Group Project



Successand failure of projects


Thenext generation air transportation system

Whena project meets most of its goals, it is said to be successful. Onesuch project is the ‘the next generation air transportation system’commonly referred to as NextGen. This project was initiated with anaim of overhauling the state of air traffic control in the UnitedStates. The upgrade consisted of 13 major projects, which were meantto overhaul the entire system. The reason behind this project was toimprove the infrastructure of the of the air control system in theUnited States, which was poor. The project aimed at minimizing airtraffic thus, reducing the amount of time that aircrafts was to stayon the ground. This would definitely increase the efficiency ofairports and satisfy customers especially those who travel a lot forbusiness. This program marked one of the largest public works in thehistory of aviation. The program was one of a kind and has never beenexperienced or seen before. To complete it, more than 1 billiondollars was required (Project Management Institute, 2015).

Someof the important factors geared to the success of the project includestrong leadership and management skills, which are critical for thesuccess of any project. Good leadership was essential especially atthe early stages of implementation and development. There was also agood history of the project management practices that the involvedteam could refer to. Communication and transparency within andoutside the industry also contributed greatly to the success of thismega projects in aviation.

Anothermajor key factor towards the success of the project was properplanning of the budget, and the availability of resources for thesame. The project did not experience federal cuts, which would haveobliviously slowed it down. In addition, the congress granted morefunds towards the program so as to meet the targets needed to finishthe project.

Reviewsalso show that the goals of the project were met in the first phaseof the program. This means that the project started off well, and thetrend continued to manifest throughout the entire project. Theprogram was able to meet its deadlines and goals as stipulated at thebeginning of each phase. This consistency is what led to the overallsuccess of the entire program.

However,such a mega project did not run on a smooth road. There werechallenges along the way, which affected some few phases. The onethat raised eyebrows was the twilight phase, which significantlyslowed down making the stakeholders nervous of the outcome. However,this problem was handled carefully by overspending the amount thatwas in excess from other projects that had under spent.

Overall,the entire program was completed successfully with a variance of-0.95% of the total budget, which is quite extra ordinary for such amega project. Out of the 16 baselines, 11 were timely delivered whilethe others delayed slightly. This project was major and its successwas great news to the stakeholders.

Failureof Heathrow airport

Whereassome programs are successful, others are a failure. One good exampleof a company that experienced failure is the Heathrow t5 program.Heathrow airport is the world’s fourth largest airport in theworld, and the busiest national wide. In fact, its demand exceeds thecapacity thus, the need for expansion and upgrade. This led to theimplantation of the T5 in order to increase the capacity ofpassengers. This program included the building of new terminal, newtaxiways, a new energy center, a baggage handling system, aninter-terminal train, and traffic control tower. This program wasmeant to ease the traffic of aircrafts, delayed flights, and reducesthe number of exceeding passengers. T5 project took 19 years sinceits inception, although the actual building took approximately 6years. It was planned to be the central nucleus for internationalflights.

Theconstruction of the T5 was however met with many uncertainties. Firstof all, there was delay in construction as it took much time than wasexpected. The initial plans for the construction of T5 started in1985. However, it took some more years before the terminal publicinquiry was finished so that the secretary of state for transportcould grant the consent for construction in 2001. The constructionbegan in 2002 and was opened in 2008. The process of inquiry took thelongest time in the history of UK.

Beforethe opening of the T5 testing took over a year. It involved 68different trials and more than 15,000 people were involved in thesame. Some of the testing had to be deferred because of time and lackof resources to do the same. Other problems that caused the delay inperformances include operating system of the jetties. The baggagehandling also encountered a major problem because there were delaysin its implementation and testing. A few weeks to the opening thetesting was still underway, which caused delays in the opening day.

Delayin testing affected not only the opening of T5 program, but alsostaff familiarization. The staffs were given familiarization usingvideos, rather than on the actual ground. This caused much confusionamong the staff hence, more uncertainties of the project.Additionally, temperature control in the building needed much controlhad to be operated manually. Lifts were also affected because somewere yet to become operational at the time of the opening. The reasonfor this was that the number of engineers needed to construct andmake lifts operational was limited.

Theinvolved committee of the T5 project had a difficult time decidingwhether to open on March 2008 or give the project more time as manyprojects were delayed. They finally decided to go on with the openingof the project that was not fully constructed and operational. It wasbelieved that there was lack of good leadership and managementskills, the reason why T5 needed a new CEO to take over. Truly, theT5 project began on the wrong foot and ended on the same. There werejust so many delays and inconsistencies since the time of inception.It was apparent that there was need for new management to foresee thecompletion of the project s planned.


ProjectManagement Institute, (2015). Series on Program Management Success in Government. Transforming Air Traffic within the US National AirspaceSystem. [online] Newtown Square,: Project Management Institute,pp.1-19. Available at: air-traffic.ashx[Accessed 1 Oct. 2015].