The project of a viaduct over the Tarn Valley and the city of Millau in Southern France was a major issue for many years among the French population and the Ministry of Transport. It aimed at providing a solution for the severe traffic jam that occurred every summer, and its by-product, especially pollution and hazard inside the town of Millau. This project was a real challenge since the bridge's construction was a huge undertaking facing many technical problems and it proved to be a major construction innovation. The analysis of this project will be focused on three major areas: uncertainty management in the first part, stakeholders' management in the second part and organizational structure in the third part.
In the first part, we find that Millau's project faces a specific environment and the specific uncertainties arising from it: time and costs as well as stakeholders' expectations. Besides, threats are found to be more emphasized than opportunities, and dealing with both at the same time can help Eiffage, especially regarding reaction and pressure of local population, also referred to as residents. Even though the global level of uncertainty is rather low, the project team should work more on its relationship with the major actors involved.
[...] Project organization: ideal structure for the project Millau Viaduct Project (MVP) was very technically demanding representing a great scope project and therefore appearing as “simply too large to manage it as a single entity.” (Buttrick 2005: 143) As the seven pylons were erected simultaneously in seven sub-projects, MVP can be considered as a program being defined in a “series of closely related and linked projects, each of which is managed by a project manager, reporting to a program manager.” (Buttrick 2005: 143) (see appendix 3). [...]
[...] Millau Viaduct Program as an organization: the bureaucratic project Von Donk and Molloy's work (2007) can help us go more into depth considering the project as an organization having a specific structure. This study was based on the five basic structure of Mintzberg (Simple organization, Machine Bureaucracy, Professional Bureaucracy, Divisionalized Structure, Adhocracy) and the authors tried to establish parallels for project organization, i.e. to define a typology of project structure including simple project, bureaucratic project, professional project, divisionalized system and “adhocracy” project. [...]
[...] In the domain of construction projects, many different and sometimes conflicting interest, expectations and needs must be considered; otherwise, a negative attitude from stakeholders can severely hinder the projects implementation (McElroy and Mills 2000; Olander and Landin 2005). Therefore, the critical skill for a successful project manager lies among other things in the ability to understand the different stakeholders expectations and the extent to which they will seek to influence the project implying that it becomes incremental to ‘understand the often hidden power and influence of various stakeholders' (Johnson, Scholes and Wittington 2005; Bourne and Walker 2005: 650). [...]
[...] Karlsen, Jan Terje and Jon Lereim “Management of project Contingency and allowance.” Cost engineering 24-29 Kast, Robert and André Lapied “Risk in a public project: the Millau viaduct.” In Economics and finance of risk and of the future, 1st edition, NY: John Wiley and Sons McElroy, Bill and Chris Mills “Managing stakeholders” in Gower Handbook of Project Management. Edited by J. Rodney Turner and Stephen J. Simister. Mitchell, Ronald Bradley R. Agle and Donna J. Wood “Toward a theory of stakeholder identification and salience: Defining the principle of who and what really counts.” Academy of Management Review, 853- 886. [...]
[...] Result: a great success On December the Millau viaduct was inaugurated by the French President at the time, Jacques Chirac, and opened for traffic several weeks ahead of the revised schedule. The viaduct was the world's tallest cable stayed bridge and became the master piece of the Paris-Barcelona highway, spreading over about 750 km (465 miles). Traffic on the Millau viaduct was forecasted to be about 25,000 vehicles per day in the summer months and about 10,000 vehicles per day the rest of the year. [...]
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