Published here August 2010

Note: The Issues for Discussion at the end of this case study may require research on the Internet.

Introduction | Project Evolution | Project Concept
Planning and Organization | Design Timelines | Construction | Project Cost
Project Progress Report, March 1st 2005 | Commentary | Issues for Discussion

Issues for Discussion

General integration and oversight


What was the source of the need for this project? How did that impact the course of the project and its eventual deliverable? Give your reasoning.


Who was really in charge of the project? Who should have been in charge in terms of the organization recommended by the Auditor General's report of September 2000? Justify your conclusions.



Was the New Scottish Parliament Building project well conceived? Develop a scope statement from the case study information provided. Describe how your scope statement compares with what actually took place.


What strategies were in place to achieve the scope objectives? What would you recommend?



How was the quality grade established for the project? In your view, was this quality grade achieved?


Discuss the ramifications of the statement: "On March 2nd 2006, a beam in the roof of the debating chamber swung loose from its hinges during a debate, resulting in the evacuation of the debating chamber and the suspension of parliamentary business."



The project life span was prolonged in its early stages by delays in conceptual design. Discuss the impacts of these delays and how you would have handled the situation as project manager-in-charge.


The Scheduled plan vs. actual as at September 2000 report project completion by 2002. However, the building was not certified until February 2005. How would you account for the difference?



Trace the evolution of "costs" on the project and the apparent causes. What can you learn from this progression?


Describe the process and responsibility for budgeting and cost control on this project. In retrospect, what would you have recommended?



The project was obviously at risk from the beginning. How was project risk handled and was this effective?


Discuss the implications of Alistair Morgan's observation that " to the layman, risk has perhaps a 50:50 chance of materializing, although I suspect that that has not been the case for the risk in this project and that it has not been so much a risk as a near certainty."



Who was really in charge and was the organizational setup effective? Could the project have been better organized, and if so, how?


Auditor General's report of September 2000 recommended an appropriate organizational setup. How do you think this compares with the actual setup? Do you think that the AG's recommendation would have solved the problems? If not, why not?



Auditor General's report of September 2000 recommended a project organization, but responsibility for procurement is not shown. Where would you place that responsibility and what, in your view, should be its full extent?


The original thrust of the project was "fast track", i.e. to finish as soon as possible. In your view, was this objective achieved? Justify your conclusions and develop a better alternative. Speculate on the outcome under your suggested alternative, including any necessary assumptions.



What information can you find in the case study regarding communications? What recommendations would you make about how communications should be conducted on a project of this size?


How should changes, especially scope changes, have been handled? Develop a process flow diagram for this particular project. What were the consequences of how changes were actually handled?

Commentary  Commentary
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