Good Circored Project Essay Example
Summarize the key points of the project
The Cleveland-Cliffs and Lurgi Metallurgy GmbH were the ore providers in United States. These two companies initiated a project in 1995 known as the Circored project. The major objective behind this launch was to develop and design a breakthrough technology that would help in converting iron ore into pure iron. The project turned out to be extremely challenging for the company and its management as it was the first of its kind and was an extremely complex launch. It involved three main countries and was a three-way joint effort with an uncertain situation as it was a new technology with unforeseeable risks and managerial issues. The collaboration wanted to discover a new market, where the finished product would be delivered directly to the steel plants rather than the dealers. The technology that Lurgi possessed was not yet proven, but it was considered to mark a major breakthrough in the industry (Loch, 2006).
Once the project was initiated, it became clear that this new technology will be unable to meet the expectations and will be dramatically changed in order to deliver. The risks were not managed well, and there were many construction errors and managerial issues and conflicts that developed during the project management process. The market price was the product declined drastically, and the third partner pulled out of the project forseeing its collapse. Even though there were many issues between Cleveland-Cliffs and Lurgi, they planned to continue with the project after an extensive and comprehensive discussion on mutual trust and understanding with team building work. Lurgi’s hard work and effort to rethink the construction and technology finally bore the fruit at the start of 2001. Even though the international market prices for the product were still down, but still the plant was able to generate volumes and the business developed potential to perform well (Loch, 2006).
Determine how the risks were managed
The project was highly complex in nature and was a first-time project, due to which there were many uncertain risks involved. Since the team was not experienced to cater to the project management complexities, and there were three partners involved in the project with different experiences there were unexplainable issues which the management was unable to resolve properly. The errors in construction phase were avoidable, but they were able to add in the end to four-month schedule only. Cliffs and Lurgi had performed capable risk management project assignments, which made it easier to handle certain risks. The project management plan had many contingencies, and even the possible residual risks were handled. The risk analysis was refined throughout the project phase and the new potential risks factors were analyzed throughout by Cliffs and Lurgi, but an unfortunate part was that the project risk manager was unable to handle the issues well. There were a lot of construction issues in the project that were a test ride with many uncertainties which the project manager was unaware of that whether the project will be able to stand continuously or not as per the plan (Christian, 2002).
Lessons for the project manager
The project manager was highly competent in the Circored project and was able to identify potential problems, but mere identification of an issue did not help in solving the problems. One main lesson learned in this regard is that once potential risks and problems are identified, they should be materialized towards effective solution strategies. Second lesson learned in this case for the project manager is that even due the project manager was diligent enough to identify the problems and risks involved; he lacked knowledge to choose the most serious issues. Third lesson learned for the project manager for future projects was that the project manager was on and off available from the main office to the Circored project field and was not continuously present. It was imperative that the project manager must have given his full time to the field in order to solve the potential problems on a timely basis (Loch, 2006).
Christian Terwiesch, Christoph Loch (June,. 2002) Cleveland Cliffs Inc. and Lurgi Metallurgie GmbH - The Circored Project (A): Building a First-of-Its-Kind Iron Ore Reduction Plant, Case study.
Loch, C. H., De Meyer, A. and Pich, M. T. (2006) The Limits of Established PRM: The Circored Project, in Managing the Unknown: A New Approach to Managing High Uncertainty and Risk in Projects, John Wiley & Sons, Inc., Hoboken, NJ, USA.