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Applying project management principles

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The Reading Chapter event held at the Holiday Inn Reading-South on 11th January 2011 was a sell out with people from all over Thames Valley coming to hear Simon Reynolds, Commercial Manager andDeputy Project Manager of the Spinnaker Tower project in Portsmouth.

The Spinnaker Tower has produced two lasting legacies: The splendid tower, and the difficulties encountered during the construction. The 36 million cost (5 years late and 11 million over budget) was funded by the Millennium Commission and the Portsmouth local authority.

Simon outlined the 3 main areas of the project including design, programmes and conflict resolution. He discussed the perfect design brief which took six years to complete, and the design and build approach to the contract. This was seen as safe until the construction team began to encounter problems leading to the contracts review.

The original contractor was dismissed, then Mowlem was appointed. More problems and disputes arose. In all, there were 600 disputes with around 40 of those adding years to the projects timescale. The management team took the decision to continue by procrastination in order to keep all parties talking until the end.

This was one project with high levels of tolerance; avoiding project management best practice.


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