Denver International Airport Baggage Handling System

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1. Evaluate the implementation of Denver International Airport Baggage Handling System. What are the top 3 factors that lead to the projects failure? Who is most at fault?

The DIA automated baggage-handling system had its uncertainties and risks like in any other project but the challenges faced were mainly due to the poor planning, 1st of its kind in terms of size of the project and underestimation of complexity of the whole project. There are many problems encountered by the project and the top 3 factors that lead to the project failure were:

1. Scope, time-schedule and budget commitments – Planning. The master plan for DIA was developed by the various experts in the respective fields but there was a fundamental strategic error as DIA had adopted the build-design project meaning building the airport while designing it. The airport’s Project Management team had assumed that individual airlines would make their own baggage handling arrangements. In 1991, the airport’s Project Management team changed their strategy and realized that if an integrated system was to be built, they needed to take responsibility back from the individual airlines and run the project themselves. This change in strategy came a little more than two years prior to the airport’s planned opening date and the timing of the decision was in large part the trigger behind the excessive schedule pressure the project was exposed to. BAE and the airport Project Management team made another major mistake during the negotiations. Although the airlines were the key stakeholders in the system they were excluded from the discussions during the project defining and planning stage. When the stakeholders are finally engaged, they demand for significant changes on the project that required modifications as the project went along.

2. Leadership
The project was oversold by political leaders who used the airport initiative as a platform to revive their economy. Pena won the election...
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