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Project Failure Case Studies and Suggestion

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  See discussions, stats, and author profiles for this publication at: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/262952882 Project Failure Case Studies and Suggestion Article   in   International Journal of Computer Applications · December 2013 DOI: 10.5120/14992-2696 CITATIONS 2 READS 19,636 4 authors , including:Fareeha ZafarGovernment College University, Lahore 13   PUBLICATIONS   53   CITATIONS   SEE PROFILE All content following this page was uploaded by Fareeha Zafar on 09 October 2016.  The user has requested enhancement of the downloaded file.   International Journal of Computer Applications (0975  –   8887) Volume 86  –   No 6, January 2014  34   Project Failure Case Studies and Suggestion Nilofur Abbasi M.phill Business Administration, Kinnaird College Lahore, Pakistan Iqra Wajid M.phill Business Administration, Kinnaird College Lahore, Pakistan Zahra Iqbal M.phill Business Administration, Kinnaird College Lahore, Pakistan Fareeha Zafar, Ph.D   University of Derby, Currently Working in Govt. College University Lahore Pakistan   ABSTRACT In this research paper three different case studies are taken under consideration. Step by step all three cases are described. These cases are about projects which had to face failure. Therefore, the reasons for failure of projects are identified and recommendations are given to ail failing projects. First case study is about British Petroleum which is oil and Gas Company had to face situation which was not just critical  but new for any oil company. The incident occurred due to explosion in the deep-water horizon while BP technical staff was trying to drill a well. Moreover, BP was not able to stop oil flow for three months. Second case is about Chrysler and Fiat. Both were auto-mobile companies and had to face failure. Marchionne was the one who saved both companies. The main focus of this case is merger of these two companies and the challenges faced by CEO due to organizational change after merger. Third case study is about Millennium Dome, one of the controversial projects in the history of construction projects  because of number of reasons. With the help of case study we will be able to learn the causes of failure of this project. Further recommendations to ail failure are given.   Key Words Project Failure, British Petroleum, Chrysler and Fiat, Millennium Dome, Success. 1.   INTRODUCTION Before we start focusing on the main topic, it is vital to clearly understand some core terms/definitions. 2.   PROJECT A project is a mode of organizing resource. It is a group of individuals who are assembled to execute different tasks on a familiar set of objectives for a distinct period of time. Projects need a leader who can identify the work objectives and criteria for success and recruit staff from all relevant areas of  proficiency. 2.1 Key Reasons for Project failure Most organizations have experienced projects that did not end on time, were over budget, or changed in scope over time. There are many pitfalls that can sink projects. Here we will focus on some basic reasons why projects fail.    Lack of senior management Senior management must prioritize requirements and make decisions. If any person is not actively involved in a project, that project is doomed for failure.    Unclear Project Objectives Most organizations have more opportunities and project initiatives than they can ever hope to fulfil. Many companies embark upon more initiatives than they probably should, causing over worked and often unhappy team members.     Scope creep Scope creep is a serious issue in many projects. Scope creep means an increase in what you have to deliver, without a corresponding increase in resources or an extension to the  project timeline.    Gaps in communication Once a project is in full swing, a common issue is communication. Most project teams use email to communicate about their projects and tasks. The biggest complaint here is that project communication resides in each individual's email box. So, if a new resource joins the project, there is no centralized view of the project history.    Lack of visibility of all projects A common reason why projects fail is related to visibility. All three tiers of the project team, executive management, project managers, and team members, need access to the right level of information at the right time. 3.   SOME OF WORLD’S MAJOR PROJECT FAILURE EXAMPLES After analyzing these examples we will be able to come up with widespread conclusion with the lesson we learned from these project failures. Here we are going to do in- depth case study of world’s top most oil industrial market leader project failure 3.1 Case Study: British Petroleum In today’s dynamic and ever changing situation have forces the business organization to adopt and implement the new strategies as it is necessary to survive in the ever changing and competitive environment. In this case study we will analyse the situation of BP Oil Spill in Gulf of Mexico situated in United States of America. This oil spill results in a situation which is not only critical but also new for any oil company in the world[1]. As this deep oil spill accident was one of the worst disasters ever cost in the history of modern era. Such situation required some extremely crucial strategic management decisions. In the end we will discuss about the strategic management that can lead to a better solution of the issue. 