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Project Management

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PROJECT MANAGEMENT raconteur.net 8 RACONTEUR 22 / 05 / 2016 Moving earth, iron, ice… and a community Relocating an entire town in the Arctic Circle must rank as one of the most challenging projects to manage ever attempted CASE STUDY JIM McCLELLAND D uring our lifetime, many of us will move house at least once and maybe even move city. Prop- erties, streets and neighbour- hoods stay where they are, while we, the human inhabitants, relocate. This might seem a statement of the obvious, unless you are one of 6,000 residents of the northernmost town in Sweden, Kiruna. This is because the town of Kiruna itself is on the move. Under snow for more than half the year, Kiruna sits 90 miles up beyond the Arctic Circle in Lapland. This is the land of midnight sun and polar night: summer months when the sun does not set, resulting in 24-hour daylight; as well as a few winter weeks of almost per - petual darkness, with no sunrise. The local climate is classed as subarctic, with temperatures as low as -43C. The reason Kiruna was established in the first place is also now the reason it has to move 3km east – iron. Kiruna sits atop a vast body of iron ore and is being un - dermined, literally, with increasing risk of subsidence. This is no small extraction operation. State-owned mining compa- ny LKAB founded the town in 1900 and is now the largest iron-ore pellet producer in Europe, with a net value of SEK16.2 billion (£1.4 billion). LKAB is funding the relo - cation in order to sustain mining activity until 2033. The decision to move a city is not to be taken lightly or implemented hastily. A decade of planning has passed since the Municipality of Kiruna first issued a press release in 2004 headed: "We are going to relocate a town". Infrastructure work on high-voltage power and new sewage has been under way for years and the railway already rerouted. The final political green light was received in 2011. The urban transformation will happen in phases: first public spaces, then residential areas. Unprecedented in scale, the move will directly affect about one in three of the 18,200 population, who have understanda - bly met this prospect with a mixture of en- thusiasm and anxiety. Project management priority number one has to be the people, insists Erika Lindblad, the project's urban transforma - tion communications officer for LK AB. "The biggest challenge is that we are moving a community, but we must address every individual per - son's concerns in a way that makes them feel secure," she says. "The complexity of urban transformation means it is often dif - ficult to give a direct, simple answer. Trans- parency, accessibility and an ongoing dia- logue are vital if we are to retain the trust of those around us." The second critical factor is time. Kiruna will be a long-running project to manage, but one of the first things the architects pro - posed was for the team to start thinking five times longer and envisioning a successful community for the next century. In 2013, White Arkitekter, working with Ghilardi + Hellsten Arkitekter, won the international competition for a 20-year phased relocation of Kiruna by 2033. Challenging the municipality's brief, the winning proposal features a 100-year masterplan with the goal of not only relo - cating, but creating a sustainable model for the city. Shifting to a longer-term mindset is crit- ical for resilience planning, explains lead architect at White Arkitekter Krister Lind- stedt. "Twenty years is a very short time for a city, even 116 years – the age of Kiruna – is quite short. When building a new town, it makes sense to stress-test the plan with dif - ferent scenarios," he says. "Mining in the K ir una region will most likely continue beyond the 20 - year timeframe. However, mining is susceptible to the world market and globa l demand for minera ls, a f inite re - source. To ma ke K ir una tr uly sustaina- ble, we need to enable it to have a future beyond ex traction." The local demographic has evolved con- siderably since the town's inception as a mining settlement. The aspiration today is for an increasingly diverse community and economy, favourable to other sectors such as tourism. There is a fresh dynam - ic afoot already, with Kiruna having the fastest-growing rate of small businesses in Sweden. Also, after years of popula- tion decline, a large demand is emerging now for housing, with new accommo- dation to be built in addition to 3,000 homes relocated. From a planning and project manage- ment perspective, it is therefore essential to adopt a spatial framework with maximum flexibility built in, while still retaining a sense of design intent. The methodology must be exploratory and responsive. According to Mr Lindstedt, ongoing public consultation is proving criti - cal in informing an agile, intelligent vision. "The new city has a mix of uses and is much more compact. It will have high-quality meeting places offering a platform for broadening the econo- my. At the same time, the new urban fabric will create a closer relationship to nature and the outdoors. These fea- tures