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The Channel Tunnel Project: Initial Planning, Actual, Execution Recommendations - Essay Example

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Research is done to present the Channel Tunnel Project. The problems faced by this project were not restricted to one phase of project management alone. Instead, the emergence of problems can be attributed to various parts of the project that are explored in detail below…
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The Channel Tunnel Project: Initial Planning, Actual, Execution Recommendations
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Download file to see previous pages This paper illustrates that the Channel Tunnel was envisioned as the method to connect England to Europe in order to enhance trade and the movement of people. A number of schemes had been suggested before but they were either technically not feasible or they were too tenuous to construct. There was growing interest in creating a practical solution to the problem of connecting England to the rest of Europe especially in the seventies. This was furthered by the interest taken by the British and French governments to spark this project. It was agreed to by both governments that the initiative to build the Chanel Tunnel would be supported at the highest levels except for the financing. The involved governments felt that supporting and sustaining a large initiative such as the Channel Tunnel project would demand a lot of fiscal commitment that the governments did not have. The alternative means of financing the project were to be private equity and shareholders who would be provided the concession of operating the tunnel for a period of 55 years without governmental interference (except for monopolistic practices). The creation of the Channel Tunnel is a mixed story of success and failure all at the same time. The creation of a tunnel this size under the surface of the sea is a technical challenge that had never been undertaken on this size ever before. The accomplishment of such a task demanded a multifaceted team that drew on experience from all kinds of fields. However, while the technical challenge was undertaken and accomplished well, there were certain failures in terms of project management. The experience of those involved was brought down by the collective challenges posed by the project. Constant governmental interference coupled with unique challenges stemming from the unique nature of the project led to the negative variance of both cost and schedule. These variances in cost and schedule are expected of nearly every project because every project tends to be unique in one form or the other. However, the highly unique nature of the Channel Tunnel project meant that variances in cost and schedule were high as well. The project was delayed by about one year while the budget increased by nearly one and a half times the original estimate. The problems faced by this project were not restricted to one phase of project management alone. Instead, the emergence of problems can be attributed to various parts of the project that are explored in detail below. 2. Initial Planning The British and French governments agreed to common proposals for safety, security and environmental concerns before the project was opened up for bidding. Both governments in 1985 requested the first proposals for the Channel Project. A number of proposals were submitted for the Channel Project. After an evaluation from both the British and French sides, the proposal submitted by Channel Tunnel Group / FranceManche (later Eurotunnel) was accepted. The initial proposal delineated a 32-mile double rail tunnel that was to accommodate passenger trains as well as cargo trains and a special truck and car carrying shuttle service. The initial bid price was set at some $5.5 billion for the entire project. The limited amount of time provided during the initial planning phase meant that the initial scope had to be revised on a number of occasions to accommodate for base modalities. Naturally, as the scope of the project was revised, there were direct effects for the cost of the project that escalated in response to an enlarged scope. The shortage of time meant that neither high-level design estimates nor rough order of magnitude estimates were ever carried out to deal with project scope. Had these measures been carried out there are chances that the overall project scope and hence the costs would have been better estimated. The redefinition of project scope was a constant occurrence and source of friction as the project proceeded. For example, the initial project scope did not account for any air conditioning facilities because they were not deemed as ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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