The A380 Project

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Executive Summary
The Airbus A380 project is one of the most complex projects to ever happen. An aircraft of such large size and complexity would always have problems. Although problems are always anticipated during such a large project, the management involved with this project mismanaged many aspects. The project’s success can be examined using many project management aspects. This report will analyse in particular the areas of project scheduling, stakeholder management and project leadership within the A380 project. The project will also be assessed against project success methods to analyse its problems and lack of success. Prior to the release of the A380, it was hailed as an unparalleled symbol of European manufacturing prowess: “When it takes to the skies, it will carry the colours of our Continent, and our technological ambitions, to even greater heights” (Clark, 2006). This statement by the French president at the time masked the issues plaguing the A380 project. The A380 project suffered many setbacks, many caused by poor project management or mismanagement. It will be seen that inflexible project scheduling, mismanagement of stakeholders and disingenuous project leaders all impacted harshly on the success of the project. The outcomes of the budgeting, performance, scheduling and client performance paint the project in an unflattering light. However, this report will show that despite the many problems involved which included delays and over budgeting, this aircraft has the potential, and is likely to become a significant aviation achievement.

Table of Contents

Cover PagePage 1
Executive SummaryPage 2
1.0 IntroductionPage 4
1.1 BackgroundPage 5
2.0 Project SchedulingPage 6
2.1 Duration EstimationPage 6
3.0 Risk ManagementPage 7
4.0 Stakeholder managementPage 8
4.1ClientsPage 8
4.2 Suppliers Page 9
4.3 CompetitorsPage 9
5.0 Project LeadershipPage 10
6.0 Project SuccessPage 11
6.1 BudgetPage 11
6.2 Client AcceptancePage 11
6.3 SchedulePage 11
6.4 PerformancePage 12
ConclusionPage 13
Reference ListPage 14

1.0 Introduction
Projects are unique, one-time processes that are created to carry out specific goals and objectives. They are important in aviation because of the complex nature of the industry. Aircraft manufacturer Airbus SAS has endeavoured to complete many aircraft designs and production throughout its history. Many of these projects have been a direct result of the competition with Boeing aircraft. Airbus has often committed its resources into aircraft manufacturing projects which in the past have been considered as successes. Although many of those projects have been deemed successful, some have faced difficulties. A mega-project that can be judged problematic is the development and manufacturing of the Airbus A380. Although the A380 is undoubtedly considered to be one of the most technologically advanced commercial airliners in the world. It is often thought of as a substantial feat of engineering and ingenuity. Despite this, many poor decisions within the project management resulted in the unsuccessful rollout of the plane. Project-related problems were not addressed correctly and factors such as poor project scheduling, stakeholder management, leadership and lace of risk management have caused the failure of many aspects of the project. This paper analyses the aspects of the A380 project that caused its difficulties, and offers recommendations on how these factors could have been executed differently for greater success will also be identified.

1.1 Background
Responding to airline preferences for a fuel-efficient, ultra-high-capacity airliner, Airbus announced the Airbus A380 in December of 2000 (Casino in the Sky, 2000). The €8.8 billion project to launch the aircraft attracted fifty firm orders from six customers which were...
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