AbstractTheproposed paper will analyze the causes for the Montreal Olympic 1976 failure. Thesuccessfulness of the project is evaluated by the constraints of scope, time,and budget. In regard to the Montreal 1976 Olympics, the project failed due tofactors associated with stakeholders and proper management.
The analysis aimsto identify key mistakes, actions that should have been taken, qualityassurances, cost-benefit analysis, and risk management. IntroductionManagers must be vigilant in overseeing how theproject is managed in regard to the time and the budget. Montreal was awardedthe 1976 Olympic Games over Los Angeles and Moscow. Montreal Olympics projectis argued to have failed due to initiate unrealistic goals.BackgroundPlanning is one of the essential elements projectmanagers consider key to developing a successful project. If you fail to planthan you plan to fail is a quote that I grew up hearing a lot and it definitelyapplies to projects. Poor planning of a project results in the project to fail– this is the case with the 1976 Montreal Olympics.
There is a great deal ofplanning that was required for hosting any event as large as the Olympics. Theplanning stage endured many oversights and lack of workability. The financialinvestment is an important part of planning. Planning allows for projects ofthis nature to go beyond economic benefits and promote cross-culturalinteractions that allow Quebec the spotlight it desired. The Mayor of Montreal, did not follow the conventionalprocess for preparing for the olympics. He assumed power over decisions thatwere not just under his authority. This allowed for the poor planning to ensue.
The project was handed to corrupt private sector individuals who benefited fromthe project while citizens of Montreal paid for the Olympic games. The Olympic Village required detailed planning ondesign and location. Mayor Drapeau made decisions without engaging importantstakeholders. The mayor awarded the contract to build Olympic Village to LesTerrasses Zarolega Company which was unheard of in the region. He announcedthat Olympic Village would be built in Viau Park, even though there were manyprotests.
Reasons for project failure included lack ofcommunication, between stakeholders, tight deadlines for the project completion,inadequate commitment and involvement from senior management, insufficientbudgets and resources. The Olympic Village needed to serve a dual purpose byprovide lodging to athletes participating in Olympics as well as housing unitsafter the Olympic Games ended. The Mayor refused proposals of widely acclaimedand economical plan for a temporary village. Mayor Drapeau insisted onMediterranean design for the Village. The design was impractical given theweather conditions of Montreal. 5 Essential Elements ofProject ManagementFora project to be successful there are some basic considerations must be followedwhile managing the project.
There are 5 essential elements which should beincluded:PlanningUnderstanding the need for which project has beencreated is the first stage of any project. The project manager is suppose toliaison with key internal stakeholders and departments to establish theirrequirements and agree on common objectives. The project scope was not determined. The planningstarted 2 years late because of political difficulties in Canada, Quebec andMontreal. There were changes to the project even while it was in progresswithout full acknowledgement or consensus for action. There was alsounrealistic scheduling which fit extremely tight deadlines where employees rotated24 hour shifts just to attempt to be successful. The mayor should not have injected himself withoutsoliciting the experts from all services like technical, geological, andfunctional.
It would have given different alternative Product DevelopmentProjects can include variety of activities which canbe for creation of new product, processes or services. Products are supposedmeet defined objectives. The benefits of projects should be clearly articulatedat the beginning.The Montreal Olympic complex consisted of a mainstadium, a velodrome, roads, walkways, practice fields, an Olympic Villagehousing facility, and aditional structures. Montreal did not rush to get the projectcompleted.
competition, instead work was awarded to selected contractors. TheMonitoring and Controlling process involve tasks and metrics necessary toensure that the approved and authorized project is within scope, on time, andon a budget so that the project would proceed with minimal risk (Morin, 2010).Becauseof lack of planning some of the activities which were originally planned, likeretractable roof were not begun until after Olympics.
Instead of using unusual construction techniques,simpler, automated techniques should be used which reduce the time and costrequirements. CommunicationIt was mostly Mayor who took decisions withoutconsulting anyone else. As a result, his accomplices made huge profits whilethe general public of Montreal suffered.
The client, architect, designengineers, and project management did not function as a team.A single person should not be given all the authorityto make decisions with regard to such a large project. Project manager shouldtake charge of all project related activities and keep other members involvedfor taking inputs as well as for feedback.ResourcesA successful project requires commitment of resourcesin terms of time, finances and equipment. Resources which were committed to theproject were not enough as project was of large scale.
Labor, material, andequipment had to be brought in from other areas. The crew shift, double shiftsand overtime were used to increase productivity. With realistic schedulesindividual activities on the critical path can be crashed to avoid usingadditional resources. PeopleThere are different stakeholders to project and eachgroup has different requirement from the project. Keeping them involved isessential for success of project.
Each stakeholder in the project had his personalinterest. The key stakeholder group which was people of Montreal was ignoredthroughout the lifecycle of project starting with initiation to planning andfinally execution. It was them who would be living with the facilities afterOlympics had concluded. All stakeholders should be identified and addressedand not just most prominent ones. Quality Assurance MeasuresQuality assurance measures for the project were non existsnt.The strategies could have been used to ensure efficiency during construction atevery stage of project an issue was discovered and was put under wraps insteadof addressing it. The final cost for the stadium was approximately$13,000 per seat compared to $2,400 that was budgeted.
Quality assurance in construction requires that theprocedures for incorporating design changes into the construction plans to bewell developed and fully operated. Quality assurance is effective againstchanges in design. Monitorign engineering activities should be established in orderto ensure that execution is as per plans and specifications. KeyFactorso Foundation work increased fromthe estimated cost of $ 497,576 the actual cost came up to $ 7,171,876.o Olympic Village lost financingo There was no financialstrategy. In the whole process, Mayor put on an extravagant show just toconvince rest of the world that Quebec was independent.
o Labor and Material Issues:Corruption was there at all levels. Labor unions, suppliers and contractors leftno opportunity to take advantage of situation and fill their pockets. Labor complicationslike insufficient laborers with no agreement between workers and management tokeep a tab on strikes contributed to delay in project o Construction costs rise significantlyaccompanied by inclement weather. It cost $400,000/day for construction heatingmeasures. The planning phase should identified weather as risk factor. o Complex design with no scope.
Taillibert assumed that his designs were unique and the city should not thinkabout expenses. The Mayor rejected cuts in the design that would have saved upto $146 million. $100 million could have been saved if steel was used to buildthe stadium instead of concrete. Avoiding waste cascade would have led tosaving of $35 million. Even viaduct cost $14 million instead of $5 million withthe complex design. If simple design was used, it would have been much easierto execute it without incurring additional costs. StakeholdersJean Drapeau: Mayor of MontrealJeanDrapeau awarded the contract to an unknown company Les Terrasses ZarolegaCompany.
The company faced financial challenges due to not being able to obtainthe neccasary funding. The mayor took risk by making sole decisions on constructionof the project. The result was excessive debt for the city which ultimately hadto be paid by citizens of Montreal. Las Terrasses Zarolega: ContractorThe contractors were chosen by the Mayor.
Instead of requested/required 4000 units, only 932 units were built by Zarolega. He had backing ofMayor because of which he got excessively greedy. The deal included amanagement fee for a percentage of costs that encouraged him to spend more onthe project. Construction operations mad maximum profits. Zarolega took several risks. Pride as it could improvetheir quality of life. However, the public was not involved as whole processwas closed door corruption. The risk was a huge Olympic debt of $1.
5 billionwhile private players profited.