Lessons learned

The change in approach turned out to be crucial for the later success of the project (Table 7.1). The following lessons can be learned from this case:

• A centralised management culture does not match with a company with a sophisticated product and know-how, such as Schiphol Airport.

• Information exchange and communication are essential: avoid taboos, make sure everything is debatable.

• Don't be afraid of uncertainties, identify and learn to deal with them.

• Senior management should take decisions on policy and provide frameworks. Middle management should work within these frameworks using their experience and know-how. The organisation then becomes a cell structure in which each cell is responsible for a clear task. It is important that senior management creates an atmosphere of freedom and encourages the cells to be productive.

• There should be a relationship between problem identification, proposals for solution and implementation towards results. All three should be close to employees.

• Goals and objectives must be adjusted when new insights so require.

Table 7.1 Application of best practices in the expansion of Amsteram Airport



2. Leadership

boss focused vs. stakeholder focused


5. Communication

information oriented vs. decision oriented


7. Progress control

hard info oriented vs. soft info oriented


* Transition from PI to PII effected by new project manager

* Transition from PI to PII effected by new project manager

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