Project Management Institute

Beating the odds

Every four years in the year before the summer Olympic Games, the Pan American Games are held. As is often the case with multi-sport events, much construction is needed to host the many sporting events. This article profiles the project manager for the organizing committee of the 2011 Games in Guadalajara, Mexico. It describes how the organization is handling the construction of a 49,850-seat arena, an aquatics center that will accommodate 5,000 spectators, a MXN61.4 million gymnastics stadium, and the athletes' village. A traceability matrix enables the organization to keep track of all projects and ensures project requirements are being met. Other issues faced by the committee include a political uproar arising from the choice of venue locations, drug cartel assassinations of local government officials, and grenade attacks. As in all projects, the biggest challenge for project managers is to keep the stakeholders' expectations aligned with the project goals. The committee plans to use project management to overcome these seemingly insurmountable obstacles.
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