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Need help choosing a project to research for class!
Old 06-14-2009, 01:47 PM   #1
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Need help choosing a project to research for class!

I'm taking a course in complex project management. For our grade, we are to analyze a well-known complex project (in any field) where things went wrong during the project, resulting in problems after completion. (And, it can't be the Hubble Space Telescope because too many students have done that one).

We have 5 weeks to research the project and describe what could have been managed differently to achieve a better outcome.

I'm having trouble finding a suitable project to research. If a lot is known about something, that's usually because it was a success. Poorly performing projects get buried.

Can any of you practical, knowledgeable folks suggest an idea from your field of interest/endeavor/region? Any and all suggestions welcomed.

Thanks!
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Old 06-14-2009, 02:01 PM   #2
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The London Millennium Footbridge springs to mind (or rather wobbles to mind)

It had to be closed shortly after it's opening for repairs/re-design
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Old 06-14-2009, 02:07 PM   #3
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How about London Heathrow's new Terminal 5


Quote:
New airport terminals are usually plagued by faults and problems within the first couple of days of opening and T5 was no exception. Despite running a six-month trial, requiring the use of 16,000 volunteers to put every aspect of the terminal to the test from parking and toilets to check-in and seating, the terminal experienced a host of major problems on day one.

On the first day of operations staff experienced difficulty getting through security into the building, once there they had navigational problems, and delays were compounded by a lack of available car parks.

For passengers, staff unfamiliarity with the check-in system led to flight delays, which in turn overloaded the baggage handling system. The end result was the cancellation of over 300 flights and the mishandling of thousands of items of luggage. The debacle cost BA at least 16m, and resulted in the resignation of two senior managers.

T5 was branded a 'disaster' by government ministers, with the Commons Transport Select Committee launching and enquiry. The subsequent transfer of long haul flights from T4 was delayed. All BA flights are now not expected to fly from T5 until the end of October, rather than April, as originally scheduled.
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Old 06-14-2009, 02:12 PM   #4
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Pittsburgh light rail underwater tunnel to nowhere.

AKA north Shore Connector. Some suggested to make it into underground shopping arcade. As is true of most light rail projects, initially lowballed to get it going with great hooppla, soon to have gargantuan cost overruns etc. etc. etc..
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Old 06-14-2009, 02:33 PM   #5
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The Denver Airport luggage handling system.

The Dayton Ohio Riverscape fountains.
Dayton Daily News | Dayton, Ohio, News and Information
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Old 06-14-2009, 08:17 PM   #6
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Shuttle Columbia: O-rings.
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Old 06-14-2009, 08:22 PM   #7
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Zilwaukee Bridge
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Old 06-14-2009, 08:27 PM   #8
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The big dig

Big Dig Problems - Tunnel Collapse - Leaks - Cost Overruns - Boston Globe - Boston.com
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Old 06-14-2009, 08:27 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Amethyst View Post
If a lot is known about something, that's usually because it was a success. Poorly performing projects get buried.
Here is a $125 million failure that got buried on Mars. CNN - Metric mishap caused loss of NASA orbiter - September 30, 1999
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Old 06-14-2009, 08:43 PM   #10
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Digital TV conversion.

Technically, it seemed to go well. But in terms of getting info to the public, getting the public prepared, getting clear messages out, handling the rebate coupons, PR-wise - a disaster, IMO.

-ERD50
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Old 06-15-2009, 07:39 AM   #11
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This is the costliest mismanagement in the history of Earthdom. The real cost is not known but it cost more to get ZERO return than it has to bail out the banks.
Noah Shachtman's site: Boeing: We Screwed Up, Give us $500 Mil


And so, guess what, they decide to give it a second go. Worse result.
U.S. Government Cancels Satellite Program

So the government spends $14billion dollars and get's no further than the "study" phase, then cancels and tries to buy a commercial version and puts some many requirements on it that they eventually have to cancel that.

Yet Google, buys the satellites regularly for about $10mil a pop.

A project management study is warranted. Have fun.
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Old 06-15-2009, 08:06 AM   #12
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Think war - it is more dramatic and emotional - brings the point home.
WWI has many examples - there was one where many Australians were killed because of British screw ups

Look into the Charge of the Light Brigade

WWII - right after the war a distroyer was sunk - men in the water for days - Name?

Let us know what you decide
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Old 06-15-2009, 08:13 AM   #13
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DIA and the baggage system or the beautiful marble floors which when wet cause many slips, trips and falls which I was an early participant in.
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Old 06-15-2009, 08:15 AM   #14
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There's a topical list compiled here...
Man-made hazard - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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Old 06-15-2009, 09:20 AM   #15
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The nearby Joe DiMaggio public swimming pool/playground was rebuilt a couple of years ago at mega-taxpayer expense. It has two pools; a few weeks after the grand re-opening one of the pools sprung a leak and has been closed since 8/08. Why have they been unable to fix it, did something go wrong in planning/building; I peek in the windows and see no evidence of workman; did someone neglect to pay off someone?
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Old 06-15-2009, 11:11 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dex View Post
Think war - it is more dramatic and emotional - brings the point home.
WWI has many examples - there was one where many Australians were killed because of British screw ups

Look into the Charge of the Light Brigade

WWII - right after the war a distroyer was sunk - men in the water for days - Name?

Let us know what you decide
USS Indianapolis?
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Old 06-15-2009, 11:45 AM   #17
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USS Indianapolis?
That's it.

While Indianapolis sent distress calls before sinking, the Navy long claimed that they were never received because the ship was operating under a policy of radio silence. Declassified records show that three SOS messages were received separately, but none was acted upon because one commander was drunk, another had ordered his men not to disturb him and a third thought it was a Japanese prank.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/USS_Indianapolis_(CA-35)
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Old 06-15-2009, 12:23 PM   #18
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That's it.

...
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Old 06-15-2009, 03:38 PM   #19
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Gotadimple, wasn't the Challenger disaster the result of bad o-rings coupled with cold temps? The Columbia disaster was due to damage to the left wing from debris off the solid rocket fuel booster. I really loved the NASA adventures and can remember exactly where I was when the Challenger exploded. Also, the Columbia.
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Old 06-15-2009, 03:43 PM   #20
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Quote:
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That's it.

While Indianapolis sent distress calls before sinking, the Navy long claimed that they were never received because the ship was operating under a policy of radio silence. Declassified records show that three SOS messages were received separately, but none was acted upon because one commander was drunk, another had ordered his men not to disturb him and a third thought it was a Japanese prank.

USS Indianapolis (CA-35) - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
DEX , why in your previous post did you say this happened AFTER the war. It was during the war. The Indianapolis had just delivered the atom bomb to the island of Tinian.
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