Tunnel Case Study

In: Business and Management

Submitted By trek930
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Channel Tunnel Project Management Mistakes
Bellevue University
PMGT335-316S Project Cost
15 February 2012

Channel Tunnel Project Management Mistakes
The Channel Tunnel (Chunnel) project was one of the largest privately funded construction projects in history, and one plagued with mistakes. The project created a rail link between England and France spanning over 30 miles with 23.5 of the miles under water. The project melded a difficult mix of numerous contractors and regulatory agencies with bankers and two national governments (Fairweather, 1994). While an overall success the project suffered from many planning and management mistakes that caused it to be grossly over budget and late.
One of the key mistakes that befell the project was also one of the costliest. The contract that was entered into between Eurotunnel and Transmache Link (TML) for the terminals and the mechanical and electrical equipment was a lump-sum contract (Fairweather, 1994). This decision was driven by the desire of the bankers involved in the project for a level of certainty on the costs. This error could have been prevented with a few basic project management techniques. The bankers, being a key stakeholder, had the right to have their desires understood by Eurotunnel before any contracts were signed. What failed to happen was effective communications between the engineers at Eurotunnel who had the knowledge to understand the risks involved with this phase of the project and the bankers who were requiring a contract basis that was not appropriate to the type of project. The PMBoK (2008) provides that a proper project management plan with a thorough stakeholder management strategy and an effective communications plan could have ensured all stakeholders were aware of the risks and prepared to conduct contract negotiations with full knowledge and understanding.
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