Projects In Contemporary Organizations

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activities that are conducted in organizations. We also note a few of the major advantages, disadvantages, strengths, and limitations of project management. At the end of the chapter we describe the approach followed in the remainder of this book.

a|ement In Practice

The idea of an undersea tunnel linking England and France was first seriously considered during Napoleon's reign, and even tried in 1880. It was tried again in 1975 but abandoned again. Now, the world's largest privately funded construction project is completing the dream. Funded by the largest banking syndicate ever put together, a consortium of 10 major British and French construction firms is building a trio of tunnels inside a mammoth cavern about 65 feet in diameter and 58 miles long under the ocean between England and France. Two of the tunnels will carry passenger and freight trains at speeds of 100 miles an hour, spanning the distance in about 35 minutes. The third tunnel is for service purposes and has its own transportation system also.

When the venture was first formed in 1986, the staff numbered six. At peak productivity, it rose to about 14,500 with daily expenditures of over 5.5 million dollars. The project, however, is much bigger than just the tunnels. In addition, there are two huge terminals at either end of the lines to handle the massive amounts of freight and passengers passing

England through the tunnels every day. Also, there are two massive crossover chambers located undersea to allow trains to change tracks for maintenance purposes. These chambers are the largest undersea caverns in the world and measure 527 feet long by 60 feet wide and 35 feet high. And then there are the support systems for the tunnels—drainage, cooling, ventilation, electrical, trackwork, rolling stock, fire control, electronics: 1,000 microcomputers, 160 megawatts peak power at 225,000 volts, 120 ton concrete tunnel doors, 140 tons of water an hour for fire control, 38 locomotives and 525 wagons to form trains half a mile long, and so on. Even building the concrete segments for the tunnels was the equal, in output terms, of any precast concrete works in the world.

Perhaps even more complex are the cultural differences between the British and French construction companies, as well as the two sets of political authorities. In order for

Lemley, "The Channel Tunnel," PM


Lemley, "The Channel Tunnel," PM

A cross-section of the Chunnel.

Tunnel crossovers with trains switching tracks.

Breakthrough: The tunnel boring machine emerges on the French end.

this to be a privately funded project, the sponsors insisted on each government's agreement that the sponsors would be granted a concession for the right to operate the facility and benefit from their investment. In February 1986, the French and British governments signed what was known as the Treaty of Canterbury, which authorized a 55-year concession and provided guarantees against political cancellation in the future. With that authorization, work began in earnest. In December 1990 the service tunnel was completed and by June 1991, both'running tunnels were completed, all several weeks ahead of schedule due to the wise use of project management throughout the complex phases of this massive, international project.

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Project Management Made Easy

Project Management Made Easy

What you need to know about… Project Management Made Easy! Project management consists of more than just a large building project and can encompass small projects as well. No matter what the size of your project, you need to have some sort of project management. How you manage your project has everything to do with its outcome.

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