3.2 Background of BP British petroleum (BP) founded in 1909 as the Anglo-Persian oil and gas company headquartered in London England, United Kingdom. It’s a sixth largest O&G company by  production and fifth largest company by annual revenue [2].Its major field of operations are exploration, production, refining, distribution and marketing of the hydrocarbon  products. BP operating in over 80 countries of the world   International Journal of Computer Applications (0975  –   8887) Volume 86  –   No 6, January 2014   35   having over 80,000 employees. Its largest division is operating in America under the name of BP America and it’s the second largest oil and gas production company in the United States. It has 22400 service stations selling about 5.9 million barrel per day [3]. It is one of those oil and gas companies who have invested heavily for the invention and adoption of new exploration technology to find petro chemical under the earth surface. 3.3 Problem April 2010, in the region of Gulf of Mexico situated 52 miles southeast of the Louisiana port of Venice an explosion occurred in the Deep-Water Horizon project. This explosion cause the oil spill which was one of the worst ever oil disaster in the history of the modern world. This incident results the loss of 11 worker’s lives. The fire caused the clouds of smoke covered 30 miles area while the 5 miles radius around the rig was contaminated by the spill oil [4]. The situation changed so rapidly that the well head remains open resulting in substantial amount of oil spill eliminating the aquatic life of the region with estimated death tool of 8000 animals. After many unsuccessful attempts BP was able to cap the well on 15 July stopping the oil flow. The Deep-Water Horizon was 9 years old unit specially designed for the offshore drilling. It was a massive floating structure with the capability to operate up to the 2400 meter deep and its drilling capability was 9100 meter. The structure was manufactured by the heavy industry department of Hyundai. BP was using this semi-submersible drilling unit by leasing it from Transocean from March 2008 to September 2010. BP took the period of three months to completely cease the oil flow into the ocean on 15th July but up to this time 4.9 million  barrels of oil which is approximately equal to 780 million litres has been spilled into the ocean. During the span of three month almost 210,000 gallons of hydro chemical leaked on daily basis in Gulf Ocean. This oil spilled caused the adverse effect on the eco system which disturbed the 40% sea food supply in United States [5]. The US Government was quick to response and Obama announced $20 billion fund as a response to cater the environmental disaster. BP also acknowledged the situation admitting that it will pay for the cleanup cost. Over 30,000 people worked across the coast to collect the oil, took primitive measures to save the lives of animals but unfortunately disaster was so critical that the effect of spill still effecting the environment [6] 3.4 SWOT Analysis Table 1 Swot Analysis of BP Oil Spill 3.5 Reasons for Project Failure    Extreme geographic location    Weak risk management    Lack of timely decisions    Sluggish response in critical situation    Undermining the situation    Lack of planning 3.6 Recommendations for British Petroleum    Before starting any project the employees must be trained according to their job responsibilities so that they can perform their duties correctly.      Line manager and upper level manager must work ensure that all the quality standards must be fulfilled.      A company must place adequate number of expert on every project who can work with skilled workers and can guide them in order for successful implementation of project.      For any project there must be clear hierarchy so that in any critical situation the decisions must be taken as quickly as possible.      The accuracy of all electronic equipments used in the project must be verified after periodic intervals.      For the projects located in remote areas the must be some fast transport resources that can be used in case of emergency so minimize the loss of life of employees.      Organization must develop a culture where employees can understand their responsibilities and the potential risk of making wrong decision.      Main causes of project failure are mostly due to difficulty in performing the critical task so proper standard operating procedure (SOP) must be defined for such tasks.   4.   CASE STUDY: CHRYSLER AND FIAT This case study is about automobile companies. Details are described below. 4.1 Background of case Chrysler and Fiat are auto-mobile companies. Chrysler's best assets were its Jeeps, minivans, and light trucks. Fiat's expertise was in small car technology and fuel-efficient engines, the very thing that Chrysler lacked. Chrysler merged with fiat on June 10, 2009. Marchionne  became CEO of the company. In 1998 Chrysler merged with Dailmer-Ben. But this merger was not successful one. In 2007 Daimler sold Chrysler to Cerberus, a private equity firm but again Cerberus was not able to save company from failure.