By David Nickson
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Extra info for Project Management Disasters & How to Survive Them
In the case study above, it was assumed that most requests would come via a telephone call, and that therefore a call-centre would be the most appropriate solution. This proved to be false, and the consequences were very public indeed. However, in most projects, false assumptions give rise to delays and costs rather than outright disasters. That said, they are often found to be contributory factors; as stated earlier, disasters seldom have a single cause. Case study: False assumptions Although some would argue that this project was never actually a success, an example of starting afresh, at least for part of the project, was the UK’s Millennium Dome.
They should remember that there are only two types of project manager: those who have been involved in a disaster, and those who will be in the future. Key point: Reading about these causes, it will become clear that there is often interaction between these categories. This is an important point to grasp as it is unusual that there is just the one cause of a disaster; there is usually a mutually interactive chain of events. This is something that project disasters have in common with air crashes – there is seldom a single cause.
Why project disasters happen ❚ 27 Example: A major civil engineering project A major civil engineering project, costing many millions of pounds, was put together to build an underground sewer. All existing surveys were studied, and all the sources of information on the local geology were examined. Local authorities were consulted on the location of mine workings, earlier tunnels and drains and so forth. In fact, all reasonable endeavours were made to establish the validity of the route to be taken by the tunnel (and related cuttings).