London 2012 Olympics: the hurdles


London 2012 Olympics: the hurdles

94 venues, 17,000 athletes and a predicted 12 to 14 million spectators converging on London. Program Director at British Telecom (BT) Howard Dickel told Congress delegates that these were the sobering reminders of the scale of his current project – to deliver all of the fixed and mobile, voice and data communications networks at the London Olympics.

The multi-billion dollar project has presented a number of challenges, he said, particularly around stakeholder management. “There is a complex mishmash of stakeholder issues – everyone has a vested interest.”

Another key challenge is installing complex telecommunications equipment in new and existing buildings, which involves drilling, complex cabling to “deliver an enormous communications capacity for what is essentially a short amount of time,” he continued.

The enormity and global emphasis on the project “demands a completely different mindset”, Dickel explained. As such, BT developed ‘minute-stones’, as opposed to milestones, where checks are made in 15-minute increments over the duration of the Games so that he knows almost immediately when the project is off the critical path.

To achieve its main objective – to enable the most connected Games – BT has taken the following steps: empowered engineers on the front line to make decisions, funded extensive profiling to test processes and performed technical rehearsals of risk scenarios. “This is a moment of truth for our brand – you can have the best roll out plan but it’s meaningless if you can’t deliver when it matters.”

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