An assessment of project management processes: London Heathrow Terminal 5
1.1 Concept of project management
According to a guide to the project management body of knowledge (2017), project management is “the application of knowledge, skills, tools, and techniques to project activities to meet project requirements”. In terms of aviation area, where projects are often described as megaprojects, the main purpose of project management is to predict the demand precisely, plan the work comprehensively and allocate the resources appropriately. As huge amount of fund and time are invested, a successful management is extremely crucial to the aviation project.
To judge the success of project management, the widely recognized standard is triple constraint or iron triangle, which means assessing a project by cost, time and performance. In addition, a product success doesn’t equal to a project success (Zheng 2015). Since the project management is conducted through the proper application of project management processes (PMBoK 2017), it necessary to study into the project by its project management processes to determine whether the project is successful or not.
1.2 London Heathrow Airport Terminal 5
London Heathrow Terminal 5 is one of the largest construction project in Britain. The GBP 4.3 billion megaproject began in September 2002 and officially finished in March 2008 within budget and on time, after six years of construction with over 60 contractors involved (London Heathrow Terminal 5 2010). Management work of this project was widely considered as a PM model, given the low rate of success in aviation project. In fact, the Heathrow Terminal 5 project has a long project life cycle as its initial plan can date back to 1985 and a public inquiry was conducted from 1995 to 1999, which is longest in Britain history. Key elements of the successful Management will be discussed in this article.
2.1 Scope management
The project scope consists of not only a 270,000 square meters main T5A building and two satellite terminals T5B and T5C, but also a new control tower, nine connecting tunnels, two river diversions and other airfield infrastructure. It was a multidisciplinary project involving construction, mechanic, communication and electric systems contractors under 16 major separate projects and 147 separate sub-projects (Potts & Ankrah 2013). Considering the scale and complexity of this project, it’s important for the client BAA to establish a close cooperation with its supply chain, including 80 first-tier, 500 second-tier, 2,000 third- tier, 5,000 fourth-tier, and 15,000 fifth-tier suppliers.
One impressive approach to ensure the project performance is called T5 Agreement, which is a legal binding contract between BAA and its suppliers. It’s a supplier management principle through two aspects: managing the risk and setting up collaborative culture.
When BAA held all the risk in the project, it allowed the integrated suppliers team to focus...