Olympic security debacle – lack of controls?

The UK media and newspapers are so full of a story it I thought I would add my thought – specifically the link with project management.

An overview

The Olympic Games start in 7 days and it’s reported that ‘we are good to go.’ Well almost. For those who have not read about the security debacle you may want to read further about this and http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-18890396 there are clear issues and messages for project management but what are they? Some are listed below.

  • contingency – the Government had a contingency plan in place – just in case. What is your contingency plan for your project?
  • contract management – a key issue for all companies is the monitoring and control of contracts. Who was doing this and who is doing this in your projects??
  • procurement – the overall contract was to create a security team for all Olympic events. This includes security vetting individuals alongside training and allocating the various resources across the various Olympic venues. But who checked that one company could do all of these activities for 10,000 people? It’s a huge contract and maybe should have been split across several companies. Who is really checking your contracts? This  links into the risk issue – see next
  • risk assessment – who was risk assessing this project; LOCOG, the Government G4S? Whoever was, did not really hit the risks or if they did they did not meet the right level e.g. the impact the shortfall will have on the games (troops have been brought in to cover the shortfall).How up to date is your risk assessment?

  • reputation management – if your company bids for a contract what reputation will you come out with – during and after the contract? Should you even bid for the contract? This is not the first time I have come across a company who have bid for a contract only for them to turn round and say they are losing money or their reputation has been hit by winning it. Note the comment from the Chief executive of the company supplying the security guards G4S who publicly stated he regrets signing the Olympic contract– and  the share price of the company has taken a big hit. Is it really worth bidding for that contract?
  • image/crisis management – when anything goes wrong on a project how will you manage this? Is this part of your contingency planning?
  • lessons learned – will they be learned post Olympics? What sort of post mortem will be held and will they be shared with the taxpayers?

I really hope the Olympics go well and ‘we are good to go.’


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2 Responses to Olympic security debacle – lack of controls?

  1. This may have been the failure of #3 in the 5 Immutable Principles of project success

    1. Do we know where we are going?
    2. Do we have a plan to get there?
    3. Do we have all the resources needed?
    4. What impediments will we encounter along the way?
    5. How do we measure progress to plan?

    • Ron Rosenhead says:

      Glen, I think the 5 Principles (with a capital P) are brilliant, highly practical and should be engraved on every project manager and team members heart! I have passed them on to many people.

      I agree with your comments and would add point 4- what impediments will we encounter.

      Thanks for this.


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