NATO – I hope these guys don’t intend to fight a war any time soon

images-2The NATO Headquarters will be in the news this week. For all the wrong reasons.

 

 

Most of the project tools we use originate from the military. Critical Path Networking (Nuclear Submarines), Supply Chain Management, Cost Controls, etc.

But it seems that when it comes to using these tools to build a new headquarters the tools weren’t applied.

BUT – any project launched by an organisation of 29 countries to be run by the Belgian Authorities has one foot in the grave and the other on a skateboard.

The project was sanctioned in 1999. The project got underway in 2010.

The original budget was Euro 457.6 Million. A UK company called BAM UK won the contract at Euro 650 million but the Belgian Authority squeezed that down to Euro 240 million.

BAM UK ‘s motto is ‘we deliver what we promised on time and on budget. The final price will be in excess of Euro 1.4 Billion and it’s 4 years late.

The original project duration was 4 years. BAM UK managed to have that increased to 6 years. So, completion in 2016. It’s being opened this week mid-2018.

The NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said last week ‘that the building met it’s original budget and is only a year late’.

I suspect that the building is far from complete and that all cranes have been taken off site until President Trump goes to hit the white ball. But before he leaves that Euro 1.4 billion is going on Twitter.

A thought. Would your company have taken that project on?

My view?  I’d have grabbed that baby with both hands and dived in head first from a very great height.

Because. 1) NATO pay their bills 2) growth couldn’t be anything else but exceptionally high 3) the project would never be cancelled (too political) 4) it’s managed by the Belgian Authorities (Yahooooooo!!!!)

As I said in a previous blog What if a Risk Was An Opportunity in Disguise? This is a good example.

All it would remain to do is to mobilise a Claims Director as the first person on the project.

Ends.

 

What If a Risk Was Actually An Opportunity in Disguise?

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Companies in general identify project risks and look at ways to avoid them. Often the risk is too big and they step back to let someone perceived as foolhardy to take the job. But what if your company could take risks that no other company would touch with a bargepole?

What if the risks other companies saw as too dangerous were risks that you saw as an opportunity?

Take a look at this incredible feat of risk taking

Now, the question. How did he do that?

My quick run through

  • he was fit
  • he was in charge of the entire stunt at all stages
  • he had previously done many smaller jumps
  • he had the right equipment
  • he had trained
  • he had the right people around him
  • he had practiced the jump before filming started

There’s nothing in the list about him being totally insane or stupid.

And my point is?

True Risk Management isn’t about avoiding risks, it’s about assessing them and looking for ways to accept them, ways to take them on such that they can be done. Ways to make a healthy profit by doing things that ‘normal companies’ can’t do.

And the advantage of that approach? Your company could then take on projects that other companies think you’re mad to even accept the Invitation to Bid.

(I know lots of companies take on very risky projects – but that’s more about corporate stupidity than risk management).

So, have a think about that. What would your company have to do to take on the equivalent of what is shown on that video?

My top answer is ‘be fit’.

Could your company ever be that ‘fit’?

And why not?

 

Ends