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How to prepare and write a critical analysis

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1 How to prepare and write a critical analysis
HKIS Seminar on 26 July 2010 Patrick S.Y. Chan MHKIS, RPS(QS), MRICS, MHKICM, LLB(Hons), LLM, MA(Arb), MCI(Arb)

2 Introduction: Content of Seminar
1) Guideline for Critical Analysis for HKIS APC (QS) 2) Content of Critical Analysis Report 3) How to select topic for two Case Study 4) Common errors in writing the Critical Analysis 5) Summary of C.A.: Criteria to be met 6) Question and Answer

3 1) Guideline for C.A. (1) Critical Analysis Report will be a key component in your APC final assessment. Referring to Web Site of HKIS APC-QSD Guidelines & Forms Notes for Preparation of Critical Analysis; Quantity Surveying Division; APC Final Assessment; Requirement related to Critical Analysis are stipulated in Clause 12, 13.1 & 18.5 of “Rules & Guide to APC, QS Division, Sep 2006 (Revised Nov 2007)”.

4 The Critical Analysis must be be word processed
1) Guideline for C.A. (2) C.A. is a written report of a project you involved during your training as a Probationer. The Critical Analysis must be be word processed be in a maximum of 3,000 words including the appendices, if any; be signed and dated by you and certified by your supervisor and counsellor. include photographs and plans (no larger than A4 size when folded); and photographs and plans have their copyrights

5 Prepared by Candidate: __________ Date: ___________
1) Guideline for C.A. (3)* Prepared by Candidate: __________ Chan Tai Man (HKIS no ) Date: ___________ Certified by Supervisor & Counsellor: __________ Wong Tai Sin (HKIS no ) Date: ______________ Amending the above, if supervisor and counsellor are different person.

6 1) Guideline for C.A. (4) The Critical Analysis shall generally includes two case studies, each of which shall include the following:- Particulars of the Project and the Candidate involvement; (a simple description of the case study selected: the name of the project and type of contract) Key issues as identified that is the subject of the analysis; Options available to address the key issue together with an analysis for each option; The solution upon which the recommendation is made Conclusion

7 1) Guideline for C.A. (5) not expected to be running the whole project (i.e. from start to finish); your involvement in project:- may have not been involved from the start; may not have been continuous; may not have been finished when submitting your C.A. your involvement or role in the team that you should describe, analyze and comment on. In these cases, you can provide comments on how your role in the project might contribute to the final outcomes.

8 1) Guideline for C.A. (6) You need to meet a satisfactory level of competence, but are not expected to be an expert in every area. You should apply core and/or optional knowledge and skills relevant to the quantity surveying profession. Format the document in the C.A. report with appropriate indexing, page numbering and explanation of terms. If a picture or diagram will provide a useful visual reference, include one or two. (e.g. as built “but for” analysis program). make sure you are truthful with the level of responsibility you involved on the project.

9 1) Guideline for C.A. (7) C.A. must give evidence of your ability to apply core and optional competences. You should understand the project itself and process you followed and the rationale behind your actions and decision-making. You should further understand the alternative approach and other issues surrounding the projects. Your focus must be on analysis of the project, and don’t simply provide a summary of what it involved. It is quality not quantity that counts. Appendices should support your report, not add to or expand on it.

10 1) Guideline for C.A. (8) Critical Analysis must reflect your abilities in Graphic and written communication (i.e. grammar and spelling) ; Professional standards of organization and presentation; analytical, reflective thinking and problem solving; and Learning from experience gained.

11 1) Guideline for C.A.(9) - Confidentiality
Confidential information must not be disclosed; (using fictitious names and amending figure, if necessary). You should have your employer’s and client’s consent to disclose any sensitive details in your C.A. Extracts from Ordinances & cases laws should not be quoted at length, but essential references must be given. CA is not prepared under examination conditions, assessors will expect a high standard of technical, literacy and presentation accuracy.

12 1) Guideline in C.A. (10) – Ethical Standard*
Ethical Standard should reflect in C.A. report Maintain confidentiality & avoiding conflict of interest Act honorably…. You are not required to show most ethical standard in your C.A. report, but the spirit of report should reflect your compliance of ethical standard in considering the options.

