Berlin Airport Project Failure

Executive Summary
This report has been compiled to seek to inform the Project Board of how our stakeholders may be perceiving delays which have arisen during the Brandenburg Airport project (BBC, 2013). Resolutions have been proposed to overcome these issues with each stakeholder group.
Furthermore, a number of lessons that the Project Board could learn from have been identified, discussed. Recommendations have also been made to seek to ensure the ongoing success of the project and to seek to ensure that these types of issues do not arise again.

1. Introduction
This report has been compiled to seek to inform the project board of how our stakeholders may be perceiving delays which have arisen during the Brandenburg Airport project (BBC, 2013). In recent news coverage (BBC, 2013; Local, 2013) it has become apparent that a number of stakeholders have become critical of the project delays, therefore it may be necessary to engage with these groups to seek to positively influence their options in regards to this project (Atkinson, 1999).
2. Stakeholder Perception of repeated delays
A number of dissatisfied stakeholders have been identified through recent news reports (BBC, 2013; Local, 2013). This is concerning as to ensure that the project is an ongoing success (Wang and Huang, 2006) it is important that we seek to positively influence their opinions (Bourne, 2005). Each of these stakeholders has to varying degrees expressed concerns over the delays (BBC, 2013; Local, 2013). Therefore, we must seek to enhance their opinion, though as these groups are so diverse a number of means will need to be utilised (Bourne and Walker, 2008), suggestion solutions for the Project Board to consider are outlined in Table 1.
StakeholderDefinition of their RoleStakeholder GoalsStakeholder concerns The proposed effective means of engagement with timescales for implementationReferences
Potential PassengersPotential passengers arriving or departing or transferring through the new airportMove quickly through the airport
Be able to plan flights from the new airport in advanceAirport will not be ready to receive them when they have planned to fly through therePress releases which may encourage potential passenger to not worry about the delays to date on the project. This should be implemented by the end of this week by the new project manager.(Upham 2003; Rhoades et al. 2000; Neufville & Odoni 2003)
Possible Air carriersNational and international organisations planning to be based from the airportMaximise planning for future passenger and traffic volumes
Maximize planning for the number of destinations served and the
frequencies of those servicesThe delays in the project have affected the carriers’ ability to plan ahead to reach their goals.Meetings should be arranged with the project team to discuss the delays and to share the new project programme. This should be planned an implemented within the next six weeks.(Upham 2003; Rhoades et al. 2000;
Neufville & Odoni 2003;
Sarkis & Talluri 2004)
Potential Aviation usersAir Taxis and Corporate or Business Aviation SuppliersMaximise planning for future passenger and traffic volumes
Maximise planning for the number of destinations served and the
frequencies of those servicesThe delays in the project have affected the aviation user’s ability to plan ahead to reach their goals.Meetings should be arranged with the project team to discuss the delays and to share the new project programme. This should be planned an implemented within the next six weeks(Rhoades et al. 2000)
Airport Operations/ OrganisationStaff responsible for the management and operations of the airportPlan to achieve high security and safety
Plan revenue streams
Plan for passenger numbers
Ensure service infrastructure is sufficient
The delays in the project have affected the operations and organisational teams ability to plan ahead to reach their goals.Meetings should be arranged with the project team to discuss the delays and to share the new project programme. This should be planned an implemented within the next three months.(Upham 2003; Rhoades et al. 2000;
Sarkis & Talluri 2004)
Investors in the developmentIndividuals,
organisations or credit ratings agenciesTo optimise the financial returns on their investment
The delays in the project have affected how quickly investors will see a return and the extent to which profits can be made due to the increased costs of the project.Meetings should be arranged with the project team to discuss the delays and to share the new project programme. This should be planned an implemented within the next weeks(Neufville & Odoni 2003)
Potential franchises or concessionary ownersOperators of passenger
services in the airport
Plan for services for passenger to generate revenue streamsThe delays in the project have affected the teams ability to plan ahead to reach their goalsMeetings should be arranged with the project team to discuss the delays and to share the new project programme. This should be planned an implemented within the next eight weeks(Rhoades et al. 2000; Neufville &
Odoni 2003)
Potential service providersProviders of services to
air carriers, such as fuelPlan to maximise traffic volumes and turnaround of services for aviation users and air carriersThe delays in the project have affected the service providers ability to plan ahead to reach their goalsMeetings should be arranged with the project team to discuss the delays and to share the new project programme. This should be planned an implemented within the next eight weeks(Upham 2003; Rhoades et al. 2000;
Neufville & Odoni 2003)
Federal governmentPlanning consents, planner whom operates operator of air traffic control and security, and system regulator.Plan and monitor airport development and growth
Make ensure all safety and security and efficiency measures are met.
