How Brazil is Preparing for the World Cup and Olympics
With both the 2014 World Cup and the 2016 Olympics in Brazil’s future, the country has been building new stadiums and buildings and modernizing its infrastructure for several years.
Brazil has a long “to-do” list that includes:
· Renovating and building over a dozen stadiums and 36 competition venues
· Building the Olympic Village
· Overhauling the national transportation infrastructure including 4,460 miles of new or widened highways
· Expanding a dozen airports
· Building new subway lines
· Creating a rapid-transit train between Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo
· Building new power plants and transmission lines
· Building and renovating hotels and restaurants to house and feed athletes and tourists
The obstacles are numerous as well including a lack of funds, labor shortages, corruption, and more. Whether Brazil can live up to its promise and overcome these obstacles remains to be seen and will rely in large part on how well it manages these huge projects.
If you think managing a single construction site is complex, imagine what’s involved in preparing for two of the world’s biggest sporting events at once?
According to the Brazilian Federal Government Website on the 2014 FIFA World Cup (COPA2014.gov.br), planning for the World Cup has been broken down into stages according to the time required for completion:
· First cycle: infrastructure
· Second cycle: actions related to infrastructure and support services
· Third cycle operational actions
One can assume that plans for the Olympics are prioritized in a similar fashion. After all, the longer a project takes to complete, the sooner it must be started. Despite the best of intentions, some projects have languished. Both the World Cup and Olympics organizing committees have been criticized for falling behind.
According to an icoste.org paper titled, The Management Challenges of Building a World Cup Stadium in the Amazon – The Case of the Amazon Arena (Brazil), the principles of “Lean Operational Excellence” were used to reduce waste, improve work process management, and reduce costs in building the Amazon Arena. Lean production principles focus on reducing waste, prioritizing activities that add value, and eliminating work that is considered unnecessary with a goal of increasing productivity.
With multiple venues and massive amounts of infrastructure involved, planners rely on a variety of systems such as project management and computerized maintenance management systems (CMMS) to plan and execute construction. Project management systems are commonly used to manage all aspects of a construction project including planning, resource management, budgeting, scheduling, controlling, executing, and more.
Computerized maintenance management systems are typically used to manage facilities, equipment, and fleet as well as to manage assets. For example, the recently completed Pernambuco Arena has its own solar power and sewage treatment plants. While project managers likely used project management software during construction and may use it to manage various projects once the arena is operational, facilities managers need a more robust system for managing maintenance and equipment. CMMS allows facilities managers to manage all assets from turf, retractable roofs, and giant-screen televisions to solar panels and wastewater systems.
Clearly, managing huge infrastructure and construction projects with a fixed, tight deadline and numerous obstacles is a challenge. Will Brazil manage to pull it all off in time?