13 2) Content of C.A. Report- Table of Content*
Introduction (duty involved & confidentiality) Project information (project title, consultant team, type of contract & scope of works) Brief description of the fact of issues & Identification of problem encountered Key issues (for two case studies) Listing of options A, B & C Reason for rejection of options B & C Proposed solutions with supporting reasons Critical appraisal of the outcome Conclusion and analysis of experience gained

14 2) Content of C.A. Report (1)– Introduction*
This report forms part of my final submission for assessment of professional competence (APC) in Q.S. division. .

15 2) Content of C.A. Report (2)– Duty Involved*
The duties I involved included (contractor QS): the payment application, sub-contractor’s payment, valuation of variations, settlement of final account and contract administration

16 2) Content of C.A.(3)- Confidentiality Statement*
This critical analysis was subject to a confidentiality clause. Permission had been granted by…

17 2) Content of C.A. Report (4) – Project Detail*
Project Title: Construction of ? ? Estate Phase 2, Contract no. 200/00?? Description: 2 storey of retail floors on top of 4storey of car park and the pile caps;1 Nos. 41-stoery non-standard cruciform & 2no. 39-storey non- standard liner domestic block, total CFA m2. Employer / Q.S: Hong Kong SAR (Housing Authority) Contract type: Lump sum contract based upon B.Q. Contract sum: Approx. HK$ 650 million Contract period:24 months (from 1 Jan 09 to 31 Dec 10)

18 2) Content of C.A. Report (5) – Key Issues
a) Key issues: the issues for case study must be selective (i.e identify the key issues in the case study) it should be related to one of the prescribed core and/or optional competencies Don’t include too many as you will need to go into detail to ensure full critical appraisal of the options If you select too many key issues you will skim the surface instead of providing a detailed analysis There may be one key issue (for one case study) that can form the basis of your critical analysis

19 2) Content of C.A. Report (6) - Options
b) Options: before proposing a solution to a client; you must consider all the options (i.e. showing possible solution or process for each key issue). An analysis should be given for each of these options; (i.e. rationales and reasons for has or has not adopted a particular option) demonstrating your ability to think logically, laterally and professionally; Reason for rejection of certain options: why some solutions may not be feasible or any disadvantage and weaknesses for not adopting the option

20 2) Content of C.A. Report (7)- Solution
c) Proposed Solution: A statement of the solution / decision the candidate has made. The candidate should states the reasons for selecting the proposed solution (i.e. the benefits and feasibilities for adopting the option); give a detailed account of the reasons supporting your adopted course of action (i.e. show how and why you reached your proposed solution); Solution must be related to applying core and/or optional competences; The decision should take into consideration of : financial, technical, professional, rules of conduct, ethics and conflicts of interests as well as client care, commercial and contractual aspects.

21 2) Content of C.A. Report (8) - Conclusion
d) Conclusion: should include a critical appraisal of outcomes; a statement of what you learned from the experience; consider what has gone well & identify what has not gone well; You can then plan how you might improve the next time you carry out a similar task.

22 2) Content of C.A. Report (9)- Critical Appraisal*
GMP is not newly implemented in H.K. Contractor guarantees that the cost to Employer will not be exceed the GMP as agreed under the Contract. Using GMP has benefits in avoiding over budget.

23 2) Content of CA Report(10)- Experience Gained*
Actual experience: The problem solving exercises of this project had provided me a good lessons that will be useful for other similar projects.

24 2) Content of C.A. Report (11) – Conclusion*
I feel that working on the key issue in this report had improved my ability to foresee potential problems.

25 3) Select Topic (1): for Two Case Studies
You should choose a project (or process) where you had an active involvement for problem solving or innovative process. You can confidently discuss the options considered and problems encountered and resolved on the project. You don’t need to have made any key decisions yourself, but showing understanding of the problems faced and reasons used to each the decision of key issues. The project does not need to be complex and/or large contract sum. A middling size project which you can run yourself (with supervision) is preferable to a large complex project (however impressive) where you play only a minor role.

