Cost Benefit Analysis...

Cost Benefit Analysis Cost benefit analysis (CBA) is a tool which is used for the determination of the worth of a project, programme or policy. Its principles and practice are well established and widely used. Organizational management normally uses this tool to appraise a project before taking an investment decision. The decision to conduct a CBA for the project alternatives and the manner in which it is to be conducted is usually taken since it helps the management in making judgments and appraising available options. CBA is a systematic approach for the estimation of the strengths and weaknesses of alternatives and is used to determine options which provide the best approach to achieve benefits from the project. It is the comparison of costs and benefits of the project to decide whether it can be undertaken. In CBA both the tangible and intangible costs as well as tangible and intangible benefits are considered. CBA is a term that refers both to (i) a formal discipline used to help appraise, or assess, the case for a project, which itself is a process known as project appraisal, and (ii) an informal approach to making decisions. Under both definitions the process involves, whether explicitly or implicitly, weighing the total expected costs against the total expected benefits of the project or its alternatives in order to choose the best option. The idea of this economic accounting originated with Jules Dupuit, a French engineer whose 1848 article is still worth reading. The British economist, Alfred Marshall, formulated some of the formal concepts which are at the foundation of CBA. But the practical development of CBA came in 1936 when the regulatory act required US Corps of Engineers to take up only those projects for the improvement of the waterway system...

Project Management in for a Steel Project...

Project Management in for a Steel Project Project consists of a group of tasks, performed in a definable time period, in order to meet a specific set of objectives. It is a temporary activity. It is a one-time program hence different from operations where tasks are repeated in a routine way. Every project has a life cycle, with a specific start and end. The work scope of a project can be categorized into definable tasks. Project has a budget within which it is required to be completed. During the execution of the project, there is likely requirement of multiple resources. Many of these resources can be scarce and may have to be shared with others. Steel project like any other project has a life cycle (Fig 1) which includes (i) initiation, (ii) planning, (iii) execution, (iv) monitoring and control, (v) commissioning and handing over, and (vi) closing of the project activities. Fig 1 Project life cycle Steel project has four components namely (i) performance, (ii) cost, (iii) time, and (iv) scope. All these four components are interrelated and dependent on each other. Performance is the quality of the work being done. Cost is the expenditure made on the project work and is directly related to the human and physical resources applied. Time is the schedule which is required to be met for completing the work. Scope is the magnitude of the work to be performed. One of the key ingredients for successful project management in a steel project is having the right people on the job and managing them appropriately. Both of the two elements ‘having the right people’ and ‘managing people appropriately’ are important for the project success. However, in practice both conditions are frequently violated. There are several groups of activities in...

Estimation of Project Cost for a Green Field Steel Project...

Estimation of Project Cost for a Green Field Steel Project Estimation of the project cost for a green field steel project is essential for ensuring that the available resources for the project are used effectively and wisely. The basic requirements of the project cost estimates are that these estimates are to be prepared on an ‘unlikely to be exceeded but not excessively conservative’ basis for various stages of the project life cycle to provide confidence in project priority, affordability and strategic fit. An accurate estimate goes a long way toward supporting a successful project. Quality cost estimates are also necessary in maintaining stakeholders’ confidence and trust throughout the life of the project. Hence, cost estimates are to reflect an overall accuracy which is indicative of the level of information available at the time the estimates are being developed. Cost increases over and above project budget are a constant concern of the stakeholders and the senior management. Reliable cost estimates are necessary for responsible financial management at every stage of the project. Unreliable cost estimates cause significant problems during the project implementation. Unreliable cost estimates can also lead to staffing and budgeting decisions which can result into incorrect and inefficient use of the available resources. The ‘project cost estimate’, as used during the project development process, includes all capital outlay costs, including right-of-way, structures and landscaping. Project cost estimates are never to be artificially reduced to stay within the funding limits, nor they are to be reduced for the purpose of making the funds available for the project. Likewise, project cost estimates are not to be artificially raised beyond the contingency percentages necessary for the project unless the increase is adequately justified. Project cost estimates are prepared for a planned project implementation schedule. Any delay...

