Going for Gold with Project Management: Reporting from the Olympics, Part 2

Posted: August 7th, 2012 | Author: Ralph Booth | Filed under: Events | Tags: , , , , , , , , | No Comments »

As I mentioned in my previous post about the Opening Ceremony for the London 2012 Olympic Games, I’m amid a kick-off session of my own for a major Europe West Comptel project and discussed some tips for a successful project launch.  Now in the second post in my series, I’ll focus on the implementation phase – and how this parallels with the Games!

Firstly, I’d like to mention this year’s amazing Opening Ceremony, which not only rewrote the rule book for kicking off the games, but also showcased Britain’s collective passion, strengths and sense of humour to the world. What a fantastic show and start to the Games! Now with the kick-off phase behind us, both my client project and the Olympic Games have moved into the marathon implementation phase.  Here are some tips that I use as a project manager on Comptel’s Europe West Services team to ensure the implementation stays on track for a podium finish.


From watching the games in full force, what has struck me is the level of organisation that is required –from the food stalls to the medal makers, to the facilities and even the technology. All of these items required planning, tracking and organisation – and this is all about being prepared and knowing who needs to do what and when they need to do it! A project implementation phase is no different, as it requires a properly thought-out project plan that can be used to prepare, monitor and drive this phase, ensuring every work item is delivered on time and all dependencies are understood.


Reporting is vitally important – after all, the London 2012 Olympics can be enjoyed on the television, mobile devices, the Internet, Twitter and through various newspapers. Similarly, project reporting is just as important. For instance, understanding what’s going well and what requires additional focus helps the entire project team concentrate on the essentials. Agreeing to the type of reporting and meeting structure upfront is vital to ensure everyone is informed and the progress is transparently tracked.

Team Work:

Whilst watching the cycling road race on the first day of the Games, I was struck by the level of team work required for an individual to win a medal – and with it all the glory. Project implementation phases parallel this sense of solidarity. It is imperative to create a team spirit and ensure that, where required, your implementation team works together to keep the project on track.

Strong Leadership:

During the implementation phase strong leadership is essential to ensure the project is delivered on time and all issues are managed effectively. The role of the project manager is vital to coordinate and drive the project to completion.

Focus on the Goal:

Finally, as in the Olympic Games, there must be a steady focus on the goal in order to come out on top. It is easy tobecome distracted during the implementation phase and, for example, look at bringing in additional scope. But you must remain dedicated to fulfilling the original requirements for which the project was created. Take, for instance, Michael Phelps – he has remained focused throughout the Games with the sole intent of securing as many medals as possible. This unwavering drive and concentration is the key to securing success and, combined with his talent, has made him the most decorated Olympian ever.

On a personal note, on Friday 3rd August, my family and I headed to the Olympic Stadium and watched the first day of the athletics, the highlight of which was the Women’s Heptathlon opening rounds with team Great Britain’s ‘face of the games’ Jessica Ennis competing.

Upon entering the Olympic Park, I was struck by the sheer scale of it. The stadium is enormous and really quite inspiring with the fantastic Orbit sculpture dominating the view. There was a real buzz of excitement around the place as spectators made their way to their respective events. Upon first glimpse inside the Olympic Stadium, it really does take your breath away and once it’s full, the atmosphere in the arena is incredible – the whole stadium enjoying being part of the Olympics and urging the athletes to do well.

I truly got the sense that Britain is very proud to be Olympic hosts and to have this incredible once-in-a-lifetime event in our capital; to the point where the crowds were going to make sure they enjoyed every second of the experience and spectacle! The London Olympics was intended to inspire a generation to take up sport and our great city has certainly stamped its personality on the games, grabbing the world’s attention along the way. It will be quite sad to see them come to a close!

Speaking of, my next post will sadly turn to reviewing the Closing Ceremony and my tips for what we do within Comptel’s services team to ensure that a project is properly concluded with all the lessons learned.

Management World Nice Survival Guide

Posted: May 11th, 2010 | Author: Olivier Suard | Filed under: Events | Tags: , , , , | No Comments »

It’s that time of the year again—conference season!  Comptel is looking forward to Management World 2010 in Nice, where we will be taking part in a number of initiatives, reconnecting with customers and partners, and talking about the latest industry issues and opportunities. 

To help you prepare for the event, we’ve compiled our five top tips for ‘surviving and thriving’ at this year’s show.

  • Have a plan. Familiarize yourself with the expo and Forumville layouts and decide how you are going to spend your time—don’t forget to swing by our booth, #21!  Determine which keynote sessions and presentations you’d like to attend, and when you need to make time for any pre-arranged customer or partner meetings.
  • Pace yourself. You can’t do and see everything at the show, so try and stick to your plan.  Walking to and from and about the show is good exercise, but it will also wear you out!  A well-paced day (and taking time to bask in the sun outside of the Acropolis Convention Centre) will leave you rested enough to enjoy Nice by night.
  • Bring enough business cards. This is one of the best opportunities to network with others in the industry, and it would be a shame to miss out.  Following the event, connect with your new contacts through LinkedIn and on other social networks like Twitter.
  • Participation is king. Everyone has been talking about Management World 2010 over the past few weeks; stay engaged in the conversations during and after the event.  Add your comments to related blog posts, and tweet live (#mw2010) from the tradeshow—your thoughts and common experiences will go a long way in forging relationships.
  • Don’t forget to enjoy the conference goodies. As always, you can find the famous Finnish milk chocolate—Fazer Blue—at our stand in the expo hall.

Have any additional Management World ‘survival’ tips to share?  We invite you to leave a comment.  Look forward to seeing you in Nice next week!