[7] In the past Fiat was at loss and Marchionne was the one who saved the company from failure. Now here we will find out what changes a company has to face while merger? How the leader handle these challenges? STRENGTHS Strong market appearance   Financially strong Company Technological Advantage   Largest producer Product quality Brand loyalty Diverse geographic experience  WEAKNESSES  Negative Consumer opinion Poor Management OPPORTUNITIES Territories expansion Energy alternatives High quality and competitive  pricing THREATS Legal threats Arab spring In appropriate measures Limited resources   International Journal of Computer Applications (0975  –   8887) Volume 86  –   No 6, January 2014   36   4.2 Organizational Change Organization change refers to managing different changing aspect of the organization such as physical environment, introducing new technology, alteration in mission, business  process and policies, change in management team, merger, reengineering etc. When the change is significant and primary experts call it organizational transformation.[8] 4.2.1 Causes of organizational change Companies face numerous situations during the process of change which leads to anxiety and ambiguity. In order to  become a prosperous organization, it is imperative for the companies to incorporate upgraded technologies for  producing goods, innovative products to be introduced which are anticipated by the market, modern methods of administration must be executed along with improvement in the expertise of the workers.[9] Companies must be capable of coping with all dimensions related to the reforms. The companies who get accustomed to change are able to boost their revenues and being appreciated as well. The management must be competent to deal with all the aspects which influence their companies. Alterations in the companies are driven by the following internal and external elements prevailing in the environment;      Political, technical, economical and societal enticements prevailing in the outer environment of the company can bring change in the external environment.      On the other hand, the policies, styles, systems and  procedures adopted by the company’s management along with the behaviour of the workers influence the internal environment.   4.3 Merger as a part of organizational change 4.3.1 Merger A merger is a combination of two companies to create a new single company. 4.3.2 Reasons for merger There are numerous reasons for companies to merge. Mergers  provides firm with facility to maintain their market position. It also provides facilities to companies to combine itself with other to strengthen itself and work more effectively and efficiently. Company can progress by using new technologies and innovation and using resources of successful Company. There is no guarantee that merger will be successful. [10] 4.3.3 Cultural Aspect of merger Culture plays vital role in merger and it can be reason of failure or success of merger. Fiat and Chrysler merger was a cross-border merger so we will look at cultural aspects of merger with respect to two different countries. 4.3.4 Cross-Border Merger Cross-border merger is combination of two companies of two different countries. Cross-border M&A is defined as an activity in which an enterprise from one country buys the whole asset or controlling percentage of an enterprise in another country. [11] 4.4 Corporate Culture Corporate culture is the building block of an organization. It’s combination of shared values, beliefs and behavior of the group. It’s a way through which things  are performed in organization. Corporate culture is shared by the leader and gives its people the direction to move towards achieving company’s goal. [12] 4.4.1 Cultural Differences between Chrysler and  Fiat Fiat was an Italian company and Chrysler was American. After merger the company faced culture difference described  below: Table 2: Difference between American and Italian Corporate Culture  [13]   American Corporate Culture Italian Corporate Culture    In America there is transactional culture , meaning “task” typically comes before relationship. Legal documentation is involved in it.    It is rule-based. Rule- based cultures, as the term implies, tend to  play by the rules, no exceptions. Rule-based cultures typically follow the rules even if it means  putting a strain on  personal relationships with friends or family members.    Americans tend to  be  low-context communicators, meaning they tend to value saying exactly what they mean.    Italians, on the other hand, are typically relationship-oriented cultures, meaning that “relationships” come  before tasks. Business is done on bases trust and relationship.    It is situational. Situational cultures, on the other hand, will treat  people differently based on their immediate individual situations, and the relationship that one has with that individual and their situation.    Italians tend to be high-context communicators, meaning they do not typically express ideas. Thus, create ambiguity. Keeping view the dissimilarities between Italians and US-Americans, it can be judged that these dissimilarities will pose issues for all the stakeholders since such dissimilarities make themselves evident in every phase of the day to day work liaison ranging from management of project, planning of meeting to tactical planning . The purpose is to maintain the influence of cultural dissimilarities in order to lessen the errors and misinterpretations at the time of enhancement of essential benefits. The only way to achieve success is to offer adequate training in order to acquaint the leadership, employees and management with various cultures so that all can work in harmony. 4.5 Managing organizational change and cultural difference From above information its clear that organization culture and organizational change are inter-related. While merger organizational change takes place and in our case study it’s mentioned that after merge the CEO of the company changed now he has to manage the change and develop a corporate
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