Updating Your CV
When a project is canceled, project managers’ biggest concern might be
While many project managers are reassigned within the organization,
they shouldn’t count on it, says Kevin Celia, a Milton Keynes, England-
based director at Hays Information Technology, part of the global
recruiting firm Hays PLC. The state government agency behind Austra-
lia’s canceled East West Link project laid off up to 14 senior executives,
“If you successfully managed a specific phase of the project which was completed,
then highlight that.” —Sandra Swanson
Ancient artifacts are coming back to haunt project managers trying to deliver
construction projects. Work on a supermarket expansion project in Paris, France
this year had to be halted while a team spent two months excavating more than 300
medieval-era skeletons. And developers discovered 15,000 pre-Columbian artifacts
along the route of the planned Nicaragua Canal—before they’d even broken ground.
Now, further discoveries underground could threaten the US$50 billion project’s
2019 completion date.
Archeological findings can wreak havoc on a project’s budget and schedule, as
work has to stop while the discoveries are investigated, documented and excavated.
Careful planning and communication, however, can prevent discoveries from
throwing the project completely off track.
Assess Before Distress
Managers of the £ 14. 8 billion Crossrail railway-line program in London, England
held archeological investigations at each site before construction.
“That approach has paid off very well,” says Jay Carver, lead archaeologist,
Crossrail, London, England. “We’ve had no serious delays, although we’ve had
some really, really excellent [archaeological] finds.”
The preconstruction archeological assessments required extra time and
money on the front end, but they allowed the project team to avoid unexpected
delays and expenses later. “It allowed us to put some real meat on the bones
When the Abraj Kudai project in Mecca, Saudi
Arabia is completed in 2017, it will be the
world’s largest hotel. Its 10,000 rooms will be
twice the number in the now-largest hotel, the
MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Nevada, USA. The
US$3.5-billion project comprises 12 44-story
towers, 70 restaurants, four helipads, a full-size
convention center with a ballroom, a shopping
mall and one of the largest domes in the world.
Andrew Linwood, head of design at Areen
Hospitality, the London, England firm tasked
with designing the hotel’s interiors, told Arabian
Business that the project presents a challenge.
“Designing hotel interiors on such a massive
scale, with no operators yet in place, requires
complex programming and design resourcing,”
Located little more than a mile ( 2. 2 kilometers) from the Grand Mosque, which surrounds
Islam’s holiest site, the hotel will cater to an
elite crowd. Ten of the building’s towers will
offer four-star accommodations, with the other
two providing five-star lodging. Five floors will
be reserved for the Saudi royal family.
The megaproject is just one of many initiatives to accommodate Mecca’s 20 million
annual visitors. As many as 3 million make the
yearly pilgrimage for the hajj. Other projects
underway or completed in recent years include
the Makkah Clock Royal Tower, which has 1,542
hotel rooms; the Jabal Omar development,
which will accommodate 100,000 people in 26
luxury hotels; and a US$60 billion expansion of
the Grand Mosque itself. —Matt Schur