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Central Artery / Tunnel Project The Boston Big Dig This SAMPLE has key PM terms in ‘red’ but yours would have them in ‘black’.
Background • Largest, most complex, and technologically challenging highway project • Building the tunnel would help • Reduce traffic congestion • Improve mobility • Improve environment • Establish economic growth within Boston and all of Massachusetts • Tunnel would replace deteriorating 6 lane elevated highway with 8-10 lane underground highway
Background • Congress approved federal funding and project scope in April 1987 • Construction began in September 1991 • The project team spent 4 years in the initiation and planning phases
WBS • Created a WBS that included key milestones • Good example of project archives (this is only a small portion of the milestones)
The Collapse • July 10, 2006 • Location: D Street of Interstate 90 Connector (Big Dig) • 26 tons of concrete panels fell onto a passenger car, killing the driver • Panels were part of a suspended ceiling anchored to the concrete roof with threaded bolts drilled in epoxy-filled holes
Problems • Communication breakdown between engineers and resin suppliers engineers (issue for project’s issue log) • Engineers failed to adequately investigate 1999 failure of the same adhesive • Knowing the outcome of this project could have helped forecast what would happen in the Central Artery / Tunnel Project
Problems • Wrong adhesive material chosen to hold concrete panels to ceiling • Project team may have used a compromise mode - give and take approach to resolving the conflict of what adhesive to use • The project team never discussed the adhesive with the supplier to make sure it was the correct choice • Used the popular choice and did not think of their specific situation [groupthink]
Problems • The project team never created a communications management plan • Had intentions of creating open communication within the project, but failed to follow through • As stated by a project representative at the beginning of construction: “Good communications is the key to teamwork and a successful job,” noted MacPhail. “Everyone who is working on this project, from the laborers all the way through the management team, has an immense sense of pride at building such a challenging and significant project.”
Outcomes • The supplier of the faulty adhesive was charged with one count of involuntary manslaughter • Other contractors from the project avoided criminal charges with a $450 million settlement [smoothing mode]
Outcomes • The Central Artery/Tunnel Project was able to create a lessons learned report for future construction projects of this magnitude [Knowledge Area] • Make sure you understand the basics of potential polymer failure, such as susceptibility to creep under long-term tensile loads. [Scope] • Do not simply accept a supplier’s certification of the capability of its materials.[Quality] • Establish clear and ongoing lines of communication with engineers throughout the supply chain. [Communication] • Conduct follow-up tests and inspections to ensure system reliability [Quality]
Works Cited • Hatch, Sybil. "Bridge, Little Bridge: The Big Dig Soars Across the Charles River." Public Roads. Sept. 1999. Web. 10 Mar. 2010. <http://www.tfhrc.gov/pubrds/septoct99/bigdig.htm>. • Smock, Doug. "What Engineers Should Learn from the Big Dig Tragedy." Design News. 16 June 2008. Web. 10 Mar. 2010. <http://www.designnews.com/article/46712-What_Engineers_Should_Learn_from_the_Big_Dig_Tragedy.php>. • "The Central Artery Tunnel Project - The Big Dig." Mass DOT. 2009. Web. 10 Mar. 2010. <http://www.massdot.state.ma.us/Highway/bigdig/bigdigmain.aspx>.
Key PM Terms • Scope • Initiation and Planning phases • WBS • Project Archives • Issue Log • Forecast • Compromise & Smoothing Modes • Lessons Learned Report