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Dr. E. Sreedharan Built the Konkan Railway & Delhi Project with Great Project Management Strategy
Posted: Jul 12, 2018
Konkan Railway and Delhi Metro are undoubtedly one of the biggest and most challenging infrastructure projects that India has undertaken and successfully completed through effective project management strategies.
This article explains how complex projects are executed and how effective project management practices can lead to success of challenging projects. It basically throws light on how Dr. E Sreedharan managed to complete the Konkan Railway and Delhi Metro project - through strategic initiatives, great discipline, integrity, trust and effective project management techniques.
Konkan Railway - A Project That Tested the Limits of Engineering and Financial Expertise
In the seven years that it took to finish the construction of the rail line between Roha and Mangalore, the Konkan Railway Project had to face many technical problems due to tough terrains and climatic changes. However, the most challenging job for this operation was raising funds for the project. With a large financial burden, there was pressure to run the newly launched railway project in a cost-effective manner.
Dr. E Sreedharan knew the need of the hour was to be agile and implemented transparent cost management strategies to solve the challenges faced by the project.
That was the first time that the railways decided that the project should be constructed with the borrowed money. The railway was prepared to give only one-third of the cost of the project and two-thirds of the cost had to be raised from the market on a BOT basis – Build, Operate and Transfer basis.
In short, the team was prepared to face anticipated risks. To ensure systematic and efficient completion of the project – Dr. E Sreedharan followed project management planning to overcome the hurdles of Konkan Railway Project.
Delhi Metro - The Dr. E Sreedharan way is an attempt to encapsulate the project management strategies that the Delhi metro adopted during implementation of the project. This case study is divided into different segments. Each segment contains interesting anecdotes that narrate the extent of hard work and commitment shown by Dr. E Sreedharan during the project planning and execution.
Delhi Metro – A World Record in Project Execution
While executing any project, one should always feel proud of every small achievement. A celebration of small achievements always leads to big victories.
Dr. E Sreedharan was able to complete the first phase of the project in seven years and three months – almost two years and nine months ahead of schedule. Whereas the second phase which covered a distance of 125 kilometers was completed in a period of four and a half years which was a world record in itself.
Using project management techniques and approaches, Dr. E. Sreedharan was able to complete the Delhi metro rail project in record time. This achievement serves as a benchmark for many Metro projects to be launched in future.
Delhi Metro – How punctuality was built into the management of the project- E. Sreedharan
For a project to achieve its vision, everyone must work towards it with great discipline as it bears fruition in the long run.
When it came to punctuality Dr. E Sreedharan’s Delhi Metro followed a strict discipline. Be it any phase - punctuality was followed almost to a perfection to meet the project’s milestones.
Delhi Metro Reverse Clocks – Helping the organization meet tight deadlines – Dr. E. Sreedharan
In project management - time is money. For completion of any project, one needs to keep an eye on the deadline to ensure quicker decisions.
Dr. E Sreedharan’s Delhi Metro speaks about the ‘reverse clock’ method for managing projects. At different pivotal work points, there were different people in charge. By delegating tasks, by taking quicker decisions at critical phases and by supporting the team wholeheartedly, the project team was able to the complete the Delhi Metro project within the stipulated deadline.
Delhi Metro – The importance of Integrity in project management- Dr. E. Sreedharan
Integrity is a key to any project success.
Transparency and integrity played a huge role in the success of Delhi metro project. The stress on integrity increased the confidence of the two governments in DMRC (Delhi Metro Rail Corporation). Whatever was said, whatever proposal was made to the government, was all accepted without any doubt and questioning. It actually made a lot of difference while working on the project.
Delhi Metro – Building Professional Competence has paid huge dividends- E. Sreedharan
In order to meet the project management objectives at a substantial scale one should start employing experts to get the job done. It not only serves the team with quicker, supple, and inexpensive solution for project triumph, but it also helps you replicate the expertise in other similar projects.
In the first phase, the Delhi metro project team had invested in foreign consultants for effective execution of the project. However, from the second phase onwards, the Delhi metro team was entirely on their own. The team learned the tricks of the trade during the execution of the first phase itself. The studies and investigations later helped Delhi Metro to bring a sort of revolution into the country.
Delhi Metro – Social responsibility leads to fiscal prudence in project management – E. Sreedharan
One needs to understand the magnitude of the task and act responsibly.
This government’s mega project was like a social responsibility. The Delhi Metro project management team paid special attention to their social responsibility while working on the project. They understood that it is the people who have contributed their money to the government’s project as taxpayers. Hence the project was planned well in order to minimize inconvenience to general public.
The team even took care of the environmental issues. The team on their own decided to plant ten trees for every tree they cut during the project, as a compensatory afforestation act.
Delhi Metro – Making contractors as partners in project implementation- Dr. E. Sreedharan
For any project to be successful, it is important to win the trust of your stakeholders. If your project success depends on the work of contractors make sure you have a good relationship with them.
Maintaining good relation with the stakeholders was probably another success key in both the Delhi Metro and the Konkan Railway project. The project management team never allowed contractors to fail. Dr. E Sreedharan ensured all the problems and grievances of the contractor were addressed right on time. This is the main reason why the contractors were able to function so smoothly.
Konkan Railway and Delhi Metro are India’s biggest infrastructure projects. Planning, executing and constructing the projects required extensive project management techniques and abundant funds. And the entire credit for the success goes to one man, Dr. E Sreedharan. Without his guidance and expertise in managing projects, these mega projects wouldn’t have been possible.
Gizel Gomes is a content writer for a digital advertising agency. With a passion for reading and writing, she hopes to provide the community with her insight on different project management tips, techniques & methodologies.