Refurbishing Heathrow Airport Terminal 1, on time, on budget, with no disruptions to travelling public was a difficult task. A case study on the project.
BAA Airports Ltd was tasked with the refurbishment of Terminal 1, a 40-year-old building within Heathrow Airport, the busiest international airport in the world, whilst constantly keeping the terminal open to the 20 million annual travellers.
This work was required to facilitate the move by a number of Star Alliance airlines who were moving their operations from Terminals 2 and 3 to Terminal 1. The successful completion of this project was the enabler for the complete transformation of Heathrow Airport that is used by more than 90 airlines, which fly to more than 180 destinations worldwide. As well as a commitment to completing the project within a very strict deadline, health and safety issues were also a big concern given that the project had to be delivered within a live operating passenger terminal.
Any interruption to the operation of the terminal building, and the stakeholders or passenger experience would likely result in delays for the airlines operating from Terminal 1 and as such, significant financial penalties for BAA. Public and media perception of BAA would not be enhanced should such a situation arise.
David Buisson, PMP, was chosen to lead the project. Buisson is a certified project manager with more than 13 years experience of managing complex and challenging projects by implementing the standards set out by the Project Management Institute (PMI) through A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge ((PMBOK® Guide)-Fourth Edition.
Under his direction, a team of professionals from a variety of backgrounds and industries tackled one of the most important transport projects in the UK, keeping it ahead of its European competition.
The project team had to resolve a large number of challenging and unexpected problems during the refurbishment, including asbestos in the ceiling and inconsistencies to the floor level. It was also a complex and challenging project for the team because the work was delivered in 42 different phases, whilst remaining operational at all times. There was also a tight time schedule to deliver the project, which was marred by additional scope being added constantly and several delays from airline partners with regards to their move date.
In these circumstances, the project manager consistently referred to A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK® Guide) - Fourth Edition for guidance on how to manage various difficulties.
There were a number of difficulties that arose during the refurbishment of Terminal 1 at Heathrow that had budgetary, scheduling, health and safety, and communications implications. PMBOK® Guide provided solutions mitigating risk and obstacles to come in on time and within budget.
Heathrow Airport Terminal 1 was completed on time in September 2008. The project involved more than 500,000 working hours and kept within its ú57.6 million budget. The project delivered on time and within budget despite the numerous problems that arose, especially the unexpected extra work that could have caused major delays to the project delivery. The project had a good health and safety record with no reported incidents, despite dealing with serious hazards like asbestos. There was effective team work between the numerous contractors, suppliers, stakeholders, and various support functions.
All challenges were successfully met by the project team including ú6.3m of unexpected out-of-scope work that was engineered into the final solution without an increase to the approved project budget.
Article courtesy: PMI