Determination of Product Cost in a Steel Plant...

Determination of Product Cost in a Steel Plant The term ‘product cost’ means the amount of expenses [actual or notional] incurred on or attributable to the production of the specified product. Product cost refers to the costs used to produce the product. It is the measurement in monetary terms of the amount of resources used for the purpose of production of the product. For effective monitoring, specific product cost (cost per unit of product produced) is usually determined. A steel plant consists of several processes which are integrated. These processes produce many intermediate products as well as semi-finished and finished products. Many of intermediate products and semi-finished products along with all the finished products are saleable products. There are also a large number of by-products which are being produced from these processes. These by-products are used either internally within the plant or are being sold to different customers. In such a situation, the cost of the saleable products is determined in the steel plant in several stages. Each stage has a product for which the cost is determined. This product may be a saleable product or may be an intermediate product used as a raw material for the next stage. In case the intermediate product of a certain stage is the raw material for next stage then the determined cost of the product along with the cost of handling losses for the product is assigned to the next stage to the extent the product is consumed in the next stage. The product cost in a steel plant is determined the way it is done in any other manufacturing organization. The total cost of producing a product basically consists of two components (Fig 1) namely (i) fixed cost, and (ii) variable cost. Fig 1 Component of...

Employee Relationship Management...

Employee Relationship Management Employees are the major assets of an organization. They are among the organization’s most important audiences with the potential to be its most effective ambassadors. It is essential that the employees perform together as a collective unit and contribute equally towards the realization of a common goal. Employees share a certain relationship with their colleagues at the workplace. The relationship which the employees can have can be between co-employees, supervisors, managers and higher management. It is important that the employees share a healthy relationship for delivering their best performances. Employees are the focal point of an organization during its journey towards success. If the employees work together and share a good relationship with management then the organization achieves its tasks and objectives much faster. Management of the employee relationship is both important and valuable for the organization in the achievement of the competitive advantage. It is necessary to have a strong relationship between employees as well as between employees and management since it leads to better organizational productivity and performance. Employee relationship management (ERM) is a term which refers to relationship development and management between the organizational management and the employees. There are a lot of different issues in ERM which can affect employee satisfaction and which has a direct result on employees’ productivity and overall corporate culture. ERM refers to managing the relation between the different employees of the organization. The relationship can be between employee and the management as well as between employees at the same level. It is nothing but a technique which brings employees and management together on a common platform and guides them so that the organization achieves the desired targets without fighting with each other. In a layman’s language, ERM is nothing but managing interaction...

Employee Morale

Employee Morale Employee morale plays a vital role in the performance of the organization. Morale can be considered as the total satisfaction that the employees of the organization derive from their job, the prevailing atmosphere and the factors that appeal to them. It is a conglomeration of attitudes and feelings that constitute a reserve of physical and mental strength including factors like self-confidence, optimism and a positive mental attitude. Morale is an invisible element which determines the success or failure of the organization. Morale is a way of describing how employees feel about their jobs, management and the organization. These feelings are tied to the behaviours and attitudes which the employees show in their workplace. When employees have good morale, they feel committed to the management and the organization, loyal to their jobs and motivated to be productive. They work harder, produce more, meet deadlines and give it their all. Low morale of the employees takes a toll on employees’ performance and productivity. Employee morale is related to how the employees feel about the organization. It is an important factor in creating a healthy work environment.  Organization which has higher employee morale displays improved productivity, improved performance and creativity, reduced number of days taken for leave, higher attention to details, a safer workplace, and an increased quality of work. In addition to that, the organization has employees who arrive to work on time, communicate better, waste lesser time in gossip, have higher rate of retention, and are more creative. Moreover, employees who work with high morale develop higher rates of job satisfaction, creativeness and innovation, respect for their own job, commitment to the organization, eagerness to satisfy group objectives instead of individual objectives, and desire to improve the organizational performance. On the other hand,...