directly ref lect the findings from the informal feedback by our in-house social anthropologist Viktoria Walldin and have given the consultation process credibility," he says. Eventually, while planning might not stop, construction has to start. In 2014, LKAB and the municipality announced the first phase of the masterplan programme, with LKAB pledging investment of £328 million. Work began that summer. Transformation will take place in phases. A series of projects will allow the city to "crawl" along an urban belt to its new home. Kiruna will have a new civic square, with historic clock tower, as well as a new travel centre, city hall, library and swimming pool. Old Kiruna will gradually be phased out and once the new centre becomes alive, res - Share this article online via raconteur.net Kiruna sits atop a vast body of iron ore and is being undermined, literally, with increasing risk of subsidence idents will relocate too. At present, there is agreement to carry across 21 of the most cul- turally characteristic buildings. Treasuring the community's collective city memory is important to retaining the sense and love of place, says Ms Lindblad. "Some of the old buildings with high cultural value, such as the wooden church by architect Gustaf Wickman, will be moved to ensure Kiruna retains its memories, character and unique identity," she says. Quite how many private homes can be moved and to what extent existing building parts get reused is an open and interesting question. White Arkitekter hopes to address this issue in part with its concept of The Portal: an extra-large communal shop and "build it yourself" facility. This construc - tion recycling depot will have remnants of the old city which can be collected, reused, recycled and retrofitted into the new. This will put less strain on the production cycle and transport of materials. Seizing the opportunity to embed sus - tainability, the new development is also de- signed to a carbon-neutral agenda, with the ambition to harness the enormous amounts of waste heat generated by the mining and industry, combined with wind turbines for clean, green power. Moving Kiruna, physically and mentally, requires strategic planning and close con - sultation with the entire community. Yes, the location and the climate are a challenge. However, Kiruna is used to snow-handling and project management of delivery logis - tics. The scale of operation might be much grander than anything seen before, but the knowledge is already there. For the city, the real measure of project management success will be in the people metrics, concludes Ms Lindblad: "Our greatest legacy we hope will be an open dialogue with residents and a transparent process to ensure that we achieve the best result for Kiruna." White Arkitekter White Arkitekter White Arkitekter Getty images TECHNOLOGY FOR AGILE BUSINESS As traditional ways of doing business are turned on their head, a tidal wave of change is sweeping the field of project management D isruptive technologies, which en- compass everything from artificial intelligence and robotics to ma- chine-learning and the internet of things, are having a profound impact on business operations and processes. While no industry can consider itself immune to the technology revolution, some sectors – manufacturing, construc- tion and energy, for example – are being affected more than others. And as the pace of disruption looks set to accelerate, organisations within these sectors need to embrace technological ad- vancement, understand the implications for project management, and respond in a flexible and agile manner. By doing so, they stand to benefit significantly, while those that fail to respond could be left at a competitive disadvantage. Beyond the impact of change on the project management function, in an in- creasingly tech-driven age, a chief exec- utive needs to know how these changes will impact the boardroom. They need to be aware of the challenges, recognise the opportunities and understand the com- mercial realities. As chief executive of global enterprise applications firm IFS, a pioneer of agile business technology solutions, Alastair Sorbie is seeing how the business world is responding, first hand. He says: "Project management is be- coming much more dynamic and mul- ti-faceted, as a myriad of new devices and data streams continue to emerge, with companies increasingly implementing in- ternet of things or IoT solutions. Rather than expecting project managers to sim- ply tune into this, businesses must com- municate what is happening, clearly, from the top down, and weave innovation into their company culture and DNA ." Working with clients from a range of industries, IFS provides them with a range of tools designed to deliver visual insight, understand enterprise per formance and enable better decision-making in an inte- grated way. It is industries such as manufactur- ing and oil and gas, arguably the sectors most exposed to economic challenges and fluctuations, where an integrated project management solution can potentially de- liver the biggest benefits. However, organisations in these sec- tors need to adopt a management ethos that is both forward looking and