You should by now have a good understanding of the unique characteristics of international projects. You should have a firm grasp of the way in which uncertainty impacts on a number of project management activities, in particular how the culture of international stakeholders affects the planning and execution of projects. Your task now is to analyse and critique an international project in terms of how well it is being conducted, the problem areas and possible improvements.
You have been appointed by Murasaki Aircraft Corporation (MAC), a relatively new aircraft manufacturer in Japan, as the Project Director. MAC’s shareholders include parent company Murasaki Heavy Industries (MHI) 64%, Toyota Motor Corporation (10%) and Mitsubishi Corporation (10%) and Sumitomo Corporation and Mitsui & Co with minor shares. MAC is only producing Regional Jets and has no ambition to compete with Boeing and Airbus, especially since MAC is manufacturing Boeing’s 787’s wings. However, the CEO, Lisanne wishes to grow the company to the next level by entering into the medium size passenger jet market directly competing with the Big Two. She wishes to use Boeing’s 787 Dreamliner lightweight construction technology to reduce the weight of the aircraft and the partnering strategy (international consortium approach) that Boeing and Airbus employed for the 787 and A380 aircraft respectively to spread the manufacturing risks – although the partnering proved to be problematic for both companies. In order to develop the concept, Lisanne has asked you to collect as much information on the 787 and A380 projects as possible and determine what they did well and in which areas they should have paid more attention, and perhaps performed better, in order to avoid the problems that plagued their projects. Lisanne needs the information to determine how feasible her concept is from a project perspective and to ultimately build a business case to persuade the shareholders, if the issues identified by you can be resolved.
Read through the case study material carefully.
- Click here to access the Airbus A380 & The Boeing 787 Dreamliner Case Study.
Scope of the task
In effect, the CEO, Lisanne, is seeking from you:
- a ‘lessons learned’ brief of the two projects, and
- how these learnings can be adopted into MAC’s growth ambition project.