26 3) Select Topic (2): for Two Case Studies
One case for pre-contract issue Vs another case for post contract matter. One case as consultant Q.S. Vs another case for Contractor / Client in house Q.S. One case for government project Vs another case for private project (e.g. prolongation cost). One case for traditional contract Vs another case for design and build project One case for H.K. project Vs another case for Macau / PRC project (e.g. formation of contract) One case for Qualitative Analysis Vs another case for Quantitative Analysis (assessment on time and cost implications).

27 3) Select Topic (3): for Case Study– Key Issues
Key issues shall be related to the following core / optional competencies Measurement and documentation Estimating and pricing Pre-contract cost planning and control Procurement strategy and tendering process Contractor’s tendering and cost control Contract administration Dispute Resolution Project management and facilities management Commercial management of construction Risk, value and quality management Bankruptcy, liquidation, determination and termination Insurance……

28 3)Select Topic (4) : Identification of Key Issues
Selecting an appropriate contractual arrangement for additional soft landscaping works (or piling works); Resolving the Main Contractor’s financial difficulty due to escalation of material cost in structural steel. Alternative design for podium with different piling construction method to suit the budget requirement. Employer required undervaluing the works done on site for the purpose of off-set the potential deduction of L.D. Inconsistence on lift installation duration between Main Contract Document and Sub-contract document Cost Benefit Analysis for different number of pre-cast unit per floor for pre-cast façade construction in tower.

29 3) Select Topic (5) : Options in Case Study*
Inconsistence on duration for fitting out works on entrance lift lobby between Main Contract document and Sub-contract document, which will be carried out after obtaining O.P. Main Contract requires 45 calendar days for fitting out installation, whereas Sub-contractor qualified in 60 calendar days for installation in the tender correspondence. Option 1: Objection of the Architect’s nomination proposal. Option 2: Request the Nominated Sub-contractor for withdrawal of qualification (i.e. revise time for construction). Option 3: Main Contract’s acceptance on the qualification made by NSC and accelerate the progress to catch up delay. Option 4: Application for extension of time for such time difference & claim for direct loss & expense.

30 3) Select Topic (6) : Options in Case Study*
Alternative design for podium with different piling construction method to suit the budget requirement Original scheme: 6 storey podium with pile caps and small bored piles (total CFA in 2,00m3 in HK$ million) Option 1: 5 storey podium with pile caps and small bored piles (total CFA in 1,800m3 in HK$ 36 million) Option 2: 6 storey podium with … Option 3: 6 storey podium with … ….

31 3) Select Topic (7): for Two Case Study
Different methodology in assessment is only a kind of knowledge, it may not be regarded as Options. For examples, valuation of variation for extra works- by B.Q. rate, by pro-rata rate, by star rate or by day-works basis. Another examples is ascertainment of loss and expense – by formula method or actual cost incurred. Selection of suitable methodology in assessing extent of delay in EOT may be regarded as Options, if your can show that for the particular case, different method will cause Different extent of delay to be entitled; Whether the Architect or Engineer will accept in using “But for” method or “What if” method for assessing EOT application. Whether the original program or revised program and as built program can reflect and show the delaying items and critical path of delay .

32 4) Common Error in Writing C.A. Report (1)
Candidate must explain not only the project itself but the processes he/she follows and the rationale behind his/her decision-making. His/her critical analysis should contain key issues, options, proposed solutions and finally conclusions and analysis of experience gained. It is found that most critical analysis report is more or less a consultant / contractor’s quantity surveyor routine works report on his/her company procedure / direction for particular problem without problem found, problem analysis, reflective thought and problem solving etc. The case was not able to demonstrate your competency nor any in-depth analysis.

33 4) Common Error in Writing C.A. Report (2)
It is found that some critical analysis was presented as internal administrative procedures (e.g. on procurement matter of a PRC Project or claim procedure for civil projects) rather than demonstration of your professional knowledge. There appears no specific issue was selected and discussed with options and proposed solutions fully analyzed to demonstrate the skills and knowledge that the assessor expected from a professional quantity surveyor. The assessor expected the C.A. report contains an in-depth Critical Analysis with more analysis and critical appraisal of the outcomes and to contain reflective analysis of Quantity Surveying related issues and experience gained from the projects.