eff icien- cy driven, because for all the advantages that disruptive technologies such as IoT can bring to project management, as it becomes more widely adopted, it can create challenges. Mr Sorbie refers to the mismatch that exists between the flexibility of these new disruptive technologies and the inflexibil- ity of fixed mindsets that many companies bring to project management. "For example, project life cycles tend to be complex in nature, and managers will often use different software products to manage various stages of the project from tendering through to commissioning and servicing," he says. "This fragmented approach is problematic as disparate pro- ject areas are unable to 'talk' to each oth- er. This leads to managers spending more time and energy mapping and monitoring their relationships and connections, which in turn leads to a lack of efficiency." There is also the issue of a technology mismatch, with many organisations re- lying on outdated, cumbersome legacy business systems that are unable to sup- port modern IoT platforms. In a changing technology landscape companies must ensure they have the right tools to adjust and take stock. "Resolving this type of challenge re- quires a change of mindset and culture," says Mr Sorbie. "Sectors with ageing workforces will have to engage the more conservative project managers by educat- ing them about these new technologies and how project management tools should evolve accordingly." The benefits of an integrated project management solution, one that offers enhanced control and visibility, and re- al-time control over cost, cash, time, re- sources and risk, are being realised by a growing number of global companies. The IFS Enterprise Operational Intel- ligence (EOI) solution enables an en- terprise-wide, top-down perspective of processes and performance aligned with the business strategy, and was recently adopted by North American service pro- vider Serco Inc. Director of business services at Serco Jason Adolf says: "Our legacy suite of busi- ness intelligence tools provided standard reporting, but we really needed a way to allow our managers to make decisions on the data coming through the EOI tool – ac- tionable intelligence, you could say." This actionable intelligence had previ- ously only been available at predefined points in time; for example, through a fortnightly, monthly or annual report. With IFS EOI, Serco managers can access daily and even real-time data, enabling them to make faster, more responsive decisions throughout the day rather than just at the end of the week or even later. COMMERCIAL FEATURE Organisations cannot afford to ignore the technological changes that are already taking place and will undoubtedly increase over time. It is imperative that they abandon traditional, fixed, process-driven approach- es to project management in favour of one built around principles, and based on flexi- bility and agility. Mr Sorbie concludes: "Companies should now be focusing on an integrated project management suite, one that captures the true spirit of IoT, and enables them to adapt to constant change and disruption, and most importantly, to maintain their competitive edge for today – and for what's next." www.ifsworld.com/times As a result, Serco provides much high- er levels of ser vice to its own customers. The company has also enhanced its abili- ty to win new customers and focus its in- vestments more accurately on areas that need improvement. Having adopted IFS EOI as its global standard for enterprise operational intel- ligence, Mr Adolf now sees huge growth potential for Serco. He says: "The tool is going to be an integral part of our value proposition to our customers, a way for us to show true differentiation, but also to be more efficient, to work better and work smarter." Research has shown that agile project management methods are making their mark in business. Comparing IT project outcomes between agile and tradition- al water fall methodologies, across all project sizes, the 2015 CHAOS Report, produced by IT research advisory f irm the Standish Group, found that agile approaches resulted in more successful projects and fewer outright failures. Project success rates could be fur ther increased if companies avoided off-the- shelf solutions and opted instead for solutions that can be conf igured to the needs of their industry and scopes of their budgets. The IFS solution transformed Serco's multiple legacy business intelligence solu- tions into a standardised single-platform solution, meeting its requirements for both business and operational intelligence, and providing the differentiation that is now part of the company's strategy. The IFS Enterprise Operational Intelligence solution enables an enterprise-wide, top-down perspective of processes and performance aligned with the business strategy ABOVE Visual insight into project portfolio performance LEFT Alastair Sorbie Chief executive IFS Worldwide Serco managers can access daily and even real-time data, enabling them to make faster, more responsive decisions throughout the day rather than just at the end of the week or even later Images of Kiruna

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