THE LOWRY PROJECT REVIEW
The implementation of the Lowry project had a specified start as well as finishing time whereby it consisted of a well defined output, development path and also a clear defined set of resources as well as finances allocated to the project (Swarbrooke, 2002). However, after the successful implementation of the project its benefits are now felt by the project’s beneficiaries. Therefore the process of planning a project should include activities that are responsible for planning, measuring as well as assessing potential benefits likely to accrue from such a project as the Lowry under review. For instance, the Lowry project housing very many art and gallery exhibitions, cinemas and theatres (The Lowry Centre at Salford Quays, 5).
Moreover, review of the Lowry project to determine its success so far was carried out using the OGC Gateway Review 5 in order to determine the project’s benefits realisation. A project such as the Lowry typically undergoes five reviews during its lifecycle where three of them are usually done before investment commitment whereas the other two look at service implementation of the operational benefits of the project (Swarbrooke, 2002). However, the repetition of project reviewing process can be done on the basis of the project’s size, scope and complexity .
The Lowry project can be regarded as an architectural flagship which rises from Salford Quays docklands that have been regenerated to have a dynamic and unique identity (Meyerson and Grant, 2000). Thus this waterfront arts facility is usually accessible by a footbridge that is lifting that crosses the Manchester Ship Canal, whereas it is famously known for its stunning glass as well as steel architecture. However, it consists of two theatres, café/bars, numerous gallery spaces, gift shop and a restaurant (The Lowry, 4). Visitors of the Lowry arts centre gains a remarkable insight into this magnificent arts centre building which is named after the popular artist Mr. Lowry. The two theatres in this facility usually present a lot of superb entertainment, such as live bands, West End plays, ballet, renowned comedians, and opera (Meyerson and Grant, 2000).
The OGC Gateway Review Model
In order to critically determine whether the Lowry project implementation and operation is successful the OGC Gateway Review model was used to carry out the review. However, the main emphasis during the review was put on the OGC Gateway Review 5 involved with the project’s operations as well as benefits realisation review (Roodhouse, 2006). The project review using this model confirms if there is attainment of benefits set out in the Business Case as well as ensuring that the facility operates smoothly. Thus the project review is repeated throughout the entire of the project life with the first review taking place in six to twelve months after handing over of the project to the new owner while the final review usually take place a short time before the service contract ends (Parkinson-Bailey, 2000).
The OGC Gateway Review 5 takes place during the project’s operational phase, which takes place after the project has delivered its expected results leading to the achievement of the outcomes of the programme. Unlike in the project lifecycle earlier phases, the project’s operational phase usually may be long term as well as accounting for a significant amount of the entire of the project’s investment costs within the Business Case (Swarbrooke, 2002). It also typically occurs in several points throughout the operational service life of the project. Thus always the initial stage of the OGC Gateway Review 5 is mainly concerned about the Business Case as well as how project’s arrangements have been set up well in order to facilitate the purpose of service delivery as well as other related issues of contract management.
Depending on the operational lifespan of the Lowry project there are chances of several number of repetitions of the mid-term Reviews in order to check the projects operational management (The Lowry, 4). The mid-term reviews mainly examines the detailed aspects of the project including the arrangements for improving the contract management in terms of the value for money as well as the available incentives for performance against a baseline. However, for a service contract that is long-term there might be four different reviews within a span of twenty years. Moreover, the last review of the project usually concentrates so much on the activities of the project that are mainly involved with the current service contract close down as well as making sure that there are proper arrangements have been put in place for the purposes of the future (Akintoye, Beck and Hardcastle, 2003).
In the attempts of reviewing if the Lowry project was a success it is important to consider the OGC Gateway Reviews 5 which is involved in the project’s operations and realisation of benefits. However, the six aspects of this review were considered in the process of reviewing the successfulness of the project (Roodhouse, 2006). Thus all the aspects considered led to the detailed examination of the project’s operational phase as well as to what extent the project has led to realisation of its expected benefits.
Aspect 1: The review of the operating phase
This is the initial phase of review occurring within a half to one year after the project became operational mainly concentrating on the processes of the project as well as looking into the possible future difficulties that are likely to hinder the success of the project’s operational period (Wanna, 2007). This review of the Lowry project also considered the relationship between the project user, client as well as the provider while closely reviewing the project progress into operational state. The project’s success was also determined because it was found that the facility was operating in defined parameters such as often updating of the parameters as well as measuring service delivery against those parameters. The satisfaction of the customer and stakeholders was also considered showing that they were satisfied an indication of the project’s success. Moreover, the safety measures needed in the project were also satisfactory because of suitable plans for risk management (The Lowry Centre at Salford Quays, 5).
Aspect 2: Business case as well as management of benefits
This stage of the review usually takes place within a half to one year after the start of the operational phase of the project. The validity of the Business Case was also considered indicating that it still properly fitted the strategic priorities and objectives of the organisation as well as the continuous stakeholders commitment confirmation (Swarbrooke, 2002). Moreover, the stakeholders and governance issues were being amicably addressed such as the statutory process, communications, environmental issues, external relations and personnel. However, the expected business benefits were realised because the facility is involved in offering a variety of services in order to satisfy their customers’ needs (Parkinson-Bailey, 2000).
Aspect 3: Plans for continuous improvements in the money value
This review is mainly aimed ensuring there is value for money in the facility’s demonstrable future improvements. Also the scope of value improvement can be evaluated an indication of the projects success which include doing more for cheaper cost as well as offering better services in the facility at the same price as earlier which is demonstrable through continuous improvement of services almost at similar price (Wanna, 2007). The facility has also put in place appropriate incentives from commercial mechanisms indicating increased value of their money.
Aspect 4: Plans for continuous improvements in innovation and performance
The Lowry facility apart from being a art gallery centre has been involved in setting realistic goals and targets. This setting of realistic and achievable targets in a continuous manner has enabled the progressive improvements in the same facility as well as in the services offered aiming at satisfying visitors of the centre (Swarbrooke, 2002). Also the identification of opportunities for improvement through innovative ideas has enabled provision of unique services to the customer leading to the success of the project. Performance measures covering all the service contract aspects makes sure that they offer demonstrable and clear evidence of the project success.
Aspect 5: Review of maturity targets and organisational learning
The review of the Lowry project at this stage provided the arrangements put in place by the facility for collecting as well as evaluating lessons that have been learned from the contract (The Lowry, 4). This stage also required a well defined, effective as well as implemented processes aimed at embedding improvements to the project based on the lessons learned from the project implementation (Swarbrooke, 2002). The review of how the project has been properly managed as well as providing an insight of the project’s success. Moreover, incentives to the supplier in order to improve the deliveries has also been adhered to in the project leading to integration of the entire teams involved in the project an indication of success (Roodhouse, 2006).
Aspect 6: Readiness for the future
This phase of reviewing the Lowry project provided plans for the future provision of services at the facility (Parkinson-Bailey, 2000). It also considered the need for progressive service by updating the Business Case. This stage of review also considered the main issues of the contract that included the range of services in offer at the facility, the contract flexibility together with the possible exit strategy providing details of arrangements for probable handover.
The OGC Gateway Review 5 has provided an efficient way of reviewing the Lowry project success (Swarbrooke, 2002). Throughout the review the model has considered the six main aspects that have greatly contributed to the understanding the extent to which the project has been successful.
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[Accessed on 11 March 2011]
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