Project Management for Railway Gds Distribution

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Railway GDS Distribution
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Project Management Coursework
Simon Riha
Cohort 13, Aviation Management
Emirates Aviation College

May 14, 2012
Railway GDS Distribution
-------------------------------------------------
Project Management Coursework
Simon Riha
Cohort 13, Aviation Management
Emirates Aviation College

May 14, 2012

Table of Contents
Introduction3
Business Case Assessment4
Project Planning and Scheduling8
Work Breakdown Structure (WBS)9
Project Organization Structure11
Network Diagram and Gantt Chart12
Project Monitoring and Control15
Project Risk and Reducing Uncertainty21
Conclusion24
Reference List25
Appendix 1: A BOSCARD Table Example26

Introduction

This coursework examines development of a strategic project plan for implementing train connections in the airline Global Distribution Systems (GDS).

Railways in GDS have been a topical topic for past fifteen years, as long as the industry has been internationalized through liberalization and demand for interlining between airlines and railways (so-called “rail & fly”). Though some GDS distribution solutions for railways have been released, they have remained marginal and have not become any industry standard.

In particular, Westbahn, the first private railway in Austria, has approached Hahn Air, a German airline specialized in global distribution, to make their trains saleable in GDS in manner as if their trains were flights.

This work examines the project development process from initial business case assessment and proceeds through project planning and scheduling, project monitoring and control to managing risk and reducing uncertainty. When doing so, the work concentrates on studying procedures helping Hahn Air create such a project in the existing environment of small and medium enterprises without any corporate project management structures, such as project management office, project steering committee, and so forth.

Based on research of available project management sources, this coursework suggests a few efficient methods and techniques appropriate for this kind of project and environment in order to facilitate and speed up the project plan development.

Business Case Assessment

When thinking of the commercial idea to publish Westbahn rail connections in airline distribution systems, the first question to be answered is how to kick off such a business project. Nicholas & Steyn (2012, pp. 83-162) describes a method for project initiation and definition as a part of their thorough Project Management Lifecycle methodology. In the project conception and definition phase, Nicholas & Steyn recognize Project Initiation (for example, in the form of a vision statement as in Microsoft Corp.) followed by Initial Investigation comprising of clarification of a problem, evaluating possible solutions, interviewing managers and users, collecting initial data, reviewing existing documentation, and so forth. At this point, they refer to Project Portfolio Management to decide whether the project qualifies or not. Next, they proceed to Project Feasibility to conduct a feasibility study, that is, to identify alternative solutions, to further analyze the points of issue and also to evaluate a possible environmental impact. They continue to the functional and non-functional requirement analysis, for instance, by using methods such as Requirements Breakdown Structure and House of Quality. The outputs of their project conception and definition phase are detailed documents called Statement of Work, Scope Statement and Project Master Plan.

Nicholas & Steyn (2012, p. 558) note: “To accommodate projects of different size and complexity, the methodology can be ‘scalable’.”

Considering the size of the Westbahn project, size of the both companies, duration, importance and complexity of the project, the project initiation and definition stage can be...
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