The delays in the project have affected the government’s ability to plan operations to reach their goalsMeetings should be arranged with the project team to discuss the delays and to share the new project programme. This should be planned an implemented within the next four weeks(Upham 2003; Neufville &
Odoni 2003; Sarkis & Talluri 2004)
Local officials or political organisationsLocal entities
Maximise financial gains
Minimise impacts on local populations
The delays in the project have affected the financial planning and negatively impacted upon local residents due to the increased construction timeline.Meetings should be arranged with the project team to discuss the delays and to share the new project programme. This should be planned an implemented within the next six weeks(Upham 2003; Neufville &
Odoni 2003; Sarkis & Talluri 2004)
Local communities affected by the developmentResidents near the airportMaximise economic gains.
Minimise noise and emissionsThe delays in the project have affected the financial planning and negatively impacted upon local residentsMeetings should be arranged with the project team to discuss the delays. This should be planned an implemented within six weeks(Upham 2003)
Table 1. Identified stakeholders, their goals and how and when each group should be engaged.
This plan should be considered and approved by the Project Board as soon as possible (Hillman and Keim, 2001; Karsen et.al. 2008).
3. Lessons Learnt
A number of lessons may be learnt from the implementation of this project (BBC, 2013; Local, 2013). It’s important the Project Board reviews what has gone well, what could have gone better and how things may be undertaken differently in the future (Kerzner, 2012).. This will help to ensure that the project is implemented in light of the lessons which have been learnt far. The most important lessons which have been learned so far should be considered at the next Project Board meeting. These have been identified by reviewing the project’s progress to date (BBC, 2013; Local, 2013). Therefore the lessons that need to be considered are:
The importance of maintaining ongoing communication with all stakeholders (Wang and Huang, 2006).
The importance of contingency planning (Anderson and Grude, 2009).
The importance of feasibility studies and the appraisal of various management systems e.g. for fire safety or for baggage transportation (Kerzner, 2012) (based on BBC, 2013; Local, 2013).
At the next Project Board meeting each of these three factors should be considered, as each one has had a detrimental effect on the project to date (BBC, 2013; Local, 2013).
The Board should consider how ongoing communication is managed with stakeholders, as to date the project failures have been widely published (BBC, 2013; Local, 2013). This has led to concerns being raised over the project’s implementation and the capabilities of the project team (BBC, 2013; Local, 2013). It’s well documented that stakeholder engagement is a key factor which may affect a project’s success or failure (see as an example; Phillips et.al. 2012; Wang and Huang, 2006; Yuan et.al. 2009). Therefore, it is imperative that the Board considers the ongoing stakeholder engagement and seek to learn from our recent experiences.
Additionally, another important factor that the Board should consider is the implementation of contingency planning for the remainder of the project. To date, a number of technical issues have arisen, however due to the lack of contingency planning in the early stages of the project the costs have now risen and the delivery timeline has increased (BBC, 2013; Local, 2013). If contingency planning was utilised in the early stages of this project it is more likely that it could have been delivered (Thamhain, 1986) in line with the programme and on budget with the required quality standards (Anderson and Grude, 2009).
Furthermore, another important lesson that the Board should consider is the importance of undertaking feasibility studies (Soderlund, 2002) and the appraisal of various management systems e.g. for fire safety or for baggage transportation. To date, the delays in this project have stemmed from critical systems failures (Kerzner, 2012). The importance of undertaking meaningful feasibility studies to achieve project success is well documented (see as an example: Mackenzie and Cusworth, 2007; McNulty, 2004). Therefore, to ensure that these problems do not arise again, it is imperative that the Project Board seeks to review and plan how feasibility studies will be conducted for the remaining duration of this project.
Each of these factors and the impacts that they have had on the project’s implementation to date (BBC, 2013; Local, 2013) must be considered by the Project Board at their next meeting (Anderson and Grude, 2009). If these issues are considered, discussed and plans are implemented to seek to redress these (in line with the recommendations that have been outlined for each one above) it is possible that the project will be delivered within the revised programme, to budget whilst meeting the quality standards that are necessary (Mackenzie and Cusworth, 2007; McNulty, 2004). This is imperative to seek to ensure that no more delays are caused by the project team and to ensure that the costs and project programme do not need to be increased further (Thamhain, 1986), as this will have a detrimental impact on how our stakeholders view the project.
4. Critical Reflections of the Role of a Project Manager
Project managers need to have a variety of skills in order to successfully implement projects in a variety of settings. The key skills that are pertinent to them being able to attain success are as follows:
Be organised (Frame, 1999)
Be able to multi-task (Kerzner, 2013)
Being able to prioritise (Atkinson, 1999)
Be able to disseminate information clearly (El-Sabaa, 2001)
Be a leader of people (Pinto and Trailer, 1998)
Be able to foresee issues and seek to mitigate them (Kerzner, 2003)
Be able to understand costs and predict when these may increase.
