I recently had to work on a project that is quite different than your everyday project. Here in Bahrain after a person gets engaged and wants to become officially married, they are required to bring a person called a Sheikh to their house to complete the documentation that defines you as legally married. I decided to host this ceremony in my Father’s house last Friday. After the signing their is usually a small party at the wife’s house where all the ladies gather. The ceremony at my house only consists of men. The usual attendance would be close family members from both the husband and wife’s sides. However in such events you wouldn’t know exactly how many people are coming from the wife’s side exactly and hence need to plan carefully.

The first thing that we needed to setup was the seating area. Since we had invited around ten people from our side we estimated that there would be around ten people from their side. But to be on the safe side we decided to make the seating accommodate 25 people. The next order of business was to decide whether to serve dinner or not. The ceremony takes place around 6:30 to 7p.m. and that’s too early for dinner in Bahrain. However we decided that we will make dinner for around 20 people and keep it ready, and if people did not eat we would give away the food to poor people in the neighborhood.

In such ceremonies aside from the Sheikh whom my father’s friend was going to bring over, their needs to be two witnesses, one from each side, and hence we asked my wife’s father to ensure he knows who he wants to be witness from his side. After ensuring that all logistics were covered in terms of seating, food, drinks, witnesses, Sheikh, lights, etc I thought that we were all set, and I had planned perfectly.

After the Sheikh arrived and sat for a while he said he will start filling out the legal document, however at this point my Wife’s father hadn’t arrived yet. The sheikh asked me for my ID which i presented to him, and then he said he need my passport, which i did not have ready with me, however since I was home I went upstairs and got it. Then he turned to me and said I need your wife’s ID and Passport, at which point her father was about to enter our house and we asked him, he responded shocked No! We had forgotten to ask what documents were required. Luckily the sheikh allowed us to call my wife and get the details on the phone. This whole project taught me a lesson which was to never assume that you have covered every aspect of a project, there will always be an unexpected bottleneck. pTq8yxAGc pTq8yxAGc

It’s all about Communication…

While thinking of what topic to post about, I thought of my personal experience in project management and wondered what key concepts constantly hinders project performance. Communication is the first thing that comes to my mind. Generally speaking, we all know the importance and significance of communication when it comes to our personal relationships. It is really important to understand others and to be understood in order to maintain healthy and strong relationship ties.


Similarly, and given that my professional job revolves around projects, I’ve come to realize that like in relationships, effective communication is key within projects. Unfortunately, communication is usually overlooked and the consequence is reflected through delays in project timelines and increase in number of failed projects. To back this notion, the plus study by PMI revealed that the most crucial success factor in project management is effective communications. The report also highlighted, on an average, one-half of those unsuccessful projects (i.e. 2 out of every 5 projects) are related to ineffective communication, illustrated in the graph below:


When dealing with projects, communication is important at each and every level – from project initiation to closure. Thus, it is important to meticulously outline and articulate project requirements to the intended stakeholders, for example – using a daily encounter – imagine your boss delegates a work assignment to you and you are not properly briefed regarding the exact requirements. This communication gap translates into unmet project expectations and hence unsatisfactory project outcomes. How many times did you find yourself a victim of such a scenario? Now imagine the same example in a project set and on multiple task levels. Devastating, right? This highlights the significance of effective communication to project performance.

Moreover, given that the importance of communication has been established, it is crucial to identify various ways in which we can maintain effective communication within our projects. Below details few ideas that I compiled based on my experience and what we covered in class:

  • Preparing a formal communication plan and using standardized communication reporting tools – particularly within medium to large-scale projects.
  • Ensuring clarity and language of the message; meaning tailoring the message for each stakeholder as per their understanding and using the most preferred communication channel.
  • Making people understand their role and contribution to the project and getting their full buy-ins can help elevate their communication and commitment to the project.
  • Communication is two ways; hence, it is important to keep all the relevant stakeholders informed with the project’s status when necessary to ensure their responsiveness.

Thus, next time you are assigned a project I hope the first thing that comes to your mind revolves around different strategies you would adopt in order to ensure effective communication within your projects.

Remember, “a good communication process helps you to be predictive, that’s important, because if you are always reactive it’s too late. The project is already off the tracks.”


How many times did you find yourself a victim of ineffective communication? what did you do about it?