Wednesday, 19 December 2012

The use of Project and Risk Management in 2012

It’s coming to the end of the year, and yes we know we're new to the blogging world, but we get how these things work, we need a yearly summary so we're flying the home flag in this one...

Britain has lived up to its name; it beyond doubt has been a Great year here. 2012 saw the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee, Jubilee beacons, Torch relay and The Olympics coming to London. You can guarantee if you ask any British person about 2012, the response comes in the form of an ear to ear grin, as it truly has been fantastic. 

When these events saw the whole world look here, it is certain that organisers would have looked to project and risk management methods such as PRINCE2 and M_o_R to ensure that we delivered a great performance.

PRINCE2 (Projects IN Controlled Environments) is the project management qualification and method used by the UK Government to run large projects, and the London Olympics unquestionably fits that bill. First job, win the bid. Having been unsuccessful in recent years with the entries of Birmingham and Manchester to host the summer games, the decision was made that the capital would be put forward against the other bids for 2012: Paris, Madrid, Moscow and New York City (after the first round of elimination). The competitive bidding process will have seen all five cities propose projects and preparations for their version of the Olympics, using project management methodology to suggest, in London, improvements to city transport and accommodation.  Moreover, for the entirety of the build, once the bid was won, successful project management would have been vital in keeping within the time frame London had to prepare and the budget of £9 billion. PRINCE2 allows a successful break down of a project, which is why it is so versatile in being applicable to projects of many different sizes; with a vast project spanning over 7 years, the London 2012 games would have needed that successful breakdown to achieve the fine details of theatrics and architectural beauty that it did with Danny Boyle’s Opening Ceremony extravaganza and the grand structures of the Velodrome, Aquatics Centre, Olympic stadium and ArcelorMittal Orbit (the red torch like observation tower).

The weeks running up to the start of the games, would have seen detailed strategies of management of Risk put into place. The 10.8 Million Olympic and Paralympic tickets sold and the 14,700 athletes that came to compete give an insight to the enormous crowds the event attracted, and organisers needed to prepare for every eventuality. M_o_R qualification by the APMG and the principles of risk management break risk down allowing it to be easily manageable.

The 1.2 Million people that lined the banks of the River Thames for the Queen's Diamond Jubilee river pageant and the 14.7 million that tuned in to the concert outside Buckingham Palace made certain that the events planned were set up to run smoothly. This would have required the use of project and risk management practices to insure public safety and an incredible show.

Overall 2012 has been a great year here in Britain and writing this article has resulted in us feeling very patriotic here at the office. It’s worth baring a thought for the practices and methods that allowed these projects to flow so marvelously  and maybe thinking about Project and Risk Management in your employment, chances are there’s a space for it, as improvements can always be made.

At the Explosive Learning Solutions training centre we provide such courses, PRINCE2 and M_o_R (...aaaah... now you see the link), so please feel free to get in touch if you are interested or want to know more.

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