34 4) Common Error in Writing C.A. Report (3)
Improving your C.A. report by: identifying the key issue precisely; considering more possible options; giving grounds and reasons for options rejected / adopted; your suggestion should be based upon contractual clauses, what legal grounds or professional consideration; giving critical appraisal of the outcome and reflecting lessons learned from point of professional QS.

35 4) Common Error (4): Disclosed Information
Government Contract 1993 edition for building works - GCC Clause 8: Information not to be divulged (disclosed). Clause 8(1): “Contractor shall not use or divulged, except for the purpose of the Contract, any information provided by the Employer or the Architect in the Contract…” Clause 8(2): “…the Surveyor (i.e. consultant Q.S.)…should not divulge such information except for the purpose of the Contract..”. There has a privity of contract between the Government of HKSAR and the Main Contractor. Checking Special Condition of Contract in private project (e.g. Disneyland) to see any similar provision.

36 4) Common Error (5):Copyright in Photo & Plan
What is copyright? (source: ) In general, copyright is the right given to the owner of an original work. This right can subsist in literary works such as books and computer software, musical works such as musical compositions, dramatic works such as plays, artistic works such as drawings, paintings and sculptures, sound recordings, films, broadcasts, cable programs and the typographical arrangement of published editions of literary, dramatic or musical works, as well as performers' performances. Copyright works made available on the Internet environment are also protected. In fact, the subsistence of copyright does not require the work to have an aesthetic value nor to be clever nor very creative. It exists even in an item as simple as a photograph taken by an ordinary person in daily life. Copyright is an automatic right. It arises when a work is created. Unlike other intellectual property rights such as patents, trademarks and industrial designs, it is not necessary to register a copyright in Hong Kong, China in order to get protection under the Hong Kong law. In fact, there is no official registry in Hong Kong for registration of copyright works.

37 4) Common Error (6)– Copyright in Photo & Plan
何謂版權 (source: ) 一般而言,版權是賦予原創作品擁有人的權利,可以存在於文學作品(如書籍及電腦軟件)、音樂作品(如創作樂曲)、戲劇作品(如舞台劇)、藝術作品(如繪畫、髹掃畫及雕塑品)、聲音紀錄、影片、廣播、有線傳播節目和文學、戲劇及音樂作品已發表版本的排印編排,以及表演者的演出等。互聯網傳送的版權作品,也受保護。 事實上,獲賦版權的作品,未必是饒有藝術價值、獨具匠心或創意非凡的。即使簡單如一幀普通的生活照,也可擁有版權。 版權是一項自動賦予的權利。在創作完成後,有關作品即擁有版權。版權與專利、商標及工業外觀設計等其他類別的知識產權不同之處,就是版權毋須在香港註冊,也可受香港法律保護。事實上,香港不設有官方註冊處為版權作品註冊。

38 5) Summary of C.A (1): Criteria to be Met
Suitable projects and two case studies to be selected; Key issues identified in the case studies; All relevant and feasible options have been listed out and giving reasons for rejection of options; Proposed solution with supporting reasons and clear explanation of analysis, problem resolving and reflective thought. Demonstrating your experience gained, learning (on knowledge) and development. Displaying professional, financial, contractual, legal and technical knowledge with problem solving abilities English standard: spelling, grammar & written presentation

39 5) Summary (2): Point to Note in Writing C.A.
Remember, if you put it in the report you must be prepared to answer question on it. Assessor will use your C.A. as a starting point to question you beyond what you actually did. Start thinking about these processes while you are writing your critical analysis so you are well prepared for the interview. You should know meaning and the definition of all words written in your C.A. report, for example: SCC Clause 156: “Dispute Resolution Advisor (DRAd) will give his opinion as a non-binding determination..” Question: What is DRAd? What is non-binding determination? What is the procedure for dispute resolution under SCC 156?

40 Note*: The quoted examples are only suitable for particular case, using those wording without any amendment will definitely prejudice your submission Thank you 多謝! 歡迎提問?

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