PMI Bangalore Chapter

PM Guest Article April 2021

Projects beyond a lifetime

Somashekar N T, PMP, Prince2, LSSBB, PSM, ITIL

Somashekar is a Project Portfolio Manager with 18 plus years of experience with leading brands like Diageo, Capco Technologies (Consultant for HSBC), Crisil GRA Poland (Consultant for Credit Suisse), Deutsche Bank, Thomson Financials. He is certified in PMP, Prince2 Practitioner, Lean Six Sigma Black Belt, PPAC, PSM1, and ITIL foundation. He has also trained colleagues on Project Management methodologies, Six Sigma, and Design thinking.

 

Projects are usually characterized by a defined scope, duration and cost. Most projects fit into this description, however the delivery may span beyond the life of the initial project team. When exploring this topic, I came across a few amazing projects that I wanted to share, some of these projects are currently in progress !

Norway – Floating Tunnel (Expected to complete in 2050)

The first patent  for the Submerged pontoon bridge was presented by Trygve Olsen in 1923; and a new request was done by Erik Ødegård in 1947 (in Norway). The interest has been revived during the last centuries with several studies in Norway, but it is just with the studies done by the Norwegian Public Road Administration (NPRA) that the feasibility of the structure is proven, with the recent developments of the offshore structures. The Norwegian Public Roads Administration (NPRA) has been investigating the technical and economic potential for eliminating all ferries on fjord crossings along the western corridor (European route E39) between Kristiansand and Trondheim. This project also linked with FEHRL through the Forever Open Road programme. If the project were to proceed it is estimated to cost $25 billion and be completed by 2050.

The Sagrada Familia – (Expected to complete by 2026)

This is one of the most impressive churches in the world and still under construction. It was designed by Antoni Gaudi, a famous architect in 19th century Spain. Construction began in 1882 and is still going on according to Gaudi’s plan. When he died in 1926, the Sagrada Familia was only a quarter way done. It is expected to be completed in 2026.

Are we the only generation embarking on these type of projects, No.., there are similar fascinating projects done in past, few of them are –

  • Kailash Temple of Ellora (believed to have taken more than 100 years to complete)

It is believed that it took more than 100 years to build and about 7000 laborers had contributed to the construction of this temple day and night. Not only India but people from all over the world come to see this magnificent temple

The construction work of this temple was started by Naresh Krishna (I) (757-783 AD) of Rashtrakuta dynasty at Malkhed. It is believed that it took more than 100 years to build and about 7000 laborers had contributed to the construction of this temple day and night. Not only India but people from all over the world come to see this magnificent temple.

Petra – (believed to have taken about 850 years to complete)

Found in the blistering heat of the Jordan desert, Petra is a citadel that is unique for one reason. It was not constructed with rocks, it was carved right into the rocks. The Nabataeans carved this citadel into the rock in 600 BC. The process ended after 850 years. Once it was complete, Petra could hold up to 20, 000 people inside. They did not have the tools required to carve out rock with accuracy and strength. Yet the citadel of Petra stands and exists today.

What can we learn from these projects as project managers?

  • Focus on the end product / Vision
  • Recording the learnings and ensuring it is accessible
  • Developing and trying new tools
  • Persistence and Commitment

 

So the next time when you visit any historical sites or emerging technologies, it might be a great opportunity to see it from your Project Manager perspective.