Be able to plan a project and manage its programme (Brown, 2000)
Be able to engage stakeholders positively (Verma, 1996)
Understand and communicate priorities so that the project team delivers on time (El-Sabaa, 2001).
Be aware of quality standards and ensured that they are adhered to throughout the project (Atkinson, 1999)
Each of these factors affects the successful implementation of projects (Kerzner, 2013). To date, many of these skills have been learnt from practically implementing projects, as project manager’s gain experience through undertaking these their skills improve (El-Sabaa, 2001). Through my experience, I have already gained many of these skills. However, it is necessary for me to improve my communication and engagement skills as most of the work that I have undertaken has been away from relevant stakeholders or insider my project team. Therefore, it would be useful to engage with some external stakeholders so that I could enhance my communication and engagement skills in practice (Brown, 2000).
5.Conclusion
In conclusion, this report was compiled to seek to inform the project board of how our stakeholders may be perceiving delays which have arisen during the Brandenburg Airport project (BBC, 2013). A number of solutions have been provided for the Project Board to consider. It is hoped that the implementation of these will enable the project to be completed to quality standards, on time and to budget.
6. References
Andersen, E. S., & Grude, K. (2009). Goal directed project management: effective techniques and strategies. Kogan Page.
Atkinson, R. (1999). Project management: cost, time and quality, two best guesses and a phenomenon, its time to accept other success criteria. International journal of project management, 17(6), 337-342.
BBC (2013) Troubled Berlin airport opening delayed yet again. Available from http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-20936798.(Accessed 05/05/2013)
Bourne, L., & Walker, D. H. (2005). Visualising and mapping stakeholder influence. Management Decision, 43(5), 649-660.
Bourne, L., & Walker, D. H. (2008). Project relationship management and the Stakeholder Circle™. International Journal of Managing Projects in Business, 1(1), 125-130.
Brown, K. A. (2000). Developing project management skills: A service learning approach. Project Management Journal, 31(4), 53-58.
El-Sabaa, S. (2001). The skills and career path of an effective project manager. International journal of project management, 19(1), 1-7.
Frame, J. D. (1999). Project management competence: Building key skills for individuals, teams, and organizations (p. 232). Jossey-Bass.
Hillman, A. J., & Keim, G. D. (2001). Shareholder value, stakeholder management, and social issues: what’s the bottom lineStrategic management journal, 22(2), 125-139.
Karlsen, J. T., Gr?e, K., & Massaoud, M. J. (2008). Building trust in project-stakeholder relationships. Baltic Journal of Management, 3(1), 7-22.
Kerzner, H. (2003). Advanced project management: Best practices on implementation. Wiley.
Kerzner, H. (2012). Project management case studies. Wiley.
Kerzner, H. (2013). Project management: a systems approach to planning, scheduling, and controlling. Wiley.
The Local (2013) Now Berlin Airport won’t open before 2015. Available from http://www.thelocal.de/national/20130117-47393.html#.UYXds7WTiio (Accessed 05/05/2013)
Mackenzie, W., & Cusworth, N. (2007, June). The use and abuse of feasibility studies. In Proceedings of the Project Evaluation Conference (pp. 1-12).
McNulty, T. P. (2004). Minimization of delays in plant start-ups. In Improving and Optimizing Operations: Things That Actually Work! Plant Operators’ Forum 2004 (pp. 113-120).
Neufville, R.D. & Odoni, A.R., (2003). Airport systems, McGraw-Hill Professional.
Phillips, J. J., Bothell, T. W., & Snead, G. L. (2012). The project management scorecard. Routledge.
Rhoades, D.L., Jr, B.W. & Young, S., (2000). Developing a quality index for US airports. Managing Service Quality, 10(4), 257 – 262.
Sarkis, J., (2000). An analysis of the operational efficiency of major airports in the United States. Journal of Operations Management, 18(3), 335-351.
Sarkis, J. & Talluri, S., (2004). Performance based clustering for benchmarking of US airports. Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, 38(5), 329-346.
Soderlund, J. (2004). Building theories of project management: past research, questions for the future. International journal of project management, 22(3), 183-191.
Thamhain, H. J., & Wilemon, D. L. (1986). Criteria for controlling projects according to plan. Project Management Journal. PN11. Drexcll Hill. PA.
Upham, P.J., (2003). Towards sustainable aviation, Earthscan.
Verma, V. (1996, January). The human aspects of project management: human resource skills for the project manager, volume two. Project Management Institute.
Wang, X., & Huang, J. (2006). The relationships between key stakeholders’ project performance and project success: Perceptions of Chinese construction supervising engineers. International Journal of Project Management, 24(3), 253-260.
Yuan, J., Skibniewski, M. J., Li, Q., & Zheng, L. (2009). Performance objectives selection model in public-private partnership projects based on the perspective of stakeholders. Journal of Management in Engineering, 26(2), 89-104.

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