Bae Automated Systems (A): Denver International Airport Baggage Handling System

1844 words - 7 pages

Critical Factors*A change in the project specifications after the freeze date was agreed up on in the contract. These changes created a domino effect of problems. This was in violation of the contract with BAE which stated there would be a number of freeze dates for mechanical design, software design, and permanent power.*A lack of efficient and effective communication between the city, project management team, and consultants. This manifests itself in basic issues like vendors blocking roadways for other vendors, the city canceling orders for electrical filtering components that were critical path, and too many unilateral decision made because "no one was in charge".*A late start with respect to deciding the type of technology to be used for the baggage handling system. BAE didn't even bid on the project because the scope and the timeline were not feasible. The city, under the guidance of Chief Airport Engineer Slinger arranged the deal that included penalty and time clauses for both the city and the vendor.*The City of Denver did not listen to the requested and needed amount of time to actually construct the baggage handling system. The City had a deadline to meet and did not want to hear about any more delays. In spite of this, the vendors wrote contracts that attempted to cover their bases to ensure these deadlines would be met. In the end, extenuating circumstances conspired to prevent these dates from being met.*BAE lost control of their project to the PMT that had no experience in airport construction, baggage handling system technologies, and the introduction of the new technologies. PMT forced BAE to modify their management structure and project approach to fit the PMT needs. BAE had a track record of success using their own management structures. This modification created confusion, inefficiency, and ultimately failure.*2 major changes in personnel. The resignation of the head of the DIA project in May 1992 and the death of Chief Airport Engineer Slinger in October 1992. Slinger's replacement was not able to make decisions without going thru a lengthy process for approval. Slinger managed through the force of his charisma and willingness to take risks and make decisions. His replacement understood the principals but didn't have the bulldozer personality that was necessary for the heroics to get the project completed. Her superiors knew this and retraced the autonomy that was prevalent with Slinger. Without this autonomy and personality, missing deadlines was rampant.*The City's lack of help for BAE to continue to have their unrestricted access and were unable to makeup from the delays. The City just did not give BAE what they were told they would have in general. The city was in violation of their agreements.*Poor relationship with management. This was evident throughout the project. The initiative started as a political position, gained momentum, and ended in another political dilemma. At the time of this case study, relations between...

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